Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose explains the rationale for your individualized major and makes the case for its coherence and rigor. It should be about 2-3 double-spaced pages and should address the following four questions:

  • What is the academic focus of your proposed major? On what theme, issue, question, or problem does your major focus? From what disciplines or departments will you draw your courses? Why does your major need to be interdisciplinary?
  • Why have you chosen this academic focus? What inspired you to design an individualized major?
  • How will the courses you have selected help you to learn more about the major theme? What insights do you hope to gain from your courses? How will these insights illuminate your theme? It is often helpful to group your courses thematically when you discuss them in your statement.
  • How does the major fit into your academic and career goals? Will you be pursuing a minor or another major? Will you be doing an internship, undergraduate research, or study abroad? Are you planning for a particular career or graduate program?

Obtaining feedback from IISP advisors and your faculty advisors and revising your statement of purpose is critical to producing a strong application!

Sample Statements of Purpose

ASL and Child Development

Aquaculture and Fisheries

Neurodevelopment and Health