For 2014-2015, the following two essays are required of all applicants:
- Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
- Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)
Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:
- Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
- Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:
- If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)
The Video Essays provide applicants with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what they will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. Each applicant will complete two short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.
- After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.
- There are 10 practice questions which candidates can complete as many times as they like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool and help applicants feel prepared.
- There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions. We encourage applicants to practice so they are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions.
- Candidates will have 20 seconds to think about their question and up to 1 minute to give their response.
- We estimate the Video Essays will take 30 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does Kellogg have a video essay?
A: Student culture is hugely important at Kellogg. So we want to meet everyone. EVERYONE. We use the video essays as additional information to the application. It is the last thing we review when reading an application. It gives us a sense of your personality and allows us to get to know you in a more personal way than we can through your essays.
Q: What makes a good video essay?
A: Be yourself. We don't want scripted answers - we want to know what you think. We want to get to know you and learn something new about you, so please do not try to reuse an example from an essay that might in some roundabout way answer the video essay question you are being asked.
Q: What kind of questions will you ask?
A: We are going to be honest about this. Really. We don't want you to stress. We will ask you one question about your interest in Kellogg (no need to memorize the website). We will also ask you one question to help us get to know you. Want an example? Okay. "If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be and why?" See, not so hard. Right?
Q: Are there right or wrong answers?
A: No. This isn't a test. We use the video essay to gain additional information about you and get to know you in a more personal way. Don't have a perfect answer to the question? Do not panic! Answer it the best way you can and let your personality shine.
Q: How many times can I record myself?
A: You can practice recording yourself as many times as you want and the practice experience (format and types of questions) will be identical to the actual experience. But, when it comes to getting your actual video essay questions, you will only have one try. So practice. We know you like to be prepared! Get comfortable with the technology. We put good practice questions out there so you won't be nervous. Have fun and do your best.
Q: Really, I don't get a second chance?!
A: Nope, sorry. This is a bit like an interview. Sometimes in an interview you are asked a question and you don't have the perfect answer, but you go ahead and give the best response you can. And, most of the time, it turns out well. That's what this is. Take a deep breath before you start and be confident in yourself and your ability to give a great answer.
Q: How much time will I have to think of a response and how long will I have to give my answer?
A: You will have 20 seconds to think of your response and 60 seconds to give your answer. We suggest you practice. It will make this easier. Take 10 minutes to go through the practice questions. Answer them as if they were your real questions. The more you practice the more comfortable you will feel doing the real video essays.
Q: What should I wear? Do I have to wear a suit?
A: You can wear a suit if you want to; but business casual is certainly okay with us too. And really, we will only see your head and shoulders so you can wear a collared shirt and we would never know you were still in your sweatpants.
Q: Where should I record my video essay?
A: Wherever you like - your office, kitchen, apartment, hotel room. Just make sure you pick a place where you have a good internet connection and no distractions.
Q: What part of the application process is the video essay? How do I access the Video Essay?
A: After submitting your application, the Video Essay will be available when you log in to your applicant status page.
Q: How much time will I have to complete the video essays?
A: After submitting your application you will have one week to complete the video essays. Did you know most applicants submit their application in the last week leading up to the deadline? Don't wait for the last possible moment to record your video essay - it will feel more stressful if you are doing it at the last minute and in a rush. Block out 30 minutes a few days after you submit your application and complete it.
Q: How long will this take me?
A: To be safe we are saying 30 minutes, but we think 15 if you decide not to do all the practice questions and don't have any questions on the set-up.
The admissions committee requires every applicant to indicate a location preference for an evaluative interview. The interview provides an opportunity for the applicant to learn about Kellogg and for the committee to further evaluate an applicant’s level of maturity, interpersonal skills, career focus and motivation. However, the interview is only one criterion used in the admission decision. It is conducted based on the resume only. The interviewer will not have reviewed the application before the interview. Each applicant must bring a current resume to his or her interview. Off-campus interview candidates must email a resume to the interviewer ahead of time. All interviews will be conducted in English. The admissions committee evaluates on-campus and off-campus interviews equally.
Chicago-area applicants must request an off-campus interview unless applying to the JD-MBA program. The interview will be waived for Chicago-area applicants who request an on-campus interview. On-campus interviews are reserved for applicants with less direct access to Kellogg.
On-Campus Interview Request
Candidates who indicated a preference for an on–campus interview should schedule their interview after submitting a completed application. The schedule will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so we encourage candidates to schedule as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of securing a desired date. All interviews must be scheduled and then completed by the listed deadlines. Interviews not scheduled and completed by the appropriate deadlines will be waived.
Please call the Office of Admissions to schedule your on-campus interview. On-campus interviews are conducted by a member of the admissions staff or student admissions interviewers. Interviews are conducted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from September through April and on select Saturdays from late fall until early spring. On-campus interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.
Off-Campus Interview Request
Please review the deadlines page for information about the recommended deadline for candidates requesting an off-campus interview. Applicants who indicated a preference for an off-campus interview will be notified of their assignment or waiver via email within four to six weeks from the Round deadline. Off-campus interviews are conducted by the admissions staff or members of Kellogg’s Alumni Admissions Organization (AAO).
Kellogg seeks to interview as many candidates as possible but cannot accommodate all interview requests due to the high level of demand and availability of interviewers. Therefore, some candidates may receive an interview waiver. In areas of heavy demand or remote location, candidates may be offered an interview by invitation only or receive an interview waiver. Candidates with less than two years of full-time work experience may be selected to interview by invitation only.
Waivers have no negative impact on one’s candidacy. Each year, many applicants who receive waivers are admitted to Kellogg. If an interview is waived, candidates should not attempt to schedule an on-campus interview. All applicants may make one interview request only.
Phone or Skype Interview
If an off-campus interview request is waived, the admissions office may contact the candidate to schedule a telephone or Skype interview. The interview may be used to gather additional information or material that will help the Admissions Committee make a final decision. Applicants who receive a waiver may not request a phone or Skype interview.
All Interview Requests Are Final
Due to the high volume of interview requests, all interview requests (on- or off-campus) will be final; you may not change your interview request after submission. If you are unable or no longer wish to interview, please contact the Office of Admissions to cancel your request. We understand that cancelations may take place due to unforeseen circumstances. A waiver will be granted and will not have a negative impact on your candidacy. Once you submit an interview request, you must be prepared to complete an interview as soon as it is assigned.
Kellogg requires applicants to list all colleges, universities and study abroad programs attended or currently attending. For each program, we require a scanned copy of the transcript or an uploaded electronic version provided by the institution. Transcripts for study abroad programs are not required. Transcripts for transfer programs are not required if the grades are included on the transcript of the degree-granting institution. Self-reported transcripts will not be accepted. Hard-copy official transcripts will be required upon matriculation only. Applicants to the JD-MBA Program who are accepted and opt to matriculate must submit two sets of official transcripts — one to the Law School and one to Kellogg.
Applicants who scan images of transcripts should ensure that all sides and pages of the transcript are included in the scanned document and the candidate’s name and the name of the institution are clearly visible. Be sure the scanned version is legible. Submission of an illegible document will result in an incomplete application and possible delay in rendering an application decision.
If academic records and diplomas are not issued in English by the institution, you must submit both the original record and an authorized verbatim English translation. All records must show the applicant’s name, name of the institution, the dates of enrollment, courses taken, units of credit, marks or ratings in each subject, and rank in the total class or group (if available).
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
All applicants are required to submit a GMAT/GRE score. (JD-MBA applicants must submit a GMAT score, not a GRE score.) GMAT/GRE scores are valid for five years. The complete application must be submitted prior to the expiration date of the GMAT/GRE score. Information about the GMAT is available here and information about the GRE is available here.
Submission of additional test scores after submission of the application will be accepted, but there is no guarantee the new score will be evaluated at the time the file is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Official score reports can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Kellogg School will record the highest score but encourages applicants to report additional scores if the test is taken more than once.
Candidates must request that scores be sent to Kellogg. GMAT or GRE scores must be reported on or before the application deadline in order to be considered for that round.
- The GMAT code for the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Program is 6WZ-3J-89.
- The GRE code for the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Program is 7921.
Letters of Recommendation+
Two letters of recommendation are required for admission. The recommenders will fill out a brief form as well as answer the following two questions:
- How do the candidate’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
- Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)
Ideally, one of these recommendations should be written by a current supervisor or manager. The second recommendation should be from someone who can evaluate the applicant’s professional performance as well as their managerial and leadership potential (e.g. a former supervisor, previous employer, client, etc.). If applicants are unable to ask a current supervisor or manager for a letter of recommendation, they should include a brief statement regarding their choice in the Additional Information section of the application.
The application is not considered complete until Kellogg has received both recommendations. Submitting the recommendations through the school’s online application is required.
Additional letters of support are neither required nor encouraged.
To ensure that the recommenders can be contacted, please apprise the Office of Admissions of any changes to their contact information.
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)+
Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking English is required of all Kellogg students. Classes and group work demand strong English language skills. A valid TOEFL score is required for all candidates who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. TOEFL scores are valid for two years. The complete application must be submitted prior to the expiration date of the TOEFL score. Candidates must request that TOEFL scores be sent to Kellogg. To prevent processing delays, we strongly recommend that candidates upload the official TOEFL score report (if available) to the application. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are not accepted as a replacement for TOEFL scores. International students may qualify for an exemption if one of the following criteria is met:
- The applicant completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university in the United States.
- The applicant completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university where English was the ONLY language of instruction.
Applicants who qualify for an exemption must provide the exact URL or additional documentation that states English was the only language of instruction. Graduates of Indian institutions whose website does not explicitly state English is the language of instruction should provide the URL from the school’s home page.
The TOEFL code for the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Program is 1546.
Application Fee ($250)+
Candidates must remit payment by credit card with the application and should not send the fee directly to Kellogg. The Kellogg School will grant an application fee waiver for active duty U.S. military applicants or U.S. military veterans who have been on active duty within three years of applying. Fee waivers will also be granted to candidates who are currently employed by Teach For America or the Peace Corps, or who have successfully completed their commitment within the past three years. Candidates who qualify for an application fee waiver must submit a formal request, before submitting the application, via email to email@example.com
and provide supporting evidence of their current employment or military status. Military applicants should submit a copy of Form DD-214 to verify active duty status within three years of applying. The Kellogg School cannot issue a refund after the application and fee have been submitted. Refunds will not be issued for incomplete applications.