Stanford GSB Essay Questions for Class of 2017

The Stanford Graduate School of Business has updated its admissions website with the two essays required for the 2014-2015 MBA application. These questions remain essentially unchanged from last year’s application, but the number of required essays this year has dropped from three to two.

Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?(650-850 suggested word count)

A strong response to this question will:

  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”
  • Reflect the self-examination process you used to write your response.
  • 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.
  • Be written from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.

Essay B: Why Stanford? (250-450 suggested word count)

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

A strong response to this essay question will:

  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.


Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,100 words.

For more information, visit the Stanford GSB admissions website.



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