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All You Need to Know Before Writing Your Philosophy Personal Statement

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Have you ever wondered why not all students who apply for higher studies in Philosophy succeed in securing their admission? Well, it is not possible to answer it in a single word because there are multiple factors that affect this. But an unimpressive philosophy personal statement could be a definite one. 

While a good personal statement alone cannot guarantee your seat, a poor one can definitely sabotage all your admission chances. But don’t worry because we have bundled this blog with a bunch of important information that will be useful for you in this regard. If you take the time to read this blog carefully till the end, you will learn: 

  • How to write the best personal statement for philosophy? 
  • Important points to cover in it 
  • Sample philosophy personal statement

What is Meant by a Philosophy Personal Statement?

Philosophy personal statement is a self-description essay that applicants to higher studies in Philosophy will have to submit. This document, which comes to about 500 to 750 words, is part of the many documents that will make a complete application for philosophy admission. 

Why is Personal Statement Considered an Important Requirement for Philosophy Admission?

The personal statement is considered to be a mandatory admission requirement across most colleges and universities. The common reasons put forth by universities for demanding this document are: 

  • Admission panel wants to learn about the unique personality traits of their philosophy candidates. A customized personal statement reveals it. 
  • When there are more applicants for limited seats, the admission panel will look for the differentiating factors of their candidates in their personal statements
  • Universities prefer candidates who know how to articulate their points and thoughts in strong words. A personal statement acts as an example of this. 
  • A personal statement helps universities to cherry-pick candidates who apply with true motivation. 
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Philosophy Personal Statement Writing Prompts

Not knowing what to write or where to keep the focus on while writing a philosophy masters personal statement can be a big challenge. We have noticed that the core questions that institutions would want their applicants to answer in their personal statements are pretty similar. So, here are those questions. 

  • How did you find your interest in philosophy? 
  • What was the first philosophical question that fascinated you? 
  • Why do you think philosophy is an important academic discipline? 
  • How are your current experiences and academic background related to philosophy? 
  • What are some of your achievements in the field of philosophy? 
  • Why do you think this country and this particular university are suitable for your philosophy program? 
  • How do you want to contribute to the field of philosophy? 
  • What are your future plans after completing your higher education in philosophy? 

How to Write a Philosophy Personal Statement?

Experts say having a good strategy for personal statement writing will help you write it with minimal errors and confusion. The following strategy is a proven one.

Read the philosophy course details:

Pull out philosophy personal statement advice and program details from your prospective university’s website or the application guidelines and develop a thorough understanding of the program, how it is offered, what are its specialties, how you fit into it etc.

Review samples:

Take time to review a couple of sample philosophy personal statements to give you exposure to the writing tone, grammar, introduction and conclusion writing style, etc. Try to introspect while going through the samples. Note down any relevant points that come to mind.

Write an outline and first draft:

After you have gone through various resources and become confident to begin, write an outline for your personal statement. Use the answering prompts we shared above to help yourself develop the right points for your project. Develop the outline into your first draft.

Validate and seek feedback:

Validate the first draft of your essay against the requirements, format and length. Make sure that each paragraph of your essay is logically sequenced and transitions naturally. Also, have a friend or colleague go through your writing and give you feedback.

Finalize and proofread:

If you have received any constructive feedback from seeking a second opinion, incorporate them in the writing. Also, proofread your write-up a few times and minimize all the mistakes.

Submit your application:

Once you are ready with the personal statement and all other documents, wait no more to submit the application. By submitting the application earlier on, you will sometimes be able to enjoy early bird application benefits.

Pro Tip: Write your personal statement using simple language. This will make it easy for the selectors to understand your points with 100% accuracy and unambiguity. 

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Philosophy Personal Statement Examples

The following sample philosophy personal statement shows how you can approach writing a personal statement for philosophy in a realistic scenario. Go through it carefully before starting to work on your document.

Philosophy, I believe, influences every shade of human thought and life. Looking back, one can trace the significance of philosophical enquiry back to the origin of our civilizations. Right from that early stage, philosophy has been shaping the heart of our society. I firmly believe that the ability to interpret philosophy and answer philosophical questions happens to be a prime attribute of humans. Particularly, I find philosophy of mind intriguing indeed. It was at the age of eighteen, that I was introduced to this concept while reading ‘Meditations’ by Descartes. I started thinking over this matter, about how it is possible for interactions to take place between the body and mind, if there’s no supernatural energy operating in the process. Over time, these questions gave way to more questions. In the quest for answers to such questions, I have decided to embrace philosophy as my career choice.

Over time, I pondered over ideas that crept into my mind. If there’s no supernatural energy, what causes the interactions? In case there are neuron movements, how do they interact with the brain? Meanwhile, I also came to know that people having damaged frontal lobes fail to recall memories. My inquisitiveness gave way to interest, as I was keen to understand these subtle mechanisms.

I channelized my efforts to study philosophy, enrolling myself at a reputed college in India to pursue my graduation, focusing on this subject. As I read Plato’s Republic, the domain of ethics particularly intrigued me. I was drawn towards the conflict that apparently takes place between free human will and causation. I believe that this particular issue has an important impact on society. It is largely associated with social justice, as they definitely have something to do with whatever people tend to do.

In this context, I would point out that I consider philosophy to be a form of conceptual engineering, as observed by Simon Blackburn. This mechanism involves paradoxical thoughts that are demolished and undergo a coherent reconstruction process. Besides, I feel captivated with the First and Second Meditations of Descartes. It was in the quest for unquestionable truth, that he dismissed all his beliefs. In daily life, global skepticism seems to be unsustainable. However, it demonstrates the path through which philosophers challenge our preconceptions and find out unprejudiced truth. Well, I would like to undergo this professional course and explore the logical roots associated with philosophy. I also believe that the power of humans to think in three different dimensions would be useful at a time when the media presents biased or distorted information that influences millions of lives.

Therefore, I believe that humans should pursue abstract ideas, just like mathematics. This would enable them to resolve misinterpretations and confusion, channelizing reason and logic rationally. The process is elegant indeed, and I wish I could train up my mind without loading it with endless facts, information or figures, as in most other academic domains. Evidently, I believe that philosophy serves me as a strong ground, on which I can express my career goals.

Given that I have already studied logic as a part of my graduation, I am familiar with the nature of language and how to use it. At this juncture of my academic life, it would be logical to pursue the advanced program in philosophy and steer my career towards my professional goals. A berth in your university would significantly leverage my career, refining my knowledge with substantial knowledge in the area of my interest.

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Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy is one of the oldest academic disciplines which is still quite relevant. Studying philosophy will not only make you well-versed in the subject but also improve your critical thinking, reasoning and perspective.

Five Reasons to Study Philosophy Abroad

Philosophy programs offered in each country differ in the curriculum. For instance, universities and colleges in Western countries focus more on the western branches of philosophy. If you are thinking about studying Philosophy in a foreign country, here are five good reasons to consider. 

  • Studying philosophy in a foreign country exposes you to a new culture. 
  •  When you study abroad, you will get ample opportunities to learn a new language and read original philosophical texts in that language. 
  • Having your master’s or bachelor’s degree from abroad enhances your career opportunities.
  • When you study in a foreign country, you get to meet a lot of new people and develop a broader perspective.
  • Most colleges and universities abroad encourage their students to take up projects, do presentations or organize events. So, students quickly develop such skills. 
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Top Five Countries for Philosophy with Duration of Different Programs

CountryBachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree
The USA
The UK
Canada
Australia
New
Zealand
3-4 years1-2 years4-7 years

Internationally Acclaimed Universities for Philosophy

If you have decided to study philosophy abroad, why not aim for internationally acclaimed universities? Admission to most such institutes is purely done on merit. If you have a good GPA, you can try applying to these institutes along with a tailor-made personal statement. 

University of Cambridge
University of Toronto
McGill University
Stanford University
University College London
Yale University
University of Oxford
Harvard University
University of California – Berkeley
University of Sydney
Princeton University
Cornell University

Top Ten Career Paths After Graduation in Philosophy

You are mistaken if you thought there are only limited career scopes after graduation in Philosophy. There are many of them in fact. Take a look at the below list. Mention which career path you want to choose after leaving the institute in your personal statement. 

Law
Architecture and Art
Fundraising and Nonprofit Work
Politics and Public Policy
Religion and Ministry
Teaching
Publishing
Public Relations
Business and Management
Journalism

Conclusion

Well done. 

You have learned how to write the best Philosophy personal statement. 

Now, don’t waste any more time. 

Start working on your document right away. 

And in case you grow doubtful about any topic we covered in this blog, we are here to clarify it for you. 

Also, we are eager to know if you have any suggestions or feedback regarding this blog. 



ANJIT V.S

ANJIT V.S

I am Anjit.V.S, a freelance writer, overseas education consultant and an academic documentation expert. Over the years, I have written documents for thousands of students and hundreds of businesses and individuals worldwide. Many of the prominent study abroad counsellors in India refer me to their students for SOP, LOR, admission essays. personal statements and other similar documents. Not just the academic documents but whatever content needs you have, stay assured. Perfectly impeccable services are delivered.

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