The Yale School of Management (SOM) is one of the smaller leading MBA programs in terms of class size.

A few of Yale SOM’s hallmarks include:

  • A close-knit student body.
  • Multidisciplinary approach to business education.
  • Students benefit from a high degree of integration with Yale University.
  • Students have the ability to take elective courses across the university.
  • The MBA program here is known for its high placement of graduates into jobs in the nonprofit sector and focus on finance.


  • Yale SOM’s MBA program is designed to be completed over four semesters of 12 weeks each, with students completing an internship during the summer between the first and second years.
  • Each semester is divided into two six-week quarters. The majority of electives last an entire semester.
  • All core courses and some electives last only one quarter.
  • After a week and a half of orientation, first-year students begin the core curriculum in mid-August, and second-year students commence classes a week later.
  • The fall semester ends in mid-December.
  • Classes resume in early January and run until early May, with commencement occurring later that month.
  • All first-year students are required to complete Yale’s core curriculum, which is made up of two segments.
  • The first segment, Orientation to Management, lasts for seven weeks and teaches students the basics of business disciplines such as economics, accounting, management, data analysis and decision-making.
  • Rather than focusing on disciplinary topics, the next segment, Organizational Perspectives, is team-taught and designed to help students look at the business world in an integrated manner by examining different internal and external roles.

Organizational Perspectives runs for two quarters and is comprised of nine courses.

During spring break, each first-year student fulfils an international experience requirement by going on one of several faculty-led field trips to various international destinations.

In order to graduate, each MBA student must earn 72 units of coursework.

Thirty-four of these are achieved by completing the core curriculum; the remaining 38 are fulfilled through elective courses. First-year students take four units of electives in the spring semester, and the second-year curriculum is comprised entirely of electives. In addition to the wide variety of electives offered through Yale SOM, MBA students may fulfill their elective requirement by cross-registering for courses offered at other schools within Yale University. Students may also study abroad at one of Yale SOM’s international exchange partner schools during the fall semester of their second year.

Here, IMS helps you crack the code for creating a successful Yale Business School application essay for the 2018 intake:

Question: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)

In order to answer this question first understand what does it mean to you make a commitment? What makes one commitment more meaningful or more impressive or more important than another to you? True commitment requires some amount of self-sacrifice, or putting of oneself at risk in some capacity. Someone who pursues an action or takes up a cause or embraces a responsibility, despite its being inconvenient in some way, has made a real commitment (or more of a commitment) compared to when those inconveniences are fewer or far between. The more convenient the commitment, the less impressive.

Your commitment needs to appeal to Yale SOM culture –  bear in mind that Yale SOM is the social responsibility mecca.  Remember Yale’s core values: “Leaders for business and society think broadly about global trends and challenges, bring a sense of purpose to their work every day, and move forward with analytical rigor.”


Yale: Also Read how to write Harvard MBA essay


Behavioral questions like this one seek to understand how you actually operate in various situations. Remember that  the Yale MBA adcom developed this “seemingly simple and straightforward question” essay prompt in collaboration with a professor of organizational behavior at SOM.

Implement this exercise to understand your commitments and write this essay:

  1. Dig into your personal and professional history and generate a list of things you’ve committed to. Try not to go back too far to your early childhood.
  2. Now that you have your initial list, go through each one and try to quantify somehow which ones put you at risk the most. Or those items where you stood to lose the most. Rank that list most to least. Now look at it. The top item, or the second item will probably be your best candidates to explore.
  3. Bring the reader back to whatever the circumstances were PRIOR to the moment you made your commitment.  Explain what was happening, and who needed what.
  4. Establish the stakes (explain what you were putting at risk, what you stood to lose, why it wasn’t an easy commitment to make), and then reveal the commitment you made.
  5. Explain the ways in which your commitment was put to the test over time. Explain the times it was difficult to remain committed. Walk the reader through your resolve throughout. Explain how your resolve wavered, or disintegrated, and how you regained it. Remember, if your story doesn’t include this element, it’s probably not a great commitment for this
  6. What’s the relevance of this to your future as an MBA? Finally, draw a link between this story and your prospects for succeeding in business school or in the future, or better yet, both. What were the lessons learned that have strengthened you in ways that are applicable to your business goals?

We hope our essay tips for Yale  set you on the way to crafting your Yale application! IMS’s Center for International Education (CIE) has successfully helped students secure admits to Yale, year on year and we are happy to help you at every step of the way.

Stay tuned to this blog for more!


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