How to Get Into Kellogg

Alana Olswing

How to Get Into Kellogg

You might have heard of the Kellogg Company, and you’ll probably recognize the big red logo if you search how to get into Kellogg. But if you’re seriously considering an MBA, then you know that Kellogg is much more than just Corn Flakes and Cocoa Krispies. Known for its marketing department and emphasis on teamwork, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is tied for number six in US News’ Best Business Schools rankings. 

Despite the brutally cold Chicago winters, Kellogg is a fantastic place to pursue your graduate degree. As someone who got her Master of Science in Management Studies from the institution, I can attest to its world-renowned professors who teach a wide variety of classes in top-notch facilities. Traditions like the Kellogg Bowl (a famous Super Bowl ad review), the Kellogg Table (networking dinners before every Evening & Weekend MBA class), and Special K! (the student written, produced, and run musical) all create a tight-knit and welcoming community for creative and hardworking cohort members. 

To help guide you through how to get into Kellogg, I’ve provided you with an overview of the campus, the various academic programs available, the statistics for admitted students, the required essays, and finally, the important deadlines to keep in mind as you navigate the application process.

Campus Overview

Opened in 2017 and situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Kellogg’s 415,000-square foot Global Hub in Evanston, Illinois is home to the school’s full-time MBA, Executive MBA (EMBA), and the dual-degree MMM (which combines an MBA from Kellogg and a Master’s of Science in Design Innovation from the McCormick School of Engineering) programs. Just a short ‘L’ ride away are the classes for Evening and Weekend MBA, Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS), Nonprofit Management Leadership Program, JD-MBA, and MD-MBA, which take place in the middle of Chicago’s vibrant River North neighborhood in the historic Wieboldt Hall. Additionally, Kellogg boasts a campus in Miami, Florida for a separate cohort of Executive MBA students.

One of the main Kellogg draws is the emphasis on global networking. In addition to the Chicago, Evanston, and Miami locations, Kellogg also has five other networking campuses in Beijing, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Toronto, and Vallendar-Düsseldorf. Students from the full-time and evening/weekend MBA programs can enroll in exchange programs. 

The Kellogg Worldwide Experiences and Service Trips (KWEST) offers the opportunities for incoming cohorts to travel together in a nonacademic setting to places like Chile, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, and Peru. One of my favorite experiences at Kellogg was taking the Global Initiatives in Management course to study the corporate culture of Japan, and then traveling to Tokyo and Kyoto and experiencing it myself!

Academic Programs

You have a lot of options when exploring how to get into Kellogg. The fastest way to complete a full MBA is through the One-Year MBA. The most common program, boasting the largest enrollment, is the Two-Year MBA. Then, there are dual degrees available: MBA and Master of Science in Design Innovation (MMM), MD-MBA, and JD-MBA. There are also smaller programs offered, like MSMS and EMBA.

Regardless of which program you choose, you have to complete nine core classes and at least four electives to graduate. There are seven majors that students can choose from: Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Strategy, and Managing Organizations. If you don’t feel particularly drawn towards any of those, your degree will say “General Management.” In addition to the majors, students can choose from seven pathways to specialize in emerging industries and markets. They are: Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Scaling, Healthcare at Kellogg, Real Estate, Social Impact, and Venture Capital & Private Equity.

If you’re looking into how to get into Kellogg, you should know that a Kellogg degree comes with a large price tag, with the One-Year MBA tuition costing $100,288 for the degree and the Two-Year MBA tuition costing $73,404 per year. Plan accordingly when thinking about how to get into Kellogg.

What Does Kellogg Look For: The Numbers and Essays 

For a numerical look at what being a Kellogg student looks like, here are the statistics:

  • Average GMAT: 730 
  • Average Age: 27
  • Work Experience Average: 5 Years 
  • Average GPA: 3.6 


  • 27% Consulting
  • 19% Financial Services 
  • 14% Technology/Commerce
  • 8% Nonprofit/Education/Government

Undergraduate Majors: 

  • 29% STEM
  • 49% Economics/Business
  • 24% Humanities

Although many students bring a background in Economics, it’s clearly not essential to have a business-centric major for admission to Kellogg as long as you explain your aspirations in the field. As you can see from the average age of students and the time they’ve spent in the workforce, experience can certainly help you boost your profile. 


It’s also important for applicants to bring collaborations skills. Teamwork is essential and engrained in a Kellogg education. Every class requires you to work in teams and learn to problem solve. When approaching the application process, think of ways you have made an impact in the teams you have worked on, then take a look at the essays for the full-time MBA application (additional essays may apply for various programs):

  • Kellogg’s Purpose is to educate, equip, and inspire brave leaders who create lasting value. What challenges did you face and what did you learn? (450 words)
  • Values are what guide you in your life and work. What values are important to you and how have they influenced you? (450 words)

Both essays require you to reflect on who you are and how you identify your experiences as a team member, leader, and person. Successful essays will clearly demonstrate teamwork, but also acknowledge of how one can grow from an MBA program. Moreover, think about how your experiences have shaped your perspective in a unique way. Admissions officers what to know: How will you contribute to the diversity of the cohort? What can you bring that others can’t? What are your short and long-term goals?

One of the most interesting parts of the application process for those wondering how to get into Kellogg is the dreaded video essay. This is a recorded interview-like task that asks you to answer three questions and showcase your interpersonal skills and personality. The format is as follows: 

  • Please introduce yourself to the admissions committee.
  • What path are you interested in pursuing, how will you get there, and why is this program right for you? 
  • Each of you will receive a randomly selected prompt, all of which have the same objective. We want you to show us how you handled a challenging situation in your career or personal life. For example, we might ask you to tell us about a time you failed to achieve a goal you had set for yourself. 

Since this is recorded, you have the chance to polish this component and make sure you’re presenting the best version of yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity and don’t just submit sloppy work! Practice plenty of times before you start recording. Instead of sending in the first draft if you’re stuttering or saying “like” too much, take your time. Answer the prompt as well as you can, without going off on tangents, and film multiple takes if necessary. You want to be professional but at the same time, you want to come across as genuine as you can – even if it’s a video!

Requirements and Deadlines

In order for you to have a successful application, you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree, a GMAT or GRE score, two letters of recommendation, a resumé, and a video essay. Kellogg also highly encourages that applicants have taken classes in calculus and statistics, given the heavy emphasis of these subjects throughout the core courses. Finally, it is strongly recommended that you have at least two years of work experience

Application Round Application Deadline Decision Date
Round 1 September 18 December 11
Round 2 January 8 March 25
Round 3 April 8 May 13

If Kellogg is your top choice, you obviously want to maximize your chances. Don’t wait for Round 3 to submit your application. Definitely aim for round 1 so that you can get your application in early and convey your interest to give yourself an edge.

If you’re serious about how to get into Kellogg, then it’s time for you to dig deeper. If it’s the winter months, brave the Chicago weather to go visit campus if possible. If it is summer, then make sure to bring your bathing suit for the Chicago beach. Sit in on a class, talk to current students, and watch Lake Michigan waves as you eat lunch at Gordon’s Marketplace in the Global Hub. Once you’ve fallen in love with the school, prepare yourself for the application process by taking the GMAT or GRE, working on your leadership and teamwork skills, and most importantly, eating a bunch of Frosted Flakes. 

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