Bring Your Best Self to the Table.

You’ve accomplished a lot already — so make sure your application shines. 

Early Deadline

March 30, 2020

Final Deadline

May 18, 2020

The ideal student for the Online MBA

What We’re Looking for in an Applicant

Wally Hopp, associate dean for part-time programs, explains the qualities we like to see in part-time MBA students.

Your Application Checklist

1. Order Your Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts

You must have a U.S. bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, or the equivalent, by the time of application. You may submit an unofficial copy of your transcripts (and degree documents, if applicable) with your application. If accepted, official transcripts will be required.

2. Take the GMAT or GRE

We will accept both the GMAT and GRE. Scores are valid for five years from the date you took the test to the date of the application deadline. You may self-report your score on the application or upload unofficial score reports. If accepted, official reports will be required. If you take the GMAT or GRE more than once, we will use your highest total score and the corresponding breakout scores in evaluating your application. We do not mix and match scores. 

We do not waive the standardized test score for any reason.

3. Update Your Resume

Your resume should include up-to-date educational information and professional experience. Please include dates. These should correspond with the dates you provide in your application. You may include community/professional service activities as well as hobbies/interests. We recommend that your resume be no longer than one page.

4. Write Your Essays

Part 1

Select one prompt from each group. Respond to your selected prompts using 100 words or fewer (<100 words each; 300 words total).

I want people to know that I:
I made a difference when I:
I was humbled when:
I am out of my comfort zone when:
I was aware that I am different when:
I find it challenging when people:

Part 2

Michigan Ross is a place where people from all backgrounds with different career goals can thrive. Please share your short-term career goal. Why is this the right choice for you? (300 words)

Part 3: Optional Statement

This section should be used only to convey information not addressed elsewhere in your application (e.g., completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues). Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

5. Choose Your Recommender

Michigan Ross uses the GMAC Common Recommendation Form, and we require only one recommendation. You should select a recommender who can discuss your professional performance and work style. A current or former supervisor is an ideal choice. Other alternatives include a client, project manager, or professional mentor. Your recommender should be able to answer the following questions about you:

  • Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant's role in your organization. (50 words) 
  • How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (For example, what are the applicant's principal strengths?) (500 words)
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (500 words)

IMPORTANT: This is NOT the official recommendation, but rather a list of the questions that will be sent to the individual you identify as your recommender in the online application. The actual recommendation and ratings form must be submitted online by your recommender. Your application is not considered complete until we receive your recommendation.


6. Prepare for Your Interview

Interviews are conducted by invitation only, after all of your other materials have been submitted.

7. Pay the $200 Application Fee

The application fee is waived if:

  • You are a current or former member of the U.S. military.
  • You have served in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America within three years of the application deadline.

We do not waive application fees for any other reason. Please email to request an application fee waiver prior to submitting your application.


8. Provide Proof of English Proficiency (TOEFL or PTE)

If your native language is not English, you must demonstrate competence in English by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE). 
The TOEFL or PTE must be taken no more than two years prior to the application deadline date.
For the TOEFL exam, we require the internet-based test (iBT) version of the exam. Ross’ TOEFL score reporting code is 1839.
We will accept a PTE score as an alternative to the TOEFL.
To have scores sent electronically to Ross, select “University of Michigan – Ann Arbor” as the recipient.
International applicants for the part-time programs are exempt from the English language requirement if:


  • You earned your undergraduate degree at an accredited institution where the sole language of instruction was English,


  • You have been living, working, and conducting daily business in an English-speaking country for two or more years.


9. Additional Information

  • Traditional business background not required.
  • Individual evaluation occurs within context of larger applicant pool.
  • No “formula” or “cutoff” determines a candidate’s outcome.
  • There are no prerequisite courses for admission.
  • We require at least 12 months of full-time work experience (post completion of your undergraduate degree), but highly recommend at least 24 months.
  • Due to the analytical rigor of the program, it is expected that students have a working knowledge of college-level mathematics, including basic calculus. If you have not had this coursework, we recommend that you take a course that emphasizes business mathematics prior to beginning the program.

Why We Require an Entrance Exam

Anne Schoen, the admissions director of part-time MBA programs, shares why your GMAT or GRE score is an important part of your application.

Admissions Criteria:
Essentials for a Standout Application

In order to build a strong and diverse class, we look for applicants who possess a number of key characteristics. If you’re right for Ross, the following probably sounds a lot like you:

You Know How to Make an Impact

Your professional achievements, extracurricular involvements, recommendation letter, and personal essays highlight how you’ve made meaningful contributions that drive results. At the core of your ability to impact outcomes? A knack for communicating and collaborating well with others. 

You Know Why You Want a Ross MBA

 You’re someone with a precise “why” behind the “what”. Your personal essays outline clear goals for your MBA, and explain why Ross is the right program for you. 

You’re A High Achiever

You’re always ready to rise to the challenge and exceed expectations. Your GMAT/GRE score and academic record tell the story of someone who knows how to think clearly and critically — and who can keep up with the rigor of Ross. 

International Student Eligibility

Because the Online MBA program includes three residential components, non-U.S. citizens must currently be living and working in the U.S. on a visa type that allows them to attend a part-time degree program (such as H1, E2, or L1) in order to participate. We are not able to offer student/tourist visas to international students (who are not residing in the U.S. already) to attend the required residential experiences.

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