Application Checklist

We look forward to getting to know you throughout the MBA application process. We want you to make your application a strong showcase of who you are, what you have accomplished, and what you hope to achieve. For information on the required components of the Vanderbilt MBA application, please click below.

Online Application

The Vanderbilt MBA application is hosted online. To begin, you will be asked to provide basic information such as demographic and contact information, areas of interest, activities and education, and work history. Applications are considered complete when each supplemental item has been received and processed by our team. You can check your application status at any time by accessing the application checklist.

All applications are due by 11:59PM Central Time on the deadline date.



or EA

An official standardized test score or an approved test waiver is a required component of the application.

Vanderbilt accepts the following exams: GMAT, GMAT Focus, GRE, or Executive Assessment.

Standardized Test Scores: 

An official test score must be requested by the applicant and received by Vanderbilt directly from the testing service. Your application will not be considered complete, and you will not receive an admissions decision until your official score report has been received. Information on how to submit official test scores can be found below.

Vanderbilt does not have a preferred test and exams taken in person and online are given equal consideration. If you have taken a standardized test multiple times, we will consider your total highest test score.

Applications will be evaluated with the test score(s) indicated at the time of application submission. If you are taking a test again, it is your responsibility to update the Admissions Office via email of any new test score(s) you wish to be included in the application evaluation and request the new official test score(s) be sent to Vanderbilt. Please note the timing of the receipt of an official test score could affect when your decision is released.

Test Waiver: 

Applicants interested in being considered for a test waiver must start an application and complete the test waiver request form.

Candidates are encouraged to submit their test waiver request at least two weeks prior to the application round deadline to allow time to evaluate your request.

Applicants who demonstrate multiple examples of academic and professional accomplishments are more likely to receive a waiver. Examples of relevant quantitative success include, but are not limited to:

  • strong performance in previous quantitative and analytical coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level,
  • five or more years of professional work experience with proven analytical experience, and
  • earning a CPA or CFA certification or additional professional certification.

There are some important factors to consider before requesting a test waiver:

  • We are unable to offer a test waiver if you have already submitted a self-reported or official GMAT, GMAT Focus, GRE, or EA test scores to Vanderbilt University.
  • Applicants are evaluated for a test waiver one time per cycle and we are unable to accept appeal requests.
  • Ensure you are putting together the strongest application. Consider whether a test score can be used as an additional data point to showcase your academic potential.
  • There are some employers who may request a test score as part of their MBA hiring process. This is particularly true in industries such as consulting or finance.

An approved test waiver is not an admissions decision or an indication of an admissions decision.

Submitting Official Test Scores:

While you can submit your application with a self-reported test score, an official test score report must be requested by the applicant and received by Vanderbilt directly from the testing service. Please note that it can take 10-14 business days to receive and process your official test score.

School Codes:

  • GMAT, GMAT Focus, and Executive Assessment: No school code is required. You will be asked to provide our school’s name: “Vanderbilt University” in the request.
  • GRE: 1871


Vanderbilt requires graduate students to have a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, or its equivalent. An unofficial copy of an academic transcript from every college or university you attended is required as part of the application.

Unofficial transcripts are acceptable at the time of application submission. If admitted, students are required to submit final official academic records from every institution attended for verification prior to enrollment.  

What is an official transcript?

Final official transcripts must prove successful completion of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and show the date that the degree was conferred and awarded. In order to be considered official, transcripts and other documents must be sent directly from the issuing institution/agency to Vanderbilt University.

Information on external degree verifications, including how to submit official academic records, can be found on the Vanderbilt University Registrar’s Website.

In the absence of a certified course-by-course evaluation, Vanderbilt must receive official copies of transcripts, certificates, and diplomas from the issuing institution (or the Ministry of Education or Higher Education Commissions depending on country). Documents should be in both English and the native language. If the institution does not provide English translations, students are responsible for obtaining a certified word-for-word English translation.

of Rec

One letter of recommendation is a required component of the application and recommendations are due on the application deadline date.  


Please select your recommender and enter their contact information within the application early to ensure the completion of your application will not be delayed. After you enter your recommender’s contact information, instructions on submitting the recommendation securely online will be included in an email sent to your recommender.


We encourage you to choose a professional recommender, preferably a supervisor familiar with your work. If you are unable to disclose your plans to a current supervisor, you may provide an explanation in the optional explanatory statement and request a former supervisor, client, or vendor to complete a recommendation.


Your recommender may either use the Vanderbilt recommender form or the GMAC Common Letter of Recommendation template. The GMAC Common LOR template can be used for MBA applicants applying to multiple schools and is available for reading purposes in six other languages (Simple Chinese French, German, Korean, Spanish and Italian). Instructions on using the LOR is found on the GMAC site.


Our preference is for your recommender to complete an online recommendation form itself. However, if your recommender is not an English speaker, he/she may write a letter of recommendation in his/her native language and have it translated by a professional translator. The original letter, the translated letter, and a certification by the translator should be combined into one document and uploaded by the recommender into the online recommendation system.



Your resume is an opportunity to tell your story on paper and should highlight your educational background, work experience, and any other activities or interests that are significant to you. For MBA applicants, a one-page resume should be sufficient. You may use the detailed work history section in the online application to provide additional information.

Most students in our program have at least 2 years of work experience, with the majority of students having an average of 4-6 years of full-time post-baccalaureate experience.


The video response is a chance for you to provide a glimpse of the authentic you, speaking without a script. The video questions are designed to be easy to answer and help us to get to know you as a person. You will have time to prepare your response and the application will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to record your answers.


Your written statements give us great insight into your unique qualities and goals. We have two required written statements with a 200-word limit.

  • Statement 1: Tell us about your post-MBA career goals by describing two concurrent paths you plan to explore while in the Vanderbilt MBA program. What skills have you developed that will help you achieve your career goals?
  • Statement 2: Please highlight something about yourself that isn’t already captured in the application.
  • Optional Explanatory Statement: You may provide an additional statement to explain anything that you think is important for the Admissions Committee to know about you that is not already addressed elsewhere in your application. Many applicants use this statement to explain significant gaps in full-time employment, lack of recommendation from a current supervisor, or subpar academic performance.

Evaluative Interview

Interviews are an essential component of the application and are are conducted virtually by our MBA Recruiting & Admissions Fellows or members of our MBA Recruiting & Admissions Team.

Our admissions interviews are behavioral based and a great opportunity to tell us your story, share examples from your professional experience, and speak to how an MBA can help you achieve your goals.

We offer an open interview period between September 20 and November 30, 2023. During the open interview period, all applicants are eligible to conduct an evaluative interview with a member of our team. After December 1, 2023, evaluative interviews are offered by invitation only to applicants who have submitted a complete application. 

International Educational Requirements

Refer to the International Educational Requirements for a list of degrees that are considered equivalent to a four year U.S. bachelor's degree.


A preliminary financial statement within the application is required of applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents.

TOEFL, IELTS or DuoLingo English Test

An official English Language Exam score or an approved waiver is a required component of the application. An official test score report must be requested by the applicant and received by Vanderbilt directly from the testing service.

Vanderbilt accepts the following exams: TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test, IELTS Indicator, TOEFL Essentials. TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo English Test scores are valid for two years.

English Language Exam Waiver: 

The English Language Exam requirement can be waived for applicants that meet any of the following requirements:

  • Applicant has 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
  • Applicant has lived and worked, for the past two or more years, in a country where the official language is English* (not just a country where English is spoken); or
  • Applicant has scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the verbal component of the GMAT or GRE.

International applicants can be considered for an English Language Exam waiver by marking qualifications on the "International Applicants" page of the application.

*We consider English to be an official language of India.

Submitting official test scores: 

An official test score report must be requested by the applicant and received by Vanderbilt directly from the testing service. Once the results are ready, it can take 10-14 days to be received, processed, and attached to your application.

School Codes:

  • Duolingo: No school code is required. You will be asked to provide our school’s name: “Vanderbilt University” in the request. If Vanderbilt is indicated as a recipient of the Duolingo English Test, the results are received and posted to your application two days after taking the test.
  • TOEFL and IELTS: 1871

The official TOEFL or IELTS scores should be submitted to Vanderbilt University at this address:

Center for Data Management-OWEN
Vanderbilt University (Institution Code 1871)
PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN

Contact ETS with questions about the TOEFL here.

To contact IELTS email

More information about the Duolingo English Test can be found here.

Additional Information

APPLICATION FEE: There is a $200 fee for the MBA program application.

DUAL DEGREE APPLICANTS: Dual degree applicants complete both the MBA application and the application for the other program to which you plan to enroll. Vanderbilt’s dual degree partners have their own admission and application policies, procedures, and deadlines that may differ from those of the Vanderbilt MBA program.

We are unable to accept the LSAT or the MCAT in lieu of the GMAT, GRE or Executive Assessment (EA). However, we do offer GMAT, GRE or EA waivers and more information can be found here.

DEFERRED ADMISSION: The Vanderbilt MBA program may offer deferred admission on a case-by-case basis. If admitted to the program you may request approval for a deferral. Merit-based scholarships are not guaranteed from one year to the next.

REAPPLICATION: We welcome re-applicants and look forward to evaluating your application. We will retain your application for two years so if you reapply, please use the same login credentials. Some of your former application data will transfer into your new application. You are asked to provide an updated resume, statements, recommendation, and new test scores, if applicable. You also have the opportunity to complete a re-applicant essay to share information about what has changed about your candidacy.

MAILING SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS: We recommend that you keep copies of everything you submit to Vanderbilt for the duration of the application process. Please mail any supplemental application materials not submitted electronically to:

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

ADMISSION DECISIONS: All Admissions Committee decisions are final, and applicants will be considered for admission only once in any given academic year. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny any applicant, rescind any offer of admission or dismiss any enrolled student if any part of the application is inaccurate, misrepresented, falsified or otherwise untrue.

QUESTIONS: We appreciate the time and effort you will put into applying to business school and we look forward to receiving your application. Please contact us if you have any questions. The MBA Recruiting & Admissions office is open Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, U.S. Central Time. You can reach us by sending an email to or calling us at 615.322.6469.

Take the Next Step