How We Teach

There’s no simple toolkit or formula for leading in a fast-changing and highly connected world. At Yale you will learn to tackle complex challenges by looking at issues from every angle, seeing the connections between sectors, regions, and cultures, and finding and acting on the best ideas wherever they appear.

MBA Core

The clearest expression of the Yale SOM approach is the MBA integrated core curriculum. Yale’s integrated approach to business education draws on multiple academic disciplines and combines rigorous analysis with an emphasis on understanding the broader context for organizational decisions. This approach teaches students to both attack problems with deep analysis and keep their heads up to see the big picture and the ways their decisions can affect other stakeholders.

What Do We Mean by "Integrated"?

The courses at the heart of the integrated MBA core curriculum are called Organizational Perspectives, and each reaches beyond the boundaries of any single academic discipline to help you better understand how real organizations work.

Core courses are also integrated in the sense that they are linked together to form a seamless whole. Faculty who teach in the core plan lessons together, sometimes weaving a single case study through multiple courses to demonstrate how a particular dilemma can affect different aspects of an organization.

In the classroom

Yale SOM faculty are committed to the integrated approach to business education. Their research is wide-ranging and informs a broad and searching inquiry in the classroom. They frequently collaborate with colleagues in other programs at Yale and across the Global Network for Advanced Management to bring in additional perspectives and insights. Course formats vary widely based on subject matter, but on the whole about 40% of class sessions are case-based. The school has developed a set of unique "raw" cases—web-based case studies that present voluminous information about a business quandary and allow students to work in teams to research relevant issues and present an analysis. The raw cases prepare students for a world in which challenges rarely come packaged in neat, ten-page narratives.


The student:faculty ratio at SOM, which is 8:1, is extremely low compared to other business schools. But that's just a number. What really matters is that, because of our relatively small size and our faculty's commitment to teaching, you have access to leading experts across fields of inquiry. Senior faculty teach in the core and many engage with students on intensive projects, such as the semester-long consulting engagements convened by the Center for Customer Insights. (Also, they're ping pong masters.) More than a few students have launched businesses with a faculty partner or advisor.

Real-world learning

A number of distinctive SOM courses involve teams of students working on a real-world problem under faculty guidance. In the Global Social Entrepreneurship courses, teams of MBAs and other Yale students partner with social enterprises in developing countries and complete a consulting project aimed at helping the enterprise expand its impact. The school's Center for Customer Insights also runs project-based courses, in this case consulting with major brands on cutting-edge questions, such as engaging with consumers online and mobile payment strategies.