What the I/O Department is Looking for in the Statement of Purpose
A brief personal statement of professional goals and reasons for choosing the field of I/O and The University of Akron.
The statement of purpose (SOP) is a good opportunity for you to talk about your academic and/or work-related experiences that have informed your decision to pursue a career in I/O psychology. These do not necessarily need to be things that are particularly specific to I/O but may also relate to your desire to pursue an advanced degree in Psychology. Sometimes, applicants are sure about what they want to do and therefore have a very specific request for a faculty mentor. However, we know that many students have had a limited, if any, amount of exposure to I/O and therefore are not ready to choose the particularly content of their research-oriented career path. Our experience is that the former example is rather rare and the latter is much more common. We value students who are ready for our academically rigorous coursework and want to be immersed in active research. We value applicants who want to understand more about the I/O topics and are willing to work with most of our faculty. We value students who have been fortunate to do undergraduate research in an I/O content area with an I/O colleague and therefore have very specific interests that they want to pursue in their graduate career.
To be very clear, we value BOTH of these types of applicants equally. The most important thing about the SOP is that you enrich your application beyond the ubiquitous GPA, GRE numbers and help us understand how you have taken advantage of your past academic opportunities, excelled in these experiences, and are therefore ready to join us as a mentee and junior colleague in I/O psychology.
Note: There is no statement of purpose form and no length requirement.