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From the Assistant Dean for Admissions: The Philosophy Behind our Approach

Bruce DelMonico discusses the philosophy behind Yale SOM’s MBA application and introduces the new Application Guide, which features insider tips.

I’m pleased to introduce our new Application Guide, which gathers tips from our admissions committee members about each section of the Yale SOM MBA application and introduces the philosophy behind our approach. 

We put a lot of thought into how our application is constructed. Our guiding principle is to only ask questions that are relevant to evaluating an applicant’s candidacy, and as a result our application tends to be shorter than that of many other schools.

We also try to get the fullest picture of you possible. Some of the elements of our application will be familiar to you–we ask for test scores (GMAT or GRE) and grades to get a sense of your academic background and potential; your work experience (especially your résumé) to get a sense of your professional background and potential; an essay and interview to hear more from you about things that are important to you; and recommendations to hear how others who know you well would describe you. Those are all elements you will find in most if not all MBA applications.

But we have a few application elements that are more unique to us. We ask video questions, a format that we helped pioneer, as a way to get beyond the written word and hear directly from you. We have also pioneered a new behavioral assessment in conjunction with ETS that we use to gauge candidates’ intra- and interpersonal skills. The goal is to get a sense of the whole person in reviewing applications and not just rely on traditional metrics like grades and test scores. Many schools assess non-cognitive skills in ways that are subjective and thus open to bias. By using an instrument whose predictive power has been validated and that does not rely on subjective interpretation, our hope is to reduce bias in the process.

At the same time, we are moving beyond traditional elements of evaluation in an effort to open the school up  to increasingly diverse candidates.  To this end, we have  built elements of the application to look at environmental factors as one aspect  of an applicant’s candidacy. We also continue to offer an application fee on a sliding scale based on annual compensation as a way to be more accessible to a greater number of individuals. Our overall goal is to leverage new technologies and new ways of looking at candidates to create an application process that is fairer, more consistent, more accessible, and more open to a more diverse set of applicants.

We hope the new Application Guide helps you better understand our approach and how you can navigate the application process effectively.

Bruce DelMonico
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Admissions Office
Yale School of Management
165 Whitney Avenue
Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
203.432.5635, Admissions Office
203.432.6380, Visitor Center
fax 203.432.7004