College of Business
Guidelines for MBA Program Admissions Standards


In accordance with AACSB standards, the admissions standards should support the mission of an MBA program. While the exact standards may differ across various MBA programs, four areas should be addressed as indicated below. It is expected that any intake proposal for an MBA program will specify how it specifically addresses these four areas.

Undergraduate Degree

Students should possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. International degrees should be analyzed for equivalency to US undergraduate degrees. Normally this requires the completion of 16 years of education. An exception to this standard can be made for a student or population of students with approval of the Graduate CIT, the Dean, and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies.

Students should be required to provide a complete transcript of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework. The admissions decision should include an analysis of the performance of the student in previous coursework. The program should document its process for verifying the undergraduate degree requirement.

TOEFL Scores

International students who have not completed their undergraduate degree in an English language program should be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A domestic MBA program combining U.S. and international students should require a higher proficiency with English than MBA programs serving a homogenous population of international students as follows: Domestic MBA Program

  • Requires a TOEFL score of at least 600 (250 on the computer version)

MBA Program for International Student Population

  • Unconditionally admitted
    • TOEFL score of 550 (213 on the computer version) with a TWE (Test of Written English) composition score of 5
  • Conditionally admitted -must participate in supplemental English study through OPIE or equivalent.
    • TOEFL score between 520 and 550 (190 and 213 on the computer version) with the following sub-scores:
      • 52 on the reading section (19 on the computer version)
      • 50 on the listening section (17 on the computer version)
      • 5 on the TWE composition test

If the program admits international students, it should document the standard used and how supplemental English study is handled if students are conditionally admitted.

Readiness for Graduate Study

Some assessment should be made of the students readiness for graduate study. The method for making this determination may vary depending on the target population and mission of the program. This can include the use of indicators such as:

  • GMAT scores
  • Previous work experience
  • Performance on tests/preliminary coursework
  • Letters of Recommendation

For example, the GMAT would be appropriate for programs that admit students immediately after an undergraduate program while work experience should be more important for an Executive MBA program. Performance on tests/preliminary coursework can be useful as a substitute for the GMAT or when the program will mix students with differing levels of business background. Letters of recommendation should be used in most MBA programs.

The program should indicate how readiness for graduate study is determined including specific GMAT cutoffs used, how previous work experience is documented or measured, what tests or coursework are required, and how letters of recommendation are screened.

Admissions Interviews/Written Essay Questions

MBA programs should use an admissions interview or answers to written essay questions as part of the admissions decision. This interview or questions should be used to determine the fit between the students abilities/goals and the purpose/mission/design of the MBA program. The program should provide a list of questions asked and an indication of how the answers to those questions are used to make the admission decision.