Early Career Candidate Programs
Early career candidates are identified as those with three or fewer years of full-time, post-undergraduate work experience, including college students. If you are eager to enroll in an MBA program at an early stage of your career, Chicago Booth welcomes your application for admission.
Broaden your skillset, develop a global network of peers, and start your career with confidence. Through courses in finance, accounting, and marketing, liberal arts majors learn the language of business and open their possibilities to a whole new range of career options. Students who are already studying business gain a competitive advantage over their peers by exploring the Chicago Approach to management education.
Open to all current/recent undergraduates interested in pursuing an MBA degree in the future.
Three-week summer program in July.
Highly motivated undergraduate students at the University of Chicago get greater access to Chicago Booth coursework, mentoring, and professional development resources. Students gain a deeper understanding of the discipline of business management through a rigorous six-course curriculum, selective cohorted programming, and advising by a dedicated undergraduate advisor at Chicago Booth.
Open to first- and second-year undergraduates at the University of Chicago. This program is currently not available to students at other institutions.
Dougan Scholars complement their undergraduate studies with a rigorous six-course curriculum.
Fourth-year students at the University of Chicago have a special opportunity to apply to Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program prior to graduation and defer enrollment for three years. During the deferment period, Booth Scholars are expected to seek substantive work experience that will position them to succeed at Chicago Booth and beyond.
Open to fourth-year students at the University of Chicago. This program is currently not available to students at other institutions.
Granted a provisional three-year deferment to the Full-Time MBA Program.
Exemplary young professionals with three years or fewer of full-time work experience who are interested in earning an MBA while continuing to work can take advantage of the Chicago Business Fellows program, part of the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs. Chicago Business Fellows program offers the same academic experience and MBA degree as our Evening MBA or Weekend MBA Programs, with additional professional development programming.
Open to young professionals with three years or fewer of full-time work experience who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and excellent scholarship.
Applying to the Full-Time MBA Program
Applicant Criteria and Considerations
There is no separate program or admissions process for those who consider applying early on in their careers. Early career candidates must complete the full application for admission. However, the Admissions Committee will bear in mind the applicant’s proximity to the college experience when considering factors such as leadership, supervision experience, and academic success. In addition, the following criteria will be considered:
- Quality work experience - Summer internships, full- or part-time work experience, or an entrepreneurial spirit will all be considered.
- Competitive GPA - While there is no minimum GPA to be considered for admission to Chicago Booth, it is important for the Admissions Committee to know that you are prepared for the rigor of our classroom experience.
- Competitive standardized test score - Chicago Booth allows applicants to submit either the GMAT or the GRE. Booth doesn't have a minimum requirement for either, but does use the results of the exam to evaluate your potential for success in a graduate-level business program, especially with regard to your quantitative and verbal skills.
- Strong extracurricular involvement or student leadership role(s) during college - Chicago Booth values community involvement, as well as leadership skills. A past record of involvement is a good indication that you'll get involved as an MBA student, too.
- Intellectual curiosity as evidenced by courses taken in college - Our belief is that diversity of educational backgrounds makes for a richer classroom experience, and Chicago Booth welcomes students from all college or university majors. We're also interested in knowing if you ventured outside your "comfort zone" and challenged yourself by taking a rigorous and diverse course load.
- Strong professional letters of recommendation - These endorsements should demonstrate your ability to work well in a team setting, highlight your motivation and dedication, and provide information about your initial success within the context of your job setting.
- Personal maturity - We take a holistic view of your maturity, as evidenced by recommendations, essays, and the personal interview.
- Ability to talk about why you want to get an MBA now - As an early career candidate, it is important to articulate why the timing of entering the MBA program makes sense for your career and/or life plans. We also look for focus on what those plans might be.
If you are in your final year of college and thinking about starting a Full-Time MBA program shortly after graduation, you are welcome to apply to Chicago Booth. Applicants must complete the full application for admission. The application fee may be waived for applicants who are current students in an undergraduate or graduate program.
Chicago Booth highly values work experience, and will look for evidence of readiness and ability to contribute to an engaged community, both inside and outside the classroom, throughout the application. The Admissions Committee will also look for evidence of leadership and leadership potential. It is especially important for you to consider and discuss the timing of the MBA application.
The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) offers advice to college seniors on taking the GMAT, researching business schools, and enrolling in an MBA program on GMAC's "Direct Your Destiny" website.
If you are a part of an undergraduate student group (e.g., WIB, SWE, NOBE, etc.) and are interested in setting up a visit to Chicago Booth, or if you would like us to conduct an information session about the MBA to your undergraduate student group on your campus, please email us.