NYU Announces First Major Change To Essay Questions In Six Years

After changes in admission essays announced by Harvard, Stanford and Columbia, New York University’s Stern School of Business has weighed in with the first major change to its essay questions for applicants in six years.

The new question asks applicants to “describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern? What factors will most determine which path you will take?” Applicants must answer the questions in a single 500-word maximum essay.

It is one of three required questions on the application. A fourth optional essay allows applicants to explain current or past gaps in employment, a weak undergraduate record or splans to retake the GMAT, GRE or TOEFL exams, among other things.

Stern also announced its deadlines for the 2012-2013 application season. The school’s round one deadline is Nov. 15, with notification by Feb. 15. The second round deadline is Jan. 15, 2013, with notification by April 1. And the final and third round deadline is March 15, 2013, with an admissions decision by June 1. All three dates are exactly as they were last year.

Harvard Business School kicked off the change agenda on May 22 with a decision to cut its required essays for applicants in half to two from four and to then add a third essay only for those invited to an admissions interview. HBS is giving interview applicants only 24 hours to turnaround that third essay, a reflection of sorts on the actual interview.

Little more than a week later, Columbia Business School decided to ask applicants to its full-time MBA program to view a three-minute promotional video on school community and then write up to 250 words on the film as part of its new application. Then, in early June, Stanford Graduate School of Business eliminated one of four required essays from its application this year.

Wharton, which is also considering some significant changes, expects to post its essay questions in early July and the full application in early August.
Stern’s questions this year are:

Essay 1. Professional Aspirations

(750 word maximum)

(a) Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life?

(b) What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience?

(c) What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation?

Essay 2. Your Two Paths

(500 word maximum)

The mission of the Stern School of Business is to develop people and ideas that transform the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities to create value for business and society. Given today’s ever-changing global landscape, Stern seeks and develops leaders who thrive in ambiguity, embrace a broad perspective and think creatively about the range of ways they can have impact.

(a) Describe two different and distinct paths you could see your career taking long term. How do you see your two paths unfolding?

(b) How do your paths tie to the mission of NYU Stern?

(c) What factors will most determine which path you will take?

Essay 3. Personal Expression

Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative.

If you submit a non-written piece for Essay 3 (i.e., artwork or multimedia) or if you submit Essay 3 via mail, please upload a brief description of your submission with your online application.

Essay 4. Additional Information (optional)

Please provide any additional information that you would like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee. This may include current or past gaps in employment, further explanation of your undergraduate record or self-reported academic transcript(s), plans to retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL or any other relevant information.

If you are unable to submit a recommendation from your current supervisor, you must explain your reason in Essay 4.

If you are a re-applicant from last year, please explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application.

Stern said the 2013 Full-time MBA application is currently undergoing annual updates and will be available in late August.

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