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A Message from the Associate Director of Admissions: Answers to Applicants’ Most Common Questions

As the January 12 deadline draws near, Emily Whitehouse offers advice on how to put together your best possible application.

With our January 12 application deadline now less than two months away, it’s likely that you’re in one of two schools of thought: Perhaps you started your application a while back and are working on finishing touches ahead of the holiday season. Or, you may have recently learned of the program and plan to work diligently over the next two months to get your materials together in time to hit submit. Wherever you land on the timeline, it can be helpful to attend one of our upcoming online events to gain insights that may inform your approach to the application. These include small-group, online Q&A sessions that frequently feature current students from our inaugural class.

Based on the conversations we’ve had in these sessions, I’d like to answer three of the most common questions we hear from prospective students and share another helpful resource to reference as you finish your application.  

I’m concerned about my test score/GPA/lack of experience. Should I even bother applying?

The Admissions Committee will take a holistic view of your application. There is no one application component we weigh more heavily than the others. We’re interested in understanding your academic preparedness, the impact you have had in your personal and professional life, how you hope to succeed and lead in the industry, and your ability to be a positive and engaged Yale community member.

It might be helpful to look at the class profile for the inaugural cohort. While this data doesn’t tell the entire story of successful applicants, it does provide a nice overview of the diversity of the enrolled class and provides test score and GPA ranges.

How should I approach the essays?

The Yale SOM Admissions Committee requests your responses to the following two questions:

  1. Why are you interested in the Yale SOM Master’s Degree in Asset Management? 
  2. What do you hope to accomplish in the asset management field?

Both essays have a 300-word limit. Candidates do not need to strictly meet those limits but are encouraged to answer the two questions concisely.

The two essay questions are straightforward, and this is by design. Our hope is that you will highlight your short-term and long-term goals in a clear and concise style that is easy to follow. My advice is to try not to over-engineer your responses. It can be helpful to have a friend or colleague review your essays without knowing the questions—if they can guess what the essay prompts are based on your response, you’re on the right path.

How do I stand out in a competitive applicant pool?

It isn’t necessary to resort to any extreme measures to get the Admissions Committee to notice you. Because of the holistic nature of our review process, what makes an application successful varies from candidate to candidate. I recommend using good judgement and staying true to yourself throughout the process! 

If you focus on providing an honest, thoughtful, and thorough application, you’ve positioned yourself and your candidacy as well as one can. Your application should tell the story of who you are and communicate your interest in the program. If you think the committee might have a question about a gap year, a rough semester, a professional decision you’ve made, etc., please use the Optional Information section to provide context or explanation. You want your story to be seamless—so it’s best to be sure no question is left unanswered.

I hope these tips help you to put the finishing touches on your application. If you have further questions, we hope you’ll attend one of our upcoming admissions events  or  email us.


Emily Whitehouse
Associate Director for Admissions, Management Master’s Programs
Yale School of Management
PO Box 208200 l 165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520
T: 203-436-4299