PythaGurus Logo

MBA applications guide for cracking Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College is the world’s first educational institute to provide a master’s degree in business education. It was formed after a Dartmouth College alumnus, Edward Tuck, made a generous donation in 1900.

The business school currently only provides a two-year MBA program. However, it does provide an Advanced Management Program for executives and a summer program for students of Liberal arts, both a few weeks long.

According to the school, the residential campus quality and small class sizes are the reasons that over 70% of Tuck’s alumni give back to the school. This is the highest number found in business schools all over the globe. The loyalty that Tuck graduates share for the business school is evident in these numbers.

Tuck’s MBA Ranking in 2020 has been consistent with the previous years with only a two-point difference. The school is amongst the Top 10 business schools in the US and the Top 15 business schools in the world.

Tuck is also known to have some of the best female representation amongst top business schools with 49% of its MBA class being women.

The Tuck School of Business provides employers with a database, called the Tuck Recruiting Portal, full with detailed résumé of current Tuck students as well as Tuck alumni. The portal requires registration but is otherwise free of charge for recruiters and Tuck alumni.

Other ways that the business school provides to connect to students are interviews and on-campus and off-campus events. From networking nights, and fireside chats on-campus, to career fairs and industry treks off-campus, Tuck goes above-and-beyond to provide its students ample opportunity to create a career.

You can already make out the intensity of competition an applicant must have to face on applying to the Tuck School of Business. So before getting to the various steps, you can take to improve your Tuck MBA application profile, here are a few things you should know about tuck.


Types of MBA Programs at Tuck

Unlike many of it’s competing business schools, Tuck provides only one full-time MBA program to its applicants. The school is known as a residential MBA program since most, if not all, of the first-year students, choose to stay on-campus in dormitories.

The MBA program is known to be a collaborative and tight-knit community and looks for the same values in its applicants.

Application deadlines for Tuck 2020
RoundApplication DeadlineAdmissions Decision
Round 1October 7, 2019December 12, 2019
Round 2January 6, 2020March 12, 2020
Round 3March 30, 2020May 7, 2020

The application process for the Tuck MBA Program 2020

The application process of Tuck is a typical business school application process. The form can be saved and accessed multiple times before you finally decide to submit your online application.

Your Tuck MBA application should demonstrate you as a smart, accomplished, aware, and nice person in addition to the usual qualities like leadership, and team-work that a business school applicant must have.


Transcripts can be sent electronically or through mail to Tuck. For every school or University, you have studied at, you must produce a transcript in English that contains your name, each course you took and the grade you received, and the degree you received and the date conferred.

A transcript that is not in English must contain an attached translated copy as well.

The official transcripts need to be submitted only after being admitted to the MBA program. The official transcripts must be submitted no more than 30 days after enrollment into Tuck.


An applicant is supposed to self-report all their scores from either the GMAT or the GRE from the last five years at the time of submitting the application. The final call on which scores to use would be of the school although they choose to consider the highest score instead of averages.

Once admitted to Tuck, the applicant must provide the official score report within 30 days since enrollment. The official score reports need to be sent on the following school codes.

GMAT: Z04-NH-64

GRE: 4887


The TOEFL or IELT scores must be self-reported along with the application of every non-native English speaker. An applicant can decide to not report the English proficiency test scores if they have lived in an English-speaking country for more than three years or have received an undergraduate education from an institute where the medium of teaching is English.

Similar to the GMAT/GRE score reports and transcripts, the official TOEFL score report needs to be sent to the school within 30 days since enrollment.

TOEFL code: 3351


The following are the essay questions that Tuck asks its applicants. The word limits attached to each question are not to be followed to a T, but should not be exceeded by a lot.

Question 1:Tuck students can articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck? (300 words)

Question 2:Tuck students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are. (300 words)

Question 3:Tuck students invest generously in one another’s success even when it is not convenient or easy. Share an example of how you helped someone else succeed. (300 words)

Optional Question: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere (e.g., atypical choice of evaluators, factors affecting academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application. (300 words)

Reapplicant Question: How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (300 words)

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants require to provide two letters of recommendation from referees who can speak about them in a professional capacity. In case neither of your recommendations are form an immediate superior, add a brief explanation of the reasons for the same in your prbfile.

In case your recommender is unable to submit a recommendation in English, they must get it translated from an outside source, other than the applbcant.

The applicant’s involvement in the writing, editing, proofing, or re-structuring of the letter of recommendation is against Tuck’s admissions policy and the school’s Academic Honor Principal and will be countered with a direct rejbction. Resume

An MBA resume needs to be attached to your Tuck application. This resume must not exceed one page and should contain your education, volunteer work, internships, accomplishments in the workplace, and all job titles held.

Application Fee

Your Tuck application is considered complete and submitted only after the payment of a $250 application fee. The fee can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

Fee waivers are available, on request, only to applicants who have completed the Forté MBA Launch program. However, Tuck Business Bridge graduates and U.S. military personnel get an automatic fee waiver without placing a request.

Cost of Attendance (COA) of the Tuck MBA Program

Since the two-year full-time MBA is the most sought-after MBA program at Tuck, we will concentrate on that throughout the blog.

An education like Tuck’s MBA program is not only rare but also highly aspired, however, that isn’t the only factor in the price of a Tuck education being high.

The tuition of the full-time MBA Program at Tuck is $75,108 for the first year and $75,108 for the second year bringing the two-year tuition to an approximate $150,216. 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 Tuck, along with the tuition, living expenses, etc., will look like, take a look at the table below.

ExpenseCOA 2020 (on-campus)COA 2020 (off-campus)COA 2021(off-campus)
Books and Supplies1,5001,5001,500
Miscellaneous and Health Expenses15,57318,50118,501
Program Fee3,4893,4892,739

Tuck Scholarships

However, like every top business school, Tuck doesn’t rely on a student’s tuition as the primary income. This translates into the school providing hefty scholarships to accepted applicants, making its MBA education much more pocket-friendly.

The scholarships at Tuck range from $10,000 to full-ride scholarships and average at around $26,415. The following scholarship options are available to the applicants. Scholarships are also renewed automatically in the second year and are available to each applicant during the application rounds.

    1. Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellowship
    2. Forté
    3. Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA)
    4. Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program
    5. The Willard M. Bollenbach Jr. 1949 Fund
    6. William G. McGowan Charitable Fund – McGowan Fellows Program
    7. Nondiscrimination Policy

starting compensation after Tuck’s MBA Program

The starting base salary of Tuck’s MBA grads in 2019 saw an increase of 7.69% from 2018. The median base salary of Tuck’s MBA grads 2018 was recorded at $130,000 while the median base salary of Tuck’s 2019 MBA grads was recorded at $140,000.

The median starting compensation of an MBA class is calculated by adding the median base compensation and the median signing bonuses. According to Tuck’s official site, the median starting compensation of the graduating class of 2019 comes to a total of $170,000, 10% more than 2018’s $155,000.

The median base salary for MBA graduates of Tuck in 2019, according to function, are:

Job FunctionMedian Salary (in USD)
Financial services145,000
Health care, pharma, biotech130,000
Consumer goods, retail130,000
Real estate127,500

What is the Tuck admissions committee looking for?

For a top business school, the quality of their applicant pool is no more a problem. For every vacancy they have in their MBA class, Tuck enjoys their pick out of at least 6-8 highly qualified applicants. Thus, the question isn’t ‘how to qualify to be in Tuck’s MBA class?’. Instead, it has become necessary to set yourself apart from the applicant pool by proving to the school that your collaboration with them will prove invaluable for you as well as the business school.

Show quantitative aptitude

Tuck is a finance school. I don’t care where you heard it isn’t or if it’s rebranding and branching out to other functions as well, Tuck will always be one of the best finance research schools in the US. And this is an important point for you to remember.

While many other business schools might look at a very impressive profile with only a slight inconsistency in Quantitative aptitude and give the applicant an admit, Tuck won’t.

Don’t get it twisted, the school isn’t conspiring to only admit Quant whizzes.

Tuck’s admissions committee knows the kind of quantitative rigor its MBA program has. Thus, they cannot rationally admit an applicant who they believe might not be equipped to succeed given the quantitative rigor of Tuck’s MBA program.

However, the school is very empathetic to its applicants and will provide feedback to any applicant in regard to the application process. They even advise students to take certain courses that can prove their Quant prowess and assure the admissions committee that they would thrive in the school’s MBA program.

If you have a low Quant score in your GMAT/GRE, make sure to ask the admissions committee members for ways to prove that you can succeed in a Quantitatively demanding course.

Take the opportunity to interview and visit classes

Tuck is a small business school as far as the class sizes go. If you get into Tuck, you would become a part of a very close-knit community. But this value isn’t limited to Tuck’s classrooms.

At Tuck, the interview process is different from most top business schools. while other schools prefer an invite-only interview policy, Tuck tries to keep its doors open to any and all applicants who wish to meet the school and the staff personally. In fact, Tuck’s admissions committee members have mentioned time and again that students who go through the trouble of travelling to the school itself, and giving interviews or visiting classes have some level of an advantage over the rest of the applicant pool.

If you and another applicant have a very similar profile and the school has to decide who to admit solely based on those, your chances of getting admission are as good as winning a coin toss. Visiting the school and interviewing with them can give you just the advantage you need in this situation.

Another benefit of visiting and interviewing with Tuck even before filling out your application is that you get to see the location. Tuck has the reputation of being a school in the middle of nowhere. However, students that visit the school know that it isn’t a university in the woods.

When you write your application essays, this hard-to-google knowledge will help you convince the admissions committee that you will thrive in the community and culture of the school.

Be nice

This is a confusing one, I know. Some time back, Luke Anthony Peña, executive director of admissions and financial aid for the Tuck School of Business revealed in an interview that Tuck’s four new criteria for MBA admissions are that the applicant must be Smart, Accomplished, Aware, and Nice!

While it does sound a little odd at first, being ‘nice’ is a very obvious criteria for a school like Tuck. The school’s spirit of transparency and accessibility are in sync with this criterion.

By being ‘nice’, the school means a leader who is also a team player. They are referring to a candidate who is willing to work hard, and smart for his/her own goals but is also ready to generously invest in the growth of his/her peers or subordinates. This quality is reflective of the answers that an applicant gives to the essay questions that Tuck poses in their application.

By simply giving authentic answers to the questions that the school is posing, you can convince them that you possess this quality.

Another area that can be used to find out whether the applicant is a ‘nice’ person is the letters of recommendation. In the past year, Tuck has added a few extra questions to the letter of recommendation section of the application which will help the admissions committee to judge the ‘nice’ quotient of an applicant.

Thus, it is also necessary for you to make sure that your referee is someone that can truly vouch for you in that department as well as in a professional capacity.

Don’t give up on Tuck

Due to the high volume of applications, many applicants find themselves in either the waitlist or rejected. While many of these applicants get into other great schools and leave the thought of becoming a Tuckie alone, you don’t have to do that. If Tuck is your dream school, re-apply.

As I have detailed above, Tuck is a very transparent and receptive school when it comes to providing feedback to MBA applicants. They are empathetic and will provide you full support and detailed feedback on why you didn’t make the cut. Now you can either wallow in your sorrow of not making it to Tuck or you can take all of their feedback, work on the negatives in your profile and go back in the next intake.

Tuck’s admissions committee sees many re-applicants every year, and the school has a high reapplication success rate. The committee believes that sometimes an applicant can be rejected or waitlisted for a reason as simple as a recommendation letter that wasn’t persuasive enough. Thus, they suggest that students take another year and re-apply.

An advantage that re-applicants get is that they can create much better connections at the school, and convince the admissions committee of your sincerity for an MBA and for the school itself.

Looking to grow in life by exploring a top tier MBA?