What is a personal statement?
A personal statement is an opportunity for you to support or enhance other parts of your application. It is your first chance to help the admissions committee understand your motivation for pursuing this career while giving them a sense of who you are. The personal statement tells your story and the context that shaped who you are as a person – your values, interests and goals. Your statement should breathe life into your application and make the admission committee feel something.
Why is the personal statement important?
The biggest “cut” in the admission process is based on application content, and your personal statement is part of the application. You will be applying with other students who may be academically similar to you. The personal statement can help you to stand out in a positive way. Simply by telling your story, you have the opportunity to highlight your uniqueness and how you will positively contribute to the health professions community.
Review the PHMO's Guide to Writing Personal Statements.
See the chart below for character prompts and word limits for the various Centralized Application Services.
For additional instructions on the essay requirements for each Centralized Application Service, see the links below:
- AMCAS Instruction Manual - Page 68 (Personal Statement and MD-PhD); Page 56 (Meaningful Activitites Essays)
- OptomCAS Instructions - Essays are located under "Program Materials"
- PharmCAS Instruction Manual - page 36
- PTCAS Instruction Manual- Page 35
- SOPHAS Instructions - Essays are located under "Program Materials"