Business School Profile: CMU Tepper

The MBA Exchange features a series of articles showcasing graduate management programs that our thousands of clients have found most rewarding. Our content is compiled from a number of credible sources and articles and expanded with our own observations based on nearly two decades of advising applicants. This profile looks at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

CMUTepper can claim some impressive “firsts”: the first business school to use computers for research and teaching back in 1955, and the first to create a wireless computing environment (rated by Yahoo! as the “Nation’s Most Wired” campus).

Tepper is an innovation leader, too: this business school created the widely used “Management Game” as a core course (simulates a corporate environment in which MBA students compete against other students at programs around the world). In fact, many other schools include some form of the Carnegie Mellon management science model in their curriculum. The school can boast 18 faculty members who are Nobel Laureates in five of the six categories – a record unsurpassed by any other business school (Robert Lucas in 1995, Merton Miller in 1990, Franco Modigliani in 1985, Herb Simon in 1978, Finn Kydland and Edward Prescott in 2004, Oliver Williamson in 2009, and Dale Mortensen in 2010).

Located near downtown or as the locals say, “don-ton,”Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tepper enjoys a surprisingly fascinating home town. Just check out New York Times writer Jeff Schlegel’s 36 Hours in Pittsburgh, who concludes that Pittsburgh is a “gleaming cultural oasis.” The days of belching steel plants are gone, but they still love their Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team. Never been there? Just think of a smaller version of San Francisco, but more blue collar and no cable cars. Got it?

The school is widely acclaimed, in part because of Tepper’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration. This is a relatively small business school positioned within a small research university so cross-campus connections are many. Tepper students partner with each other, with profs (an impressive 1:5 faculty to student ratio) and researchers in many other CMU schools, from engineering to the life sciences to product design.

The Tepper curriculum and course sequence is notable for its structured approach to preparing students to emerge as leaders by providing a solid, broad-based management foundation taught through case studies as well as management science approaches, bolstered by a strong analytical education.

We liken this education as being a combination of MIT Sloan’s quantitative rigor, Stanford’s affinity for tech, and Tuck’s small-scale intimacy. Life as a Tepper MBA student is characterized by high-level collaboration and an encouragement of innovation. Small class sizes create intense bonds, and there is a focus on non-competitiveness and “team-minded leaders.” A learning environment that “encourages maverick thinking because it’s comprised of students who understand that their energy is focused on a higher purpose” has drawn many MBA Exchange clients to Tepper, and is why they join the ranks of others who rank this school as a top-flight MBA experience. From captivating reports on the good things Tepper students do during Spring Break to breaking news and Q&As with faculty members, check out Tepper’s YouTube channel.

If this is an MBA program that appeals to you, please request a free evaluation of your candidacy. If you are wondering how to get into Tepper, contact The MBA Exchange admissions consultants – including former admissions officers and MBA grads – who can help you develop a strategy and tactics to maximize your chances for admission at this and other top-tier b-schools.