After conducting interviews with hundreds of applicants clad in neckties and blouses, the Yale School of Management last month welcomed more than 500 new students to Evans Hall. The incoming students include the inaugural class of the Master of Management Studies — Global Business and Society program at the business school.

Of the 530 new students, 347 are enrolled in the full-time two-year MBA program, which received 3,758 applications — its second-highest application total ever — and admitted 20 percent of the pool. Seventy-one new students are enrolled in the Executive MBA program, a similar number to the previous year’s despite a 30 percent increase in applications to the program from last year. A further 70 students were admitted to the school’s Advanced Management program, now in its seventh year, compared to 64 students last year. And 10 and 32 students joined the relatively new Systemic Risk and Global Business and Society programs, respectively.

“Overall, we’re extremely pleased with quality, applications and diversity,” School of Management Dean Edward Snyder said. “We and peer schools experienced a drop in applications — our drop was less than 8 percent — but we were able to recruit a great class.”

Snyder noted that the school has a high yield rate — the proportion of admitted students who choose to matriculate — in its specialized master’s programs, including the Executive MBA program, which topped The Economist’s ranking of Executive MBAs in July. Although the school’s yield for the full-time MBA program this year was around 45 percent, Snyder said the school would like to increase the rate to 50 percent. Harvard Business School enjoyed the highest yield among business schools worldwide last year, at 90 percent, according to the Harvard Crimson. Yale’s business school does not publicly disclose information about yield for its other programs.

Over a quarter of the full-time MBA class this year comes from a nonprofit or public sector background. Other former employers include large financial firms such as Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs and major consulting firms like McKinsey & Company and Deloitte.

“The [full-time MBA] class of 2020 is one of the most diverse and impressive that I’ve seen,” said Laurel Grodman, director of admissions, analytics and evaluation for the business school’s full-time MBA program. “[The students] are academically gifted and have received various academic awards and honors, from Phi Beta Kappa to … Fulbright Fellowships.”

The class includes members of all branches of the United States military, as well as officers from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the CEO of the largest chain of coffee shops in Nigeria, a former Forbes “30 Under 30” recipient for social entrepreneurship and the Kit Kat brand manager for the Middle East. Students in the program are citizens of 51 countries, speak 52 languages and hail from 188 different undergraduate institutions across the globe.

Similar diversity is a feature of this year’s cohorts for each of the business school’s other programs as well. In the full-time MBA program, 45 percent of enrolled students are international passport holders, 12 percent are underrepresented students of color from the U.S. and 43 percent are female. In the Executive MBA program, the number of women enrolled is up to 35 percent in the class of 2020 from 26 percent in the class of 2019. The Executive MBA program this year also welcomed 12 military veterans in the class of 2020, including the program’s first female veteran.

Further, the Master of Advanced Management Class of 2019 has the highest percentage of students from Africa of any program at Yale, representing 5 African nations, according to director of admissions for SOM’s master’s programs and Executive MBA Joanne Legler.

In recent years, the School of Management has made concerted efforts to boost student diversity and make underrepresented groups aware of the opportunities available at the school. This year’s full-time MBA class includes a record number of students who applied through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization whose mission is to enhance diversity and inclusion in global business education. The consortium offers merit-based fellowships and connects prospective students from underrepresented groups with top-tier MBA programs.

“Our partnership with the consortium is consistent with our deep commitment to diversity … and to Yale SOM’s core mission to education leaders for business and society,” Grodman said.

Snyder said the school’s other efforts are systematic and ongoing. He added that he hosted student government leaders at his home this week and discussed recruiting underrepresented minorities, especially African-American students.

Snyder also pointed out that the school has a unique resource in the Global Network for Advanced Management, a consortium of 29 other top-ranked management business schools around the world to which the business school belongs.

The network is a “huge advantage,” Snyder said — one that the school leverages to inform and attract students from countries all over the world.

Saumya Malhotra |

Correction, Sept. 19: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that the Yale School of Management interviewed applicants for its most recent classes last month. Interviews were conducted between Nov. 2017 and April 2018. The article also mistakenly stated that this year’s incoming SOM students include the inaugural classes of the Advanced Management and Global Business and Society programs. The school did welcome the inaugural class of the Master of Management Studies Global Business and Society program but the Master of Advanced Management program is in its seventh year. This year’s Master of Advanced Management class is the Class of 2019. Finally, the Global Network for Advanced Management is a consortium of 29 other business schools apart from SOM, not 31.