Admissions & Outreach

Preparing for Graduate Admissions

The process for applying to graduate school requires research and preparation on your end. Information and tips are provided for prospective students who are applying to graduate schools, particularly UCSB. 

  • Writing your Statements
  • Preparing for the GRE (coming soon!)

Writing your Statements 

UCSB Statement of Purpose

Give a brief statement outlining your reasons for undertaking a graduate program, your particular area of specialization within the major field, your past academic work, and your plans for future occupation or profession. Also include any additional information that may assist the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UC Santa Barbara.

This prompt is asking about your motivation, academic preparation, and your professional goals:

  • Why are you pursuing graduate study? (reason)
  • What are you inspired to research? (specialization)
  • What prepares you for this research endeavor? (past academic work)
  • How do you plan to put your graduate research to use? (future occupation or profession)
  • Do you have other experience or characteristics that prepares you for graduate study? (preparation and aptitude; research experience)
  • What makes you a good FIT for this particular graduate program?

UCSB Statement of Personal Achievements/Contributions

UC Santa Barbara is interested in a diverse and inclusive graduate student population. Please describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, or achievements that you feel are important in evaluating your application for graduate study. For example, please describe if you have experienced economic challenges in achieving higher education, such as being financially responsible for family members or dependents, having to work significant hours during undergraduate schooling or coming from a family background of limited income. Please describe if you have any unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to the diversity of the graduate group, such as fluency in other languages, experience living in bicultural communities, academic research interests focusing on cultural, societal, or educational problems as they affect underserved segments of society, or evidence of an intention to use the graduate degree toward serving disadvantaged individuals or populations.

This is your chance to get more personal with the admissions committee and highlight unique contributions you bring to the campus community.

  • Do you have accomplishments (can be non-academic) that illustrate your capacity to succeed at graduate study? (personal background, accomplishments, or achievements)
  • What challenges have you had to work to overcome in order to have the opportunity to obtain education? (economic challenges, caring for family members, other)
  • What unique life experiences do you bring with you? (unusual or varied life experiences that might contribute to the diversity of the graduate group)
  • Do you have unique skills or experiences that may help you to contribute to your field and the campus community? (for instance, but not limited to: fluency in other languages, experience living in bicultural communities)
  • Will you research serve underserved segments of society, or address problems particular to disadvantage or underserved individuals or populations?

Remember, you should write about something important to you, but you do not have to cover every aspect of the prompt for this document. Highlight your unique life experiences and how they have impacted your desired contributions to your field.