How to Apply

How to Write the Statement of Purpose

DSPT SealThe Statement of Purpose is a very important part of the application process. It is, in a sense, your "letter of introduction" to the Admissions Committee and should not be taken lightly since it says a lot about you. It should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. It should not exceed two typed pages (about 500 words) in most cases (one page is better). It should articulate clearly and concisely your goals, areas of interest, and the reasons you think the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) is a good fit for your proposed program of study.

We want to know your areas of interest as specifically as you are able to outline them, and something about your career goals (if known). It is not necessary to know the title of your thesis or to describe your research plan in-depth; we expect that your interests and goals will mature and develop while you are here.

We want to know a little about where you have been and more about where you are headed and how DSPT fits into that journey. It is fine to include biographical information where appropriate, but the Statement of Purpose should not be treated as an intellectual or spiritual autobiography. It should be free of off-topic monologues, digressions, and awkward expressions. It is not necessary to discuss all the books you have read or provide your view on the state of philosophical or theological education today!

It is a good idea to demonstrate that you have reviewed the DSPT website, especially the faculty pages, and that you have identified one or more faculty members with whom you might like to work if admitted. Show that you understand the mission and resources of DSPT and explain why it is a good match for your particular interests and goals.

The Statement of Purpose is used by the Admissions Committee to determine your preparedness as well as how your interests align with the specific resources available from our faculty. It is also used to assign a faculty advisor once an applicant has been accepted.

The Admissions Office is happy to review drafts or offer advice as needed. Contact us at