FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

COVID-19 FAQs

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

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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.

MBA Program Information

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

We offer a two-year, daytime MBA program and a two-year 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). 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.

MBA 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. Exemptions are considered during Orientation by the Assistant Dean of Academic Programs based on previous academic courses.

MBA Tuition, Loans & Scholarships

Q. What is the financial aid timeline?
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 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.

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

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.

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. 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.

Q. How much are scholarships worth?
A.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Q. What is the interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans?
A.

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.

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

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.

Q. What loan programs are available to domestic and international students?
A.

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.

Q. Are there loans available for international students?
A.

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.

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 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.

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. Can I work as a student?
A.

Most students find that life as a Vanderbilt MBA student is very demanding with classes, group work, the career search, student organizations, and social events. As a result, most students do not work while classes are in session. There are a limited number of opportunities to work with professors and administrators during the academic year for an hourly rate. 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.

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

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.

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

All admitted applicants are automatically considered for scholarships awarded by Owen. 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.

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

No. At the present time, there is no campus housing for graduate students.

Q. Are graduate assistantships available?
A.

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 at the beginning of the school year. Positions may also become available throughout the year.

Admissions Criteria

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.

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 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?
A.

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?
A.

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

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?
A.

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.

How to Apply

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. 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. 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. 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.

Admissions Transcripts & Test Scores

Q. If I take the GMAT or GRE 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.

Q. What are requirements for TOEFL and IELTS?
A.

We highly recommend a minimum of 100 on the iBT TOEFL and 7 overall with balanced section scores on the IELTS.

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

Traditionally, Vanderbilt has required a GMAT or a GRE score as a part of your application. Recognizing the extraordinary challenges faced by many applicants, 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, complete the test waiver request form, and upload supporting documentation. Test waiver request form coming soon.

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. 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. 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. Financial aid is handled by the Vanderbilt Financial Aid Office.

Q. Is the DuoLingo English test accepted?
A.

The DuoLingo English test does not replace the TOEFL or IELTS exam. However, you are welcome to submit DuoLingo results as a way to strengthen your application.

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.

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 the total score.

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

Although the GMAT or GRE and GPA are important indicators of your academic ability, they are only one piece of the application. Your overall academic record and the consistency of your performance are also good indicators of your potential for success. 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).

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

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. You 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. You 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. You have scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the verbal component of the GMAT or GRE.

Admissions Essays & Recommendations

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.

Q. How do I choose my recommenders?
A.

Strong references typically come from your current supervisor, a former supervisor, or someone with whom you have worked for a reasonable amount of time. Professional recommendations are strongly preferred to an academic recommendation from professors. Familiarity is key. The recommender should be able to speak to your communication and analytical skills and how you work with others. We would discourage you from using recommendations from friends or family members.

Admissions Resume & Work History

Q. What is the profile of current Vanderbilt MBA students?
A.

Please visit the Vanderbilt MBA Class Profile on our website for current information.

Q. Will my application be considered if I have fewer than two years of full-time work experience?
A.

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.

Admissions Events & Visits

Q. Can I conduct an on campus visit?
A.

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.

Admissions Interview Process

Q. How long do interviews last?
A.

Our interviews are 30 minutes long and are conducted by our Recruiting & Admissions Fellows or members of our Recruiting & Admissions Team.

Q. What can I expect during the interview?
A.

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.

Q. How important is the interview in relation to the rest of the application?
A.

The interview 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.

Q. How are interviews conducted?
A.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, all of our interviews are currently being conducted virtually through our application system. Candidates that are approved to interview will have the opportunity to sign up for a time to interview. Once you have selected a time, your confirmation email will contain a link to log on for your interview. Candidates will receive a reminder email the day of the interview with information about their interviewer and the link to log on for the interview. Instructions on who to contact should technical difficulties arise are included in the reminder email.

Admissions Deadlines

Q. How much is the application fee?
A.

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

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 deposit date, not completed their courses or pre-MBA programs required as a condition of their admission, not sent us official transcripts or test scores prior to matriculation, or been found to have falsified information in their application.

Admissions Decisions

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. 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. When are admissions decisions made?
A.

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

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