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What You Need To Know About MBA Class Size

What You Need To Know About MBA Class Size

When it comes to MBA class size, having a smaller class can mean a more intimate learning experience. Yet, large class sizes can mean greater networking opportunities

Financial Times recently broke down whether or not there’s an “ideal number” when it comes to MBA class size.

The Case for Small MBA Class Size

Small MBA class sizes can benefit those looking for a more close-knit communities and intense learning experience.

At Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, the MBA class size averagse about 12 people, according to FT.

Tuck officials say that smaller class sizes encourage students to openly share their thoughts in classroom discussions.

“The human scale facilitates better learning in the MBA class because it fosters a greater development of trust and collaboration,” Matthew Slaughter, Tuck’s dean, tells FT.

Tim Dhoul, a contributor at Top MBA, says the benefit of small class sizes is that students can feel closer to each other.

“Smaller MBA classes often emphasize the value of joining a more close-knit community, reasoning that is the quality of interactions rather than the quantity that makes the biggest difference to a rewarding program experience,” Dhoul writes.

The Case for Large MBA Class Size

Large MBA class sizes can be attractive to those who are looking for that elite status.

At a b-school, like Harvard Business School, an MBA class size can average more than 900 students, according to an HBS blog.

Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, says this large number can be appealing to certain applicants who are looking for a larger network.

“For schools like HBS or Wharton, it’s a big program that you can almost get lost in, which is appealing to some,” she tells FT. “Students like the fact that anywhere you go after graduation, you can bump into a fellow alumnus — the alumni network is vast and powerful.”

When it comes down to it, experts say there is no “right number” when it comes to MBA class size.

Rather, it depends on what you’re looking for.

“I am guessing that, on balance, if a student is admitted to one of these larger programs, they may realize the size brings with it trade-offs, good and bad, in terms of access,” Silverman Hodara, US director of Fortuna Admissions, tells FT.

Sources: Financial Times, Top MBA, Harvard Business School