Graduate Admissions

Statement of Intent and Objectives

Your Statement of Intent and Objectives should be clear, concise, and informative. Details and concrete examples will make your essay distinctive and interesting. In general, stay away from generalities and clichés that can turn off your audience.  In general, students with good academic records are assumed to be honest, sincere and conscientious, so avoid these cliché words without specific explanation.  Before you begin writing, create an outline and chose what you want to discuss and the order you want to discuss it. Give your Statement direction by defining a thesis or a main point you wish to communicate. Stay away from including extraneous material that does not support your main point.


Your format will reflect your level of professionalism.  Your statement of intent should be limited to two pages or less (unless a program requests additional pages).  Be concise. As a good rule, a single-spaced, 10-12 point-size font, with reasonable margins is best. Before uploading your Statement of Intent, ask an adviser, a trusted colleague, or a faculty member to read and comment on your work. Try to revise your statement at least once.

Opening Paragraph

Introduce yourself and your reasons for pursuing graduate study. This is your chance to demonstrate your unique qualifications. Include whether your family, a professor or someone in your community has influenced your chosen field of interest. Be sure to use concrete examples from your life experience and personal qualities to distinguish you from other applicants. Describe, and provide examples of, your determination to achieve your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and your capacity to work through problems independently.

Qualifications (1 to 3 Paragraphs)

In these paragraphs, build a foundation for your forthcoming work. Discuss your experiences with the following:

  1. Explain why you chose the field.  Discuss your academic, professional or volunteer background and how it may have led you to your interest in obtaining graduate education.
  2. List your expertise and accomplishments in your major field. Include any research or related professional work you performed. Mention the project and professor who you worked for or under the direction of.
  3. Describe your undergraduate studies, current career track or volunteer activities and how they relate to what you intend to do in graduate school.
  4. Include specific experiences that demonstrate your motivation and inspiration for continued study.
  5. List other relevant experiences such as jobs, community activities, leadership in school organizations, awards, honors, and etc. Be sure to include names of supervisors, organizations, and other important details.
  6. Briefly explain any discrepancies on your transcript. This may include having a lower GPA in a particular semester or year. Extensive details are not necessary of why this happened and it is best to avoid making excuses.
  7. Mention specific faculty with whom you are interested in working with at SCSU.

Closing Paragraph

Finally, leave the reader with a statement of your perceived qualifications and your view of why you will be successful in graduate school. What do you hope to experience or contribute while you are a student at SCSU?  Describe your plans or goals after you have received your graduate degree.  Explain how a particular graduate program will assist you in reaching those goals.  Keep in mind that your audience is made up of professionals in your chosen field, so you won’t need to explain your understanding of the field, but rather show your sincerity and ability to successfully complete graduate education.

Program Specific Requests

The Addictions Specialist Certificate, Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Marriage and Family Therapy programs require applicants to submit an expanded Statement of Intent. Specific topics to discuss in the Statement of Intent are outlined at each program's website. 

Applicants to the Master of Social Work (MSW) program are to submit a Statement of Intent plus a specific writing sample.   Please see the program's web page for details on the short essay requirement.  The essay should be uploaded in the Writing Sample section of the online application.

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