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Stanford GSB Essay Questions 2016-2017

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Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?

For this essay, we would like you to:

  • Do some deep self-examination, so you can 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.
  • Write from the heart, and illustrate how a person, situation, or event has influenced you.
  • Focus on the “why” rather than the “what.”

Essay B: Why Stanford?

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

  • Explain your decision to pursue graduate education in management.
  • Explain the distinctive opportunities you will pursue at Stanford.
  • If you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs, use Essay B to address your interest in both programs. 


Your answers for both essay questions combined may not exceed 1,150 words (1,200 words if you are applying to both the MBA and MSx programs). Each of you has your own story to tell, so please allocate these words between the essays in the way that is most effective for you. Below is a suggested word count, based on what we typically see.



EssaySuggested Word Count
Essay A750
Essay B400
Essay B (if applying to both the MBA and MSx programs)

Deadline : Sept. 21, 2016



Class of 2017 Overview

Total Applicants7,899
New Students407
U.S. Minority19%

Years of Work Experience


Previous Industry Experience

Biotech/Health Care/Consumer Products and Services7%
Clean Tech, Energy, or Environmental5%
Entertainment or Media6%
Financial Services8%
Private Equity/Venture Capital 16%
Real Estate3%
Organizations Represented296

Test Scores

TOEFL (internet-based)


Undergraduate Majors
Engineering/Mathematics/Natural Sciences39%
Humanities/Social Sciences48%
Advanced Degrees
Advanced Degree Holders13%

Schools and Countries

U.S. Institutions90
Non-U.S. Institutions75
Countries (including U.S.)53

1 As of 21 September 2015
2 Includes permanent residents and U.S. dual citizens
U.S. schools, 4.0 scale only


Disclaimer: The aforementioned information has been picked up from GSB website. All the copyright belongs to GSB. And please check the GSB site before applying for any updates.

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Indian School of Business, Co'18

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