Admissions Criteria

We take business personally.

The Vanderbilt MBA is designed for early career professionals who want to accelerate their career or switch career paths entirely.

At Vanderbilt we're looking for students who are inquisitive, self-aware, adaptable, and driven. We are a close-knit and collaborative community and our holistic approach to the admissions process ensures that we take the time to get to know you. Most students in our program have more than 2 years of work experience, with the majority of students having an average of 4-6 years of full time post-baccalaureate experience. While we have found that several years of work experience really makes a difference in both classroom learning experience and career opportunities upon graduation, we recognize each candidate is unique and evaluate each application thoughtfully. To learn more about what our class looks like, visit our class profile.


A complete Vanderbilt MBA application includes the following:

  • a submitted online application,
  • an official GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment (EA) score,
  • academic transcripts,
  • a letter of recommendation,
  • a resume,
  • video responses,
  • short written statements, and
  • an evaluative interview.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact us.



We recognize that business school is a significant investment in your personal and professional development and are committed to helping students afford the cost of tuition by offering scholarships and low-interest loan options.

However you choose to finance your MBA, know that the post-MBA jobs and salaries secured by our students often make the loan payback period significantly shorter than anticipated. For more information on post-MBA salaries, view our exceptional outcomes.

MBA Class of 2021 Profile

  • 147 Class Size
  • 21-36 Age Range
  • 5.3 Mean Years of Work Experience
  • 680 Median GMAT Score
  • 3.36 Median Undergraduate GPA


We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

RoundApplication DeadlineDecision DeadlineDeposit Deadline
1Oct. 12, 2020Dec. 18, 2020*Jan. 15, 2021
2Jan. 11, 2021Mar. 26, 2021*Apr. 26, 2021
3*Mar. 29, 2021May 7, 2021*May 21, 2021
4May 15, 2021Rolling Admission

We anticipate your application will be complete on the application deadline date. Applicants who are missing checklist items two weeks after the deadline will be moved to the next round.

Apply by Round 2 for consideration for the Dean's Scholars Award Program and Round 3 for priority consideration for other merit-based scholarships.

*International applicants are encouraged to apply by Round 3 in order to allow time for visa-related processing.

*All decisions for the round will be released on the decision deadline. We are unable to provide early decisions.

Recognizing the extraordinary challenges faced by many applicants, Vanderbilt is offering GMAT/GRE/EA test waivers to qualified candidates for the 2020-21 MBA application cycle. Waiver requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants who are interested in a GMAT/GRE/EA waiver must start an application, then complete the test waiver request form and upload supporting documentation. Additional information on test wavier requirements can be found on the application instruction page.



Virtual Campus Visits are available for you to learn more about our school, connect with current students, meet with the Career Management Center team, and more.




Vanderbilt prides itself on being military-friendly and providing an environment and programs especially suited to military candidates. Check out our resources available to military candidates to get started.


Vanderbilt values the worldview international students bring to our program. In addition to a dedicated International Recruiting and Relations Director, we offer resources and scholarships specifically for international candidates.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt is a place where you will be challenged to achieve your potential, find support as you shape your future, discover lifelong friends and mentors and open doors to new possibilities. Find out more about diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt here.


Kim Killingsworth
Kim Killingsworth
Director, International Recruiting & Relations
Rob Schickler
Rob Schickler
Associate Director, Recruiting & Admissions
Ashley Lomax
Ashley Lomax
Assistant Director, Recruiting and Admissions, Lead Diversity Recruiter
Mckenzie Mulligan
Mckenzie Mulligan
Assistant Director, Recruiting & Admissions
Colleen Pagnani
Colleen Pagnani
Recruiting and Admissions Coordinator, MBA


Connect with a current student

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the current plan for school to start in the fall 2020?

First day of Mod 1 class is Monday, August 17. MBA Orientation (including the International Student Business Program) will be August 3 - 14.

Q. When should I arrive in Nashville to start school this fall?

You should plan to start your apartment/house lease on August 1, 2020.

Q. A big part of the Vanderbilt Business program is the experiential learning and global experiences. What does this look like for the fall?

We understand that travel, both domestically and especially globally, has been disrupted. We hope to be able to move forward with global travel later in the fall, but travel and experiential learning happens both globally and locally. Our Turner Family Center and Center for Entrepreneurship are working on local micro-immersion projects to provide a service to our community and to let our students delve into meaningful experiences right here in our backyard.

Q. As an international student, if I’m not able to get to the US in August, how will I start my MBA classes?

We will wholeheartedly support our international students as you are an integral part of our incoming class. However, if you are not able to make it to campus for this new start date, we are prepared. Our goal is to offer an option in which you can begin the program online, with your classmates who are on campus, and then join everyone in Nashville as soon as you are able.  

Q. What will on-campus recruiting look like in the fall for Owen? Will companies be coming?

The Employer Relations and Recruiting Team have been in conversations with our employer partners since this spring planning for the fall recruiting season. The continuous threat of COVID-19 means employer travel restrictions, as well as heightened Vanderbilt University policies for campus health and safety. To ensure the same level of meaningful student interaction with employers throughout the large number of fall recruiting events that are already being planned, we are working closely with our employers to create virtual delivery and engagement.

Q. Will students be able to travel for Fall Treks or Career Fairs for recruiting purposes?

We would envision all fall recruiting events will most likely be in a virtual format.

Q. I have been unable to schedule a GMAT or GRE. What are my options?

Vanderbilt is offering GMAT/GRE test waivers to qualified candidates for the 2020-21 MBA application cycle. Waiver requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants who are interested in a GMAT/GRE waiver must start an application, then complete the test waiver request form and upload supporting documentation.

Q. Can I still come for a visit?

We regret we are unable to offer you an in-person campus visit at this time and are offering the opportunity to connect with us virtually. Virtual Vanderbilt MBA Campus Visits will resume this fall. In addition, we also host “Admissions 101” webinars to offer tips to prospective students who are new to the b-school process. Click here to register for an upcoming webinar.

Admissions Criteria

Q. My spouse/partner and I are applying and plan to enroll together. Will you evaluate our applications together or separately?

The Admissions Committee considers each candidate individually. Admission is always based on individual credentials.

Q. Does the Vanderbilt MBA program accept a 3-year undergraduate degree?

A three (3) year degree (B.Com, B.A. or B. Sc) will be accepted when accompanied by a WES evaluation certifying that the degree is equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor's degree. Alternatively, applicants may complete the Chartered Accountancy Designation or the Chartered Financial Analyst Designation OR at least one year of a Master's of Commerce degree program to compliment the three-year degree. If you have questions, please contact Kim Killingsworth, Director of International Recruiting & Relations.

Q. If I already completed an MBA or similar degree from another school, in or out of the U.S., am I still eligible for admission?

No. Vanderbilt does not admit applicants seeking a second MBA degree or similar graduate management degree, regardless of where the first was obtained. Exempt from this policy are master's degrees that focus on a specific functional area of business (such as accounting, finance, or management information systems) and do not offer a broad general management curriculum typical of the MBA degree.

Q. What kind of work experience does the Admissions Committee consider?

All kinds. When we evaluate your application, we consider all full-time work, including military experience and volunteer work.

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

No. We are unable to not accept transfer students or transfer credits. If we do admit an individual who is already enrolled in another full-time MBA program, transfer credits will not be accepted and the student will be expected to complete all 62 credits required for the Vanderbilt MBA degree.

Q. Does a particular academic or professional background give me any advantage in the admissions process?

We seek students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Diversity in all forms—academic, professional, cultural, ethnic, gender, geographic, and socioeconomic—is an important component of the Vanderbilt MBA experience.

Q. Does the Vanderbilt MBA program require calculus, statistics, or other quantitative courses as prerequisites?

There are no specific prerequisites for our program. Our program is highly quantitative in the first year so candidates with little or no business background are urged to review statistics, basic finance, accounting, and/or economic principles. The Admissions Committee looks for a variety of abilities in all applicants, including critical thinking and analytical skills, communication abilities, and interpersonal and leadership skills. Most students who have successfully completed introductory courses in college-level calculus and statistics find that they are adequately prepared to meet the quantitative demands of the program. Before classes start, Vanderbilt offers online reviews for incoming MBA students who want additional preparation. Click here for a detailed explanation of our admissions criteria.

Events & Visits

Q. Can I conduct an on campus visit?

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, on campus visits are currently suspended. However, we are offering virtual campus visits that includes lunch with current students, a Career Management Center Small Group Session, a session with our Recruiting & Admissions Team, and the opportunity to attend our Vanderbilt Insider events.