Chicago Booth — MBA Program & Application Overview (2024)

Applying to Chicago Booth School of Business? Read this guide for the most practical strategies and tips curated by the best MBA admissions coaches in the world and Booth alumni.

Posted March 12, 2024

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The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is a top business school for risk-takers, people who challenge the status quo, and people who dream big and do big things.

Whether in class, in co-curricular activities, or in your community, the Booth MBA experience opens countless doors and opportunities. It empowers you to turn your bold thinking into action that impacts the real world, and you will have the knowledge to lead with confidence and put your ideas into action.

Class Profile (MBA Class of 2025)

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Class Size: 637
  • Number of Applicants: 4,184
  • Acceptance Rate: 15%
  • Average Work Experience: 5 years
  • Average GMAT: 728
  • Average GRE: 162 Verbal, 163 Quant
  • Average GPA: 3.60
  • Women: 42%
  • International: 49%
  • First Generation: 12%

"Chicago Booth is the destination for ambitious people from diverse backgrounds who want to learn to lead and make a change in the world. "

Booth Admissions Committee

2023-2024 Application Overview

Booth MBA Deadlines

The deadlines for the 2023-2024 application cycle were recently released. See more info on the new dates here: Chicago Booth MBA Application Deadlines (2023-2024).

RoundDeadlineDecisions Released
Round 1September 21, 2023November 30, 2023
Round 2January 4, 2024March 21, 2024
Round 3April 4, 2024May 23, 2024
Chicago Booth Scholars (Deferred MBA Program)April 4, 2024June 13, 2024

GMAT/GRE

You will need to submit GMAT or GRE test scores as part of your application to Booth’s MBA program. The University of Chicago Booth also accepts the GMAT Focus Edition and the shortened GRE.

If you are applying as an international student whose native language is not English, you must also submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test score. However, this requirement can be waived if you are a citizen or permanent resident in a country with English as an official language or if you earned an undergraduate or postgraduate degree from an institution with English as the language of instruction.

Booth Essays

The Booth School of Business requires two essays. When writing your application essays, be sure to consider your personal and professional journey and demonstrate how you will contribute to the incoming MBA class.

  • 1st Prompt: How will a Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (minimum 250 words, no maximum)
  • 2nd Prompt: An MBA is as much about personal growth as it is about professional development. In addition to sharing your experience and goals in terms of career, we’d like to learn more about you outside of the office. Use this opportunity to tell us something about who you are… (minimum 250 words, no maximum)
  • Optional: Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (maximum 300 words)
  • Re-applicants: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (maximum 300 words)

Recommendations

You will need to submit two letters of recommendation from two individuals who know you well. The best candidates for your letters of recommendation are those individuals who can speak clearly about your performance and contribution to your organization, with highly specific and detailed examples.

  • Do not choose your recommender based solely on title and status. The Booth admissions committee is most concerned with the content and substance of your recommendation, not necessarily with the reputation of your recommender
  • Your first letter of recommendation must come from a supervisor. Booth is looking for informed objectivity in their recommendation letters, and wants to hear from individuals who are intimately familiar with your work product, who can speak knowledgeably about your strengths, weaknesses, and potential as a future leader
  • Your second letter can be from anyone, such as a professional contact or from someone who has worked with you in an organization, club, or on a volunteer project. This letter should offer a different perspective on your skillset than the one offered by your first recommender, to maximize the amount and variety of the information sent about you the admissions committee

Click here for our free Leland Recommender Prep Template.

Booth Interviews

Interviews at Booth are by invitation only and required for admission. The admissions committee will evaluate your submitted application, after which they’ll contact you by the decision date with instructions on how to schedule your interview.

Interviews are held on campus, at a location convenient to you, or via teleconference (Zoom). They are are conducted either by a current student, an alumnus, or an admissions staff member, and all interviews are weighted equally in the evaluation process

Other Application Items

Application Fee

  • You’ll pay a $250 application fee when you submit your application to Booth’s traditional MBA program
  • If you’re applying to the Chicago Booth Scholars Program, the deferred MBA program, there is no application fee
  • Check the Booth admissions FAQ to see if you qualify for a fee waiver

Resume

  • The resume you submit should highlight your professional and volunteer experience, and indicate why you’d be a suitable candidate for Booth’s MBA program

Academic Transcripts

  • You’ll need to submit transcripts from all postsecondary educational institutions that you have attended
  • You will only be asked to submit unofficial scans of your transcripts.
  • Once admitted, you will be asked to submit official versions of your transcripts
  • All records must include the dates of enrollment, courses taken and their credit units, your grades, and if available, your rank in the total class or group
  • Records you submit should also include the institutional grading scale or other standards of evaluation, including the minimum passing and failing marks and the definition of grades between them
  • If your academic records and diplomas are not written in English, you must submit both the official record and an authorized English translation

For more admissions information, check out the official Booth admissions page.

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University of Chicago Booth MBA Program Overview

Booth believes that rigorous inquiry and questioning inspires insight. This is what they call The Chicago Approach. You’ll learn how to turn any business challenge into an opportunity, think for yourself, challenge the status quo, and make groundbreaking discoveries using data.

The MBA degree curriculum at Booth is rooted in the fundamental fields of business: accounting, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics.

LEAD

You will start your MBA journey with LEAD, a hands-on, experiential program that builds skills in negotiation, team building, interpersonal communication, and other key general management areas. This is the only required course in the flexible curriculum, but the format of this course varies depending on your chosen program.

Full-Time MBA

  • Booth begins the LEAD program with Orientation+ (O+), a two-week orientation organized by second-year student facilitators. LEAD will continue through the first quarter of classes
  • The end goal of LEAD is for you to learn who you are as a leader, what you stand for, and how others perceive you and to develop an individualized plan to guide your leadership journey through business school

Evening/Weekend MBA

  • For evening and weekend MBA programs, LEAD provides foundational leadership concepts and frameworks to help you succeed, grow and continue developing as a leader during your MBA experience

Executive MBA (EMBA)

  • For students in the Executive MBA program, the LEAD course begins during the Kick-Off week in June, in Chicago, and ends during the first International Week of the Summer Quarter, in London
  • LEAD for the Executive MBA program focuses on increasing self-awareness and key leadership skills
  • Beyond the LEAD course, EMBA students are encouraged to join one-on-one and small group executive coaching sessions, as well as participate in assessments of leadership, professional development workshops, and other events

Required Courses

Students will choose one course each from three foundation areas:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Microeconomics
  • Statistics

Students will then take seven courses in functions, leadership & management, and the business environment, choosing one course in seven of eight categories:

Functions

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Strategy

Leadership and Management

  • Decisions
  • People

Business Environment

  • Economy
  • Society

Electives

The full-time MBA program offers maximum flexibility in the ten electives students take. While not required, most Booth students use their electives to work towards three to four concentrations. You may also take up to six electives at other schools at UChicago to round out your management education.

Concentrations

  • Accounting
  • Analytic Finance
  • Behavioral Science
  • Business Analytics
  • Econometrics and Statistics
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Healthcare
  • International Business
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Management

Qualified Work Experience

  • Full-Time MBA students are required to complete a hands-on, professional experience, usually in the form of a summer internship between their first and second years, to put the skills they’ve learned into action in a work setting
  • Booth offers campus recruiting and networking events, alumni connections, job postings, and resume referrals to help students find internships

Campus

  • Chicago Booth’s campus is officially in the Hyde Park neighborhood, with the Charles M. Harper Center serving as the home of the full-time MBA program and other graduate programs.
  • However, the school considers the entire city of Chicago as its campus. The Gleacher Center, where the part-time programs, executive MBA program, and executive education courses are based, is located in downtown Chicago.
  • Chicago Booth is the only US business school to have permanent campuses on three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia

MBA Programs

Full-Time MBA

Chicago Booth’s Full-Time MBA program lets you work in a collaborative environment of faculty, alumni, and peers that will open doors in your career. Your classes will primarily take place in the Harper Center.

  • Typical time to complete: 21 months
  • Average years of work experience: 3 to 7

Part-Time MBAs

Evening MBA

The Evening MBA program, located in the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, is ideal for professionals in Chicago and the surrounding region. Most classes are held once a week from 6 to 9 PM, with virtual and daytime options.

  • Typical time to complete: 2.5 to 3 years
  • Average years of work experience: 3 to 11 years

Weekend MBA

With a flexible curriculum and a weekend-based schedule, the Weekend MBA program (also part-time) is ideal for curious, high-potential professionals from all corners of the country. 77% of weekend students travel to the downtown campus each weekend from outside of Illinois. Commuters can look forward to free shuttle service to and from Midway and O’Hare Airports on Saturdays, discounted rates at nearby downtown Chicago hotels, and Saturday access to student events, faculty, the administrative office, academic advisors, and Career Services.

  • Typical time to complete: 2.5 to 3 years
  • Average years of work experience: 3 to 11 years

Executive MBA

Executive MBA students can choose from campuses in Chicago, London, or Hong Kong while continuing to work full-time. The EMBA program includes three international week sessions: three in Chicago, one in London, and one in Hong Kong. Unlike the other MBA programs, the Executive MBA program has 18 core courses.

  • Typical time to complete: 22 months
  • Average years of work experience: 14 years

Chicago Booth Scholars Program

Through the Chicago Booth Scholars Program, Booth's deferred MBA program, you can apply for the full-time MBA program in your final year of undergraduate studies. You can defer admission for two to five years, during which you can enter the workforce and gain professional experience that will enrich your business school experience.

During the deferment period, admitted students have full access to Booth’s resources and events, as well as specialized deferred scholar programming and a vast network of business professionals. All Booth Scholars need to pay a series of nonrefundable deposits that go towards their tuition during their first, second, third, and fourth year of deferral.

Find more information about deferred MBA programs here:

Joint Degree Programs

JD/MBA

Offered by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Law School, this joint degree combines a business education with legal expertise. Students complete 1400 units of business school coursework and 105 credit hours of law school coursework and two to three summer internships, depending on if they are enrolled in the four-year program or the accelerated three-year program.

MBA/MD

This dual degree program is aimed at students interested in working in physician practices, hospitals, insurance, or pharmaceuticals. Students are encouraged to apply after completing their first two years of medical school.

MBA/Masters Program in Computer Science (MPCS)

This joint program tailored towards entrepreneurship, fintech, and technology management requires applicants to complete an MBA/MPCS program supplement in their application.

MBA/MS In Applied Data Science

This joint program prepares students for leadership in data-centric business environments, with in-person business classes and virtual data science classes and takes the same amount of time to complete as a traditional full-time MBA degree.

MBA/MS in Biomedical Sciences

For students interested in combining leadership and management with research and clinical knowledge, this joint degree program prepares graduates for promising careers in biotechnology, policy, government, and pharmaceuticals.

MBA/Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Geared towards students passionate about making change in business, civil society, or government, this program offered in partnership with the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago equips students with analytical frameworks grounded in an interdisciplinary education.

MBA/Master of Arts in Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration from Crown Family School

This three-year degree prepares students to take on leadership roles in business, clinical social work, policy, and social administration practice.

MBA/Master of Arts in International Relations

Offered in partnership with the Committee on International Relations (CIR), this program includes a master’s thesis component and an internship requirement.

MBA/Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies

Another program offered with the CIR is the MBA/Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies program, which also requires a master’s thesis and the completion of an internship.

Certificate Programs

University of Chicago Obama Foundation Scholars

Students in their last year of study at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Crown Family School, and/or the Harris School of Public Policy are encouraged to participate in this one-year program, which equips students to address complex social issues facing their communities.

MBA/Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP)

Students in this program can choose to complete either a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy or a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy with a Concentration in Global Health.

Student Life at Booth

Booth’s Classroom Experience

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Membership in the Community is by invitation only. To apply, click below.

Booth FAQs

What are the minimum admissions criteria required to apply?

  • All applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited US college or university or its equivalent in another country, including three-year Bachelor’s degrees, unless they are applying to the deferred MBA program.
    • No minimum GPA is required
    • You will need to submit documentation of your education
  • All applicants must submit scores for either the GMAT or GRE
    • Booth has no preference between the two exams
    • There is no minimum score to be considered for admission
  • International students should take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE
  • Booth does not require a minimum number of years of work experience. However, the school strongly suggests that you have work experience before applying

How will my application be reviewed?

  • Booth looks for three qualities in your application: academic preparedness, intellectual curiosity, and communication skills
  • You can demonstrate these qualities through high test scores, academic or professional recognition, merit-based scholarships, listening and oral communication skills during your interview, and written communication skills through your essays

Where can I list my internship experience?

  • Your resume is the perfect place to list your internship experience. There will also be space on the application itself to list all internship and professional work experience

Does Chicago Booth accept transfer students or transfer credits?

  • No. Booth does not accept transfer credit credits, and it does not waive any credits required to graduate.

Am I eligible for an application fee waiver?

  • You can apply for an application fee waiver if you are a/an:
    • Full-time enrollee in an undergraduate program
    • Summer Business Scholar graduate
    • Teach for America participant, instructor, or alumnus who completed service within the past five years
    • AmeriCorps and Peace Corps participant and alumnus who completed service within the past five years
    • Forté MBALaunch Member
    • JumpStart fellow
    • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship Recipient
    • Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellow
    • Posse Member
    • Prospanica Member
    • QuestBridge Member
    • Riordan Member
    • ROMBA Member
    • Service to School Participant
    • Toigo Fellow
    • Civic Scholars Nominee
    • Working in government or nonprofit
    • Active-duty military or military veteran
    • University of Chicago employee
    • University of Chicago student (all degree-granting programs)

What if I miss the application deadline?

  • There are three rounds of application. You should submit your application by 11:59 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline. If you submit after the deadline, you will automatically be considered in the next round, provided that all required materials have been submitted

Can I add new materials or test scores to my submitted application?

  • If you have retaken your GMAT or GRE and want to add a new score, or have received a promotion or any professional development, you can upload the updates on your online status page

When should I expect an update or confirmation that my application materials have been received?

  • Your status portal will update to reflect all materials that you have uploaded. You can check your status portal at any time. Booth will only send notifications if anything is missing from your file. If the department does not contact you, assume that Booth has received all of your materials

Can my candidacy for this program be reviewed prior to applying?

  • Booth does not review applications prior to submission deadlines, and also does not offer post-application feedback

What is Booth’s deferred-admissions policy?

  • Your application should be submitted the year you intend to enroll. Deferrals are handled on a case-to-case basis at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Admissions. However, there are no guarantees that deferral will be granted, regardless of the situation. This does not apply to students applying through the Chicago Booth Scholars Program

How do I apply as a reapplicant?

  • If you were declined an offer for admission in a previous year, you can reapply in the next academic year. You will be considered a reapplicant if you submitted an application within the past two academic years to Chicago Booth's Full-Time MBA Program. If you applied more than two years ago, you will need to apply as a new applicant

What kind of transcript is needed to apply?

  • At the time of your application, a scanned, unofficial transcript is needed. Both sides should be submitted

What is an unofficial transcript?

  • Any transcript that is not from your registrar (official and sealed) is unofficial. A transcript scanned, copied, faxed, emailed, or sent directly to the student, is also unofficial

Do I need to send official transcripts in addition to the scanned copy in my application?

  • No, if you send an official transcript Booth will not keep it. You only need to send official transcripts once admitted

I have transfer credits from another institution and/or study abroad. How should I indicate that in my application?

  • You can list all institutions that you have attended in the Academics section of the application. You should include the transcripts from each of these institutions. If your main transcript already includes these credits, you do not need to submit a different transcript

I’m in my final year of undergraduate study. How should I report my transcripts?

  • You will need to provide unofficial copies of your transcripts from the start of your studies up to the time of your application. Once admitted, you will need to submit the official transcripts in time for orientation activities

What do I do if my university is outside of the United States and uses a different grading scale?

  • Please send your transcripts as they are. Do not attempt to convert your grades to the GPA system. The Admissions Committee is familiar with grading systems around the world and will review your application in that context

If my international transcripts are all in English and reflect that my degree was awarded, do I still have to submit a degree certificate?

  • Yes, all students who attended a university outside the US must submit a degree certificate

My international school issues official transcripts in English. Does Booth accept these, or do I need to submit these in their original language as well?

  • You will need to submit official transcripts in your official language as well as English translations of those transcripts

What should I take into consideration when selecting my recommenders?

  • Generally, your first recommendation should come from a supervisor. The second can be professional in nature, or from an individual who has worked with you in an organization, club, or volunteer organization

What if I don't want to use my current employer as a reference?

  • Former or other supervisors can be used as references if you are unable to request a letter from your current employer. If you do not use a current employer, you should note the reason in the Additional Information section of your application

How do I change the name or information I submitted about my recommender?

  • Email admissions@chicagobooth.edu, and a coordinator will assist you with the change

For more about applying to business school, check out these resources:

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