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Berklee Essay Prompt 2012

Berkeley Haas Application Essays

Essays help us learn about who you are as a person and how you will fit with our community. We seek candidates from a broad range of industries, backgrounds, and cultures. Our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles - Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. We encourage you to reflect on your experiences, values, and passions so that you may craft thoughtful and authentic responses that demonstrate your fit with our program - culturally, academically, and professionally.

Below are the required essays, supplemental essays, and optional essays for Fall

Required Essays

Essay #1

Tell us a six-word story that reflects a memorable experience in your life-to-date. Elaborate on why it is meaningful to you. ( words maximum)

Tip: A successful six-word story will pique the reader’s interest in the forthcoming explanation. Together, the story and explanation will share a specific and personal experience that helps the reader get to know you better, giving insight into your character, values, or how you would uniquely contribute to the Berkeley Haas community. View sample six-word stories and video tips from the admissions committee.

Essay #2

Respond to one of the following prompts: ( words maximum)

  • Describe a significant obstacle you have encountered and how it has impacted you.
  • Describe how you have cultivated a diverse and inclusive culture.
  • Describe a leadership experience and how you made a positive and lasting impact.

Tip: Responses can draw from professional or personal experiences. Through your response, the admissions committee hopes to gain insight into your achievements, involvement, and leadership footprint.

Essay #3

  1. Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goals. (50 words maximum)
  2. How have prior experiences motivated and prepared you to pursue these goals? ( words maximum)

Tip: You are encouraged to reflect on both what you want to do professionally after business school and why this path interests you.

Supplemental Information

  1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.
  2. List, in order of importance, significant community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each using the format below:

    • Name of organization or activity
    • Nature of organization or activity
    • Size of organization
    • Dates of involvement
    • Offices held
    • Average number of hours spent per month
  3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.
  4. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission).

Optional Essay

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application, for example:

  • Explanation of employment gaps or academic aberrations
  • Quantitative abilities
  • For re-applicants, improvements to your candidacy

Next: Application Tips

Admissions Process

Each fall, the Full-time MBA Program enrolls approximately bright, diverse, and creative future business leaders. We admit candidates with solid professional experience and leadership potential who come from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds.

We seek candidates who embody our Berkeley Haas Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. The goal of the application review process is to identify those candidates who are the strongest fit within our program.

Admissions Criteria

Professional Experience

The quality of an MBA program is immeasurably enhanced by the real-world business experience that students bring to the classroom. For this reason, most of our students have two or more years of full-time professional work experience following the completion of their undergraduate degree. More important, however, is the richness of that experience.

When reviewing applications, we are interested in the progression and milestones of your career, as well as your supervisor's assessment of your value as an employee and potential as a leader.

Academic Aptitude

Your past academic performance provides us with an indication as to whether you will be able to handle the academic rigor of our program. Candidates may apply to the program if they hold the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree and have not obtained an MBA or comparable degree from another institution. In reviewing your transcripts, we take into account your choice of coursework, the rigor of your undergraduate major, the competitiveness of your academic institutions, and your grade point average (GPA).

Although we do not have a minimum requirement, a GPA of B () or better is generally the standard for serious consideration. We also evaluate your performance on the GMAT (preferred) or GRE, and if required, the TOEFL or IELTS, to assess your ability to succeed academically in our program.

Quantitative Proficiency

The curriculum at Haas includes courses that have a qualitative focus and others that are more analytical and quantitative. All applicants should have completed, at a minimum, a college-level mathematics or statistics course. Haas faculty who teach quantitative courses will assume you have mastered the basic material. Therefore, the Admissions Committee looks carefully at quantitative proficiency when making its admissions decisions.

Personal Qualities

The Berkeley MBA has a distinct culture, and we seek applicants who represent the school's four Defining Leadership Principles: Confidence Without Attitude, Question the Status Quo, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

Application Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Berkeley Haas MBA, an applicant must successfully complete the following:

Application Fee

A non-refundable $ application fee is required in order to consider your application complete. You may submit payment using one of the following options:

  • Credit Card: Preferred method of payment. Available through the online application.
  • Check or Money Order: Mail a check or money order made payable to "UC Regents" along with your supplemental materials. Please make sure your name appears on the check.

University Transcripts

You must submit one official transcript from every college/university/graduate institution you have attended since secondary/high school graduation, regardless of length of study.

Graduates of non-US institutions must also provide one official degree certificate in the original language. English translations are required if the documents are not in English. Official copies (required for admission) must be issued by the school. Minimum academic requirements for international applicants are a 4-year bachelor's degree or a master's degree (2 years after your bachelor's degree).

For review purposes, scans or photocopies of official academic records are acceptable, and may be uploaded via the online application. If you are admitted, you will be required to immediately submit official academic records issued by your institution.

You may mail academic documents to:
Full-Time MBA Admissions
Haas School of Business
Student Services Bldg #
Berkeley, CA


Please upload a current resume through the online application. PDF format is preferred.

GMAT or GRE Score Report

All candidates are required to take the GMAT (preferred) or GRE exam prior to the deadline for which they are applying. There is no minimum acceptable score. We are especially interested in your performance on the quantitative section as an indication of your quantitative proficiency. Please note that the Analytical Writing component is required for both the GMAT and GRE.

For Fall admission, we accept official scores only from exams taken on or after October 1,

You may send your exam results using the following institution codes
GMAT Institution Code: N2VPT47
GRE Institution Code:

For detailed information please see

English Language Proficiency Requirement

The UC Berkeley Graduate Division requires that all applicants who received their degrees from countries in which the official language is not English submit official evidence of English Language Proficiency.

To satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement applicants must fulfill one of the following:

  • Received a degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English.

    Regardless of the language of instruction, degrees from the following countries or regions do not meet this requirement:
    • Bangladesh
    • Burma
    • Europe (non-U.K.)
    • India
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • Latin America
    • Middle East
    • Nepal
    • North Africa
    • Pakistan
    • People's Republic of China
    • Southeast Asia
    • Taiwan
    US citizens who received their undergraduate degrees in these countries or regions also do not meet this requirement.

  • Completed at least one year of full-time coursework with a grade of B or better at a university located in the U.S., U.K., Australia, English-speaking Canada or Singapore.

    The following courses do not fulfill this requirement:
    • Courses in English as a Second Language.
    • Courses conducted in a language other than English.
    • Courses that will be completed after you apply.
    • Courses of a nonacademic nature.
  • Have taken and met the score requirements for one of the following standardized tests:

    TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Your most recent score must be at least 90 for the Internet-based test (iBT), at least for the computer-based test (CBT), or at least for the paper and pencil test (PBT). To have your exam results sent to Berkeley's Full-Time MBA Program, list institution code and department code

    For Fall admission, we accept official scores only from exams taken on or after June 1, .

    See our class profile for last year's average TOEFL score.
    For detailed information please

    IELTS (International English Language Testing System): While TOEFL is preferred, you can submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Your most recent overall BAND score must be at least 7 on a 9-point scale.

    For Fall admission, we accept official scores only from exams taken on or after June 1, .

    For detailed information please see:


Essays help the Admissions Committee learn about you as an individual and how you will fit into the Berkeley Haas community. For more information, please see our required essays.

Two Professional Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation and prefer that at least one come from a current employer. Select individuals with whom you have had considerable professional interaction, such as your supervisor or a major client. The title or status of those you select is not important. What does matter is how closely your letter writers have worked with you and whether they can attest to your value as an employee, your professional accomplishments, and your personal qualities and interpersonal skills in an organizational context. For this reason, we strongly discourage academic references. Letters of recommendation from co-workers, someone you have supervised, relatives, or personal and family friends are inappropriate and can be detrimental to the review of your application. Please do not submit more than two letters, and if you choose not to obtain a letter from your current supervisor, be certain to explain why.

Recommenders may submit letters of recommendation online, or by completing, printing, and mailing a hard copy recommendation using this form. If the online recommendation is chosen, your recommender will be given access to an online form.


The Admissions Committee conducts interviews of applicants by invitation only, and we ask that you please refrain from contacting us to request an interview. Interviews are offered both on-campus and in cities around the world.

Next: Essays