Kellogg vs Booth: Which MBA?

The Ultimate MBA Program Comparison: Kellogg MBA vs Chicago Booth

Admissions: What does Kellogg seek?
Admissions: What does Booth seek?
Application Essays, Tips & Candidate Evaluation
Admitted to Both, How to Decide?
Admissions Stats, Demographics & Class Size
Culture
Rankings
Jobs, Pay and Employment Location
Size and Program Options
Facilities
Program Focus
Curriculum

Years ago, the differences between Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and Chicago’s Booth School of Business were far more dramatic than they are today. Kellogg was the school for poets, the place where teamwork and collaboration in an MBA program were refined. Booth was the analytically-rigorous school, with a balance between leadership development and a data-oriented, rigorous curriculum.

Today, there are more similarities between the programs. Both programs seek well-rounded candidates with strong academic attributes and depth of character; as well, both programs boast a team-focused culture and environment. Kellogg is much more than a marketing school, and Booth is much more than a finance school. Both institutions offer world-class academics in just about every discipline and can pretty much allow MBA graduates to go anywhere they want.

Here we share key differences and similarities with insights from MBA Admissions Officers and other valuable perspectives. We also highlight the advice from a former Stacy Blackman Consulting client, who received admits to both Kellogg and Booth. Learn how she navigated her admit decision and reflects on her b-school experience. We also worked closely with the former Kellogg and Booth Admissions Officers on our Stacy Blackman Consulting team. Finally, we reviewed this smackdown with Executive Directors and Admissions Officers at both programs and incorporated their insights, perspectives, and advice.

Admissions: What does Kellogg seek?

We asked the former Kellogg admissions officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team to profile what Kellogg seeks. Their consensus is:

Kellogg is looking for leadership, strong academic record and a track record of involvement. Leadership can be demonstrated at work, during undergrad, and/or through extracurriculars. Depth (long-term commitment) and breadth (involved in many activities) are valued.

The former Kellogg admissions officers shared what Kellogg does not want:

“Every applicant talks about the ‘people and culture’ being the main draw to Kellogg. Since ‘culture’ is a given, Kellogg Admissions is looking for applicants who go beyond that.” 

Admissions: What does Booth seek?

We asked the former Booth admissions officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team to profile what Booth seeks. Their consensus is:

Booth looks for applicants who demonstrate alignment with their discipline-based approach and ‘pay-it-forward’ mentality. They seek students who will be involved in the growth of the institution and value a wide array of viewpoints. Booth loves diversity of thought. Booth students embrace the opportunity to learn and grow from each other’s unique perspectives. 

The former Booth admissions officers shared what Booth does not want:

Not answering their essay questions directly will typically land a candidate in the rejection pile. Booth works very hard to formulate essay questions that can only be answered for Booth. It’s always clear when an essay has been repurposed, so spend the extra time to answer their questions. 

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Application Essays, Tips & Candidate Evaluation 

The Kellogg and Booth essay prompts vary, with Kellogg’s prompts embodying intrinsic, holistic and/or value-based attributes. While they may change each year, Booth’s essays are seemingly more straightforward overall, with its first prompt a career goal question. Sample Kellogg essays and sample Booth essays from successful admits are instructive to applicants.

Malavika Chugh, a past Stacy Blackman Consulting client who was accepted to both Booth and Kellogg, shared about the application differences, “In my mind, the Booth application focused on various life experiences we have had, whether academic or personal in a way that felt quantitative, while Kellogg’s application focused more on the ‘why’ and ‘what did you learn’. Writing essays for Kellogg was an extremely introspective exercise, while the Booth application solidified my perspective on my achievements thus far.”

“Booth wants to understand what about Booth’s culture resonates with them, their viewpoints, and their aspirations,” shared a representative of Booth’s MBA program.  One of the former Booth Admissions Officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team clarified that nuance is important with its applications, as Find MBA also noted in its comparison of the two schools.

“If the why now, why an MBA, and why Booth questions don’t organically come out in the application or interview, the applicant  isn’t a strong candidate.”

Kellogg extends interview invitations to every single applicant, whereas Booth extends interview invitations only to applicants who meet a threshold.

Kellogg and Booth recently added a video-based essay requirement that the applicant will receive after submitting his or her application.  One former Kellogg admissions officer on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team advises on the Kellogg video essay: “Be confident. You are probably comfortable using FaceTime or Zoom, and these are not hard questions. Don’t rehearse so much you are racing through a complicated response or sound like a robot reciting a memorized pitch.”

A representative from Booth’s MBA program shared about their video requirement, “The intention is to gain a better sense of who they are, and how they think, through an informal question.” If invited to interview at Booth, the school asks candidates to submit a 60-second video that answers one of two questions.

Caryn Altman, a former Kellogg Admissions Officer who is on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team, shared 5 tips for the Kellogg MBA application process to increase admit odds:

1. Consider Kellogg’s breadth of MBA offerings

Kellogg has a full range of MBA programs beyond just the traditional Two-Year (2Y) MBA program, including the One-Year (1Y) program, MMM and the exciting new MBAi program. If you are a good fit for any of these programs, it may be a more targeted way to apply to Kellogg and help set you apart from the masses applying to the 2Y program.

2. Leadership and collaboration

The ability to motivate a team to make an impact continues to be important. Kellogg’s essay 1 is a great way to demonstrate leadership but be careful here not to only relay “I did this and I did that,” and instead use the space to show (versus tell) the reader how you lead.

3. Innovative thinking

Show where you questioned the existing way of doing things or came up with an out-of-the-box solution. In light of COVID, there were most likely a ton of new ways you had to go about doing things this year. In your essays, demonstrate your ability to think innovatively and highlight the areas where you achieved new heights.

4. In-depth involvement

Highlight not just a laundry list of extracurriculars but be able to go deep into a cause that is important to you. Kellogg thrives on community and involvement. They are looking at past extracurricular activities as an indicator of involvement at Kellogg and beyond. Show adcom clearly what you have done beyond just being a member or participant wherever you can. These should include traditional activities as well as more unique ways you found to be involved during this past year.

5. Show Kellogg love

This is difficult to do within Kellogg’s essay set, but easy to convey within the interview (either video interview or in-person). Demonstrating interest and knowledge of all things Kellogg is extremely important as Adcom wants to know that you can hit the ground running in your first weeks on campus. When relaying why Kellogg is the perfect program for you, be able to share details on particular classes and professors. Go deep into an extracurricular of interest and show how you plan to make an impact. A good rule of thumb: if you can easily substitute another school’s name for Kellogg, you need to be more specific!

Meg Stiphany, a former Booth Admissions Officer who is on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team, shared 5 tips for the Booth MBA application process:

  1. Take the 10,000-foot view: does the combination of all your application components add up to showcase a well-rounded candidate who can not only compete in the classroom, but who can work on teams, bounce back from setbacks, and work tirelessly to achieve success? Like all MBA programs, Booth is looking for more than a “perfect on paper” candidate. Resilience, grit, proven collaboration, and work experience with career progression are all key indicators of success within a program.
  2. Your resume should be able to tell most of your story. While there are certainly nuances to everyone’s individual story, your resume should be a one-page summary of your life to date in a format that’s easily digestible. Your work experience should showcase a high-level of contributions to the organization that added value, were innovative/unique, or were above your current level. Your undergraduate and post-graduate extra-curricular activities and interests’ sections should showcase a multi-faceted individual who is comfortable in a multitude of settings.
  3. Answer the questions. Whether short-answer prompt or a long-form essay, every word should relate directly back to the question being asked. Essays are a test within a test. Admissions Committees want to see that you can tell your story in a compelling and concise fashion. A representative of Booth’s MBA program added, “The essays provide an opportunity for the candidate to share more of who they are in as few or as many words as needed.”
  4. Be true to yourself. Everyone has a unique and powerful story. It’s incredibly important to focus on conveying an authentic version of yourself as opposed to trying to deliver what you think the committee wants to hear. AdComs are looking for every possible opportunity to get to know you so that they can ascertain whether you’ll be a great fit for their community. You, in turn, must want the same. Your job is to know yourself and seek out schools where you can see yourself thriving. As much as this process can feel one-sided, the reality is that you should be vetting them as much as they’re vetting you.
  5. Think deeply about your recommenders and prepare them accordingly. Admissions Committees rely heavily on the perspective of your recommenders. In many cases, and especially if that recommender has an MBA from a top program, that opinion can be the deciding factor for candidates. Make sure they are aware of what you believe your weaknesses are and be direct about asking them to highlight examples of your leadership, promotability, and collaborative nature in the workplace. If one of your recommenders isn’t your current supervisor, be able to have a reason for this.

Is there a way to know your odds? We asked that question of a former Booth Admissions Officer on our Stacy Blackman Consulting team. She said, “The truth is that no one in the world, except for the Deans of Admissions at these institutions, knows your odds. Although it’s tempting to try to figure it out, it’s exponentially more productive to direct that energy toward your essays, engaging with the community, or your application.

“Be sure to have a deep appreciation for the unique qualities of whatever school you have targeted. Then, make sure to speak to those specific components in your application. This includes your essays, your interview, as well as in discussions you have with anyone connected to the school.”

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Admitted to Both, How to Decide?

Malavika Chugh, who chose Kellogg over Booth, shared, “I would recommend speaking to as many students as possible. The MBA opens up your world to a pool of extremely ambitious people from all walks of life, and research by talking to students is the most effective way of understanding what your experience could be like. Reach out to people in clubs you’re interested in, people who have done the case competitions you would want to do, and then make a decision! I was also lucky enough to visit both campuses – this gave me a very on-the-ground sense of what it would be like to spend two years here. You won’t go wrong either way, but it’s worth being intentional while making this decision.”

Admissions Stats, Demographics & Class Size

Kellogg is just as hard to get into as Booth, with acceptance rates at both schools hovering around 23% year after year, with some minor fluctuations. It’s worth noting that the average GMAT score for Kellogg and Booth’s applicant pool is high, at around 725 for each.

Class of 2022 Admission StatsKelloggBooth
Average GMAT727724
GMAT Range640-770600-800
Average GPA3.63.6
Acceptance Rate26%*25%*
*Estimated

Booth and Kellogg admit a high percentage of students who had majored in either business or economics when they did their undergraduate studies. Kellogg has retained more poets than Booth, with students who did their undergraduate work in the humanities representing 28%, versus 15% at Booth. It’s surprising that Kellogg brings in as many students with STEM backgrounds because of Chicago’s quant reputation. It may be somewhat expected that Kellogg MBAs are more likely to have studied in the humanities (28% versus the 15% with liberal arts degrees at Booth).

Undergrad Degrees*KelloggBooth
Humanities28%15%
Engineering/Math/STEM29%30%
Business52%51%
*Estimated and doesn’t account for overlap

Booth enrolls a slightly larger two-year MBA class, having brought in 621 students for the class of 2022 compared to Kellogg’s 559. But Kellogg makes up the difference in size — and then some — because of its accelerated one-year (1Y) MBA which begins in June of each year with roughly 130 students in each cohort and its MMM program with 65 students. MMM curriculum is a dual-degree combination of MBA and Master of Design Innovation that has a strong appeal to consultants and candidates oriented towards design-thinking.  Data Analytics, Tech, Entrepreneurship are all hot now at both programs.

Both Kellogg and Booth are schools with very large enrollments. Of the top business schools, only INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton and Columbia have total full-time enrollments that exceed Northwestern and Chicago. Once you add the sizable part-time MBA programs that both Kellogg and Booth offer, these two institutions are even larger than Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia.

In fact, there’s only one major school with a larger enrollment: New York University’s Stern School due to its massive part-time enrollment. When you include Kellogg’s one-year MBA students, Kellogg and Booth enroll roughly the same number of full-time MBAs: Kellogg’s 1,301 is just slightly larger than Booth’s 1,185.

Enrollment Stats for Full Time MBA StudentsKelloggBooth
Enrolled MBA Students13011229
International MBA Students26%29.8%
Women MBA Students40%40%
Minority*34%27.7%
*Estimated

Northwestern Kellogg vs Chicago Booth

Culture

For years, Chicago was known as a haven of sorts for quant jocks. By and large, the finance geeks dominated the student culture, while a formidable and highly acclaimed faculty ruled the academic roost. There is no doubt that Booth delivers a rigorous academic experience that draws a certain type of student to the school. It’s the primary reason that Kyra Atekwana joined Booth’s Class of 2021.

“After speaking to a wide variety of alums and Booth affiliates,” says the former performer and songwriter, “I felt very confident that, at Booth, academics were a very serious affair. At First Day weekend at Booth, I was struck by the seamless, unforced continuity between the messaging from the Dean, alums, and current students: Booth is a place that takes academics seriously.”

Dean Rajan agrees with that assessment. “The students, I think, come in and they buy into what the school does. They are prepared to work hard,” he says. “This is an old school in many ways and what the school really does a good job of is orienting the students who come in to understand what the school does. The faculty tend to teach things that they do research on, and the students buy into that in terms of what they want to study so it is a much more aligned place.”

Malavika Chugh shared about Kellogg’s culture, “Kellogg’s student culture feels like a warm hug! The MBA can be overwhelming in a multitude of ways – intensive classes, extra-curricular involvement, an abundance of choices for how to best spend your two years. Kellogg maintains a culture of openness and opportunity, where you have a strong support system to dive into things that sound interesting and fuel your personal & professional development.”

“Even during the pandemic, I have been pleasantly surprised at people’s willingness to engage and make friends,” Chugh explained.

“I love the inclusivity of JVs (Joint Ventures) or partners at Kellogg. My husband has the opportunity to not only audit classes, but be a very active member of the Kellogg community and join me on my MBA journey even as I travel and meet new people. I also appreciate the continued focus on DEI, from students and administration, which is extremely important to me personally, and also relevant to the leaders of tomorrow.”

A former Booth Admissions Officer who works on our Stacy Blackman Consulting team shared, “Booth has a special community. Unifying the community are its hallmarks:  pay-it-forward mentality, discipline-based approach to learning, and the fact that they happen to have Nobel-prize winners teaching there. For me, I loved the fact that the students were encouraged, even expected, to be involved in the growth of the institution. Booth is a place that values tension in the classroom.

“Every year, Donna Swinford, Associate Dean of Recruitment and Admissions, and her team put together classes of students who don’t think alike. There are countless examples of diverse student groups uniting to lead initiatives that have ultimately made Booth a better place. The point is to have a diversity of thought. Booth students embrace the opportunity to learn and grow from each other’s unique perspectives. In doing so, they become better versions of themselves.”

Kellogg is widely known for its smart and down-to-earth community. Kellogg interviews every single applicant, and that may be one reason why interpersonal skills of Kellogg students are high and get greater attention than Chicago or other schools. Put highly intelligent, yet friendly and outgoing people together, and you’re going to get a strong culture that approximates a sense of family. It was and still is a big part of the secret of Kellogg’s success.

The Kellogg culture continues to be an inviting place for women leaders, as well. Advancing Kellogg’s long-standing commitment to training future women business leaders, they will soon establish the Drake Scholar Network, a “powerful, intergenerational network of women students, faculty and alumnae fostered through Kellogg,” funded by a major gift from Ann M. Drake, Kellogg alum of 1984.

Rankings

Booth tends to have the advantage in rankings, though both schools are nip-and-tuck on various lists. Kellogg and Booth are consistently ranked as top 7 MBA programs. As the rankings are so close, it’s pretty much a toss-up.  Only two schools are consistently ahead of these two MBA programs: Wharton and Stanford.

At Stacy Blackman Consulting, we don’t encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections. In fact, placing a heavy emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants. Applicants would do well to focus more on a program’s culture, size, or the strength of its alumni network. Rankings change each year and vary by ranking reports, as you can see from the chart below.

Poets & QuantsUS News 2022US News 2021US News 2020US News 2019
Northwestern Kellogg54366
Chicago Booth23331

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Jobs, Pay and Employment Location

Both programs have comparable salaries of around $150,000 on average upon employment with a bonus of around $30,000. When it comes to pay, employment rate and placement, both schools provide solid on-ramps to lucrative MBA jobs, as you can see from their employment reports.

Kellogg Career Employment Report

Booth Career Employment Report

But the difference is more about career choice than it is a reflection on the demand for a school’s graduates. Key differences are with the career choices of finance versus tech. A heavier emphasis on finance, 30%, is still seen at Booth, a very big difference from the 15% of Kellogg grads who joined the financial sector in 2020. In Booth’s latest graduating Class of 2020, the largest single group of students (38%) went into the function of consulting. It was only the third  time in the school’s history that consulting beat finance as the number one career choice of the school’s MBAs. Tech placement skews heavily toward Kellogg (28% versus 16% at Booth); Booth has twice as many students (15) starting their own business as entrepreneurs compared to Kellogg (7). Consumer marketing favors Kellogg but only by a couple percent, and it’s a small fraction of the student class at both programs.

By location, Kellogg places 29% to the Midwest versus Booth’s 33%. To the Northeast region, employment placement is 14% for Kellogg and 23% for Booth. West Coast is 34% for Kellogg compared to 25% at Booth.

Jobs & Pay DataKelloggBooth
MBAs employed 3 months after commencement94%95%
Consulting Industry36%38%
Finance Industry15%30%
Tech Industry28%16%
Health Care5%4%
Northeast Location14%23%
West Coast Location34%25%
Southwest Location7%6%
South4%3%
Midatlantic4%2%
Midwest29%33%
International8%9%

Both Kellogg and Booth attract the top MBA corporate recruiters in the world and, just as importantly, both schools have best-in-class career services offices to help with job searches. Pretty much any recruiter who comes to Chicago visits both schools–not one or the other. So you’re exposed to an amazing array of world-class companies that actively recruit large numbers of MBAs.

Northwestern Kellogg vs Chicago Booth

Size and Program Options

Chicago and Northwestern have the largest MBA programs in the world. At either place, there’s a lot going on, from part-time MBA and Executive MBA programs to significant executive education programming.

Chicago offers six different programs, including full-time, EMBA programs in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong, as well as Evening MBA and Weekend MBA programs in downtown Chicago at its Gleacher Center. There’s also its Ph.D. program with over 100 students.

Kellogg’s offerings are just as broad:  the school has both weeknight and Saturday part-time programs in Wieboldt Hall in downtown Chicago as well as Evanston, along with three different EMBAs, including a program in Miami, Fla., and an equally large Ph.D. program, as well as a new MBAi tech program, the MMM program and the 1 year accelerated program.

New Programs at Kellogg

The 1-year program is an excellent alternative for applicants who are slightly vulnerable in terms of “chances,” for reasons such as mature tenure or GMAT.   “We have seen through our Stacy Blackman Consulting client pool that the 1Y program is a bit less competitive than the traditional 2 year program, assuming of course that all the criteria are met,” commented a former Kellogg Admissions Officer who works on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team. For those applicants with a business undergrad and who don’t need an internship, it’s a really great program, especially as there is very little difference in brand power between the 1Y and two-year programs in the professional world.

Just last year, Kellogg launched its MBAi program, an accelerated five-quarter joint MBA, in partnership with the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. The MBAi wholly integrates AI and data science with business-driving innovation.

Geography

Neither Booth or Kellogg are in the direct center of Chicago, which is a U.S. mecca of urban life and cultural experiences.  Chicago has 77 different communities with over 30 communities and almost 1 million people in different communities just on the south side alone.

Chicago Booth is actually in Hyde Park, about a 15-minute train ride to the edge of Chicago’s downtown. Hyde Park–where President Obama used to live–is a pretty and vibrant community. Kellogg, meanwhile, is in Evanston, about a 30-minute train ride into the heart of Chicago. Evanston is an appealing and vibrant college town.

A past Stacy Blackman Consulting client shared, “While I love living in large metropolitan areas, living and studying in Evanston further encourages bonding within the Kellogg community. We make trips to Chicago (although reduced due to the pandemic) but also enjoy spending quality time together in Evanston and feel like we are a part of the same tight knit community.”

As the third-largest city in America, Chicago is an exciting place to be. It has a thriving music scene, first-class restaurants and bars, and awesome cultural attractions, including the world’s second-largest art museum, the Art Institute. It’s a gorgeous place, with 31 miles of lakefront, including nearly 19 miles of bike paths and 33 beaches. The one very big downside: the winters can be brutal.

Facilities

Chicago’s business school complex is a spacious and attractive building, called the Charles M. Harper Center after the retired CEO of ConAgra Foods, is a world-class MBA facility. The $125 million building, with 415,000 square feet, opened in 2004, replacing classrooms and offices that had been scattered across four traditional buildings. The center gave Chicago 60 percent more space than it previously had. All 11 tiered classrooms are windowless and at a lower level of the building, while 31 group study rooms, seminar rooms, and offices are upstairs.

The Rothman Winter Garden, a massive six-story glass atrium, is the school’s piazza, an impressive gathering space that is topped by curved steel beams that mimic Gothic arches. It is the centerpiece of the building, where the incoming 620 MBA students are welcomed by the dean each year. There are 40 interview rooms for recruiters alone in the facility, along with a recruiters’ lounge that reaches outside onto a patio, next to the dean’s office.

Chicago Booth’s Harper Center successfully creates a formality and order in its central atrium space through the innovative structure which supports the skylight as well as its massive and grandeur scale.  Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation resides in Harper, and there is also another space a few blocks away.

For years, Kellogg certainly lagged Booth when it came to having a beautiful home. That changed in 2017 with the opening of the school’s $250 million Global Hub on the shores of Lake Michigan. The ultra-modern, glass-and-steel structure with its four wings of nooks and crannies for students to study and hang out is a 415,000-square-foot marvel. The architectural brief for Kellogg’s Global Hub called for an “excessively public” building reminiscent of an academic village.

There is a Collaboration Plaza on the first floor, with a three-story-high atrium and two glass openings that draw attention toward Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline.  There’s also a 7,800 square foot design center, a wing with four design studios: a company-in-residence studio, an artist-in-residence studio, a tech studio where virtual reality-assisted brainstorming can occur, and a maker space where design prototypes can be built. The wing also houses Kellogg’s entrepreneurial initiative where students work on their startup ideas.

Program Focus

The most obvious difference is that Kellogg has long been known as the business school for marketing, while Chicago has long had a reputation for finance. Kellogg routinely comes in first for marketing in numerous surveys and studies, while Chicago often is ranked just behind Wharton in finance.

Kellogg, however, has seen a growth in interest for its entrepreneurship programs, and tech-outcomes over the last few years. Their entrepreneurship pathway offers a three-course Launch-Pad, which includes three 10-week courses including New Venture Discovery, New Venture Development, and New Venture Launch. Students may pick from 20 elective courses that can be industry-specific and cross-disciplinary.

But all along the way, the courses are geared to train the venturing mind no matter if the goal is to launch a new venture or create innovation within a corporation. Kellogg’s entrepreneurial approach is highlighted by the Zell Fellows Program, which provides resources to 30 students armed with ventures every year. Not to mention, students in the entrepreneurship program are also offered the opportunity through a program called NUVention to integrate with researchers and resources across the university as a whole bring new ideas and products to life. We featured a past client’s experience as an entrepreneur at Kellogg’s MBA program in this case study.

In 2017, Kellogg added a Winter Quarter immersion into the Bay Area ecosystem. The program features seminars and visits with local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, offers MBA students a chance to take three courses (Cases in Venture Investment, Social Dynamics and Network Analysis, and Entrepreneurship: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures) as well as an internship over a full 10-week quarter in San Francisco.

It may be one reason why Kellogg MBAs land jobs on the West Coast. Since its inception, many Kellogg grads seek employment in the Bay Area, Seattle, Los Angeles, and other key western cities. In 2020, 34% of Kellogg MBAs landed jobs in the west versus 29% in the midwest. By location, Booth placed 25% to the west coast compared to 33% to the midwest.

Curriculum

Both schools’ offerings are based on the quarter system in which you’ll take between three and five courses per quarter (with three quarters a year). Chicago requires a minimum of 20 courses plus LEAD for graduation; Kellogg requires a minimum of 20.5 courses.

Booth has one of the most open and flexible curriculums of any business school in the world. There is only one required course for all MBA students: its Leadership Effectiveness and Development, known as LEAD, a series of classes and exercises on such core management skills as negotiation, team-building and giving feedback.

Other than that, each Chicago student chooses what courses to take and when to take them based on his or her experience, previous education, and goals. So you don’t have to sit through elementary accounting or basic finance if you already have an undergraduate background in them. A representative from Booth’s MBA program added, “Students are not required to take courses in a lockstep order.”

One new and exciting area of focus in the elective offerings at Chicago Booth has to do with the way artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact business. One of the newest prized faculty hires at Booth is Sendhil Mullainathan, the renowned behavioral economist from Harvard University, who is helping develop a new discipline at the intersection of human and machine intelligence.

“Chicago Booth is about data,” says Dean Rajan. “In many ways, I feel like this is a school that was ahead of the curve and the world has moved to that model, and that has been massively helpful to the school. If you think about an area like marketing, for example, we have ended up with the best quant marketing group in the world simply because they did data in marketing long before anyone else. That to me is what we have to build upon. For any faculty who wants to do novel, risky big data projects, this is the school that will support them and enables them to do it. So hiring Sendhil was fantastic because he is going to come and run a new center for us on human-machine intelligence.”

Similarly, Kellogg’s new MBAi program offers a curriculum that deepens students’ understanding of how technology and leadership intersect. Courses such as Computational Thinking for Business Leaders, Applied Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and Human Computer Interaction allow students to learn how to effectively apply technology effectively within their future roles and businesses.

Kellogg’s newest addition, however, is its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Pathway. With courses such as Moral Complexity in Leadership and The Business for Social Change, the pathway offers students a map to curricular resources for understanding how to integrate empirical research and DEI best practices into their managerial/leadership activities – which is more important now, than ever before.

Check out our other Which MBA comparisons here.  For details on MBA program application deadlines, check out our comparison chart here.

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Reprinted from Poetsandquants, 2021