Frequently Asked Questions
What do you look for in an applicant’s educational background?
You should have a strong academic record and hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in any major field of study.
Will I have to take the GMAT or GRE exam?
Possibly. Your university transcripts must verify completion of a course with a grade B or better in one of these categories:
- calculus or more advanced mathematics
- microeconomics or finance
If you have not completed a course that clearly falls into one of these categories, you must take the GMAT or GRE exam.
If you wish us to consider an alternative course as a substitute for the GMAT/GRE exam, you must send us a copy of the course syllabus or schedule. Also include a link to the course description on the university website, if available. Take this step as soon as possible, so that you still have time to take the GMAT or GRE if the course does not satisfy the requirement.
What kind of background and experience do you look for in an applicant?
We seek exceptional accomplishments and demonstrated experience in four primary areas:
- leadership of teams and/or organizational units
- knowledge of a specific functional area of your industry
- global perspective from international assignments and travel
- achievement in an innovative practice, product, or process.
It is not essential that the successful Sloan Fellows candidate have extensive experience in all these areas, but they should demonstrate an appreciation for them in the context of their own future professional career.
Will I still be considered if I already have an MBA or other graduate degree?
Absolutely. Many applicants to the program already have graduate degrees, including MBAs. Keep in mind that regardless of your background or degrees, the core curriculum is required for all candidates. It’s the backbone of the program, providing a strong educational foundation and a common frame of reference for your diverse cohort.
Is organizational sponsorship required, expected, or favored?
We do not make our admission decisions based on how participants are funded. Many participants are sponsored by or have the strong support of their employers. Others, whether coming to the program from established organizations or entrepreneurial enterprises, are independently funded. The diverse perspectives and abilities fellows bring with them enrich the program for all participants.
Do you offer scholarships/fellowships? If I will be self-funded, what are my options for financing the program?
Self-funded candidates can explore several options: scholarships from their home country, Fulbright Scholarships available through the U.S. State Department, scholarships available through MIT, and loans from a variety of lending agencies. Review the Program Expenses page for more information.
The MIT Sloan Fellows Experience
What degree can I earn in the MIT Sloan Fellows Program?
You may choose to pursue an MBA or a Master of Science (SM) in Management or Management of Technology. If you write a master’s thesis, you may select any one of the three degrees offered. If you do not write a thesis, you are only eligible for the MBA degree.
What are the differences between the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and the MIT Sloan Executive MBA Program?
The MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership is a one-year, full-time degree program for executives who want an opportunity to step away from their working lives and immerse themselves in an intense, transformative experience. The MIT Executive MBA is a 20-month, limited-residency degree program for executives who want to enhance their global management and leadership skills in the context of their current position and apply what they learn in class to their work environment in real time.
What is the difference between MIT Sloan’s two-year MBA program and the MIT Sloan Fellows Program?
The MIT Sloan Fellows Program is designed for individuals with a substantial background in industry. Strong candidates are mid-career executives who already have a minimum of 10 years of exemplary management experience. The two-year MIT Sloan MBA Program targets aspiring business leaders, offering an extended time to build depth or breadth of knowledge through internships and coursework. Please refer to http://mitsloan.mit.edu/academic for an overview of all MIT Sloan programs.
How do you integrate leadership, global exposure, and innovation into the program?
These three elements form the pillars of the MIT Sloan Fellows Program experience. Each of these content areas is represented by several core courses that form the foundation of that area. Fellows are able to pursue further study in any one or all of these areas through elective courses at MIT Sloan, at other schools within MIT, at the Harvard Business School, and at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Action-based learning electives offered at MIT Sloan provide the opportunity to work on team-based projects within organizations in the United States and throughout the world. The program also incorporates several trips into the curriculum, which provide an opportunity to explore these pivotal areas outside the classroom.
I understand that I will take required (core) courses in summer, fall, and spring. How much flexibility will I have to take elective courses?
More than any other mid-career program, the MIT Sloan Fellows Program offers the opportunity to complement core studies with elective options—courses you will choose based on your own professional goals and interests. You may choose from more than 100 elective options across MIT or at Harvard. You’ll have the option of taking electives in the fall, winter, and spring terms, with maximum flexibility in the spring.
What kind of career development services do you offer?
The year provides fellows with an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments while developing a strategic plan for the future. A range of professional development services—360° assessment, skill development workshops, peer coaching, and industry panel sessions—has been designed to support this period of deep exploration and personal transformation, while complementing the total program experience.
Whether a free agent in search of a next position, a sponsored fellow returning to a current employer, or an entrepreneur contemplating new ventures, these services help fellows enhance the life and leadership skills needed to explore their values and interests and formulate what they want to be doing as they complete the program and move into the future. The program does not offer any type of recruitment services for Sloan Fellows for two reasons. Firstly, as we believe that individuals who enter the Sloan Fellows program are exceptional, and possess the skills, the network, and the confidence to secure employment through their own merit and initiative. Secondly, the Sloan Fellows program is an intense, full-time pursuit. It is not possible to devote the level of effort and time that is required to successfully complete the program and simultaneously pursue a job search. By doing so you would not obtain the full benefit of the program experience. Candidates who are seeking employment after the program should be fully prepared to spend 3 – 5 months to search after the conclusion of the program. If you are not in a position to allow for this time to conduct a job search, then this is not the program for you.
Relocation and Partners and Families
How do partners and families fit into the intensive Sloan Fellows year?
The year in Cambridge–Boston provides an array of opportunities for every member of the family. During the year, partners and families embark on an adventure as invigorating and eye-opening as that of the fellows themselves. Partners participate in many of the fellows’ activities but also have their own events and networks. Visit the Partners & Families section for details.
What challenges should I expect in relocating to the Cambridge–Boston area?
The MIT Sloan Fellows Program has been working with mid-career individuals for 80 years, the majority of whom come to Cambridge–Boston with their families. We have extensive experience with and appreciation for ensuring that the transition to Cambridge, whether from across town or across continents, is as smooth as possible. Shortly after being admitted, an incoming Sloan Fellow is put in touch with a member of the current class, who serves as a valuable resource throughout the transition process.
April Orientation, which follows soon after, is a weeklong period that allows incoming Sloan Fellows to meet their hosts from the current class, the other members of that class, and their peers in the incoming class. During this week, the incoming fellows will gain a more in-depth understanding of the various elements of the program and make substantial progress toward completing various administrative tasks, such as finding housing, identifying schools and summer camps for children, and taking care of basic relocation tasks. For more information about moving to Boston/Cambridge, review the Relocation Resources section.
Answers for Sponsoring Organizations
How can I part with a key employee for a full year?
First, you are not removing your executives from the global business world, you are immersing them in it. You are sending your best managers here to the frontier of business to learn skills, network with international business leaders, develop the talent they have demonstrated in day-to-day business, and most important, equip them with an external perspective that will provide exceptional value to the organization. You can't afford not to educate your best executives if you want their help in keeping the company competitive in today’s volatile business climate.
May I promote the applications of more than one employee for entrance into the program?
Yes, and many companies do. Please understand, though, that organizations nominate many more qualified men and women than the program can accept. The selection committee makes the decision based on the strength of the applicant and also on what skills and experiences he or she can offer the group. The quality and diversity of the class is one of the most powerful aspects of the learning experience, and each fellow is an essential component of that experience.
How can our company get the most out of this investment?
Each participant comes to the program with a specific agenda and leaves with a deep reservoir of takeaways. Your fellow will enter the program with your company as a frame of reference, so the lessons he or she learns can be applied directly to specific company challenges. In fact, through your MIT Sloan Fellow, you access all the resources offered by the program and the broader MIT community. Many sponsors believe that being plugged into the MIT Sloan Fellows global network is itself worth the investment.
How does the program dovetail with the goals of my organization?
For generations, the MIT Sloan Fellows Program has been an indispensible leadership development tool for organizations of all sizes and functions. Multinational corporations, startups, governments, and nonprofit organizations rely on the program to prepare their most promising leaders for the challenges that lie ahead. The program is actually a rite of passage in some organizations—most of their top leaders are program alumni. We would be pleased to work with you to determine how we can make the MIT Sloan Fellows Program an effective tool in your overall executive development plan.
My year as a Sloan Fellow was the best of my life. I met so many influential leaders and saw how they integrated who they were with the fundamentals of good leadership. When I returned to my job at HP, my dialogue with senior executives was transformed. I was immediately making things happen in my company.Mikko Uusitalo, SF ’08
Vice President, Worldwide Alliances Sales, HP Communications and Media Business