Statement of Interest

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A Statement of Interest is a crucial part of most graduate school applications.

It may also be called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar. Basically it is your opportunity to tell the graduate program:

  • Your specific area of academic interest (research topic you want to work on)
  • How your past education and other experiences have prepared you to be successful in the graduate program
  • What you hope to achieve in the graduate program
  • Why this particular program at UBC is the best place for you to pursue your interests

The statement is generally in the form of a short essay. Be sure to carefully read the specific instructions given by the graduate program and ensure you provide them with what they are asking for. Please contact the program you are applying to if you have any questions on the content of your Statement of Interest.

Other tips for a strong Statement of Interest:

  • State any work you have done in this area already (mention specific skills/techniques you have picked up).
  • Connect your area of interest to work being done in the program (mention specific faculty members and projects).
  • Refer to academic publications that have informed your interest (use correct citation as footnote).
  • Mention any publications, presentations or conferences you have been a part of.

Remember: You are building a case that you are focused, skilled, enthusiastic, and a great match for the program.


In these videos you'll hear faculty members talk about what they consider to be a strong statement of interest. They also provide some useful tips on making your statement as strong as possible.