With the expansion of its global programs, augmented curricular opportunities and the move to the new campus, the Yale School of Management is gaining momentum. And its admissions figures have grown with a significant jump this year.
The SOM has received 31 percent more applications for its MBA program during this most recent application cycle compared to this time last year, SOM Associate Dean David Bach said. This increase comes in the wake of the SOM’s completion of the second of three application rounds for the 2014–15 cycle. SOM Associate Dean Anjani Jain said this increase in applications will not affect class size, which will stay at around 300 students for the next two years. In the 2011–12 school year, a larger admissions yield led to an unexpected class increase that fit into the school’s larger growth program, which was to grow to 600 students by 2017.
Bach said that from his experience, this degree of growth in applications is usually seen among very small or new business school programs and not at an older and slightly larger school like SOM.
“I don’t want to be hyperbolic, but in my decade in management education I have never seen an already established M.B.A. program in a pretty developed and mature market having year on year growth in applications like that,” Bach said.
Jain said the application increase is due to a variety of admissions initiatives, such as traveling to more destinations on admissions trips and hosting more events for prospective students. He also said that this is the first time the admissions office is almost fully staffed, which has enabled it to act more effectively.
Similarly, Bach said efforts to recruit international applicants intensified. Efforts have included positioning the SOM as a provider of a global management education, emphasizing the SOM’s global dialogue with other business schools around the globe and a greater effort on behalf of the admissions team to tap into the demand for global outreach. As a result, he said there has been an increase in international applicants this year.
SOM Deputy Director of Admissions Melissa Fogerty cited SOM’s participation in the Global Network for Advanced Management, an international network of schools founded by SOM Dean Edward Snyder in 2011, and the launch of SOM’s Yale Center Beijing this past October.
In addition, Jain said he thinks positive interactions between prospective students, current students and faculty have contributed to this increase.
SOM professor Barry Nalebuff, who has talked to prospective students interested in his work, said he noticed an increase in this year’s quality of applicants. He also said the SOM’s new building was a big contributing cause for this increase.
“In some ways our old facilities were holding us back and the [new building] really reflects seriousness, the modern aspects of the curriculum and the connections to Yale,” he said.
Despite the encouraging news at this point in the application process, Fogerty cautioned that it is premature to assess application trends until the end of the third admissions round so that the entire year can be examined as a whole.
Jain stressed that the SOM will not increase the number of students in its MBA program despite this increased interest. In fact, the cap for the MBA classes of the next two years has already been set.
In addition to increased applications for the MBA program, SOM also received a substantial increase in applications for its executive M.B.A. and masters of advanced management programs, Bach said.
The final application statistics for this year’s incoming SOM classes will be calculated in May.