The Tuck School draws on Dartmouth’s Ivy League tradition of academic excellence to provide what many consider one of the best business educations available anywhere. Since opening its doors in 1900 as the first graduate school of business in the world, Tuck has provided MBA education that is both innovative and practical, based on each student building a strong foundation of general business management skills. The MBA program integrates team experience and leadership development to ensure that Tuck students become leaders who can work in diverse groups and accomplish complex objectives. The Tuck program brings students to a new level of creative and analytical thought from which they can envision new business approaches and possibilities, and transfer challenges into opportunities.

Following is the transcript of our interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions, Jonathan Masland, Co-Director of Career Development, Rebecca Rice-Mesec, Senior Associate Director of the MBA Program, Lisa Miller, Associate Director for the Center for International Business, and Dave Celone, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Services.

What differentiates Tuck from other top-tier MBA programs?

[Dawna] Tuck is unique in that it only focuses on a two-year full-time program. Most of our competitors also offer part-time, evening, weekend or global programs. The fact that our faculty, staff and visitors can focus only on the full-time MBA students is an advantage in terms of the access students get to faculty and recruiters.

Now that the season is well under way, what sort of numbers did you see for your Early Action and November rounds? Are there any plans to actually increase or decrease the size of the class? What class size are you striving for this year?

[Dawna] We are continuing to see growth in our applicant pool. Historically, our biggest deadline is the January deadline which doesn’t take place until later this week. Tuck’s scale is also a differentiator. We plan to maintain the current class size at 240.

Can you walk us through the application review process? Have there been any changes enacted for this season regarding how an application is processed and how the final decisions are made?

[Dawna] Every application is reviewed by at least two members of the admissions committee. Most applicants are reviewed by three members of the admissions committee. Last year, we added a new criterion that we refer to as “global mindset.”

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

[Dawna] Tuck is somewhat unique in that we offer all prospective students the opportunity to interview. We highly encourage applicants to take advantage of this opportunity. Interviews are very helpful in our ability to assess “fit” and allow us to evaluate an applicant’s interpersonal and communication skills, among other factors.

Are there different processes in place for the review for a re-applicant, international student, and dual degree applicants?

[Dawna] There are some differences in the manner in which a candidate’s application is reviewed depending on that person’s situation. For a full list of the requirements for each situation, you can visit Tuck’s website ( or contact admissions.

What is Tuck’s policy regarding applicants who take the GMAT multiple times?

[Dawna] Tuck looks at the highest GMAT score that an applicant submits as part of his/her application. Most applicants take the GMAT at least twice.

What was the GMAT score range for admitted applicants this past year?

[Dawna] The range of accepted GMAT scores for the past few years has ranged from roughly 590 – 790.

What should applicants emphasize most heavily in their work experience?

[Dawna] We look at a variety of factors when evaluating an applicant’s work experience, such as progression and level of responsibility.

How important is the interview in the admissions process? What specific applicant traits are you using the interview to gauge? What types of questions should applicants expect to be asked?

[Dawna] The interview is an important component of the admissions process because it enables us to evaluate those characteristics that are more difficult to assess on a written application only. See answer to #4 for an elaboration of what we look for.

Are these interviews conducted blind or is the applicant’s file reviewed beforehand?

[Dawna] The only information our interviewers have prior to the interview is the resume. We intentionally do not review the application prior to the interview.

What is the biggest difference between an off campus vs. on campus interview?

[Dawna] On-campus interviews provide the applicant with the opportunity to sit in on a class, have lunch with a current student, tour our building and sit in on a Q & A session. Off-campus interviews are typically conducted by alumni. Both carry equal weight in the admissions review process but I think an on-campus interview is more beneficial from the applicant’s perspective.

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