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What Makes the Dartmouth Tuck MBA Distinctive?

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Ranked #10 by the U.S. News & World Report ranking of best graduate schools, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business offers one of the top MBA programs in the country. It’s ranked sixth by The Economist, fifth by Forbes, and #16 by the Financial Times, due to the program’s intimate community, consistent values, and stellar educational experience.

As for the Dartmouth Tuck experience, it can be summed up in the full-time MBA program, the only option the school offers. This comprehensive two-year program is designed to transform students into business leaders across 17 areas of expertise. Students can choose to major in a particular subject area or focus on general business knowledge.

As for what makes Dartmouth Tuck unique among similar MBA programs? We talked with their admissions team to find out more. Here’s what they had to say.

1. What sets your campus culture apart from others? What type of MBA applicants would best be suited to your culture?

Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders who better the world of business.  We support that mission by offering a unique combination of focus, scale, and location.  Our focus is the two-year, full-time MBA—this is the only degree the Tuck school grants, which means you benefit from the full attention of a community that develops your confident humility about what you do and do not know.

Our scale is small, just 287 students; this is the most intimate scale among top MBA programs, which means you build deep trust-based relationships that deepen your empathy for the diverse experiences of others. And our location is in beautiful Hanover, New Hampshire, free from the distractions and disruptions of a large metropolitan area. This means you have an immersive setting in which to fully engage with and internalize all that you are learning and experiencing—sharpening your judgment about when and how to take risks.

You’ll contribute to and thrive at Tuck if you’re smart, nice, accomplished, and aware. Being “smart” means bringing both your academic aptitude and your confidently humble attitude towards learning. Being “nice” means cultivating a habit of kindness and exercising the strength and courage to invest in the success of others. Being “accomplished” means achieving results earned the right way with good behaviors. And being “aware” means knowing the values that define who you are and the goals that Tuck will help you achieve.

2. What are the top industries your MBA graduates enter, and how does your program work to develop relationships in those industries for the best career opportunities?

For the most recent graduating class, 30 percent of Tuck graduates accepted consulting offers, 24 percent accepted tech offers, and 20 percent accepted financial sector offers. Our Career Development Office’s team of career coaches, each with their own areas of expertise, works individually with each student to provide guidance, coaching, and support.

The Tuck alumni community is a powerful network, renowned for being accessible, responsive, and helpful as you explore career opportunities. Two-thirds of alumni make financial contributions to Tuck—by far the most among top business schools—and this engagement extends to supporting students and graduates in the career search.  The community is the most valuable asset you gain from business school, and I believe the Tuck network compares very favorably among business schools.

We consider Tuck our base camp to the world.  While a good portion of recruiting activity happens in Hanover—where recruiters are uniquely focused on and attentive to you—we also see students sourcing internships and jobs through First-Year Projects, TuckGO trips, career treks, and other engagement points throughout the world.

3. What geographies do most of the MBA’s who enter your program come from?

For the most recent incoming class, we enrolled students from 42 countries, which is particularly remarkable in a class of 285 students and the greatest number of distinct countries in Tuck’s history. Students from outside the U.S. represented 36 percent of the class.  Domestically, the two regions most represented in the class are the Northeast and the West Coast.

Our students come to Tuck with intentionality about engaging geographic and cultural perspectives that are unlike their own. Only four of our 42 countries—the U.S., India, China, and Brazil—enrolled more than five students in the most recent incoming class. When you join Tuck, you are making the conscious choice to go beyond what is familiar and immerse yourself with classmates who have different and diverse experiences to share.

Acknowledging our geographic diversity, our students tend to have one geographic similarity: almost none call Hanover home before coming to Tuck.  This has a tremendously positive effect on the cohesion of the student body.  You and your classmates are not being pulled away by the gravity of pre-existing social circles; instead, you are fully immersed from your first day in the important work of building deep, trusting relationships with your classmates, faculty, staff, and alumni.

4. In regards to the student experience, what sets your program apart?

Our core curriculum is built on the rigor of the case method and extends through the majority of your first year, followed by a wide variety of elective options in your second year.  In both the first and second years, your classes are led by faculty who excel in both scholarship and education. We expect our faculty to be both excellent researchers and excellent teachers; your professors create new knowledge and bring rigorous intellectual inquiry into the classroom.

We’re nearing the final stages of a curriculum review, which included input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, recruiters, and other thought leaders from industry.  Our revised curriculum will expand our capabilities to prepare you for the digital, global, and social forces that drive global business, and balance the important considerations of both academic growth and professional exploration.  The result will be a curriculum that is both timely and timeless.

Your academic experience also includes the First Year Project, an experiential, team-based capstone project that affords you great flexibility in the size and scope of the project, including entrepreneurial and global options.  The TuckGO program is a required global immersion experience that offers a menu of options including project-based work, consulting engagements, topic-based expeditions, and terms abroad.  And our numerous centers, each of which focuses on a dedicated area of expertise, provide pathways to learning and application in areas of high relevance to you.

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.