Chicago Booth 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

By - Jul 19, 13:27 PM Comments [0]

Check out our webinar: Get Accepted to Chicago Booth!Chicago Booth has always prided itself on valuing applicants who can handle ambiguity and lack of structure. And it's application reflects that principle. In spades. This year's Booth application also mirrors Chicago's pride in its distinctive culture. This essay/presentation question, which is new for this year, is about as open-ended and original as it gets.

My tips are in blue below.


Chicago Booth values individuality because of what we can learn from the diverse experiences and perspectives of others. This mutual respect creates an open-minded community that supports curiosity, inspires us to think more broadly, take risks, and challenge assumptions. At Booth, community is about collaborative thinking and tapping into each other's different viewpoints to cultivate new ideas and realize breakthrough moments every day.

Using one of the photos provided, tell us how it resonates with your own viewpoint on why the Booth community is the right fit for you.

This is a really difficult question.

What do you want to tell Booth that reflects your adventurous and curious nature, your distinctive perspective and experience --which will contribute to the class' diversity--and your ability to contribute to a vigorous but still collaborative exchange of ideas?  And yes it should be genuinely you.

To start make a list of the experiences and achievements that you are most proud of and that best reflect who you are.   Then review the Booth admissions criteria. Next to each item on your list, add the qualities from Booth's criteria that this experience or achievement reveals.

Next review Booth's website for insights into its community. If possible, talk to current students and recent alumni. Here is Booth's succinct description of its community:

"Our community is intensely collaborative. At Booth, ideas compete and people collaborate. We have a culture where we value people who are curious. Whether presented by a classmate or a professor, every idea is examined with a belief in data over dogma. We prefer to let arguments stand and fall on their own merit. Ideas are authentically and rigorously tested and refined through honest and thoughtful discussion and discourse. There are no wrong questions, except the ones that go unasked.

"This experience will take you deeper into an issue, broaden your perspective, and compel you to challenge assumptions. You will uncover new realities and INSIGHTS, crack open seemingly intractable challenges, and develop more valid and useful solutions."

Now that you have done your research, look at the pictures. Which one resonates with you? Which one will allow you to show fit with Booth's community, especially the admissions criteria related to community?  

Presentation/Essay Guidelines

Choose the format that works for you. Feel free to submit a traditional essay, slide presentation, or any format that you feel best captures your response. Please use the format you are most comfortable with, the Admissions Committee has no preference.

Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.

Technical Guidelines

File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.

Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.

Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.

A few thoughts:

Should you write an essay or use a visual presentation? That depends on you. If you are talented visually and love graphics and powerpoint, use a visual medium as long as it will translate to PDF. If you are a "words person" who prefers expressing your thoughts in writing, write the response. Do what will make it easiest for you to express your essence.  

Don't take the lack of a word limit as a license to write the great American novel or your culture's equivalent of War and Peace.  Don't use more words or take more of their time than necessary. Don't mistake quantity for quality.  This is a great place for you to show judgment -- good or bad. 

Reapplicant Essay: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

This answer to this question is critical for MBA reapplicants. Remember, Chicago (and any school you are reapplying to) wants to see growth. Same ol’, same ‘ol got you a ding last time and probably will again this time.

Let this brief essay show a maturation and evolution of your goals and reasons for wanting to attend Chicago Booth.  Let it also reveal that you meet Chicago's criteria better this year than last. 

If you would like professional guidance with your Chicago Booth MBA application, please consider 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 Booth application. 

Chicago Booth 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Submission Deadline Final Decision Notification
Round 1 September 17, 2015 December 10, 2015
Round 2 January 5, 2016 March 24, 2016
Round 3 April 5, 2016 May 19, 2015

Learn how to get accepted to Chicago Booth!

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources: 

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips 
Chicago Booth B-School Zone
Audio & Video in Admissions, a free guide

This article originally appeared on's experienced admissions consultants can help you create the most impressive application possible with comprehensive packages, or provide targeted assistance from picking perfect programs to designing a dazzling resumeconstructing engaging essays, or preparing for intense interviews…and more! has guided thousands of applicants to acceptances at top programs since 1994 – we know what works and what doesn't, so contact us to get started now!    ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy

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