Consider Faculty and Teaching Methods

Teaching methods and styles are much different in graduate business school than in related undergraduate programs.

While most graduate business programs strive for a balance between research productivity and teaching quality, it is important to understand what your academic experience will be like in any given program.

Speak to Faculty
Ask the admissions office if you can set up time with faculty to learn more about a school’s curriculum, class size, and teaching styles. Some questions you might want to ask include:

  • What do you enjoy most about teaching at this school?
  • What kind of interaction takes place in your classes?
  • How many hours during the week are you available to students outside of class?
  • Are you active in any professional associations? Do you consult with any particular industry or companies?
  • What is the strongest feature of faculty at this school: academic research, teaching quality, accessibility to students, prior industry experience, or something else?
  • Are teaching evaluations conducted at your school? How are the results used?

Review Student-to-Teacher Ratios
The student-to-teacher ratio is a widely used benchmark, but unfortunately it can be misleading. To get an accurate picture of the ratio within the business school, you may ask:

  • How was the student-to-teacher ratio calculated?
  • Does the number of students only include MBA candidates or candidates from other graduate business programs?

Teaching Styles
Teaching styles vary from case-method to lectures. To get a better understanding of what you can expect in the classroom, look at:

  • The program’s balance of quantitative and qualitative material
  • The school’s teaching and grading styles – are they uniform throughout the program or determined by individual teachers?
  • Whether students are allowed to participate in teaching and course evaluations
  • How group work is viewed and measured
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