MBA Program Information
No. We accept applications for fall entrance only.
We offer a two-year full-time, daytime MBA program and a two-year full-time Executive MBA program, which meets every 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). In addition, we offer an Americas MBA for globally minded executives. At this time, we do not have a one-year full-time MBA program or any part-time, online or evening MBA programs.
Classes begin in mid-August. Orientation is required for all incoming students and begins in August. The International Summer Business Program (ISBP) program begins in mid-July and is required of most international students. The finalized academic calendar will be available in June for the following year.
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. Exemptions are considered during Orientation by the Assistant Dean of Academic Programs based on previous academic courses.
MBA Tuition, Loans & Scholarships
A limited number of graduate student work assignments will be available. 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 in the Owen Daily News at the beginning of the school year or on the Admitted Applicants website leading up to Orientation. Positions may also become available throughout the year. Additionally, the Vanderbilt Office Student Employment maintains a site of all student positions available on campus on HireADore.
International students may 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. Or you may apply directly to Prodigy Finance or MPower Financing which does not require a co-signer. The two may be compared by viewing Vanderbilt’s Office of Financial Aid’s private alternative loan options information and clicking on FASTChoice to filter.
All scholarships are awarded during the application process to incoming students. While the school has given out small cash awards to certain outstanding first-year students in the past, you should not rely on future scholarships/awards for funding.
Most students find that life as a Vanderbilt MBA student is very demanding. Classes, group work, individual study, the career search, student organizations, guest speakers, recreation and social events are time-consuming activities, but they are an important part of the Vanderbilt MBA experience. As a result, most students do not work while classes are in session. Those who wish to work have several options to help fund their education and gain valuable experience. U.S. citizens, permanent residents and eligible non-citizens may apply for graduate assistant positions. Opportunities to work with professors and administrators are posted at the beginning of each academic year. Students may work up to 20 hours per week, but most jobs require only 10 to 15 hours and offer flexible schedules. International students may NOT work off campus during the first nine months of their program as governed by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration. Thereafter, authorization to work off-campus is required for summer internships or during the academic year. There may be other opportunities for employment on campus and outside of the business school. For more information, you should contact Vanderbilt's Student Employment Office, which is part of the Office for Student Financial Aid. In the past, some Vanderbilt MBA students have lived on campus and worked part-time as advisors or supervisors in one of the residence halls or international houses. To learn more about this option, contact the Office of Housing & Residential Education.
Yes, all students are required to have a computer. Our IT department will assist you with installing the programs you will need.
In order to qualify for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The Title IV code for Vanderbilt is 003535. Completing your federal income tax return first is recommended. Financial aid is always determined by the federal income tax information filed for the previous year.
All admitted applicants are automatically considered for 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 admissions decision: academic performance, GMAT scores, quality of work experience, leadership potential and personal characteristics demonstrated through the essays, interviews and recommendations. There are three diversity scholarships that require a supplemental essay. Scholarship decisions are communicated at the same time as the admissions decisions. More details are available here.
Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, Vanderbilt University, 2309 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-1725 or email the Office of Student Financial Aid; 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 CT. Melinda Nixon is the Owen Financial Aid Officer, and you may reach her by calling her office at 615.322.3591 or by emailing her directly.
Scholarships range from $5,000 per year to full tuition. They are renewed automatically for your second year as long as you maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
No. At the present time, there is no campus housing for graduate students. For more information, please visit Vanderbilt University's Housing Office. Students who live close to Vanderbilt generally walk or bike to campus. There are restaurants and shops in the West End and Hillsboro Village areas and also within walking distance of campus. If you choose to live farther from campus, having a car would be helpful, although many students rely upon taxis, Uber or Lyft to get around. Most students have cars, but this is a personal decision. Find out more about Nashville's cost of living here.
Vanderbilt requires that all students, spouses and dependents have health care coverage. The detailed costs, forms and form completion/submission deadlines are all available on the Vanderbilt Student Health Website.
Click here for the current estimated program cost of education for a single student during the nine-month academic year. For your second year of study, you should anticipate a four percent increase in tuition, fees and living expenses. The Vanderbilt Board of Trust approves the budget every July.
The Dean's Scholar Award is the highest honor for an incoming student. With it, the Dean recognizes and rewards the outstanding achievements and potential of future Vanderbilt MBA leaders. Recipients interact with current students, faculty, staff and alumni during Scholars' Weekend. Those who receive the award gain access to special programming as Owen students.
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 MBA scholarships, Federal Direct Stafford Loans and a Federal Direct Graduate Plus loan to meet the cost of education or academic budget for the year.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Graduate Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan has a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent.
Subsidized Direct Federal Stafford Loans are limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are non-need-based loans for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. The borrower is responsible for the interest on these loans as soon as the loan is disbursed. Private alternative loans are available for all students. A number of major lending organizations offer loan programs to qualified borrowers. A listing is available at the Office of Student Financial Aid. The student may borrow up to the cost of education minus any financial aid. International students can use this resource if a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident serves as a co-signer. International applicants may borrow from Prodigy Finance or MPower Financing, without a co-signer. The two may be compared by viewing Vanderbilt’s Office of Financial Aid’s private alternative loan options information and clicking on FASTChoice to filter. For more information, visit Prodigy's website and MPower Financing website.
The loan application paperwork is usually available in the fall of the year prior to enrollment. Visit Vanderbilt University's financial aid website for details.
In order to qualify for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Federal financial aid includes the Federal Stafford Loan Program. International students may 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. Or you may apply directly to Prodigy Finance or MPower Financing Loan, which does not require a co-signer.
Students can purchase parking passes at the Office of Traffic and Parking in Wesley Place Garage, across the street from Owen on Scarritt Place. Click here for cost and other information about Traffic and Parking at Vanderbilt. Most Owen students choose to purchase a Zone 2 general permit, which allows them to park in any unreserved Zone 2 parking space. There are Zone 2 surface lots and two Zone 2 parking garages in the immediate area of the Owen building.
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 MBA experience.
No. Most top business schools do not accept transfer students or transfer credits. If we do admit an individual who is already enrolled in another full-time MBA program, we will not accept transfer credits. The student will be expected to complete all 62 credits required for the Vanderbilt MBA degree.
No, there are no specific prerequisites. However, candidates with little or no business background are strongly urged to review algebra 2, statistics, basic finance, accounting and/or economic principles. Our program is highly quantitative in the first year, so to prepare for this, quantitative pre-work will ensure that you are successful in those classes. 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 optional online reviews for incoming MBA students who want additional preparation. Click here for a detailed explanation of our admissions criteria.
No, Vanderbilt does not admit applicants seeking a second MBA degree or a similar graduate management degree, regardless of where the first was obtained. Exempt from this policy are graduate management degrees that were earned at a college or university outside the U.S. in order to satisfy the four-year U.S. bachelor's degree requirement. Also exempt 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.
The Admissions Committee considers each candidate individually. Admission is always based on individual credentials.
All kinds, but only full-time post baccalaureate work experience is counted in the official statistics we report. When we evaluate your application, we consider all full-time work, military experience, part-time work, internships, co-op assignments, summer jobs and volunteer work.
A three (3) year degree does not meet Owen’s academic admission qualifications/requirements. International students must have a degree from an accredited 4-year undergraduate program, or they must also complete the Charter Accountancy Designation OR at least one year of a Master of Commerce degree program to compliment the three year degree. For applicants educated in Lebanon please contact Kim Killingsworth, Director of International Recruiting & Relations.
How to Apply
Once your application is received we will update your status as supplemental items arrive and your admission decision will be communicated by the deadline shown in the application round in which you have applied. Please see the current application, decision and deposit dates on our website. You can check your status by accessing the application checklist. 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 after the round for which you applied before checking your application or contacting our office. If you require a personal response from one of our assistants, please email us, but do this only if necessary. 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 June.
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.
To reapply, you must submit a new application for the current year. Your person level information (bio demo data, school history, employment history, and test scores) will autopopulate in your new application and you can update those as need be. You will need to complete the new application and you should provide an additional statement in the optional essay area describing your personal and professional activities since last year's application and explain why you are now a stronger candidate for admission. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding reapplication.
In exceptional situations beyond the candidate's control, the Admissions Committee may offer a deferral. For example, all deferral requests for U.S. military personnel will be approved. Otherwise, deferrals are on a case-by-case basis. If a deferral is refused, candidates must decline an offer of admission and reactivate the application for admission and financial aid consideration the following year.
Admissions Transcripts & Test Scores
Yes. If you submit different test results, we will consider and report your best overall performance based on the total score. If your scores are below average, we strongly recommend that you retake the test, prior to submitting your application, to increase your chances of admission. Keep in mind that a vast majority of those who apply can handle the work, so we also are evaluating how competitive their performance is compared to the pool and our school's MBA profile. Over half of the candidates who enroll have taken the GMAT or GRE more than once.
You must submit a GMAT or a GRE score as a part of your application (GMAT is preferred). Your performance on either exam will be used as part of our assessment of your academic ability. We do not have a minimum score requirement for either exam. However to ensure you have a competitive application, please see the MBA class profile for average scores and the range of scores accepted. Standardized test scores are only one of many factors that we review in determining admission to Owen. We encourage you to apply to our program regardless of the level of your score performance. However, if you are concerned about your test performance, you may want to consider retaking your selected exam to improve your score after additional practice and preparation. We will only look at your highest submitted score. It is helpful to properly study and prepare for the GMAT or GRE. In addition to the many test-prep courses, books and materials available, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) offers tools to help you prepare at MBA.com, such as The Official Guide to the GMAT and GMAT Focus, and Educational Testing Services (ETS) offers tools to help you prepare for the GRE at www.takethegre.com. (link)
You can view the Department of Education's website for complete information regarding student loans, or see resources on our website here. Please note-we do not handle financial aid at Owen. All questions shouls be directed to the Vanderbilt Financial Aid Office.
We recommend that you take the GMAT or GRE before submitting your application so that you are satisfied with your scores and can record your scores on your application. No admissions decision will be made until all components of the application have been submitted, including the official GMAT or GRE score. Applicants often retake the GMAT or GRE in an attempt to improve their score, and if you do this, you must email email@example.com to report your new intentions and test date. If you submit different test results, we will consider and report your best overall performance based on the total score. If your scores are below average, we strongly recommend that you retake the test, prior to submitting your application, to increase your chances of admission.
We will only utilize the highest score when making an admissions decision.
Although the GMAT or GRE 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 first year of a rigorous MBA program. Candidates who are weak in one area of the application (low GMAT or GRE, weak academic record or limited experience) may balance that with strengths in other areas (above-average GPA, outstanding test scores or exceptional work experience).
All International applicants are required to submit a test of English language unless you qualify for a waiver. If you are requesting an English test waiver you must select your qualification on the application under the test score section of the international application. Below are the options you may choose when completing your application. If you qualify the item will be removed from your applicant status page requirements. The Admissions Committee has the option to request further information to review your application and waiver request. English Test Waiver: 1. I 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.) 2. I have 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). 3. I have scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the verbal component of the GMAT or GRE.
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. 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".
Take the GMAT or GRE (GMAT is preferred) and TOEFL or IELTS, if required, before submitting your application so that you can include your scores in the application. If you have already taken your required tests and sent your score reports to Vanderbilt, your scores will automatically be verified by Vanderbilt. Verified score reports from GMAC or GRE are required to complete your application for an admission decision. Please send all score reports to: Center for Data Management - OWEN Vanderbilt University PMB 407833 2301 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, TN 37240-7833 2. 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 official transcripts to: Center for Data Management - OWEN Vanderbilt University PMB 407833 2301 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, TN 37240-7833
We highly recommend a minimum of 100 on the iBT TOEFL and 7 overall with balanced section scores on the IELTS.
Admissions Essays & Recommendations
The Admissions Committee is interested in recommendations from people who can assess your ability to succeed, not only in an academic environment but also in your career and in positions of leadership or management. The Admissions Committee wants to know about your communication and analytical skills and how you work with others. People who often serve as strong references include your current supervisor, a former supervisor or those with whom you have worked for a reasonable amount of time. There are times when applicants don't want their supervisors to know their plans to attend business school. In these situations, a client, previous manager or contact from an extracurricular organization can be useful. The recommender need not be the CEO, CFO or other head of a company, especially if he or she has had little direct contact or interaction with you. Familiarity is key. Professional recommendations are strongly preferred to an Academic recommendation from professors. Professional recommendations tell us more about your ability to contribute in a business context. Recommendations from friends, work peers or subordinates, family members or family friends are not appropriate and may detract from the overall strength of your application.
It is not recommended to submit more than two letters of reference, unless a third recommendation will shed light on another aspect of your profile.
Admissions Résumé & Work History
Please visit the Vanderbilt MBA Class Profile on our website for current information.
The Admissions Committee reviews every application, regardless of the amount of experience. However, candidates must have at least two years of full-time, post-baccalaureate experience by the time they enroll in our MBA program. Candidates with little or no experience should consider one of our one-year programs, such as Master of Finance, Master of Accountancy or Master of Marketing. On average, our students have five years of full-time postgraduate work experience. Applicants with more experience are generally more competitive; however, the quality of experience is important as well. Despite the duration of your experience, we want to see where you have worked effectively in teams, demonstrated leadership, exceeded customer expectations, successfully managed major projects, etc.
Admissions Events & Visits
Our graduate assistants will try to organize your visit around your individual background, interests and goals. The unpredictability of your travel schedule, the availability of student hosts and the activities of a certain class on any given day prevent us from guaranteeing that we will be able to fulfill everyone's desires all of the time. Regardless of the class you attend, the host you meet or the duration of your stay, we know you will find your visit to Vanderbilt to be a pleasant and productive experience.
Many applicants consider it ideal to complete an admissions interview while visiting campus; however, it is not required. You may skip the evaluative interview during your visit, or you may replace it with an informational meeting with a member of the Admissions Committee. When limited interview slots are available, priority is given to the most competitive applicants.
Our guests usually wear business professional attire when interviewing. Otherwise, most campus visitors wear business casual attire.
No. In general, you are encouraged to visit campus at least once because it is the best way to introduce yourself to members of the Owen community and to learn about the Vanderbilt MBA program, the university and Nashville. If you have not visited campus before receiving an offer of admission, we strongly encourage you to visit before you make a final decision about attending Vanderbilt. Most candidates prefer to visit during the academic year while classes are in session. However, we encourage you to visit at any time.
It depends. The availability of hosts, suitability of classes, number of visitors and other demands on our resources often make it difficult to arrange for you to attend more than one class during your campus visit. Our graduate assistants will work with you to make sure you get the most out of your visit to Vanderbilt.
During a personalized campus visit, you will be introduced to a student host, who will take you to his or her class, introduce you to faculty and fellow students and accompany you to lunch. After lunch, you can participate in a small group discussion with a member of our Career Management Center. You can arrange an evaluative interview or information session with a member of the Admissions Committee as a part of your visit.
Admissions Interview Process
No. We recognize that it's not possible for everyone to travel to campus, especially in the middle of the work week or from far away. Once your application has been submitted and reviewed, if we feel we need more information, you may receive an invitation to schedule an interview. This can be done in one of two ways: (1) we will conduct your interview when we visit a city near you (we travel all over the world), or (2) we will conduct your interview via video chat. However, we still strongly believe in the value of a trip to Owen, Vanderbilt and Nashville so you can get a better idea of our environment.
Many applicants consider it ideal to complete an admissions interview while visiting campus; however, it is not required. You may skip the evaluative interview during your visit, or you may replace it with an informational meeting with a member of the Admissions Committee. Interviews may be conducted regardless of whether you have submitted an application. When limited interview slots are available, priority is given to the most competitive applicants.
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 motivation for seeking an MBA degree.
The interview usually lasts 30 to 40 minutes. 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.
There is no advantage in our admissions decision-making process. However, campus visits are the best way for you to get a firsthand look at the Vanderbilt MBA program. You can attend a class, go to lunch with a current student, interview with an admissions officer and attend an information session with Career Management Center staff. Vanderbilt wants to enroll students who are excited about life at Owen and in Nashville. Visiting campus is one way to demonstrate this passion.
We conduct a structured conversational interview. We are interested in evaluating all candidates on a common set of criteria, but we also want to discover your individual story, unique talents and personal ambitions. Your interpersonal skills, communication abilities and professional presence are at least as important as the specific content of the interview. We expect that you will wear professional attire and bring a copy of your current résumé if you have not applied. If we have your application, we will have a copy of your résumé.
An evaluative interview is required before an offer of admission can be extended, but not all applicants may be interviewed. Regardless of your status in the application process, we encourage you to schedule an interview in conjunction with a campus visit or during one of our recruiting trips by emailing your résumé and GMAT test scores with the location and date of your interview request. Off-campus interview appointments are limited, and priority is given to candidates who have more than two years of full-time work experience, a GMAT or GRE score and a submitted application. If you are unable to interview with an admissions director on campus or in a city near you, you may be invited to interview via a video call only after all required application materials have been received and evaluated by MBA Admissions staff. If you are invited to interview, we email you with instructions for scheduling an appointment to interview via a video call.
Your application will be evaluated without the interview, and we will contact you by email with instructions for scheduling an interview if you are a competitive applicant. For candidates who have not completed an interview, we allow two weeks for processing and preliminary review after each deadline, then four weeks for those candidates to complete their visits and interviews and another two weeks for final decisions. You may hear sooner than the published notification deadline. After the fourth round of admissions, decisions are made on a rolling basis.
The application fee for the full-time MBA program is $175.
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 date; from candidates who have not completed the courses or pre-MBA programs required as a condition of their admission; from candidates who have not sent us official transcripts or test scores prior to matriculation; from candidates who are found to have falsified information in their application.
Once your application is received we will update your status as supplemental items arrive and your admission decision will be communicated by the deadline shown inthe application round in which you have applied. Please see the current application, decision and deposit dates on our website. You can check your status by accessing the application checklist. 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 after the round for which you applied before checking your application or contacting our office. If you require a personal response from one of our assistants, please email us, but do this only if necessary. 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 June.
Applicants may be placed on the waiting list if the Admissions Committee wants to defer its final decision to a later date. If the Admissions Committee has specific concerns that may be addressed by providing additional information, a member of the admissions team will reach out to you in order to provide you with this feedback. 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 do not rank waiting list candidates nor can we predict the likelihood of admission. It may be a matter of weeks or months before a decision can be made. We will keep candidates on the waiting list as long as they remain interested and as long as there is still a reasonable chance of admission, right up until the start of Orientation if necessary.
In general, we will notify you of the admissions decision within six to eight weeks of the application deadline for the round in which you applied and no later than the posted decision deadline.