Nuts & Bolts
Class organization. Incoming classes are divided into six sections of approximately 70 students each. Students remain in sections for core classes during the first two terms. Each section has a unique history and distinctive features that are passed down from class to class. For instance, one section substitutes the standard hand clap with a thunderous stomp of desks and tables, while another section shouts the word deuce in unison any time the number two appears on a screen or slide. These eccentricities provide an example of the distinct and tight-knit Fuqua environment. Classmates are very proud of their sections, and friendly competition exists across sections. Students are randomly assigned to sections, although Fuqua ensures that each section is made up of diverse backgrounds.
ILE Teams. Within each section, students are divided into Integrative Learning Experience Teams (ILE Teams) that consist of five-to-six-person groups. During core classes, most team projects are completed in the pre-assigned ILE Teams. Just as each section includes diverse backgrounds, ILE Teams reflect Fuqua’s diversity of nationalities, career backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender. Beyond the core classes, teams are either assigned by the professor or are self-formed.
Six-week terms. Fuqua courses span four six-week terms: Fall Term 1, Fall Term 2, Spring Term 1, and Spring Term 2. This structure allows students to take more courses during the academic year than many other top business schools, providing a broader knowledge base upon which to draw during interviews and internships. However, classes move very quickly, with midterms just three weeks into each course. This pace may not be ideal for every student.
Weekly schedule. Classes meet every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Although there are no classes on Wednesday, students are busy working with teams, orchestrating club events, and attending career service activities. All classes include two hours of instruction with a 15-minute break between the first and second hour. Typically, the first hour of class is dedicated to case discussions and group presentations, whereas the second hour is devoted to lectures. Students complete the majority of core classes during the first two terms, which allows for many elective courses during Spring Term 1 and Spring Term 2. These electives provide additional training and tools prior to summer internships.
Core classes. Each student begins the core with the three-week Global Institute, where students are introduced to the collaborative Fuqua environment and exposed to global business issues. Global Institute counts as two core classes: Leadership, Ethics and Organizations and Global Institutions and Environment. Students can waive a core class by performing well on an exemption exam prior to the term or, more rarely, by receiving an administrative exemption that requires incoming students to furnish documentation of relevant coursework or work experience. Students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete 79 units to graduate. Most students complete well more than half of this requirement by the end of the first year and elect to take fewer classes during the second year in order to focus on their career search.
Course enrollment. Incoming students are automatically enrolled in core classes. Second-year students have priority over all electives and are provided an enrollment date and time. Elective courses are then added on a first-come, first-serve basis, compared to the bidding systems that many other top MBA programs employ. Although popular electives fill quickly, they are offered on multiple days and at multiple times so students who enroll on the first day of enrollment rarely have a problem securing a class. Wait lists are offered for full classes, and multiple spots usually open during the beginning of the term as students are adjusting their schedules by adding and dropping courses. This policy makes it easier for students to take their desired courses than at some other top business schools.