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All applicants must submit a Statement of Purpose (i.e., a narrative statement of intent). This document is one of the most important components of the application and should be prepared thoughtfully. 


The Statement of Purpose should be between two and three pages in length, single spaced, and 12-point font.  The statement should include:

  1. A description of the applicant’s academic studies in Spanish and related areas, and additional experiences which bear on qualifications or interest in graduate studies.
  2. A statement addressing the applicant’s commitment to research. Simply stating that "I have always enjoyed Spanish," "I want to learn more about Spanish/improve my abilities," or "Spanish is my native language" is not helpful.

The most effective way to prepare the statement is:

  1. Outline previous educational and research experiences. 
  2. Provide a clear statement for the reasons to pursue a graduate degree that describes specific interests, including possible dissertation topics, collateral areas, and related research. 
  3. Elaborate on the abilities to conduct original in-depth research.
  4. Justify the choice of Penn State University as the appropriate institution for a graduate career. To the extent possible, identify specific faculty members and university and community resources that would make the doctoral project feasible at Penn State University.
*Important Note: Applicants who submit a Statement of Purpose in English should submit a writing sample in Spanish. Conversely, applicants who submit a Statement of Purpose in Spanish should submit a writing sample in English.