School Spotlight: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business Admissions Highlights:

 Application Deadlines

Note: These are the deadlines from the 2017-2018 application season. We will post the 2018-2019 deadlines once they are available.

Cornell 2017-2018 Deadlines


Johnson Cornell MBA 2017-2018 Essay Questions:

Note: We will post the 2018-2019 essay topics once they become available

2017-2018 Cornell Johnson Essay Topics

Essay 1

At Cornell, we value students who create impact. Please indicate the opportunities for impact that you have identified through engagement with our community and describe how these interactions have influenced your decision to apply to Johnson.

Please limit your response to 500 words or fewer.

Table of Contents Essay

You are the author of your Life Story. Please create the Table of Contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. We value creativity and authenticity and encourage you to approach this essay with your unique style. Alternative submission formats may include a slide presentation, links to pre-existing media (personal website, digital portfolio, YouTube etc.), as well as visually enhanced written submissions.

Maximum file size is 5 MB. If you choose to submit a written Table of Contents, please limit your submission to 500 words or fewer. Please limit multimedia submissions to under 5 minutes.

Optional Essay

Complete this essay if you would like to add additional details regarding your candidacy. For instance, if you believe one or more aspects of your application (e.g., undergraduate record or test scores) do not accurately reflect your potential for success at Johnson.

If you are reapplying for admission, please use this essay to indicate how you have strengthened your application since the last time you applied. 

Please limit your response to 500 words or fewer.


Acceptance Rate & Key Statistics:

Key Statistics

Applicants: 1,653 (30% Admitted)
Full-Time MBA: 629 Students
Average GMAT: 700
Median GMAT: 710
Average Age: 28
Average Work Experience: 5.0 Years
Rolling Admissions: Yes
% Students who are Women: 27%
% Students who are International: 34%


Bloomberg Businessweek: 13
U.S. News & World Report: 16
Financial Times: 27


Helpful Links:

Our Consultant Elisa’s Experience at Johnson Cornell

When and where did you attend grad school?

I attended a dual degree at Cornell attending both the Johnson School of Business for an MBA and the School of Industrial Labor Relations for a Masters in Industrial Labor Relations from Fall 2008 – December 2010.

What inspired you to choose your degree and the particular school you attended?

I chose this dual degree program because Cornell is the premiere research institution for Human Resources studies. I was deciding between a traditional MBA, HR Masters programs, and dual degree programs. Cornell was a reach school for my GMAT score and experience and I was lucky to be accepted to both the MBA and MILR program with scholarships.

What were your 2-4 favorite classes in grad school and why?

I loved psychology based courses from both ILR and the Johnson School. My favorite class at ILR was our Organizational Behavior class. In this class, we learned frameworks and solved case studies focused on changing employee behavior to impact productivity, sales, and performance in different industries. I loved the practical application of theories in different contexts.  At the Johnson School, my favorite class was our Consumer Behavior class. I loved this class because it introduced how development and design of products impacted sales and marketshare.

What were your most important extracurricular activities while in grad school? Why?

My most important extracurriculars were professional and fun clubs. I was part of the Latin American Students Organization and the Human Resources professional clubs. These and other professional clubs provide development events, like workshops, diversity weekends, and company trips, that allow you to explore your professional passion with like minded individuals. Fun clubs, like bowling league, performance arts, and beer club allow you to have fun doing something you love and widen your network in your school. I was an active member in planning and executing our winter and spring performance art events. I had fun doing something I loved outside of class and got to see how talented my fellow students were.

It often sounds like domestic and international travel is an important part of the grad school experience. Did you travel with your grad school classmates, and if so, where did you go and why?

Domestic and international travel is a big part of the graduate school experience. You will have the opportunity to exposure yourself to many experts in your field at their headquarter locations and out in the field. This immersive part of the education gives you an insider’s view on what it is like to live and work somewhere. At Cornell, I went on a week long trip with my fellow marketing classmates around the tri-state area to learn from marketers at different companies. I loved this experience because we got the behind the scenes look at different career paths as marketers.

If you could go back and tell yourself something at the beginning of your grad school experience, what would you tell yourself and why?

Take more international trips and finance focused classes. I wish I went on one of the international treks because I would have loved to how companies work in other cultures. I love to travel and have worked abroad and this would have been a fun way to experience these two things. I also regret not taking more finance focused classes, like advanced modeling and pricing. I am now teaching myself these topics and I realize how important they are to running a business. I wish I had learned them awhile I was in school.

It can be difficult to know what a degree or school is like before you’re actually there. What is one misconception people have about your degree(s) and/or schools that you’d like to dispel?

I thought that my program would have more integrative class requirements. I believed that our programs would have more cross listings for fulfilling requirements, however this was not the case. I wish I had researched this aspect more because it didn’t allow me many opportunities to take classes outside of requirements. Fortunately, this along with being a small group, I got to know my dual degree classmates very well.

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