Tips to Write an SOP for Course Change

7 mins read36.3K Views Comment
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 24, 2023 13:53 IST

One of the most common queries we come across is how to draft an SOP while applying to a course that is different from the academic or professional background of the applicant. For instance, some candidates aspire to switch from engineering to business or finance; there is an endless list of possibilities. Let us be honest and understand that course change is absolutely possible and it is not at all difficult to prepare an SOP for the same.

While preparing an SOP for course switch:

Changing Course From

Changing Course To

Science (BSc)

Information Systems (MIS)


Information Technology (IT)

Technology or Engineering

MBA in HR or Finance, etc.

All you need to keep in mind is to give instances when you started to develop your inclination towards the other field. This needs to be supported by describing the actions you then took to explore the field and learn about it more and then associating them with your future plans. Let us understand it step-by-step.

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1) Initial Attack in SOP

The best way to begin your SOP when you are influenced by a certain field or domain is to discuss the possibilities in that field that excite you to pursue the same. This does not include the scope of the field in terms of emerging job opportunities; it has to be some industry trends or innovations of that field that attract you. You should talk about the emerging prospects that the industry has to offer and how you wish to utilise the knowledge of the same in realising the ultimate goal. Write what all skills you want to develop and enhance through the course you are applying to and then relate the same with your future plans of contributing to that field.

2) Describing your Encounters and Drive in SOP

You should mention how and when you encountered the field of your interest. This would include:

  • Workshops or seminars you attended that helped you identify your interest in that field
  • Books or articles you read that captivated your interest

These need to be mentioned precisely as you have to justify how while pursuing a certain field, you got interested in something absolutely different. Avoid using phrases about your interest in that field since childhood or your hobby that you could not pursue due to family pressure. Such phrases portray a weakness in your character that you cannot take decisions or initiative. Always give strong reasoning of why and how you feel that you are capable of pursuing the chosen field.

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3) Discussing your Efforts and Initiatives in SOP

In this paragraph, you should write all the initiatives you took to learn about the field of your interest. This will include the workshops and seminars you would have attended to enhance your knowledge about the field, the books you would have read to explore more on the same, and also some training you might have undergone to gain some experience in the domain. Discussing such efforts you have made ensures that you are keen on the chosen field and that you are doing everything you can to gain an in-depth understanding of the scope and applications of that field. And also, by applying to this course now, you are taking another big step toward the entire chosen field.

4) Explaining Background in SOP

While preparing an SOP for a completely different field, you cannot ignore your background. Also, do not wait for too long to mention your background. You need to mention your academic and professional endeavours as the admission committee needs to understand your profile in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Try mentioning what you have done so far: why you pursued a certain course and why did you join a certain job. Always discuss what you learned in that period and what strengths you are capable of bringing to your classroom if selected. Your background includes your academic and professional projects, along with the internships you have pursued; including them in your SOP helps in portraying your social skills, such as your ability to settle down in an unknown environment or work in groups to achieve a common goal.

5) Writing Extracurricular Activities in SOP

Your participation and active contribution to the extracurricular activities support a lot of your social skills, such as organisations skills, managerial abilities, presentation and communication skills, team and leadership qualities, etc. These help in considering your candidature over others irrespective of the kind, of course, you aspire to pursue. If you include some volunteer work in your profile, the admission committee can figure out your desire of giving back to society and it always adds to your points. Most importantly, if your extracurricular work is directly or indirectly related to the course you are applying to then the chances of your selection automatically increases to an extent.

Bottom line is that irrespective of your background, you can always prepare an SOP justifying your inclination towards a field while you were pursuing the other. For professional assistance regarding applying to a different course or preparing your SOP for the same, you can always connect with our experts.

Check Out:

Sample Format for SOP Sample SOP for MBA Courses
Sample SOP for MS Courses Sample SOP for UG Courses

Country-wise SOPs:

Sample SOP for the USA Sample SOP for Canada
Sample SOP for UK Sample SOP for Australia

SOP for Course Change FAQs

Q. How do I justify a change of course in my SOP?

A. Relax! Changing your field of study is not a sin and you can justify it in your SOP. However, you need to take care of the following points:
  • Your reason to leave your previous academic field should be very clear. Be honest, genuine, and clear about it.
  • Your reason to choose the new field of study should be very clear. Make them believe that you are genuinely interested in this field. You may want to mention how you were introduced to this new field and what made you stick to it. Moreover, you must have clarity of what you intend to do with this new field and what is its relevance as far as your career goals are concerned.

Q. What all should I mention in the SOP for course change?

A. Writing a statement of purpose (SOP) that details your academic background, prior experience, the reasons you wish to change your course of study, and your future aspirations is required if you want to alter your course of study. Any further courses you have attended to augment your present expertise and the reasons you chose this specific line of study should also be mentioned in your SOP. Your SOP should also show that you have the knowledge and experience required to succeed in this new course. In your final paragraph, you should discuss how and why you (and the university) could benefit from the course.

Q. What reasons can I mention in my SOP for changing my course?

A. There are several causes for someone to wish to alter their path. They may realise that the course no longer aligns with their academic or professional objectives, struggle academically, lose interest in the subject matter, desire to explore other fields of study, or feel unsupported by the instructor or institution. In addition, some people might desire to switch their majors in order to learn more about a different subject, enrol in a more fascinating or difficult programme, or advance their career. Whatever reason you mention, make sure to back it up with genuine examples.

Q. Can I get selected in a top university if I am changing my course?

A. If you are switching your course of study, it is still feasible to get accepted to a prestigious institution. While making admissions choices, many colleges take into account a student's past academic record and likelihood of success in the current course. However, while making admissions selections, certain colleges may additionally take into account elements like extracurricular activity, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Make sure your application is strong and shows your dedication to your new field of study in order to boost your chances of getting accepted to a prestigious institution.

Q. What if my application is rejected?

A. If your admission application is turned down, it's crucial to spend some time to consider why. You should carefully evaluate the criticism you got and what adjustments you should make to your statement to make it more appealing to the admissions panel. Also, it's crucial to make sure your statement is well-written and cohesive and that it is suited to the programme or college you are applying to. Get a second opinion from a dependable friend or advisor if you are still having issues. Moreover, you must have a backup plan in place irrespective of the fact that you have a strong profile.

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About the Author
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Aprant has been involved in the field of education and research for more than 5 years. He has done his B.Tech after which he has done research in Chemical Reactor Design. He scored 700 on the GMAT. He also co-author... Read Full Bio


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