FAQ

Admissions Criteria

Q. Will you admit international students?
A.

We have admitted international students with very strong English language skills and require that students have lived or studied in the U.S. We require all our students to have strong communication skills, analytical aptitude and the ability to work in a team environment with a variety of people. Therefore we will intensely evaluate you on these skill sets during the application process.

Q. Do you require any full-time experience? If I have full-time work experience, can I still apply?
A.

The majority of our students apply for the Vanderbilt MAcc program directly out of an undergraduate program, but about 12 percent of each class comes into the program with one to three years of full-time work experience. We welcome both. When we evaluate your application, we consider all full-time work, military experience, part-time work, internships, co-op assignments, summer jobs, volunteer work and campus involvement/leadership.

Q. Does a particular background give me any advantage in the admissions process?
A.

No. We seek students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Diversity in all forms—academic, professional, cultural, ethnic, gender, geographic, socioeconomic and so on—is an important component of the Vanderbilt MAcc experience. In terms of academic background, we encourage students from diverse disciplines to apply. The majority of our students come from liberal arts backgrounds—we've had students with undergraduate majors in music, art history, biology, languages, economics and so on. We also have had students from undergraduate business and engineering programs.

Q. Does the Vanderbilt MAcc program accept transfer students or transfer credits?
A.

No. Most top business schools do not accept transfer students or transfer credits.

Q. How much is the application fee and how may I pay?
A.

The fee is $100 for each new application or reapplication for the Vanderbilt MAcc program. You will be asked to pay the fee by credit card after you submit your application.

Q. I have an undergraduate degree in accounting. Is the Vanderbilt MAcc program a good fit for me?
A.

Though our program is more specifically designed for non-accounting majors, students from any educational background may apply. The Admissions Committee will evaluate each applicant on an individual basis. Our program is designed specifically around the auditing track of a professional services firm. Success in the profession requires a strong knowledge of accounting but also requires strong communication skills, analytical aptitude and the ability to work in a team environment with a variety of people. Consequently, the Vanderbilt MAcc program is designed to help you develop your communication, analytical and teamwork skills in a business environment. You will also be interacting with MBA students in some of your classes and will apply what you have learned in an internship with one of the top public accounting firms.

Q. What are your prerequisites? Do I have to have them completed before I apply?
A.

Students entering the MAcc program need to have demonstrated strong academic performance in prior university studies. Students must have completed introductory courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, statistics and microeconomics from an accredited school, with a grade of B or better. However, many students are admitted to the program before these requirements are met. Any additional prerequisites will be determined on an individual basis, as some students may need to develop core competencies prior to the start of the program.

Admissions Decisions

Q. What if I don't respond to my offer in time or I don't satisfy the conditions of my admission?
A.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to rescind any offers of admission or financial aid from candidates who have not responded by the specified deadline and from candidates who have not completed the prerequisites required as a condition of their admission.

Q. Will you waive the application fee? What if I am financially disadvantaged? What if I was admitted last year but chose not to enroll?
A.

Vanderbilt waives the application fee only in exceptional circumstances. Please provide the Admissions Office with a written explanation of your request for a fee waiver by emailing us. Candidates who demonstrate substantial financial hardship may be granted a fee waiver. Applicants who reapply are required to pay another $100 fee to cover the costs of application processing and communication.

Admissions Events and Visits

Q. Can I attend a campus interview event or do I have to receive an invitation?
A.

The campus interview events are by invitation only for the MAcc program.

Q. Do I have to come to Nashville for my interview?
A.

If an applicant is invited to a campus interview event, he/she is required to attend before a final admission decision will be given. It is important for us and for you to experience the program firsthand to make sure it is a good fit. Another important part of the campus interview event is the opportunity to network with members of our partner firms, as well as with our current students. If you are unable to attend a campus interview event due to extenuating circumstances, we will do our best to work with you.

Q. How important is the interview?
A.

The interview is an important component of the application and provides you an opportunity to share your story. Through the interview, we hope to hear more examples of the types of experiences you have had in both your personal and your professional life, and to get a sense of your demonstrated record of achievement, your interpersonal and communication skills and your focus—why you are interested in the program. During the campus interview event, we are looking at your fit with the program and the profession.

Q. How long do interviews last and what can I expect?
A.

Interviews are only conducted during an Open House event for selected applicants. Each candidate will have two 20-30 minute interviews. In general, the goal of the interview is to assess your maturity, judgment, professionalism, initiative, interpersonal and team skills, communication skills and ability to think critically. We are also looking at your fit with the program and with the profession.

Q. What if I just wanted to visit campus/meet with a staff member of the MAcc program?
A.

You may schedule an informal visit with us by sending us an email.

Deadlines

Q. What if I don't respond to my offer in time or I don't satisfy the conditions of my admission?
A.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to rescind any offers of admission or financial aid from candidates who have not responded by the specified deadline and from candidates who have not completed the prerequisites required as a condition of their admission.

Essays and Recommendations

Q. Can I submit more than two letters of recommendation?
A.

Yes.

Q. How do I choose my recommenders?
A.

You should submit two recommendations from professors or supervisors familiar with your work. If you are unable to disclose your plans to a current supervisor, you should provide an explanation in an additional statement and request a former supervisor to complete a recommendation. Applicants with little or no full-time work experience should obtain recommendations from professors or supervisors of part-time work and internships.

How to Apply

Q. How soon can I check the status of my application?
A.

We will update your status in real time as supplemental items are received and your application is processed. You can check your status by accessing the checklist on your "MyOwen Page". We occasionally send email reminders about any missing items needed to complete your file. Please allow sufficient time for the delivery and processing of all materials before checking your "MyOwen Page" or contacting our office. If you are unable to access your account, please access technical support by clicking "Tech Support". If you require a personal response, please email us. We will do our best to communicate with you promptly and accurately. We appreciate your patience and understanding, especially during the busiest time of the admissions process from January through April.

Q. If I am admitted this year, may I defer my enrollment until next year?
A.

Generally, no, we do not offer deferred enrollment. In exceptional situations beyond the candidate's control, the Admissions Committee may offer a deferral. One exception is that all deferral requests for U.S. military personnel will be approved. Otherwise, candidates must decline an offer of admission and reactivate the application for admission and financial aid consideration the following year.

Q. Is there any advantage to applying in an earlier application round?
A.

We seek outstanding candidates and operate on a rolling admission basis throughout the year. However, space and scholarships are limited, so it is wise to apply as early as possible. Applying earlier means that you will receive an admission decision earlier, leaving you more time to plan your transition to the Vanderbilt MAcc program.

Q. What is the process for reapplying?
A.

You must submit an entirely new application. However, we can match previously submitted supplemental materials—such as official test scores, transcripts and recommendations—to your new application. We also ask that you provide an additional statement in the Optional essay area describing your personal and professional activities since the original date of application and explaining why you are now a stronger candidate for admission.

Q. When are admissions decisions made?
A.

In general, we will notify you within four weeks of receiving the application.

International Students

Q. Are loans available for international students?
A.

International students do not qualify for federally funded loan programs unless they are permanent residents of the U.S. However, an international student may apply for a private alternative source of funding, but a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is required as a co-borrower.

Q. Will you admit international students?
A.

We have admitted international students with very strong English language skills and require that students have lived or studied in the U.S. We require all our students to have strong communication skills, analytical aptitude and the ability to work in a team environment with a variety of people. Therefore we will intensely evaluate you on these skill sets during the application process.

Q. How do international students apply for a private loan?
A.

International students can apply for a private alternative educational loan, with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer, for an amount up to the total cost of education. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for additional information.

Q. Is there a special application for international students?
A.

No, but the U.S. government does require international students to show proof of sufficient financial resources to support themselves for their period of studies. Therefore, international students are required to complete the Preliminary Financial Declaration portion of the online application prior to submitting. Also note that transcripts and diplomas not issued in English must be accompanied by notarized translations.

Q. Is there a way for international students to waive the TOEFL or IELTS?
A.

You may contact our office to request a TOEFL waiver if you (1) have earned an undergraduate degree in a country where the official language is English (not just an English-speaking institution or just a country where English is spoken), or (2) have lived and worked in an English-speaking country for the past two or more years.

Interview Process

Q. Can I attend a campus interview event or do I have to receive an invitation?
A.

The campus interview events are by invitation only for the MAcc program.

Q. Do I have to come to Nashville for my interview?
A.

If an applicant is invited to a campus interview event, he/she is required to attend before a final admission decision will be given. It is important for us and for you to experience the program firsthand to make sure it is a good fit. Another important part of the campus interview event is the opportunity to network with members of our partner firms, as well as with our current students. If you are unable to attend a campus interview event due to extenuating circumstances, we will do our best to work with you.

Q. How important is the interview?
A.

The interview is an important component of the application and provides you an opportunity to share your story. Through the interview, we hope to hear more examples of the types of experiences you have had in both your personal and your professional life, and to get a sense of your demonstrated record of achievement, your interpersonal and communication skills and your focus—why you are interested in the program. During the campus interview event, we are looking at your fit with the program and the profession.

Q. How long do interviews last and what can I expect?
A.

Interviews are only conducted during an Open House event for selected applicants. Each candidate will have two 20-30 minute interviews. In general, the goal of the interview is to assess your maturity, judgment, professionalism, initiative, interpersonal and team skills, communication skills and ability to think critically. We are also looking at your fit with the program and with the profession.

Q. What is the Vanderbilt MAcc's policy on interviews?
A.

Interviews are conducted for selected applicants during our Open House events. After an application has been submitted, the Admissions Committee will review and make a decision based on the information provided. If an applicant meets our minimum qualifications then an invitation to attend an Open House event will be extended. Open House events are strongly encouraged. If you can not attend, please talk with a member of our admissions team to make alternative arrangements. Interviews are conducted during the Open House event, and final admission decisions are given within one week after the applicant attends the event.

Program Information

Q. Do you accept applications for spring entry into the MAcc program?
A.

No. We accept applications for fall entrance only.

Q. Do you offer a part-time MAcc program?
A.

No, the MAcc program is designed to be a full-time, one-year intensive program with a structured curriculum and partner firm recruitment process.

Q. Does the MAcc program offer a CPA prep course?
A.

Vanderbilt MAcc students prepare and sit for the CPA exam using the Becker CPA Review Course. The Vanderbilt MAcc program has partnered with Becker, and students take classes on campus between graduation and the start of full-time employment. Standard industry practice is for new incoming associates to start work full-time in September. It is expected that students will sit for the CPA exam concurrent with the Becker course. Partner firms pay for the cost of the Becker CPA review once a full-time job is accepted. If the student's cost is not covered by his/her employer, or he/she has not accepted a full-time position, the student is responsible for the cost of the Becker CPA review.

Q. Is it possible for MAcc students to live in university housing on campus?
A.

No. On-campus housing is limited to undergraduate students. For more information, please visit Vanderbilt University's off-campus referral service. Most students have cars, but this is a personal decision.

Q. When do students matriculate each year?
A.

Classes begin in early August. Orientation is required for all incoming students and begins the week before classes. The MAcc program has a structured curriculum and partner firm recruitment process, as you can see by viewing our academic and recruiting calendar here.

Q. Will I be CPA license eligible if I complete the Vanderbilt MAcc program?
A.

We work closely with NASBA CPAES and the Tennessee State Board to ensure that our program meets the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Tennessee.

Transcripts and Test Scores

Q. Can I take the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL or IELTS more than once?
A.

Yes. If you submit different test results, we will consider and report your best overall performance based on your highest total score. If your scores are below average, we strongly recommend that you retake the test to increase your chances of admission. Please note that the GMAT and GRE testing service providers require a waiting period between exams.

Q. Do you need a new transcript sent to you if I will be graduating from college this year?
A.

If you are admitted to the program and choose to attend, we will require you to send us an updated transcript after you graduate.

Q. Does the Vanderbilt MAcc program require the GMAT?
A.

We require either the GMAT or the GRE.

Q. I haven't taken the GMAT or GRE yet. Can I still apply?
A.

Yes, we will accept and review your application before you take the exam.

Q. I submitted my application before I took the GMAT or GRE. I scored lower than I thought I would and plan to retake the GMAT or GRE. Will the Admissions Committee hold my application until my new scores are available?
A.

Yes, if you ask us to do so. Please note that the GMAT and GRE testing service providers require a waiting period between exams.

Q. If I take the GMAT more than once, do you consider the highest score or do you average the scores?
A.

We will only utilize the highest score when making an admissions decision. Please note that the GMAT and GRE testing service providers require you to wait a month between exams.

Q. If my GMAT or GPA is below the average for the Vanderbilt MAcc program, should I still apply?
A.

Although the GMAT and GPA are important indicators of your academic ability, they are not the only factors we consider. Your overall academic record, the quality of your undergraduate institution, the difficulty of your course of studies and the consistency of your performance are also good indicators of your potential for success in the MAcc program. Candidates who are weak in one area of the application may balance that with strengths in other areas. We may ask you to retake the GMAT or GRE if we feel that you are a strong candidate in other areas.

Q. Is there a way for international students to waive the TOEFL or IELTS?
A.

You may contact our office to request a TOEFL waiver if you (1) have earned an undergraduate degree in a country where the official language is English (not just an English-speaking institution or just a country where English is spoken), or (2) have lived and worked in an English-speaking country for the past two or more years.

Q. What is Vanderbilt's school code for test score reports?
A.

The GMAT testing center does not require a school code. You will only be asked to provide the school name to the GMAT testing center.

Q. When should I submit my official transcripts, test scores and other hard copy materials?
A.

If you have already taken your required tests and sent your score reports to Vanderbilt, your scores will automatically be verified by Vanderbilt. At the time of application you will be required to upload a copy of your transcript from every college or university you attended. Only if you are offered and accept our offer of admission will you be required to mail official transcripts from each institution. Please send all score reports, offical transcripts and other hard copy materials to: 

Center for Data Management - OWEN 
Vanderbilt University 
PMB 407833 2301 Vanderbilt Place 
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

Tuition, Loans and Scholarships

Q. Are graduate assistantships available?
A.

We do not offer research or teaching assistantships in the MAcc program. Since our program is only one year long and includes the opportunity for an internship and studying/sitting for the CPA exam, the program is very intense, and you would not have enough time to devote to working during the program.

Q. Are loans available for international students?
A.

International students do not qualify for federally funded loan programs unless they are permanent residents of the U.S. However, an international student may apply for a private alternative source of funding, but a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is required as a co-borrower.

Q. Does Vanderbilt have a computer requirement?
A.

Yes. Students are encouraged to participate in the laptop program offered by the Owen Technology Productivity Services group. The systems are offered at a significant discount and come with complete on-site support. While both Mac and Windows PC are viable options for use during school, after you graduate, most firms will issue a PC for office use. Thus, learning on a PC may help you succeed professionally. You may bring your own computer and if it meets the minimum specifications, a best effort will be made to help with any technology issues once the needs of the students participating in the laptop program have been met.

Q. How can I find detailed information regarding student loans?
A.

You can view the Department of Education's website for complete information regarding student loans.

Q. How do I apply for scholarships? What are the selection criteria?
A.

All admitted applicants are automatically considered for the merit-based scholarships awarded by Owen. A separate application is not required for scholarship consideration. Selection criteria are based on many of the same factors evaluated for an admission decision: academic performance, GMAT or GRE scores, leadership potential and personal characteristics demonstrated through the essays, interviews and recommendations. Scholarship decisions are communicated in conjunction with admissions decisions.

Q. How do I contact the financial aid office?
A.

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, Vanderbilt University, 2309 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-1725 or finaid@vanderbilt.edu; telephone 615.322.3591 or 800.288.0204; or fax 615.343.8512. General office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST.

Q. How much are scholarships worth?
A.

The merit-based scholarships typically cover a small portion of the overall tuition costs. They generally range from $5,000 to $15,000 total and are quite competitive.

Q. What are the health care costs and requirements for spouses and/or dependents?
A.

Health insurance is required for all students. Students are billed automatically for the university's student health insurance plan if they do not provide proof of adequate coverage by another insurer prior to enrollment. The automatic coverage does not account for spouses or dependents, and students may be subject to additional health care costs for spouses and dependents. The policy costs are typically updated and published in May for the coming academic year.

Q. What is the cost of a Vanderbilt MAcc education?
A.

Click here for the current estimated total cost of education for a single student during the nine-month academic year.

Q. When and how do I start the financial aid process?
A.

Filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for federal financial aid. The FAFSA may be completed as early as February. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) for your verification. Financial aid awards will be determined based on the information supplied on the FAFSA. A financial aid package will be calculated—including any Vanderbilt MAcc scholarships, Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loans—to meet the cost of education or academic budget for the year.

Q. Who can apply for financial aid?
A.

In order to qualify for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Federal financial aid includes the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. International students can apply for private alternative educational loans only with the assistance of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer.

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