How to Write a Personal Statement for a Criminology Degree

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A degree in criminology prepares students for a career as an investigator, private detective or forensic science. Criminology students study a variety of courses in subjects such as criminal investigation, law enforcement, government, forensics and crime history.

Students also often gain exposure to the field through internships and mentoring programs. When applying to a criminology program, students can better their chances of getting in by writing a powerful personal statement.

Brain storm. Make a list of your educational past, jobs, volunteer or shadowing experiences, clubs, life experiences relevant interests, and other related information that would showcase your interest in pursuing a degree in criminology.

Use a concrete example of an experience as a theme for your statement. Pick an interesting item from the list you brainstormed. For example, if you have gone on ride-alongs with police officers, describe the feeling of interacting with officers and seeing law enforcement in person. Explain how the event was significant to you and gave you insight into your desire to pursue a career in criminology. This will show the admissions committee that you are familiar with the field, which can set you apart from other candidates. Such stories are also more fascinating to read.

Grab the reader's attention from the beginning by writing a riveting introduction. Throwing the reader directly into an experience you have had is one way to start strong and get your reader hooked.

Add your other qualifications to the essay. Go through your list and describe the other attributes and achievements that make you qualified for admission. Avoid weak excuses for poor grades or test scores. While extreme circumstances, like family death or severe illness, could be mentioned briefly to pardon the flaws in your record, it is generally best to stay away from this topic all together.

Edit your statement. Read it aloud to catch any awkward phrases or grammatical errors. Don't rely on your computer's spell check to catch errors; read carefully for any misspellings. Invite a teacher, friend or family member to proofread your statement, too.