Top MBA Programs

One of the most common errors made by MBA applicants is failing to properly research a program, and subsequently failing to write essays tailored to the individual school. At Veritas Prep, we have consultants from all of the top schools to make sure you have the expertise you need. Please learn more by selecting schools of interest below.
Business Schools
Berkeley (Haas) Chicago (Booth) Columbia
Dartmouth (Tuck) Duke (Fuqua) Harvard
INSEAD Michigan (Ross) MIT (Sloan)
Northwestern (Kellogg) NYU (Stern) Penn (Wharton)
Stanford UCLA (Anderson) Yale

Top 20 Business Schools Ranked By...

Each of the popular business school ranking systems below rely on a different set of criteria, including acceptance rates, average GMAT scores, and post-graduation salaries. Some also use more subjective criteria, such as peer ratings by administrators at other business schools, and how each school is rated by its current and former students. As you review the MBA rankings below, always keep in mind the criteria on which each publication bases its ranking system.

2014-15 Application Round Deadlines

U.S. Business Schools

MBA Program R1 R2 R3 R4
Berkeley (Haas) 10/1 1/7 3/11
Chicago (Booth) 9/25 1/6 4/7
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)* 10/5 1/4 3/15
Columbia* 10/8 1/17 4/15
Cornell (Johnson)* 10/1 1/7 3/11 6/3
Dartmouth (Tuck)* 10/8 11/5 1/6 4/1
Duke (Fuqua)* 9/17 10/20 1/5 3/19
Emory (Goizueta)* 10/10 11/14 1/9 3/13
Georgetown (McDonough) 10/10 1/5 4/1
Harvard 9/9 1/5 4/6
Indiana (Kelley)* 10/15 1/5 3/1 4/15
Michigan (Ross) 10/6 1/5 3/23
MIT (Sloan)* 9/23 1/8
Northwestern (Kellogg) 9/24 1/7 4/1
NYU (Stern)* 10/15 11/15 1/15 3/15
Purdue (Krannert)* 11/15 1/15 3/1 5/1
Rochester (Simon) 10/15 11/15 1/5
Stanford 10/1 1/7 4/1
Texas (McCombs) 10/14 1/6 3/24
UCLA (Anderson) 10/22 1/7 4/15
UNC (Kenan-Flagler)* 10/17 12/12 1/16 3/13
USC (Marshall) 10/15 1/15 4/15
Virginia (Darden) 10/10 1/7 4/1
Penn (Wharton) 10/1 1/5 3/26
Yale 9/18 1/8 4/23

International Business Schools

MBA Program R1 R2 R3 R4
INSEAD* 9/24 11/12 1/14 3/4
Cambridge (Judge)* 9/19 10/24 1/9 3/6
CEIBS 11/5 1/14 3/23
ESADE* Monthly Deadlines
HEC Paris* Monthly Deadlines
IESE* 10/7 1/13 3/3 5/19
IMD* 2/1 4/1 6/1 8/1
Indian School of Business* 9/15 11/30
London Business School* 10/3 1/5 2/27 4/17
Oxford (Said)* 9/15 10/31 1/9 3/13
Western Ontario (Ivey)* 5/5 9/22 11/17 1/12
* These schools do not operate on a typical three-round admissions schedule. See the schools’ web sites for more information.

Berkeley (Haas) Admissions Essays

  1. Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400-500 words)
  2. What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200-300 words)
  3. What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c. (500-600 words combined) a. How is your background compelling to this company? b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee? c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company?

Chicago (Booth) Admissions Essays


Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you? View technical requirements and limitations

Columbia Admissions Essays

Short Answer Question

  1. What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (75 characters maximum)


  1. Given your individual background and goals, why are you pursuing a Columbia MBA at this time? (500 words)
  2. How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business?” (250 words)

Dartmouth (Tuck) Admissions Essays

  1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck? (500 words)
  2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience? (500 words)
  3. (Optional) 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)

Duke (Fuqua) Admissions Essays

Short Answers (250 Characters Each)

  1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  2. What are your long-term goals?
  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?


  1. Share with us your list of “25 Random Things about YOU.” (2 pages)
  2. 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. (2 pages)
  3. (Optional) If you feel there are extenuating 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, or any significant weakness in your application).

Harvard Admissions Essays


  1. You’re applying to Harvard Business School. We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy? (No word limit)

Post Interview Reflection

  1. You just had your HBS interview. Tell us about it. Did we get to know you? (No word limit)

INSEAD Admissions Essays

Job Description Essays

  1. Briefly summarize 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. What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (350 words max)
  2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking to someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term
    career aspirations. (350 words max)
  3. (Optional) 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.

Standard Essays

  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. (600 words max)
  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. (400 words max)
  3. Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words
  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? (300 words max)
  5. (Optional) Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300
    words max)

Northwestern (Kellogg) Admissions Essays


  1. Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will… Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
  2. Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)
  3. (Optional) 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)

Video Response

You will be given a question and will have to record your response right away (after a couple of minutes to gather your thoughts). Note that, while last year Kellogg would let you try again (with a new question) if you didn’t like your attempt, this year you will NOT be able to try again. (You will be able to warm up on some practice questions first.) And, you won’t know the questions ahead of time. For your official response, you will have just 20 seconds to think up your answer, and one minute to deliver it.

Michigan (Ross) Admissions Essays

  1. What are you most proud of professionally and why? What did you learn from that experience? (400 words)
  2. What are you most proud of personally and why? How does it shape who you are today? (400 words)
  3. (Optional) Is there anything not addressed elsewhere in the application that you would like The Admissions Committee to know about you to evaluate your candidacy? (300 words)

MIT (Sloan) Admissions Essays

  1. The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and generate ideas that advance management practice. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities. (500 words)
  2. Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself. Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: (750 words)
    • How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
    • How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
    • Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.
    • Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
    • Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?
    • Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

NYU (Stern) Admissions Essays

  1. Professional Aspirations: (750 words) (a) Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life? (b) What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience? (c) What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?
  2. (Option A) Your Two Paths (500 words)The mission of the Stern School of Business is to develop people and ideas that transform the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities to create value for business and society. Given today’s ever-changing global landscape, Stern seeks and develops leaders who thrive in ambiguity, embrace a broad perspective and think creatively about the range of ways they can have impact.- Describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do you see your two paths unfolding? - What factors will most determine which path you will take? - How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern?
  3. (Option B) 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.
  4. (Optional) Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee.

Stanford Admissions Essays

Your answers for all of the essay questions cannot exceed 1,600 words.
  1. What matters most to you, and why? (750 words suggested, out of 1,100 total)
  2. Why Stanford? (350 words suggested)

UCLA (Anderson) Admissions Essays

  1. UCLA Anderson is distinguished by three defining principles: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change. What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career? How do you believe that UCLA Anderson’s principles, and the environment they create, will help you attain your post-MBA career goals? (750 words maximum)

Penn (Wharton) Admissions Essays

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

Yale Admissions Essays

  1. 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)

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