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Sample Personal Statement for Pharmacology

On November 9, 2002, I took my GRE Subject (BIOLOGY) test. Although I it is beyond me to report the exact number of the participants in this specific test the world over, the score I achieved indicated to me that I was above 98%, and according to the analysis by my classmates, this might be the highest score that Chinese students have ever achieved. While I was aware that the importance of any test score as an indicator of one’s scholastic aptitudes should never be over-exaggerated, the result still gave me a tremendous sense of self-pride and self-achievement. I believe that I achieved such a high score not through mere coincidence. Instead, it is the result of my long-time love for and dedicated efforts at biology. With an implicit faith in my knowledge of biology and in my potential to continue to excel others, I here solemnly file this document in an attempt to apply for admission into your esteemed university for a Master’s program in pharmacology.

I am confident in my qualifications as a competitive applicant for your highly respected program, partially because of my unusual interest in pharmacology. As a bridge across medical science and pharmacy, pharmacology plays a vital role in the research on the ways to resist diseases. The exploration and the subsequent elaboration on the mechanism of therapeutic functioning of drugs is a necessary step in the development and application of drugs to overcome diseases. Faced with this academic discipline that is inextricably connected with human life and human welfare, I have always been fascinated by this subject, bent on making my own contributions to the improvement of the quality of human life. Every time I learn about new theories, approaches and developments in biology and pharmacology, I cannot help feeling excited. Each setback I encounter or each success I achieve in my experiments would motivate me to persist and continue. It is this fascination with biology and pharmacology that stands behind my dedicated studies and research in those subjects.

The 4-year comprehensive and systematic study and training in the specialty of pharmacy guaranteed my successful completion of my undergraduate program at the College of Medicine of XX University, the best medical institute in China. In an academic environmental famous for its rigorousness, I established a solid foundation in such diverse fields as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and cell biology. As I approached my studies primarily from a problem-oriented manner, devoting much more energy to labwork than to coursework in order to satisfy my curiosity for solving practical problems, my overall GPA is somehow affected, slightly lower than what I would have desired. In my case, GPA, which is purely based on exam scores, does not account much. In retrospect, I have been more concerned with developing my hands-on abilities and on developing an extensive knowledge rather than on intensive test-oriented knowledge. Nevertheless, compared with other students, I am sure that I excel them in terms of experimental skills and the ken of knowledge and, for an undergraduate, a good foundation supported by comprehensive specialized knowledge and strong hands-on abilities are most important for more intensive studies in the future.

I have every reason to believe that my excellent experimental skills and research experience will qualify me to be a helpful research assistant to my future supervisor and to make important research achievements. Even when I was a freshman, I started to work as a research assistant in the laboratory. Over the past four years, I have commanded most of the basic skills necessary for undertaking lab research, such as operations on animals, cell culture, electrophoresis experiments, etc. By far, my most important research experience came from undertaking my graduation project, which exemplified an overall test of experimental techniques. I chose to focus on the Effect of Ye3 on the Cell Apoptosis. The reason for choosing this subject of research is that the study of cell apoptosis has a crucial importance in the treatment of cancer and in maintaining the immunity of those suffering from AIDS. On the premise that rare earth ions are considered capable of entering cells, I decided that my project would concentrate on rare earth ions and their effects on cell nucleus. With extensive experiments, I discovered that, under different circumstances, rare earth ions would produce totally different behavior toward cell apoptosis. When the concentration of rare earth ions is below a certain ultimate limit, the function of the ions changes from that of facilitating cell apoptosis to that of suppressing cell apoptosis. As an initial and tentative study, my research has won very positive comments from my advisor. In undertaking a large quantity of experiments, I not only applied basic operation skills with much dexterity but also acquired many new techniques such as making post-coloring observation of the morphology of cell nucleus through the confocal fluorescence microscope, and performing qualitative testing of cell apoptosis with the help of flow cytometry method (FCM).

Having completed my undergraduate education and acquired necessary qualifications, I would like to pursue a more advanced degree program at The Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine at The University of XX. The department, founded in the 1950’s, has been greatly strengthened by the joining of dozens of renowned scholars and specialists over each of the past decade. Its mission, “to educate, create and sustain knowledge concerning the actions and mechanisms of drugs in biology and medicine," reflects the Department’s consistent dedication to academic excellence. Your Department fosters research collaborations within the Department as well as with other XX Faculties & Departments, national and international universities and related industries, and is committed to the development of new research areas. I am especially interested in Clinical Pharmacology Research Organization (CPRO) under the leadership of Dr. XX.

Your research-oriented program adheres to an “apprenticeship” model of graduate training in which in which graduate students work in close collaboration with a particular Faculty member, their supervisor. Since the matching of research and professional interests between the student and a Faculty member within the Department is paramount, I would like to identify Dr. XX and Dr. XX as either instructor or supervisor with whom I would like to work with. Dr. XX may enlighten me on central nervous system physiology and pharmacology while Dr. XX may instruct me concerning the mechanisms of action and resistance and intracellular pharmacokinetics of antiviral agents. My initial study of their papers and research reveals that their fields of research perfectly parallel my study and research interests. I expect that my Master’s program can ultimately lead to a Ph. D. program.

This Personal Statement is presented by a highly self-motivated Chinese young man who cherishes high academic ambitions, possesses outstanding biology knowledge, and is determined to work harder to make even more proud achievements. For this reason, I hope that my application can be given most serious consideration.


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