Founded in 1898, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (Booth) claims 6 Nobel laureates amongst its faculty – more than any other business school. It is a top-tier business school with an extremely flexible curriculum that consistently achieves top 10 rankings in the major ranking surveys. Amongst the major 2003 surveys (BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times), the GSB was ranked either one or two in:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Part-time MBA
  • Executive MBA

Below is the 3 page transcript of our interview with Don Martin, the Associate Dean of Admission, on February 23, 2004.

What new changes are occurring on campus and how is the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business evolving?

Perhaps the biggest development is the opening of our new Hyde Park Campus in September of 2004.  Construction is on schedule, and a major dedication is planned for the first weekend in November.  For the first time in many, many years, the GSB community – students, staff, faculty, and administration – will all be together in one beautiful, state of the art, new facility.  The price tag:  $125 million.

Last year, applications for your full-time program declined by 27%. Are you seeing any early indications of how this year’s application volume may compare to the 2002-2003 season? How about the demographic make up of the applicant pool?

Applications were down across the board at most all business schools last year.  However, the year before, the GSB experience our largest application increase in history – we were up 70%.  So things are still looking very good for us.  This year is a bit too early to predict.  My best estimate – applications across the board will be flat or slightly down.  Demographically speaking, the GSB recruits students from all 50 states, and from about 70 countries outside the USA.  We enrolled students from just under 50 countries this past fall.

The GSB has a reputation as a predominantly male business school. What is your opinion on this and what, if anything, is the school doing to recruit more female applicants?

We are very happy to answer this question.  It is a good one.  Perhaps that perception was true in the 70’s and 80’s but no more.  The percentage of women enrolling in our full-time MBA program has surpassed 30% for Fall of 2002 and 2003, and we expect it to increase a bit more in the coming year.  Those who have questions/concerns about this should definitely visit campus or directly contact our students at the following e-mail address:  askastudent@gsb.uchicago.edu.  I believe they will be very pleasantly surprised.

What general advice would you like applicants considering the GSB to know?

Several things come to mind:

  • We are a full-menu business school, offering 13 excellent concentrations.
  • Our approach to education is rigorous and truly life changing.  We teach our students to think, and ask questions, not just provide answers.
  • Our student community is vibrant, with incredible curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for networking, teambuilding, and developing life-long friendships.
  • Our alumni network is ever growing – 70 alumni clubs worldwide, some 36,000 grads, 5,500 of whom are heads of their companies.

When do you encourage applicants to apply?

Perhaps this sounds simplistic, but we encourage individuals to apply when they truly believe they are ready to pursue a graduate education in business, and are able to articulate why.

Are there any specific characteristics that you target in the applications to help you identify the ‘best fit’ candidates?

All applicants are evaluated by three members of our admissions committee on the following three components:

  • Academic performance
  • Professional development
  • Personal qualities

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