Full-Time MBA

Virtual Events
Diversity Events

Live Chat With Admissions

If you're considering applying to Chicago Booth, join this live chat with the Full-Time MBA Admissions Committee. Whether you're just beginning your MBA research or preparing to apply this year, ask about the 2017-18 essay question, letters of recommendation, admissions events, and more. This chat is open to all prospective students.

Chat Transcripts

Guest:  curious to know your take on round 1 applicants vs round 2 apart from scholarship consideration

* Eddie Pulliam: We simply suggest that you apply when you're ready.  If you've got work to do on your application and can't make the first round...wait until round 2.


Guest: Based upon review of other applications, which types or characteristics of essays were most impactful?

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for the question about what characteristic we are looking for in an applicant and essay. I’d suggest that you review our admissions criteria here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/criteria. There are three broad themes that we look at when evaluating applications: curriculum, community and career. I’d also suggest that you take a look at this blog posting: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/blog/ftadmissions/2017/201718-essay by my colleague Donna Swinford. It provides additional context for the essay.


Guest: For the essays, is shorter or being more succinct and to the point better than longer and being full of descriptions?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: There is no right or wrong length for your essay. We do not assign a word limit, allowing each individual to determine how much space they need to answer the question most effectively.


Guest: How much does attendance of Booth events impact the admissions and application review process?

* Kim Ge: Thank you for joining us today! I would say attendance at Booth events is more important for you to understand the school’s values and culture. It’s important for you and other prospective students to experience the community through engagement to determine if this place is the right fit for you!


Guest: Good afternoon! Could you please describe the infrastructure and opportunities for students with kids and significant others?

* Donna: Approximately 35% of students come to Booth with partners and quite a few will have children. We have a student group called Parents of Little Ones, a Partners group, and the University of Chicago has a strong graduate population with kids that organizes programming, playgroups, support, etc.


Guest: is there an advantage if you apply in round 1 over applying in round 2

* Kim Ge: Thank you for joining us today!  There isn’t any advantage - Rounds 1+2 tend to be our biggest rounds, but we also receive great applications in Round 3, but it tends to be smaller. My advice to you is to apply in the round that you are most ready and have the best application prepared!


Guest: What are you most proud of about Booth?

* Kelly Smith: I am proud of a lot of Booth moments. It was an amazing to see Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen give a speech in the Winter Garden the day they received their respective Nobel Prizes. But I think what I am most proud of is our students. They are going out into the world each day doing amazing things – I’d take a look at some of our student profiles here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/student-profiles and listen to their unique stories!


Guest: Hello! How do you expect the applicants to use the optional essay? I am quite interested in the GPHAP program at Booth - is the optional essay an appropriate section to express my interest?

* Tyler Smith: There is no defined use for the optional essay. It's simply there for applicants to provide additional information about their candidacy.


Guest: Hi, thanks for hosting this session. My IELTS score expired last year. I did my Bachelors from an Indian institute; however the language of instruction was English. Are Indian students eligible for a waiver for the IETLS requirement?

* Donna: At Booth, as long as you have a degree from a school where English is the language of instruction and which we can verify, you are not required to have a TOEFL or IELTS.



Guest: How much does your undergrad GPA matter in admissions?

* Tyler Smith: Your undergraduate GPA is just one component of your admissions evaluation. We have a holistic approach to your process and each part of your application is important.


Guest: Describe school culture and minority groups.

* Eddie Pulliam: We have a very collaborative and supportive community.  First and second years’ work together in and out of the classroom.  Our minority groups - the African American, Hispanic American, Chicago Women in Business and the OUTreach organizations are very popular and quite active in the Booth community.


Guest: I am a journalist by profession. Would it be okay to include links to published stories in my essay? I think it would be relevant to my story and would aid in making my point. Thanks again for your responses

* Tyler Smith: The essay and application are viewed in a static pdf format, so links will not be accessible. Feel free to reference any publications though.


Guest: Around the essay, should the structure be more professional and experientially based, or should it be more creative?  I guess my overall question is will we be penalized for more creative responses? 

* Donna: There is no answer to your question. Some applicants will be creative, some standard replies. We are looking for you to be authentic and if you are comfortable being creative go for it!


Guest: I want to pursue the field of marketing and brand management; however, my bachelor’s and master’s degree are in the Fine Arts (Visual Communications and Graphic Design).  How much of disadvantage am I for not having a traditional business degree background or work experience? And how would I make myself a more attractive candidate as a “non-traditional” applicant?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Booth values students that come from a wide variety of experiences. You are not at a direct disadvantage coming from a degree sometimes viewed as less traditional.  Stay true to your story throughout your application and tell us why an MBA is right for you. If you feel like you want to build on your background you can look into taking supplemental classes in areas you’re looking to learn more, before you begin your application process.


Guest: Hi! My concerns are: 1) Family friendliness (doable with 3 kids?)  2) Age (I will be 35Y by then)     3) is there some kind of scholarship in order to support the family needs? ----- Thank you very much for your time

* Kim Ge: Thank you for joining us! We have a number of students in the class that have families, which you can learn more about through our Booth Partners Student Group (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/booth-partners); in terms of age, our average student age is 27.9 but that’s not to say that we haven’t accepted people below or above this age; lastly, we have a number of scholarships that are merit-based (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/scholarships)


Guest: Do you offer deferment of admission

* Tyler Smith: We review deferred admission requests on a case-by-case basis. Typically, only for military service or severe medical reasons.


Guest: Is the GRE valued equally to the GMAT in the application process?

* Eddie Pulliam: We accept both of them and have no preference on which won is received with your application.


Guest: Thank you for hosting the session. Could you please share your thoughts on LORs from Co-Founders in case of entrepreneurs who don't have a lot of client interaction yet?

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking a question about letters of recommendation. First off, I’d suggest looking at this page on our website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/letters-of-recommendation . This will go over some of the criteria for LORs. We do ask that the first letter of recommendation come from a current supervisor. If you are unable to use your current supervisor, please explain the circumstances in the optional essay. If you work for a family business or own your own company, please try to secure a letter from a client or outside party who does business with you and can provide an objective assessment of you. You can think about using a former supervisor, client or from a supervisors of community organization you are involved in. You can always explain a bit more to us why you chose certain recommenders in the optional essay.


Guest: What type of financial aid do you offer?

* Donna: We have loans available for domestic and for international students who do not have a US based co-signers. International students can borrow up to 80% of the cost of attendance. There are third party/private options available. Besides loans Booth has merit based scholarships. Approximately 20 to 25% of the class may receive this type of award.


Guest: I am currently prepping material to provide to my recommenders. I would like to know what questions, prompts they will be asked in the email from Booth in order to best tailor my material for them. I don't believe they've written letters of recommendation before for a business school applicant so every aspect of the letter, including appropriate length are relevant. - James

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking a question about letters of recommendation. Please review this page of our website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/letters-of-recommendation It reviews the criteria for letters of recommendation. The questions the recommenders will be asked are:

•                How does the applicant's performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.

•                Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response.

•                We also ask that recommenders complete a skills assessment for each applicant.



Guest: What initiatives help maintain strong social bonds on campus, since there is such a flexible curriculum?

* Tyler Smith: Chicago Booth has over 75 student groups for students to participate in. These range from industry specific to special interests such as Ski Club and Soccer Club. Along with this, students host a variety of social activities weekly.


Guest: I’ve heard that booth has an advanced finance program. Is it as concentration in MBA or is it a separate program (e.g. master of finance)?

* Tyler Smith: Chicago Booth only offers PHD and MBA programs. We do offer concentrations in Finance and Analytical Finance.



Guest: Could you discuss how test scores are used in evaluating one's application? Is there more emphasis put on the verbal or quantitative section?

* Kim Ge: Thanks for joining us today! We review all applications holistically, meaning we are evaluating your test scores and your entire application -- essay, letters of recommendation, short term & long term goals, resume, education experiences, community involvement, etc.  Through this holistic process, we are trying to understand who you are and your story.


Guest: How many Booth students participate in joint degree programs?

* Donna: On average we have 4 to 5% of the students participate in joint programs. Most will be joint Harris school students but with our new Computer Science program I foresee the number increasing.



Guest: How should we fill out the hobbies/areas of interest section of the application? Should we list out the various activities or put our response be in paragraph form to provide more in-depth information?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Use your best judgment and respond in a way you think best represents your areas of interest. There is no right or wrong way to complete the question.


Guest: What are you looking for in recommendation letters? Is it meant to support the rest of the information you provide or some other form of insight? How should we be approaching talking to our recommenders?

* Tyler Smith: Recommenders should be people who know you well and work with you in a professional capacity that are not peers or relatives.


Guest: Could you discuss experiential learning opportunities at Booth and how / when students take advantage of them?

* Donna: Lab classes take place throughout the year. I encourage you to look at our course offerings for descriptions. https://intranet.chicagobooth.edu/pub/coursesearch/coursesearch.


Each year approximately 60% of the graduating class will participate in at least one class.



Guest: Hello, Thank you for taking our questions. Do you prefer to see recommendations from people who have worked with an applicant recently? Can I have a recommender who supervised me from 2010 to 2012, or it is not advisable?

* Kim Ge: Thank you for joining us today! All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. We actually prefer the first letter come from your current supervisor, but understand this may not always be possible.  If you are unable to use your current supervisor, please explain the circumstance in the optional essay. Overall, we are seeking objectivity in the letter, and want to hear from someone who can assess both your strengths and weaknesses.


Guest: Hello, my name is Evan Kam.  I am interested in Booth because of their entrepreneurship program, and I want to work on an online education company after my MBA.  Can you speak about the differences between the New Venture Challenge and the Social New Venture Challenge?

* Kelly Smith: We have a great entrepreneurship program here at Booth led by the Polsky Center. I’d suggest taking a look at their website: http://polsky.uchicago.edu/. Also if you are interested in the Social New Venture Challenge, I’d take a look at the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/ . The New Venture Challenge and the Social New Venture Challenge are very similar, but the Social New Venture Challenge focuses on companies that have a social leaning or are non-profits. Take a look at this this article announcing the winners of the Social New Venture Challenge this spring: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/about-sei/news/2017/20170524_snvcwinners       



Guest: Other than the forte forum, are there any other information sessions for Booth located in the southern California area?

* Kim Ge: Thanks for joining today! No, we wish we could be everywhere, but we have already hosted our information Sessions for SF and LA in June 2017.


Guest: After submitting the application and if I decide to retake the GMAT, would you accept the highest score coming from that retake? If so, how many weeks after submission would you allow for that?

* Kelly Smith: We begin the evaluation process as soon as the application submissions deadline has passed. If you have an additional score to submit after the deadline has passed, please email us and we will add that new information to you file. But we cannot guarantee that it will be take into consideration in the evaluation process, as we begin that process once the deadline has passed. If you have taken the GMAT or GRE multiple times, we will review the highest score.


Guest: Good afternoon! Does an actual visit to the school help a prospective student? How can that student benefit from that visit without any prior connections? How can one tangibly account for that experience in their essays?

* Eddie Pulliam: A visit to the campus gives you an insightful look into the community and the faculty.  If you've never visited Chicago before it's a great opportunity to see the surrounding neighborhoods.  It helps you feel more comfortable knowing what the environment is going to be like for 2 years.


Guest: I am a first round applicant based in Germany and will be moving to the US in October. Would it be possible for me to make a campus visit then, given that it will be after I submit my application?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Absolutely. You can visit campus at any time in your application process. Register for a campus visit on our website… https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit


Guest: Does Booth accept LSAT scores?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: We do not. To apply to the Chicago Booth Full-Time program you must submit a GMAT or GRE score.


Guest: How do Booth students get involved in the communities around them (outside of traditional internship / work experience)?

* Tyler Smith: Chicago Booth has over 75 student groups that range from industry specific to social interests such as Ski Club and Soccer Club.


Guest: Does Booth have any policy of encouraging or discouraging reapplicants?

* Tyler Smith: Reapplicants are always welcomed and encouraged. Reapplicants are only asked to complete one additional essay detailing what has changed since your last application.


Guest: Good afternoon! When you hear Booth, it's often most associated with finance. There seems to be a big push in the rise of other industries recruiting for MBA graduates other than the classic consulting and investment banking firms - technology is the big one that comes to mind. Is Booth working towards gathering more recruitment from tech companies or companies from other industries both regional and throughout the nation? If yes, how?

* Donna: There is definitely a broad interest of different careers amongst our student body. We continue to see interest in tech and have seen a large growth in students pursuing these careers. Please refer to the 2016 employment report at https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/industry.aspx


The 2017 numbers will not be final until next month but I foresee increased interest.


Our employment relations team continues to meet with all different types of companies talking about how Booth MBAs can have an impact within their organizations and industries.


Guest: In your experience, do students have any trouble acclimating to the culture because of the lack of a cohort structure?

* Eddie Pulliam: No way!  It gives you a chance to meet so many more people that you wouldn't meet because of a strictly cohorted community.  Experiencing unique and diverse individuals is so much more inviting and advantageous.


Guest: Can a MBA applicant visit Harper center to view the paintings on the walls (for Essay Question #1) when they visit the campus?

* Kelly Smith: Yes, you can view the art collection if you visit the Harper Center. You can also view some of the art pieces online as well: http://art.chicagobooth.edu/index.php?q=contact. If you do visit campus, I’d highly suggest taking a few minutes to walk around the building looking at the great art collection.


Guest: Hello, I am based out of Winnipeg in Canada. I was able to attend the student hosted event in Toronto at the end of July. How do you accommodate prospective students wanting to learn more about the Booth community?

* Kim Ge: Thanks for joining us today! I’m happy to hear you were able to attend the Toronto Student-Hosted event. We host additional events on-campus here at Booth and globally for prospective students to learn more, please check out our website for events of interest: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/events


Guest: thank you Eddie. Can you give me basic understanding of how the program follows. Things like electives and required course in first year

* Eddie Pulliam: You'll have an academic counselor who will work with you with scheduling.  We don't tell you what to take but you'll have support when thinking about courses as well as making sure you're staying on track in order to graduate on time!


Guest: Regarding the essay question: while I'm excited about the opportunity to be creative, I'm worried about going too far and possibly alienating an admissions officer reviewing my submission. Any rules-of-thumb on how out-there we should be?

* Kim Ge: JUST BE YOU!  My colleague, Donna Swinford said it best in her blog post regarding the essay, “Simply put, we want applicants to have fun with the question and let their personality shine through. Focus less on curating a certain image and more on embracing who you are. Please trust when I say that there is no hidden meaning in the prompt. Rather than spend time worrying about what you think we want to hear, focus instead on telling us why the Booth moment truly resonates with you. We invite you to be creative - to use your own pictures and/or your own words to let us know a little more about you—something we might not learn elsewhere in your application.  Have confidence in the things that make you, you. For those still searching for a starting point, I would encourage you to look at all six moments, read the captions for a bit of additional context, and see what you naturally gravitate towards. Once you identify your preferred moment, don’t hold back in exploring why you are drawn to it.”


Guest: Could you give us a sense of how many creative liberties we can take with the essay prompt? Asked another way, where is "the line" for our interpretation of a moment?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: There is no right or wrong way to answer the essay question. It is open completely to your interpretation. Just make sure you are actually answering the question was asked.


Guest: Are there specific, geographical areas of the alumni network that are stronger than others?  Coming from the west coast and hoping to return after attending Booth, would there be a large pool of support to both lean on and contribute to? 

* Kim Ge: We are extremely fortune that our alumni network is so strong - with 51,000 alumni globally! I’m also pleased to share that our west coast alumni are very active in the community – to get a better sense of the events and activities they participate in, please visit the alumni website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/alumni/news-events


Guest: I know that Booth is a very analytical school and it is very quant-heavy. Do Admissions weigh the Quant section of the GMAT heavier than the Verbal section? Will the IR section even be considered this year?

* Eddie Pulliam: We take the entire score report seriously.  All sections of the report are important to us during the review of your application.  


Guest: I met Tyler and a current student at The MBA Tour – Boston. I’ve also visited campus for a self-guided tour. Are there any events at the University in advance of the Round 1 deadline that you would highly recommend I attend for purposes of learning more about the program?

* Tyler Smith: I'm glad you made it to our chat. Unfortunately, we do not have any programs prior to the Round 1 deadline except for a very slimmed down campus visit. I'd highly recommend visiting campus when you can sit in on class with students.


Guest: How do you determine "fit" and balance it out with diversity?

* Eddie Pulliam: We hope that you have a chance to visit the campus and see if it is a community where you'll feel comfortable.  Meeting the affinity groups up close and personal is a desirable way to understand what "diversity" means at Booth.


Guest: Hi! Thanks for hosting this chat. Could you provide more color on experience-based learning opportunities? Do they include opportunities to work with classmates in teams on real issues that companies are facing?

* Tyler Smith: We have a variety of Lab courses and over 60% of students participate in this class. You can learn more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/labs


Guest: Hello, if we do not have an undergraduate degree in STEM is applying for the Computer Science program joint degree an option? I have work experience in this but am wondering if we will be offered a chance to take supplementary classes to come up to speed if required.

* Donna: You can definitely apply! There is a test all students must take and based on the results they may need to take additional classes. Here is the format. https://csmasters.uchicago.edu/page/mba-mpcs



Guest: Hello! Are there quotas per nationality/industry? Thank you.

* Donna: No we do not have any quotas. We review each application separately for its own merit.


Guest: Can I combine two concentrations? For example, Finance + Marketing Analytics?

* Kelly Smith: Yes, you can have two concentrations (or more!). You also do not have to declare a concentration. You can learn more about the 14 concentrations that we offer here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/curriculum#concentrations


Guest: Hello! Where do most full time students live? Does Booth have any unique housing programs for students?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: The majority of Full-Time students live in downtown Chicago, and often take the short train ride to campus together.  Some students live north of downtown and on campus in Hyde Park. The school has university-owned housing options in Hyde Park and also has a relationship with a building near Millennium Park called Millennium Park Plaza, where a large number of students reside.  http://millenniumparkplaza.com/


Guest: What type of system is in place for students vying to take popular classes/professors as part of their course load?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Classes are selected with a bidding system. Students are given a number of points that they can distribute across their schedule. Popular classes do require more points, but almost all of our students report being able to enroll in all their desired classes by the end of the 2-years.


Guest: Does the IMBA degree/IBEP program require a second application once at Booth? If so, what is selection based on?

* Tyler Smith: There is no formal application process but you will need to work with Academic Services to see if the program is feasible for you.  You can learn more here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/international-studies/imba


Guest: This is regarding the Startup Summer Program. I believe it would require work authorizations of the respective country as the pre-MBA summer won't be covered in student visa. So, if US work authorization is a problem, are there opportunities in Africa or Latin America through that program?

* Donna: Right now we were limited to the US and Brazil. We are continuing to look for other opportunities in other markets.


Guest: Is it common to wait one year before reapplying? For example, if a person submitted an application in R2 2017, should this person reapply in R2 2018?

* Eddie Pulliam: Yes.  We would like to see some movement/change in your application - new projects, promotion, or professional development. 


Guest: Do you offer an admit weekend or any other events geared towards LGBT students?

* Eddie Pulliam: First Day (our welcome weekend) is open to all admitted students.  Many of the affinity groups host small events/dinners before, during and after so that you get to make great connections.  OUTreach does a great job of making connections so that you'll have a chance to get a good chance to make connections and to enjoy the city of Chicago! 


Guest: Regarding LORs, is there any sort of requirement to certify the current employment of the supervisor? Considering most of IBs like JP Morgan don’t allow mangers to provide recommendations in official capacity / letter heads?

* Tyler Smith: All admitted students go through background check and employment verification.


Guest: What is an ideal MBA GPA for employers? What are the largest employers of Booth students?

* Kim Ge: We actually have a non-grade disclosure!


Guest: Hello! Is it possible to schedule a campus visit besides on a Monday?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: From June 5 to October 2, 2017 we are on our abbreviated campus visit schedule, with official visits offered on Monday. In October we will transition to our full schedule, where 3 campus visits will be offered a week. The exact days of the week are contingent on available classes and will be posted in the fall. 


Guest: Hello All. I expect to have my application completed by the round 1 deadline, but I will not have a chance to visit campus until the fall.  Should I wait until the second round to apply or submit my application in the first round?  Thanks!

* Eddie Pulliam: While you may not get a chance to visit before submitting your application in round one we hope that you have a chance to visit our website and get a feel of the Booth community.  You're always welcome to visit after you submit your application and I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.


Guest: I do not want my current manager to know that I am applying for school; can I get a recommendation from someone I have worked with in the past?

* Tyler Smith: Yes, this is perfectly acceptable. Please note this in your explanation for your recommenders though.


Guest: I am from Israel and will be visiting the US at the end of August/beginning of September. When does the new academic year begin, and is it possible to visit a class if I am visiting the campus? Should I schedule this with an admissions officer?

* Kim Ge: The new academic year begins on September 21. We will have abbreviated campus visits from now until October 2, which allows you to visit campus, meet with an Admissions officer, and receive a tour of campus. We will have our full campus schedule beginning the week of October 2, where you will have the already mentioned activities, with the opportunity to have lunch with students & sit in a class.  More information and registration can be found here:  https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/visit


Guest: if you were to estimate, what percentage of booth students continue on their career path and what percentage pivot to a new career path after graduating?

* Eddie Pulliam: Interesting.  A good amount of our students stay true to what they write about in their application.  The flexibility in our curriculum does allow for students to make a career switch!


Guest: Good afternoon, thank you for your time today! I have two questions: (1) Do you have a preference for GMAT and GRE scores? and (2) At the MBA Tour event in NY recently, some schools mentioned accounting for high-hour jobs, if applicants had a work-heavy resume with limited "extracurriculars" (so, lawyers, investment bankers, consultants, etc.) Is this something you account for holistically when reviewing applications?

* Eddie Pulliam: We have no preference for either the GMAT or GRE.  We also recognize and understand that some positions cause applicants to work very hard and this limits their involvement outside of work.


Guest: How does admissions view additional course work such as HBX Core also if I am currently taking it but will not be complete until after round 2 deadlines should I wait until I have completed the course or does the fact that I am currently enrolled add anything to my application?

* Donna: Additional courses can help a person but are not necessary. We will look at it as one part of your entire application. If you don't have a lot of quant coursework, work experience, or if your quant GMAT score is lower, the extra effort can add value.


Guest: I'll be transitioning to a 12-month role in Rwanda beginning in September - is there flexibility regarding organizing a Skype interview as a substitute for an in person interview?

* Eddie Pulliam: We do conduct phone interviews if we invite you to interview and because of your location are not able to conduct it off campus with one of our alums or staff members.


Guest: Is there a preference for the recommendations to be from two different experiences? In other words, does it hurt to have two recommenders from the same job?

* Tyler Smith: There is no preference.


Guest: could you please comment on how do you treat candidates with multiple GMAT attempts (e.g.3-4)? Do you see at as a disadvantage or you just focus on the best score?

* Donna: If someone has taken the test 3 to 4 times, it is not a big deal. Someone who exceeds 6 or 7 without progress may be a red flag.


Guest: Outside of summer recruiting, are there opportunities to pursue intra-semester internships and would those opportunities be through the career center or more on your own?

* Eddie Pulliam: You'll have the opportunity to work with Career Services and our alumni to find those types of positions.


Guest: I know that you recommend that recommenders use their work email. However, if that isn’t possible, can they use their personal email? Should a justification for the same be provided in the optional essay?

* Eddie Pulliam: Yes.  Please explain that in the "optional" essay.


Guest: I am preparing my transcripts to include in my application. However, the PDF I received from my school is password protected. Is it ok to print this PDF and send a scanned version in my application?

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking about submitting your transcripts in the application. For the application, we only require a self-submitted PFD of your transcript. So printing out your password protected version and then uploading it as a PDF is fine.


Guest: How does Admissions review veteran’s resumes?

* Eddie Pulliam: We value the work that veteran’s bring to the community.  We also work with the Armed Forces Group if we run into a positon. award or title that needs to be confirmed.  Many veterans work with the Armed Forces Group before they apply.  That group offers amazing support to prospective students and to the admissions office.


Guest: I have an unconventional reporting structure. I don't have a direct supervisor. Do you have any guidelines (other than the ones on the website) for recommendation letters?

* Eddie Pulliam: We ask you to send in a letter from the person who knows you the best.  In a case where the structure is a bit different you can use the "optional" essay to explain why you are choosing this person.


Guest: The posted deadline for applying to the MPCS/MBA joint program and the decision notification date are provided as 10/20 and 10/27. Would mind confirming these two dates? It seems strange that only a week is needed for both Booth and MPCS to finish reviewing the application in full. Thanks!

* Tyler Smith: The admissions processes are separate. You'll have to reach out to MPCS to confirm their dates. Our Round 1 decision release is December 7, 2017.


Guest: Team, it’s nice to meet you all. Please tell me whether to consider work experience as till the time of joining the class or at the time of applying. I currently have 2, will apply in round 1.

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking about work experience. In the application we ask for the months of full-time professional and military experience at matriculation on September 1, 2018. This excludes any undergraduate internships, summer employment, volunteer work, etc. I’d also suggest that you take a look at our application criteria: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/criteria and read about what the committee looks at regarding careers.


Guest: How does Booth leverage its location in Chicago, especially given the many other universities that are also competing to place students in Chicago-based businesses?

* Eddie Pulliam: We have a strong connection with many companies in Chicago.  Our alumni, Career Services office and faculty help us offer great opportunities to work with them while you are a student.


Guest: Hello - I am planning on visiting campus in early October and see that the Full Campus Visit Program events are not yet posted - when will you be posting the schedule and sign-ups for this online?

* Tyler Smith: Look out for dates in late summer.


Guest: my wife and I will apply together. What are the Admission procedures when evaluating couples?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: When partners apply to the Full-Time program both candidates are evaluated completely independent of each other.


Guest: Does Booth give preference to candidates with a firm-sponsored MBA program?

* Tyler Smith: We do not give preferential treatment to candidates with sponsorship.


Guest: Hello, Do you have any start-up incubator for the MBA Program at the Chicago Booth School of Business? Is that the same as the Polsky Center of the University of Chicago? Thanks for your help!

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Booth does have start-up incubator programs through the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Visit their website to learn a bit more about what they offer - https://polsky.uchicago.edu/page/polsky-incubator


Guest: I see that you say that my first letter of recommendation should come from my current supervisor. I have already sent recommendation requests, and I was promoted. Is it acceptable if my first letter comes from my supervisor from the past several years, and the second comes from my current supervisor, with only a few months of direct supervision?

* Eddie Pulliam: Yes.  That person knows you the best and can give us the perspective we value. 


Guest: Thank you for taking questions today. Is the optional essay strictly for covering gaps and explaining discrepancies, or can we also use it to exhibit other traits of our story?

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking about the optional essay. For the optional essay we ask is there any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? If so, please address in an optional essay. It is a great opportunity if there is something specific you would like to further address or explain. But I would not just submit an optional essay for the sake of submitting it. It should add something additional to your application or explain a specific issue.


Guest: Is there any advantage to submitting my application before the posted deadline?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: There is no advantage to submitting your application before the posted deadlines. You should submit when you feel like your application is 100% ready.


Guest: Is there going to be a veterans/military visit day this year?

* Eddie Pulliam: Yes.  It will be right around Veteran's Day.  You can check our website later in September when we confirm the date - if it's not there already!


Guest: Hello, Thank you for hosting this event. A couple of questions: 1) I'm not certain whether my undergrad school abroad provides ranking. How critical is that information in the application form? 2) In the Test Scores section of the application form, do I need to report all the taken tests or only the ones with the highest scores?

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking about transcripts, please fill-in the information that you are provided by your undergraduate institution. We understand that not all institutions provide rankings and have different scales for calculating their GPA. For the test scores, please self-report your highest score and list the number of times that you have taken either the GMAT or the GRE.


Guest: Are students at Booth involved in any kind of social activities? And whether the school encourages the students to participate in such kind of social activities of events?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Students at Booth are actively involved in social activities organized both independently and by the school. Most of our students live very close together in downtown Chicago and explore the city as a Booth community. I would recommend using our Connect with a Student tool to reach out to current students and find out more about the social life at Booth. https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer


Guest: Hi! Do you consider unofficial test scores for TOEFL?

* Eddie Pulliam: You can use it to apply per deadline.  If offered admission we will need to see the official document in order for you to join the class.


Guest: Thank you, Kim. In addition to the required forms and documents can an applicant provide additional information to support their application?

* Kim Ge: Absolutely! The optional essay is the best section for that!


Guest: How often are students newly graduated accepted into the program?

* Eddie Pulliam: It's a very small percentage. 


Guest: hi, thanks for answering the questions! As an international applicant, are there any serious disadvantages to not being able to attend a campus visit please?

* Tyler Smith: Absolutely not. If you'd like to connect with students I'd recommend our connect with student tool: https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer


Guest: Hi! Thanks for hosting the session. I was wondering if I can submit a third recommendation for activities that I have undertaken alongside my work?

* Kelly Smith: Take a look at the criteria for our letters of recommendation: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/letters-of-recommendation.   We do only ask for two letters of recommendation, but you can submit additional materials. But I would think about the value that a third letter is adding to your application. Also the second letter of recommendation can be from a source outside of work.


Guest: Are applicants who already have a specialized MBA in their home country at a disadvantage? Any Key points you look for in their applications?

* Donna: If someone has a MBA, please use the optional essay to discuss why you need another one from Booth.


Guest: Hi! Do you have any club/course on Impact Investing?

* Kelly Smith: Take a look at our student-lead groups here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups. Take a special look at our Net Impact club. Also take a Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/


Guest: Does Booth have any student-led Private Equity / Investing Club initiatives for members interested in pursuing this career path, other than the incubator program mentions in a previous question?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: There are numerous student-led Private Equity/Investing initiatives at Chicago Booth. I would recommend reaching out to the co-chairs of our Private Equity Student or Hedge Fund groups to find out more - https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/private-equity-group





Guest: Could the Career Services office help students connect with tech startups outside of the Chicago area (SF or NY)?

* Tyler Smith: Career Services provides internship and employment opportunities all over the world. Roughly 32% of our students work in the Midwest.


Guest: When I met the current Booth students in Toronto I got an impression that a majority of the current and prospective students come from Finance and Management Consulting backgrounds. A typical class profile reflects diversity. Can you please talk a little bit about applicants or students who come from post-secondary education sector and similar backgrounds? How can they 'quantify' themselves on the application?

* Kelly Smith: Please review our class snapshot: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time. This will show you that our class comes from a variety of undergraduate majors. Including 16.5% liberal arts majors. I’d suggest reviewing some of our student profiles to learn about the diverse backgrounds of our students: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/student-profiles


Guest: what sort of resources does Booth have to support students looking to change industries in their career?

* Tyler Smith: 85% of our students are career changers.


Guest: Regarding LORs, one of my recommenders is currently on sabbatical and doesn't have access to his official email address, only his personal Gmail address. Is it alright to use that? Is there anything he or I can do/expect in terms of additional verification?

* Eddie Pulliam: If there is no way for him to use his official email address you'll have to explain that in the "optional" essay.


Guest: Following up on a previous question answered by Donna, how do you treat candidates with only one GMAT attempt? Do you perceive this as something positive, negative or neutral?

* Donna: If the score is a lot lower than the average GMAT and someone only took the test once, I may question why. If score is average or better it is usually something I don't even notice.


Guest: should my supervisor submit the letter of recommendation before the application deadline?

* Kelly Smith: Yes, your letters of recommendation should be submitted before the application deadline.


Guest: Thanks Tyler for replying. Follow up question - How important is work experience as criteria for selection? Do applicants with 2-3 years of work experience require an extra edge? If yes, what would be the suggested areas to focus on?

* Tyler Smith: Work experience is only one component to our evaluation process. We look at the quality of this experience and your trajectory.


Guest: Hi there. Thank you for hosting this event, so far it has been very helpful. In regards to the essay prompt, you mention there is no limit to the format. Can you provide a typical range though for essays you do receive?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: The average is roughly 4 slides or 2 written pages, but there is absolutely no preference either way. Use your best judgment and use exactly how much space you feel you need.


Guest: To what extent do full-time students interact with part time (evening/weekend) MBA students?

* Eddie Pulliam: Many of the full-time students take classes with the part time students.  There is a good amount of interaction in and out of the classroom.


Guest:  What kinds of support/opportunities are available in Booth for spouses/partners? Do they get to be part of clubs/community experience?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: Chicago Booth partners are important in the Booth community and they have access to the Booth Partner Club. It is a support/social network for Booth students and their partners. Reach out to the co-chairs to learn more - https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/student-experience/beyond-classroom/groups/booth-partners


Guest: I realize that Booth typically reports the overall GMAT score, but how much emphasis is put on the IR section of the GMAT, since it is not typically reported.

* Donna: To be honest, I have never calculated it for us. We do look at it as part of the total score, if someone has a lower GMAT but a higher IR that is a positive.



Guest: Are a lot of the community events student driven - such as clubs, extracurricular, volunteering opportunities, etc.? How much of the culture at Booth are student driven vs. school sponsored events?

* Eddie Pulliam: There's a good mix of both.  We value the input from our students to make sure their experience is fulfilled.


Guest: If offered admission into Booth's MBA program, how long does an applicant have to respond/accept?

* Donna: depends on the round. For round 1 it is 8 weeks, for round 2 5, and round 3 it is 2.


Guest: Hi! Thank you for hosting this event. I study in HK and the language of instructions is English. However, one of my courses (Cantonese course) was conducted in Cantonese. Can I waive TOEFL?

* Kelly Smith: Thanks for asking about our language requirements. Please review this section of our website: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/international/english-exams. All international students whose native language is not English must take either the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic exam unless they earned an undergraduate degree or post-graduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction. If the classes was your Cantonese language class that would pass our requirements as long as you graduated from an institution where English is the language of instruction.


Guest: Hi - thank you for hosting the event.  How do you view graduate GPAs in your admissions process? Can this offset a low undergraduate GPA?

* Kelly Smith: I’d suggest taking a look at our application criteria: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/criteria Yes, we will also review graduate GPAs as well as undergraduate GPAs.


Guest: Is the AWA score viewed with equal weight or as a lesser measure when compared to IR, Verbal and Quant?

* Eddie Pulliam: Each section of the test is important to us.  We don't weigh one section over another as being more valuable.


Guest: Do students often take courses prior to enrolling to brush up on various topics, in my case calc, etc.

* Donna: Once admitted students have access to pre-MBA preparation. We have pre-accounting here on campus and there are many other resources for preparation available


Guest: If an applicant has a longer range of work experience than the Booth class average of 5 years, will that be considered or weighted differently?

* Eddie Pulliam: No.  We value the entire application and not just one component.


Guest: How do international students calculate their GPA?

* Tyler Smith: Please do not convert your GPA.  Enter it as it is on your transcripts.


Guest: If my class rank is unavailable (Electrical Engineer at large state school) what should I provide in the class rank section of the application? If I am unable to provide this information, will it be viewed unfavorably? Can I or my school estimate my class rank?

* Donna: It is not a required field. Many schools do not rank and this is not a negative.


Guest: If selected for an interview, how much notice is given as travel and work schedules can be difficult in the short-term?

* Tyler Smith: The shortest time span would be 3 weeks between notification and last decision day. Often there is more time.


Guest: Going off of what Donna responded to a question regarding the optional essay and why one needs a Booth MBA when already have an MBA, is that to say I don’t need to further explain my low undergrad since my high grad GPA would offset it? Or should I mention this also in the optional essay

* Donna: Use the optional essay to explain anything you want us to know of if there is something unclear in your application. I would always explain a lower GPA because we will look for the reason.  You can then explain how you were able to bounce back during grad school.


Guest: Have you heard been receiving emails about your online application system being done? I've been experiencing issues these past two days and want to make sure that it's not just me.

* Tyler Smith: We were experiencing a server replication error and this might have caused you to be unable to access the website.


Guest: Is there an eligibility criterion for joining the LEAD program at Booth? When can a student join it and at what stage in 2 years?

* Lizzie Seidenstricker: All Full-Time students are enrolled in/complete LEAD within the first few weeks of their first year.



Guest: Hi Eddie. Follow up question regarding reapplication: Will a higher test score be considered as a movement, or career progress is preferable?

* Eddie Pulliam: Yes.  Taking the test again is one of the more popular choices students make when reapplying.