16 things every Kellogg MBA applicant should know - MBA Crystal Ball (2024)

16 things every Kellogg MBA applicant should know - MBA Crystal Ball (1)

The Kellogg School of Management is known as the first business school in the world to begin interviewing student applicants to assess their leadership potential and suitability.

Today, along with GPA and GMAT scores, “fit” is an important element in the admissions process in many b-schools around the world.

Here are some other interesting facts and figures about the school, with a focus on its two-year full-time MBA program.


The Kellogg School of Management of the Northwestern University is located in Evanston, Illinoi, about 20 km north of downtown Chicago. Evanston lies in Cook County near Lake Michigan and is home to the university and 75,000 residents. Evanston grew over the decades mainly because it is accessible from Chicago by rail. It has these rail links even today, but there are also other modes of transportation—buses, cars, and bicycles. Moreover, walking enthusiasts have miles of sidewalks.

The top employer is Northwestern University, with about 9,500 employees. Evanston is a “truly urban suburb,” with its residential localities, parks, beaches, and recreational facilities. Its housing districts and accessibility from Chicago have made Evanston a popular filming destination — Home Alone 3, Dennis the Menace, and many other popular films were shot here. It has witnessed coordinated efforts on sustainability by its government, people, and organizations.

Evanston has a cold and temperate climate. There is a lot of rainfall, and the city records about 900 mm of precipitation each year. The lowest precipitation is in February and the highest in July. July is also the hottest month, with an average temperature of 23 degrees C. The lowest average temperature occurs in January, -5.2 degrees C.


The Kellogg School Global Hub, the 415,000 sq. ft. facility where the full-time MBA program is conducted, is located in Northwestern’s Evanston campus, and gives great views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. The main element of the building, opened in March 2017, is the Collaboration Plaza, a 6,000 square-foot space, with Spanish steps, used for discussions and gatherings.

The Faculty Summit, a 9,000 square-foot atrium, and the White Auditorium are also part of the Global Hub. The Hub’s 15 high-tech classrooms support many types of learning. Most Kellogg students live in Evanston, and enjoy its restaurants, shopping centers, film theaters, and art galleries, while some prefer Chicago.

The McManus Living-Learning Center, an apartment complex exclusively for Kellogg students, can accommodate single students, couples, and families. Kellogg students have access to Northwestern’s recreational sports and sports facilities. A health service for students is available on campus.


Kellogg is placed 12th in FT’s 2018 Global MBA Ranking. Business Insider ranks it fourth (2017) among US business schools, along with Stanford and Sloan.

US News’ 2018 list gives Kellogg the same position among US b-schools as does Business Insider, along with the same schools mentioned by Insider.


The Kellogg faculty comprises scholars and researchers who bring knowledge of real-world problems to their classroom training. They use teachings methods such as case studies and field studies, seminars and simulations.

Research is a major activity at Kellogg, and faculty members have developed many new theories in fields such as banking, strategy, marketing, and game theory. Several research journals are edited at Kellogg, including the “Journal of Economics and Management Strategy” and “Games and Economic Behavior,” which were founded at Kellogg. Dean Sally Blount has about 150 academic staff members to support her in her work.


Kellogg conducts two full-time MBA programs with durations of one year and two years. The one-year MBA program, the fastest way to a Kellogg MBA, allows qualified students to bypass core courses and focus on electives that can help in their career journeys.

The two-year program provides mastery in multiple disciplines and explores a wide range of electives and learning opportunities.

The MMM program helps students build good foundations in business management and design innovation, and graduates receive an MBA from Kellogg and an MS in Design Innovation from the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The JD-MBA program allows students to become business leaders with legal expertise or pursue law careers with business management knowledge. Evening and weekend MBA programs, executive education programs, and MS in Management Studies are also available.


Kellogg’s two-year full-time MBA program starts in September with the students working on nine core topics and then moving on to their electives. Expert faculty impart fundamental knowledge but also provide the latest in course innovation.

Students are given settings that allow them to develop their leadership skills. Multidisciplinary courses, over 1,000 experiential learning opportunities, and exchange programs in 20 countries are other program features.

Students may choose one of seven majors or none at all. Students who do not choose a major graduate in “General Management.” Kellogg also offers students pathways to explore their interests in the evolving industries, such as data analytics, growth and scaling, and social impact.

Application requirements

The eligibility for Kellogg’s full-time two-year MBA is a college-level education equivalent to a four-year baccalaureate degree from the US. A degree from a three-year undergraduate program, as offered by institutions in India, may be accepted.

Students are evaluated for their scholastic ability, personal character, motivation, leadership ability, interpersonal skills, career performance, and management potential.

Personal essays, academic transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, letters of recommendation (one from a current manager and another from a former supervisor), TOEFL/IELTS scores, and video essay are among the requirements. The application fee is $250.

Fee, expenses

The estimated (2017-18) expenses for the first year of the two-year MBA program is about $100,000, including tuition $69,000, room and board $17,000, and personal expenses $3,150.

Scholarship, aid

Admitted international students are considered for all merit-based scholarships. Among the scholarships are the Diversity Scholarship, James P. Gorter Scholarship, Forte Foundation Scholarship, Kellogg Scholarship, Kellogg Growth Scholarships, Frederick C. Austin Scholarships, and Donald P. Jacobs International Scholarships.

Need-based scholarships are also offered. Students can also opt for private student loans but may need a US cosignor in most cases. Scholarships are also available for students entering their second year with proven leadership skills and academic excellence.

Admission statistics

The two-year MBA Class of 2019 has 478 students with 42 percent women and 35 percent international students. The average GMAT score is 732 and the range 600-780.

The average age is 28 years and average work experience 5.1 years (range 3.5-7, for the middle 80 percent).

Twenty-seven percent of students have an industry background of consulting, 20 percent financial services, and 12 percent tech/communications. Forty-nine percent are undergraduate majors in economics/business, 30 percent in STEM, and the rest in humanities.

Career development

Kellogg’s Career Management Center helps students draw up a career plan, evolve job-search strategies, and connect with recruiters.

The CMC’s basic principles for the student are “aspire, explore, and mobilize.” The Kellogg Job Board posts 5,000 job listings every year for Kellogg alumni.

Jobs after MBA/employers

Ninety-six percent of Class of 2016 students received a job offer within three months of graduation, and 93 percent accepted job offers. Thirty-three percent took consulting jobs, 22 percent tech jobs, 14 percent consumer goods jobs, and 13 percent finance jobs.

Thirty-nine students accepted full-time positions in startups or started their own business. As many as 200 companies—from AT Kearny to Cisco, Dell to Google, Microsoft to Tishman Speyer—hired Kellogg graduates.


The median salary of the Class of 2016 graduates was $125,000 and the median sign-on bonus $25,000.

Alumni network

The Kellogg alumni network, which consists of 60,000 members across various industries in 100 countries, shares their resources with new graduates and students.

There are over 70 regional, industry, or special interests clubs that help graduates stay in touch. The network provides a comprehensive alumni directory and also information about events and networking opportunities.

Notable alumni

The list of Kellogg’s notable alumni includes James L. Allen and Edwin G. Booz (founders of Booz Allen Hamilton), Arthur E. Andersen (founder of Arthur Andersen), Tony Vernon (CEO, Kraft Foods), Brad Blum (CEO Emeritus, Burger King), Mallika Chopra (President, Intent), Kushagra Bajaj (CEO, Bajaj Hindusthan), Vinita Gupta (CEO, Lupin), Roshni Nadar (CEO, HCL), Sally Blount (Dean, Kellogg), and Christopher Galvin (former CEO, Motorola).


Kellogg’s mission is to develop “brave leaders” who inspire growth in people and organizations. The school enables students to become thought leaders and exemplary problem-solvers. It offers an environment that is supportive, requires teamwork, and inspires innovation.

16 things every Kellogg MBA applicant should know - MBA Crystal Ball (2)MBA Crystal Ball asked Melissa Rapp – Director of Admissions – Full Time MBA & MSMS Programs, Kellogg School of Management – if there was anything else that she’d like Kellogg aspirants to know. Here’s what she shared:

1. Video essay – Kellogg is unique in that we are one of the only top school that features a video essay component in our application process, requiring students to answer several short video essay questions which are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

2. Global Hub – Our new, 415,000-square-foot Global Hub took seven years of planning, more than one million human work hours, and materials from 17 countries to create what is both a beautiful and deeply functional space.

3. Global opportunities for students – From club trips to international learning experiences, Kellogg provides opportunities that equip our students for the global marketplace, including 37 exchange programs across 20 countries.

4. Career Management Center –96% of students from the Class of 2016 received full-time offers within three-months post-graduation. Of the 22-percent of Kellogg students who took jobs in the technology industry this past year, about half got jobs through on-campus recruiting through the CMC and the other half through a more individualized search in close partnership with the CMC.

5. Alumni network – Kellogg has more than 60,000 alumni strong in more than 100 countries, spanning almost every industry and endeavor. Kellogg also has more than 70 regional, industry or special interest alumni clubs, allowing graduates to connect with one another in their own communities.

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Resources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

16 things every Kellogg MBA applicant should know - MBA Crystal Ball (2024)


What does Kellogg look for in MBA applicants? ›

Desired Skills

Strong skills in quantitative thinking will allow you to develop theory and manage and analyze data. Strong written and verbal skills are essential for communicating your research findings.

How prestigious is Kellogg MBA? ›

Northwestern University (Kellogg) is ranked No. 3 (tie) out of 124 in Best Business Schools and No. 3 out of 269 in Part-time MBA. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

How hard is it to get into Kellogg's MBA? ›

How hard is it to get into the Kellogg School of Management? With its medium class size of 529 students in the MBA Class of 2025, the most recent Kellogg MBA acceptance rate of 31.4% makes it one of the more accessible M7 programs.

What is the average score for Kellogg MBA? ›

What GMAT score do I need for Kellogg MBA? You need at least 700+ GMAT scores for top business schools like Kellogg. The average GMAT score for Kellogg's incoming class of 2023 is 727, with a GMAT range of 630 – 780.

Does everyone who applies to Kellogg get an interview? ›

Who does Kellogg interview? Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management invites all MBA applicants to interview. Candidates must schedule their own interview, within six weeks of the application deadline.

Is Kellogg 1 year MBA worth it? ›

Pros. You are able to get back to your career faster than in the two-year program. One-year programs are typically cheaper than the alternative; however, two-year graduates earn 9% more than one-year graduates on average. You don't have to take the many core classes required in traditional programs.

Is Wharton or Kellogg better? ›

Kellogg excels in teamwork and collaboration, focusing on marketing and strategy. Its experiential approach and strong alumni network facilitate learning. Wharton is renowned for quantitative rigor, particularly in finance and consulting, providing vast resources and a powerful global network.

Is Booth or Kellogg more prestigious? ›

In the 2023 Best Business Schools ranking by U.S. News, Booth ranked no. 1 while Kellogg was at no. 3. In the rankings for MBA specialties by U.S. News, Booth ranked 2nd (next to Wharton) in Best Finance MBA Programs while Kellogg earned the number one position in Best MBA Marketing Programs.

Is Kellogg better than Harvard? ›

However, as per Best Business School Rankings by US News 2021, Harvard as ranked at an all-time low of #6 while Kellogg School of Management ranked #3 in the US. Choosing between the two schools is highly dependent on what an individual is looking forward to.

How important is Kellogg MBA interview? ›

Interviews give you the chance to show the admissions committee how you communicate as a learner and peer, share your career focus and motivations for the Kellogg MBA, and elaborate on what drives you to be a future Kellogg Leader.

What is the average salary for a Kellogg Executive MBA? ›

Executive MBA Salary Increase
Executive MBA ProgramsPre-EMBA Salary 2020Post-EMBA Salary 2020
Northwestern Kellogg Executive MBA$174,218$228,659
Columbia Business School Executive MBA*$152,500$209,000
Michigan Ross Executive MBA$209,878$260,189
NYU Stern Executive MBA$150,854$204,750
8 more rows

What is the average salary at Kellogg school? ›

The average base salary for a Kellogg two-year MBA graduate in consulting was over $181,600, and for jobs in technology Kellogg grads earned a base salary of over $159,300 on average.

What is unique about Kellogg MBA? ›

All MBA programs involve teamwork, of course, but Kellogg students report that the program is so centered around teamwork that you can “get tired of working in teams.” It's good preparation for a corporate career where you'll be doing everything in teams, but is not for the lone wolf students who prefer to work ...

How competitive is Kellogg's MBA? ›

How hard is it to get into Kellogg's MBA program? The acceptance rate for Kellogg is 20%. It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted.

How expensive is Kellogg MBA? ›

The tuition fees for the Kellogg MBA program vary depending on the specific track chosen. For the Full-Time MBA program, the estimated tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year are approximately $112,336 for one-year MBA Program. While the estimated tuition fees for the two-year MBA program is $81,015.

What GPA do you need for Kellogg MBA? ›

The average GPA of the Kellogg class of 2025 is 3.7, the average GMAT score is 731, and the median GRE score is 325.

What are Kellogg MBA values? ›

At Northwestern Kellogg, leadership is highly regarded as a fundamental value. The school believes in developing leaders who can inspire and motivate others towards achieving shared goals.

What should I wear to a Kellogg MBA interview? ›

Kellogg's interview invitations often specify a dress code, typically business casual. If a dress code is stated, be sure to follow it.

What do companies look for in MBA graduates? ›

The 5 Most Important Skills Employers Look for in MBA Grads

Interpersonal skills. Communication skills. Data analysis and interpretation skills. Learning, motivation, and leadership skills.


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