Top Reasons to Apply to Yale SOM

Matt Symonds, Fortuna

Matt Symonds, Director at Fortuna Admissions

Yale SOM may be one of the newest top business schools in the country but it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular. Over the past decade, applications have increased from around 2,000 to this year’s staggering 3,652, its class size increasing from just over 200 to 325. Yale SOM’s increasing popularity helps explain its impressive stats of the last incoming class, which boasted a GPA average of 3.63 and an average GMAT of 721.

Under the leadership of Ted Snyder, the former dean at Chicago Booth, the school will likely continue to flourish in the coming years. The school’s impressive new building, designed by Norman Foster is all glass and light, a design decision reflecting the dean’s belief that managers need an unobstructed line of sight to help increase interaction, communication and community. The aesthetic complements an MBA curriculum that emphasizes cross-functional managerial roles through its Organizational Perspectives Series, and required core courses that are intended to build community and peer-to-peer learning.

The Yale MBA was the first program in the U.S. that required international travel for graduation, and Snyder has helped develop a Global Network for Advanced Management with leading business schools from 25 other countries.

Students are also impressed with the school’s relationship with Yale University itself, a school whose global reputation and network are unparalleled. Few MBA students turn down the opportunity to engage with other departments and its brilliant students who make up the New Haven campus.

Unsurprisingly, Dean Snyder has ambitions for Yale SOM to be among the top five business schools in the world in the next decade. The school’s recruiters claim the school is steadily heading in this direction. Five years ago, 16% of the graduating class went into consulting, compared to 29% in 2015. And with a further 25% going into financial services and 14% into technology, post-MBA salaries are on a par with the M7 schools.

But has this pivot in recruitment focus hurt the school’s exceptional nonprofit management program? It likely has, considering only 4% of the SOM’s class of 2015 accepted a position with a nonprofit after graduation, compared to 11% in 2010. The school nevertheless has stayed true to it’s mission – ‘Educating Leaders for business and society’ – which has remained unchanged since the school was founded in 1976. And for the assistant dean and director of admissions Bruce DelMonico, the new essay question introduced this year with the help of OB professor Amy Wrzesniewski reflects the school’s focus on culture and the importance of having impact.

The questions ‘Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made’ is straightforward, and the story you choose to share with the admissions office reflects your priorities and how you invest your time, effort and energy. To help preserve the close-knit and collaborative culture of New Haven, admissions officers are looking for candidates whose answers show their humility, authenticity and cultural fit for the school.

Will Yale SOM join the hard-to-reach ranks of the MBA top five? Only time will tell. But for now, it’s clear that application rates will continue to rise; the school is receiving more round one applications than ever before from MBA hopefuls who consider the school among their top choices.

To discuss your own chances of admission to Yale SOM, or another top MBA program, contact me at

by Matt Symonds, Director at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions, author of “Getting the MBA Admissions Edge”, founder of Kaplan Test Prep in Europe and QS World MBA Tour

Fortuna Admissions is composed of former Directors and Associate Directors of Admissions at many of the world’s best business schools, including Wharton, INSEAD, Harvard Business School, London Business School, Chicago Booth, NYU Stern, IE Business School, Northwestern Kellogg, Duke and UC Berkeley Haas.