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Statement of Purpose Economics: How to Write an SOP MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics?

Yocket Editorial Team
Statement of Purpose Economics: How to Write an SOP MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics? Image

Aspiring students with a background in a fields like marketing, banking, finance, trade, politics, and other economics-related courses may go for MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics. Here, the essays and statements, such as a statement of purpose economics, play a crucial role in applying to some of the top economics universities like Harvard, Stanford University, University of Oxford, etc.

This is because these universities assess capabilities like creativity and critical thinking through writing samples along with the research capacity evident from your portfolios. Similarly, other key capabilities can be highlighted and substantiated through your SOP economics.

But how to write an effective economics SOP? Let’s discuss and understand the intricate facets of a good statement of purpose for masters in economics. 

Decoding Your Statement of Purpose Economics

What is the accepted word count for an MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics SOP?

Ans. Keep the length of the statement of purpose economics within 800-1000 words. However, universities abroad have word counts defined as part of the online applications. That said, some Universities may not have a word limit but a few other conditions do define the length of the required SOP.

For example, Stanford University, California does not have a word limit, but the SOP must not exceed two pages.

What can lead an SOP economics to be rejected right away?

Ans. Plagiarism and poor syntax can get your statement of purpose for masters in economics rejected.

What is the best writing style for an SOP for Masters in Economics?

Ans. Conversational writing keeps the narrative engaging. So, write your SOP effectively maintaining a positive tone. 

Creative and critical writing abilities are a plus!

How many SOPs to write for Economics?

Ans. Each university requires a separate and original SOP. Hence, you need to write a different sample SOP for masters in economics for every university you’re applying to. Along with SOP, some Universities may require program-specific writing samples as part of applications.

How to save and submit your statement of purpose economics?

Ans. It is recommended to upload your SOPs as a PDF document. This makes your SOP look professional and eliminates the possibility of any formatting inconsistencies. Universities may also provide sections in forms to paste the contents of SOP as part of applications with or without the option to upload it.

Steps to Draft an Economics SOP

Brainstorming, free-writing, and collecting your thoughts are the beginning of any writing task. Your SOP should be a walk through all the relevant life experiences, academic and professional background (if applicable), career goals, co-curricular activities, volunteering/community involvement, and more. 

Therefore, refer to these effective guidelines to draft a stellar sample SOP for masters in economics program.

Steps to Draft an Economics SOP

  • Introduction

What pushed you to choose economics or finance as your interest? What is the strongest experience that led you to choose this field? For example, you read a news article on a new government policy affecting your favourite commodity, that stated several economical factors backing it up. That made you wonder how certain economical factors affect the government policies and the price of commodities, and vice-versa. Thus, your curiosity led you into research and soon turned into a passion for economics.

  • Begin your introduction with an attention-grabbing experience that is evocative of your journey into the field. 
  • Alternatively, you can also begin with a research problem statement that you consider exploring in your MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD program. 
  • This is because some programs directly seek an SOP that is more of a research proposal than it is otherwise.

For example, Harvard University does not specifically mention what to include at the beginning of your SOP. Thus, you have an open space. However, the prompt directs you to write about the experience that shaped your research mindset. Therefore, your SOP can start with a relevant anecdote that gave your research interest a direction and motivated you to pursue a career in economics. 

  • Second Paragraph

Continuing with your motivated interest in economics, discuss relevant academic and life experiences that have strengthened it. How have these experiences pivoted your thought process, streamlined it, or transformed it?

  • Here, you can discuss relevant undergraduate experiences or courses in which you have developed a particular interest. For example, you must have developed an interest in economic statistics to choose this subject. 
  • Touch upon a few course specifics and how these led you to develop your portfolio and inspired to work on projects relevant to this interest. 
  • You can discuss interesting researches or projects you worked on or relevant co-curricular experiences worth sharing. Make sure that your experiences align with your interest in the Economics program you’re applying for.

For instance, if you are applying for a PhD in Economics, your research project on rural economy, where you have to show the effects of inflation on wealth distribution among different sections of a rural area, will be a relevant experience to illustrate in the SOP for PhD in economics.

  • Third Paragraph

Our life includes various challenges and failures. Have you faced any setbacks in your academics? If you just made the cut or have lesser scores, you can mention that in this paragraph. 

  • Have you faced any other unique challenges or setbacks that have redefined your perspectives or interests? 
  • How did you overcome these challenges and what is/are the positive outcomes of these experiences? 
  • It’s essential to reflect on the lessons from these experiences to underscore your resilience.
  • Fourth Paragraph

You can discuss all your extracurricular activities in this paragraph. Remember that Universities are interested to know more than just academics. So, go ahead and speak about your hobbies, social work, volunteering, etc, here. You can also discuss workshops or certifications which you have taken to upgrade your skills. 

However, it’s very important to not make a sample SOP for undergraduate economics or PhD or graduate economics an embellished version of your resume.

  • Fifth Paragraph

If you have work experience, add it here. But if you do not, you can also discuss your internship experiences, reflecting on your specific learnings and take-aways. Identify a knowledge gap and the need for you to go for MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics.

  • How has the work experience/s influenced your career goals? Why do you wish to go for an MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD now? 
  • Define your short-term and long-term goals. 
  • How will the MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD program from a specific economics school help you achieve these goals? 
  • How does the program align with your areas of interest?

Economics schools like to assess your conviction in applying to their programs. Justify your reasons for the choice of the school and the program. Make an effort to understand the values of the school and devise this paragraph accordingly.

  • Conclusion

Your conclusion needs to be equally engaging as your introduction. Follow these guidelines to write one! 

  • What capabilities equip you to contribute to the University?
  • How can you be an asset to the University?
  • What activities, clubs, sports, student associations, groups, etc, piqued your interests?
  • What diverse experiences do you bring to your future graduate community? 

End the SOP with your expectations from the program and how you look forward to receiving, assimilating, and contributing to new knowledge at the University.

Suggested: How to Write a Good SOP? 

Do’s and Don'ts to Write a Statement of Purpose Economics

Your statement of purpose for PhD in economics, graduate, or undergraduate program should be truthful, concise, engaging, and well-written. Remember that every experience that you present should be coherent and well connected. This leaves no space for grey areas. Therefore, follow these Do’s and Don’ts in your SOP economics. 

Maintain a positive tone throughout the SOP?

Should you include your name in your Economics SOP?

Can you write your SOP at the last minute?

Is it imperative to stick to the word limit?

Can you opt for a friendly tone while writing SOP for MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics?

Should you strictly adhere to the given SOP format?

Should you include your work experience in your SOP?

Should you be honest about your strengths and weaknesses?

Can you be extremely direct or casual?

Suggested: Common mistakes in Writing SOPs and Application Essay

Skills to Include in Your Economics SOP

Your SOP for MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics should be in-depth. Economics is a research-intensive field of study that has diverse career opportunities in the finance industry, banking, consultancy firms, market research, government, or social enterprises.

Therefore, ensure your position in a renowned company, by creating an impressive SOP for now. Your economics SOP should portray these skills to be unique and appealing then rest. 

  • Creativity
  • Research Aptitude
  • Information Gathering Skills
  • Academic/Research Writing Skills
  • Knowledge of Economics Specialisation (applying for)
  • Experiential Mindset
  • Verbal Communication Skills
  • Curiosity
  • Critical Thinking/Independent Thinking
  • Problem-solving

SOP Requirements of Top Universities for Economics 

Most universities have similar SOP requirements as part of their respective applications. Here, we’ve shortlisted a few top universities for MSc/Masters/Doctoral/PhD in Economics. Let’s dive into their SOP requirements below. 

  • Harvard University

The statement of purpose at Harvard University is very important to programs when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Your statement should be focused, informative, and convey your research interests and qualifications. You can include the following pointers: 

  • Your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in the chosen degree program.
  • Note the experiences that shaped your research ambitions.
  • Indicate briefly your career objectives.
  • State your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields.
  • Unless otherwise noted, your statement should not exceed 1,000 words.
  • Stanford University

For your SOP to Stanford University, describe these pointers:

  • Your reasons for applying to the proposed program at Stanford and preparation for this field of study.
  • Your research and study interests.
  • Future career plans and other aspects of your background. These interests may aid the admission committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.

You may upload one file; it should not exceed two pages in length, single-spaced. Make sure to set your computer to Western European or other English-language settings.

  • London School of Economics and Political Science

For the London School of Economics, your statement should be typed and no longer than two sides of A4 paper. There is no fixed word limit, but the expected word count is 1,000 - 1,500 words.

Additionally, in your statement, you may wish to discuss the following:

  • Motivation for undertaking the program.
  • Academic interests, strengths, and background relevant to the programme.
  • Areas of specific interest within the program.
  • Academic ambitions and/or research interests related to the program.
  • Any professional aspirations, and how academic work within the program might help you realise such aspirations.
  • Other relevant information, such as additional reading or research, work or other relevant experience that has informed your decision to apply for the particulareconomic program.

Along with the above pointers, the candidate must ensure that their SOP should be:

  • All own their work. If the University discovers this is not the case, your application may be cancelled.
  • Well-written, well-structured and specific to the program applied for.
  • Is proofread before being uploaded, and only the final/correct versions are uploaded.
  • Only include the SOP samples that are relevant to your program choice. Additional information regarding unrelated extra-curricular activities, personal achievements, or work experience should be included in your CV.
  • Have your name and the name of the chosen program in the header or footer of every page.

Suggested: 5 SOP Questions that Must be Answered

We understand writing an SOP can be daunting. But don’t worry, Yocket is here to help you understand the nuances and draft a succinct SOP in terms of the format and guidelines. The SOP writing style for most countries remains the same. However, in the case of program-specific statement of purpose for Economics, you can re-engineer the original draft to suit the University requirements.

Our counselors at Yocket Premium can guide you through the entire process, on how to write SOP just to make it perfect! 

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