So, you've decided that you want to start working towards an MBA, but studying full time isn't something that will work for you. Luckily, there are many great part time MBA programs across the country; you just have to choose the ones that are a great fit for you. With so many program options, it might seem a little overwhelming to narrow it down.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Chicago Booth part time MBA, including the program structure, the level of competition, and how to apply. Deciding on which school to attend can be incredibly stressful. Still, by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the Chicago Booth part time MBA and whether or not it is the right option for you.
“At Booth, our mission is to create knowledge with enduring impact, and influence and educate current and future leaders. Leaders like you.”
To achieve these goals, Booth utilizes what is known as The Chicago Approach™, an educational philosophy that is exclusive to Booth’s program. Chicago Booth’s website describes The Chicago Approach™ as follows:
“Rooted in the fundamental scientific disciplines at the heart of business—economics, accounting, psychology, sociology, and statistics—this approach grounds all Booth students in theoretical frameworks that help them define problems, ask better questions, and develop better solutions.”
This framework focuses heavily on critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving skills, giving students the ability to tackle new challenges. Booth wants to prepare you for any situation you may encounter in the business world. Using this unique philosophy in its teachings, Booth hopes to ensure that you can strategically handle any obstacle that comes your way.
Furthermore, The Chicago Approach™ focuses on long-term educational goals. According to John Huizinga, Walter David “Bud” Fackler, Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at Booth, “Some business schools try to preach business education as relevant in that you learn it one day, and apply it the next. It’s not immediacy that matters. A much more valuable criteria is, does the business education serve you for a long period of time? Does it serve you when the stakes are most high, and when you’re making the most critical decisions?”
As you can see, The Chicago Approach™ is a unique educational philosophy that is meant to prepare you for anything. It's what sets Chicago Booth apart from other business schools and can give you an advantage in achieving your long-term career goals.
Overview of the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA
Out of every part time MBA program in the country, the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA is ranked #1 by US News & World Report. Because of this, you know that you can expect a high-quality curriculum and impressive faculty, but there is a lot more to know about this prestigious business school.
The Chicago Booth Part Time MBA is split into two programs: The Evening MBA Program and the Weekend MBA Program. The Evening MBA Program is a good choice for those living in or near Chicago, as the classes take place once a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On the other hand, the Weekend MBA is an excellent option if you don't live in the Chicago area, as these classes take place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
These two programs also start at varying times of the year. The Weekend MBA accepts new students for the autumn and spring quarters, while the Evening MBA admits students for all quarters throughout the year.
Other than the day and frequency of classes, the Evening and Weekend MBA programs are very similar. Both programs take 2.5-3 years to complete, require 20 courses to complete the degree, and have over 130 courses from which you can choose. Both hold classes at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago instead of the Harper Center in Hyde Park, Chicago, where full time students attend class. Also, the curriculum and faculty of these programs are the same as the full time MBA, so you don’t have to feel like you are missing out on anything by pursuing a part time MBA.
Chicago Booth uses the same curriculum in varying formats for all of the school’s MBA programs. The business school bases its curriculum on accounting, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. The curriculum gives students the power to customize their course schedules to best fit their career goals.
The curriculum is highly flexible, and there is only one course required for every student. This course is called LEAD and it is “a hands-on, experiential course designed to help you identify your strengths and opportunities as a leader and integrate those insights into an active, intentional and ongoing process of leadership development." LEAD is one of the first programs of its kind at a major business school. For part time MBA students, LEAD gives you skills and practices to integrate into your work while pursuing your degree.
Because LEAD is one of the first courses that all MBA students take, and because it is the only required course for all students, it is clear that leadership is one of the foremost qualities at the center of Booth's curriculum. After taking LEAD, you can enroll in many other leadership-focused elective courses, including Interpersonal Dynamics, Leadership Practicum, Leadership Studio, Innovation Leadership, Leading and Managing Teams, and Power and Influence in Organizations. All of these courses are designed to help you become the best leader that you can be, allowing you to hone new skills as you take charge in your workplace and community.
The next section of the curriculum consists of the Three Foundation Areas: Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, and Statistics. You will choose one course from each of these areas that are best suited to your previous academic and professional experiences. There are both basic and advanced options within the Three Foundation Areas from which you can choose.
A highly flexible part of the curriculum is Functions, Management, and Business Environment. In this course grouping, there are seven categories. In the topic of “Functions,” there is Finance, Marketing, and Operations, in the field of “Management,” there is Decisions, People, and Strategy, and finally, there is the Business Environment category. You will be required to select one class from six of those categories, choosing either basic or advanced courses that best fit your learning and career goals.
Finally, Booth requires MBA students to take 11 elective courses. In this area of the curriculum, which offers over 130 different courses on various topics, you will have the most flexibility. Booth's electives come in one of two distinct categories: Lab Courses and Other Elective Courses. Furthermore, some of these electives are offered through the University of Chicago Law School or the Harris School of Public Policy. MBA students may take up to six classes outside of Chicago Booth.
At Chicago Booth, you can also earn concentrations in various fields. According to their website, Booth does not require students to pursue any concentrations, but most MBA students earn three to four concentrations during their time at the school.
Whatever fields you are interested in, Booth likely has a concentration to supplement those interests.
Chicago Booth Part Time MBA Program Benefits
Because it is one of the highest-ranked business schools in the country, you can expect many benefits from attending Chicago Booth. But what about benefits specifically from the part time program? Here are some things that set the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA apart from other part-time business programs.
As discussed previously, Chicago Booth offers either a Weekend MBA or an Evening MBA, allowing you to structure your academics around your work schedule more efficiently. You can also decide to take some classes in the full time program if your schedule allows it, and Weekend MBA students can take a course on Friday evening if that works best for them. Furthermore, if you miss a class, you can easily make it up by attending a different section of the course during that week. Flexibility is a distinct feature of the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA that can be valuable to those with hectic schedules.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Continuing to support students with busy careers, Chicago Booth offers short-term study abroad opportunities to part time MBA students. These programs last two to three weeks to accommodate those who cannot take an entire term away from their full-time careers.
There are many events on the weekends in which part time students can participate, including student-group conferences and post-exam socials.
For those enrolled in the Weekend MBA that live outside of Chicago, commuting to Booth could be challenging. However, Chicago Booth offers a multitude of benefits to commuting students to make traveling a bit easier. These benefits include:
“Free shuttle service to and from Midway and O’Hare Airports before and after class on Saturdays
Discounted rates at nearby downtown Chicago hotels
Saturday access to student events, faculty, the administrative office, academic advisors, and Career Services”
Chicago Booth values the busy lives and full-time careers of its part time students, which is evident in how the school structures its programs. By offering a highly flexible curriculum and opportunities that keep working professionals in mind, Chicago Booth gives part time students the same attention as its full time students.
Level of Competition in the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA Program
As can be expected from an M7 business school, the level of competition at Chicago Booth is exceptionally high. The part time programs are no exception. To gather a better idea of where you stand among current Booth admittees, you can compare your stats to those in Booth’s Part Time MBA class profiles.
The following is an approximate class profile of students in the Weekend program.
**Percentage of international students represents those attending on a work visa.
The following is an approximate class profile of those in the Evening program.
**Percentage of international students represents those attending on a work visa.
Both the Weekend and Evening program profiles are similar regarding test scores, GPA, and work experience, but they differ to a higher degree in demographic. There is a higher percentage of women in the Evening program than in the Weekend program, yet a lower percentage of international students and students with advanced degrees.
But how do these statistics compare to the full time MBA program? By looking at the class profile of Chicago Booth's full-time students, you can then begin to better understand the level of competition for the part-time program.
The following is an approximate class profile for Chicago Booth’s full time MBA program.
As you can see, the full time program seems to be a bit more competitive. The average GPA of full time students is 3.6, which would land at the higher end of the GPA ranges of the part time programs. Furthermore, the average GMAT score of full time students is 730. The GMAT ranges of part time students show that 730 is at the high end of scores for these students, suggesting that the full time program has a higher level of admissions competition than the part time program.
Eligibility and How to Apply to the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA Program
To apply to the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA Programs, "you must have completed an undergraduate program at an accredited US college or university, or its equivalent in another country." Also, because the program is designed for working professionals, the admissions committee looks for candidates currently holding full-time positions. There is no minimum cut-off for grades, test scores, or years of work experience.
How to Apply
Booth uses an online application process, so you will need to register a username and password through their application website. You do not need to complete the entire application in one sitting, but you do need to submit all application materials before 11:59 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline of your preferred round. The admissions committee accepts applications on a rolling basis, and you should expect to hear a decision on your admission four to six weeks after submission.
Essays – There are two general essays, one reapplicant essay and one optional essay. The following are examples of past writing prompts that Booth has incorporated in its application:
Essay One (maximum 400 words):
Why are you seeking an MBA from Chicago Booth, and why is Chicago Booth's Evening MBA or Weekend MBA your program of choice?
Essay Two (maximum 300 words):
Leadership depends on how well you communicate, collaborate, and motivate people. Chicago Booth understands the importance of developing leaders beyond their business acumen and technical expertise, and we believe that each individual has their own leadership style. How has your family, culture, and/or environment influenced you as a leader?
Optional Essay (maximum 500 words):
If there is any important information relevant to your candidacy you were unable to address elsewhere in the application, please share that information here.
English Language Exams – This is a requirement for students whose native language is not English. However, Booth outlines certain exceptions to this requirement:
1. If you are a citizen or permanent resident of a country where English is an official language
2. If you have earned an undergraduate or postgraduate degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction
3. If you have been living and working full time in the United States for two or more years
Top Tips on How to Get into the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA Program
The Booth admissions committee takes a holistic approach to their application review process, taking into account three criteria: academic preparedness, community, and career. Here are some tips to help you get into the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA.
1. Compare yourself to Booth’s class profiles.
The previously discussed class profiles for recent part time MBA students at Booth can be a great indicator of where you stand. By comparing your GPA, test scores, and experience to those profiles, you can determine which areas of your application need improvement.
2. Show your academic preparedness.
Along with GPA and test scores, the Booth admissions committee outlines specific things that it is looking for concerning academic preparedness. These traits include intellectual curiosity, interpersonal skills, an interest in areas outside of your immediate environment, and a willingness to engage in debate and to ask questions. Be sure that these traits are evident in your essays and resume.
3. Exhibit how you will contribute to the Booth community.
Chicago Booth wants to know that you will fit in well and add a unique voice to the student body. Booth’s admissions site specifies that you should exhibit “leadership, team-building skills, respect for others, [and] philanthropic tendencies” in your application, along with “continued involvement with undergraduate or other postgraduate institutions” and “evidence of a sense of passion regarding social, community, or political issues.”
4. Portray growth throughout your career.
Finally, Booth looks for students with good career records. Some of these qualities that the admissions committee is explicitly seeking are "a track record of success, resourcefulness, sense of personal direction, time-management skills,” and “realistic expectations for the MBA.”
By making sure to compare your stats to those of current Booth students and portraying the ideals that Booth is looking for, you can increase your chances of making it into the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA.
1. Do I have to have a full-time job to be in the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA program?
The admissions committee looks for full-time working professionals in its application process, as this is for whom the part time program is designed. However, you are not required to remain employed throughout your enrollment.
2. Can I apply to both the Weekend and Evening programs at the same time?
No. Applicants are only permitted to apply to the program they believe is the most suitable for them.
3. Can I transfer any courses to the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA?
No. Booth does not accept transfer courses.
4. Do I have to live in Chicago to attend the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA program?
No. Nearly 80% of people in the Weekend MBA program live outside of Chicago and commute weekly for classes.
5. Is there a way to speak with current Chicago Booth Part Time MBA students and faculty?
Yes. You can register for a Master Class presented by Booth faculty and have the chance to ask questions about the program, admissions, and academics. You can also visit their “Connect with a Student” page to get in contact with students with similar backgrounds or career interests as you.
6. Can I participate in an internship as a part time student?
While it isn't impossible, internships for part time MBA students are very uncommon because the part time programs are generally for students currently employed full-time. If you would like to participate in an internship, you should keep in mind that obtaining such a position will require an extensive weekly time commitment.
Multiple factors set the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA apart from other part-time business programs. Through its highly flexible scheduling options, a vast range of courses and concentrations, and world-class faculty and academic approach, Booth's part time programs allow you to work toward your goals in a personal manner.
To get into this prestigious program, be sure to research Booth’s class profiles, express your academic readiness and career growth, and be sure to portray how you will contribute to the Booth community. If you are a full-time working professional who wants to take the next step in your career, the Chicago Booth Part Time MBA will allow you to do so in the right way.
About Inspira Futures
At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.