Scott Edinburgh
June 25, 2016

MIT Sloan Removes Required MBA Essay, Replaces with Cover Letter

Girl Typing Cover Letter for MIT Sloan

To give you something to think about over the weekend, the MIT Sloan MBA admissions office released the application requirements and deadlines for the 2017 season (Class of 2019). For years Sloan asked for a cover letter, which sometimes caused applicants some pause since it was not a traditional essay. This year the team has decided to see how applicants can once again write a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA program. Here is the real challenge: 250 word limit. When is the last time you wrote a 250 word cover letter? The short length will really push applicants to think hard about the reasons they deserve at spot at Sloan and choose their words very carefully.

As described on MIT Sloan’s Admissions Blog: Your cover letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself, describe your past successes, and explain why MIT Sloan’s MBA Program is the right place for you.

The optional component of the application worked really well last year and as I reported in my interview with Jeff Carbone, the admissions team really liked what students presented last year. The additional and optional information section will remain the same this year, and applicants will have the choice of writing an essay of 500 words or less or submitting materials in any other format. Videos and media are capped at 2 minutes.


See below for the full details.

Cover Letter: Please submit a cover letter seeking a place in the MIT Sloan MBA Program. Your letter should conform to a standard business correspondence and be addressed to Mr. Rod Garcia, Senior Director of Admissions. (250 words or fewer)

Your cover letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself, describe your past successes, and explain why MIT Sloan’s MBA Program is the right place for you.

Resume: Please submit a resume that includes your employment history and academic record in reverse chronological order. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged. (no more than 1 page in length)

Additional Information (Optional)

The Admissions Committee invites you to share additional information about yourself, in any format. If you choose a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us with the URL.

Suggested guidelines:
Please keep all videos and media limited to 2:00 minutes total in length.
Please keep all written essays to 500 words or less.
If hosting your submission on a website, please ensure you provide an unprotected link (no password required).

Pre-Interview Question

Sloan’s pre-interview question also worked well last year and will remain.

Those invited to interview will be asked to answer the following question: The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer).  Details for submitting your essay will be included in the interview invitation.

Letter of recommendation requirements

MBA applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. Professional recommendations are preferred from individuals who are able to speak with certainty about your professional achievements and potential. Recommenders must submit recommendations online. We do not accept recommendations via the mail. Recommendations may be in either letter or short answer format and should not exceed two pages each. We do not accept recommendations from family members. Please choose recommenders who are able to provide specific answers to the following questions:

  • How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?

  • How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?

  • Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.

  • Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.

  • Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?

  • If you are an academic/technical recommender, please tell us how well the applicant mastered the subject you taught or supervised and in what ways did the applicant demonstrate this mastery.

  • Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

Are you a re-applicant?

For applicants who applied for entry in 2015 (or early 2016), we require that you complete and submit a new and complete application, including new recommendation letters, essays, and transcripts. Re-applicants may submit their applications in any round (except for LGO applicants. See below). Applicants who applied for entry prior to 2015 are not considered re-applicants.

Applying to LGO?

LGO applicants must submit an additional letter of recommendation (total of three letters of recommendation). The third recommendation must be from an academic source or someone who can speak definitively of your technical skills (this letter does not have to follow our outlined questions). Please advise the person you have chosen that he or she is the technical recommender. All three recommendation letters must be submitted by the LGO application deadline of December 1.

You will also have to select an engineering master’s program you wish to pursue.


If you would like individual and personal support while applying to MIT Sloan, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to learn how I can help! As an MIT Sloan BS graduate (and Wharton MBA grad) I help applicants get into MIT Sloan every year. 

See details on the entire application, including specifics for HKS applicants

Stay tuned for updates to MIT Sloan’s Executive MBA and Sloan Fellows applications!

Are you early in your career but still want to study at MIT? The Master of Finance or the new Master of Business Analytics might be a great option. Email me to discuss your profile further.