Writing Your Goal Statement
Suggestions for Preparing Your Goal Statement (a.k.a., Letter of Intent, Personal Statement, etc.)
We recognize that preparing the Goal Statement for your application for Graduate study in speech-language pathology can be a daunting task. This document provides guidance that we hope will help you as you develop your letter.
The Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Admissions Committee does read your Goal Statement and it is an important component of your application "package", so do plan to spend time planning, developing, writing and revising your letter. Two resources you might consider utilizing during this process are the Writing Commons and Career Services. There is no specific “formula” for what should be included or how it should be organized, but there are features of letters that we feel make a stronger case for your admission to Graduate Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology. Some of these features are summarized below.
Length: We suggest 1-2 pages for the length.
Content: Strong goal statements tend to:
- Reflect you as an individual and represent your ideas and writing. While it is common to seek general advice or feedback on your letter, we want to read your ideas written in your words, not those of someone else.
- Highlight your strengths, accomplishments, and experiences, including those that may be unique or distinguishing.
- Help the admissions committee identify what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you will contribute to the program and future career as a speech-language pathologist.
- Talk about your preparation and readiness for graduate-level study, including work or volunteer experiences that may relate in some way to being a speech-language pathologist or working with diverse groups of people.
- Discuss and clarify any extenuating circumstances underlying discrepancies/weaknesses with your grades or GRE scores.
- Give some specific examples or evidence to illustrate key points.
- Think about what you would say if you had five minutes to “sell yourself” to the program. Jot down those points as a start on your letter.
- Write a rough draft, getting all your thoughts down on paper.
- Edit down to the strongest and most important points about you.
- Organize those thoughts into paragraphs, then organize the paragraphs into the larger document in an order that makes sense and is clear to the reader.
- Edit the letter, then leave it alone for a day or two. Come back and re-read it, then edit and revise again where you feel you haven’t been clear, or to add or revise points to help “market” yourself to the program.
Letters will be submitted directly to graduate studies using the online application system.