SOP for MS in Germany: Guidelines for Admission
Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement is an essay centered on interest, desire, and self-knowledge of the students. It focuses on who the applicant is, his/her purpose of applying, reasons for considering himself/herself a qualified candidate, and their aspirations in the long run. SOP for MS in Germany is not a mandatory requirement for all the programs. However, international students are advised to submit it to increase the chances of admission.
University-wise Requirements for SOP for MS in Germany
Some universities in Germany do not request an essay form of the SOP and provide few prompts. Below are the university-wise guidelines for admission into MS programs of top universities:
Technical University of Munich
Almost all MS programs in the TU Munich require applicants to provide an SOP. It is similar to a cover letter for a job application. The SOP gives detailed background information on the applicant’s status in the area of education, industrial projects and experience, and extracurricular activities.
Academic projects, research internships, voluntary work, and other work undertaken by the applicant must be included. In addition to the above, the following guidelines should be adhered to:
- Must contain an affirmation clause stating that the SOP was solely written by the applicant without any auxiliary means except the ones indicated in the essay.
- The affirmation clause must also state that every information and details presented in the essay are true to the best of the applicant’s knowledge.
- The essay must be a single page, A4 or letter format, 12-point font size, and single spacing. To provide adequate guidance to candidates, a template is available on the university's website.
- Must be written in English regardless of the language of instruction of the program
MS programs that require SOPs as mandatory requirements for admission to TU Munich are Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Bioinformatics, Data Engineering and Analytics, Finance and Information Management, etc
Charité University Medical School, Berlin
Charité University Medical School, Berlin places great importance on the SOP or letter of motivation. Over the years, it has been noted that students who successfully gain entry into the university do not just have an excellent result but also a well-crafted SOP. A good result without a well-written essay will more likely result in rejection.
To be qualified for admission at Charité University Medical School, the applicant must adhere to the following:
- Contents of the essays must reflect a deep enthusiasm for the program
- Choice of words should reflect a high level of curiosity, creativity, an innate ability to think outside the box, and a scientific aura.
- Tangible and verifiable proof not just vague statements
Molecular Medicine, Immunology, Paediatrics, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery (CBF), etc are some of the MS programs of Charité University Medical School that require an SOP.
University of Freiburg
University of Freiburg requires each MS applicant to present a one to two-page (or 650 words limit) Statement of Intent or Letter of Motivation. The essay should be written in English regardless of the applicant’s language and should be targeted toward answering the following questions:
- The motivation for applying to study the program of choice
- Reason for choosing to study the program at the University of Freiburg
- What the applicant likes about the curriculum
- Intellectual, research or academic questions that relate to the core, majors, or other aspects of the program at the University of Freiburg
- How the applicant’s interest in the program relates to his/her previous experiences (e.g. stays abroad, internships, school projects) or how these address the applicant’s plans
- Achievements, interests, or ideas (if any) that may make the applicant suitable for admission in the school
- Applicant’s expectations of the school and program
- Applicant’s career goals
MS programs that require SOPs for admission are Computer Science, System Engineering, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Chemistry, Clinical Psychology, Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Sciences, etc
University of Göttingen
Apart from a postgraduate degree in Medicine/Dentistry, the letter of motivation is not made compulsory for admission to any other MS programs at the University of Göttingen. The letter is required to be written in German in not more than one page signed by the applicant and submitted along with the rest of the application material. The letter is meant to explain the following:
- The interest, motives, and motivation in the program
- Reasons for pursuing the chosen MS program at the University of Göttingen and not in other schools
- The fit between the applicant and the program
- His/her future goals and how the completion of the program will help in the achievement of the goals
- Short research proposal outlining the proposed topic to develop a master thesis at the end of the program. However, this topic can be changed later
Although it is not a compulsory requirement for other programs, it is recommended that applicant try as much as possible to submit it
Technical University of Berlin
Students applying for admission to an MS program of TU Berlin are required to submit an SOP otherwise called a Motivation letter. The letter is must address the following points:
- The applicant’s interest in the program
- What the applicant hopes to achieve during his/her studies
- what qualifies him/her as a top candidate and why he should be considered for admission
- What are the applicant’s career goals?
- Personal, academic and professional background
- Other relevant information that may influence the choice of the admission committee
MS programs that require SOP for admission to TU Berlin are Automotive System, Biotechnology, Business Engineering Energy, Computer Science, ICT Innovation, etc
Guidelines for SOP for MS in Canada
A well-written SOP for MS in Germany usually have the following elements:
- Intellectual interest in the program
- A professional, formal, and serious tone
- Specific details about the research and professional experience
- Not more than one page
There are some general guidelines that every student writing an SOP for Germany can follow. These are the basic prerequisites with little or no variation with university.
- Must describe the applicant's academic, personal and professional background
- Write as many drafts as possible with no limitation to the word count, ideas, sentence structure, choice of words, area of focus, etc. These factors should only be considered when editing the final draft.
- Should avoid clichés in their essay as these are usually big turn-offs to the admission committee.
- Never to copy another's SOP as this can easily be detected and it will cost the applicant the admission
- Avoid sounding religious in the essay or proving to be religiously motivated. Admission teams are usually interested in applicants who are intellectually motivated not religiously motivated.
- Resist from showing altruistic motivations as these are now clichés seen in thousands of SOPs
- Information on childhood experience should be kept at the barest minimum as they easily bore the admission team
- Be honest and sincere about any claims made in the statement of purpose
- Repeating or copying some generic statement from the CV into the SOP is a practice that is frown upon
A statement of purpose popularly called a letter of motivation or motivation letter is not required in all top German universities offering MS programs. While some made it optional, some still require it as a compulsory document. Notwithstanding the case, an applicant should be able to write an exceptional SOP if required with the above-explained tips and guidelines.