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The McCombs 2013-2014 Application
The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin has released its essay topics and admissions requirements for the Class of 2016. We have seen a significant overhaul of the essay portion of the application. Details of the essay portion and other areas of the McCombs application of which to take note are highlighted below.
2013-2014 Application Deadlines
The application deadlines for McCombs have remained consistent from the previous year. Application deadlines will be as follows:
Round 1: Applications due October 15, 2013
Round 2: Applications due January 21, 2014*
*Priority deadline for scholarship consideration.
*Final deadline for international applicants.
Round 3: Applications due March 27, 2014**
**Final deadline for domestic applicants
This year, McCombs has joined the ranks of top MBA programs that have significantly cut their required essay content for the 2013-2014 application cycle. In fact, the total number of allowable words has been cut by nearly half, meaning that all applicants will need to choose their words very carefully. The essay topics will appear on the McCombs application as they do below.
Essay 1: Imagine that you are at the Texas MBA Orientation for the Class of 2016. Please introduce yourself to your new classmates, and include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe to be significant. Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.
- Write an essay (250 words)
- Share a video introduction (one minute)
- Share your about.me profile
Essay 2: In the Texas MBA program we value our tight-knit and highly collaborative culture. Outside of your professional goals, please discuss why you are a good fit with the Texas MBA program and how you intend to impact the Texas MBA community? (250 words)
Essay 3: What do you hope to gain from your Texas MBA experience? How do you expect to develop, both personally and professionally, during the Texas MBA program? (250 words)
Essay 4 (Optional Essay): Please provide any additional information to the Admissions Committee that you believe is important and/or will address any areas of concern that will be beneficial to the Admissions Committee in considering your application. (200 words)
Aside from the drastically cut number of allowable words, there are several things to note in these new essay prompts. First, in Essay 1, McCombs has added the option to diversify your application away from the traditional essay format through either a video or an about.me profile. Ultimately, the format in which you choose to deliver your message will not matter. That said, if writing is your strong point, you should probably choose to stick with the essay option. On the other hand, the video option or about.me profile may help applicants who wish to be more creative and feel that they can better deliver their message through another method than writing. Second, it is important to note that Essay 1 should address your classmates – not the admissions board. Lastly, all of the required essay prompts share one important trait: they all emphasize the value of fit. While it is important to thoroughly research all schools to which you are applying, a small program like McCombs particularly values how an applicant will fit in with the current culture, and how he or she will be able to contribute to the culture. In fact, the McCombs admissions board states that the goal of the essay requirement is to learn three things about the applicant (all three of which pertain to fit): (1) What makes you a unique addition to the McCombs class, (2) How much do you know about McCombs and how you will be a contributing member of the community, and (3) How will you plan to develop professionally and personally while at McCombs.
The Optional Essay (Essay 4) is generally used to explain any weaknesses in an application, such as gaps in employment, a lower-than-expected GMAT or GRE score, or any other personal extenuating circumstances that may affect admission. The optional essay may also be helpful to explain how you will strengthen your expertise in core business subjects.
Submitting a Resume
The McCombs application will allow all applicants to submit a two-page resume. The resume may include public, community or military service, travel experiences, extracurricular activities, hobbies or special aptitudes, any honors or recognition received, or other indicators of an applicant's motivation and character. Anything that stems beyond this may consider going into one of the required essays. In addition, the McCombs admissions board strongly recommends that all applicants have at least two years of full-time, post-baccalaureate work experience.
Other Required Information
In addition to the above information, the McCombs application will also require all applicants to submit a valid GRE or GMAT score (applicants need only submit the highest score – not all scores cumulative), two letters of recommendation (one of which should ideally be from a current supervisor), a TOEFL score for international students, and an updated application for all reapplicants.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com