Civic Scholars Program Frequently Asked Questions
We welcome your interest in the Civic Scholars Program at Chicago Booth. On this page, you’ll find answers to the questions we hear most often.
Still have questions? Send us an email or call us at 773.702.7369.
Public and nonprofit organizations are facing increasing pressures, changing the way professionals manage their organizations and measure success. An MBA from a top-tier business school gives public- and social-sector professionals the management and leadership skills, business knowledge, and network access to create long-term impact, financial stability, and scalability in their organizations.
May I transfer between the Full-Time MBA, Evening MBA, and/or Weekend MBA Programs and remain in the Civic Scholars Program?
Evening and Weekend MBA students may petition for a one-time transfer between programs. However, Evening and Weekend MBA students cannot transfer into the Full-Time MBA Program, and vice versa.
Why should I get an MBA from Booth and not from a program that is specifically focused on the public or social sector?
Chicago Booth has offered a multidisciplinary approach to business and management education since 1898. The skills and knowledge you will gain at Booth are applicable to all industries and functions, and provide a foundation for your entire career. Additionally, the Civic Scholars Program offers specialized programming, dedicated faculty directors, and networking opportunities focused on the nonprofit space.
No, but we do offer 14 concentrations that complement your experience and signal deeper knowledge and skills relevant to areas of particular interest. Booth’s MBA curriculum takes a multidisciplinary approach to business education, and classes are designed to apply to professionals in traditional for-profits, social ventures, nonprofits, and the public sector. Through the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the school offers a wealth of courses, cocurricular programs, experiential learning opportunities, and events that have a specific focus on the public and social sectors.
How will an MBA from Chicago Booth provide me with the skills I need to advance in my career and impact my organization?
The Chicago Approach to management education will teach you how to evaluate problems and opportunities through fundamental disciplines that underlie how organizations function, how markets work, and how people make decisions. These tools and frameworks translate across domains, industries, and sectors, providing powerful solutions for leaders navigating challenges and changes in their organizations.
As a Neubauer Civic Scholar, you’ll enjoy the same flexible curriculum and transformative experience as every other MBA student at Booth. Our MBA curriculum is rooted in the fundamentals of business, giving you the skills, knowledge, and confidence to transcend trends and solve any business problem. Whether you choose the Full-Time MBA, Evening MBA, or Weekend MBA Program, you’ll have the freedom to tailor your courses to fit your experience, interests, and career goals.
You will have the option to select an MBA program during the application process.
Yes, Civic Scholars have full access to Booth’s student activities, events, and resources, though the specific options vary depending on whether you choose the Full-Time MBA, Evening MBA, or Weekend MBA Program. You can join a student-led group, participate in a national competition, or choose from more than 300 events each year. In addition, special events are organized for Neubauer Civic Scholars, such as speakers and opportunities to engage with alumni.
Yes, you will have lifelong access to our world-class Career Services team and resources. Access begins the day you start at Booth and will be available for life.
Yes, all students who have completed at least 12 courses and are enrolled in at least one course will have access to Campus Recruiting for full-time jobs. However, if you move out of the nonprofit or government sector during the program or within three years of graduation, you may be required to repay a portion of your Civic Scholar award. For details, see Program Cost and Financial Aid.
You will not receive a special certificate, but you will graduate with a master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It’s an impressive credential that will make your resume stand out.
Is there a required minimum number of years of work experience in a 501(c)(3) or government entity for eligibility in the Civic Scholars Program?
While there isn't a strict work experience requirement, we recommend candidates to possess a minimum of three years of experience working within a 501(c)(3) or government entity before they enroll in the Civic Scholars Program.
Can I apply for the Civic Scholars Program if I work for a for-profit organization that works with clients in the public or nonprofit sector?
No, you are not eligible for the Civic Scholars Program. The program is designed only for those who work directly for a public- or social-sector organization with a 501(c) designation or in government.
Foundations vary in structure, so please contact us to discuss your specific situation. If you have questions about the Evening MBA or Weekend MBA Program, email email@example.com. For questions about the Full-Time MBA Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Professionals working in a 501(c) designated nonprofit or for the government are eligible to apply.
Can I stay in the program if I change jobs within the nonprofit or government sector before graduation?
You will remain part of the Civic Scholars Program.
What if I change jobs and move out of the nonprofit or government sector, either during the program or after I graduate?
If you leave the nonprofit/government sector, you will no longer be part of the Civic Scholars Program. In addition, you may be required to pay back some or all of your Civic Scholars award. That’s because Neubauer Civic Scholars full-tuition awards are structured as loans from Booth. When you accept the award, you sign a promissory note that obligates you to stay in either the public or social sector for three years after graduation. Scholars moving between or within these sectors will have their loans forgiven. However, if you leave the public or social sector within three years of graduating, you will have to repay the loan. For details, see Program Cost and Financial Aid.
Neubauer Civic Scholars sign an agreement before starting the program and are obligated to report changes in employment.
If I do not get admitted to the Civic Scholars Program, can I still be considered for general admission to Booth’s Full-Time MBA, Evening MBA, or Weekend MBA Program?
Yes, your admission to Chicago Booth is not affected by whether you are accepted to the Civic Scholars Program.
If I am not selected for the Civic Scholars Program but enroll in a Booth MBA program, may I still participate in Civic Scholars programming?
Civic Scholars programming is reserved for Neubauer Civic Scholars. However, Booth offers a multitude of resources for impact-driven students in all programs. The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, for example, offers courses, career resources, research opportunities, and more.
After you submit your application, you may be invited to interview with a member of our Admissions Committee as well as with faculty and directors of the Civic Scholars Program.
All Neubauer Civic Scholars matriculate together because the program runs on a cohort model. By going through the program as a group, participants form close connections and a strong sense of community.
No. The award covers a substantial portion of tuition for the duration of your program. You are responsible for covering additional costs, including all fees, travel, living arrangements, and accommodations. Loan programs are available to assist students in financing the cost of their MBA. For details, see Full-Time MBA Scholarships and Financial Aid or Part-Time MBA Scholarships and Financial Aid.