Is getting into the University of Chicago Booth School of Business your dream?

Many students would nod their heads in an excited ‘yes’ on reading the question in the title. I’m only guessing that you’re one of them since you clicked on this blog. But why is getting into the University of Chicago Booth School of Business your dream?

If you don’t have an answer to this question, let this be the first thing you work on, because this could be the question that gets you accepted or rejected from the school.

But to answer this question, you need an in-depth analysis of the school itself. Popularly known as Chicago Booth, the Booth School of business is a name in the list of the most elite MBA programs in the world, called the M7 business schools.

Being accepted to the best school will require you to be equally exceptional in the wide pool of applicants vying an admit from Chicago Booth. This means a carefully curated MBA profile that would appeal to the admissions committee members at Chicago Booth. But, before we dive into the details of what that profile looks like, let’s look at what the school has to offer to its applicants.

Types of MBA programs at Chicago Booth

While most applicants only look for acceptance to the Full-time or executive MBA Programs at Chicago Booth, the school offers a couple more to create a flexible option for those who cannot afford to commit the amount of time that the former programs demand.

However, the full-time and the executive MBA programs are the ones that get the most press, i.e. are the more coveted of the programs. That in no way means that the quality of education for the part-time programs is any lower. Let’s look at the four different MBA programs available to applicants to Chicago Booth.

Full-time MBA

This is the standard run-of-the-mill MBA Program that most business schools offer. A two-year long residential MBA program for applicants who aren’t particularly sure about their post MBA industry.

The full time MBA program at Booth requires students to complete a 21-month course with 13 concentrations and 3-4 courses each semester.

In 2018, Booth started offering deferred admissions to its full-time MBA program to increase its reach to students fresh out of undergraduate school or enrolled in a graduate course with no prior work experience at all.

Weekend MBA and Evening MBA

As the names suggest, Booth offers students MBA classes in the evenings, or the weekends. According to the business school, the only difference between the Weekend and the Evening MBA, and the Full-time MBA is the schedule.

All three courses are taught by the same distinguished Booth faculty, and are provided the same career support. The Weekend and Evening MBAs are programs more suitable to working professionals with time boundation.

Executive MBA

Chicago Booth became the first business school to launch an Executive MBA program in 1943. Thus, having the exclusivity that the program has today does not come up as a surprise.

The Executive MBA Program at Chicago Booth is a 21 month long program with18 core curriculums.

The Executive MBA program is for students who are active members of the workforce during application and the tenure of the program. Once admitted to Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA program, students also need to provide a letter of support from their current employers, promising to let the student attend all the classes in the curriculum set by Booth’s faculty.

Application Process

The application process of Chicago Booth is very simple and straightforward. The application costs $250, and can waived in case an applicant reaches out the school to plead their case and the school agrees to it. Once an applicant’s application is vetted, and shortlisted, the school itself will reach out to the applicant to schedule an interview.

Application process for Chicago Booth’s Full-time MBA Program
Application ChecklistRequirement
Essay QuestionsThe application consists of three questions out of which one is optional. The optional question should be used to address any parts of your application that you believe require further explanation, for example, low GMAT Scores or GPA.

The two essay questions do not have a word limit but should contain minimum 250 words each.

Question1: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals?

Question 2: Chicago Booth immerses you in a choice-rich environment. How have your interests, leadership experiences, and other passions influenced the choices in your life?

Professional ResumeA current professional resume must be attached to the application.
Letters of RecommendationThe Letters of Recommendations are available as a form which will be sent to your selected recommenders. Each applicant must submit two LORs; first one from a current supervisor, and the second form any professional or social acquaintance who can add value to your candidacy.

The recommenders are asked to complete a skill set analysis on the applicant and answer two questions.

Question 1: How does the applicant's performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.

Question 2: Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response.

TranscriptsThe applicant must provide unofficial (scanned) transcripts from all of their post-secondary (post-high school) educational institutes. Official copies are requested only post-acceptance into the MBA course.
GMAT/GREThe applicant must report their valid (no less than 5 years old) GMAT/GRE score on the application.
TOEFL/IELTS/PTEEvery applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit valid TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores during the application process.

Application deadlines 2019

Applications will only be considered in a particular round if they have been submitted before 11:59 pm CST on the deadline of that round. Below is the submissions deadline and notification dates for Chicago Booth application in 2019.

Deadlines for Chicago Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program
Round Submission DeadlineFinal Decision Notification
Round 1September 26, 2019 December 5, 2019
Round 2January 7, 2020 March 19, 2020
Round 3April 2, 2020 May 21, 2020

Deadlines for Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program
Round Submission Deadline
Early Deadline Wednesday, October 2, 2019
First Deadline Monday, December 2, 2019
Second DeadlineMonday, February 3, 2020
Final Deadline Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Deadlines for Chicago Booth’s Weekend MBA Program
Quarter Application due Launch Classes Start
Spring 2020 January 6, 2020 March 12–14, 2020 March 30, 2020
Autumn 2020 June 8, 2020 August 21-23, 2020September 21, 2020

Deadlines for Chicago Booth’s Evening MBA Program
Quarter Application DueLaunch Classes Start
Winter 2020 October 4, 2019December 5–7, 2019 January 6, 2020
Spring 2020 January 6, 2020March 12–14, 2020 March 30, 2020
Summer 2020 March 30, 2020 June 4-6, 2020 June 19, 2020
Autumn 2020 June 8, 2020 September 10-12, 2020September 21, 2020

Cost of attendance

Since the full-time MBA is the most sought-after MBA program at Booth, we will concentrate on that throughout the blog. A far as the other MBA programs go, with a little tweaking to the profile, considering the eligibility requirements of each program, one could get in by following a similar pattern of school research, answering essays, providing references, as the ones for the full-time MBA program.

If you have had any contact with the world at any time, it is safe to assume that you know how the price of a commodity rises with the rise in its rarity. And an education like Chicago Booth’s MBA program is not only rare but also highly aspired.

However, that isn’t the only factor in the price of a Chicago Booth education being high.

The tuition of the full-time MBA Program at Chicago Booth is $144,000. This however doesn’t include the living and other expenses and is merely the tuition for the program. To get a clearer idea of what a year of attending Chicago Booth, along with the tuition, living expenses, etc., will look like, take a look at the table below.

Expense cost
Tuition $72,000
Student Services Fee $1,248
Health Insurance (estimated) $4,600
Administrative Service Fee $2,500 (first year only)
Lifetime Credentials Fee $75 (a one-time fee charged in fall of the first year)
Books $684
Room and Board $22,185 ($2,465 per month)
Personal $2,286
Transportation $1,944
Computer Allowance $1,300 (first year only)
Total $108,822

This is a comprehensive total for nine months only. Three months of internship from the first year will be an added cost that would vary depending on the opportunities a student comes across. In the second year, three more months of room and board will be added to the total cost, making it $116,217. If you remove the expenses that a student is expected to incur in the first year only, the total cost of attendance comes down to $112,342.

Roughly, the total cost of attendance for a two-year MBA program at Chicago Booth, excluding the summer internship, will be $221,164 ($108,822+$112,342).

Don’t fret just yet. The school also provides numerous scholarships to deserving students and help others in arranging loans to help finance their education.

Scholarships

Students are considered for most scholarships when they apply to Chicago Booth. Some of the scholarships available to applicants are:

  1. Merit-Based Scholarships
  2. Global Innovator Fellowships
  3. Industry Awards
  4. Leadership Awards
  5. Military Awards
  6. Regional Awards
  7. Yellow Ribbon Program

Salaries post-graduation

Although the Cost of attendance at Chicago Booth is high, applicants still flock to the school every year to try and secure their place at the MBA Programs. While there are a lot of contributing factors to this, the one factor that is quite easily put into numbers is the salaries that graduates get right out of a Chicago Booth MBA Program.

Look at this brief version of the employment report from Chicago Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program 2018

Function Median Salary Median Sign-On
Analytics/Data Science $125,000
Business Development $145,000
Consulting $150,000$25,000
Corporate Strategy/Strategic Planning $124,000$23,525
Finance $125,000$40,000
General Management $125,000$35,000
Marketing $120,000$25,000
Operations - Production/Supply Chain Mgmt/Logistics $130,000$45,000
Product Management (Tech) $130,000$50,000

What does the Booth School of Business Admissions Committee look for in an applicant?

One common statement that you will hear from any member of an admissions committee at a business school is, ‘Be yourself’. But what does ‘being yourself’ really mean?

It’s not like you could have no work experience, low GMAT scores and GPA, no extracurriculars, and still get into a business school like Chicago Booth, right? The authenticity, that the admissions committee members talk about is the personality and career goals that an applicant shows through their profile.

Booth admission committee members will overlook a slight deviation in your academic performance if your career goals, and personality seem like a perfect fit for the business school’s cultural and intellectual environment.

Here are a few things you can do during application to make sure you present your best-self to the Booth Admission Committee members.

  1. Know yourself well
  2. This is something that will help you during the applications to any business school. Knowing yourself doesn’t mean you need to have a completely formulated 5-year plan or knowing exactly what meal you’d like to have in the morning when you wake up. Knowing yourself is more in the realm of self-awareness, if you’d like to tag it.

    It means being conscious of the state your mind and body are in. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, limitations, shortcomings, opportunities, and everything in-between. This not only helps you overcome your limitations, and use your strengths, but also makes sure you do not miss out on any opportunities presented to you.

    In any business course, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is taught as being one of the most important things to have a successful project. This helps predict any forthcoming issues.

    In simpler terms, having a SWOT analysis of yourself will help you predict and deal with any problems in your application before you are blindsided by a question about it whether in the Video Essays or the Interviews.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri5ddcbiWto&list=PLeNE3Czj4JQKjq0QP4Q6KQyvNV8yabRpN&index=1

  3. Reveal your passion
  4. If a single statement could sum up Booth’s culture, it would be, ‘We empower bold thinkers and inquisitive minds to dig deeper, discover more, and shape the future.’

    If you would pay attention to the last few words, you can see that Booth, like every top business school, is looking to support applicants who can industry leaders in the future, and that is only possible if someone has a passion to make a difference in a particular industry. To give a small example of how serious the school is about the statement mentioned above, out of the 2000+ billionaires all around the globe, 10 are Booth alumni. No one, no matter how lucky, cannot have a billion-dollar net worth without being at the top of their industry.

    While assessing your MBA Profile, the admissions committee at Booth will look for such potential. They will sift through your essays to see if you have the drive to make a change and an impact in society. So, if you are passionate about something, discuss it through your application.

    Mention the reasons and let the admissions committee members know that you have drive.

  5. Do your research
  6. This is very crucial. When giving an answer to ‘Why Booth?’, if your answer is along the lines of calling Booth the Top MBA program, or the best business school, you can be sure your application is getting rejected.

    Booth Admissions Committee members know they are making selection for a top business school. they do not need you to remind them of that. What they really want to know is why you believe Booth is the right MBA Program for you. They are actually asking what makes you believe Booth will help you gain the career trajectory that you wish for, other than the brand name the school offers.

    If you limit your research to the school’s web-page, or Google, all you would find is the basic knowledge of the community of Booth. These will mostly be second hand accounts answering broad questions. The best way to go about researching for Booth would be to network with a current student or an alumnus.

    Rather than answering ‘Why Booth?’, try answering, ‘How does Booth’s location benefit your career?’, or ‘How is the program structure at Booth different from other top schools and how does that benefit you in particular?’.

    Basically, answer questions on a personal level.

  7. Let your diversity be your selling point
  8. Booth is a diverse school. According to admissions committee members at Booth, the school is looking for applicants that can bring in diverse opinions, experiences, solutions, and ideas to their MBA Program.

    The more unique your experiences are, the more unique your outlook and solutions for situations will be. This is a trait that Booth aspires to inculcate more of every year in their MBA Program.

    Thus, using your diversity as a selling point can play in your favour during applications at Booth.

  9. Booth is not just a finance school
  10. Just like applicants, business schools are often categorized. Chicago Booth is considered a Finance school. Ranking fourth in the best Finance MBA Programs, unofficially, applicants often believe that a Booth MBA is the most valuable for someone looking for a career in Finance.

    However, in recent years Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Booth have come in to focus. The resources provided by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation have truly strengthened Booth as a prospective school for entrepreneurial applicants.

    This is an important point to note for applicants because no matter what your goals are, Booth is well-equipped to help you achieve them. thus, when you fill out your Booth application, you focus shouldn’t be on making an application with a finance school in mind. Instead keep your goals as clear and authentic as possible.

  11. Consider yourself the interviewer
  12. If you have been invited for an interview for Booth’s MBA program, your interviewer could be a current student, staff member, or an alumnus. An interview to a Booth member isn’t just the step after applications to make a final decision about a student. They look at it more as an opportunity to open dialogue with a prospective Boothie.

    According to admissions committee members, applicants should use this opportunity to ask questions about the school. now these questions should be the generic ones that you can find online. Take this opportunity to really ask deep questions about how the school’s academic and social environment can help you achieve your goals.

    While it is obvious, that you shouldn’t monopolize the conversation with questions, but, don’t consider yourself simply the interviewee and make sure you ask any questions you have since this is your chance to make a decision before investing in the school’s high tuition as well.

Cultural difference between Chicago’s Booth and Northwestern’s Kellogg

Culture is a big part of a school and a major factor in how a student would fare at their MBA program. If the student and the school culture don’t go well together, the chances of the student’s failure go up by a lot. This is why interviewed students ae always vetted for cultural fit by business schools.

To better explain how important cultural difference is for a student’s performance, we only have to take a 30-min train ride from Booth to a business school that has almost the opposite culture.

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a neighboring school to Chicago’s Booth, is a collegial school with a close-knit student community. The cultural fit at Kellogg can be described by words like outgoing, and collaborative. Not that Chicago doesn’t have friendly people, it has a much more competitive culture with Quant jocks and the likes filling up the student body.

The difference doesn’t make one school better or worse in general, but it could make one school better than the other depending on which environment you would thrive in; collaborative, or competitive.

Thus, keeping the culture in mind when you choose to get an MBA from Chicago Booth, or are writing the essays for you application to the school is a must if you want to increase you chances at an acceptance.