Posted on September 9, 2022

CMU Tepper MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines: 2022-23

CMU Tepper

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Tepper School of Business of Carnegie Mellon University seeks candidates who will enrich its tight-knit community and are interested in a highly analytical course structure.

From Tepper WebsiteThe vision of CMU Tepper is to create value for business and society by providing intellectual leadership, advancing the science and practice of management, and developing ethical leaders to be the agents of change in a world driven by technology and innovation.

Application Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decision Date
Round 1- Full Time October 02, 2022 December 07, 2022
Round 2- Full Time & Part-time January 05, 2023 March 08, 2023
Round 3- Full Time & Part-time March 12, 2023 May 03, 2023
Round 4- Part-time May 01, 2023 May 31, 2023


All deadlines are 11:59 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)


Like in previous years, there is one required essay for all Tepper MBA applicants. But the essay prompt has been changed this year. The 'adversity' essay has been replaced with the 'diversity' essay. Further, this year Tepper has replaced the short essays on post-MBA goals & the alternate Plan B with a Video essay of two minutes about short-term goals. The applicants can also write an optional essay to provide additional information about their candidacy.

The Tepper community is dynamic and unique, with students who strive to be collaborative, supportive, and inclusive. Please provide an example of when you experienced or created an inclusive environment and how you will use that experience to help members of the community reach their full potential.

Business schools value diversity, equity, and inclusion in MBA admissions. Therefore, more and more schools (Darden, Haas, Wharton, to name a few) are asking for diversity essays to ensure a great educational experience for students from diverse religions, demographics, ethnicities, cultures, or sexual orientations. To brainstorm ideas for this essay, reflect on times when you worked with people from different cultures, geographies, races, and skill sets in your personal (at school/college) or professional life. Then ask yourself these questions: Did you encourage and respect people who are different from you?  Did you take conscious steps to promote inclusion? If yes, how did you do it?

Maybe you helped a person from a different sexual orientation or cultural background feel welcome and accepted into the team. Or maybe you grew up in a multicultural environment that made you culturally adaptable and open-minded, naturally enabling you to promote DEI  at work.

This question has two parts:

1. Your experience /story where you promoted DEI

2. Your potential contribution in this area to the Tepper community

To organize your ideas, provide context about your perspective on DEI. Then narrate an experience about how you have supported diversity and inclusion at the workplace or in your personal life. Since the essay prompt doesn't specify the type of experience, feel free to choose a personal or professional experience or community involvement.

As always, we recommend using the STAR method to organize your story's details. STAR stands for Situation/ Task/ Action/ Result.

Situation: Provide a context to your experience. What was the situation? Was there a crisis, a conflict, a challenge, or a problem?

Task: If so, what was the requirement? What was expected of you?

Action: What steps did you take? What challenges did you face, and how did you deal with them?

Result/Outcome: What was the outcome of the experience? How did it impact someone's life? How is the experience meaningful to you?

In the second part of the essay, please explain how you plan to leverage that experience to help members of the Tepper community to reach their full potential. Think of different ways to promote inclusivity as a Tepper student and alumnus. Again, a thorough knowledge of Tepper's resources is crucial to compose an authentic response to your potential contribution to Tepper's small, tight-knit, and supportive community. You can organize your details by allotting 50-60% of the essay to the background and diversity story and 40-50% of the essay to how you see yourself contributing to the community.

Video Essay: Goals

We know this is an important component of your decision to attend business school. We take it seriously as well. Please describe your post-MBA career goals.

It would be helpful to consider the following information in your response:

  • You have up to 2 minutes to respond to this question.
  • Please be as specific as possible. If you have not yet identified specific companies, that is okay. Just tell us what interests you for your next role or company. What about the industry, company, or functional role is appealing to you?
  • If you have any criteria you are using to evaluate career opportunities, please share those as well. We may have great opportunities to add to your list.
  • How does this post-MBA career goal relate to your long-term career plan?

This is a straightforward Goals Essay about post-MBA goals. Instead of writing it, you will be recording it for the admission committee. I would first create a script and then practice speaking it to the camera. First, identify the position you hope to hold immediately after your MBA, specifying your role, function, industry, and 1-2 organizations/ companies you want to work for. Then, articulate your goal and explain why this goal is exciting and vital to you. Please note that your post-MBA plan should show a logical progression from your professional experience, current skill set, and the skills and knowledge you would acquire through Tepper MBA. Also, your post-MBA goals should be ambitious as well as realistic, leading you to your long-term aspirations.

Practice is key to preparing for a video essay. Since this is a recorded video, you can deliver your best essay if you invest more time in practicing speaking in front of the camera.

Click on the following blog for helpful tips on preparing video essays: Helpful Tips to Ace Video Essays

Optional Essay

Use this essay to convey important information that you may not have been otherwise able to convey. This may include unexplained resume gaps, context for recommender selection, etc.

If you are a reapplicant, use the optional essay to explain how your candidacy has strengthened since your last application.

An optional essay is an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee relevant information you could not provide in any other parts of your application. In addition, the optional essay is a great place to address extenuating circumstances, which means that you should explain any weaknesses in your profile. For example, if you have a lower-than-average GMAT score, grades below a C on your transcript, academic probation, or significant employment or education gap, you can explain it in this essay. Also, if you cannot get your recommendation letter from your current supervisor, please explain that in the optional statement.

To provide context for a weakness in your profile, make sure your reason is genuine to convince the Ad Com that your low grades or employment gap occurred due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control. Your response should be positive, straightforward, and fact-focused and not sound like you are making excuses for a weakness in your profile. Your weakness may also bring out a positive aspect of your personality. For example, if you are discussing your employment gap, you may explain that you did something productive during that period, such as traveling, volunteering, or handling a family medical emergency.

In case you do not have any weakness in your profile, but you think that you didn't get a chance to highlight a significant aspect of your profile in any other part of the application, you should use this platform to share that vital aspect of your candidacy. For example, if you have done considerable community work and could not share it elsewhere, you can elaborate on it in your optional essay. Likewise, perhaps you have a stellar leadership story or entrepreneurial experience that you did not get a chance to showcase. You can use this space for that. Since Tepper asks for only one required essay, I highly recommend submitting an optional essay.

Tepper does not ask for a separate re-applicant essay, so if you are a re-applicant, you will also use this essay to explain how your candidacy has improved since your last application.

Free Resources

10 Key Essay Tips with Examples

Essay Analysis of Other Top Programs-2022-23

MER Students Share their success Stories

Case Studies

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview) has helped many applicants get accepted into the top 20 MBA programs, including Tepper. (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.)

Do you have questions about your application? E-mail Poonam at or sign up here for a free consultation.