NYU Stern Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013

NYU’s Stern School of Business recently released its application deadlines and essays for the Class of 2015. Just as we have seen with other top-ranked business schools so far, Stern has made some notable changes to its essays this year. In Stern’s case, we don’t see any trimming of essays or words, but we do see a new push to make sure you’ve researched the school as well as an entirely new career goals essay that we like for its creativity.

Here are NYU Stern’s deadlines and essays for the coming admissions season, followed by our comments in italics:

NYU Stern Application Deadlines
Round 1: November 15, 2012
Round 2: January 15, 2013
Round 3: March 15, 2013
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Yale SOM Application Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013

Yale School of ManagementThe Yale School of Management has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2015. Continuing the trend we’ve seen emerge among top business schools over the past month, Yale has changed a lot this year. However, in Yale’s case, once you dig down a bit deeper you realize that Yale is still mostly looking for the same attributes in its applicants this year.

Here are the school’s deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 4, 2012
Round 2: January 8, 2013
Round 3: April 18, 2013
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Wharton Application Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013

Wharton Admissions GuideWharton has released its application deadlines and essays for the 2012-2013 admissions season. Last year Wharton didn’t make too many big changes after really mixing it up the year before. Let’s dig into this year’s application and see how much things have changed this year.

Here are Wharton’s deadlines and essays for the Class of 2015, followed by our comments in italics:

Wharton Admissions Deadlines

Round 1: October 1, 2012
Round 2: January 3, 2013
Round 3: March, 2013 (exact date TBD)
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Stanford GSB Admissions Deadlines for 2012-2013

Following Stanford GSB’s recent release of its admissions essays for the 2012-2013 admissions season, Stanford has just released its application deadlines for the coming year. Not too many changes, although the school’s Round 1 deadline keeps creeping a bit earlier. This can make your job seem tougher, but there is also a benefit in the grand scheme of things, which we discuss below.

Here are Stanford’s admission deadlines for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

Stanford Graduate School of Business Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 3, 2012
Round 2: January 9, 2013
Round 3: April 3, 2013
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Columbia Business School Application Essays and Deadlines for 2012-2013

Columbia Business SchoolAfter releasing its application deadlines for the 2012-2013 admissions season, Columbia Business School has released its admissions essays, and we’ll dig into those today.

Note that Columbia is somewhat unique among top U.S. business schools because it has a large January intake every year. This program allows you to complete your MBA in less than a year and a half, and is ideally suited for applicants who don’t plan on switching careers or may want to start their own venture after school (i.e., you’ll need less help from Columbia’s career services office than the typical student). The January intake deadlines are also covered below.
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Duke (Fuqua) Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

As we round out our coverage of the admissions essays and deadlines at the world’s top business schools, today we dig into the Fuqua School of Business’ application. There are very few changes this year, so our advice remains mostly the same. Let’s dig in:

Duke (Fuqua) Admissions Deadlines
Early Action: September 29, 2011
Round 1: November 1, 2011
Round 2: January 4, 2012
Round 3: March 8, 2012

These deadlines are virtually the same as last year’s. Note that, while most schools use the term “Early Action” to indicate that the decision is non-binding, Fuqua considers it to be binding. So, we only recommend applying in this round if you’re 100% certain that you want to attend Fuqua. If you’re waiting to hear back from some other schools before applying to Fuqua in Round 2, you’ll need to at least get the ball rolling on your Fuqua application before you know your fate at those other schools, since you won’t have a lot of time between mid-December and Duke’s January 4 deadline. Duke’s Round 3 deadline is the same as it was last year.
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Yale SOM Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

Yale School of ManagementThe Yale School of Management has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. Yale has made some tweaks this year, and we’ll dig into each of them below. Here are the school’s deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 6, 2011
Round 2: January 5, 2012
Round 3: April 12, 2012

Yale’s Round 1 and Round 2 deadlines are virtually unchanged, but Yale has pushed back its Round 3 deadline by almost a month this year. Perhaps the school recognizes that very few North American MBA programs have deadlines past late March, and wants to keep its doors open for as long as possible so that strong candidates don’t have to turn to European programs (which tend to have later or different deadline cycles than U.S. programs). We still advise that you aim for Round 1 or Round 2, but this is a subtle signal that Yale truly does consider applications that come in after Round 2.
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NYU Stern Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

NYU’s Stern School of Business has released its MBA admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

NYU Stern Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: November 15, 2011
Round 2: January 15, 2012
Round 3: March 15, 2012

These deadlines are identical to last year’s. Note that, unlike many other top business schools, Stern has kept its Round 1 admissions deadline firmly in the middle of November. The good news for you is that, if you’re applying to Stern along with a few other schools in Round 1, this gives you a chance to get those ones done in October, catch your breath, and then give your Stern application your undivided attention. The downside is that Stern won’t notify Round 1 applicants until as late as February 15, 2011, so you will have to make choices about your Round 2 applications (which mostly have January deadlines) before you receive your final decision from Stern.
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UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

UCLA Anderson Admissions GuideUCLA’s Anderson School of Management recently released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. At first glance, there are not a lot of changes this, but what’s most interesting with Anderson’s essays this years is something that’s not included. Let’s dig into the school’s deadlines and essays, followed by our comments in italics:

UCLA Anderson Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 26, 2011
Round 2: January 11, 2012
Round 3: April 18, 2012

All three of Anderson’s admissions rounds have been pushed back by close to a week. Keep in mind that, if you apply to Anderson in Round 1, you may not receive your final decision until late January, meaning that you won’t know where you stand with Anderson before most other top business schools’ Round 2 deadlines come and go.
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Michigan (Ross) Admissions Essays for 2011-2012

Michigan Ross MBA Admissions GuideThe University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business recently released its application deadlines and essays for the Class of 2014. After making big changes to its essays last year, Ross has only made small tweaks this time around. We’ll dig into the school’s essays and deadlines below, followed by our comments, in italics:

Michigan (Ross) Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 10, 2011
Round 2: January 4, 2012
Round 3: March 1, 2012
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Dartmouth (Tuck) Admissions Essays for 2011-2012

Darmouth’s Tuck School of Business recently published its application deadlines and admissions essay topics for the Class of 2014. You may notice that Tuck’s questions have changed very little since last year, suggesting that the school’s current batch of essay topics works well for the admissions committee. By “works well,” we mean that the essays help admissions officers get to know applicants better, and helps them separate out the great candidates from the merely good ones.

Also, note that Tuck does not have hard word limits for its essays, but the school does provide some rough guidance: “Although there is no formal restriction on the length of your response, most applicants use, on average, 500 words for each essay and you should work hard to try to keep your answers around that length.”
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MIT Sloan Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

MIT Sloan has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. (You can view the essays once you create an online account to access Sloan’s application.) There are some small changes to the essays this year, although not many, and Sloan’s famous cover letter returns. This cover letter is still unique among other top MBA programs’ application essays; apparently its still works well enough that Sloan wants to keep it around.

Here are MIT Sloan’s deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:
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Chicago Booth Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

Chicago Booth Admissions GuideChicago Booth has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the 2011-2012 applications season. Last year the Booth admissions office made a lot of changes to the school’s application. While the change look less dramatic this year, there’s still plenty to dig our teeth into, so let’s begin.

Here are Chicago Booth’s MBA admissions deadlines and essays, followed by our comments in italics:
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UC Berkeley (Haas) Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

UC Berkeley (Haas) Admissions EssaysUC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. Haas made some big changes to its essays (lots of short ones!) this year’s so let’s dig in. Here are the school’s application deadlines and essays, followed by our comments in italics:

Berkeley (Haas) Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 12, 2011
Round 2: December 1, 2011
Round 3: January 18, 2012
Round 4: March 7, 2012
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Columbia Business School Application Deadlines for 2011-2012

Columbia MBA Admissions GuideContinuing the trickle of new essays and deadlines coming from top schools for the 2011-2012 admissions season, Columbia Business School has released its deadlines for the new application season. Remember that Columbia is somewhat unique in that it not only has a September intake, but also a January one. This “J-Term” is really a 16-month program most suitable for someone who doesn’t need the benefit of an MBA summer internship. Columbia is also different in that it has a rolling admissions process without three discrete rounds, as is typical at most MBA programs.

Without further ado, here are Columbia’s application deadlines for the coming admissions season, followed by our comments in italics:
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Harvard Business School Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

HBS EssaysIt must be spring, because Harvard Business School has just released its application essays and deadlines for the 2011-2012 admissions season. Note that these are for Harvard’s traditional MBA program; we covered the HBS 2+2 Program application a couple of weeks ago, although the two applications have become very similar to one another.

Here are the new essays and deadlines, taken from Harvard’s site. Our comments follow in italics:
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Admissions 101: Three Reasons to Wait Until Round 2

MBA AdmissionsContinuing our “Admissions 101” series, today we explore the question of whether you should apply to business school in Round 1 or Round 2, and whether this decision really matters at all. Every year we get a lot of questions from applicants in late September and early October along the lines of, “Here’s where my application stands today. Does it make sense to apply now, or [insert some way of improving one’s application here] and apply in Round 2 instead?”

Our advice here is similar to what it was in our recent “3 Reasons to Retake the GMAT While You Can” piece: As long as there are some things in your application that can be significantly improved between October and January (and we’ll explore ways to improve your application in a moment), it’s almost a no-brainer to wait.

Here are three reasons why applying to top MBA programs in Round 2 is probably a smarter bet than applying in Round 1:

The “Numbers” Advantage is Slight, If It Exists at All
“Wait,” you ask. “I read that more people apply in Round 2, and that applying in Round 1 means that you will have less competition in the early going, so it make sense to apply as early as possible.” While it’s true that more applicants tend to apply in Round 2 (in a traditional three-round admissions schedule), admissions officers know this as well, and they plan accordingly. Do you really think that, for Harvard’s class of about 910 students, the admissions committee will gorge on Round 1 applicants, leaving no room for Round 2 and 3 applicants? Of course they know that more people will apply in Round 2, and they have been doing this long enough that they can plan accordingly.

Further, as we wrote in a previous Admissions 101 installment, the number of applicants in a given time period really affects your chances less than you might intuitively expect. We’ll let you read that post for more details, but suffice it to say that what you submit matters FAR more whether 3,000 or 3,500 other applicants apply when you do.

You Still Have Time to Erase or Overcome Weaknesses
Yes, fall is upon us (although we wouldn’t know it here at Veritas Prep HQ, in this record Southern California heat this week), and the MBA admissions season is officially upon us, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still significantly improve your application in some way. As we’ve written before, if your GMAT score takes any sort of explaining, why not devote yourself to a few weeks of serious preparation and try again? (Schools really only care about your highest score, so you have nothing to lose, other than the $250 GMAC test fee.)

If your work stories are underwhelming, you still have three months (that’s a lot of time!) to take on a new project and make a significant impact on your organization. The same goes for your extracurricular activities — while you want to avoid the appearance of expediency, that’s still a lot of time to lead an event, raise some funds, or otherwise positively impact the community around you.

By this time of year it’s easy to think of all of these part of your profile as being set in stone, but the fact of the matter is that, for someone who’s only been working for several years, you still have a chance to make some significant moves that will shape the story of your career and your community involvement. If you can even think of some ways that you might be able to make something happen between now and January, it very well may be worth a shot.

Your Recommended Could Probably Use the Additional Time
Admit it, you’ve already said to yourself at least once this month, “I wish I had gotten my recommendation writers started earlier.” Or, just as likely, “I’m sort of sorry that I chose Bob to write one of my recommendations for Stanford. I wish it weren’t to late to choose again.” Well, this is your chance to give them more time, or to get a second chance.

There are many ways a business school letter of recommendation can go wrong, and they normally boil down to the recommendation writer not knowing what to do or not being invested enough in the process. Both of these can usually be fixed by giving them better preparation. If that doesn’t work, you can always pull the plug and move on to someone else.

While that may be an uncomfortable conversation to have, it’s better than the empty feeling in your stomach that comes with a ding email from Stanford. Of course, switching gears and asking someone else to do it means that new person may not have enough time, unless you delay to Round 2. We’ve seen many applicants’ chances torpedoed by lackluster letters of recommendation… It’s far better to submit GREAT ones in Round 2 than so-so ones in Round 1.

Trying to decide between Round 1 and Round 2? Call us at (800) 925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Photo courtesy of austinevan, under a Creative Commons license.

London Business School Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

Today we look at London Business School’s deadlines for the 2010-2011 admissions season.

Here are the deadlines, followed by our comments in italics:

London Business School Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 6, 2010
Round 2: January 5, 2011
Round 3: March 2, 2011
Round 4: April 20, 2011

Note that LBS has left its deadlines virtually unchanged vs. last year. Among top MBA programs, LBS has one of the longer admissions cycles, accepting applications for nearly seven months out of the year. Although the school has four rounds of deadlines (vs. the more normal three), we still advise that you aim for Round 1 or Round 2. Great applicants can certainly still get into LBS in the last two rounds, but if you’re ready, there’s no reason to wait and risk finding yourself in a situation where London Business School simply doesn’t have enough open seats to accommodate you.

Plan on applying to LBS and other top MBA programs this year? Call us at (800) 925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

INSEAD Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

While we most often write about U.S.-based business schools in this space, INSEAD is one of the more popular programs among our clients. That’s why it’s one of the MBA programs we cover in our Annual Reports, our free guides to 15 of the world’s top MBA programs.

Today we take a look at INSEAD’s admissions deadlines for the coming year. You’ll note that INSEAD is one of the few major program that has two distinct start dates (or “intakes”) for its incoming students: one in January and one in September. Here are the deadlines for both intakes, followed by our comments in italics:

INSEAD Application Deadlines
September 2011 Intake
Round 1: September 29, 2010
Round 2: December 1, 2010
Round 3: March 9, 2011

January 2012 Intake
Round 1: March 30, 2011
Round 2: June 15, 2011
Round 3: August 3, 2011

For the September intake, the big change is in Round 3, where INSEAD pushed back its deadline by a month. Like other top MBA programs, INSEAD seems to want to keep the window open a bit longer to attract a few more great applicants, suggesting that Round 3 is not the dead zone that some applicants think it is. For the January intake, INSEAD’s Round 1 deadline is about three weeks earlier than it was last year, although its Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines have barely changed.

Applying to INSEAD this year? Download our INSEAD Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

UC Berkeley (Haas) MBA Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

UC Berkeley (Haas)UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has published its MBA admissions deadlines for the coming year. We’ll dig into the school’s admissions essays shortly, but first, here are the Haas deadlines, followed by our comments in italics:

Haas Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 13, 2010
Round 2: December 2, 2010
Round 3: January 20, 2011
Round 4: March 16, 2011

Note that Haas is fairly unique in that it actually has four rounds of admissions. In a way this makes it easier on you as you plan your Haas application — it gives you the option of applying at an “off-peak” time, such as early December, when you’re probably not yet cramming on a lot of other applications. Aiming for Round 1 and Round 2 is still your best bet, although we expect that Haas gets many more Round 3 applicants than most other schools do.

Like many other top MBA programs, Haas has moved its Round 1 deadline a bit earlier this year (by one week). However, unlike some other top schools, Haas won’t send your decision until mid-January, so you will have to have most of your Round 2 applications in order before you hear back from Haas. Most of the school’s other deadlines also moved forward by a week or two, with the exception of the Round 4 deadline, which is actually about a week later than it was last year.

Plan on applying to Haas or another top MBA program this year? Veritas Prep now offers the ability to start working with an admissions consultant today and pay over time. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

NYU (Stern) Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

NYU’s Stern School of Business has published its MBA admissions deadlines for the coming year. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

NYU Stern Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: November 15, 2010
Round 2: January 15, 2011
Round 3: March 15, 2011

These deadlines are identical to last year’s. Note that, unlike many other top business schools, Stern has kept its Round 1 admissions deadline firmly in the middle of November. The good news for you is that, if you’re applying to Stern along with a few other schools in Round 1, this gives you a chance to get those ones done in October, catch your breath, and then give your Stern application your undivided attention.

However, Stern won’t notify Round 1 applicants until as late as February 15, 2011, so you will probably have to make choices about your Round 2 applications before you hear back from Stern.

Applying to Stern this year? Download our NYU Stern Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

UVA (Darden) MBA Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business recently published its application deadlines for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

UVA (Darden) Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 14, 2010
Round 2: January 5, 2011
Round 3: March 30, 2011

Like many other top business schools, Darden has moved its Round 1 deadline forward, by two weeks in this case. However, unlike some of those other schools, Darden’s Round 1 notification deadline comes in January, after most schools’ Round 2 application deadlines. So, if you’re waiting on your Round 1 Darden decision, there’s a good chance you will have to submit your other apps before you hear back from Darden. The schools’ Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines have barely changed vs. last year’s.


Darden has also released its 2010-2011 admissions essays (just two of them… short and sweet), which we’ll dig into on this blog soon!

Getting ready to apply to business school? Call Veritas Prep at 800=925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC, under a Creative Commons license.

Chicago Booth Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

Chicago Booth Admissions GuideChicago Booth’s online application is now available for the 2010-2011 season. In a few days we’ll dig into the school’s significantly revamped essays for the coming year, but first we wanted to share Booth’s admissions deadlines for the Class of 2013.

While Round 1 and Round have barely changed, there’s some interesting news on the Round 3 front that has bigger implications for many applicants’ overall timing strategies. We’re diving into Booth’s deadlines alone today to give enough space to this important lesson.

Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:


Chicago Booth Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 13, 2010
Round 2: January 5, 2011
Round 3: April 13, 2011

Round 1 and Round 2 have each only changed by a day this year, although Booth’s Round 3 deadline is now five weeks later than it was last year! We suspect the reason may be similar to the reason that UCLA Anderson gave us before: Top U.S. schools compete with many top international schools to attract great candidates, and many international schools’ final deadlines come much later than American schools’ deadlines typically do. Booth doesn’t want to miss out on a great applicant (who has legitimate reasons for applying in Round 3) simply because the admissions office has already shut its doors for the year.

For any applicant wondering if Round 3 is truly a dead zone in terms of admissions chances, this is an important clue: The school has pushed back its deadline to encourage more people to apply! Round 3 must not be a complete dead end, then. While we still advise that candidates aim for Round 1 or Round 2, don’t believe all that you hear about Round 3 being impossible, especially at schools such as Booth that have made changes in their schedules to encourage more applicants to apply in Round 3.

Getting ready to apply to Chicago Booth this year? Download our Chicago Booth Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. Every year we help many applicants get into Booth, and we can help you, too. Call us at 800-925-7737 to speak with a Veritas Prep MBA admissions expert today.

And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Duke (Fuqua) Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011


A few weeks after announcing its admissions essays for the coming year, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has announced its application deadlines for 2010-2011 (click on the “When to Apply” tab on the Fuqua site). Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

Duke (Fuqua) MBA Application Deadlines
Early Action: September 30, 2010
Round 1: November 1, 2010
Round 2: January 4, 2011
Round 3: March 8, 2011

Fuqua’s Early Action deadline has crept forward into September, making it one week earlier than it was last year. Note that, while most schools use the term “Early Action” to indicate that the decision is non-binding, Fuqua considers it to be binding. So, we only recommend applying in this round if you’re 100% certain that you want to attend Fuqua. The school’s Round 1 deadline has moved forward by almost two weeks, and its Round 2 deadline has crept up by a couple of days, so that it’s now right after the holiday break. If you’re waiting to hear back from some other schools before applying to Fuqua in Round 2, you’ll need to get the ball rolling on your Fuqua application before you know your fate at those other schools. Duke’s Round 3 deadline is virtually the same as it was last year.

For more advice on getting into Fuqua, download our Fuqua Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own candidacy for Harvard or another top MBA program, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

UCLA Anderson Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

Continuing the wave of new deadlines and questions from top business schools, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management recently released its application deadlines for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 20, 2010
Round 2: January 5, 2011
Round 3: April 13, 2011

While the trend among top MBA programs has been to move their Round 1 deadlines forward, Anderson actually moved its deadline back by six days this year. Note that, unlike other business school, Anderson won’t give you our Round 1 decision until the second week of January, so you may need to submit your Round 2 applications to other programs before receiving your Round decision from Anderson.


The school’s Round 2 deadline is virtually unchanged since last year, but its Round 3 deadline is actually almost a month LATER than it was in 2009-2010. Anderson previously expressed that it doesn’t want to miss out on strong applicants who may choose an international program such as LBS simply because that school still accepts applications as late as April. This is a smart move, in our opinion.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our UCLA Anderson Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

UNC (Kenan-Flagler) MBA Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

MBA AdmissionsThe University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School recently released its application deadlines for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

Kenan-Flagler Application Deadlines
Early Action (Round 1): October 22, 2010
Round 2: December 3, 2010
Round 3: January 7, 2011
Round 4: March 18, 2011


These deadlines are virtually the same as Kenan-Flagler’s 2009-2010 deadlines. Note that the first round is actually an Early Action round. While it’s not Early Decision (i.e., you are not committing to attend if admitted), you will have just three weeks after the Dec. 13 notification date to make your decision and send your deposit to Kenan-Flagler. Fortunately, many other top-ranked schools’ deadlines come before the Jan. 3 deposit date. While we don’t recommend applying to UNC’s Early Action round unless you’re very serious about the school, this timing allows you to know your Round 1 fate at some top-tier MBA programs before committing and sending your deposit to Kenan-Flagler.

For more MBA admissions advice, find us on Facebook. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to follow us on Twitter

Dartmouth (Tuck) Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business recently released its application deadlines for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

Tuck MBA Admissions Deadlines
Early Action Round: 10/13/10
November Round: 11/10/10
January Round: 1/3/11
April Round: 4/1/11


Not many changes here vs. the 2009-2010 season. In fact, none of Tuck’s deadlines changed by more than three days since last year. Note that Tuck is one of the few top business schools to offer an Early Action admissions option. “Early Action” means that the decision is non-binding, although if you are admitted you will need to send in a $4,000 deposit by January 12, or else you will give up your seat. If Tuck is your top choice, or at least a very strong 2nd or 3rd choice, Early Action is a great way to signal your enthusiasm for the school.

Applying to Tuck this year? Download our Tuck Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Michigan (Ross) Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

Free Business School GuidesAttention all Ross applicants! The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has released its application deadlines for the coming year.

Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

Michigan (Ross) Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 11, 2010
Round 2: January 5, 2011
Round 3: March 1, 2011


There are virtually no changes to Michigan’s MBA application deadlines this year. The most noteworthy change is that the Round 2 deadline was moved back by three days, gibing you a bit more breathing room to finish your application after the holidays. The school’s Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines are virtually unchanged from a year ago. The school’s notification deadlines are also almost the same, with the lone change being that Ross’s Round 2 notification will come one week earlier this year.

If you want to learn more about the Ross School of Business, download our Ross Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Kellogg Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

MBA AdmissionsNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management recently released its application deadlines for the 2010-2011 admissions season. This year there are just some subtle changes, which we’ll cover below.

Kellogg presents and uses its admissions deadlines a little differently than most other schools, and it can be a little hard for an applicant to follow. For each round, the first deadline is the date by which you should contact the admissions office to set up an interview. At Kellogg, the applicant initiates the interview process, not the school.

Here are Kellogg’s admissions deadlines, followed by our comments in italics:


Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 1: Off-Campus Interview Requests
Round 1: September 24, 2010 (Oct. 14 for on-campus interviews)
Round 2: December 15, 2010 (Jan. 11 for on-campus interviews)
Round 3: March 24, 2011 (Apr. 7 for on-campus interviews)

Kellogg Application Deadlines for Part 2
Round 1: October 14, 2010
Round 2: January 11, 2011
Round 3: April 7, 2011

These deadlines are quite similar to last year’s, although note that the deadline for contacting Kellogg for a Round 1 off-campus interview is now a bit earlier, on September 24. This is consistent with the trend we’ve seen across most of the top MBA programs, with deadlines creeping forward a little more each year. Note that, for the first time, Kellogg will send out Round 1 decisions in December (by December 20, to be exact), giving you a couple of weeks to pull together Round 2 applications to other schools if you don’t get into Kellogg.

If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check out our Kellogg Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

MIT Sloan Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

The MIT Sloan admissions office has just posted its application deadlines for the 2010-2011 season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

MIT Sloan Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 26, 2010
Round 2: January 4, 2011

MIT Sloan’s Round 1 deadline is virtually unchanged from last year, but its Round 2 deadline moves up by almost two weeks. This continues a trend that we have seen at other top business schools, which seem eager to push the Round 2 deadline to as close to the holiday season as possible.


Note that Sloan only has two main admissions rounds, so there’s no “Round 3 or not Round 3” dilemma with Sloan. Although Round 2 is Sloan’s final round, don’t assume that applying in Round 2 is as bad as applying in Round 3 anywhere else. If you need the extra two months to get your application in order, then take that time to improve your chances.

If you plan on applying to Sloan this year, download our MIT Sloan Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. And, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Yale MBA Application Essays and Deadlines for 2010-2011

Business School GuidesThe Yale School of Management has released its application deadlines and admissions essays for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics.

Yale MBA Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 7, 2010
Round 2: January 6, 2011
Round 3: March 17, 2011

These deadlines are virtually the same as last year’s, with the exception of Yale’s Round 3 deadline, which is one week later than it was last year. Note that, like some other top MBA programs, last year Yale pushed its Round 1 deadline up to early October, which enables the school to render decisions on Round 1 applications before the holidays (and before the Round 2 deadlines come in early January). If Yale SOM is your top choice — or one of your top choices — this gives you a chance to take a strong shot at the school early and apply to your backup schools in Round 2, if needed.


Yale MBA Admissions Essays

Short Answers
Please answer each of the four questions below with a short paragraph of no more than 150 words. This is an opportunity to distill your core ideas, values, goals and motivations into a set of snapshots that help tell us who you are, where you are headed, and why. (600 words total)

  1. What are your professional goals immediately after you receive your MBA?
  2. What are your long-term career aspirations?
  3. Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA and why now? (If you plan to use your MBA experience to make a significant change in the field or nature of your career, please tell us what you have done to prepare for this transition.)
  4. What attracts you specifically to the Yale School of Management’s MBA program?

These short (and we do mean short!) questions carry over unchanged from last year. These essays really challenge you to be succinct and get right to the point in answering the school’s questions. But, we think that’s okay. Each of these “micro-essay” questions covers a topic that you should be well prepared to answer by now. Yale just wants you to cut the fat and get right to the point, so the best thing you can do is answer these questions head-on. Career switchers should take special note of the additional instruction in Question #3. In this economic climate, Yale SOM, like all schools, is especially interested to know how well you will do in the post-MBA job market. Career switching is fine, and is even a great reason for pursuing an MBA, but you need to show that you’ve done your homework and are realistic about your intended career.

(By the way, the above paragraph is exactly 150 words, by design. Notice that you really can say a lot in just 150 words!)

Personal Statements
Choose two (2) of the following topics and answer them in essay form. Please indicate the topic numbers at the beginning of your essays. (500 words maximum per essay)

While last year Yale asked everyone to answer the “leadership style” question (#3 below) and then choose from a short list of other questions, this year that question is just one of five questions that applicants can choose from. Since Yale has kept the question, it must give the school what it wants, but Yale must have gotten enough good info from the other questions that it now wants to give every applicant the chance to choose which two essays will work best for him or her.

  1. What achievement are you most proud of and why?
  2. What is the most difficult feedback you have received from another person or the most significant weakness you have perceived in yourself? What steps have you taken to address it and how will business school contribute to this process
  3. Describe an accomplishment that exhibits your leadership style. The description should include evidence of your leadership skills, the actions you took, and the impact you had on your organization.
  4. An effective leader for business and society is one who is able to hear, understand and communicate with people from all segments of society. In order to educate such leaders, Yale SOM is committed to promoting diversity and creating a community that cultivates a wealth of perspectives. In this spirit, describe an instance when, as part of a team, you played a role in bringing together individuals with different values or viewpoints to achieve a common goal.
  5. For Reapplicants (answer this topic plus one (1) of the other topics): What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?
  6. Question #1 is similar to Harvard’s “three most substantial accomplishments” essay. Of course, here you can devote 500 words to just one accomplishment, allowing you to go into more detail. The “why” is really what matters here — in your life until now, if you can pick just ONE thing, it had better be good. And not just impressive, but also consistent with the overall story you present in your Yale SOM application.

    We like Question #2 because it gives you a chance to really show off your self-awareness. Applicants are understandably uneasy about discussing their weaknesses and failings, but being able to show how you maturely and constructively handled tough feedback — and then how you put that feedback to use in a later situation — is a terrific thing for your candidacy.

    Question #3 gives you the chance to put the Situation-Action-Result (SAR) framework to use, although for many applicants, the best example to use here may overlap with Question #1, so we expect that many applicants will find themselves having to choose between #1 and #3. Question #4 may reflect an evolution in Yale’s thinking… Two years ago, the question was “What unique attributes would you bring to Yale,” but now the school is interested in seeing how you worked with and brought together people with different viewpoints. This ability to work well with (and lead) others is a trait that Yale SOM really prizes in its applicants.

For more advice on applying to Yale SOM, download our free Veritas Prep Annual Reports! And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Columbia MBA Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2010-2011

Last week Columbia Business School released its online application for the 2010-2011 admissions season. Oddly, they seem to make applicants create two accounts on their site: One on their “Inside MBA” site and one on Apply Yourself, which actually hosts Columbia’s online application.

Columbia’s application deadlines and admissions essays are below, followed by our comments, in italics:

Columbia Business School Application Deadlines
January 2011 Entry (“J-Term”): October 6, 2010
Early decision: October 6, 2010
Merit fellowship consideration: January 5, 2011
Regular decision: April 13, 2011

These deadlines are virtually the same as last year’s. Columbia has always been a little unusual compared to other top MBA programs because of its J-term intake, but that deadline neatly coincides with Harvard/Stanford/Wharton’s Round 1 deadlines. Also, note that Columbia Business School uses a rolling admissions schedule, so the only really firm deadline is the April 13 one. However, even though Columbia doesn’t have a traditional Round 1, Round 2, etc., our advice still holds: We recommend against applying at the last minute. Applying as late as March or April means competing for one of the very few seats still open at that point.

Columbia Business School Application Essays

  1. What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (750 words)

    This question carried over unchanged from last year. It’s the standard “Why an MBA? Why this school?” question that many top MBA programs ask. Where some applicants miss the mark is in failing to explain why Columbia is the best place for them to earn their MBA, given the school’s culture, academic strengths, ties to certain industries, etc. Yes, Columbia has a big name and proximity to Wall Street. Those strengths are obvious. What else does Columbia offer that you can’t find anywhere else?

  2. Please tell us about yourself and your personal interests. The goal of this essay is to get a sense of who you are, rather than what you have achieved professionally. (500 words)

    This question is new this year. It replaces last year’s question about Columbia’s Master Classes, which included a video prompt that applicants watched before answering the question. It seems as though that question didn’t give the Columbia admissions office what it wanted (i.e., helping them learn more about each applicant), so it replaced that question with one that very directly hits on the “Tell us more about you” theme. They clearly just want to get to know you better. If there’s any doubt about that, they explicitly add “rather than what you have achieved professionally.” Don’t be afraid to get a little casual here and show some personality. In this way, this new question is quite similar to the new “Introduce yourself to your future classmates” question on the new HBS application.

  3. (Optional) Is there any further information that you wish to provide to the Admissions Committee? (Please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.)

    As we always advise, only use this essay if you need to explain a low undergraduate GPA or other potential blemish in your background. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any.

    It’s interesting to note that last year’s “team failure” essay is gone, leaving just two mandatory essays. Again, when a school drops an essay it usually isn’t giving the admissions office what it wants. Columbia must be looking to streamline its application, and that was the question that had to go.

Applying to Columbia this year? Before you do, download our Columbia Business School Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. Ready to get to work? Call us at (800) 925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Stanford MBA Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

Admissions ConsultantAnd the hits just keep coming this week. Just days after Wharton and Harvard announced their MBA application deadlines for the coming year, Stanford GSB has released its deadlines. Stanford’s essay topics have not yet been released, but we’ll analyze them here as soon as they come out.

Stanford GSB Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 6, 2010
Round 2: January 6, 2011
Round 3: April 6, 2011


Nothing too interesting here… these deadlines are almost exactly the same as last year’s. (That “666” is a little creepy, though.) Much like Harvard’s and Wharton’s Round 1 deadlines do for those schools, Stanford’s early October Round 1 deadline gives the school plenty of time to notify applicants before the holidays, and gives denied applicants plenty of time to rev up their Round 2 applications, if needed.

Applying to Stanford this year? Before you do, download our Stanford GSB Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. Ready to get to work on your Stanford application? Call us at (800) 925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

HBS Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2010-2011

Harvard Business School GuideIf you were wondering whether the 2010-2011 MBA admissions season could really upon us already after Wharton released its application deadlines last week, then wonder no more. Yesterday Harvard Business School announced its application deadlines and admissions essays for the 2010-2011 season. Here they are, taken from Harvard’s site. Our comments are in italics:

Harvard Business School Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 1, 2010
Round 2: January 11, 2011
Round 3: March 31, 2011


This year’s Round 1 deadline is exactly the same as last year’s. We wonder if a top school will soon move its deadline into September? Round 2’s deadline is about one week earlier than last year’s, meaning applicants will have a bit less breathing room after the holidays pass this year. The Round 3 deadline has also crept forward by about a week.

Harvard Business School Application Essays

  • What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600 words)

    This question has remained unchanged for years. It’s a great opportunity for you to spell out three main themes that you want to emphasize in your application. This being HBS, at least one of your examples should highlight leadership, but don’t discount stories that also demonstrate other traits that admissions officers look for, including teamwork, innovation, and maturity. Remember, the “why” in your story is even more important than the “what,” so be sure to spell out why these accomplishments are so critical to describing you as an emerging leader. Also, ideally you will be able to draw upon multiple types of experiences — not only on the job, but also from your community involvement, your hobbies, and even, in some cases, your personal life. Finally, don’t be intimidated by that relatively tight word count! Harvard’s word limits force you to focus on your most important experiences!

  • What have you learned from a mistake? (400 words)

    This question also carries over from last year. An okay essay will answer the question and describe what you have learned, but a great one will then discuss how you put that lesson to work in a later experience. This allows you to move away from this essay being purely hypothetical to discussing another achievement in your young career.

  • Please respond to two of the following (400 words each):

    1. What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?
    2. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?
    3. Tell us about a time in your professional experience when you were frustrated or disappointed.
    4. When you join the HBS Class of 2013, how will you introduce yourself to your new classmates?

    The first two questions carry over from last year. The first one has “Optional essay for applicants with problematic undergraduate transcripts” written all over it. Only use it if you’re in this situation. The second one is not too different from other school’s “Why MBA?” and “Short-term/long-term career goals” questions. This is a perfectly fine question to choose, but avoid speaking in over broad generalities or in grandiose terms — e.g., “To solve world hunger” — that admissions officers will find hard to believe.

    The third question is an interesting because, on the surface, it doesn’t seem very different from the “What have you learned from a mistake?” question. We recommend that you answer this one only if you can do what we describe for that other question: Don’t only describe a time when you were disappointed, but also discuss what you learned from it and how you put that lesson to work.

    The last question essentially replaces last year’s “Write a cover letter for the admissions committee” question, and we like it the slightly less formal slant that this version takes. What do you think are your most memorable experiences or attributes? How do you want to be known by your classmates? It will be interesting to see how applicants tackle this one, but we recommend erring on the side of being less formal — friendly, written in the first person, and maybe even a little humorous.

Every year dozens of Harvard Business School applicants turn to Veritas Prep for help in getting into HBS. For more advice on getting in, download our HBS Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own candidacy for Harvard or another top MBA program, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

Wharton Application Deadlines for 2010-2011

Wharton MBA GuideUniversity of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has not yet released its admissions essays for the coming year, but the school recently released its application deadlines for the coming year:

Wharton Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 4, 2010
Round 2: January 4, 2011
Round 3: March 3, 2011


These deadlines are virtually the same as last year’s. Note that Wharton’s Round 1 deadline is in the beginning of October, much like Harvard’s and Stanford’s. We expect that more top schools will soon follow and start moving their deadlines to the first half of October to give them more time to release Round 1 decisions before the holidays (and before the Round 2 deadline). Note that Wharton’s Round 3 application deadline is still in March, leaving just Stanford and Harvard as the top schools with April deadlines right now.

To learn more about how to get into Wharton, download our Wharton Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools, available on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Wharton or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

HBS 2+2 Application Deadline Announced for 2010

HBS 2+2 ProgramHarvard Business School has just announced this year’s application deadline for the HBS 2+2 Program: June 15, 2010. Note that this is a couple of week’s earlier than last year’s deadline.

Harvard launched the HBS 2+2 Program to encourage high achieving undergraduate students who are not on a “business track,” to pursue careers in business. The program targets students focused on non-business concentrations such as engineering, liberal arts, science etc. Accordingly, they’re looking for students coming from those majors, rather than from undergraduate business programs. (If you’re in college now and fall into the latter camp, have no fear! That’s what the traditional HBS two-year MBA program is for.)


If you’re current a college junior, this deadline announcement is most relevant to you, since you will apply right after your junior year ends. To get a feel for what to expect in the coming months, take a look at the HBS 2+2 Program Timeline on Harvard’s web site. You’ll notice that the timeline suggests taking the GMAT or GRE this spring. If you haven’t yet gotten ready for the test, take a look at Veritas Prep’s GMAT prep options.

After getting the GMAT or GRE score that you want, then you’ll need to focus on writing a terrific application. Fortunately, we’ve been helping applicants do that for years, and we have helped many HBS 2+2 Program applicants since the program’s inception in 2008. To get an early read on your own admissions chances, give us a call at 800-925-7737 and speak with a Veritas Prep MBA admissions expert today!

Columbia Business School Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

As we round out our analysis of the top MBA program’s application essays, here are Columbia Business School’s application essays and deadlines for the September 2010 intake. Everything remains pretty the the same since last year, but we’ve put everything to make sure our readers have everything they need. Our comments follow in italics:

Columbia Business School Application Deadlines
Early Decision: October 7, 2009
Deadline for International Applicants: March 3, 2010
Deadline for U.S. Citizens & Permanent Residents: April 14, 2010

(No big changes here. These deadlines are nearly identical to last year’s.)

Columbia Business School Admissions Essays

  1. What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (750 words)

    (This is a fairly standard question that you no doubt have seen on other applications. Where applicants tend to go wrong most often, though, is by failing to explain why specifically Columbia is the best place for them to earn their MBA. The school’s big name and proximity to Wall Street are obvious advantages, but what else does Columbia offer that you can’t find anywhere else?)

  2. Master Classes are the epitome of bridging the gap between theory and practice at Columbia Business School. View the link below. Please provide an example from your own life in which practical experience taught you more than theory alone. Watch the video. (500 words)

    (This question was new last year, but carries over unchanged this year. Columbia’s emphasis on its Master Classes is clear — the admissions committee seeks applicants who have rolled up their sleeves and made thing happen, rather than pure theorists. They’ll also looking for introspection — ideally you can illustrate what you learned, the impact it had on you, and how it made you a better business manager or leader.)

  3. Please provide an example of a team failure of which you’ve been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently?

    (This question also carries over unchanged after being new last year. We’re glad that this is a required question. Every year we talk to many clients who ask, “Are you sure I should discuss any failures in my application?” Yes, you definitely should, as long as you can show how you grew from the experience. In this way, your answer could end up overlapping with your answer to #2. So, it’s best to not use a failure story for #2, and to save your failure story for this question.)

For more advice on applying to Columbia, visit Veritas Prep’s Columbia Business School information page. For even more advice on applying to Columbia, download our FREE Veritas Prep Annual Reports! And, to get the most up-to-date information on Columbia and all other top business schools, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Cool MBA Tool: MBA Essay Map – Online Google Doc with Essay Topics from Top US, Asian and European Business Schools


MBA Essay Map: View all business school essays, side by side, in one succinct view.


The wealth of online information about the business school application process and programs is staggering.
  • I certainly appreciate the opportunity to gather a number of differing viewpoints on essays topics and school culture, for example.
I also know that as b-school applicants navigate through the application process, they do have the potential to get lost in the weeds.

  • As I have seen with many MBA applicants, they get “analysis paralysis”, innudated by almost too much data.
  • Having worked in management consulting, I come from the school of tell me what I need to know, when I need to know it and how I can use it to get the right result.
  • In finance terms, I want to see a balance sheet. Give me a snapshot of where I stand today.
This is why I created the “MBA Essay Map“.
  • The MBA Essay Map rolls up all essay questions from top US, Asian and European MBA programs.
  • It puts them all in one view, side by side, for comparitive purposes.
  • I also included a side by side comparison of word limits and deadlines. This should help an applicant estimate workload and timing so they can address the writing process in the most efficient manner.
The Map also includes specific formatting requirements for each program and any specific reapplicant stipulations.
  • I can not tell you how many times I have seen essays submitted using the wrong format or reapplicants who neglected to follow the rules. This is a huge red flag for the admissions committee.
View the “MBA Essay Map” here:
-Paul Lanzillotti

UCLA Anderson Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

The UCLA Anderson School of Management has released its admissions essays and deadlines for the coming application season. Here they are, followed by our comments:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 14, 2009
Round 2: January 6, 2010
Round 3: March 17, 2010

(Unlike most top business schools, Anderson actually moved its Round 1 deadline back vs. last year, although only by five days. Note that Anderson has moved its Round 3 deadline up by about two weeks.)

UCLA Anderson Admissions Essays

For first-time applicants:

  1. Describe the ways in which your family and/or community have helped shape your development. (750 words)

    (This question has been reworded this year, but is substantially the same as last year’s first question. What’s interesting to us is that it’s been reworded to include less in the way of specifics than last year’s question. Actually, in some ways, it’s a combination of the first two questions from last year’s application. While we don’t know the Anderson admissions committee’s motivations for certain, it seems as though they wanted to “open up” the question to give applicants enough room to talk about whatever they want, instead of limiting them too much with specific requests for details. Consider answering this question on with your personal development in mind. Your tendency will be to tie it right back to your career and why you’re pursuing an MBA, but consider this input from the admissions office: “Please be introspective and authentic in your responses. We value the opportunity to learn about your life experiences, aspirations, and goals.”)

  2. Describe the biggest risk you have ever taken, the outcome, and what you learned in the process. (500 words)

    (This question is new this year, and it’s a classic opportunity to employee the “SAR” method: Situation, Action, Result. The admissions committee lays out exactly what they’re looking for — not just what happened, but what you learned as a result. Be sure to spend enough time discussing this last point. Your best story may come from your professional life or your personal life; use the one that gives you the best chance to demonstrate growth and introspection.)

  3. Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. What is your motivation for pursuing an MBA now and how will UCLA Anderson help you to achieve your goals? (750 words)

    (This question carries over unchanged from last year, and should be approached the same as most other “Career Goals” / “Why an MBA?” essays.)

  4. Select and respond to one of the two following questions. We would like you to respond to the question by recording an audio or video response, 1-2 minutes long (up to 5 MB maximum), for upload in the online application. If you are unable to submit your response via audio or video, then please prepare a written response instead. (250 words)

    a. Entrepreneurship is a mindset that embraces innovation and risk-taking within both established and new organizations. Describe an instance in which you exhibited this mindset.

    b. What is something people will find surprising about you?

    (Wow, now video, too! Last year Anderson made waves by introducing an audio response, but now, in the age of YouTube, a video response is also now acceptable. We’re not surprised that Anderson dropped one of the audio essay options from last year, which asked, “What global issue matters most to you and why,” which probably prompted a lot of “hot air” answers from applicants who were more concerned about sounding impressive than they were about giving authentic answers that revealed more about themselves. We think the Anderson admissions committee is interested in seeing and hearing how you communicate as much as they want to hear your specific answer. As we recommended last year, we think you should prepare well and make sure you deliver your answer smoothly, but a more impromptu-sounding response will sound warmer and more authentic than an overly scripted response. Lastly, have fun with this! Your response doesn’t need to be funny or wacky, but brightening the admissions committee’s day always helps.)

  5. OPTIONAL: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)

    (Our advice for this type of question is always the same: Only use this question as necessary. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any.)

Reapplicants who applied for the entering Fall 2008 or 2009 class have a different set of requirements than first-time applicants. Instead of submitting two letters of recommendation and the four regular essays, reapplicants are required to submit precisely one new letter of recommendation and the two essays below:

  1. Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words)

    (The admissions committee’s goal here is clear: to be able to quickly judge how much stronger your candidacy is this year. Like all top schools, UCLA Anderson IS very receptive to receiving applications from reapplicants, but you need to show up with a a noticeably stronger application than what you submitted a year ago. What’s changed? Have you been promoted at work? Achieved a higher score on the GMAT? Taken on a leadership role in your community? This is your chance to showcase it all in a single essay.)

  2. Describe the biggest risk you have ever taken, the outcome, and what you learned in the process. (500 words)

    (Since this essay didn’t exist last year, it makes sense that the admissions committee also wants to see reapplicants’ responses to this question.)

  3. OPTIONAL: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)

For more advice on applying to UCLA Anderson, visit the Veritas Prep UCLA Anderson information page. For even more advice on applying to Anderson, download our FREE Veritas Prep Annual Reports! And, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Duke (Fuqua) Application Deadlines for 2009-2010

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business hasn’t yet released its application for the coming year, but the school did recently release its application deadlines for 2009-2010 (click on the “When to Apply” tab on the Fuqua site).

Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

Duke (Fuqua) Application Deadlines
Early Action Round: October 6, 2009
Round 1: November 12, 2009
Round 2: January 7, 2010
Round 3: March 9, 2010

(Note that, unlike most other schools’ Early Action rounds, Fuqua’s is binding; schools normally call it “Early Decision” when it is binding. We only recommend applying via Early Action if your heart is set on Duke. If you are admitted, you must submit a non-refundable $3,000 deposit by December 10, 2009. Interestingly, you only need to submit an official transcript once you are admitted.)

For more advice on applying to Fuqua, visit Veritas Prep’s Duke (Fuqua) information page, and be sure to follow us on Twitter!