A Comprehensive Guide to the Yale SOM MBA Program

Evans Hall, Yale School of Management, Yale University.

Yale School of Management is defined by two principles:

1. It strives to be the MBA program that is most tightly integrated with its host university.

Many Yale SOM students pursue dual degrees. When I visited Yale SOM, my student host pursued a joint degree between her MBA and her Master’s in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry, and planned to use the combination of those degrees to help Google design data centers with a smaller environmental footprint.

If you are interested in a joint degree, or even if you simply want to pursue a few electives in schools outside of the School of Management, Yale is a great fit.

2. Its mission is to educate leaders for business and society.

Yale SOM has shown its commitment to positive social impact through numerous initiatives, including a loan forgiveness program for students who enter the non-profit industry, and its 2019 decision to launch Master’s degrees for public school educators — free of tuition! — through the new Broad Center. You can also see the impact of this philosophy on Yale SOM’s employment report, in which salaries are slightly lower than its peer schools, not because Yale SOM graduates cannot win offers with high salaries, but because a slightly larger proportion choose to go into non-profit roles with lower compensation.

Outside these principles, Yale University’s incredible international brand makes it a powerful school for international applicants. If you plan to work in a location or an industry that doesn’t live and die by MBA rankings, the average employer or business partner may hear “Yale” and simply recognize that as one of the best universities in the world.

Finally, Yale’s location near NYC makes it a versatile school for recruiting into any major industry, including tech, finance, and consulting.

Yale SOM MBA Class Profile

Acceptance rate  20%
GMAT Median: 720
Range (mid 80%): 680-760
GRE Quant:165
Verbal: 165
Reporting GRE: 26%
GPA Average: 3.66
Range: Does not disclose
Age/Experience Age: 28years
Work Experience (years): 5
Diversity Women: 42%
International: 44%
Pre-MBA Industries
Financial Services: 19.8%
Consulting: 18.8%
Non Profit: 14.9%
Government: 7.9%
Transportation & Logistics Services: 6.9%
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Manufacturing: 6.9%
Energy: 5.0%
Healthcare (including products and service): 5.0%
Media Entertainment: 4.0%
Consumer Packaged Goods: 3.0%
Retail: 2.0%
Real Estate: 2.0%
Other: 2.0%
Technology: 1.0%
Hospitality: 1.0%
Undergraduate Majors
Business / Economics: 42%
STEM: 30%
Humanities / Social Sciences: 28%

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

Student Experiences

Yale SOM MBA Employment Report & Careers

Offers & Compensation
Median Salary + Signing bonus: $160,000
% Offers upon Graduation:   Does not disclose
% Offers at 3 months: 92.4%
Post-MBA Industries
Consulting: 37%
Finance: 24%
Finance: <1%
Finance: <1%
Finance: <1%
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Finance: <1%
Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals: 5%
Technology: 13%
Retail: <1%
Retail: <1%
Consumer Packaged Goods: 2.6%
Nonprofit: 2.6%
Media/Entertainment: 2.2%
Law: 1.8%
Manufacturing: 1.8%
Real Estate: 1.5%
Energy: 1.5%
Transportation: 1.1%
Architecture: <1%
Post-MBA Locations
United States: 80%
Mid-Atlantic: 6%
Midwest: 6%
Northeast: 51%
South: 1%
Southwest: 6%
West: 30%
Non-US: 20%
Post-MBA Companies Does not disclose
Career Development Resources Yale SOM Career Resources

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

Yale SOM MBA Academic Programs

Want to hear Yale SOM’s Director of Admissions, Bruce DelMonico, tell about unique aspects of the Yale SOM program, like raw cases, the “slingshot” career prep program, and more? Watch our interview with Bruce at Yale SOM Overview with Bruce DelMonico.

MBA Curriculum

The Yale SOM MBA curriculum spans across four semesters over two years. Students generally take core courses in their first year and electives in their second year. Yale SOM offers two series of courses as part of their core MBA curriculum: the Orientation to Management course series, which consists of classes like Introduction to Negotiation and Basics of Economics, and the Organizational Perspective course series, which includes classes such as Power and Society and the Global Macroeconomy. Students take elective courses during the second year of their MBA. These electives can be taken at any of Yale’s schools and programs. Some of the elective courses available at Yale’s SOM are Competitive Strategy, Corporate Finance, Policy Modelling, and Central Banking.

See the full offering of courses: Yale SOM MBA Course Catalog

Majors

Yale SOM’s MBA does not offer majors; however, you can select electives in the program based on your academic and career interests.

Experiential Learning Programs

Students at Yale SOM host several conferences during the year in various fields such as Private Equity and Philanthropy. Yale also offers courses like Operations Engine that apply a learning-by-doing method of instruction. In this class, you may be asked to solve problems in a practical, hands-on way. Moreover, at Yale, you will also be exposed to the raw case method, in which classes can resemble real-world situations. We discuss the raw case method in more detail in the “What makes Yale SOM unique” section later on.

Research Centers

The Yale SOM is home to seven research centers, including the International Center for Finance, Program on Social Enterprise, and the Center for Business and the Environment.

MBA International Study Programs

As part of their MBA, students must fulfil a global studies requirement. One of the ways in which this requirement can be met is by taking one of the many Global Network courses, which are offered virtually through one of the national or international member schools within the network. Additionally, you may elect to take an intensive course abroad at one of the 30 schools within the global network. Students at Yale SOM may also choose to spend a semester or quarter at a foreign institution through an exchange program.

Video Resources on Yale SOM Academics

Yale SOM MBA Application

The latest application requirements set by the Yale MBA admissions office are described below.

Essays

Here are the prompts for Yale 2020-2021 application:

  • Essay: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)
  • Optional Information: If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation (unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, promotions or recognitions, etc.), please provide a brief description here. (200 words maximum)
  • Post-MBA Career Interests: How did you arrive at these career interests? How have you or how will you position yourself to pursue them? (250 words maximum)
  • Video Questions: After you pay the application fee, a link to the required video questions will appear on your status page. The three video questions require a laptop or desktop and high-speed internet connection. They will take about 20 minutes to complete.
  • Behavioral Assessment: After you pay the application fee, a link to the behavioral assessment will appear on your status page. The assessment is a series of questions that will take about 20 minutes to complete.

Letters of Recommendation 

Please note that Yale SOM welcomes you to upload and submit letters of recommendation written in English, Chinese (Mandarin), or Spanish. Yale University will translate the letter to English for admissions review.

The 2020-2021 Yale recommender questions are as follows:

  • Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (Recommended word count: 50 words)
  • How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Recommended word count: 500 words)
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Recommended word count: 500 words)
  • Are you in a position to know whether the applicant is sponsored for the MBA by his or her current employer? If so, please comment.
  • (Optional) Is there anything else we should know?

Video Resources on Yale SOM Admissions

Yale SOM MBA Admissions Interviews

Yale SOM’s admissions interviews are carried out by members of the Admissions Committee. The interviews are typically very structured, 30-minute sessions, and the questions are reportedly consistent for all candidates. Prospective students are invited to campus for a day of events in the meantime.

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What Makes Yale SOM Unique?

Raw Case Approach: In the subsequent years, the SOM Case Research and Development Team (CRDT) has contributed nearly two hundred pieces of material to the SOM curriculum on a wide variety of topics and from numerous global locales. CRDT has also pioneered a new type of case study, the “raw” case, that better reflects the new curriculum—and actual management practice.

Organizational Perspectives: A core part of the Yale curriculum, these courses look at how organizations really work. Perspectives covered are:

  • Competitor
  • Customer
  • Investor
  • Power and Politics
  • Sourcing and Managing Funds
  • State and Society
  • Employee
  • Innovator
  • Operations Engine
  • The Global Macroeconomy
  • The Executive

Integration with Yale University: Yale SOM puts more effort than any other MBA program into maintaining a connection with its host university.

*All data retrieved from the Yale SOM MBA Program webpages, unless otherwise stated.