How to Write a Personal Statement for Dual Degree Program
Personal Statements for MSW MPA Dual Degree Programs
Applying for a degree in both a Masters of Social Welfare and a Masters of Public Administration will require writing a dual degree personal statement. Depending on the program and school a separate personal statement may have to be written for each program, or one personal statement may be accepted by both. The personal statement allows admissions to assess your motivation and commitment to completing a course of study and provides you with an opportunity to directly address admissions boards and make a case for your acceptance into the programs involved.
Issues to Address in the Personal Statement for MSW MPA Dual Degree Programs
The MPA/MSW dual degree personal statement should address several key questions that admissions will be seeking answers for. These are:
Why you have chosen this field and when your interest developed? If writing separate personal statements for each program, you should indicate your intention of pursuing a joint degree also. If writing one personal statement for both programs, discuss how your interest in both areas started.
Why you have chosen to go after a dual degree? How do you see one degree complimenting the other in your future plans? Provide some specific short and long term career goals related to having a MPA/MSW dual degree. You should be quite convincing when explaining why you are going after a dual degree.
What attributes and qualities do you have that qualify you for the program and make you a good fit? You should focus on qualities that will apply to both the MPA and MSW programs to show that you are a fit for both programs. Claiming to have a particular attribute is not enough. Use examples to show how you have displayed the qualities.
Guidelines for Writing the MSW MPA Dual Degree Personal Statement
The personal statement is about you and can be written any way that you feel is best for your situation. There is some basic personal statement writing guidelines for MSW MPA dual degree programs that you may want to follow when writing your personal statement:
- Show equal enthusiasm and interest in both programs when writing your personal statement. Favoring one program over the other may make it more difficult to get accepted to the program that is less discussed. Admissions will want to see a genuine interest in both.
- Provide examples that show your interest. Saying you are interested in the field isn’t very convincing. Show how you have displayed your interest. Have you worked in related fields, performed related volunteer work or something else that indicates you are really interested in the field? For admissions boards, evidence of your interest is a definite bonus.
- Show a direct relationship to your future career plans and the dual degree. This will show you have put some serious thought and consideration into the MSW/MPA dual degree and how you will use it.
- Always be specific. Provide specific examples and answers. General or generic answers that could apply to anybody don’t make much of an impression or relate anything personal about you. Admissions want specifics that help them to know the unique person that is you.
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