Northwestern Kellogg - Admissions & Profile

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Quick Facts

Successful Applicant Profile

Although competition to be a part of Kellogg's renowned MBA program is fierce and students with many different backgrounds are admitted, some patterns have emerged that give an idea about the type of student more likely to be admitted to Kellogg. Contrary to popular perception, many successful applicants come from engineering or science backgrounds. The school tends to admit older students with more work experience and perspective. Individuals interested in pursuing consulting or marketing may have a leg up as Kellogg is widely respected in these fields and numerous graduates take jobs in these areas. Team skills and "fit" are emphasized at Kellogg much more than at many other schools, so these more subjective components play an important part in admissions decisions. Further, since student leadership is emphasized, current and former students play a larger than normal role in helping make admissions decisions.

  • GMAT Score: 700+
  • Work Experience: 5-6 years
  • Undergraduate Education: Tier 1 University (engineering & sciences)
  • Future Career Path: Consulting (most popular), Marketing, and Finance

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Reputation & Job Prospects

See the rankings page for the school's rank in various publications.

For years, many recruiters and executives have considered Kellogg the premier school in the world for marketing. With a culture that is renowned for its emphasis on teamwork, collaboration, and leadership, Kellogg is widely regarded as one of the best MBA programs in the world. As evidence of this, Kellogg sat atop the coveted Business Week rankings for many years. Kellogg prides itself on a close community that provides students with more opportunities for leadership than most other business schools. For example, current students play a role in the admissions process and "fit" is emphasized as a criterion used to help make admission decisions.

The school's reputation for teamwork and analytical prowess has consistently translated into alums landing lucrative jobs in consulting and marketing. For example, in one recent year, McKinsey hired 44 Kellogg graduates. Moreover, Kellogg has a very influential and large presence in the Midwest (especially Chicago). Like graduates from other top MBA programs, Kellogg graduates face minimal difficulty landing a $100,000+ job shortly after graduating.

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Notable Faculty

Kellogg boasts a long and illustrious list of faculty members who have made significant contributions to an academic understanding of business, especially in the area of marketing.

  • Roger Myerson - Taught economics and won a Nobel Prize in 2007 in economics along with Eric S. Maskin. Dr. Myerson was instrumental for his work in mechanism design theory and his research game theory.
  • Phillip Kotler - Taught marketing and authored what is widely considered the leading textbook in the field. Kotler is regarded by many as one of the best marketing management gurus of all time.

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School History

In 1902, as the American economy expanded and universities around the country began initiating business education, Northwestern established the College of Finance and Commerce with classes in banking, railroad management, and finance. Seven years later, the school expanded its curriculum to include soft-sciences such as advertising, sales, and marketing. Northwestern's early start in these fields is most certainly part of the source of the school's widely recognized dominance in marketing. In 1914, only a few years after Harvard awarded the first MBA, Northwestern awarded its first BBA. Three years later, total enrollment topped one thousand and the school continued to grow. In 1920, the school began its MBA program, which attracted close to 400 businessmen within two years. One year later, Northwestern established the Medill School of Journalism within the business school. Today, Northwestern's school of journalism is regarded as perhaps the finest in the country. (In 1938, the Medill School separated and became its own institution within the university). In 1926, the School of Commerce launched a doctoral program to keep up with other leading business schools.

By the late 1930s, despite the U.S. recession, Northwestern's business school (then known as the School of Commerce) had over 8,000 students enrolled in various programs, making it one of the biggest in the country. In 1956, the school renamed itself from the School of Commerce to the School of Business Administration. Five years later, the school modified its core curriculum to strengthen the quantitative and analytical capacities of students. In 1962, fresh from a PhD at MIT and post-doc work at Harvard, Professor Philip Kotler joined the school's marketing faculty. Over the next forty years, Kotler would become perhaps the best known marketing guru in the world, further catapulting Northwestern's business school to prominence in the field of marketing. In 1966, close to fifty years after women gained the right to vote, Northwestern opened its full-time MBA program to women.

In 1972, the school opened the Nathaniel Leverone Hall in Evanston and the full-time graduate program moved from its historical location in Chicago to its new location in Evanston. In 1979, the John L. and Helen Kellogg Foundation donated $10 million to the school and Northwestern renamed the graduate school of management to the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In 1988, Kellogg won the first-place ranking in Business Week's inaugural rankings. For years, Kellogg remained in the first or second position in this all-important list (although the University of Chicago knocked Kellogg out during the middle of the first decade of the 21st century). In 1990, the school launched the Master in Manufacturing Management (MMM) Program. Eleven years later, seeking to increase its diversity, Kellogg opened the Center for Executive Women. Today, with its storied history and brilliant faculty, Kellogg remains a marketing powerhouse and is unquestionably one of the world's top MBA programs.

Source: Kellogg School of Management, Interviews, Northwestern University Library

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With tens of thousands of alums placed throughout the world, the Kellogg school boasts an impressively long list of accomplished alumni. The school's alums have had an especially prominent role in businesses located in the Mid-West.


  • Allen, James L. - founded Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Andersen, Arthur - served as founder of Arthur Andersen
  • Blum, Brad - served as CEO of Emeritus of Burger King
  • Booz, Edwin G. - co-founded Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Brendsel, Leland C. - served as Chairman & CEO of Freddie Mac
  • Donohue, Craig - served as CEO of Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Dotson, Robert - served as President & CEO of T-Mobile
  • Duff, Andrew - served as CEO of Piper Jaffray
  • Eckert, Robert - served as CEO of Mattel
  • Fastow, Andrew - served as CFO of Enron
  • Galvin, Christopher - served as Chairman & CEO of Motorola
  • Goggins, Colleen A. - served as Chairman of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products
  • Goldston, Mark Randall - served as CEO of United Online
  • Gross, Michael - served as Senior Partner and Founder of Apollo Management
  • Ha, Yung-Ku - served as CEO of Citibank Korea
  • Hasten, Joseph E. - served as President & CEO of ShoreBank
  • Johnson, Paul - served as President of Kelley Blue Book
  • Josefowicz, Gregory P. - served as Chairman & CEO of Borders Group
  • Keyes, James - served as CEO of Johnson Controls
  • Kraemer, Harry M. Jansen Jr. - served as Executive Partner at Madison Dearborn
  • Lenny, Richard H. - served as Chairman, President, & CEO of The Hershey Company
  • Lewis, John J. - served as President and CEO of AC Nielsen
  • Marineau, Phil - served as CEO of Levi Strauss &
  • Odell, Michael R. - served as CEO of Pep Boys
  • Odland, Steve - served as Chairman & CEO of Office Depot
  • Osborn, William A. - served as Chairman & CEO of Northern Trust Corporation
  • Papa, Joseph C. - served as Chairman & CEO of Cardinal Health
  • Shaffer, David - served as CEO of Thomson Financial
  • Simon, J. Stephen - served as President of ExxonMobil
  • Steinhafel, Gregg - served as CEO of Target Corporation
  • Waddell, Frederick H. - served as President & CEO of Northern Trust Corporation
  • Wilson, Thomas J. - served as President & CEO of Allstate Insurance Company
  • Woodsum, Stephen G. - founded Summit Partners
  • Zillmer, John J. - served as Chairman & CEO of Allied Waste


  • Hoeven, John - served as Governor of North Dakota
  • Robertson, Thomas S. - served as Dean of the Wharton School
  • Smith, Scott C. - served as president and publisher of the Chicago Tribune

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