MBA Application Deadlines and Essays for 2024-2025

Photo of a calendar and clock to illustrate upcoming deadlines

The 2024-2025 MBA application season is underway as schools have begun sharing their deadlines and essays for this upcoming cycle, with many more expected over the next month. While many schools have kept their questions the same from last year’s cycle, we do expect some marquee changes this year as well.

Round 1 MBA Application Timeline

Round 1 applicants should be pedal to the medal putting together their application package. Over the next month, we encourage applicants to prepare an MBA-style resume, nail down their test score, and have initial conversations with their prospective recommenders. If you feel behind the 8-ball, don’t worry. There is still time to get back on track and put together a compelling application. But don’t put these items off much longer or you will start to compromise on the quality of your materials.

Which Round Should I Apply In?

Applicants often also struggle with the “Which Round should I apply in?” question. The short answer is you should apply when you feel like your materials are as strong as possible, but there are definitely some other considerations when deciding when to apply. (See our longer article on Round 1 vs. Round 2 if you’re on the fence.) 

Round 1 is appealing for lots of applicants as no spots have been filled in the class yet allowing those with more traditional backgrounds the opportunity to make their case. However, a lot of applicants who apply in Round 1 have been thinking about this decision for several years and have been focused on putting together the best application possible thus creating a competitive applicant pool.

Round 2 is the generally the biggest round with the largest volume of applications and varying application strength across the board. In summary, take your time to build the strongest application you can, even if it means applying in Round 2 or applying to a few schools in Round 1 and a few others in Round 2.

Early Application Considerations

Some programs also offer guaranteed interviews if you apply before a certain date. While acceptance rates are higher the earlier you apply to these programs, some of them may have binding commitments so be sure to weigh the pros and cons. Consider applying to a school that may be a tad out of reach early. You can demonstrate your commitment to the school and they are more likely to offer you a spot if they know you will commit.

2024-2025 MBA Application Deadlines *

Below are the MBA application deadlines that have been released thus far for 2024-2025. Stay tuned over the next month or so as many more schools will look to publish their application deadlines and essay questions soon!

 Early ActionRound 1Round 2Round 3
HBS 09/04/202401/06/2025
Stanford GSB 09/10/202401/08/202504/08/2025
Wharton 09/04/202401/03/202504/02/2025
Chicago Booth 09/19/202401/07/202504/03/2025
Kellogg 09/11/202401/08/202504/02/2025
MIT Sloan 09/30/202401/14/202504/07/2025
Columbia Business School 09/10/202401/07/202504/01/2025
Tuck **09/03/202409/26/202401/06/202503/26/2025
Haas 09/12/202401/09/202504/03/2025
Yale SOM 09/10/202401/07/202504/08/2025
Michigan Ross 09/09/202401/06/202503/24/2025
UCLA Anderson 10/01/202401/06/202504/14/2025
NYU Stern *** 09/16/202410/16/202401/16/2025
Duke Fuqua ****09/04/202410/01/202401/09/202502/20/2025
Cornell Johnson 09/18/202401/09/202504/10/2025
INSEAD – Aug ’25 Entry 09/10/202411/05/202401/14/2025
LBS 09/06/202401/03/202503/24/2025
Cambridge Judge 08/27/202410/07/202401/06/2025
Oxford Said    

** Tuck also offers an early action round for Round 2, with a deadline of December 2, 2024 in order to be guaranteed an interview.

*** NYU Stern also offers a Round 4 with a deadline of April 16, 2025. Note that the deadlines listed above are for the Full-Time MBA. NYU’s specialized MBA programs have separate deadlines.

**** Duke Fuqua also offers a Round 4 with a deadline of April 3, 2025.

2024-2025 MBA Application Deadlines and Essay Questions By School
  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 12, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 9, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: April 3, 2025

What makes you feel alive when you are doing it and why? (300 words)

What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from Haas help you achieve those goals? (300 words)

One of our goals at Berkeley Haas is to develop leaders who value diversity and to create an inclusive environment in which people from different ethnicities, genders, lived experiences, and national origins feel welcome and supported. Describe any experience or exposure you have in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging whether through community organizations, personal, or in the workplace? (300 words)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: August 27, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: October 7, 2024
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: January 6, 2025
  • Round 4 MBA Deadline: March 31, 2025

Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:

  • What are your short and long-term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
  • Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
  • How confident do you feel about meeting your short-term career goal? What skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you to achieve them, and what preparation are you doing now?

Tell us about a time when you made a professional mistake. How could it have ended differently? (up to 200 words)

Tell us about the best team you worked with. What made the team successful? (up to 200 words)

Provide an example of when someone else positively impacted your life. What did you learn from this experience? (up to 200 words)

  • Round 1 deadline: September 19, 2024
  • Round 2 deadline: January 7, 2025
  • Round 3 deadline: April 3, 2025

How will a Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)

An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (Minimum 250 words, no maximum.)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 10, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 7, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: April 1, 2025
  • J-Term Round 1: June 18, 2024
  • J-Term Round 2: August 15, 2024

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Why do you prefer the January-entry term? (50 characters maximum)

Through your resume and recommendation, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next three to five years and what is your long-term dream job? (500 words)

The Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership (PPIL) is a co-curricular program designed to provide students with the skills and strategies needed to develop as inclusive leaders.  Through various resources and programming, students explore and reflect on the following five inclusive leadership skills:  Mitigating Bias and Prejudice; Managing Intercultural Dialogue; Addressing Systemic Inequity; Understanding Identity and Perspective Taking; and Creating an Inclusive Environment. Describe a time or situation when you had the need to utilize one of these five skills, and tell us the actions you took and the outcome. (250 words)

We believe Columbia Business School is a special place with a collaborative learning environment in which students feel a sense of belonging, agency, and partnership–academically, culturally, and professionally. How would you co-create your optimal MBA experience at CBS? Please be specific. (250 words)

  • Round 1 Deadline: September 18, 2024
  • Round 2 Deadline: January 9, 2025
  • Round 3 Deadline: April 10, 2025

Goals Statement Prompt:

A statement of your goals will begin a conversation that will last throughout the admissions process and guide your steps during the MBA program and experience. To the best of your understanding today, please share your short and long term goals by completing the following sentences and answering the enclosed short answer question (350 words maximum):

Immediately post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].

Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:

In 5–10 years post-MBA, my goal is to work as a(n) [Role] at [Company] within [Industry].

Targeted Job Role:
Target Job Company:

Please share how you plan to utilize the resources available to you at Johnson as well as any existing resources you bring to the program to help you secure your post-MBA career goal.

Impact Essay OR The Unique Trait that Defines Me:

At Cornell, our students and alumni share a desire to positively impact the organizations and communities they serve. How do you intend to make a meaningful impact on the Johnson community? (350 words maximum)


What is something unique about you that others will remember you by? (350 words maximum)

  • Early Action (Binding and Non-Binding) Deadline: September 5, 2024
  • Round 1 Deadline: October 2, 2024
  • Round 2 Deadline: January 7, 2025
  • Round 3 Deadline: April 2, 2025

Community of Belonging: What would you want your classmates to know about you that is not on your resume? (100 words)

Inclusive Impact: Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating a welcoming, global community at Darden. (300 words)

Careers With Purpose: At this time how would you describe your short-term, post-MBA goal in terms of industry, function, geography, company size and/or mission and how does it align with the long-term vision you have for your career? (200 words)

  • Early Action Deadline: September 4, 2024
  • Round 1 Deadline: October 1, 2024
  • Round 2 Deadline: January 9, 2025
  • Round 3 Deadline: February 20, 2025
  • Round 4 Deadline: April 3, 2025

Required short-answer essay question

What are your post-MBA career goals? Share with us your first-choice career plan and your alternate plan. (100 words maximum)

First required essay: 25 random things about yourself

The ‘Team Fuqua’ spirit and community is one of the things that sets the MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. Please share with us “25 Random Things” about you. The Admissions Committee wants to get to know YOU – beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. Share with us important life experiences, your hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are.

 Your list will be limited to 2 pages (750 words maximum). Please present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be brief, while others may be longer.

Second required essay: The Fuqua community and you

Fuqua prides itself on cultivating a culture of engagement. Our students enjoy a wide range of student-led organizations that provide opportunities for leadership development and personal fulfillment, as well as an outlet for contributing to society. Our student-led government, clubs, centers, and events are an integral part of the student culture and to the development of leaders. Based on your understanding of the Fuqua culture, what are 3 ways you expect to contribute at Fuqua?

 Your response will be limited to 1 page (500 words maximum).

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 4, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 6, 2025

Business-Minded Essay: Please reflect on how your experiences have influenced your career choices and aspirations and the impact you will have on the businesses, organizations, and communities you plan to serve. (up to 300 words)

Leadership-Focused Essay: What experiences have shaped who you are, how you invest in others, and what kind of leader you want to become? (up to 250 words)

Growth-Oriented Essay: Curiosity can be seen in many ways. Please share an example of how you have demonstrated curiosity and how that has influenced your growth. (up to 250 words)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 10, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: November 5, 2024
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: January 14, 2025
  • Round 4 MBA Deadline: March 4, 2025

Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (200 words)

What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company instead of going to business school? (200 words)

Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (300 words)

Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (100 words)

Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (500 words)

Consider a situation where you failed to achieve your objective(s). How did you handle failure? What did you learn about yourself and/or your interactions with others from this situation? (400 words)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 11, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 8, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: April 2, 2025

Question 1 (450 words): Intentionality is a key aspect of what makes our graduates successful Kellogg leaders. Help us understand your journey by articulating your motivations for pursuing an MBA, the specific goals you aim to achieve, and why you believe now is the right moment. Moreover, share why you feel Kellogg is best suited to serve as a catalyst for your career aspirations and what you will contribute to our community of lifelong learners during your time here.

Question 2 (450 words): Kellogg leaders are primed to tackle challenges everywhere, from the boardroom to their neighborhoods. Describe a specific professional experience where you had to make a difficult decision. Reflecting on this experience, identify the values that guided your decision-making process and how it impacted your leadership style. 

  • MBA Deadlines: To be confirmed

What are your post-MBA goals and how will your prior experience and the London Business School programme contribute towards these? (500 words)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 9, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 6, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: March 24, 2025

At Michigan Ross, we believe the best way to learn is by doing. In our Full-Time MBA Program, you will put your skills and knowledge to the test in real-world situations with real stakes. How will this learning environment benefit you, and how do you plan to contribute to the action-based learning experience? (300 words) 

Michigan Ross is proud to support a community of leaders and impact makers. As a future member of this community, we want to know more about who you are and what drives you. Please choose 1 of the following prompts to tell us more about what makes you stand out beyond your academic and work experience. List the prompt you are answering at the top of your response. (200 words) 

  • What makes you unique? 
  • Can you provide a specific example of how you’ve overcome a personal challenge? 
  • What makes you excited to get up each morning? 
  • Describe a time when you made a difference in your community or with an individual. 

What is your short-term career goal, and how will Ross help you achieve it? (200 words) 

  • Round 1 deadline: September 30, 2024
  • Round 2 deadline: January 14, 2025
  • Round 3 deadline: April 7, 2025

MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.

Taking the above into consideration, please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence, include one or more professional examples that illustrate why you meet the desired criteria above, and be addressed to the Admissions Committee (300 words or fewer, excluding address and salutation).

Introduce yourself to your future classmates. Here’s your chance to put a face with a name, let your personality shine through, be conversational, be yourself. We can’t wait to meet you!

All MBA applicants will be prompted to respond to a randomly generated, open-ended question. The question is designed to help us get to know you better; to see how you express yourself and to assess fit with the MIT Sloan culture. It does not require prior preparation. 

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 16, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: October 16, 2024
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: January 16, 2025
  • Round 4 MBA Deadline: April 16, 2025

Short Answer: Professional Aspirations (150 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
What are your short-term career goals?

Essay 1: Change: _________ it (350 word maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font)
In today’s global business environment, the only constant is change. Using NYU Stern’s brand call to action, we want to know how you view change. Change: _____ it. Fill in the blank with a word of your choice. Why does this word resonate with you? How will you embrace your own personal tagline while at Stern? Examples:

  • Change: Dare it.
  • Change: Dream it.
  • Change: Drive it.
  • Change: Empower it.
  • Change: Manifest it.
  • Change: [Any word of your choice] it.

Essay 2: Personal Expression (a.k.a. “Pick Six”)

Introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee and to your future classmates using six images and corresponding captions. The Pick Six is a way to share more about the qualities you will bring to the Stern community, beyond your professional and academic achievements. Your uploaded PDF should contain all of the following elements:

A brief introduction or overview of your “Pick Six” (no more than 3 sentences).
Six images that help illustrate your interests, values, motivations, perspective and/or personality.
A one-sentence caption for each of the six images that helps explain why they were selected and are significant to you.

Note: Your visuals may include photos, infographics, drawings, or any other images. Your document must be uploaded as a single PDF. The essay cannot be sent in physical form or be linked to a website.

  • Round 1 deadline: September 10, 2024
  • Round 2 deadline: January 8, 2025
  • Round 3 deadline: April 8, 2025

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 1,000 words. We recommend up to 650 words for Essay A and up to 350 words for Essay B. We often read effective essays that are written in fewer words.

  • Early Action (Round 1) Deadline: September 3, 2024
  • Round 1 Deadline: September 26, 2024
  • Early Action (Round 2) Deadline: December 2, 2024
  • Round 2 Deadline: January 6, 2025
  • Round 3: March 26, 2025

Why are you pursuing an MBA and why now? How will the distinct Tuck MBA contribute to achieving your goals and aspirations? (300 words)

Tell us who you are. How have your values and experiences shaped your identity and character? How will your background contribute to the diverse Tuck culture and community? (300 words)

Describe a time you meaningfully contributed to someone else’s sense of inclusion in your professional or personal community. (300 words) 

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: October 1, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 6, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: April 14, 2025

UCLA Anderson seeks to develop transformative leaders who think fearlessly, drive change, and share success. We believe the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership. Please share an example from your personal or professional life where you demonstrated perseverance to accomplish a significant goal or milestone. (250 words)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 4, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 3, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: April 2, 2025

How do you plan to use the Wharton MBA program to help you achieve your future professional goals? You might consider your past experience, short and long-term goals, and resources available at Wharton. (500 words)

Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)

  • Round 1 MBA Deadline: September 10, 2024
  • Round 2 MBA Deadline: January 7, 2025
  • Round 3 MBA Deadline: April 8, 2025

Briefly describe your career interests and how you arrived at them. What have you already done to pursue these interests? What do you need to do going forward? (150 words maximum)

Choose One Required Essay from the following (500 words):

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. Why is this commitment meaningful to you and what actions have you taken to support it?

Describe the community that has been most meaningful to you. What is the most valuable thing you have gained from being a part of this community and what is the most important thing you have contributed to this community?

Describe the most significant challenge you have ever faced. How have you confronted this challenge and how has it shaped you as a person?

* As of July 9, 2024

Ready to take the next step in your MBA journey? Schedule an initial consultation with our expert MBA admissions consultants today and get personalized guidance to make your application stand out.

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