SOP for Masters Degree Abroad - Format, Guidelines for Top Courses, FAQs


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 04, 2022 01:29 PM IST

If you want to pursue higher education from a reputed and renowned international university or college then you are also required to submit a statement of purpose (SOP) explaining your personality, career goals, and professional expertise to the admission committee. Let us take a look at how to write an SOP for a master's degree

SOP for Masters Degree Abroad - Format, Guidelines for Top Courses, FAQs

One of the toughest parts of writing any piece is to get started. Sometimes, we know what to write, but fail to get any direction. Similarly, while writing a Statement of Purpose for master, a student may fall into a similar situation where he or she goes completely blank on what exactly to write. However, if you have a proper format and structure, it gets much easier to complete the piece and it also looks impressive. 

There are a lot of queries that come to mind a student while writing a Statement of Purpose for master, it could be related to length, content, information, etc. So without wasting any more time, read this quick guide on how to write a Statement of Purpose for masters degree abroad if you are planning to study abroad. From basic to vital information, we have put together all the nitty-gritty details you should keep in mind.

What is an SOP?

The statement of purpose (SOP) is the most important part while applying for a university abroad as it will help the admission committee to know about you in various aspects - who you are, why you are applying, why you can the best candidate for selection, what are your professional goals in future, what will you do after becoming a part of the university, apart from obtaining high scores. 

Hence, it is better not to neglect the importance of SOP in getting selected for a master's degree at a renowned university or college. SOP letters are sometimes called differently like application essays, personal background, cover letters, objectives for graduate study, etc. 

Why is SOP Important?

A well-written statement of purpose is what is highly recommended by top universities and colleges for admission. There are many aspects of an applicant's application that get scrutinised by various universities before taking any decision. All the academic records and exam scores, and academic transcripts are important objectives, and SOP is a subjective aspect of any candidate's application.

SOP is the only document that gives you a golden chance to prove to yourself that you can stand out from the crowd. Similarly, it is the document that can put your application in the consideration box of the admissions committee.

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How to Write an SOP for Masters Degree: A Complete Guide

The Statement of Purpose for masters degree can be completely based on a candidate's academic achievements, the chosen degree and their academic goals.

SOP Format for MS Abroad

The format of writing an SOP for post-graduation can be divided into four components - Purpose, Past Experience, Programme, and Personality. The guidelines may change depending on different programmes and universities worldwide, however, the admission committee mainly looks for these 4Ps in any Statement of Purpose for master.


A good Statement of Purpose for masters should in a clear way out forward the candidate's goals and interests and these could be achieved by answering a few questions. These include:

  • What does the candidate want to study?

  • Why does he or she want to study this master's course only?

  • What were the research projects the candidate undertook during his or her bachelor's degree?

  • What attracts the candidate to this field professionally?

  • What skills and knowledge does the candidate wish to gain from the programme?

  • What are the candidate's future plans after graduating from the university?

Past Experience

Past experience here implies that the candidate is required to give information about his or her previous academic and professional knowledge that he or she must have acquired in the particular field. Writing this will help to narrow down the courses particularly related to master's degree. It will also help the admission committee to give insight to the admission committee about the candidate's knowledge regarding the particular subject. 

Below are a few topics that can be addressed in this section:

  • Relevant experience - full-time job, training or internships.

  • Courses studied in bachelors related to the field applied for Masters

  • Additional skills that a candidate already has or wishes to acquire in the particular country


While scrutinising, the admission committee needs a deeper insight into the candidate's interest or inspiration behind choosing a  particular degree. This helps them get adequate information as to whether the candidate is a good fit for the university and programme or not. These key points can be written down for the Statement of Purpose for master:

  • Reason for applying to the particular university

  • A particular part of a curriculum that the candidate likes

  • Any methodology of a department that interests the candidate

  • Expectations from the master's programme and also from the university or college

  • Candidates' contribution to the programme and university or college


Last, but not least, the personal aspect of SOP for Masters in the UK, Australia, and Canada focuses on the individualistic traits of the candidate. It could include, your interests, hobbies; Any soft skills you have like communication, leadership, and camaraderie with other team members; One unique characteristic about you that the admission committee should know.

Structure of SOP for MS Abroad

Paragraph 1: Introduction and goals

In the first paragraph, you may start writing about your goal in life. Try to be creative here, use analogy or quotes to make your SOP more interesting. However, keep in mind that you do not waste a lot of space just to introduce your goal. 

Paragraph 2 & 3: Career progression

Now you have come to the space where you can talk about yourself. Start with a brief history and career progression right from your school to college time. This paragraph is usually dedicated to a candidate's academic pursuits. If the candidate has work experience, he or she can limit talking about school and college life to paragraph 2 and just talk more about the work experience in paragraph 3.

Paragraph 4: Why this programme or university?

Yet again an important part of your Statement of Purpose for master as here you are required to provide the reason - why this college or university? Or why this particular programme? Try to narrate it in an interesting way like an incident that led you to take the decision. Make sure your essay sounds more emphatic and passionate in this paragraph, it will give a boost to your SOP.

Paragraph 5: How do you plan to achieve your goal?

Now the conclusion, i.e how the candidate is planning to achieve his or her future goals. After all the background information, now lay down your plans to achieve your long-term or short-term goals. If the candidate is aspiring to be an employee of a certain company, write about it. This will give them a clear insight into your further plans. Make sure you give a timeline for every move, making it more specific as to how many years are you going to remain associated with the company or work, and again your goals from thereafter.

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SOP Guidelines for Popular Courses

The elements stay quite the same, though unique aspects of the Statement of Purpose for masters programs are discussed, here is a clear understanding of popular courses:

SOP for Masters in Computer Science

In your Statement of Purpose for masters in CS, indulge certificates demonstrating expertise in various programming languages. Candidates should also add workshops that help to sharpen programming skills. Include particular specialisation that must have inspired the candidate in pursuing a Master's in CS like mobile computing, networking, etc. Put in front your love for programming, and applications in the SOP.

Coming to your work experience, if you have done training, internships, and any project related to computer science, do not forget to mention and talk about that. Also try to demonstrate skills like analytical, creative thinking, reasoning ability, and many more things.

SOP for Masters in Data Science

Master in Data Science, compared to others, is a new field that offers a specialisation of computer science or statistics in most colleges abroad. A Statement of Purpose for masters in Data Science should clearly put forward the reasons for deviating from subjects or programs chosen in undergraduate to data science.

If you have completed bachelor's courses involving analysis, sorting, and interpretation of data, do not forget to mention that. Add all the projects and internships related to data processing. If the candidate also has expertise in programming languages, he or she can also add that too, adding a comprehensive understanding of maths and statistics in the field.

SOP for Masters in Business Analytics

Here candidates are expected to have proficient knowledge of both technology and business. If the candidate has gathered skills through internships, workshops and projects, he or she can clearly bring that to the attention of the admission committee via the Statement of Purpose for Masters in Business Analytics. Add skills like client management and business development; excellent knowledge of business forecast models, if any; Skills to draw conclusions from the database; Analytical and statistical skills.

SOP for Masters in Mechanical Engineering

In the Statement of Purpose for Masters in mechanical engineering, candidates should focus on their academic and practical knowledge. Write about your strong understanding of basic mechanical engineering concepts like thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, etc. If you have done any unique research or project in the field of mechanics, it can be a plus point for you. Do not forget to mention the extra-curricular activities like membership in a club, sports, etc.

Writing a Statement of Purpose for masters degree is an effective way to clearly highlight your accomplishments and future goals with the thought of bringing a global change. Every SOP is unique and showcases individualism for a particular course. Nevertheless, the format of SOP remains the same for every course, the candidate is just required to approach creative writing styles to get into consideration.

If you need guidance related to any abroad university application process, do not hesitate to register with CollegeDekho and avail of our expert services. We have great experts who can help you out in writing SOPs for different universities and courses. If you want more information, write to us at

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What should I include in my Statement of Purpose for masters degree?

In your Statement of Purpose for masters degree, you should include things like financial background, Personal background, Academic details, long-term goals, any voluntary/full/part-time professional experience, extracurricular activities, reasons for attending a particular university, published or paper works (if any) as well as reasons behind choosing a particular field of course.

Is the Statement of Purpose for masters degree and a Personal Statement the same?

No, the Statement of Purpose for masters degree and a Personal Statement is not the same. An SOP is a document that explains your intention of studying abroad and the reason behind applying to a specific course or university abroad. On the other hand, Personal Statements showcase your personal motivations for attending a certain programme. PS also covers any accomplishments or challenges you have had and the insights you have learned from them.

Should I add a title to the Statement of Purpose for masters?

No, you should not add a title to the Statement of Purpose for masters and there is no such requirement either. An SOP is one of those documents that are capable of speaking for itself. As a result, avoid titles like 'Statement of Purpose for Master's in Computer Science or Master's in Data Science', as well as labelling it. However, a fine decision would be to review the university's requirements and guidelines before writing an SOP.

What should not be included in the Statement of Purpose for master?

There are certain things that you should not be included in the Statement of Purpose for masters. These include, personal or family situation/information, standardised exam test scores, common phrases or quotes or cliches, copied content from any website, and hiding or providing any forms of incorrect or wrong information.

Do all colleges or universities require applicants to write a Statement of Purpose for masters degree?

No, all colleges or universities do not require applicants to write a Statement of Purpose for masters degree. However, if we talk about top institutions abroad, then yes, they do require an SOP to support the candidate's application irrespective of their course. However, in some colleges or universities, it is not mandatory to attach an SOP.

What is an ideal length of a Statement of Purpose for masters degree?

An ideal length of a Statement of Purpose for masters degree is 1.5 pages. However, before writing, candidates should first take a look at whether the particular university has specified any word limit or not. If nothing is specified about the word count then candidates may easily keep the length of an SOP within 800-1000 words.

What should an ideal Statement of Purpose for masters degree communicate?

An ideal Statement of Purpose for masters degree should communicate majorly about a candidate's growth in a particular field. It must be in alignment with the particular course one has applied for at an international university. Additionally, a candidate can also support their Statement of Purpose for master with the course curriculum of the university which they aspire to join.

Should I avoid explaining my low graduation grades in the Statement of Purpose for master?

Yes, you should avoid explaining your low graduation grades in the Statement of Purpose for masters because your SOP should list your accomplishments. SOP is not a document to mention your GPAs or grades. It is a document that conveniences the Admission Committee about why you are a perfect candidate and why a certain programme is the best fit for you.

What are the things to keep in mind while writing a Statement of Purpose for master?

There are certain things to keep in mind while writing a Statement of Purpose for masters, like a candidate should not provide a self-introduction, title or name. They should write about their academic subject of interest and attempt to address questions such as how and why it interests them. Additionally, candidates should provide each detail honestly as they may need to provide proof for anything asked by the university.

How do you write a compelling conclusion in the Statement of Purpose for masters?

You can write a compelling conclusion in your Statement of Purpose for masters by demonstrating the logical connection and flow between your letter's introduction, main body, and achievements. Mainly, the details from the body paragraphs should be used to support the conclusion of your SOP. Use different languages to express the core idea of your SOP.

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