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23 Examples of Academic Goals

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Academic goals are targets that an individual sets for their education. It is common for schools to ask for these as part of an admissions or student guidance process. The following are illustrative examples of reasonable academic goals.


Developing a talent.
Master the piano and perfect difficult pieces such as Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.


Acquiring a practical skill.
Learn how to code in an array of languages and environments.


Acquiring information.
Develop a comprehensive understanding of American history including diverse perspectives.


Practical knowledge that can be directly applied.
Learn how to repair elevators.


Develop a unique character in your creative works.
Develop my voice and style as a writer.


Producing non-obvious solutions to problems and works of creative value.
Produce innovative designs for the robotics competition that get noticed.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the systematic analysis of information.
Cultivate a capacity for critical thinking with a process of systematic analysis of complex subject matter.


Working with others productively and creatively.
Cultivate a collaborative mindset by engaging in group work and contributing in a positive way.

School Life

Participating in school life.
Join school clubs and events to full immerse myself in the culture of the school.


Values are principles of right and wrong.
Conduct myself in an admirable way that is consistent with my values and those of [school name]

Doing Good

Doing something selfless that helps someone else.
Volunteer at [organization] to tutor underprivileged children in math, science and English to help them succeed at school.

Cultural Immersion

Experiencing another culture in order to learn something.
Immerse myself in Japanese culture and language to perfect my speaking and listening.

Study Habits

Developing learning techniques and discipline.
Cultivate the discipline to study intently for hours at a time without distraction.


A goal for reading.
Read a great many works of English literature. Goal: average a book a week over the school year and two books a week on holidays.

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is the ability to influence in a culture.
Fully participate in life at [school] to build relationships and understand diverse perspectives.


Presentations and public speaking.
Seize opportunities to give presentations and talks to improve my public speaking abilities.


Preparing for entry into a profession.
Gain the experience, knowledge and qualifications required to become a certified public accountant.


Goals related to research initiatives or programs.
Engage in research and work to solve problems in science.


Publishing academic papers.
Conduct research and publish papers that contribute to problems in physics in a meaningful way.


Identify future stages in your academic career.
Gain admission to a statistics graduate program at a top university.


Participation in an internship program.
Gain valuable experience with an internship.

Sports & Fitness

Physical fitness and sport.
Make the swim team and train to improve my performance.

Quality of Life

Goals related to health and happiness.
Maintain good study habits and a healthy lifestyle to enjoy my time at [school].

Smart Goals

It is common to advise students that goals be smart, meaning that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. This isn't always good advice. Educational objectives are specific and time bound but goals can be more open-ended and inspirational. This is certainly the case in an admissions process where it is important to communicate thoughtful ambition.


Academic goals are individual targets for learning processes and outcomes and other educational pursuits such as research, internships or extracurricular activities.
Next: Student Goals
More about education goals:
Academic Goals
Agent Of Change
Creative Tension
Cultural Capital
Design Thinking
Epic Meaning
Peak Experiences
Personal Resilience
Relational Capital
School Culture
School Engagement
School Life
Shared Experience
Systems Thinking
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