Stanford Graduate School of Business has confirmed the essay prompts for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. The required Stanford MBA essay questions remain unchanged from previous admissions seasons but the optional questions have been refreshed this year.
Stanford asks for two personal essays in order to gain a greater understanding of applicants’ character and hopes. “In each essay, we want to hear your genuine voice,” the admissions team advises.
“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.”
Stanford MBA Essay Questions
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.
Both essays combined may not exceed 1,050 words. We recommend up to 650 words for Essay A and up to 400 words for Essay B. We often find effective essays that are written in fewer words.
Optional Short-Answer Questions
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 1
Question: 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?
Optional Question 2
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 (up to 1,200 characters, or approximately 200 words).
Question: Tell us about a time within the last three years when your background influenced your participation in a situation, interaction, or project.
For more information, please visit the Stanford GSB admissions website. If you need guidance on your Stanford MBA application or wish to discuss your MBA plans, reach out for a complimentary analysis of your candidacy. We’re here to help!