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 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 231 students in its class, while Wharton has 897 and HBS has 1,010. Only 6% of Tepper MBA Class of 2023 students majored in arts/humanities as undergrads. Does that mean that Tepper isn’t interested in people from humanities backgrounds? No, but it does mean that any applicant from a humanities background had better demonstrate their facility with complex, quantitative analyses to prove themselves capable of handling the challenging Tepper curriculum.
Tepper has only one required essay (except for applicants who are college seniors) and one optional essay in its application:
CMU Tepper MBA application essay
The Tepper community is dynamic and unique. Each community member’s individual journey has shaped them into classmates who are collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. Describe how you have overcome adversity during your journey. What did you learn about yourself and how has that shaped who you are? (Maximum 350-500 words.)
Please take Tepper’s implied advice here and write a story that only you can tell. Think through your experiences to identify one in which you were challenged and you had to grow as a leader beyond what you had done before. Ideally, this story will be from the past 2 or 3 years to show your most recent advancement as a leader. Many applicants struggle to answer what they learned about themselves. I find that this is a great opportunity to talk about what parts of that growth were difficult for you emotionally/psychologically. Recognizing these weaknesses is a great point of embarking on overcoming them.
Watch: Kelly Wilson, Executive Director of Masters Admissions on how to answer the essay question
CMU Tepper optional MBA application essay
- There also 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.
With only one required essay, 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.
CMU Tepper career goals essay
We also ask you a question about your post-MBA career goal as well as an alternative goal as a plan B. Tepper MBAs believe in being prepared!
Although the exact wording of this question hasn’t been released yet, last year’s question was:
What is your professional goal immediately following graduation from Tepper?
What other role would you consider? In other words, what is your Plan B?*
We know that you have a lot to tell us but to keep it fair, your answers are limited to 150 words.
This is a straightforward goals statement with a twist: Tepper wants to make sure that you have the flexibility that true exploration both requires and yields. If you embark on this program in pursuit of only one goal and some global change occurs – e.g., COVID! – that makes that goal unrealistic during your two years of study, they do not want you to graduate and lack direction. If you are pursuing a role that is atypical, use some of the space of these short answers to explain how you plan to pursue these roles and why they are a good fit with your background and long-term ambitions.
CMU Tepper at a glance
CMU Tepper average GMAT score: 691
CMU Tepper average GPA: 3.35
CMU Tepper acceptance rate: 29.7%
U.S. News ranked Tepper #16 in 2023.
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
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Jennifer Bloom, admissions consultant at Accepted for 20 years and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at guiding you to produce application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!