The Chicago Booth MBA: What You Need To Know
The mantra of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is it’s all about the idea. The B-School was founded in 1898 and became accredited in 1916, and ever since, Booth students have been learning to define problems, ask better questions, and develop better solutions. The B-School earned well-deserved attention this year, ranking No. 2 in the P&Qrankings, and No.1 for Best Business Schools by U.S. News and World Report 2023.
The full-time 21-month MBA program welcomed 620 students selected from a total of 5,037 applications this year. Although the curriculum is rigorous and can be overwhelming at first, Booth deploys peers to first-year students to guide and assist them. Their renowned ‘Paying-It-Forward’ tradition is handed down between classes as an act of gratitude that extends far beyond graduation.
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 with the one key exception being the Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) course which examines the fundamentals of communication and teamwork, which all MBAs must take. The curriculum consists of 20 classes plus LEAD.
“Our multidisciplinary curriculum provides students with analytical frameworks needed to succeed. It evolves and grows to meet the rapidly changing business climate with agility, yetmaintains the core values that distinguish it from any other MBA program. Whether in Chicago, Hong Kong, or London, our accomplished faculty create knowledge among current and future leaders,” says Starr Marcello, Deputy Dean for MBA programs.
By and large, students design a program tailored to fit their own career goals.
“The Booth MBA empowers students to select courses that fit their experience, interests, and career goals. The flexible curriculum, rooted in the fundamentals of business—accounting, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics—is delivered by the world’s best faculty members, pillars of the Chicago Booth community,” says Marcello.
Booth is known for its strong quant power. “I knew the school had a reputation for quantitative curriculum,” says Emma Lawler, Class of 2023. “I’m looking forward to learning the hard skills I’ll need to be a business leader throughout my entire career. Yes, maybe I could learn some of these skills over years of hands-on experience, but I believe this two-year program will give me a stronger foundation to achieve my ambitious goals and make a bigger impact.”
In addition to Accounting, Analytical Science, and Behavioral Science, the school offers ten more concentrations in Business Analytics, Econometrics and Statistics, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, international business, marketing management, operations management, and strategic management.
Anyone will fit in at Booth, especially those with entrepreneurial interests.
“I was drawn to Booth’s entrepreneurship electives and concentration, along with the flexibility of the program. I was looking to learn quantitative finance skills, grow a network of ambitious peers, and incubate my next startup idea. Classes like Entrepreneurial Discovery and the New Venture Challenge, the Entrepreneurship and VC Club, and the Polsky Center forEntrepreneurship and Innovation all made Booth the right fit for my goals. As I’ve gotten more involved, I’m continually excited about the learning and resources available to entrepreneurs,” says Lawler.
Students are required to participate in a summer internship between their first and second year of the MBA, designed to put their knowledge to the test. Outside of curriculum, most Booth students take advantage of a seemingly endless number of extracurricular opportunities.
“The Management Consulting Group and the Booth Technology Group are student clubs that host large events for professionals, including recruitment and job fairs, meet-and-greets with company representatives, networking with business leaders, info-sharing among peers, as well as conducting mock interviews and educational seminars. These events resonate with students, as these fields are the most popular in which they enter after attending business school,” says Associate Dean Jessica Jaggers.
Chicago Booth MBA Rankings Data
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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.