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University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Booth) MBA Essay Topic Analysis

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business’s full-time MBA program is located on the University of Chicago’s main campus in the Hyde Park neighborhood, just seven miles south of Chicago’s downtown center, the Loop. Chicago Booth offers a two-year, full-time MBA program and part-time evening and weekend MBA programs, as well as an Executive MBA program and an International MBA option. Hallmarks of the Chicago Booth full-time MBA program include its extensive finance program and faculty, flexibility in curriculum and course scheduling, and broader international and experiential learning opportunities.

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Chicago Booth employs nearly 220 faculty members, 130 of whom are in tenure-track positions.  These faculty members teach across 15 academic areas and contribute to Chicago Booth’s 12 research centers and initiatives, whose missions range from fostering entrepreneurship to interpreting Chicago Price Theory.

Professors utilize a mix of teaching styles at Chicago Booth, from case studies to lectures. Regardless of approach, the school prides itself on creating classroom environments that promote discussion and debate. The academic year is broken into seasonal quarters, which last an average of 12 weeks. Fall Quarter classes generally begin in late September and end by early December. Classes resume for the Winter Quarter in early January and conclude in mid-March. After a short break, Spring Quarter begins in late March and finishes by the first or second week of June. In the summer after their first year, students are encouraged to prepare for their post-MBA careers by completing summer internships in their desired fields.

Chicago Booth’s curriculum gives its students the flexibility to create their own tailored educational path from the start. While students must take one “foundation course” in each of three disciplines—Financial Accounting, Microeconomics and Statistics—students already well versed in the basics of these fields can choose more advanced alternatives to fulfill this requirement. Students must also take one course in each of six out of seven categories: finance, marketing, operations, decisions, people, strategy, and business environment. The sole required course that all students must take is the Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) course, which teaches students about successful leadership techniques and how to motivate others. LEAD starts with ropes courses and social events during first-year orientation; additional LEAD-associated classroom sessions and other activities are held throughout the rest of the year.

Once foundational requirements are met, students are then given the opportunity to take 11 elective courses to round out and deepen their education.  Through their choice of electives, students may pursue one or more of the 14 offered concentrations, which vary in focus from entrepreneurship to strategic management.  In addition, students are given experiential learning opportunities through the school’s lab courses, in which teams of students help companies resolve issues across industries such as social enterprise and clean technology.  Booth also allows students to gain international exposure by studying abroad for a semester at one of the school’s 33 exchange partner schools.

Other MBA Degree Options

Along with its 21-month full-time MBA program, Chicago Booth offers Evening and Weekend MBA programs, which allow students to earn an MBA in about 2.5 to 3 years.  The school also has an Executive MBA program for individuals at a more advanced stage in their careers.  In July 2013, the school announced plans to relocate their Asia Executive MBA program’s campus from Singapore to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Campus, where Booth professors teach MBA classes to corporate and organizational leaders from across Asia, North America and Europe, opened for the program’s summer quarter in June 2014. In addition to these part-time options, Chicago Booth partners with the larger University of Chicago to offer joint degrees in eleven different disciplines, including a JD/MBA with the Chicago Law School, an MPP/MBA with the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, an MA/MBA with the School of Social Service Administration, an MPCS with the Department of Computer Science, an MBA/Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy, an MBA/MA in International Relations, an MBA/MA in Eastern European & Russian Eurasian Studies, an MBA/MA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies, an MBA/MA in Middle Eastern Studies, an MBA/MA in South Asian Studies, and an MD/MBA with the Pritzker School of Medicine.

Concentrations at Booth

  • Accounting
  • Analytic Finance
  • Analytic Management
  • Econometrics and Statistics
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • International Business
  • Managerial and Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Management

Degree Offerings at Booth

Full-time MBA Program

Evening MBA Program

Weekend MBA Program

Executive MBA Program

Joint Degree Programs
MBA/MPP, MBA/JD, MBA/MD, MBA/AM, MBA/MA, MBA/MPCS, Certificate in Health Administration & Policy

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Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

Chicago Booth students have a variety of opportunities to get involved with the school community.  The first such opportunity are the optional Random Walk trips, which are led by second-year students and take place in August before the first-year orientation commences.  Past trips have taken place in Argentina, Jordan, Turkey, Nicaragua and South Africa, among many other locations.

Once on campus, there are over 70 student groups that students can consider joining, which cover everything from cultural affinity groups, such as the Hispanic American Business Students Association, to professionally oriented clubs like the Management Consulting, Investment Banking and Operations Strategy groups.  Students can also explore their more personal hobbies or passions through groups focused on a variety of sports, the culinary arts, photography or volunteering.

Many of Chicago Booth’s student groups also contribute to the school’s events throughout the year.  For example, each year the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Group puts on the annual SeedCon, which includes one day of fast-pitch competitions and keynote speeches for aspiring entrepreneurs.  In addition, the Marketing Group hosts a one-day conference that gives participants the opportunity to learn from current marketing practitioners at companies such as Wrigley and Proctor & Gamble.  Other popular conferences include the Management Conference and the Chicago Conversations Conference.

Campus Spaces

Located just east of the University of Chicago’s central quadrangles, the Charles M. Harper Center houses the full-time MBA program’s 11 classrooms, 31 group study rooms, student lounge, workstations and other resources, such as two Bloomberg terminals and a café.  The Harper Center was designed by Rafael Viñoly and opened to the Chicago Booth community in 2004.  Meanwhile, the Gleacher Center, located in “the Loop,” serves as the headquarters for the educational pursuits of part-time and EMBA students.

The University of Chicago does provide graduate students with the opportunity to apply for housing on or near campus.  Students can apply to live in one of 1,500 units in 28 buildings, many of which accept students with families or pets.  Students are also welcome to live off-campus; approximately 70 percent of Booth students live in the Loop, and other popular neighborhoods include Lincoln Park and Wicker Park.

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Career Services

The Chicago Booth Career Services office provides many ways for students to develop professionally during their time at the school. These services include computer resources and tests to determine an individual’s potential fit with different industries, one-on-one job coaching with members of the office staff, résumé and cover letter workshops, and an on-campus recruiting schedule that regularly brings over 250 companies to campus.

First-year students looking to find summer internships start their recruiting process in October with On-Campus Corporate Conversations, which give potential employers the opportunity to present their organization to students. In mid-January, first-year students participate in on-campus interviewing in order to secure internship offers. The recruiting schedule for second-year students starts with On-Campus Corporate Conversations and corporate networking nights in September. Second-year interviews are then conducted on campus in October.

Career Statistics

By graduation, roughly 91% of the Class of 2017 had received job offers and about 88% of the class had accepted positions.  Within three months of graduation the latter percentage rose to nearly 96.  The median starting salary for Chicago Booth graduates was $125,000.

Thirty percent of the Class of 2017 joined the finance industry, with nearly 14% of that group entering investment banking and brokerage.  Another popular industry for Chicago Booth 2017 graduates was consulting, which claimed nearly 33% of graduates.  Nearly 19% pursued work in the technology industry while 5% of the class entered the consumer products industry.  Chicago Booth graduates also chose positions in healthcare products and services, energy, and education, among other indus­tries.

Chicago Booth keeps with the general business school trend of placing a considerable percentage of its graduates in the region where the school is located.  In this case, 36% of the Class of 2017 found work in the Midwestern U.S., and about 31% of that group remained in the Chicago metropolitan area.  The Northeast was the second most popular location for Chicago Booth graduates, with 23% of the class starting their careers in the New York or Boston areas.  About 11% of students pursued positions internationally, with the largest percentage of that group heading to Asia.

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The Class Profile

Chicago Booth’s Class of 2019 is comprised of 582 students. About 28% of Chicago Booth’s Class of 2019 pursued degrees in business during their undergraduate studies, while roughly 25% studied economics and 20% studied engineering. The remaining quarter of the class focused on liberal arts, physical sciences, or other areas. Upon matriculation at Chicago Booth, students averaged 28 years in age with almost five years of full-time work experience. The average GMAT score of incoming students clocked in at 730. In total, 36% of students in the Class of 2019 are international, 40% are women and 27% identify as a member of a minority group; students hail from 59 countries overall.

Application Procedures

Chicago Booth gives its applicants the choice of applying in one of three admissions rounds, which usually take place in late September, early January and early April. The application requirements for Chicago Booth include completing the school’s application forms and submitting essays, a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and unofficial college and graduate transcripts. Applicants must also report their GMAT and, when applicable, TOEFL/IELTS scores. Interviews are required for admission, and Chicago Booth holds interviews by invitation only. Interview invitations are extended approximately a month after the round’s initial deadline.

Application Checklist

  • Application Form
  • Essays
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Unofficial Transcripts for College/Graduate Work
  • GMAT or GRE Score
  • TOEFL/IELTS or PTE Scores
  • $250 Application Fee

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Chicago Booth’s 2018-2019 tuition is $72,000, which covers the cost of 10 courses.  With additional fees such as living expenses, health insurance and books, however, the estimated cost of attendance for nine months is $108,683. Though the school does not provide need-based aid to incoming students, it does offer a number of merit-based scholarships and fellowships.  All applicants are considered for these awards upon admission to the program; applicants do not need to fill out any additional forms or applications to become eligible for consideration.  U.S. citizens and permanent residents can also avail themselves of four different loan programs, including the Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Stafford Student Loan programs.  In addition, Chicago Booth provides loan programs for students that do not require U.S. co-signers, regardless of citizenship.

2018-2019 Estimated Cost of Attendance 

  • Tuition, 10 courses $72,000
  • Student Life Fee $1,209
  • Health Insurance $4,500
  • Admin. Fee (1st year only) $2,500
  • Lifetime Cred. Fee (one time) $75
  • Books $684
  • Room & Board $22,185
  • Personal $2,286
  • Transportation $1,944
  • Computer (1st year only) $1,300
  • Total $108,683

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Class Size582
Mean GMAT730
Mean GPA3.6

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Mailing Address:
The University of Chicago Booth
School of Business
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773-702-7369
Fax: 773-702-9085
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ChicagoBooth

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