Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: February 18, 2019.

School Data

Annual Tuition: $27,053

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Full-Time Enrollment: 389

Average GPA: 3.33

International: 36%

Minority: 9%

Average Age: 28

Annual Tuition Non-Resident: $49,995

Median GMAT: 680

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 530-760

Median GRE: 316

Female: 35%

GPA Range (mid-80%): 2.21 - 4.0

Male: 65%

Application Deadlines: Round 1: October 15th, 2018 Round 2: January 5th, 2019 Round 3: March 1st, 2019 Round 4: April 15th, 2019

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is an often overlooked gem of a business school, with a highly innovative and leading edge MBA program. The school has long kept its MBA class sizes intentionally small and close-knit, with just 204 full-time students in the latest entering class. The idea is to create a intimate learning experience with highly accessible and surprisingly dedicated faculty. The B-school professors here offer generous office hours, dinner parties and tailgating events. They even come in on the weekends to give pre-exam reviews to classes and to meet one-on-one with students.

“Sometimes, I can’t even get a parking space on Sundays because there are so many faculty and students here,” says Dean Idalene “Idie” Kesner. The total faculty on Kelley’s Bloomington campus—229 at last count—is actually larger than the school’s annual MBA intake. That’s largely because of the school’s more sizable undergraduate business program. But it allows Dean Kesner to pick and choose only the very best teachers to put in front of MBAs.

Through the years, the Kelley School has fashioned a reputation as a true MBA innovator, from being one of the few programs that give a single grade for the entire core curriculum to having a series of first-year academies that provide experiential learning, consulting projects and coaching to students interested in six core areas that range from capital markets and strategic finance to consulting and supply chain management. Kelley essentially delivers a life-transforming customized MBA experience. Individual and team coaching is so prevalent that each student gets as many as 90 hours of coaching over the course of the two-year program from faculty, staff, and fellow MBA candidates.

The entire first semester at the Kelley School of Business is about getting the big business picture. The integrated core consists of one 15-week course (co-taught by eight faculty members) that weaves together every business discipline and gives a solid understanding of how these disciplines work together. That leaves three semesters of electives and freedom for students to chart their own career paths. All first-year Kelley MBA students choose an Academy, where they gain hands-on, career-related experience in a field of interest; the Academies range from Business Marketing and Consumer Marketing to Consulting and Strategic Finance.

Students can choose from six majors, or they can design their own. There is also the option to combine a major with a minor, joint degree, or certificate program. Kelley also boasts a top-ranked online MBA program in which graduates get the exact same degree as full timers on campus.  Watch our campus deep-dive into Kelley’s online MBA.

What truly distinguishes the MBA experience at Kelley from others is Me., Inc., a highly innovative initiative to focus early attention on career management, personal brand building, and personal leadership. A series of small workshops with candid feedback from peers and coaches, Me, Inc., initially ran over four straight days during the second week of MBA orientation in August for incoming students. An important goal was to increase a student’s personal accountability throughout the career management process. Now it runs for the full two-week orientation so that each session builds upon a lesson from the previous one.

“Many international students don’t buy into the idea of an informational interview,” explains Ray Luther, executive director of Kelley’s MBA program. “The epiphany for them is to open up their minds to networking. We really want the students to take a step back to know what they want to do with the MBA. That introspection sets up a more successful job interview because the student can tell his or her story with logic and heart.”

Giving and getting candid and constructive feedback during the Me, Inc. workshops was essential. As Luther says, “It’s about making them better. It’s not about being nice. The business environment is not one where getting nice gets you by all the time. and that is what we are really trying to drive home.”

And Me, Inc., of course, is just one feature of a superb MBA program. As Dean Kesner puts it, “Kelley is more than just Me, Inc. It is a holistic program that takes care of students from beginning to end—the academies, the Globase experiences, the emerging markets. There are so many things here that interact with other parts of the program that are part of the successful story that is important to the school. Me, Inc. is just one piece. If you have the talent to succeed, the humility to grow, the tenacity to persevere, we are the school for you.”

Student engagement at Kelley is a key part of the culture and the program.  More than 50 second-year MBA students serve as coaches to both individual incoming students and their core teams. Kelley used student feedback to build out a global consulting experience called Global Business and Social Enterprise Program (GLOBASE), going from one international trip to three. Almost half of the Class of 2012 participated in it. The school puts more emphasis on an Emerging Markets Experience that brought students to such countries as Argentina, Brazil, China and Thailand. And Kelley created, with still more student feedback, what it called a “Renaissance Week” in the spring for students seven weeks before graduation.

Yet, with such a small MBA program in the middle of Indiana, it’s sometimes hard to get the visibility that other business schools seem to command. “We are this incredible hidden gem,” believes Jonlee Andrews, who succeeded Powell as the chair of the full-time MBA program. “When students come here they are truly blown away, and when they get the chance to compare us to other programs they come back and say we are so proud to be part of it. Companies like our students because they roll up their sleeves and get the job done.”

Ranking Analysis:

Despite impressive gains in the 2013 Forbes ranking and the 2012 ranking from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Indiana University’s Kelley School moved up only one spot, from 21st to 20th, in Poets&Quants’ fourth annual ranking of the top 100 MBA programs in the U.S. The school jumped eight spots from its 2011 finish to 19th in Forbes’ 2013 survey, which focuses on return on investment. BusinessWeek, which ranks MBA programs largely on the basis of graduate and corporate recruiter satisfaction, ranked the school 15th in 2012, up four places from 19th in 2010. That’s a healthy gain that can largely be attributed to a remarkable jump in the school’s graduate satisfaction scores.

Kelley was ranked first among all full-time MBA programs in student satisfaction, up an amazing 25 places in the past two years from a rank of 26th in 2010. As one 2012 graduate put it to BusinessWeek: “The people and the culture stood out to me as Kelley’s competitive advantage. When I visited IU, the consulting academy was preparing for interviews with a top management consulting firm the next day. I knew that it was a competitive process to be recruited by a consulting firm. However, these students were grading each other’s resumes. They were giving each other practice consulting interviews and case questions. They were improving the caliber of the Kelley MBA candidate by lifting each other up, as opposed to plotting against each other. This culture amazed me to the point that I knew that I found my home.”

Kelley also saw impressive gains among the international rankings. The B-school jumped four spots in The Economists’ 2013 survey of U.S. schools to 23rd, up from 27th in 2012. Kelley recovered ground in the Financial Times’ ranking too, moving from 26th among U.S. schools in 2013 to 24th in 2014.

Meantime, the school’s rank in U.S. News & World Report rose slightly to 22nd this year from 23rd in 2013.


MBA Program Consideration Set:

Stretch Schools: CornellCarnegie MellonUCLAUSC

Match Schools: TexasEmoryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaGeorgetown

Safe Schools: MinnesotaNotre DameWashington UniversityRiceVanderbilt

Watch Poets&Quants’ John A. Byrne interview Associate Dean Philip T. Powell of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business to learn about Kelley’s six online specialized master’s programs and how to integrate the MS with an MBA or customize a stand-alone specialization.   Watch the Specialized Masters video.


Kelley no longer publishes in its employment report its top employers, preferring to list all of the firms that hired the school’s graduates.

Notes: MBA Program Consideration Set: If you believe you’re a close match to this school–based on your GMAT and GPA scores,  your age and work experience, you should look at these other competitive full-time MBA programs as well. We list them by stretch, match and safety. These options are presented on the basis of brand image and ranking status.

Contact Information

1275 E. Tenth Street,
CG 2010
Bloomington, IN 47405
Admissions Office:
School Social Media:

From the Kelley School of Business:

Whether you’re looking for a career change, or aiming to enhance your options in your current career, we understand that attaining an MBA is a deeply personal, life-improving investment. That’s why everything we do in our full-time MBA program is customized to your unique interests: whether it’s elective courses that allow you to design your own curriculum that’s specific to your goals; or individualized attention from both our world-renowned faculty and our award-winning career services (#3 in the world). We believe – and invest heavily – in one-to-one attention and meaningful relationships. That’s why you will partner with a dedicated career coach who will stay with you throughout your MBA journey, helping you to identify the right career path for you, and become the best possible version of yourself. You’ll also have a committed Academy Director – an expert in the specific field you’re interested in – who will serve as your personal mentor and will share inside industry knowledge with you and their own personal industry connections. In addition, you’ll gain support, fresh insight and valuable tips from your second-year peer coach. And because we’re not just interested in helping you land the job you’re looking for – although the Financial Times does also recognize us as #5 in the world for job placement success – but also refining your professional evolution and honing career management skills that last a lifetime, you will still be able to connect with our dedicated alumni career coach for ongoing resources, support and career guidance, long after you’ve returned into the working world.

These are just some of the reasons why we have developed a proven record of rewarding your investment.

Princeton Review Best Business Schools 2016

  • #1 best professors
  • #7 most family friendly
  • #10 best campus environment

The Economist (2015)

  • #3 in the world for career services

Financial Times (2016):

  • #5 in the world for job placement

U.S. News & World Report (2017 Best Graduate Schools):

  • #8 in Entrepreneurship
  • #11 in Accounting
  • #13 in Production / Operations
  • #15 in Marketing

Bloomberg Businessweek 2016:

  • #1 for student satisfaction

Forbes (2015 Biennial Survey of American MBA Programs)

  • #20 overall

An MBA As Unique as You Are

When you join our full-time MBA program, you’ll gain a deep understanding of yourself—and your personal leadership style—even before your course work begins. Because at Kelley, we know that understanding yourself is the first step to becoming a business leader that others want to follow.

To enable this deeper understanding of your true aims and objectives, you’ll take part in Me, Inc. – a personal and professional development initiative that runs the entire two weeks of orientation. This career management model provides an insightful head start on personal leadership, collaboration, and accountability and works through intense and intimate workshops that provide frank feedback from peers and coaches. This initiative – unique to Kelley – not only helps you to build your personal brand, it also allows you to focus on –  and truly understand – what you want to do with your MBA while still at the very beginning of the career management process.

Coming out of Me, Inc. – informed and ready to learn – your entire first semester is committed to giving you a comprehensive overview of big business. Over 15-weeks, you’ll gain an exhaustive and rigorous understanding of every business discipline and how they integrate. This strong foundation in business fundamentals is co-taught by eight dedicated faculty members, allowing you to understand functional integration and succeed as a leader of cross-functional teams.

Once you enter your second semester, you’ll receive specific career-path insight and guidance, allowing you to design your own academic curriculum – chosen from hundreds of electives – that will focus on what matters the most to you and your future.

  • Majors: Choose from one of seven majorsor design your own.
  • Academies: Our unique MBA Academiesadd an intense industry focus and hands-on career experience to your academic training—a huge advantage to you in your job search. In essence, our Academies bridge what you learn in the classroom and help you understand how to apply it in your field during your internship and post-MBA career. Heavily focused on experiential learning, your Academy will give you the career-related experience recruiters look for including: company-based consulting projects, leadership opportunities, nationwide corporate visits, and networking with industry veterans.

Global Experiences and Reach 

Our program ensures that you’ll gain international business leadership skills in the classroom and on location:

  • We offer more than 20 formal exchange programs on five continents as part of our Partnership in International Management (PIMs).
  • You’ll have the opportunity to lead and design our Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program, allowing you to work directly with entrepreneurs in emerging economies to solve real-world problems.
  • With the help of a faculty guide, you’ll initiate, organize, and lead Kelley International Perspectives (KIPs). You’ll spend seven weeks in class focusing on a specific business topic and country, before going out on location to visit companies and country leaders and experiencing the culture first-hand.

Career Placement

We work hard to prepare our students for the evolving job market – it’s one of the reasons why the Financial Times ranks us #5 in the world for career placement. Kelley students graduate ready to work and are prepared to make a difference from day one. That’s why top companies from across the nation come to campus to hire our students—97 % of our fulltime MBA graduates have job offers within three months of graduation. Our placement is coast to coast and global, with Kelley graduates employed in 105 countries and on five continents.

Life at Kelley

Named the #1 Best Community for Female MBAs, Kelley fosters a close-knit community of peers united by mutual respect and the desire to excel and form professional and personal networks that will last for the rest of your life. As part of the Kelley community, you’ll benefit from our diverse student body and Big Ten Indiana University campus located in downtown Bloomington, Ind.— named one of America’s most beautiful college campuses and a top college town by publications including the New York Times and Travel & Leisure. 

While you’re here, you can participate in any of the dozens of student clubs and organizations within the Kelley School and explore the larger IU community. Beyond an excellent business education, the Kelley School and the surrounding Bloomington area also offer an abundance of activities for partners and families of MBA students.

Largest business school network in the world

Once you become part of the Kelley family, become part of the world’s largest business school network – with more than 100,000 responsive alumni— connecting you with graduates and business leaders working at top companies around the globe.

More MBA Options

In addition to our prestigious Full-Time MBA Program, we also offer:

Online MBA: Through Kelley Direct Programs, our online MBA, the first offered by a top business school, is ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Business Programs 2014.

Evening MBA: Our flexible part-time Evening MBA Program, on our Indianapolis campus, combines online and on-campus instruction and is ranked #1 for academic quality among part-time MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Physician MBA: Kelley’s Business of Medicine program offers a two-year MBA degree designed exclusively for physicians who want to shape the future of healthcare.  The Kelley Business of Medicine MBA  combines practical business concepts with specialized, contemporary health care courses.