Stanford GSB 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Stanford GSB 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Stanford GSB 2017 MBA Application Questions:

Essays help us learn about who you are rather than solely what you have done. Other parts of the application give insight to your academic and professional accomplishments; the essays reveal the person behind those achievements.

When writing your essays, resist the urge to “package” yourself into what you think Stanford wants to see. Doing so will only prevent us from understanding who you really are and what you hope to accomplish. The most impressive essays are the most authentic.


We request that you write two personal essays. The personal essays give us glimpses of your character and hopes. In each essay, we want to hear your genuine voice. Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams prior to writing them.

Essay A:

What matters most to you, and why?

For this essay, we would like you to:

• Do some deep self-examination, so you can genuinely illustrate who you are and how you came to be the person you are.
• Share the insights, experiences, and lessons that shaped your perspectives, rather than focusing merely on what you’ve done or accomplished.
• Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
• Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”

Essay B: Why Stanford?

Enlighten us on how earning your MBA at Stanford will enable you to realize your ambitions.

• Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
• Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
• If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.

Stanford also asks that if you are applying to both the Stanford MBA and MSx  programs, you use Essay B to address your interest in both programs. It gives those applying to both programs an extra 50 words to address that interest.

Essay Length:

Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs).

  • Essay A: 750 words
  • Essay B: 400 words
  • Essay B (if applying to both the MBA and MSx programs): 450 words


• Indicate the question you are answering at the beginning of each essay (does not count toward the word limit)
• Number all pages
• Upload one document that includes both essays

Be sure to save a copy of your essays, and preview the uploaded document to ensure that the formatting is preserved.

If there is any information that is critical for us to know and is not captured elsewhere, include it in the “Additional Information” section of the application. Pertinent examples include:

• Extenuating circumstances affecting academic or work performance
• Work experience that did not fit into the space provided
• Academic experience (e.g., independent research) not noted elsewhere

Stanford GSB 2017 MBA Application Deadlines:

Round 1

Submission Deadline: September 21, 2016

Decision Notification: December 2016

Round 2

Submission Deadline: January 10, 2017

Decision Notification:March 2017

Round 3

Submission Deadline: April 5, 2017

Decision Notification: May 2017

* Applications, application fee,  and letters of reference are due by 5:00 PM, Pacific Time

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