Updated on March 17th, 2023
A letter of intent for graduate school is a written proposal that expresses a student’s desire to be admitted to a university’s graduate program. It summarizes the applicant’s research interests and highlights their skills and reasons why they are an ideal candidate for the program. By outlining their academic experiences, achievements, and objectives, the letter allows the applicant to demonstrate they’re a good fit for the graduate program and that their research interests align with the faculty’s area of expertise.
What to Include in the Letter
A letter of intent for graduate school is submitted, among other documents, to a graduate program during the application process. It relays information not found in other parts of the application and provides insight into the applicant’s experiences, character, and motives for applying to the program. The letter allows them to explain why they belong in the program and how it corresponds with their academic and career goals.
How to Start
The applicant should introduce themselves and state the program they are applying to. They may also begin to explain their reasons for why they are seeking admission. The introduction should be direct and provide a general overview of the letter’s contents.
Example opening sentences:
- “I am a recent graduate from [UNIVERSITY], seeking to pursue a graduate degree in nursing studies.“
- “I am writing this letter to express my intention to conduct research on rehabilitation psychology in your graduate program.“
- “I am a recent graduate passionate about urban design, and I hope to provide new insights to the architecture graduate program.“
The main body will discuss the applicant’s objectives and how the program can help them to pursue those goals. The applicant can also explain why the field is important to them. Academic experiences and accomplishments that have prepared them for success in graduate studies should also be communicated.
How to End
The conclusion should include a sentiment of gratitude to the reader for their consideration. It may restate why the applicant is qualified to be admitted and how the program fits their goals. Lastly, the letter should end on an enthusiastic note expressing the applicant’s excitement to begin graduate studies.
Example closing phrases:
- In closing, I believe that my experiences and skills would be an asset to the graduate program at your institution, and I am confident I can contribute valuable insights.
- If I am admitted to the architecture graduate program, I will strive to reach my full potential as a student, and I will be dedicated to learning from the faculty and professors.
- I greatly appreciate your consideration of my application, and I will eagerly await your response.
Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument
GRADUATE LETTER OF INTENT
[SENDER STREET ADDRESS]
[SENDER CITY, STATE, ZIP]
[RECIPIENT NAME], [RECIPIENT TITLE]
[INSTITUTION STREET ADDRESS]
[INSTITUTION CITY, STATE, ZIP]
Dear [RECIPIENT NAME],
I am writing to express my objective in furthering my education in the [GRADUATE PROGRAM]. I believe that the [GRADUATE PROGRAM] is the perfect fit for my academic goals because of its [REASONS], which align with my research in [RESEARCH].
I am a [UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR] major at [UNIVERSITY], and I am fascinated by [TOPIC]. My current research project focuses on [RESEARCH], the objective of which is to [OBJECTIVE]. [TOPIC] research is an integral part of my life because [REASONS]. As the [PROGRAM] has a strong focus on [TOPIC], it is the ideal environment for me to conduct [RESEARCH] research and expand the field. I have extensive experience in [EXPERIENCE] and have been awarded [ACCOMPLISHMENTS], which are evidence of my proficiency and commitment to succeed in your program.
I am deeply passionate about [TOPIC] and firmly believe that my research is well suited to the [GRADUATE PROGRAM]‘s specialization. I am confident that my work ethic and dedication to [RESEARCH] will be a valuable asset to the program. Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to speaking with you further.
Tips for Writing the Letter
- Depending on the school’s criteria, the letter may be written in a narrative structure detailing the applicant’s experiences, struggles, and events.
- It is helpful to reference publications relevant to the applicant’s academic studies and research, along with the proper citation.
- Applicants should demonstrate they have thoroughly researched the program and its faculty and are familiar with their research and previous work.