You know how you’re always reading that “all MBA programs are different” but after you’ve spent weeks and even months reading all of their websites, they can start to seem like they are pretty much the same. Well, not Carnegie Mellon Tepper. Tepper continues to march to the beat of its own drummer. CMU is committed to the rhythm produced by a combination of analytical skills and leadership education. Unlike many other MBA programs that now allow students to enroll in electives from their first semester on campus, Tepper stands firm in its belief that students are better served by having a common and fixed foundation in the fundamentals for the entire first half of that first year.
Tepper’s class composition is also significantly different from many of its peer programs. Tepper has just 200 students in its class, while Wharton has 860 and HBS has 942. Moreover, while only 25% of Wharton’s class and 38% of HBS’s comprises former STEM undergraduates, a whopping 48% of Tepper students majored in STEM subjects in college. And the flip side of that: while 42% of Wharton’s MBA class and 21% of HBS’s class studied humanities subjects in their undergraduate degrees, only 9% of Tepper’s class did. Does that mean that Tepper isn’t interested in people from humanities backgrounds? No! It means that any applicant from a humanities background had better demonstrate their facility with complex analyses to prove capable of handling the challenging Tepper curriculum.
Tepper has only one required essay and one optional essay in its application:
Imagine that you meet up with a member of the admission committee at an airport while on a layover. You have an opportunity to make a memorable impression. Use this essay to introduce yourself. Include any information that you believe is important for the committee member to know about you both professionally and personally. (Maximum 300-350 words, 12-point font, double-spaced)
350 words is a very short essay, approximately 3 paragraphs in length. Since the Tepper online application form contains a small section to discuss your career goals – the industry and function you are targeting and 150 words each about your target role and your plan B if that goal proves elusive – you do not need to address goals in this essay. Instead, strong answers to this essay prompt would include examples of situations in which you demonstrated the ambition and talent that Tepper is seeking in its MBA candidates. In addition, since Tepper’s class is so small, applicants who demonstrate their fit with a small, tight-knit community will pique their interest.
• Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have been otherwise able to convey. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc.
• If you are a re-applicant, explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.
With only one required essay of 350 words, I highly recommend using this space to share more about your background. You can use this essay to demonstrate your potential or experience in a particular field or even to share an example of your analytical and leadership skills.
If you would like professional guidance with your CMU Tepper MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Tepper application.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 17 years and a Certified Professional Resume Writer since 2005. She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your applications, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget.