Just Released: Updates to Application Essays, Deadlines, and Test Options for 2020-21


The Michigan Ross MBA experience has continued in full force even after moving to virtual environments in mid-March due to the pandemic.

Our signature MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) program, the first-year MBA action-based learning capstone, quickly shifted to virtual mode — as the decision to transition to remote instruction was made just as projects were launching (like work for much of the world). Despite this change, students were still able to learn, form team bonds, and deliver insightful results to the sponsoring organizations, who remained actively engaged with teams throughout MAP. 

In fact, many students had the opportunity to work on projects related to their sponsors’ COVID-19 response plans, which led to incredibly rich experiences. I was pleased to hear the positive feedback, such as these thoughts shared by Anvit Gera, MBA ’21, who worked on a project for Google: 

“Our work has been impactful for Google and is being used to help their business during COVID. This (feedback from client) was probably the highlight of my MAP experience as it made me feel we did real work and made real impact. For me, this reinforces the idea that 'action-based learning' is THE way to do an MBA!” 

MBA students have begun their summer internships with companies like Amazon, McKinsey, Amgen, Microsoft, and Google. But don’t worry, you can still connect with a student ambassador or chat with current students through our summer Ask Me Anything series. It’s a great opportunity to learn about Ross student life, recruiting, and the culture of the school from the student perspective.

You can also learn more about Ross and our admissions process (like what we look for on applications) through the many events that the admissions team will be hosting. This includes webinars and virtual chats, as well as events hosted by Poets&Quants, GMAT Club, and GMAC. We will be updating our events page with new ways to engage with us regularly. 

We look forward to having you join us this summer! Now on to important information about the admissions process this year. 

Moving from three to two essay questions in 2020-21

At the end of each admissions cycle, the team assesses whether we should change our essay prompts based on the insights we gleaned from previous year’s applicant responses. Instead of requiring three responses from among six prompts, this year we are only requiring two short-answer essays from among the same six prompts: 

Short Answers (choose one from each group; 100 words each)

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:

  • I made a difference when I:

  • I was aware that I was different when: 

Group 2

  • I was out of my comfort zone when:

  • I was humbled when:

  • I was challenged when: 

Note: The most interesting and insightful responses to these prompts remain when applicants share personal examples that allow us to learn more about who you are as a person, and what unique experiences and insights you would bring to the MBA class. 

We’re also reducing the career goal essay from 300 words to 200. We found that the best responses to this essay were clear and succinct. The ones that were less successful tended to be less focused or focused too much on the “what” and not enough on the “why.” For the AdCom, the “why” is the most impactful and differentiating aspect of each essay to me. Here’s that prompt:

Career Goal Essay

Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. What is your short-term career goal and why?

Earlier Round 1 deadline and new Round 4 deadline

For the coming year, we’re moving up our Round 1 deadline to mid-September and adding a fourth-round deadline, based on the strong response we’ve had to this year’s extension of Round 3. 


  Application Due Decisions Released
Round 1 Sept.14, 2020 Dec. 4, 2020

Round 2

Jan. 4, 2021 Mar. 7, 2021
Round 3 Mar. 29, 2021 May 5, 2021
Round 4 June 1, 2021 June 25, 2021


Now accepting MCAT and LSAT scores

We want to be supportive of prospective students around the world at this time and we recognize that the pandemic has placed limitations on your ability to take the GMAT and GRE. Therefore, we will also accept the MCAT and LSAT in place of the GMAT or GRE this year. We have accepted those tests for current dual-degree students at the University of Michigan and have found that their performance in the MBA program is comparable to students who took the GMAT or GRE. 

The new application will go live in July. In the meantime, stay safe, and we hope to virtually meet you soon!

Application Requirements