Saint Joseph's University

How to Write a Stellar Letter of Intent

The letter of intent is your chance to demonstrate that you can convey information concisely through college-level writing. It's a heavily weighted factor in the application process and gives you an opportunity to stand out from hundreds of other applicants. To assist with this process, we've provided a few tips to consider before submitting your letter of intent. Keep in mind, your letter should be no more than two pages and include a handwritten signature.

  • Avoid being generic: Your application reviewer knows what program you're applying to, that you like their school, and that you want to grow by pursuing a degree with them. A lot of applicants will focus on these obvious details. Tell Saint Joseph's University something they don't know. Demonstrate your passion for the program and show how you've used your skills to get where you are. Catch their attention by writing something they haven't read hundreds of times before.
  • Choose your words wisely: You have a limited amount of space in which to get your message across and a limited amount of time to grab the attention of your application reviewer. Make sure every word you write is contributing to your message. If it's not, remove it. It's only taking away from the clarity of your message.
  • Show your passion: Anyone can present a laundry list of professional accomplishments, but not everyone can show the passion behind them. Passion is what will propel you to the top of your field, and Saint Joseph's wants to see that.
  • Present yourself as a leader: Leadership skills are a key to success in any graduate program. Use the story you tell through your letter to demonstrate your history as a successful leader.
  • Tell how you will leave a legacy as an SJU student: Saint Joseph's University is looking for students who will proudly represent the Saint Joseph's name and leave a legacy of leadership and growth. You can do this by describing the legacy you've left at past institutions or in past positions.
  • Speak to your experience: Your resume and application will already list your past experience, so your letter of intent is your opportunity to elaborate on that and connect it to your future as a potential student.
  • Don't forget grammar: Poor grammar distracts the application reviewer from your message and gives the appearance that you're not prepared for the college-level writing required for a graduate program.
  • Get a second look: You know what you're trying to say, but will the reader? Get as much feedback as possible from others to ensure your letter says what you want it to.
  • Revise, revise, revise: You can only turn in one version of your letter of intent, so take your time to ensure it's perfect. Step away between drafts, then return and have a fresh look. Errors and opportunities for improvement will be clearer to you.

Most importantly, remember — this is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to succeed as a student in Saint Joseph's graduate program, so take pride in your submission.

To learn more about the program, including any program-specific letter of intent direction, please contact a Program Manager at 866-758-7670 or start your application now to learn more.

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