Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is one of the most important parts of your application. 


500-700 words (1-2 pages)  


Aim of the statement of purpose: 

To convince the reader, a committee of professors in the political science department at CSULB, that you have what it takes to do well in a rigorous MA program. This is your opportunity to have us understand your academic trajectory and objectives. 


Tips for writing a statement of purpose: 

  • Indicate the kind of issues, problems, or questions, that ground your interest in political science. This may be done by asking a central question or posing a problem. Steer clear of statement such as “I want to change the world,” and instead convince the faculty that you understand, and are interested in, important issues in political science and politics. 
  • Discuss the highlights of your undergraduate career, in academic terms. Mention any research you conducted, or any papers you are particularly proud of. Discuss your work experience if it is relevant to your academic interests. 
  • Don’t spend a great deal of time on your autobiography unless you are able to tie it back to your interests in political science. Life experiences certainly matter, but remember to link any details about your life to a narrative about your academic interests. If there is something important that happened to you that affected your grades, explain it.  
  • If you would like to incorporate relevant issues of equity and diversity, please do so. 
  • If you graduated and worked prior to applying to graduate school, indicate what you have been doing, what you learned, and how this helped you focus your academic interests. 
  • Look on our website for information about our program, our faculty, and our research. If you find a professor (or two) whose research interests match yours, mention that. 
  • Make sure the statement is well written. Proofread your work with care! We suggest that, before applying to our program, you show your statement of purpose to at least one faculty member writing you a recommendation letter.