Get to Know: Tuck School of Business

Tuck is quote popular among applicants we talk to, which is especially notable given the school’s small size. We are often disappointed, though, by how few Tuck applicants really know whether the school is good fit for them. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they begin the application process.

Are you thinking about applying to Tuck? If so, how do you know the Tuck admissions team will think you’re a good fit for the school? Today we look at four things that make the Tuck School of Business unique among top-ranked business schools:

Small classes, personal attention
Partly because of the remote location, and partly because of the small class size, Tuck has a smaller full-time resident faculty (less than 50) with fewer adjunct professors than other schools. However, the small class size also benefits the students, with a student/teacher ratio of about 10:1. The intimacy of the community is also enhanced by the fact that most first-year students live in dormitories on campus. (If you want to see what the Tuck dorms look like, check out the tour on the school’s YouTube channel.) This arrangement is not common at other full-time programs, where students tend to be more spread out, especially those in cities like New York and Chicago. Another novelty at Tuck that fosters relationships among the class? The first-year study groups rotate regularly, rather than remaining fixed, the way they typically are elsewhere.

Strong emphasis on professional experience
While some other business schools in its backyard have been welcoming younger and younger students, Tuck has held steadfast on its requirement for significant work experience prior to matriculation. The average age of a first-year is 28, and not a single person entered Tuck straight from college this year; 100% have some work experience. It’s possible for a college senior to apply to Tuck, though if accepted, it’s also likely that deferred admission would be offered, to matriculate in a few years’ time.

Dedication to diversity
Tuck’s Minority Business Executive was the first diversity-focused program of its kind. Tuck launched this initiative over 30 years ago, and the school remains dedicated to attracting students across all ethnographic and demographic spectrums. Tuck sponsors a by-application Diversity Conference in the Fall (they cover the cost of attendance for those accepted — and there’s a similar by-application Women in Business Conference as well). Tuck participates in conferences hosted by National Black MBA, National Hispanic MBA, and Reaching Out MBA (for the LGBT community). And, Tuck is the highest-ranked member of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which is a long-standing program that encourages and facilitates minority candidates for business school. All that being said, Tuck still seems to have trouble attracting minorities compared to some of its peers, with just 19% of Tuckies being U.S. minorities. The proportion of minority faculty is slightly better, at 21% (commendably, Tuck is among the few programs who bother to report this latter statistic). Tuck also adds diversity to the classroom by encouraging international students — and encouraging U.S. employers to hire their international students, through deliberate education to recruiters to demystify visa requirements, and focused outreach on the behalf of these international students.

Strong, consistent leadership
With 15 years of tenure, the dean of Tuck, Paul Danos, has been running the show for much longer than his counterparts at other schools. Many top business schools have gone through transition periods of late as they adapt to changed leadership and find their direction anew. The continuity here — and a leader who has already weathered multiple economic cycles and knows how to keep the school moving forward despite the challenges — can provide advantages for students at Tuck.

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