Write a Study Plan in 2020: Tips, DOs and DON’Ts

Find out what to include in your study plan. DOs and DONTs of writing an impressive study plan

Many scholarship applications require that a study plan must be uploaded along with the scholarship application. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to write an impressive study plan essay for your scholarship application as many students ask for tips on writing a study plan. You’ll know the basics structure of the study plan, what to include in it, and the DOs and DONTs of writing a study plan.

What is a Study Plan?

study plan is a summary of the degree requirements of your graduate course and indicates when planned subjects should be studied. It indicates the subjects you have already studied; are currently enrolled in; plan to study in the future; and those for which you have been granted advanced standing (credit transfers for previous studies).

Universities look for a study plan in your application to determine your level of competence and suitability for a specific research degree. Study plan shows the level of preparedness of a student to undertake a graduate degree by two means. Firstly, it established your prowess in the specific subject matter that you’ve already undertaken specific subject sin you bachelors or master’s. Secondly, it shows the evaluation committee that you’re well aware about the future of your studies, you know which subjects you’ve to study and in which order and that you’ve completed your homework regarding your future.

In this article, various tips to write a successful and impactful study plan are listed. How you should write your study plan and what to include in it. The tips have been shared by students currently pursuing MS and Ph.D. abroad on fully-funded scholarships.

You may like: How to write the Study Objective for the Fulbright Scholarship application.

What to Write in a Study Plan Essay?

1.     Identify the Reason to Study the Respected Program Overseas

Identify the reason why you want to go for a graduate degree abroad. Is there any limitation in your own country of residence which hinders to fulfill your objectives of higher education? List the reasons why that specific country and university will act an enable to fulfill your dream of higher education. How it will help you achieve your academic goals? You can identify and state the reason in your study plan essay. Various reason for you to partake a degree abroad can be a better education system, academic fit, better funding, better research environment and culture etc.

2.     Specify the time required to accomplish your Academic Goals

Identify and specify your academic goals that wish to accomplish by undertaking the graduate course of studies and research. What you want to achieve by taking the specific scholarship? Wheter you want to expand the boundary of your knowledge or trying to gain mastery in a new field of research. Keep a list of your study field, match it with your past experiences and specify how your past experience would help you achieve yoru future goals. The first two steps are extremely important in writing an impressive study plan essay.

3.     Identify the Reasons for Not Studying in Your Own Country

In writing in your study plan, you should also list the reasons for which you are not able to continue higher studies in your home country. List the factors which lacks in your conuntry’s education system which would be available in the country of scholarship. The factors may included: your home country does not offer the research area your want to pursue, the education system does not support such an advanced subject matter, the university lack funding to carry out research. Briefly list these lacking factors and mention how the scholarship and the foreign university would help you to achieve your goals.

4.     Conduct a Research on Studying in Your Home Country

This section includes researching the institutes and programs offered in your own country. This research will help in getting information about the same courses offered overseas and home town. The difference in the education system and expenses will help to make the decision easy.

5.     The Future of Your field in Your Country

In your study plan essay, also mention your short term and long term future plans after completing your studies abroad. Align your future goals with the scholarship objectives and mention how this scholarship will enable to fulfill your future goals. Also, research the jobs that are available to you upon your return after completing graduate school. How can you contribute to your society and country in a positive manner and how this scholarship would help you to serve humanity?

6.     Show Ties to Your Home Country!

Most of the scholarship and government funding agencies want to make sure you must return to serve your home country after completing your studies. So, in your study plan, mention the strongest ties to your home country which would compel you to go back to your country after completing your graduate degree. The ties could be in the form of a job, family, business, etc.

7.    Your Educational Background

The study plan essays must match your past experiences to your current work, the role of a specific scholarship, and link this to the future. Educational background will include all your past school names courses you attended there, and the start and end of the course. Along with the educational background include where you worked and what you gather on the name of experience? This information will strengthen your case and will present a shining image to the concerned ones.

All the above points can be summarized in the study plan essay. This pattern will present your objective of studying abroad and will also display your educational goals and your enthusiasm towards your future goals. The ending line must be comprised of a Thanks note for the receiving individual/evaluation committee.

Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Study Plan

What to Do When Writing a Study Plan

  • Always get your study plan reviewed from your teachers, mentors, friends and family. A revision will definitely improve the quality and impact of your study plan. The same goes for your other admission essays, statement of purpose and personal statement.
  • Write confidently the contents of your study plan. Don’t hesitate to show your passion for your subjects and research
  • Make sure that your study plan essays is free from any grammatical mistakes, typing mistakes and other lexicological errors. Choose your words and sentences wisely. Each word should serve a specific purpose.
  • Invest a lot of time in your study plan essays, it’ll pay you off.
  • Write your study plan realistically. Be withing the ground limits of your course, university, funding, and other resources.
  • Avoid using cliché in your study plan essay. Be realistic and original.

What not to Do when Writing a Study Plan

  • Don’t take any of your admissions essays lightly. A poorly crafted study plan and SoP would represent you as a frivolous and non-serious candidate in front of the evaluation committee.
  • If the university defines a word limit for any of your essays, it is always better to stay within that limit. Don’t exceed the word limit.
  • Never copy anyone else’s study plan and other admission essays. If the university found out that you copied someone else’s admission essays, it’ll eventually disqualify you.

Sample motivation letters, statement of purpose, personal statement, and study plan essays are available on this website. The samples are only for guidance, don’t copy a word from them or you’ll get penalized by the admission committee.

I hope that this article will be helpful for you to write your study plan for your scholarship application. Subscribe to the blog and ask your questions in the comments section. Follow us on our social media (Facebook and YouTube) to stay updated and pursue your dream of higher education.


Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad Sarwar is an Electrical Engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to teach and share knowledge. He's a Fulbright scholarship awardee. He reads books, play games, blogs and program in his spare time.

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