Founded in 1898, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business describes itself as “the second-oldest school in the US, and second to none when it comes to influencing business education and business practices.”
Formerly “the University of Chicago School of Business,” it was renamed in 2008 following a $300 million endowment gift from alumnus David Booth, Class of 1971, recognized as one of the most influential people in the world of mutual funds and one of the most powerful in the financial world.
The Booth school is part of a group of seven elite b-schools that recognize one another as peers—the others being Columbia, HBS, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Stanford GSB, and Wharton. We look at some other interesting facts about Booth, with a focus on its full-time MBA program.
16 things every Chicago Booth MBA applicant should know
Chicago has a typical continental climate with warm summers and cold winters and frequent short fluctuations in temperature and humidity. But the city enjoys pleasant spring and fall seasons with moderate temperatures. Chicago houses more than 30 Fortune 500 companies and 100 corporate headquarters. Frank Sinatra’s “My kind of town” has nearly 50 km of beaches, harbors, and bike paths.
Chicago Booth is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, on the main campus of the university, where it runs its full-time MBA program. Booth has campuses in London and Hong Kong, too. Its facility in downtown Chicago is the venue of its evening, weekend, executive MBA, and executive education programs.
Booth is placed sixth in the FT Global MBA Ranking 2018 and first in the 2018 US News and World Report Best Business School Ranking. The Economist gave it the second rank in 2017 and Bloomberg Businessweek the fourth in 2017.
Seven Booth faculty members have won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences since the award was instituted in 1968: George Stigler (1982), Merton Miller (1990), Ronald Coase (1991), Gary Becker (1992), Robert Fogel (1993), Myron Scholes (1997), and Eugene Fama (2013).
Today, the Booth faculty of over 200 members consists of top researchers and leaders in their fields of study, including Raghuram G. Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, who teaches international corporate finance. Booth members of faculty are regularly called upon to share their knowledge in boardrooms and courts, before Congress, and with the media.
Following former Dean Sunil Kumar’s appointment as Provost at Johns Hopkins University, Madhav V. Rajan, Professor of Accounting at Stanford GSB, is expected to take over the position in July 2017. Douglas J. Skinner is the Interim Dean.
Booth programs include the 21-month full-time MBA program, the Evening, Weekend, and Executive MBA programs, PhD, and the Summer Business Scholars program.
The Booth curriculum includes 14 concentrations, three or four courses per quarter. It includes only one required course—leadership effectiveness and development—which gives flexibility to students to design their own course depending on the requirements of potential employers.
Experiential learning bridges theory and practice, and skills gained during the course are tested in real businesses settings. Booth’s academic culture emphasizes problem analysis and discovering innovative solutions through dialogue and debate with peers and professors.
International programs that teach how business is done around the world are available. Booth also incubates entrepreneurship talent.
Full-time MBA applicants require a college degree equivalent to the four-year American baccalaureate degree. Three-year international degrees are also accepted. New students are admitted to the full-time MBA program in the autumn quarter only.
The admissions process consists of two main components—application and interview. The completed application should include personal and professional information, answers to essay questions, two recommendation letters, scanned transcripts from post-secondary institutions, GMAT / GRE and TOEFL / IELTS / PTE scores, and $250 application fee.
The application can be submitted online. The interview is granted by invitation and conducted by school staff, alumni, or students on campus or at a location convenient to the candidate.
The 2018-19 estimated cost of attendance (nine months) comes to about $110,000, including tuition ($72,000), rent and utilities, food, health insurance, personal expenses, and transportation.
Booth helps students to finance their MBAs, regardless of citizenship. Student loans and merit-based scholarships and fellowships are available. The school does not offer need-based aid.
For loans, no US cosigners are necessary, though a student with one is offered a number of private loan options. Candidates for scholarships and fellowships are evaluated on the basis of educational achievement, intended concentration, quality of interview, competitiveness, life experiences, and professional goals.
The full-time MBA Class comprises nearly 600 students from over 50 countries, with international students making up a good portion (over 35%) of the class. A good majority are from the US, about 15 percent from Asia, over 10 percent from Central/South America and Mexico, and over 5 percent from Europe.
The average GMAT score for Chicago Booth MBA is about 730 (range low 610 – high 790) and the average GPA 3.6 (GPA range above 2.5 – 4). The average student age is 28.
The class, with over 40 percent female students, has an average work experience of five years. Nearly 30 percent of the class are undergraduate business majors, 25 percent economics majors, 20 percent engineering, shy of 20 percent liberal arts, and the rest physical sciences.
The biggest industry represented are consulting, education/government/nonprofit (12 percent), commercial/investment banking/brokerage and investment management, and venture capital and private equity.
Booth Career Services not only helps refine the students’ career path and job search but also teaches them how to manage the job interview and salary negotiation process.
Web-based tools allow students to assess their own interests, talent, and values, and workshops sharpen students’ resume and cover-letter writing skills. International students can also take advantage of specific career-development programs arranged for them. In order to improve the students’ job search, Career Services provides data about past hires by function, industry, and location.
Newsletters provide job postings and tips on career management. Students who are going back to their previous organizations are coached about how to expand or switch roles, and in case of students with entrepreneurial plans, how to build their businesses. Booth has facilitated internship for its students in a wide range of corporate houses from Amazon to Wrigley.
Jobs after MBA/employers
As many as 98.4 percent of full-time MBA students received job offers within three months of their graduation. About 150 corporate events are held each year on the campus, and about 200 companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, PepsiCo, and Morgan Stanley, have interviewed students for jobs. Firms such as GE, BP, Kraft, and United Airlines have used the Booth resume referral service to find candidates.
The Booth Full-time Employment Report 2016 says that 36 percent students went into financial services (14 percent into investment banking/brokerage), 28 percent into consulting, 17 percent into technology (ecommerce and Internet 9 percent), and 7 percent into consumer products.
The financial service salary range was $60,000-$210,000 ($118,000-$215,000 investment banking/brokerage), consulting $60,000-$170,000, technology $80,000-$151,000, and consumer products $62,000-$180,000. The overall salary range was $60,000-$215,000 for 491 hires (100 percent), median salary $125,000, and median sign-on bonus $25,000.
Booth has about 51,000 graduates employed in over 100 countries. They make up a huge bank of industry and career information for current students. Students go on “industry treks” around the world, visiting company representatives, alumni, and other professionals to learn more. About 70 alumni clubs around the world help members connect with the local Booth communities.
Besides the former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, other famous alumni from a long list include Nobel Laureate (Economics) Eugene Fama, former Governor of New Jersey and financial executive Jon Corzine, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, McKinsey founder James O. McKinsey, novelist Sara Paretsky, former US Secretary of Commerce Peter George Peterson, former Morgan Stanley CEO Philip J. Purcell, former Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan, and CFA Institute board member and investment manager Diane Garnick.
The uniqueness of the Booth full-time program is obviously the flexibility of its curriculum. Booth students are able to focus on building their personalities in an atmosphere that provides academic freedom, freedom to take risks, and freedom to define themselves personally and create their own impact on the business world.
The trade mark “Chicago Approach” empowers bold thinkers to shape the future, and encourages a multidisciplinary method of problem-solving aided by its various research and learning centers.