This sample SOP is for applying to a master’s program in Computer Science in the USA.
We are currently in the midst of a technological and computing revolution that will drastically change our lives and potentially redefine what it means to be human. I am very excited at the prospect of devoting my long-term career to such a dynamic, fast advancing field. Ever since I was young, I have enjoyed dabbling with computers and experimenting with different applications. Because my own lifetime has essentially coincided with the rise of the modern computing industry, I can sense that there are still tremendous developments to come in this field. It was natural for me to choose Computer Science as my university major, and now, as I near the end of my undergraduate studies, it is my central goal to continue my education in a more competitive, elite, and international environment.
There is only one logical destination for my postgraduate studies: the USA, a country which stands at the center of the computing universe. The US has been the chief driver of innovation in computing, and the most innovative and successful companies in this field are based there. Studying overseas in the US will thus give me not only a greater range of professional skills but also a much broader, more international perspective. Therefore, I am applying to join your MSc in Computer Science program, commencing in the fall of 2013. I am convinced that I am well prepared for the challenges of studying in your master’s program because of my extensive academic and practical background, which I will describe in detail below.
My academic experience thus far has provided me with a wide range of practical knowledge and skills that will be immensely useful when studying overseas at the graduate level. As a high school student, I excelled in courses related to physics, mathematics, and chemistry. I was fortunate during this time to have teachers who saw my interest in these subjects and encouraged me to continue broadening my scientific understanding and developing my analytical skills. It was due in large part to their guidance and advice that I chose to major in Computer Science in the university. As an undergraduate, I found that I deeply enjoyed learning about programming and systems analysis, and with my strong mathematics background I performed very well in courses concerning calculus, statistics, and differential equations. Now, in addition to my specialized knowledge of computer science, I have an appreciation for the breadth of this field and the nearly endless possibilities for further study.
In addition to the courses that I have taken, I have been very active outside of the classroom, participating in extracurricular activities and pursuing new experiences so as to push myself and broaden my horizons. For example, I took some time to travel across Europe by myself, an experience which, although at times difficult, ultimately made me a much more independent and confident person. I am now comfortable adapting to new situations and interacting with people who are different from me, qualities which will be tremendously useful when studying in the USA. Furthermore, when my hometown was devastated by a natural disaster, I volunteered to help the victims as an organizer, which involved raising money and providing food, blankets, and other supplies as needed. Aside from the enhanced communication and leadership skills this experience offered me, what I most value is my newfound understanding of the importance of service and helping those in need. Finally, in the university, I was the publisher of the monthly newsletter of my department, a role I took on in order to meet new people and learn a new range of skills. As these experiences show, I am highly motivated and proactive at learning new skills and experiencing new things. This is precisely why I have decided to continue challenging myself by studying for a master’s degree in the USA.
Regarding my goals for the future, I plan to take what I learn in the USA and apply it to the computing industry in my native country. This industry is rapidly growing and shows great potential, yet compared to other, more advanced countries it is still in its relative infancy. By studying in your master’s program and possibly working for a short period in the USA, I expect to have the expertise, the perspective, and the experience necessary to lead our industry to a new era. I also have many friends with similar goals, and I hope that we can one day collaborate to put our country on the map as an innovative force in the computing world.