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Application Tips

Many students have asked what they can do to stand out in their application for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Perhaps the most significant way for you to stand out amongst the other applicants is to become comfortable talking about yourself in your personal statement and statement of purpose. Below are a few tips for both essays to help you prepare to increase your confidence within yourself and your writing:

  1. Create a personal timeline of when to start, finish, edit/review your personal statement and statement of purpose.
    • A timeline will provide plenty of time for you to think through what you would like to say in each statement and what message you hope to convey
    • Allowing adequate time for edits and reviews from respected individuals should remove any grammatical errors or confusing content.
    • Knowing when you plan to have your statements finished can eliminate access pressure around completing your application and increase your overall confidence in the materials you submit.
  2. Identify respected individuals to review and edit your essays
    • A respected individual can be someone who has experience in writing papers, graduate work, a professor, coworker, or anyone capable of providing substantial feedback for your statements.
  3. Personal Statement: Points to guide your writing
    • What does planning mean to you, and what has motivated you to pursue a degree?
    • Have you had any personal experiences within your community, family, or something you witnessed that sparked your interest in planning?
    • What aspect of planning feeds your passions?
    • What is your “WHY” for planning?
  4. Statement of Purpose: Points to guide your writing
    • What are your career aspirations, and how will the M.U.R.P. degree assist you in your goals?
    • Is there a specific area of planning that interests you most? Why?
    • What about our program that attracts you and influences your decision to apply?
    • Do you have any internship, work, volunteer, or professional experiences worth sharing to explain why you are interested in pursuing a M.U.R.P. degree?
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