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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.



Essay Suggested Word Count
Essay A 750
Essay B 400
Essay B (if applying to both the MBA and MSx programs)

Deadline : Sept. 21, 2016



Class of 2017 Overview

Total Applicants 7,899
New Students 407
Women 40%
International2 40%
U.S. Minority 19%

Years of Work Experience

Range 0-17
Average 4

Previous Industry Experience

Biotech/Health Care/Consumer Products and Services 7%
Clean Tech, Energy, or Environmental 5%
Consulting 16%
Entertainment or Media 6%
Financial Services 8%
Government/Education/Nonprofit 13%
Manufacturing 4%
Military 3%
Private Equity/Venture Capital  16%
Real Estate 3%
Technology 15%
Other 4%
Organizations Represented 296

Test Scores

Range 570-800
Average 733
TOEFL (internet-based)
Range 100-120
Average 112


Undergraduate Majors
Business 13%
Engineering/Mathematics/Natural Sciences 39%
Humanities/Social Sciences 48%
Advanced Degrees
Advanced Degree Holders 13%
Average 3.75

Schools and Countries

U.S. Institutions 90
Non-U.S. Institutions 75
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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