Stanford University - GSB


Essay Questions for 2020-2021 / Class of 2023

Below are the application deadlines and essay questions for Stanford University's GSB MBA Program. 

 

2020–21 Deadlines Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Submit your application by1
15 Sep 2020 06 Jan 2021 06 Apr 2021
We will notify you
10 Dec 2020 01 Apr 2021 20 May 2021

1  4:00 pm Pacific Time, including your letters of reference and application fee payment. We cannot guarantee that we will review information sent to the MBA Admissions Office after the deadline of the round in which you apply.

 

Stanford University - USB 2020-2021 Essay Questions

We request that you write two personal essays. In each essay, we want to hear your genuine voice. Think carefully about your values, passions, aims, and dreams. There is no “right answer” to these questions—the best answer is the one that is truest for you.

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?

For this essay, we would like you to reflect deeply and write from the heart. Once you’ve identified what matters most to you, help us understand why. You might consider, for example, what makes this so important to you? What people, insights, or experiences have shaped your perspectives?

Essay B: Why Stanford?

Describe your aspirations and how your Stanford GSB experience will help you realize them. If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs.


Length

Both essays combined may not exceed 1,150 words. We recommend up to 650 words for Essay A and up to 400 words for Essay B. We often find effective essays written in far fewer words. 

Formatting

Double-spaced

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.

Optional Short Answer Questions

In this section, we provide an optional opportunity for you to discuss some of your contributions and background more fully.

What do we mean by “optional”? We truly mean you have the opportunity to choose. In evaluating your application, we want to know about who you are, what you have done, and how your background may have influenced your experiences. If you feel that you’ve already addressed these questions well in other areas of the application, congratulations, you’re done! If not, feel free to use this opportunity to tell us more by answering one or both questions.

Optional Question 1

Think about times you’ve created a positive impact, whether in professional, extracurricular, academic, or other settings. What was your impact? What made it significant to you or to others?

In the Essays section of the application, we ask you to tell us about who you are and how you think Stanford will help you achieve your aspirations. We are also interested in learning about the things you have done that are most meaningful to you. If you would like to go beyond your resume to discuss some of your contributions more fully, you are welcome to share up to three examples. (Up to 1,200 characters, or approximately 200 words, for each example)

Optional Question 2

Tell us about a time within the last three years when your background influenced your participation at work or school.

We know that each person is more than a list of facts or pre-defined categories. We are interested in how your background may have influenced your life experiences. In answering this question, consider how your background, such as your work, education, skills, interests, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, where/how you grew up, and/or other factors, had an impact on your recent actions and choices. How did one specific aspect of your background influence whether or how you participated in a situation, interaction, or project? (Up to 1,100 characters, or approximately 180 words)


Reapplicants should visit the reapplicants page.

Visit the Stanford GSB admissions website for more application information.

Disclaimer: the information provided on this page is for reference only. Applicants are strongly advised to visit the admissions website link provided above to confirm essay prompts, deadlines, and other application information.  Photo by Kazuhiza Otsubo.