Graduate Student-at-Large: Business (GSALB) students have the opportunity to explore the academic culture of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and participate in the rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education that consistently ranks Chicago Booth as the top MBA program in the world.
GSALB can serve as a bridge to take exemplary students from their post-undergraduate studies in any diverse field of study, to, ultimately, either the MBA at the Chicago Booth School of Business or to any other MBA program across the nation, or to graduate or professional fields of study which might be a better professional fit.
As part of the University of Chicago, the Graham School’s Graduate Student-at-Large: Business (GSALB) program mirrors the institution’s core values of constantly testing hypotheses and seeking proofs, resulting in the building of intellectual curiosity and academic confidence within its students – and for the academically exemplary GSALB student who has been successfully granted admission into Booth, the opportunity to transfer up to three courses towards the MBA.
GSALB is more than just a master’s degree business prep program, as admitted students have the opportunity to deliberately explore the academic culture of the Chicago Booth School of Business, and participate in the rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education that consistently ranks Chicago Booth as the top MBA program in the World.
All GSALB pre-grad business students enroll in graduate business courses at the Chicago Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago where they receive a strong foundation in the language of graduate business education from world-class faculty, and experience the “Chicago Booth” approach towards business theory and its applications. GSALB students also experience the unique intellectual and social culture prevalent at the Chicago Booth School of Business and have the opportunity to build life-long professional friendships with other like-minded students and faculty.
The GSALB Program Director and her team closely work with the Booth School’s Registrar and Admissions Team to ensure that each GSALB student has access to appropriate graduate business courses and advising support towards building a strong academic transcript, writing the Statement of Purpose, receiving commendable letters of recommendation from faculty members, and gaining competitive test scores to result in a competitive MBA application to Chicago Booth or to any other graduate or professional program.
Graduate Student-at-Large: Business students make up a diverse group: some students come to the program with strong foundations in the fundamentals of business education, while others come with backgrounds more immersed in the liberal arts, humanities, sciences, engineering, medicine etc, but with the curiosity and dedication to pursue the academic rigors expected of them from faculty and their peers.
Many GSALB students are employed full time and have between 3-10 years of working experience. Students accepted to the GSALB program at the University of Chicago have already completed their bachelor’s degrees, and international applicants must meet English language requirements.
Some students stay for only a single quarter; others stay for two or three quarters. Most GSALB students work full-time and take one Booth course per quarter. GSALB students may take Booth courses in the evening or weekend, at our downtown campus, or during the day at the Hyde Park campus.
Some students use GSALB as a pre-graduate business preparation program and continue on to the MBA program at Chicago Booth School of Business, while other students find their success in MBA, Professional or PhD degree programs elsewhere.
International students needing J1 full time students visa may take Booth classes as GSAL students. The GSAL program is able to issue I-20 documents for J1 international student visas for 1, 2, or 3 academic quarters at the University of Chicago. Current international GSAL students taking Booth courses come from Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. The GSALB Program Director and her team work closely with international students to ensure successful academic program completion and further graduate school application.
The Women in Business Initiative is an important partnership between the GSALB program and the Chicago Booth School of Business that encourages extraordinary women to consider advancing their careers. By initially taking a Booth course through GSALB, participants can ascertain whether the academic and cultural fit is suitable, and if so, eventually obtain an MBA from Chicago Booth School of Business, and join a select group of successful, confident women leaders in business and commerce, government, and non-profit fields who are able to tackle tough business challenges with strategic leadership skills that are hallmarks of the Chicago Booth School of Business.
The GSALB program’s dynamic offerings make it advantageous for many different types of students, like working professionals seeking to advance their degrees or non-matriculated students interested in exploring the Chicago Booth School of Business before applying and committing to the program.
"The GSALB program really gave me an opportunity to see what business school would be like. I took two foundational classes—Financial Accounting and Business Statistics—and enjoyed them. A lot of what I learned was new, but a lot also tied in with skills and approaches I’d acquired while working in the lab. I was already starting to see opportunities connecting my lab background with the administrative, private sector side of things."
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