Loyola Sellinger
Business School Blog

Understanding the MBA admissions process

Making the decision to get an MBA is the first step down an exciting road, one that will help to further your career, expand your professional network and prepare you to take on new leadership responsibilities. However, getting into business school isn’t as easy as simply deciding to go. To be accepted into your dream program, you must first go through the MBA admissions process.

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Know the MBA Admissions Cycle

Understanding the many steps of the MBA admissions process is crucial to helping you tackle it head on and prepare a stellar application that will stand out from the crowd and allow you to pose your candidacy at the ideal time. Poets and Quants outlines the three stages to the admissions cycle: pre-application, application and post-application. You’ll have to put work in before and after you submit your application, so realistic planning ensures you have an accurate timeline.

Do Your Research

Doing diligent research before you submit any business school applications will save you time and money in the long run. Determine which schools are your top choices, which program you are most interested in pursuing and your budget before you begin the formal application process. Start your research well before you need to apply, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide what you need out of a program – and what a program needs out of you. If you need to strengthen your background, you’ll want to give yourself enough time to put in the extra effort to help your application stand up to the rigorous MBA admissions competition. Additionally, you’ll have enough time to sort out any questions that may arise regarding your MBA tuition. Figure out what kind MBA scholarships are available or if you will want financial aid to complete the program of your choice.

Understand the Requirements for Your Program and Gather Your Materials

Every program has slightly different MBA admissions requirements. Research the programs you’re considering, so you know what test scores, written supplements and associated materials are needed. For example, Sellinger’s part-time MBA admissions requires you to complete an online application as well as provide the admissions staff with a resume or CV, an essay/personal statement and a letter of recommendation. You also must submit relevant test scores (or see if you qualify for waivers) and your official transcript. Keep in mind the requirements can vary between programs. Make sure you understand what you’ll need to have ready for your application, so you can give yourself enough time to study for stellar GMAT scores, procure the perfect recommendation or take an extra class to boost your transcript as needed.

Submit Your Application

Once you have all your documents in order, you’ll be ready to submit your application. You’ll want to try to submit your application during the priority period to ensure it reaches the admissions staff before the class is filled, and make sure you submit all the application materials on time. Business Insider notes that one of the first things that happens when your application reaches the admissions office is that it is checked for completeness. If your application is missing anything, it is put on hold.
After your application has been submitted, it will be evaluated by the admissions office. Of course, it is ideal to have high GMAT scores and a good GPA from a great school. Because your application will be judged on a variety of factors, however, significant accomplishments in your post-undergrad career, a well-written essay and a great recommendation can help to win the admission staff’s favor.

Prepare for Business School

Your last step in the MBA admissions process happens once you’ve been accepted. If you’ve been out of school for a while, you might want to register for a few refresher courses before starting your MBA program. Make sure you’ve cleared your schedule, and prepare for the rigorous, rewarding road toward earning your degree.