Weekend MBA

FAQ

Please see below for a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Civic Scholars Program.

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How can an MBA help me advance in my career compared to other graduate-level programs available?

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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 will give public and nonprofit professionals the management and leadership skills, and business knowledge, to create long-term impact, financial stability, and scalability in their organizations.

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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 sectors?

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No, you aren’t able to be considered for the Civic Scholars Program. The program is designed for only those that work directly at the public or nonprofit organization per the terms of the gift agreement.

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Is there an online component to the Civic Scholars Program?

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No, all courses at Chicago Booth are offered only in person at either the Gleacher Center, or Harper Center.

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Why would I get an MBA from Booth and not a program that is specifically focused more on the public or nonprofit sector?

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Booth’s curriculum is designed to offer a discipline-based approach to business and management education, which we’ve been teaching since 1898. The skills and knowledge you’ll learn at Booth are applicable to all industries and functions and will offer you a foundation that you’ll use during your entire career. Additionally, the Civic Scholars Program is designed to create a close-knit group of peers sharing curricular and extra-curricular life that will be unique.

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Do we offer a nonprofit concentration?

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No, this is not one of our 13 concentrations. Booth’s curriculum is designed to offer a discipline-based approached to business education, and the school doesn’t view nonprofit management as a discipline wholly separate from the broader discipline of management. Classes are designed to apply to those working in traditional for-profits, social ventures, nonprofits, and the public sector. With the creation of the Social Enterprise Initiative in 2012, the school has increased the number of courses, co-curricular programs, and events that have a specific focus on the social sector. Many of the additional courses are experiential lab courses. 

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How will an MBA from Chicago Booth provide me with the skills I need to advance in my career and impact my organization?

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At Chicago Booth, you’ll experience The Chicago Approach to management education. This approach is based on inquiry. You’ll learn 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, making them especially useful to leaders as they navigate leading their organizations.

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How is the Civic Scholars Program curriculum different from the Weekend MBA Program?

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The Civic Scholars Program will follow the regular Weekend MBA program. Optional courses relevant to the Civic Scholars will be offered.

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Will I have the same access to Booth’s student life network and events?

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Yes, Civic Scholars will have access to the same student life as all Weekend MBA students. This includes access to more than 40 student organizations and 300 events annually. In addition, special events will be organized for Scholars such as speaker and alumni events.

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Do I complete the same application as all Weekend MBA students?

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You will be required to complete the full Weekend MBA Program application, including a recommendation from someone working in the nonprofit or government sectors, preferably your supervisor. Additionally, you will be required to complete an additional essay telling the admissions committee why you should be selected for the Civic Scholars Program.

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If I am not within the ranges of GMAT, GPA, age, and years of experience listed on the website, should I apply?

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These ranges are meant to provide you with an idea of who we are seeking for the program. You are welcome to apply if you are outside of these ranges. All applicants will be given the same level of consideration.

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If I do not get admitted to the Civic Scholars Program, can I still be considered for the general Weekend MBA Program?

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Yes, students not admitted to the Civic Scholars Program will be considered for admission to the Weekend MBA Program.

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If I’m not selected for the Civic Scholars Program but enroll in a Booth MBA program, may I still be part of the Civic Scholars Program?

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There will be opportunities for MBA students outside the program to participate in some of the programming and coursework.

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What is the interview process for applicants to the Civic Scholars Program?

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After you submit your application, we will invite qualified applicants to interview in Chicago or over the phone with a member of the Admissions Committee. A subset of these applicants will then be invited to a second round of interviews with deans and the director of the Civic Scholars Program. The Civic Scholars will be chosen from this pool of candidates.

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Why is there only one intake per year for this program when the Weekend MBA Program has two intakes per year?

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Because of the cohort nature of the Civic Scholars Program, all Civic Scholar students (known as Neubauer Civic Scholars) will start the program at the same time. For example, prior to the regular orientation program for Weekend MBA students in the fall, Neubauer Civic Scholars will participate in orienting activities specially created for the program.

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Does the Neubauer Civic Scholars scholarship cover my commute to and from Booth each weekend?

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No. The scholarship fully covers tuition for the duration of your program. You are responsible for covering additional costs, including all fees, travel, and accommodations. Financial aid options are available.

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What if I change jobs while in the program, but stay in the nonprofit or government sector?

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You will remain part of the Civic Scholars Program.

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What if I change jobs and move out of the nonprofit or government sectors either during the program or after I graduate?  

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You will no longer be part of the Civic Scholars Program. Additionally, the scholarship you receive as a Neubauer Civic Scholars is structured as a loan from the school for which you will sign a promissory note. The promissory note will obligate you to stay in either the public or nonprofit sectors for three years after graduation. Scholars moving between or within these sectors will maintain their loan forgiveness eligibility. However, if you decide to leave your position in your organization and do not stay in the public or nonprofit sectors either as a student or recent graduate, you will be responsible for paying back the loan to the school. For more information refer to the loan policy.

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Do I have access to Career Services?

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You will have access to our world-class Career Services in the same way as every other Weekend MBA student. Access begins the day you start at Booth and will be available for life.

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Do I have access to Campus Recruiting?

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Yes, you’ll have access to full-time positions as every other Weekend MBA student meeting eligibility requirements. Please refer to question above if you change sectors.

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What happens if I lose my job while in the program?

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You will remain part of the Civic Scholars Program, but you will need to engage in a job search immediately. As long as you are making job search progress toward another role in the public/nonprofit sectors (as assessed by Chicago Booth Career Services), you may remain in the program. Booth’s Career Services team will support and guide you in executing your job search strategy.

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I live in Chicago and prefer the Evening MBA Program. Can I apply to the Evening MBA Program instead of the Weekend MBA Program?

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You will be required to apply to the Weekend MBA Program, but like all Weekend MBA students you will have the opportunity to register for Evening courses.

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Like all Weekend MBA students, may I transfer into the Evening MBA Program and remain in the Civic Scholars Program?

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You are required to begin the Civic Scholars Program as a Weekend MBA student. If you commit to attending all Civic Scholars Program programming and courses on Saturdays, you are allowed to petition to transfer into the Evening MBA Program under the current transfer policy.

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Do I receive a special certificate by participating in the Civic Scholars Program?

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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. You are free to list your participation in the program on personal documents, such as a resume.

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Will the school verify my employment while in the program? If so, how often?

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No. Civic Scholars will sign an agreement before starting the program and will be obligated to report changes in employment.