Getting accepted to an Ivy League program is no easy feat. Admissions are competitive at all six Ivy League business schools. Acceptance rates vary from school to school. Rates can also vary from year to year. For example, in years where applications are trending up, more people are inevitably turned away. In years when fewer applications are submitted…well, a lot of people are still turned away.
Acceptance rates at top business schools, particularly the Ivy League schools, tend to fall somewhere between 10% and 20%. In other words, 80-90% of the people who apply to Ivy League MBA programs are rejected. All of this data is publicly available and can often be found on business school websites. So, if you are curious about your chances, be sure to look for specific acceptance rates at your school of choice.
Perfect vs. Imperfect Ivy League Business School Candidate
There really is no such thing as a perfect Ivy League business school candidate. Different schools look for different things at different times when evaluating applications. Guaranteed acceptance is unlikely no matter what your profile looks like. Besides all other dimensions, a solid interview and a good essay play key part in your acceptance.
Ivy League schools attract intellectuals from around the world and have a legendary reputation for academic excellence. There are eight Ivy League schools, but only six Ivy League business schools. Princeton University and Brown University do not have business schools.
The six Ivy League business schools include:
Columbia Business School- Columbia University
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management- Cornell University
Harvard Business School- Harvard University
Tuck School of Business- Dartmouth College
Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania
Yale School of Management- Yale University
Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is known for its diverse entrepreneurial community. The school’s location in the business hub of New York City provides unparalleled immersion in the business world. Columbia offers many different graduate programs, including an MBA program, executive MBA programs, doctoral programs, and Master of Science programs in several business disciplines. Students who are seeking an international experience should explore Columbia’s pioneering program with London Business School, EMBA-Global Americas and Europe, or the EMBA-Global Asia, created in partnership with the University of Hong Kong.
Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate Schoolof Management
Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, more commonly known as Johnson, takes a performance-learning approach to business education. Students learn theoretical frameworks, apply them to real-world situations in actual business settings, and receive continuous feedback from qualified experts. Johnson offers the Cornell MBA five different ways: one-year MBA (Ithaca), two-year MBA (Ithaca), tech-MBA (Cornell Tech), executive MBA (Metro NYC), and Cornell-Queen’s MBA (Offered in conjunction with Queen’s University). Additional business education options include executive education and PhD programs. Students seeking a global experience should look to Johnson’s newest program, the Cornell-Tsinghua MBA/FMBA, a dual degree program offered by Johnson at Cornell University and PBC School of Finance (PBCSF) at Tsinghua University.
Harvard Business School
The overall mission of Harvard Business School is to educate leaders who make a difference. The school does this through its educational programs, faculty, and influence around the world. HBS program offerings include a two-year MBA program, executive education, and eight full-time doctoral programs leading to a PhD or DBA. HBS also offers summer programs for ambitious undergraduates. Students who like the idea of studying online should explore the school’s HBX online programs, which incorporate active learning and the case method learning model.
Tuck School of Business
The Tuck School of Business was the very first graduate school of management founded in the United States. It offers only one degree program: a full-time MBA. Tuck is a small business school, and it works hard to facilitate a collaborative learning environment designed to build lifelong relationships. Students participate in a unique residential experience that promotes teamwork while focusing on a core curriculum of general management skills. Their education is then rounded out with advanced electives and seminars.
Founded more than a century ago in 1881, Wharton is the oldest Ivy League business school. It employs the most published business school faculty and has a global reputation for excellence in business education. Undergraduate students who attend Wharton School work toward a BS in economics and have an opportunity to choose from more than 20 different business concentrations. Graduate students can enroll in one of several MBA programs. Wharton also offers interdisciplinary programs, executive education, and PhD programs. Minority students who are still in high school should check out Wharton’s pre-college LEAD program.
Yale School of Management
Yale School of Management prides itself on educating students for leadership positions in every sector of society: public, private, nonprofit, and entrepreneurial. Programs are integrated, combining fundamental core courses with unlimited elective choices. Graduate students can choose from a range of programs at the graduate level, including executive education, MBA programs, a Master of Advanced Management, PhD programs, and joint degrees in business and law, medicine, engineering, global affairs, and environmental management, among others. Yale School of Management does not award undergraduate degrees, but second-, third-, and fourth-year university students (as well as recent graduates) can participate in Yale SOM’s two-week Global Pre-MBA Leadership Program.