Feb. 21, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 10

current issue
archive / search

    GSB Scholars Program opens door to business school for undergrads

    By Carrie Golus
    News Office

    Beginning next academic year, fourth-year College students will have a chance to get on the fast track to one of the world’s leading business schools.

    The new University-Graduate School of Business Scholars Program, which takes effect next Fall Quarter, will let Chicago undergraduates apply to the GSB while still in school, rather than waiting the typical five or six years after graduation.

    In keeping with the GSB’s free-market philosophy, the program also comes with a financial incentive: a waiver of the usual $175 admissions fee. Only undergraduates at Chicago are eligible for the program.

    Most potential M.B.A. students wait until their late 20s to apply to business school, but this trend has developed by chance rather than necessity, said Ann McGill, the Sears Roebuck Professor of General Management, Marketing and Behavioral Science and Deputy Dean for the Full-time M.B.A. Programs in the GSB.

    “The average age of business students is about 28 years old. It’s drifted up over the years, but it really doesn’t have to be that way,” she said. “And while that age is appropriate for some industries, other industries want to send recruits on a two- or three-year management training program, so they would prefer younger graduates.”

    Undergraduates accepted into the program must defer admissions for one to three years and spend that time gaining work experience in a corporate, public or not-for-profit setting. “We want students to have some business background, so we can skip the basic material and talk about higher-level issues, such as frameworks and theory in addition to practical applications,” said McGill. When students feel they are ready, they can enroll in the two-year full-time M.B.A. program, beginning in Fall Quarter.

    As well as lowering the average age of GSB students, McGill hopes the new program will encourage more women to consider earning an M.B.A. “The number of women in business school is appallingly low––about 30 percent across the board, about 25 percent at Chicago––whereas in law school and medical school, it’s getting closer and closer to 50 percent,” McGill said.

    McGill also hopes to lure more humanities majors who might not otherwise consider pursuing an M.B.A. “Humanities students offer a breadth and a depth of thinking in the classroom. We’d like to have more of them,” she said.

    Students interested in the GSB Scholars Program may direct their questions to their advisers in the College or send their inquiries to the GSB’s Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Don Martin. The deadline for applications is Saturday, June 1.