Application Glossary of Common Elements

Statement of Purpose

Submit online your 300- to 500-word statement of purpose describing your purpose and rationale in undertaking or continuing graduate study and how the Engineering Education program at Purdue relates to your long-term career goals. You also may explain any irregularities or special circumstances applicable to your background and elaborate on special abilities and achievements.

This statement need not be long (e.g., one page single-spaced), but it should be carefully prepared (e.g., clear, well-organized, grammatical, engaging).  It should clearly communicate your understanding of engineering education as a career.  Please note that a PhD is traditionally associated with the creation of new knowledge and thus emphasizes an independent research project.

Research Statement

Submit online a research statement of up to 500 words that describes your research background, interests, goals, and questions.

It is particularly important that you browse the research activities of our faculty and identify the type of research that interests you.

This statement need not be long (e.g., one page single-spaced), but it should be carefully prepared (e.g., clear, well-organized, grammatical, engaging), grounded in your understanding of your particular engineering education research interests, and emphasizing your capabilities as a researcher. While we do not anticipate that you will have decided on your research goals, we do hope that you will have familiarized yourself with engineering education research (e.g., through journals, conferences, mentors, peers, faculty research areas, etc.) and have identified potential research directions or questions you would like to pursue in our program and map to your overall professional goals.

Your application could address the following from personal experience or a personal point of view:
  • Describe one important issue in engineering education.
  • With regards to the issue identified, state the question(s) you would be interested in investigating through research.
  • Describe how answers to your questions could impact or reform aspects of teaching, curriculum, or informal/formal educational programs.

Teaching Statement

Submit online a teaching statement of up to 500 words that communicates your perspective on effective teaching or how people learn (i.e., a teaching philosophy) and describes your teaching experience (e.g., courses taught, grade level, responsibilities, and evidence of your teaching effectiveness such as student ratings or awards). The statement need not be long but should be carefully prepared (e.g., clear, well-organized, grammatical, engaging).

Updated July 20, 2023