MBA Admissions FAQ

Can I get my MBA in specific concentration?

Most MBA programs offer a wide range of electives that allow students to tailor their education after completing the first-year’ core curriculum. The degree awarded, however, is an MBA. Many schools now offer other Masters programs with a very specific course content, such as MS in Information Technology in Stern/New York University and Simon/University of Rochester.

Is strong math background required?

The answer is YES. Your program will not enroll you until you can handle the quantitative demands of the program. You might be invited for a summer Math session offered by many schools. If your program doesn’t offer such a session, try to get a proper stats book that can significantly improve your proficiency.

When should I apply?

For a program starting in September, there are typically three application rounds per year – early November, mid January and March. January program deadlines are often four months later. Apply as soon as possible, however, because for most programs, decisions are made on a rolling basis and applications are evaluated in the order of their arrival. If you would like to be considered for merit scholarships, you often need to apply early. International applicants may have special deadlines to consider.

Does admission committee consider some parts of the application more important than others?

No. A strong GMAT score may compensate a low GPA, a strong interview may offset a lack of professional experience, and a strong essay package may remedy your academic gap. In general, business schools are more interested in the whole picture of you: academic performance, professional experience, and personal values. The admission committee also considers your skills of teamwork, leadership, management potential, etc.

What is the minimum length of work experience required?

The top schools suggest a minimum of two years professional experience. Very occasionally (2%) they offer to truly outstanding candidates with less experience (college senior) and offer a defer.

What job or company does business schools prefer?

Schools welcome applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, consulting or industry, public or private, profit or non-profit. The MBA education which conveys a fundamental business concepts and skills, itself is suitable for people with very different backgrounds. Every year, business school recruits a significant portion of non-traditional candidates with technical, scientific, medical and even military sectors. This complies with today’s highly diverse business environment.

Is there an age limit for students?

Older, mid-career students may be encouraged to apply to executive programs. This is in part a reflection of the recruitment market, which favors graduating MBA who are 27 to 34 years old, who are felt to be more adaptable to the culture of their future employer. If you are above the age range for the school, you need to be even more specific in your career goals, explaining why at this stage in your career you should be leaving your well-paid job.

Can I apply if I have already obtained an MBA?

No.

I’ve taken the GMAT more than once. Which score will be considered?

Schools are looking for your best score, and they will not take the average of two GMAT tests.

Does the recommender have to use the school application form?

Schools will understand if a recommender chooses to write a recommendation in letter format, but they may achieve greater impact by addressing the specific questions asked by a school. Therefore, it is preferred to use the school’s recommendation form.

Does the recommender have to write the letter in English?

Yes.

Do I need an interview?

Many top MBA programs now offer interview on invitation only. Other school policies vary. For example, Stanford does not offer interview at all, while Kellogg tries to interview all applicants.

Is it better for me to interview on campus, where I live or by phone?

We strongly encourage you to visit the school’s campus since you can experience the school firsthand, and find out more about the program. However, the interview itself will have equal weight whether on campus or with an official alumni admissions representative.

Is there any financial aid available to international students?

A majority of schools award scholarships based on merit to incoming international students. These scholarships are offered on an individual basis, and may be based on country of origin or other specialized criteria. Teaching Assistant positions are also available for second year students, but limited and highly competitive. In addition, programs offer loan programs requiring a US citizen co-signer. A number of programs are now able to offer school sponsored loans that do not require a US co-signer.