Looking for Cornell graduate school statement of purpose examples? Your Cornell graduate school statement of purpose and personal statement are key components of your written grad school application materials. And these essays can help get you into grad school by strengthening and personalizing your application. Cornell graduate school has specific requirements for a grad school statement of purpose, so it’s important to prepare ahead of time and write a killer statement. In this blog, we have some Cornell graduate school statement of purpose examples to help you write your own, plus writing tips!

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Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Examples How to Write a Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Tips FAQs

Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Examples

Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Example #1

As I embark on my journey towards advanced engineering education, I am thrilled to apply for the Master of Engineering program at Cornell Graduate School. With its unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, and excellence, Cornell University aligns perfectly with my personal and professional aspirations. In this statement of purpose, I will outline my academic background, research interests, and how Cornell's unique program and supportive environment will facilitate my growth as an engineer.

Throughout my undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering, I developed a strong foundation in core concepts and honed my problem-solving skills, and in my professional experience as an electronics engineer I have furthered my passion for creative design. However, I yearn to delve deeper into specialized areas and explore cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to transform industries and improve people's lives. In particular, I have always been fascinated with aerospace engineering and avionics especially, since the first moment my father showed me what it took to help a plane leave the tarmac. Cornell's Master of Engineering program provides an exceptional platform for me to broaden my knowledge and expertise in my chosen field and allow me to launch my career in the right direction.

Furthermore, the Master of Engineering program at Cornell offers a wide range of concentrations that align with my research interests and career goals. I am particularly interested in the concentration of Sustainable Systems, as I am passionate about developing environmentally-friendly solutions to mitigate the impact of human activities on the planet. I am inspired by Cornell's Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, which encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in sustainability. Through this program, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of sustainable engineering principles and apply them to real-world problems in my desired field.

Cornell's distinguished faculty members are another reason for my strong interest in the Master of Engineering program. Their expertise, diverse research interests, and commitment to mentoring students are truly inspiring. Professor Jane Smith's work in renewable energy systems and her efforts to promote gender equality in engineering resonate with my own aspirations. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Smith and other accomplished faculty members and contribute to their ongoing research endeavors.

Additionally, Cornell's state-of-the-art facilities and resources provide an ideal environment for hands-on learning and research. The Engineering Library, with its extensive collection of scholarly resources, will be invaluable in expanding my knowledge base. Moreover, the opportunity to work in the Cornell Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science will enable to collaborate with graduate students and other faculty members from different disciplines who share my interests and can contribute to my understanding of aeronautics.

In conclusion, I am confident that Cornell's Master of Engineering program, with its emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and academic excellence, is the ideal platform for me to further my education and contribute to the field of engineering. I am excited about the opportunity to engage with a diverse cohort of students, collaborate with distinguished faculty members, and leverage Cornell's resources to develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges as we continue to expand our knowledge of space and what is possible. I am committed to embracing the values and vision of Cornell and look forward to making a positive impact within the university and the broader engineering community.

Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Example #2

With a strong commitment to making a positive impact on global development, I am delighted to apply for the Master of Global Development program at Cornell Graduate School. Cornell University's reputation for academic excellence, diverse community, and dedication to fostering inclusive environments align perfectly with my aspirations to address complex global challenges. In this statement of purpose, I will highlight my academic background, research interests, and how Cornell's unique program will equip me with the knowledge and skills necessary to drive sustainable and equitable development.

Having completed my undergraduate studies in International Relations, I developed a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of global issues and the need for comprehensive and collaborative approaches to development. My education and experience have instilled in me a myriad of important skills in collaboration, negotiation and communication. However, I recognize the importance of acquiring specialized knowledge and practical skills necessary to effectively tackle the multidimensional challenges facing communities around the world. Cornell's Master of Global Development program offers a unique opportunity to deepen my understanding of development theories, policies, and practices, while also providing a platform to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations.

One aspect that distinguishes Cornell's program is its emphasis on interdisciplinary research and learning. I firmly believe that addressing complex global challenges requires a holistic understanding that transcends disciplinary boundaries. The opportunity to collaborate with fellow students from diverse backgrounds, including agriculture, economics, and public health, will enable me to gain new perspectives, challenge my assumptions, and develop innovative solutions that consider the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of development.

I am also drawn to the opportunity to participate in research and projects under the supervision of your distinguished faculty. I am particularly inspired by Professor Jane Brown's work in sustainable agriculture and food security. Her research on innovative farming practices and rural development resonates with my passion for sustainable agriculture and inclusive economic growth. I am eager to engage with her on the future of food and how interdisciplinary research and collaboration in the public health and agricultural fields can help us to collectively find new solutions to an ongoing, complex issue.

As an advocate for inclusive development, I firmly believe that diverse perspectives and experiences are crucial to creating sustainable and equitable solutions. Cornell's commitment to fostering an inclusive community, as demonstrated through its recruitment efforts and support services, ensures that students from diverse backgrounds are empowered to succeed. I am eager to contribute to and learn from a diverse cohort of students, as well as engage in initiatives that promote social justice and address structural inequalities in global development.

Moreover, Cornell's strong emphasis on experiential learning and field-based research perfectly complements my desire to gain practical experience in the field of global development. I know to be successful I will need more field experience and hands-on learning opportunities, which I am eager to find. The program's focus on internships, research projects, and immersive experiences will provide me with the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge I have gained so far to real-world contexts and contribute meaningfully to ongoing development initiatives I am passionate about. I am particularly drawn to Cornell's partnership with local organizations and its commitment to engaging with communities to co-create sustainable and context-specific solutions.

Finally, Cornell's robust network of alumni working in various sectors of global development presents invaluable opportunities for mentorship, collaboration, and professional growth. The university's career development services, alumni networking events, and connections with leading organizations provide a strong support system for students as they transition into impactful careers in the field of global development. I am excited about the potential to engage with Cornell's alumni network, learn from their experiences, and leverage their expertise to shape my own career path.

Cornell University's Master of Global Development program offers an exceptional academic and experiential platform for me to deepen my understanding of global development, collaborate with diverse perspectives, and contribute to sustainable and equitable solutions. I am confident that my journey at Cornell will equip me with the knowledge, skills, and network necessary to become an effective global development practitioner and contribute to positive change on a global scale.

How to Write a Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose

Cornell graduate school requires all applicants to submit an academic statement of purpose (ASOP) and a personal statement.

The Cornell graduate school statement of purpose AND the personal statement are required for all Cornell’s graduate school programs.

The length and format for both essays should be between 1-2 pages, with standard fonts and sizing. In other words, each essay should be around 500-700 words max. You should also include your full name and proposed program of study at the top of each page, since the admissions committee may be reading a hard copy of your essays. As far as tone and terminology, you can use words and terms specific to your field of study, since your essays will be reviewed by faculty members from the program you’re applying for.

While most graduate school programs ask for one or the other, Cornell asks for both. Both essays have distinct purposes and importance for your application. Essentially, the academic statement of purpose highlights your academic interests and experiences, whereas the personal statement highlights your personal background and attributes.

Here’s what both statements should include:

Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose

  • Introduces your academic interests and objectives
  • Outlines your experience in your field or the field of study you are applying to
  • Demonstrates you will be a successful graduate student

For the statement of purpose, you can divide your essay into 3-4 paragraphs. This includes an introduction, 1 or 2 body paragraphs and a short conclusion. Here’s an outline to give you an idea of how to structure your Cornell grad school statement of purpose:


Share a brief background on what your field of interest is and how you first became interested in it, followed by why you want to study in this field at the graduate level.


Discuss the experiences you have in your field and the skills you learned from them. These academic experiences can include research, internships, scholarly publications, presentations, and undergraduate coursework. Be specific and detailed whenever possible in explaining your role, the skills you learned, how you contributed to a project, and the outcome of your experience.


Describe why the program is a good fit for you and how you are a good fit for the program. Demonstrate that you have thoroughly research the program at Cornell in question by sharing examples and details. For instance, mention specific faculty members you want to work with or learn from, courses or events you are looking forward to, or unique learning opportunities available through the program.

Basically, show the admissions committee that you are choosing Cornell because it is the best place for you to study in your field at the graduate level, and that you’ve done your homework.

Want to see more graduate school statement of purpose examples from top schools?

Cornell Graduate School Personal Statement

  • Who you are, where you come from
  • Your background and how you came to apply to graduate school
  • How you will contribute to Cornell’s graduate school community
  • Address any weaknesses in your application (optional)

In your Cornell grad school personal statement, your focus should be on how you are “persistent and resilient, especially when navigating challenging circumstances.” You can draw on your personal, professional and academic experiences to demonstrate these qualities. Cornell also wants to know how you have collaborated with others, facilitated teamwork and positively engaged with others by encouraging diversity and inclusion.

A secondary purpose of your personal statement is to enhance your grad school application if you have a low GPA. You can and should address a low GPA or other weakness in your application. Explain the circumstances briefly, but focus on how you overcame any obstacles or challenges and what you have learned from them.

Want to see some Ivy League graduate school personal statement examples?

Cornell Graduate School Statement of Purpose Tips

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing and proofreading your Cornell graduate school statement of purpose and personal statement:

1. Know the purpose

Your statement of purpose is an academic essay, whereas the personal statement is just that, personal. Both essays have completely different focuses, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re writing. Your personal statement can include a more narrative flow, personal anecdotes and experiences. Your graduate school statement of purpose will be more to the point and formal. It’s a good idea to write these two statements separately. Brainstorm for each essay, then outline and draft separately from each other. There shouldn’t be too much overlap between them at all.

Also note that the Cornell graduate school statement of purpose is not the same as a grad school career goals statement. Some of Cornell’s programs may ask for this third essay, but the focus should be on your academic experiences, not your career.

2. Proofread!

Proofreading is a critically important step in writing your essay. You’ll be evaluated by the admissions committee on your grammar and spelling, so any mistakes could be costly to your successful acceptance. If you have a grad school essay tutor helping you, ask them to proofread for you, too, just in case they catch anything you missed.

3. Research your program of choice at Cornell

Research into the program you want to apply to is key here. Take a look at the program’s curriculum, mission statement, faculty, research interests and everything you can find. Any pertinent details and specific information you can include in your statement will show that you know your stuff and that you know Cornell.

Research your ideal program and make some notes on what appeals to you most about it, which research interests align with yours, which faculty members you admire, and which courses interest you. Store all of this information for your brainstorming session!

4. Ask for help

Whether you ask for a friend or two to proofread your essays or get grad school application help, it’s always a good idea to have another set of eyes on your paper to give you feedback. A grad school admissions consultant can give you expert feedback and advice on your entire application, including your graduate school statement of purpose, which can be an advantage if you’re applying to a particularly competitive program.

  1. To finish off, here’s a checklist from Cornell to use once you’ve finished writing your graduate school statement of purpose!
  2. Described your academic background in enough detail to show your experience and preparedness in the field?
  3. Shown that you are a good fit for the program you are applying to?
  4. Defined why you want a graduate degree in this field?
  5. Demonstrated that you are self-motivated, persistent, competent, and have the skills necessary to be successful in graduate school?
  6. Followed the ASOP instructions as defined by the program you are applying to?
  7. Polished, proofread, and had others review your ASOP?


1. How do you write a good statement of purpose for grad school?

A good graduate school statement of purpose needs to be well-written and polished. It should cover your academic interests and experiences and highlight why you want to study at the graduate level at a particular school or program. It needs to demonstrate that you have the experience and motivation to succeed in graduate school.

2. Does Cornell graduate school require a statement of purpose?

Yes, all of Cornell’s graduate programs require a statement of purpose as part of the application.

3. How to write a good personal statement for graduate school?

To write a strong personal statement for graduate school, focus on your personal background and how it will allow you to contribute positively to the graduate school’s program and community. A personal statement, unlike a statement of purpose for graduate school, will have a more narrative tone and flow. It will also include more personal details and anecdotes.

4. Does Cornell graduate school require a personal statement?

Yes, all of Cornell’s graduate school programs require a personal statement, as well.

5. What does Cornell look for in a statement of purpose for grad school?

In your grad school statement of purpose, Cornell wants to see how you have academically prepared yourself to study your field at the graduate level, what your research and academic interests are and why you chose Cornell.

6. What does Cornell look for in a personal statement for grad school?

Cornell wants to know who you are, where you come from, and how you will contribute to their unique grad school community. Share how you came to the decision to apply to grad school in your field and what personal attributes and perspectives you can bring to their graduate community.

7. What is the difference between a grad school personal statement and grad school statement of purpose?

A grad school statement of purpose focuses on your academic achievements and objectives, whereas a personal statement covers your personal background and motivations.

8. How do you stand out in a graduate school statement of purpose?

To stand out in your graduate school statement of purpose, be very detailed and specific. Show that you have done your research on both the program and school you’re applying to and mention specific courses you want to take, faculty members you want to work with, how a program’s research aligns with your own interests, and what professional experience you have in your field of study.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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