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Sample Statement of Purpose for Civil Engineering

I was born 23 years ago in a desolate small mountain village where there were only several rows of low and primitive huts constructed with cob bricks. But when I returned to my hometown recently, I found that the one-time mountain village has given way to a sizable town with modern facilities and utilities as a result of the on—going national campaign of urbanization. This is just one instance that illustrates the magic power of Civil Engineering in effecting radical social and economic changes. From the very outset, it is precisely this magic power of Civil Engineering that has fascinated me as a scientific discipline. As if to reinforce this fascination, I am fortunate enough to be the daughter of a father who is a senior engineer, whose professional influence contributed to my engineering orientation during my middle school days, which ultimately led me to the world of civil engineering into which not many women students are prepared to venture. By contrast, I am bent on a lifelong career in this field.

A Chinese proverb says that “A towering building arises from the ground”(equivalent to the English idiom that “Great oaks from little acorn grows). As an ordinary young girl, my past intellectual pursuit is just like the process of constructing a towering building, laying a solid foundation, making sustained efforts to develop, and achieving final success. At the very outset of my undergraduate program, I formulated a plan for my academic development, outlining the objectives that I must achieve at different stages of the program. With due efforts, I have attained almost all of them. My academic performance is ranked top three in my class (consisting of 37 students) and top ten in the entire grade (consisting of 189 students). I am quite proud of my performance because the academic environment at XX University is highly competitive. Apart from my academic rankings, I have been awarded a spate of honors such as Outstanding Student and Outstanding Student Leader, as well as scholarships for three consecutive years. I concluded my undergraduate program with an Outstanding Graduate Award. Although I am not endowed with any extraordinary intelligence, my academic initiative and commitment has prepared for me a groundwork as firm as that of a towering building.

As one of the three Chinese universities with the longest history, XX University is famous for its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The education I received from my teachers is at once comprehensive and in-depth, covering all the important fields of civil engineering. Apart from such core courses as Construction of Buildings and Reinforced Concrete, I have also been very interested in courses related to mechanics and mathematics like Theoretical Mechanics, Material Mechanics, Structural Mechanics, theory of Elasticity, and Descriptive Geometry. This is not only because they are indispensable to civil engineering but also because they contain the kind of erudition and cogent logic that simply fascinated me. Finally, courses in computer science, The Design of Computer Language and Programs and CAD, equally attracted me, for I realize that the mastery of such basic computer skills would significantly strengthen my expertise in civil engineering design. Every time I completed a course in civil engineering, I would use CAD cartographical software to do cartographical simulation on my own computer and try to envision the specific steps of operation in actual applications. This learning strategy ensured that I could work out the otherwise rather difficult structural designs with much facility.
With the increase of my professional knowledge, I discovered that there were important links among those different realms of knowledge and it was my task to unify and apply them. I achieved this when doing my graduation project “The High-Rise Teaching Building of XX University”. There are many old buildings on our university and our project team, under the guidance of Prof. Yi, was to design a new teaching building that must show due respect for the existing elegantly-styled traditional buildings on one hand and incorporate modern elements on the other. As team leader, I divided the project into three component parts—building design, integration with the environment, and structural design. I consulted a wealth of domestic and international technical literature and design specifications, conducted on-the-spot reconnaissance using various technical instruments, and collaborated fully with other team members on preparing the design drawings. Having made repeated revisions and modifications in the design drawings, I completed the challenging project by applying my knowledge and skills of CAD engineering drawing and XX (a software developed by China) engineering drawing. The team spirit, strong willpower and sound professional performance that I demonstrated in this project were highly appreciated by my teachers and fellow students alike.

In terms of extracurricular activities, I have also endeavored to seek personal excellence. I have been a member of the student government of my class, in charge of art and entertainment activities. I have also served as student leader of the departmental student union responsible for organizational work, launching a series of campus events designed to enrich the students’ campus life. I won second prize in the 200-meter dash. I received the first prize in the structural design competition of the university. All those activities improved many of my personal qualities such as leadership and interpersonal skills. I also realized the importance of teamwork to the achievement of success in whatever endeavors. Finally, my ability to work independently and creatively has also been considerably improved.

Established in 1842, XX University is one of the four leading polytechnic universities in Europe. Its hydraulic laboratory is considered the best in the world by the International Hydraulic Environment Engineering (IHE). In such a prestigious university, I can expect to receive the best advanced education in civil engineering. I would like to concentrate on civil engineering, environmental science and construction engineering. With reference to the civil engineering curriculum of XX University, I have formulated a tentative study plan. In the first six months I will devote to an extensive coursework in the advanced theories of civil engineering, environmental science and construction engineering, attending a variety of core courses. In the next six months, I will try to learn and master advanced design skills, including CAD skills. In the second year, I will participate in extensive internships, workshops and seminars and try to apply my knowledge to practices. My ultimate aim is to submit a well-written dissertation.

I believe that by pursuing a Master’s program at your prestigious university I will broaden my perspectives, in and outside the field of civil engineering. Those perspectives will let me have a clearer idea about the limitations of my own country and possible improvements that we can make. My 4-year undergraduate program in civil engineering has equipped me with a solid academic foundation. In addition to that, my practical experiences and English proficiency, plus my strong motivation, those are three major factors that will ensure my success in my proposed program.

As China’s economic development gathers increasing momentum, a new wave of massive construction will hit the nation in the near future as urbanization has become a national policy. This situation creates a historical opportunity for the emerging generation of civil engineers. To embrace this historical opportunity, I need to receive advanced academic input, develop international experiences and learn updated concepts. I am convinced that civil engineering is a science that is closely connected with human welfare and, as a would-be civil engineer, I will fulfill my self-actualization in contributing to the welfare of my fellow countrymen.


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