Personal Statements

Personal Statements

The Personal Statement, or application essay in the case of Physical Therapy and the PTCAS application, is an opportunity to begin to show admissions committees who you are on a more personal level.  This essay, the length of which will vary depending on the program you are applying to, is your opportunity to share your Why.  Essentially, why do you want to pursue a particular health profession. The personal statement also provides applicants with the opportunity to share information and characteristics of themselves that can not be read or gleaned elsewhere in the application.  We encourage pre-health students to begin thinking about and drafting responses to this question as early as possible--even freshman/first year. 

New Personal Statement/Application Essay Writing Resource!

We are very excited to share with you all a set of video resources created by UCSB's very own Janet Mizrahi!   Ms. Mizrahi has been part of the Writing Department at UCSB for over 20 years and has taught the Writing 109HP Writing for the Health Professions course over 50 times!  In this video series, "How to Write your Personal Statement," you will learn how to compose a personal statement to use as part of your health professions school application.  In addition to the videos, Ms. Mizrahi has also shared several worksheets to assist students throughout the process of writing their personal statements. 

Video 1 (Click Here)

Video 2 (Click Here)

Video 3 (Click Here)

Video 4 (Click Here)

Video 5 (Click Here)

Video 6 (Click Here)

Please use the documents below in conjunction with the video resources above as you prepare to compose your personal statement/application essay as part of the health professions school application process.  Remember, if you have questions about the admissions process to health professions schools, please contact UCSB Health Professions Advising. 

Additional information to consider as you begin writing your personal statement/application essay.

The key to composing a compelling personal statement is to create a theme in which to frame your story and to avoid a few common mistakes. 

  • A Few Tips
    • Do
      • Use a formal essay structure (Introductory paragraphs, body paragraphs, conclusion).
      • Show, don’t tell!  (Use specific verbs, strong adjectives, etc. to show the reader how and why you chose to pursue a career in healthcare and developed as a pre-health student.)
      • Explain hardships or adversity you have overcome
    • Do Not
      • Use cliches
      • Recite your resume
      • Have too broad a focus
      • Get off topic
      • Let the focus deviate from you to other people
      • Complain or place blame on others

Remember, your pre-health advisors are here to help you, and we are happy to review your personal statement as we are able.  If you have never met with one of us, we will need you to provide, at minimum, an up-to-date resume to provide us with some context for your personal statement.  Please plan on scheduling an appointment to meet with one of us for help brainstorming ideas for your personal statement and/or to have one of us read and look over your drafts.  We also encourage students to consider taking the Writing 109HP course, Writing for Health Professionals.