Top Feeder Colleges to Chicago Booth

When it comes to rivalries between business schools, you would be hardpressed to find a better one than the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. These Chicago-metro schools are among the best in the world. Kellogg has been ranked first on five different occasions by BusinessWeek; Chicago has accomplished that feat three times. Yet when it comes to admitting MBA applicants, Booth appears to have an unusual preference: Northwestern undergraduates.

A new analysis of the top feeder schools for Booth’s just enrolled Class of 2013 finds that Northwestern is the top feeder university, supplying twice as many MBA students than even Booth’s parent university. Northwestern grads account for 4.2% of the class, exactly double the 2.1% from the University of Chicago.

In fact, the University of Chicago lags behind Duke, the Indian Institutes of Technology, Berkeley, UPenn, and Georgetown in filling seats in this year’s incoming group of full-time MBA students. That’s somewhat unusual because the top feeder schools to both Harvard Business School and Wharton are their parent universities.

The data comes from an analysis of the Facebook group for Booth’s Class of 2013. The Facebook information provides a rare glimpse into the educational and work backgrounds of the students accepted and enrolled at Chicago’s Booth School of Business. B-schools keep this information close to the vest, never disclosing this information in typical class profiles. Yet, it can often loom larger in admission decisions than an overall grade point average or GMAT or the quality of the required essays.

The Booth data was collected from the Facebook page for the Class of 2013. Poets&Quants was able to identify and confirm the undergraduate backgrounds of some 474 members of the class of 575 students who enrolled this September. We then used that sample–representing 82.4% of the first-year MBA students–to estimate the number of students from any one institution in the full class.

Interestingly, when compared to several other top business schools, the incoming class at Chicago Booth also is among the most egalitarian. Only 11.2% of the incoming class have undergraduate degrees from the original eight Ivy League schools. Compare that to 33.1% at Wharton, 30.0% at Harvard, 21.2% at Columbia, and 13.8% at Dartmouth’s Tuck School.

If you subtract students who earned their undergrad degrees at international schools, only 15.3% of the incoming Booth students have an Ivy League degree, versus 38% at Harvard and 44% at Wharton.

(See next page for table of the top feeder colleges for Chicago’s Booth School of Business Class of 2013).

Related Reading: Top Feeder Schools

Related Reading: Top Feeder Companies

  • Joe

     Its actually MIT Sloan

  • Anj

    Could be vice versa-

    They like giving an equal shot- GMAT score and general competence over undergrad prestige?

    That would explain the IIT guys.

  • IvyGal

    Duke seems to be a phenomenal pre professional feeder. No wonder its grads seem to earn a lot of money.

  • Sam

    These results don’t represent the reality. I’m a Booth graduate, just searched for Harvard graduates in Class of 2013 in the directory and there are like 20.

  • Jay

    Holly – I commented only on the composition of Booth’s incoming class, not on the schools beliefs, track record, ROI, or prominent alumni.

    I never criticized Booth. In fact, I said the Booth name may not be as strong as it should be, implying the underlying strength of the school. Anyways, congratulations on attending an outstanding business school.



  • Holly

    Interesting observations. I went to an Ivy League institution for my undergraduate degree and still chose Chicago Booth because it surpasses other Ivy business schools in the rankings, among other reasons. In regards to your criticism about students not reflecting U Chicago undergrad or the Ivy League schools, I believe that is irrelevant. The school believes in diversity thought leadership and has a proven track record of educating fine individuals regardless of where they received their Bachelor degree. For example, our biggest donor and alumnus, David Booth attended The University of Kansas for his undergraduate degree. He has proved to be highly successful. Ultimately, the Chicago Booth MBA has incredible ROI regardless of where students attended college prior to attending.

  • Daniel

    Again, no one is claiming that you are not within your rights to use the pictures as presented.

    It’s an issue of courtesy and respect. It simply does not follow that just because someone joins a social media site, that they are comfortable with their picture being collected and distributed elsewhere. A simple move would have been to ask for permission to use these pictures. The fact that no one is forcing your hand to do is a cop out, period.

    Are you free to do what you want? Absolutely, but that doesn’t make what you do any less creepy or classless.

  • Daniel,

    I’m sorry to say I really don’t understand how it would be unethical or in bad taste to use a collage of publicly available photos as a piece of art for a story. No one in the photos is even identified, though all these people have complete resumes and pictures open to anyone in the world who looks on LinkedIn. It is unrealistic to use the web to promote oneself in social media circles and then believe that what has been posted in the public domain is off limits to anyone.

  • Daniel


    I find your response to the question about the usage of pictures here to be lacking. Just because something is allowable under the law does not mean it is ethical or in good taste. The value of the information you are trying to convey is in no way enhanced by putting pictures, or names as you have previously, of people in your articles.

    Even in an open society this crosses the line of what would be considered acceptable and responsible behavior in regards to someones privacy. These are students, not a public face of one of the biggest companies in the world. To suggest that someone using a social media platform to discuss the death of Steve Jobs is justification for or equivalent (I honestly don’t get your point here) to hunting down pictures of students and posting them for a wider audience is disingenuous at best.

    I’d urge you to be respectful of individuals privacy and re-consider how this makes you and your website appear to others.

  • Jay

    Thank You John.

    Guy Fawkes – Yes, they are well represented, but not nearly as well represented as they are in Wharton’s incoming class. Penn, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia comprise roughly 25% of the Wharton incoming class. Those same schools comprise roughly 8% of Booth’s incoming class.