top of page

What Does Chicago Booth Look For In MBA Candidates?

As one of the “Magnificent 7” (M7) business schools, Chicago Booth’s MBA program attracts many applications globally from MBA hopefuls every year. Whether you are applying to Booth or any other school, it’s imperative that you understand the qualities that each program is seeking in candidates so that you can demonstrate knowledge of the school as well as fit.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business’ mission, stated on its website, is to “create knowledge with enduring impact, and influence and educate current and future leaders.” Therefore, it is quite clear that Chicago Booth strongly values leadership; in addition to that, what does the school value?


Every top business school values leadership; therefore, it is not surprising that Chicago Booth does so as well. Think about your own experiences; through projects and initiatives that you have led, both in the workplace and through your extracurricular activities, how have you positively made a difference to people and organizations? Additionally, how do you plan to make a difference in the future as a leader? Booth will draw upon examples of leadership throughout your application (such as your essays and recommendation letters) to determine whether you will be an impactful leader as a student and as you pursue your post-MBA goals.

Intellectual curiosity and robust analytical/critical thinking skills

Booth’s educational philosophy sets it apart from other top business schools – in particular, Booth is known for “The Chicago Approach” as well as for its flexible curriculum. Booth describes “The Chicago Approach” as an “enduring, multidisciplinary framework...[that] grounds all Booth students in theoretical frameworks that help them define problems, ask better questions, and develop better solutions.” In addition, with no core curriculum and few prerequisites, Booth’s flexible curriculum allows students to be in the pilot’s seat when choosing classes during the two year program.

With this educational philosophy, Booth seeks ample evidence that candidates will be able to handle the rigor of the curriculum once they are admitted. Booth assesses a candidate's analytical and quantitative prowess in multiple ways, such as undergraduate GPA, GMAT/GRE score, and professional work experience. In addition, recommenders can emphasize an applicant's analytical and quantitative skills through their recommendation letters.

Interpersonal qualities

On its website, Booth also highlights the following qualities: “collaboration and teamwork, respect for others, philanthropic tendencies, strong interpersonal skills, [and] a unique perspective.” Booth will be seeking evidence of a candidate’s interpersonal qualities both in a candidate’s application as well as in the interview. Note that demonstrating a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) is becoming more and more important in the application process for business school programs overall.

Keeping these points in mind will help you to put together a strong application and maximize your chances of admission to Chicago Booth!

About Ivy Groupe:

Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.

Click on the links to learn more about our company and how you can work with us to maximize your chances of gaining admission to the MBA programs of your choice.

Sign up for our emails at the bottom of the page to get more tips!


bottom of page