MIMS Admissions: Essays

Crafting your essays can be challenging: What should I include? How do I craft a response that accurately describes me? How do I demonstrate that MIMS is the right program for me? If any of these questions make you nervous, don’t fear! The good news is that writing your essays is completely within your control. Regardless of your GPA, work experience, or what your recommenders say — your essays are a blank slate. This is your chance to add another dimension to your application and spark the admission committee’s interest. Who are you as an individual? What are you most passionate about? What will you bring to our community? How do your goals connect with the MIMS program and the I School?

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to convince us that you belong uniquely in MIMS. This statement should focus on your preparation, experience, career goals, and reasons for choosing MIMS. The most successful statements convey strong motivation, competence, and potential as a graduate student.

Tip #1

Be specific. Make it clear, with examples, that you understand MIMS and that you are certain MIMS is the right program for you. Clearly define your goals and convey how MIMS will help you achieve them.

Tip #2

Your statement should be clear and concise. We recommend you aim for 1–2 pages with well-selected words rather than a longer essay with less clarity and poor organization.

Tip #3

Once you have a draft, ask for feedback from someone who knows you well.

Need more guidance? Check out Graduate Division’s Guide to Writing the Statement of Purpose, Preparing Your Application for Graduate School, and Getting into Graduate School recordings.

Personal History Essay

The Personal History Statement is a chance for you to connect with us on a more personal level. Although the content of this essay is a bit more open ended, we encourage you to address one or several of the prompts below:

  • How you have overcome barriers to access higher education
  • How you have come to understand the barriers faced by others
  • Your academic service to advance equitable access to high education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education
  • Your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality
  • Your leadership among such groups

Tip #1

The Personal History Essay is your opportunity to share any experiences that show your promise, initiative, and ability to persevere despite obstacles. It should complement, not duplicate, the content in your Statement of Purpose.

Tip #2

If there is something important that happened to you that affected your grades, such as poverty, illness, or excessive work, state it. Write it affirmatively, demonstrating your perseverance and determination.

Tip #3

If the creative juices just aren’t flowing, there’s no reason to waste your time running in place. Instead, use this time to start working on other parts of your application. Or, step away completely and take a breather.

Need more guidance? Check out the Graduate Division’s Guide to Writing the Personal Statement, Preparing Your Application for Graduate School, and Getting into Graduate School recordings.

Short Answer Essay

The Short Answer Essay is a short response to this question:

What is the most interesting information problem you have ever solved? Explain why it was interesting and how you solved it.

The most successful essays clearly illustrate candidates’ quantitative aptitude, problem solving abilities, and written communication skills.

Tip #1

Reflect on your professional and/or academic experiences to identify one specific, impactful example that showcases your analytical skills.

Tip #2

As you guessed from the essay name, this response is meant to be short! Limit your response to 300 words or less.

Last updated:

December 3, 2021