This sample SOP was used by a non-native English speaker to apply to a master's program in Chemical Engineering in England.
Statement of Purpose - Chemical Engineering
[My country] has made great strides in terms of its technical prowess over the past several decades, yet there is still considerable room for advancement in its chemical engineering field. In order to contribute to the advancement and modernization of this field, I hope to study in your graduate program of Chemical Engineering, obtaining a new conceptual understanding and professional knowledge in this field. Chemical engineering encompasses a variety of fields, including from biological chemistry and materials to environment management, and I am looking forward to learning more advanced knowledge in all of these areas. At the same time, studying in your program will give me a chance to broaden my outlook and learn of the differences between my native country and the West, which will prepare me to think more creatively and independently in my career.
My previous university studies of chemical engineering have prepared me for the challenge of joining your school. As an undergraduate, I frequently took practical courses such as Computer Programming, where I learned to solve problems by writing programs. I also enjoyed several experimental classes, such as Unit Operations and Process Control Lab, where I accumulated a great deal of laboratory experience. From working on projects and presenting the results, I developed good research skills and a better understanding of theory, as well as improving my confidence in public speaking.
In the university, I also made a point to take part in many extracurricular activities, despite my busy class schedule. For example, I volunteered in the Student Affairs Office, where I planned various activities, edited their weekly newsletter, and interacted with students from different departments and backgrounds. In addition, I served as a class representative for three years, dealing with students’ problems and bridging the communication gap between administrators and the professors. Outside of school, I worked part-time during vacations at a local bank, where I dealt directly with customers to help solve various banking problems that arose. I strongly believe that in the importance of being well-rounded, and these extra-curricular activities enabled me to develop into a skilled communicator with advanced leadership and interpersonal skills, all of which will prove tremendously useful in your graduate program.
I am confident that my academic background, combined with my experiences outside of the classroom, gives me the maturity that I need to succeed as an overseas student. Studying in your Master of Chemical Engineering program will give me a unique range of experience and expertise, and this will in turn give me a tremendous advantage in my career. If given the chance to enter your school, I would ideally like to take optional courses such as Public Utilities, Fundamentals of Electrochemistry, Energy Materials, or Synthesis and Application of Nanomaterials, as these are closely related to my interests. Moreover, I am looking forward to collaborating with students from different backgrounds, and the chance to improve my English abilities while learning to live more independently will be indispensable to me as I begin my career.
Regarding my future goals, in the short-term I plan to observe the development of chemical engineering in a different country. After completing my master’s degree and returning to my native country, I expect to work either in the hi-tech industry or more conventional industries. Chemical engineers with cutting-edge skills are in high demand here, and after completing your program I know that I will be armed with the tools I need to achieve considerable success and make a lasting impact in this field. I view this career as truly rewarding, and I thus sincerely hope you can grant me admission, as this is the next step on my dream career.