Writing a Letter of Intent for Graduate School (with Sample)
Use this sample letter of intent for graduate school as a template for your formal notification.
A letter of intent for graduate school is part of the admission process in most universities, especially for research-oriented graduate programs. These letters are closely scrutinized by admission officers because the letter is the place where the graduate student can talk about him or herself, explain their goals and why they want to attend graduate school at that particular university.
The letter should be well constructed, organized and written. It may be used by the university to determine if the applicant’s career goals fit with the program or to match the applicant to a supervisor. The admission committee will want to know if the applicant has:
The capacity to work through and solve problems independently
The ability and initiative to develop ideas
The determination to achieve his or her goals
Before writing the letter, the applicant should do some research about their university of choice and make sure there is a program that matches the applicant’s goals. The letter needs to cover a variety of subjects, and different schools are looking for different information.
However, there are four basic things they are all looking for:
What subject does the applicant want to study in graduate school
Why the applicant wants to study that subject
What experience does the applicant have in their field
What will the applicant do with the degree once they have it
Areas of Research
The letter of intent should focus on the applicant’s goals and explain how the degree will help the applicant achieve those goals. The letter can also explain the areas of research that most interest the applicant, and at least one area should be expressed in enough detail for the admission committee to form an idea of the applicant’s interests.
There may be references to research literature mentioned in the letter as well as how any acquired skills will help the applicant succeed in the program. The information in a letter of intent is not a binding contract because most universities recognize that students’ interests may change, and these changes are legitimate.
The applicant may also contact a professor in the university who teaches in the area of interest. The professor will most likely be happy to discuss the program.
Some other information that may be included is the applicant’s:
Experience in the field and how they became interested
Quick description of undergraduate studies
Awards and published work
Below is a sample of a letter of intent for graduate school. It should be between 400 and 800 words and include a small reference list containing any sources if research is mentioned. These sources should be written in correct bibliographic citation.
Sample Letter of Intent for Graduate School Applicant’s Full Name Applicant’s Address City, State, Zip Code
Name of Admissions Officer Name of University Address of University City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Admissions Officer:
This letter is to inform you of my interest in the Masters of Science in Environmental Applications Program at Name of University. I have submitted my completed application form with the required documentation.
I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Engineering from Name of University, where I graduated cum laude with a GPA of 3.88. I entered the competition for Innovative Methods for Plastic Recycling that is sponsored by Name of Corporation and won first place with a method I invented for treating shredded plastic bags for street resurfacing.
I first became interested in waste management in high school, when I was taken on a field trip to the local land fill. When I learned about the time it takes for many common waste materials to decompose, I realized I wanted to enter the field and focus on quicker and more useful ways of waste management. In order to secure a high enough position to make a difference, I need a graduate degree in the field, and Name of University has the best program in the state.
During my undergraduate years I worked part-time for several waste management companies in the state, including Name of Company and Name of Company. Twice, I was commended and given a financial bonus for innovations I created for disposing of plastic water bottles and recycling broken toys. I wrote two instruction booklets that are still being used today, and have included them with this letter.
I believe that my education and experience make me a good candidate for a graduate degree in your Environmental Engineering Program. I have talked to two professors who teach in the program, Name of Professor and Name of Professor. Each encouraged me to apply to the program and believe I can reach my goals with this degree.
If you would like any more information, I would be happy to talk to you or meet you at a time of your convenience. I can be reached at Phone Number or at Email Address.
Applicant’s Signature Applicant’s Name Printed Enclosed: Two Instruction Booklets By Andre Bradley