The Chicago Booth MBA Program: An Overview

The Harper Center at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.

There can be a grain of truth at the core of stereotypes about MBA programs, and with Booth, it’s true that the MBA program is academically rigorous, a point that even the brightest students, ones with 750+ GMAT scores and previous exposure to Ph.D.-level coursework, tell us. On the flip side, those same students tell us that they are “VERY well prepared for job interviews,” with employers “constantly commenting on how Booth kids are so polished.” Booth is the most highly represented MBA program at many major investment banks, and some of our Booth graduates have also secured top post-MBA jobs in product management in SF Bay Area tech companies.

To prevent you from becoming too stressed by the coursework, Booth offers not one but two weekly drinking events, the TNDC (Thursday Night Drinking Club) and the Liquidity Preference Function.

Booth offers a highly flexible curriculum, with Booth’s LEAD program being the only class that is strictly required of every student. If your previous studies have already covered the material in a core course, you’ll be able to place out of that to a more advanced version, and you’ll have great flexibility in tailoring your elective courses to suit your needs. You can also pursue your international ambitions not just through exchange programs, but also through Booth’s own dedicated campuses in London and Hong Kong.

This profile lays out the basic facts about Booth and the resources you’ll need to further research the program (For an even quicker overview on Chicago Booth admissions, check out our article: Your Chances at Booth: Acceptance Rate and Other Factors

Chicago Booth MBA Class Profile

Acceptance rate  23%
GMAT Average: 730
Range : 610-790
GRE Reporting GRE: 13%
GPA Average: 3.6
Range: Does not disclose
Age/Experience Age: 28years
Work Experience (years): 5
Diversity Women: 40%
International: 31%
Pre-MBA Industries
Consulting: 25%
Financial Services: 21%
Technology: 10%
Non-Profit / Government: 10%
Other: 9%
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Private Equity / Venture Capital: 8%
Healthcare: 5%
Consumer Products: 3%
Energy: 3%
Arts / Media / Entertainment: 2%
Accounting: 2%
Manufacturing: 2%
Undergraduate Majors
Business: 29%
Economics: 22%
Engineering: 20%
Liberal Arts: 15%
Physical Sciences: 9%
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Other: 4%
Law: 1%

The data above is from 2019 and represents the Chicago Booth MBA class of 2021.*
See the full report: Booth MBA Class Profile

Student Experiences

Chicago Booth MBA Employment Report & Careers

Offers & Compensation
Median Salary + Signing bonus: $175,000
% Offers upon Graduation:   91%
% Offers at 3 months: 96%
Post-MBA Industries
Consulting: 33.7%
Financial Services: 31.3%
Diversified Financial Services: 7.2%
Investment Banking / Brokerage: 10.4%
Investment Management / Research: 5.6%
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Private Equity: 6.0%
Venture Capital: 2.1%
Healthcare Products and Services: 1.0%
Manufacturing / Chemicals / Plastics: <1%
Media / Entertainment / Sports: 1.0%
Technology: 20.7%
eCommerce and Internet: 12.0%
Financial Technology: 1.0%
Hardware: 1.7%
Software: 5.0%
Technology – Other: 1.0%
Transportation Services / Equipment: 1.0%
Other: <1%
Consumer Products: 4.3%
Education / Government / Non-profit: 1.0%
Energy: <1%
Real Estate: 2.7%
Retail: 1.4%
All: 100.0%
Post-MBA Locations
United States: 87%
Mid-Atlantic: 5%
Midwest: 29%
Northeast: 21%
South: 4%
Southwest: 6%
West: 22%
Non-US: 13%
Post-MBA Companies
McKinsey & Company: 48
The Boston Consulting Group: 35
Bain & Company: 26 23
Google LLC: 14
JPMorgan Chase & Co.: 11
PwC Strategy&: 9
Credit Suisse: 8
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.: 7
Citigroup, Inc.: 7
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Microsoft Corporation: 6
Morgan Stanley: 6
Bank of America Merrill Lynch: 6
A.T. Kearney, Inc.: 6
Evercore Partners Inc.: 6
Apple Inc.: 5
William Blair: 4
The Kraft Heinz Company: 4
Ernst & Young LLP: 4
Moelis & Company LLC: 4
Accenture: 4
The Vanguard Group: 4
Wal-Mart Stores: 4
All: 483
Career Development Resources Chicago Booth Career Resources Center

The data above is from 2019 and represents the career statistics for the Chicago Booth class of 2019.*
See the full report: Chicago Booth MBA Employment Report

Chicago Booth MBA Academic Programs 

MBA Curriculum

The Booth MBA curriculum consists of 20 classes and one required Leadership Effectiveness and Development course. These classes are completed over a two year period. The Booth core curriculum requires students to take the Leadership Effectiveness and Development course in addition to nine foundation courses. The first three foundation courses cover Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, and Statistics, with each student selecting a course at their own level. The remaining six courses are selected from the following seven categories: Finance, Marketing, Operations, Decisions, People, Strategy, and Business Environment. Students complete 11 courses as part of their Booth MBA elective curriculum. These classes are drawn from 13 concentration areas such as Behavioral Science, Strategy Management, and International Business. Two of the 13 concentrations, Analytic Finance and Business Analytics, also count as STEM.

See the full offering of courses: Booth MBA Course Catalog


While the Booth MBA does not offer majors, students can choose between 13 concentrations and areas of study.

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

Experiential Learning Programs

Booth’s MBA program provides students with the option of choosing from a rich array of experience-based learning courses. These courses focus on industry, entrepreneurship, social sector innovation, and marketing and strategy.

Research Centers

Booth’s MBA program gives you access to 10 research centers and two additional research initiatives. Some of these research centers are:

MBA International Study Programs

Students can choose from a few options to add a global perspective to their MBA. There are three formal components to Booth’s International Study Program: joint degrees in international relations or area studies, study abroad, and international business concentration courses, labs, and electives.

Video Resources on Booth Academics

Chicago Booth MBA Application

The latest application requirements set by the Booth School of Business MBA admissions office are described in the links below.


Here are the prompts for Booth’s 2020-2021 application:

  • Essay 1: How will the Booth MBA help you achieve your immediate and long-term post-MBA career goals? (250 word minimum)
  • Essay 2: 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… (250 words minimum)
  • Optional Essay: Is there any unclear information in your application that needs further explanation? (300 word maximum)

Letters of Recommendation 

The recommender questions in the 2020-2021 Chicago Booth Application are as follows:

  • How do the applicant’s performance, potential, background or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified candidates in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Video Resources on Booth Admissions

Chicago Booth MBA Admissions Interviews

MBA admissions interviews at Booth are blind, meaning that the interviewer has only your resume, not your entire application file. Interviews are conducted by students and alumni, and cover a typical mix of MBA interview questions.

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What Makes Chicago Booth Unique?

Engage with the Brightest Minds in Academia and Business: Fantastic Economics faculty, including numerous Nobel Prize winners. “Booth faculty members are consistently recognized for their substantive contributions to the fields of business, economics, psychology, and others. All told, nine faculty members at Booth have won Nobel Prizes, with three of those honorees currently teaching at Booth.”

LEAD Program: This is the one-and-only class that you HAVE to take at Booth, and the group you go through LEAD with is the only cohort/group structure present.  Unlike most schools, Booth does not have any other group structure.

Flexible Curriculum: Four major components make up the flexible curriculum:

  • Foundation courses
  • Functions, Management, and Business Environment courses
  • Electives
  • Leadership training (LEAD)

Within these categories, students have wide discretion in choosing their own classes. If you’ve already mastered basic accounting, you can take a more advanced class. Or, for the business environment requirement, you could tailor your experience by taking a course about the Chinese Economy. In short, you can tailor every aspect of the curriculum to your needs.

*All data retrieved from the Chicago Booth MBA Program webpages, unless otherwise stated.