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SOP for Data Science – Do’s and Don’ts, Format & Sample

Updated on 08 November, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

If you are planning to study abroad to get a degree in Data Science, then you also need to learn how to write an effective Statement of Purpose (SOP). In this article, we take you through the process of writing an SOP for Data Science. Let us first understand how to structure an SOP. 


Considered extremely important, a Statement of Purpose or SOP, is an essay that an aspiring student needs to write as a part of their application to universities across the globe. It is meant to highlight the students’ motivations and give the admission committee an insight into their ambitions and future perspectives. The university expects applicants to describe why they chose a particular discipline, what they wish to accomplish through the course, how they hope to take their steps moving forward after graduation and more.

SOP format for Data Science

You must keep a few points in mind while writing the Data Science SOP. Do remember that a perfect SOP can help you gain an edge over your competition. Follow the guideline listed below:

  • Attempt to answer basic questions adhering to the core subject, why you chose it, what your inspiration was and how you wish to pursue a career with it in the future.
  • Keep in mind that a data science statement of purpose needs to exude a formal tone rather than coming across as conversational. 
  • Share the anecdotes and incidents from your personal life that inspired you to study Data Science instead of making short or abrupt statements. A story helps you keep your reader hooked on your content and prevents your SOP from becoming monotonous and arid. 
  • Adhere to the character or word limit asked by the university. Keep it brief and relevant without leaving out necessary points. Prioritize subjects that you feel will help make a difference.
  • Ensure not to write false statements or exaggerate your achievements. Keep the SOP true to who you are and your connection with the subject. 

Finally, proofread your SOP multiple times before you submit it. You may even have it reviewed by others to receive constructive feedback. It is vital that your SOP is perfect in terms of construction, spelling and grammatical consistency. 

Now, let us take a look at the standard structure of a Data Science statement of purpose—

An SOP is commonly written in paragraph format. It is advised to avoid any kind of demarcations and bullet points so that your statement does not lose the sense of wholeness. 

It is generally instructed to be written within 1000 words, defining relevant facts and matters. However, checking the university’s website is advisable before drafting an SOP.

Here is how your basic SOP structure should look like:

  1. First Paragraph – Introduction
  2. Second Paragraph – Academic Background
  3. Third Paragraph – Career Aspirations
  4. Last Paragraph – Summary 

Other Course-Wise SOPs

Sample Sop for MS in Data Science

You can take advantage of the internet and find endless samples of Statements of Purpose for master’s in Data Science that will give you a clear understanding of what is generally considered standard. 

We have put down a Data Science Statement of Purpose example for you to refer to. Please note that the following sample is only for reference purposes:

Ever since I was a kid, I have had an affinity for mathematics and technology. I distinctly remember the day we got a computer at the house, and I could not stay away from it from then on.  Evidently, my career had to take a path involving technical understanding. While looking for various career options in high school, I was introduced to the world of Data Science. 

The very first step towards realizing this dream was opting for Computer Science in my higher secondary level of education. I learned the fundamentals of computers and was exposed to all the different avenues that could be persuaded after graduation. The natural progression was enrolling in a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science at IIT Bombay. There was no looking back from that point; I went all the way in discovering all I could about Data Science, operating systems, etc. My undergraduate degree taught me volumes about how diverse these fields in science are, but what intrigued me the most was how Data Science was so well integrated into innumerable areas such as business, health, and communication. This intense appreciation I found for Data Science inspired me to apply for MS in the subject.

During graduation, I was introduced to Data Science and took it upon myself to lay a solid foundation in the subject. Now, I wish to gain a more focused specialization in the field that will aid in developing the professional skills required by the IT industry. 

Pursuing Data Science would offer strong preparation in Machine Learning, Statistical Modeling, Management, Optimization, Data Acquisition, and Analysis of massive data sets would help me to comprehend the subject better. 

I am convinced that the academic knowledge I acquired during my master’s degree will help me to achieve my long-term and short-term goals. (Specify organizations’ names you are interested in working within your home country). 

Choosing the right university to gain indispensable subject insights is paramount. Thus, I have decided to choose (university’s name). Moreover, the robust curriculum is tailored according to my course needs (mention some modules that would be helpful to delve deeper into the subject). Not to forget, the opportunity to interact and study under the tutelage of seasoned faculty of the university (mention the names of the professors and their research work that has impressed you and would like to learn under. Furthermore, the research labs and student’s clubs are another reason to choose this university. (Precisely mention the student clubs and organizations you would like to be a part of. 

I shall be honored if I am considered for admission into the MS in Data Science at your prestigious institution.

Statement of Purpose (SOP) with respect to countries
SOP for AustraliaSOP for GermanySOP for Canada

Do’s and Don’ts while writing SOP

Do’s of writing your SOP

  1. Articulate your views properly, highlighting facts that set you apart.
  2. Cover your academic background and interests.
  3. Highlight relevant work experience related to the course.
  4. Maintain a positive tone and use an active voice.
  5. Mention hobbies, co-curricular and personality traits
  6. Make sure to be honest and to the point.
  7. Read a few Data Science SOP samples online.
  8. Diligently adhere to the SOP word limit mentioned on the university’s website. 

Don’ts of writing your SOP

  1. Avoid making spelling and grammatical mistakes.
  2. Don’t cross the word limit mentioned or drag on with irrelevant information.
  3. Avoid redundancy and plagiarism. 
  4. Do not mention IELTS or GRE scores. 
  5. Do not exaggerate your past achievements. 

Tips for writing SOP

1. Allow a good amount of time for brainstorming and introspection. 

2. Read and review as many sample SOPs as you can find.

3. Answer questions like, why this field or institution. 

4. Rigorously check for grammatical errors and plagiarism. 

5. Highlight your strengths and how you will add value to the community.

6. Prepare at least three drafts before working on the final one and make sure to include all the standard information.

Must Read: SOP vs Personal Statement

Difference between writing SOP for MS and B.Sc. Data Science

While the essence of the SOPs you write for your graduate and post-graduate programs remains the same, there are slight variations in terms of the information you furnish that you need to keep in mind. 

The SOP for B.Sc. in Data Science will fundamentally include your dreams and aspirations of studying the subject to gain primary-level knowledge about Data Science and explore the prospects in the area. Whereas the SOP you write for a Master’s Program in Data Science must include the work experience, you have acquired in the field. 

In conclusion, the world of data science has brilliant opportunities to offer young professionals and earning a master’s degree only opens up more doors in your career. Higher education from a prestigious university abroad illuminates your resume, and a good Statement of Purpose will put you ahead in the race to win a seat there.

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Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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