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, do they start to seem pretty much the same?
Well, not Carnegie Mellon Tepper. Tepper continues to march to the beat of its own drum. CMU is committed to the rhythm produced by a combination of leadership development and analytical skills. Unlike many other MBA programs that now allow students to enroll in electives from their first semester on campus, Tepper believes that students are better served by having a standard 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 192 students in its incoming class, while Wharton has 877 and HBS has 1,015. Only 4% of Tepper MBA Class of 2024 students majored in arts/humanities as undergrads. Does that mean that Tepper isn’t interested in people from humanities backgrounds? Not at all, but it does mean that any applicant from a humanities background needs to demonstrate their aptitude for complex, quantitative analyses to prove themselves capable of handling the challenging Tepper curriculum.
Tepper has a required written essay, a video goals essay, and an optional essay in its application:
CMU Tepper MBA application essay
The Tepper community is dynamic and unique, with students who strive to be collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. Please provide an example of when you experienced or created an inclusive environment and how you will use that experience to help members of the community reach their full potential. (Maximum 500 words)
Tepper Together is the school’s strategic plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEI&B). The school values the “diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of its members and promotes a culture where each individual is valued, respected, has a voice, and is empowered to improve their own experience and develop a life-long network of support.” Think through your distinctive experiences to identify one in which you were part of a community where everyone felt included and valued for their background, experience, and perspectives. What did you learn from the experience? How have you already applied this learning in other situations? Looking ahead, how will you use this knowledge or these newly developed skills to impact your classmates and the broader Tepper community? Your distinctive story will be most effective if it is relatively recent and illustrates personal growth in this area – self-awareness is essential in this answer. Perhaps you had an “Aha!” moment that led to an intentional change in your behavior. Or, you may naturally be inclusive but can point to your personal growth through the experience. Be sure to include these examples in your essay.
CMU Tepper video career goals essay
You will have up to two minutes to describe your post-MBA career goals.
This essay is a typical goals essay; only you will respond via video instead of writing it. You will have two opportunities to record your video essay, so preparation is vital. Before officially responding to this essay, record yourself and review critically, focusing on your delivery and the content of your answer. Create a script or at least bullet points, and practice. Is English not your first language? Then practice enough to convey your answer without sounding too rehearsed. By all means, avoid reading your response.
As for the content of the essay, share what motivates and is important to you as you consider the next step in your career. Be as specific as you can be regarding the industry and function for your post-MBA position. Consider the type of organization you are interested in joining, and feel free to list some companies while indicating the list is not necessarily comprehensive. You will be exposed to new organizations and opportunities early in the program, and you want to convey your openness and flexibility to coaching when you begin working with your career counselor. Finally, paint a picture of your career for the longer term. How does the post-MBA goal fit into the bigger picture for the next 10-12 years? Convey your goals authentically and demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have a plausible plan, building on your existing skills and experience. Are you making a pivot? Think about transferable skills you can build on to make this move successfully.
CMU Tepper optional MBA application essay
There is an optional essay for additional information about your candidacy that you may wish to share with the admissions committee.
Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have otherwise been able to convey. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc. However, do not feel obligated to complete the optional essay.
If you are a re-applicant, use the optional essay to explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.
In addition to filling in information gaps for the admissions committee, use this essay to include connections you’ve made with members of the Tepper community that were enlightening or helpful in your understanding of how you will thrive at Tepper. You should go beyond name-dropping and be sure to share insights into the impact of your interaction.
Please note that college seniors applying to the Deferred Admission program will respond to different essay questions.
CMU Tepper at a glance
CMU Tepper average GMAT score: 702
CMU Tepper average GPA: 3.33
CMU Tepper acceptance rate: 29%
U.S. News ranked Tepper #16 in 2023.
Check out the Business School Selectivity Index for more stats.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your Tepper application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your dream school. With so much at stake, why not hire a consultant whose expertise and personalized guidance can help you make your dream come true? We have several flexible consulting options—click here to get started today!
CMU Tepper 2022-23 application deadlines
|Application deadline||Admissions decisions|
|Round 1||October 2, 2022||December 7, 2022|
|Round 2||January 5, 2023||March 8, 2023|
|Round 3||March 12, 2023||May 3, 2023|
Source: CMU Tepper website
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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
As the former executive director of admissions at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School and assistant dean of admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School and the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School, has 23 years’ experience overseeing admissions committees and has reviewed more than 38,000 applications for the MBA and master’s programs in management of information systems, computational finance, business analytics, and product management. Want Kelly to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
- Why MBA?, a guide to writing the MBA goals essay
- How to Get a CMU Tepper MBA, a podcast episode
- From Example to Exemplary, a free guide to writing outstanding admissions essays