FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

MBA Program & Curriculum

Q. Can I waive any core courses?
A.

Exemptions are available for students with superior competency in accounting, economics, and statistics; however, 62 credit hours still are required to complete the Vanderbilt MBA degree. Exemption requests are evaluated by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

Q. Do you offer one-year, part-time, or executive MBA programs?
A.

We offer a two-year, daytime MBA program and a 21-month Executive MBA program for working professionals, which meets every other Saturday. We also offer several one-year programs: Master of Science in Finance (MSF), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), MAcc Valuation (MAcc Val), Master of Marketing (MMark), and Master of Management in Health Care (MMHC). At this time, we do not have a one-year MBA program or any part-time, online, or evening MBA programs.

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

We accept applications for fall entrance only.

Q. When do students matriculate each year?
A.

Classes typically begin in mid-August. Orientation is required for all incoming students and the dates for Orientation are communicated to admitted candidates in advance. The finalized academic calendar will be available in June for the following year.

General Admissions Questions

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

We seek outstanding candidates regardless of the application round. However, space and scholarships are limited, so it is wise to apply as early as possible. Applying earlier means that you will receive an admissions decision earlier, leaving you more time to plan your transition to the Vanderbilt MBA program.

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

Your admission decision will be communicated by the decision deadline for the round in which you apply. Once your application is submitted, we will update your application status as supplemental items arrive. You can check your status by accessing the application checklist. Please allow sufficient time for the delivery and processing of all materials; we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Q. How does your wait list work?
A.

Applicants may be placed on the waiting list if the Admissions Committee wants to defer its final decision to a later date. In recent years, the Admissions Committee has admitted a number of candidates from the waiting list to help manage the size of the incoming class. We will keep candidates on the wait list as long as they remain interested and as long as there is still a reasonable chance of admission.

Q. When are admissions decisions made?
A.

In general, we will notify candidates of the admissions decision on the posted decision deadline.

Q. How much is the application fee?
A.

The application fee for the full-time MBA program is $200.

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

You can check your status at any time by accessing the application checklist. Please allow sufficient time for the delivery and processing of all materials.

Q. What is the process for reapplying?
A.

To reapply, you must submit a new application for the current year. Some of your former application data will transfer into your new application Please provide us with an updated resume, statements, recommendation, and new test scores, if applicable. You are encouraged to use the explanatory statement to describe how you have improved your candidacy. Please email mbaappstatus@vanderbilt.edu if you have questions regarding reapplication.

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

In exceptional situations beyond the candidate's control, the Admissions Committee may offer a deferral. Deferrals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

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

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

Admissions Criteria

Q. Can I apply if I already completed an MBA or similar degree from another school?
A.

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. Does the Vanderbilt MBA program require any quantitative courses as prerequisites?
A.

There are no specific prerequisites for our program. Before classes start, Vanderbilt offers a Quant Camp review program for incoming MBA students. Candidates with little or no business background are urged to review statistics, basic finance, accounting, and/or economic principles before the program in order to be adequately prepared for the quantitative rigor of the program. Click here for a detailed explanation of our admissions criteria.

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

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

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 at least one year of a Master's of Commerce degree program to compliment the three-year degree. You can view our international education requirements here.

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

We consider all full-time work, including military experience and volunteer work. 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.

Test Scores & Transcripts

Q. Can I take the GMAT/GRE/EA or an Duolingo English Test, IELTS, or TOEFL more than once?
A.

Yes. If you have taken the test more than once, we will consider your total highest score. 

Q. Does the Vanderbilt MBA program require the GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment?
A.

An official GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment score or approved test waiver is a required component of the Vanderbilt MBA Application. More information on required test scores and the test score waiver can be found here.

Q. I plan to retake the GMAT or GRE. Will the Admissions Committee hold my application until my new scores are available?
A.

We recommend that you take the GMAT or GRE and request your official score report before submitting your application. Applications will be evaluated with the test score(s) indicated at the time of submission. If you choose to take a test again, it is your responsibility to update the Admissions Office via email at mbaappstatus@vanderbilt.edu of any new test score(s) you wish to be included in the application evaluation. In addition, you will need to 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.

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

All International applicants are required to submit a test of English language unless you qualify for a waiver. You may qualify for an English Test Waiver for the following reasons: 1. You have earned an undergraduate degree in a country where English is an official language* (not just an English-speaking institution or just a country where English is spoken.) 2. You have lived and worked, for the past two or more years, in a country where English is an official language* (not just a country where English is spoken). 3. You have scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the verbal component of the GMAT or GRE.

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

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

Neither the GMAT testing center nor the Duolingo English Test center require a school code. You will be asked to provide only the school name to the GMAT testing center or Duolingo. Our institution code is 1871 for the GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL. When choosing the department please proceed as follows to ensure your scores are reported to Vanderbilt. You are given a choice of "Undergraduate" or "Graduate" as the kind of test you are taking. Please select "Graduate". A drop down box will then ask you to choose the "department". Choose the last option in the drop down menu and click on "Any Department Not Listed".

Q. What are the requirements for TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test?
A.

We highly recommend a minimum of 100 on the iBT TOEFL, 7 overall with relatively balanced sections on the IELTS and 130 overall on the Duolingo English Test.

Recommendations

Q. How do I choose my recommenders?
A.

Professional recommendations are strongly preferred. The recommender should be able to speak to your communication and analytical skills and how you work with others.

Q. May I submit more than one letter of recommendation?
A.

It is not recommended to submit more than one letter of reference unless a second recommendation will shed light on another aspect of your profile.

Evaluative Interviews

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

Interviews are 30 minutes and are conducted by our Recruiting & Admissions Fellows or members of our Recruiting & Admissions Team. You can expect the admissions interview to be structured like a professional interview and should prepare accordingly. Currently, all admissions interviews are being conducted virtually.

Q. Is an interview required for admission?
A.

Interviews are an essential component of the application. Interviews are conducted by invitation, after review of application materials.

MBA Tuition, Loans & Scholarships

Q. Are graduate assistantships available?
A.

There are a limited number of opportunities to work with professors and administrators during the academic year for an hourly rate. These positions range from 10 to 15 hours per week for a professor or one of the school's administrative offices and are selected by the sponsoring professor or office. These opportunities are typically posted at the beginning of the school year. Positions may also become available throughout the year. We do not offer federal work-study opportunities nor do we award assistantships as part of the scholarship package.

Q. Are there scholarships available for rising second-year students?
A.

All scholarships are awarded during the application process to incoming students. While in the past the school has given out small cash awards to certain outstanding first-year students for their second year, you should not rely on future scholarships/awards for funding.

Q. How does tuition work for dual degree students?
A.

Tuition rates vary amount graduate programs at Vanderbilt University. Students enrolled in a dual degree program should expect to pay the tuition to the Owen Graduate School of Management for the semesters they are enrolled in the MBA program.

Q. How do I apply for financial aid?
A.

In order to qualify for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Information about completing the FAFSA Form can be found on the website for the Vanderbilt University Office of Financial Aid. Filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for federal financial aid.

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

Melinda Nixon is the Owen Financial Aid Officer, and you may reach her by emailing her directly.

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

At this time, we are unable to offer on-campus University housing for graduate or professional students.

Q. What is the Dean's Scholar Award?
A.

The Dean's Scholar Award is the highest honor for an incoming student. For more information, please visit the Dean's Scholars Award Program page.

Q. Are there loans available?
A.

Loans are dispersed through the central Office of Student Financial Aid; visit Vanderbilt University’s financial aid website for details about loan options.


International students do not qualify for federally funded loan programs unless they are permanent residents of the U.S. International students may apply for a private alternative source of funding, but a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is required as a co-borrower. Vanderbilt offers two loan options that do not require a U.S. co-borrower, available through Prodigy Finance and MPower Financing. The two may be compared by viewing Vanderbilt’s Office of Financial Aid’s private alternative loan options information and clicking on the FASTChoice to filter.

 
We encourage you to explore your loan options in advance of the application process.

Q. How do I apply for scholarships?
A.

All applicants are automatically considered for scholarship awards at the time of admission. Scholarships range from $5,000 per year to full tuition. More information on scholarships can be found here. The full amount of scholarship awarded may be spread across more than one named award, with the total amount of all scholarships announced at time of admission.

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