Ok, so, this is the first statement of purpose I have written for graduate school admissions and I am looking for some feed back. Essentially it is just a jumble of thoughts right now and I need to do some restructuring and rewording as this is my first draft. Let me know of anyways I can make it longer, I thought this was a lot of work but it is also considerably shorter that statements I will have to write for other schools. It is for Cal Poly Slo, let me know what you think my chances are. Here is some more information about me and the statement:
BA in Geography (Departmental Valedictorian)
Graduated in three years
Letters of recommendation from:
Dean of College of Liberal Arts
Former Assistant Dean of Graduate School
My first introduction to the field of urban planning came to me in my early years of high school; for a required job shadow project I elected to observe a family member and urban planner simply on the basis of his interesting title and my ignorance towards his profession. Almost immediately I became enthralled by the cartographic, creative, communicative and analytical skills used everyday in the planning profession.
As I entered my university education I began taking courses in environmental studies and geography with a future in planning in the back of my mind. In the spring semester of my second year, my junior year, I enrolled in the upper-division Urban Ecology course which served as my first formal course in environmental planning theory. Upon completion, I continued my examination of urban ecology through a summer independent study of bioregional planning theory and sustainable development. Furthermore, I am currently working as a research assistant for the course’s professor where we are examining the street lighting quality of [CITY] and how improvements can be made with regards to safety and the urban environment. Now, as I complete my undergraduate education in geography, I have decided that a career in urban planning is right for me.
I have chosen to apply to California Polytechnic State University in order to gain a theoretical yet highly practical education in environmental planning. After examining the course offerings, I am highly interested in courses Cal Poly offers related to growth management, urban ecology, environmental planning methods and community participation under the guidance of Michael Boswell or Paul Wack. My primary interests lie within the intersection of neighborhood redevelopment, environmental justice and sustainability; using destitute neighborhoods as models for environmentally sustainable development while limiting the effects of gentrification. Upon completion of your program, it would be my desire to stay in California and work in either the public or private sector in the inner city, with the eventual possibility of completing a PhD in planning or geography remaining open. Thank you for your consideration.