Haas School of Business

MBA Application Essay Questions: 2023 – 2024

Required Essay 1

What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

Through this essay, the admissions committee wants to know something that you are extremely passionate about. The passion can be either professional or personal but should be something that is unique and helps showcase certain aspects of your personality. For some it may be their professional jobs while for others it can be some extra curricular activities that excites them and enriches their lives. Remember to focus on “why” this activity / role / task excites you and how it adds value to you personally.

Required Essay 2

How will an MBA help you achieve your short-term and long-term career goals? (300 words max)

This year the Haas application has been revamped to include the classic goals essays that are hallmark of most applications. Through this question, the admissions committee is trying to assess whether your professional aspirations will be a fit for the program and how realistic your career goals are. Use this space to highlight your professional experience and achievements along with some unique skills that you may have gained during your career thus far and try to establish a link with your short terms and long terms goals post the MBA. Making a strong link between your prior experience, the skillsets and experience your Haas MBA will enable you to acquire and future career plans will prove immensely beneficial in convincing the admissions committee about your fit.

Required Essay 3: Video

The Berkeley MBA program develops leaders who embody our four Defining Leadership Principles. Briefly introduce yourself to the admissions committee, explain which leadership principle resonates most with you, and tell us how you have exemplified the principle in your personal or professional life. (Not to exceed 2 minutes.)

This year the Haas application includes a video essay that focuses of leadership. Video questions have been gaining traction across all MBA applications and thus there is no surprise that the Haas admissions committee decided to include them this year.

The Defining Leadership Principles of Haas are as follows:

  • Question the Status Quo
  • Confidence Without Attitude
  • Students Always
  • Beyond Yourself

It is recommended that while recording the answer prompt, one incorporates a brief introduction about himself that stresses on certain personality traits that are a precursor to the leadership principle that he intends to focus on. While talking about the leadership principle speak about one in depth and illustrate certain instances in your life where you would have demonstrated those principles. The best responses are those that show an impact and overcoming challenges.

Note: While preparing for this question, please stick to broader bullets rather than a script as we have often seen applicants stumble upon hiccups with a full scripted answer.

Required Essay 4

Can you please describe any experience or exposure you have in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging whether through community organizations, personal, or in the workplace? (150 words max)

The classic DEI question has made its way into the Haas application this year. DEI is becoming increasingly more important to business education as corporations around the world are realizing the impact it can create in unlock value for all stakeholders.

While thinking about this response, focus on just one specific instance and talk about the same in detail. Remember to showcase the impact that it helped bring into your role and the potential value it could have created for your organization as this may be difficult to quantify and measure.

Optional Essays:

The admissions team takes a holistic approach to application review and seeks to understand all aspects of a candidate’s character, qualifications, and experiences. We will consider achievements in the context of the opportunities available to a candidate. Some applicants may have faced hardships or unusual life circumstances, and we will consider the maturity, perseverance, and thoughtfulness with which they have responded to and/or overcome them.

Optional Information #1

We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements.

While this essay can be a good place to talk about certain aspects of your profile that may not be mentioned in other parts of your application, most applicants should leave it blank if there is nothing concrete.
If you have faced certain challenges in your life that deserve mention, do use this space to provide additional context on how they have helped shaped you.

Optional Information #2

This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application. This may include explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

Use this essay to explain any gaps or shortcomings in your application otherwise its best left blank.

Upcoming deadlines

The application deadlines for the Full-Time MBA Class of 2026 are:

Please create a wpDataTable first. You can find detailed instructions in our docs on this link.


Application Deadline

Decision Deadline

Round 1

September 14, 2023

December 7, 2023

Round 2

January 4, 2024

March 21, 2024

Round 3

March 28, 2024

May 2, 2024

MBA Class of 2024 Snapshot:

Total Students Enrolled




Countries Represented





Middle 80% Range

700 – 760

GRE Verbal



Middle 80% Range

153 – 167

GRE Quant



Middle 80% Range

155 – 169

Work Experience



Middle 80% Range

3.2 – 8.2

Undergrad GPA



Middle 80% Range

3.4 – 3.92

Industry Represented:

Industry Represented

Undergraduate Degree:

Undergraduate Degree:

Career Outcomes (Class of 2022)

Industry Split:

Career Outcomes (Class of 2022) Industry Split

Industry wise average compensations:

Industry wise average compensations
Top Employers:
  • Adobe
  • Amazon
  • Bain & Co
  • BCG
  • Cisco
  • Cruise
  • Deloitte
  • EY Parthenon
  • Google
  • McKinsey & Co
  • Nike
  • Meta
  • Strategy&
  • ServiceNow

Client Testimonials