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How to Choose a Business School

There are several factors to consider when deciding where to apply. Information on these factors can be found in magazine rankings of business schools, books that profile business schools, prospectus materials from the schools themselves, and Internet web sites.

Overall Reputation: Rankings like those produced each year in Business Week and US News and World Report can give some idea of a school's reputation relative to other schools. Reputation can be important for placement success, because companies will sometimes only recruit at certain schools.

Instructional Method: Two predominant methods are theory based and case method. Theory based coursework emphasizes learning theory in lecture formats. Case method emphasizes discussions about real-life business situations and how to resolve them. Some schools, like Harvard, are case method only, but most schools offer a blend of both. Instructional method is usually discussed in a school's prospectus.

Curriculum: If you are interested in a particular concentration, find out which schools are noted for that field of study. Northwestern's Kellogg School, for example, is considered to have one of the best Marketing departments in the country. Consult any one of several books that profile business schools and highlight noteworthy departments for more information. You may find information using the MBA websites to which BC has links.

Placement Success: This is often a measure in determining published rankings of business schools. Check the business school's prospectus to see what companies recruit on campus, what percentages of graduates are employed within three months of graduation, and what the average starting salary is for graduates with different concentrations and different backgrounds (prior industry experience, length of experience).


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