MIT Sloan is hot. In 2015-2016, the school saw applications to its full-time MBA program jump by a remarkable 35% to an estimated 5,740, from 4,254 a year earlier, the highest increase in-app volume for any leading business school. Dawna Levenson, director of admissions at Sloan, largely attributes the increase to last year’s decision to go to only one essay question, with a second required short-answer question if candidates moved forward to the interview stage. The school also last year expanded its admissions cycle to three rounds from just two, in common with most other business schools. Sloan used to close off its admissions cycle as early as Jan. 8, but extended it until April 11 of this year. Sloan is the only Top Ten school that has not yet released its new application deadlines.
Sloan apparently likes the result so much it is going another step in that direction this year. Instead of asking applicants to respond to an essay question, the school is now only requiring a cover letter along with a resume. The school says the cover letter of 250 words or less is an opportunity to introduce yourself, describe your past successes, and explain why MIT Sloan’s MBA Program is the right place for you. Applicants can also submit an optional essay of 500 words or less and can do so via video or other multimedia.
MIT Sloan’s two-year MBA Program is comprised of a combination of case studies, team projects, lectures, live case discussions, interactions with industry leaders, and hands-on lab classes. Throughout the first-semester core, students build the foundation of their MIT Sloan education. Working with a team of five or six classmates, they gain fundamental skills through required course work in economics, accounting, managerial communication, business statistics, and organizational processes (as well as an elective in either strategic marketing or finance).
Only one-semester long, the core allows students freedom and flexibility in pursuing their personal goals throughout the rest of the program. And students enjoy the company and intellectual stimulation of their cohort — a group of roughly 60 students (made up of 10-12 teams) who take their courses together.
The quality of the MBA experience here is second to none and the prestige of the school’s top employers tends to confirm it. In 2015 (the 2016 employment report was not yet available in late November), the major hirers of Sloan MBA talent were McKinsey & Company (31), Amazon (22), Boston Consulting Group (14), Google (14), Deloitte Consulting (13), Bain & Company (12), Apple (7), Microsoft Corporation (7), Parthenon-EY (6), Boeing (5), and Morgan Stanley (5). That’s a gold-plated outcome for sure.
In our 2016 ranking of the best MBA programs, MIT Sloan gained one place to finish sixth and in the past seven P&Q surveys the school has risen by two spots from eight in 2010. The bottom line: Sloan is firmly in the so-called M7 group of schools, thought to offer the world’s premier MBA experiences. With interest in entrepreneurship at an all-time high, there are few schools that now offer the wealth of startup opportunities that MIT brings to bear.
In 2016, MIT maintained its fifth-place status in U.S. News’ ranking but slipped slightly on a few other lists. This year’s Bloomberg Businessweek ranking saw the school drop three places to seventh from fourth, while Sloan lost ground in the Financial Times list, falling to a U.S. rank of seventh from fifth a year earlier.
These are minor gripes in the grand scheme of things, however. As one Class of 2012 graduate explains it, “Sloan really breeds an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship – whether from its connection to the rest of MIT, or from within (professors, coursework focus). This innovation creates a groundswell of ideas and discourse that runs in the veins of the programs that comprise Sloan.”
Watch Poets&Quants’ John A. Byrne interview Associate Director of Admissions Jeff Carbone & Assistant Director of Admissions Shauna Lafauci Barry. Watch the full interview.
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Note: 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 as a general guideline.