Specific SOPs : Applied Economics
While Master’s/Ph.D courses in Applied Economics in US and UK do not require a formal Economics degree, it is definitely expected that the student has taken up courses of Macro and Micro economics in graduation. That is because Applied Economics will get down to the practical implementation of the theories at the Master’s level. The SOP, therefore, needs to highlight this aspect of the stream along with what got you interested in it. A few points:
Economics Connection: While it would be obvious through your eligibility for the course, you must mention how much you have loved to know about economics during your graduation. You have to quote how you developed a natural inclination for it and hence took up a specific course in graduation like a BA in Economics or B.Com/BBA. Quote the specific subjects that you studied with much emphasis on Micro and Macro Economics, Statistics and Business studies.
Specificity v/s generalization: Since Applied Economics is very wide and has several positions such as Business Analyst, Broker, Investment Banker, Corporate Economist etc, you must be careful if you want to achieve a specific position in the field through the course. You have to well-researched and be extremely sure of it. The alternative way would be to highlight the scope of the field in general and outline your interest.
Program USPs: Thoroughly read the university’s website and search its research departments. Find out what sort of research or projects they are undertaking. Take for example, Marquette University’s Applied Economics graduates have worked as financial analysts in industry, government, or the financial sector. Or Cornell University has a whole institute dedicated to Applied Economics focusing on business, agribusiness and applied economics. Quote specific things that attracted you to pursue the course there, and customize your SOP with each university.
Skills: Highlight your own skills, awards, prizes, achievements that you have attained during your graduation. It may be as big as winning an Economics state- level quiz competition or as small as regularly reading The Economic Times. Anything that would add value to your profile as a potential candidate must be quoted. Understand that universities are looking for international students to who would contribute in the institution.
The SOP written for Applied Economics needs to be either extremely specific or it must outline the broad scope of the field along with your own merit.