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What Does The Tuck School Of Business Look For In MBA Candidates?

Nestled in the idyllic town of Hanover, NH, the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth), or simply Tuck, typically ranks as a top 10 US-based MBA program. Because of its location in a smaller town, Tuck is known for its tight-knit community.

On its website, Tuck states that its mission is to “develop wise, decisive leaders who better the world through business.” Towards that mission, Tuck seeks candidates who are “smart, accomplished, aware, and encouraging.”

As with any business school that you are applying to, you should have a strong understanding of what the program values in students so that in conjunction with your unique, authentic story, you can develop the strongest application possible and maximize your chances of success.

Intellectual aptitude and curiosity

As Tuck states, its students are “smart, curious, and engaged.” Given its rigorous curriculum, Tuck’s Admissions Committee wants to see your intellectual curiosity coming through in your application. While your undergraduate GPA and GMAT/GRE score play into this equation, this quality encompasses much more than that. It is about demonstrating a curiosity to learn more and taking the initiative to do so. This can come through in both your professional and extracurricular endeavors. For example, how do you engage with the world around you? When there is not a clear cut answer, do you seek out knowledge to learn more? Are you able to creatively solve problems? These are just some questions to think about as it pertains to intellectual aptitude and curiosity.


Tuck also seeks candidates who are “accomplished, impactful, and principled.” Very strongly aligned with this is leadership. 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? As you think about these questions, also keep in mind that being principled is important too – in particular, Tuck values “[acting] with conviction, [thriving] in tough moments, and [seeking] to win the right way.”

Tuck will draw upon your examples of leadership throughout your application (such as your essays and recommendation letters) to determine whether you will be an impactful and principled leader as a student and as you pursue your post-MBA goals.


We would categorize Tuck’s emphasis on being “aware, ambitious and purposeful” as falling under this quality. As Tuck states, “you know who you are, and you understand how your values and experiences have shaped your identity and character. You also connect your past experiences and present motivations with your path forward, and craft a compelling vision for the future.” As a result, taking time to think about your story and how Tuck plays into your future is crucial. In addition, Tuck wants to understand YOU and YOUR unique attributes and how you will draw upon them to make a difference at the school and beyond.


With a class size of ~290 students, Tuck boasts a very tight-knit and supportive student body – “Tuck students are encouraging, collaborative, and empathetic;” this is “quintessential Tuck.” Tuck will be seeking evidence of a candidate’s interpersonal qualities and Emotional Quotient (EQ) both in a candidate’s applications as well as in the interview. For instance, how do you go about interacting with others? Are you respectful of others? Are you able to work with others to arrive at a desired outcome? As Tuck states on its website, “you believe that your success and others’ success are interdependent, and generously invest in both.”

With the aforementioned knowledge, you will be in a strong position to craft your Tuck application so that your experiences and accomplishments resonate with what the school values. If we can help you in your MBA application journey, feel free to request a free consultation here!

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.

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