Definition: The admissions essay is a required component of all graduate school applications. Graduate programs sometimes request a generic autobiographical statement in which the applicant discusses his or her life, experiences, and goals. Frequently graduate programs assign specific prompts that the applicant must address. The admissions essay is sometimes referred to as a personal statement. The graduate admissions essay is a critical part of the graduate application because it is through this essay that applicants can speak directly to the committee and demonstrate their unique fit to the program.
Also Known As: personal statement, autobiographical statement