Applying to Dartmouth Tuck

Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business is a small but highly respected MBA program. The country’s first graduate school of management offers one of the smallest programs among the top 30 schools, with about 240 students in each class. The small class size – coupled with the school’s location in rural Hanover, New Hampshire – results in a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else. Many Tuck students even live together in on-campus housing in their first year, and the school is working on a new “living and learning” complex to keep students nearby.

Academically, Tuck’s MBA program focuses on turning out strong general managers. Most of the first-year curriculum consists of mandatory core courses in the main management disciplines, with students just taking one elective course and completing a first-year project in the spring term. The second year is open for electives, although no specific majors are offered. First-year students complete most of their coursework in study groups, which Tuck emphasizes as a way for students to grow closer and to develop their teamwork skills. More than the average top program, Tuck is looking for students who demonstrate strong teamwork skills, so make sure that this is a main theme in your Tuck application.

Tuck also takes leadership seriously. In 2003 it introduced a program called the Cohen Leadership Development Program. The program is a highly personalized extension of the first-year curriculum. It relies on team coursework, peer assessments, and one-on-one coaching to help students develop their own leadership development plans. The Cohen program also extends into students’ second year, with a series of summits and speaking engagements featuring successful executives.

Tuck’s close-knit community extends well beyond Hanover, New Hampshire. The school’s alumni are known for their fierce loyalty to the school and to each other, and Tuck touts its alumni’s annual giving rate of 64% as evidence of this dedication. While the school may not have an alum at every company or in every industry, Tuck students are known to get good results from the alumni they do call on. In your own application make sure that you can provide convincing proof that you too will be an active alum, preferably by demonstrating loyalty to your undergraduate school.

Tuck’s remote location means that it’s not for everyone. Some applicants, especially those with spouses, often find it difficult to relocate to Hanover. To its credit, Tuck goes out of its way to make the transition a smooth one, often providing spouses and partners with full-time work around campus. Still, some applicants who visit the school ultimately decide that it’s not for them. This means two things for you:
  1. Make sure that you really want to attend Tuck before you apply. It’s a great school, but its size and location sometimes turn people off. Save yourself a lot of time if you think these aspects of the program will be a problem for you.
  2. Even more importantly, you really need to demonstrate why Tuck is for you. Tuck’s students tend to be passionate about their school, and you need to demonstrate this same passion in your application. Visiting the school – especially for your interview – can go a long way toward helping you make your case. Also, think about applying in Tuck’s Early Action round (with applications due by mid-October) if you are sure that Tuck is where you want to be.

Insider Information

Tuck may not quite be the household name that Stanford and Harvard are, but its general management program is regarded as one the best in the country. Tuck graduates have a strong reputation in consulting and financial services, particularly on the east coast, where nearly two-thirds of its graduates live after school. If you are considering a career in general management, or are interested in consulting or banking, don’t overlook Tuck. If you can demonstrate that the school’s environment is right for you, and make a case for why the general management approach is what you want out of business school, then Tuck will give your application strong consideration.

What Makes Tuck Different?

Tuck is the ultimate “come as you are” business school.
These are just the most obvious ways that Tuck is different. This entire Essential Guide is full of others. We encourage you to use this information as a springboard to explore the unique aspects to the Dartmouth MBA program.

Application Essays

  1. 1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA program for you, and what will you uniquely contribute to the community? (If you are applying for a joint or dual degree, please explain how the additional degree will contribute to those goals.)
  2. Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?
  3. Describe a circumstance in your life in which you faced adversity, failure, or setback. What actions did you take as a result and what did you learn from this experience?

All school information appears courtesy of Your MBA Game Plan and is used with express permission of the authors.

An Insider's Guide to the Top Business Schools

Veritas Prep’s Essential Guides were written and edited by our MBA admissions experts, incorporating unique insights from current students and recent graduates. We’ll show you what type of student thrives in each program, what life is really like in the classroom, which professors students love, how the job hunt works, and more. In each report we also highlight “hidden gems” at each school, as well as areas where a school isn’t as strong as it may seem.

Learn About Other Top Business Schools

Business Schools
Chicago (Booth) Columbia Dartmouth (Tuck)
Duke (Fuqua) Harvard INSEAD
Michigan (Ross) MIT (Sloan) Northwestern (Kellogg)
NYU (Stern) Penn (Wharton) Stanford
UC Berkeley (Haas) UCLA (Anderson) Yale