Six Things That Make MIT Sloan Different

Among top MBA programs, MIT Sloan stands apart for its reputation for producing grads with strong quantitative skills. But there’s a lot more to Sloan than spreadsheets and operations models. If you’re aiming for the top business schools, you will want to take a long, hard look at Sloan. But how do you know if Sloan is a good fit for you? Today we dig into six things that make MIT Sloan different than other top business schools. If you like the way these sound, then Sloan should probably be on your short list of MBA programs:

Given the strength of MIT and engineering, it’s no surprise that Sloan has a superior offering in the area of tech ventures and IT. Innovation is a buzzword at many top business schools, but Sloan embodies it, particularly in the area of high tech. Support for an entrepreneur in launching a new venture at business school is stronger at MIT than almost anywhere else (schools like Berkeley Haas and Stanford also have extensive resources and are good choices for those wanting to pursue a technology career).

Sloan has a concerted focus on “green” business, and the relatively new Certificate in Sustainability is one of the few formal programs of its kind at any top school (UCLA Anderson has a certificate called Leaders in Sustainability). Sloan also has a track record for putting its money where its mouth is: not only is the new E62 building going to be LEED certified for environmental friendliness, but MIT’s admissions team recently invested in Apple iPads in order to make their entire admissions process paper-free.

Open access to information
Not just Sloan, but all of MIT believes in sharing information, and the school is a pioneer in the way it’s made its educational content — nearly all of it — available for free on the web through the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative. This includes a vast array of Sloan courses, from undergraduate to graduate to PhD. These course materials are open to everyone, though the school does not grant degrees or certificates or provide any proof of completion (it is no substitute for the actual MBA experience).

A challenging curriculum
The first semester at MIT is notoriously challenging — more so even than other top schools. All students take the same set of five required core courses in that first term, and it’s said to be grueling. Most schools have a fixed core that extends over two semesters and while challenging, typically isn’t quite as brutal as the one-semester core at Sloan.

A flexible curriculum
The reward for completing that difficult core curriculum is that students are given the freedom to design much of their own educational experience thereafter. Many students focus on fulfilling the requirements of one of the certificate programs, and others create an informal specialization of their own. However, past that initial semester, Sloan does not dictate which classes students must take, which means that the educational experience can be tailored at MIT more than it can at some of its peers.

Truncated admissions processes
Besides the differences in academics, MIT also is different in how it handles MBA admissions: Sloan has just two application rounds for its standard MBA program, with deadlines in October and in January. Each of the other Sloan degree programs, including the Leaders for Global Organizations and the new Master of Finance, has its own separate deadline as well, which is usually much earlier than those at other top schools.

Today’s blog post was clipped from our Essential Guide to MIT Sloan, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Sloan or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!