Write Your Personal Statement

Essays and Personal Statements

Each health profession school asks for a 4,000-6,000-character essay on your motivations for applying. AMCAS requires a personal statement that is limited to 5,300 characters. If you are applying as an MD-PhD, you will also have to write essays about why you want to pursue a dual-career path and about your research.

If you are worried because you haven’t written essays like this since applying to MIT, don’t worry, we can help.

The Writing Process

  1. Attend an essay writing workshop (generally offered by MIT Prehealth Advising at the end of the fall semester or over IAP).
  2. Brainstorm ideas. Consider experiences that had a major impact on you or that helped you determine that this career is a good fit.
  3. Create an outline, jot ideas down, and start writing. Narrow down your ideas to three or four experiences and develop a theme to tie them together.
  4. Have your essay critiqued by Prehealth Advising staff. You can also go to professors, academic advisors, the MIT Writing and Communication Center and/or your peers to get feedback.

Essay Critiques

Feeling stuck? Prehealth Advising can help you at any stage of the writing process. We are happy to help you brainstorm or revise a draft.

  • Appointments: Log into Handshake to make a virtual appointment with Prehealth Advising. Email your essay to the advisor 24 business hours before your appointment.
  • Email: Send a Word document of your essay to prehealthessaycrits@mit.edu. (Please no PDFs.) We will send you feedback on your draft within three to four business days.


Begin writing your essays as early as the fall before you apply to medical school. This way, you will have several months for revisions.