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Chicago’s Booth School of Business

University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business

4. University of Chicago

Booth School of Business

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

Admissions: 773-702-7369



Apply Online

Admission Deadlines for Class of 2017:

Round One: 9/25/14

Round Two: 1/6/15

Round Three: 4/7/15

The mantra of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is it’s all about the idea. Students focus on generating, analyzing, comparing, and refining ideas in order to elevate them to better ideas.

The full-time MBA program consists of 20 classes plus Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD). The flagship of the program is its flexible curriculum. Unlike many other top schools with lockstep first-year MBA programs, Booth does not require its MBAs to go through every class together. One key exception is the LEAD course, which all MBAs must take. However, by and large, students design a program tailored to fit their own career goals.

In 2009, after a faculty review of the curriculum, the school added a new academic concentration in analytical management and also required all students in the evening MBA program and weekend MBA program to take a leadership development course similar to the one required of full-time students.

In addition to analytic management, the school’s 14th concentration, students can graduate with an academic focus in accounting, econometrics and statistics, economics, entrepreneurship, and finance. Other choices include analytic finance, general management, human resource management, international business, managerial and organizational behavior, marketing management, operations management, and strategic management.

Graduation requirements for students in the full-time MBA program include nine required courses, 11 electives, and a leadership course; though in 2009, more approved substitute classes have been added to satisfy the nine required courses. To meet the 11 elective requirements students can choose from several hundred courses at the business school and other departments of the university.

Some of the new courses added since the curriculum review in the required portion of the program are more rigorous, an adjustment made to account for the more varied group of students entering the mainstream MBA program. The school added a hybrid finance class containing five weeks of corporate finance and five weeks of investments, for example, that is much more difficult than the standard finance or investment courses.

The three foundation areas of accounting, microeconomics, and statistics remained the same through the curriculum review. But the requirement to take breadth and general management courses was replaced by selecting classes representing functions (finance, marketing, and operations), management (decisions, people, and organizations), and the environment in which firms operate.

Latest Up-to-Date MBA Rankings:

Poets&Quants (2014): 4

BusinessWeek (2014): 3

U.S. News & World Report (2015): 4

Forbes (2013): 2

Financial Times (2014): 6

The Economist (2014): 1

Rankings Analysis:

Booth maintained its No. 3 Poets&Quants rank in 2013, despite slipping in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report ranking from fourth to sixth. In the Financial Times’ global ranking, the school maintained it’s sixth-place finish among all U.S. schools, up from ninth in 2011. Booth also held on to it’s No. 1 spot in The Economist’s survey across both international and U.S. programs.

For all the good news on the rankings front, however, the most positive of all involved another ranking entirely: the 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek (BW) list. For the fourth consecutive time, Booth retained its No. 1 ranking from BW, which largely measures graduate satisfaction and corporate recruiter sentiment. Chicago’s win ties the school with Wharton, which also has been number one in BW’s ranking on four different occasions. The only business school that has done better is Chicago’s rival Kellogg, which has won five No. 1 rankings from BW--the publication has published 13 surveys of full-time MBA programs so far.

It’s worth noting why Chicago retained its top dog status in the BW survey. The school ranked first in BW’s important employer survey, which accounts for 40% of the ranking, 11th in the graduate satisfaction survey, which also accounts for 40% of the ranking, and fifth in the intellectual capital part of the list, which accounts for the remaining 20% of the methodology and measures the publication output of a school’s professors.

Much of the school’s improvement in the rankings can be traced to the previous Dean Edward “Ted” Snyder, who had a highly successful nine-year run in the job from 2001 to 2010. The year before Snyder arrived in 2001, Booth had sunk to a lowly rank of 10 in the BW survey. By 2006, it captured the No. 1 spot and hasn’t given it up since. New Dean Sunil Kumar, an academic from Stanford, passed a big test by continuing the school’s BW reign in 2012.

As one Class of 2012 MBA told BW: “There’s no faculty at a business school like that at Booth in terms of being highly regarded, highly quoted, and fully accessible. I also appreciate the sense of humility or Midwestern values that permeates Booth.”

As is often the case, not everyone was completely positive about their experience. Another Booth MBA said: “The alumni network could use some work. Unfortunately the type of person that generally attends this institution is generally the type of person that is not entirely outgoing and/or willing to reach out.”

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.