Instructions for Completing a Personal Statement Worksheet for Fellowships

The Personal Statement Worksheet will lead you through some of the same thought processes you will have to go through to draft your actual personal statement. It will also provide the Fellowships Adviser with a great of deal of information and insight. You should end up with a lot of material to use in the personal statement itself. 

In your personal statement worksheet, answer each of the following questions. Give yourself enough time and space to develop your ideas, but think about what details to include. Total length should not be much more than five double-spaced pages. Strive not to repeat yourself too much. Write clearly and carefully, but don’t get obsessed with matters of style at this point.

  1. What is the heart of your academic interests at this point? If it is within your major, what area specifically? How do some of the courses from outside your major contribute to this interest? If it is outside your major, how does your major contribute to your interest?
  2. What three classes have been the most important in shaping your academic/career interests? Why? Be specific.
  3. Outside of class, what two experiences have been most important in shaping your academic/career interests?
  4. Will you be writing a thesis? If so, what topic or topics are you likely to address? What makes those interesting to you?
  5. What do you consider your two most important non-academic activities? What makes these important?
  6. Provide two examples of your leadership within the last three years. (Please note that these may not have anything to do with formal leadership roles.)
  7. What do you want to get from graduate study? What knowledge or skills do you want to gain? What kinds of faculty, facilities, and fellow students are you hoping to encounter?
  8. Is there anything else you think someone evaluating your candidacy should know about you (for example, obstacles you have overcome, unusual circumstances regarding your education, etc.)?