Application Essay Questions 2015-2016


Chicago - Booth  


Chicago Booth values individuality because of what we can learn from the diverse experiences and perspectives of others. This mutual respect creates an open-minded community that supports curiosity, inspires us to think more broadly, take risks, and challenge assumptions. At Booth, community is about collaborative thinking and tapping into each other’s different viewpoints to cultivate new ideas and realize breakthrough moments every day.

Using one of the photos provided, tell us how it resonates with your own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for you.

Essay Guidelines

Choose the format that works for you. Feel free to submit a traditional essay, slide presentation, or any format that you feel best captures your response. Please use the format you are most comfortable with, the Admissions Committee has no preference.

Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.

Technical Guidelines

File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.

Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.

Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.

Re-Applicant Essay:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)



Short Answer Question:
What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)


Essay 1:
Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals going forward, and how will the Columbia MBA help you achieve them? (Maximum 500 words)


Essay 2:
Columbia Business School’s location enables us to bridge theory and practice in multiple ways: through Master Classes, internships, the New York Immersion Seminars, and, most importantly, through a combination of distinguished research faculty and accomplished practitioners. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? (Maximum 250 words)


Essay 3:
CBS Matters, a key element of the School’s culture, allows the people in your Cluster to learn more about you on a personal level. What will your Clustermates be pleasantly surprised to learn about you? (Maximum 250 words)


Optional Essay:
An optional fourth essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays.



Dartmouth (Tuck)

Essay 1:

What are your short- and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (500 words)


Essay 2:

Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck? (500 words)


Optional Essay:

Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application. (500 words)


Reapplicant Essay:

How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (500 words)




Duke (Fuqua)

Required Short Answers (500 characters; ~100 words)

Short Answer 1:

What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?


Short Answer 2:

What are your long-term goals?


Short Answer 3:

Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered?

Essay 1: 25 Random Things
Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

The “Team Fuqua” spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself.” As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire’s professional and academic background, so learning these “25 Random Things” helps us get to know someone’s personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things” about YOU.


Essay 2: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length, and should reflect your knowledge of the Fuqua program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.


Essay Option 2.1:

Why Duke: When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.


Essay Option 2.2:

Team Fuqua Principles: The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.


  1. Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
  2. Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
  3. Collective Diversity: We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
  4. Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
  5. Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most.
  6. Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part.


Candidates should also note the following guidelines:

  • Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
  • Respond fully and concisely.
  • Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
  • Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
  • All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.


Optional Essay:

If you feel there are circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance).




It's the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your "section." This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

 Introduce yourself.

Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.  We suggest  you view the video before beginning to write.



Job Description Essays:

Essay 1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved.

- See more at:

Job Description Essays:

Essay 1. Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved.

- See more at:

Job Description Essays

Job Essay 1:

Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

Job Essay 2:

What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Job Essay 3:

Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Job Essay 4:

Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with or without an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Optional Job Essay: If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.


Motivation Essays

Essay 1:

Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary (approximately 500 words).

Essay 2:

Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned (approximately 400 words).

Essay 3:

Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way (approximately 300 words).

Essay 4:

Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc.). How are you enriched by these activities? (approximately 300 words).

Optional Essay:

Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approximately 300 words)



Michigan (Ross)

Essay 1:

What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 400 words)


Essay 2:

What is your desired career path and why? (up to 400 words)


MIT (Sloan)


Tell us about a recent success you had: How did you accomplish this? Who else was involved? What hurdles did you encounter? What type of impact did this have? (500 words or fewer).


A second, short-answer question will be asked only of those invited to interview:


The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer).


See more at:


Northwestern (Kellogg)

Essay 1:

Leadership and teamwork are integral parts of the Kellogg experience. Describe a recent and meaningful time you were a leader. What challenges did you face, and what did you learn? (450 words)

Essay 2:

Pursuing an MBA is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. How have you grown in the past? How do you intend to grow at Kellogg? (450 words)

Re-applicant Essay:

Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

Additional Information:

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)



NYU (Stern)

Essay 1:  Professional Aspirations
Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?
What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?
What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation? (750 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)

Essay 2:  Personal Expression
Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.  If you submit a non-written piece for this essay (i.e., artwork or multimedia) or if you submit this essay via mail, please upload a brief description of your submission with your online application.

  • Your submission becomes the property of NYU Stern and cannot be returned for any reason.
  • If you submit a written essay, it should be 500 words maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font. If you submit a video or audio file, it should be five minutes maximum.
  • If you prepare a multimedia submission, you may mail a CD, DVD or USB flash drive to the Admissions Office. These are the only acceptable methods of submission. Please do not submit an internet link to any websites or to a video hosting service such as YouTube. NYU Stern accepts most common video formats.
  • The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request an alternate essay if we are unable to view your submission.
  • Do not submit anything perishable (e.g. food), or any item that has been worn (e.g. clothing).
  • Mailed materials must be postmarked by the application deadline date. Please follow our mail and labeling instructions.
  • Please note that mailed packages are subject to size restrictions. Submissions that exceed the stated size restrictions will not be accepted for review by the Admissions Committee.

Candidates should also make sure to visit Stern’s website to review the size restrictions for Essay 2.

Essay 3: Additional Information (optional)
Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information.

Penn (Wharton)

Essay 1 (Required):

What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)


Essay 2 (Optional):

Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)


Reapplicant Essay (Required):

Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)


All applicants, including reapplicants can also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)




Essay A:

What matters most to you, and why? (Suggested Word Count: 750 words)

Essay B:

Why Stanford? (Suggested Word Count: 400 words)

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words. Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you.

UC-Berkeley (Haas)

Essay 1:

If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

Essay 2:

Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 word maximum)


Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.
Describe a significant accomplishment and why it makes you proud.
Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

Essay 3:

Tell us about your path to business school and your future plans. How will the Berkeley-Haas experience help you along this journey? (500 word maximum)

Optional Essay:

Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? You may also use this essay to provide further explanation of employment gaps or your quantitative abilities. (500 word maximum)

UCLA (Anderson)

Updated Essay Question coming August 1st, 2015.


University of London (LBS)


Not Yet Published


Virginia (Darden)

Essay 1:

Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to it. (500 words maximum)





The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words maximum)



NOTE: Schools denoted with a TBD will be updated as soon as the essay question are released or our website has been refreshed.