Stanford GSB Essays (Class of 2012, Starting Fall 2010)


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* Applications are due by 5:00 PM, Pacific Time

Note: Round 1 deadline moved up by 3 weeks (October 29, 2008 last year)


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 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


  • 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