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Stanford GSB Deadlines and Essay Topics 2009-2010

Following Harvard Business School’s announcement last week, the Stanford Graduate School of Business has followed suit by publishing their deadlines and essay topics for the coming application cycle.  The main areas to note with this year’s application are some changes to the options for essay 3 and a new R1 notification date (before Christmas instead of in January – a change that mirrors Harvard’s decision to notify applicants earlier this year as well).   

Without further ado, let’s look at the details:

Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 7, 2009
Round 2: January 6, 2010
Round 3: April 7, 2010

Note: All deadlines are 5 p.m. (Pacific)

Notification Dates
Round 1: December 16, 2009
Round 2: March 31, 2010
Round 3: May 19, 2009

Essay Questions
Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why?
Essay 2: What are your career aspirations? How will your education at Stanford help you achieve them?
Essay 3: Answer two of the four questions below. Tell us not only what you did but also how you did it. What was the outcome? How did people respond? Only describe experiences that have occurred during the last three years.
Option A: Tell us about a time when you built or developed a team whose performance exceeded expectations.
Option B: Tell us about a time when you made a lasting impact on your organization.
Option C: Tell us about a time when you motivated others to support your vision or initiative.
Option D: Tell us about a time when you went beyond what was defined, established, or expected.

Essay Length
Stanford provides the following guidelines on essay length:

Your answers for all of the essay questions cannot exceed 1,800 words. Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate the 1,800 words among all of the essays in the way that is most effective for you. We provide some guidelines below as a starting point, but you should feel comfortable to write as much or as little as you like on any essay question, as long as you do not exceed 1,800 words total.

Essay 1: 750 words
Essay 2: 450 words
Essay 3: 300 words each

Stanford provides the following guidelines on formatting:

Use a 12-point font, double spaced
Indicate which essay question you are answering at the beginning of each essay
Number all pages
Upload all four essays as one document
Preview the uploaded document to ensure that the formatting is true to the original
Save a copy of your essays

With the flurry of top programs releasing their deadlines in recent weeks (Chicago, INSEAD, Columbia, HBS and Stanford), applicants should begin to get a sense of how the fall calendar is shaping up.  See the left-hand column of this blog for a running list of fall deadlines. 

As always, we’ll be back with a post in the coming days that offers our in-depth analysis of the Stanford GSB essay questions along with tips as to how candidates might think through their approach. Stay tuned.

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Posted in: Deadlines, Essay Topics

Schools: Stanford GSB

One Comment

  1. For Essay 3, above it says “Only describe experiences that have occurred during the last three years.” I don’t see that on the actual Stanford MBA application website. Can you clarify? Thanks!

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