What are admission requirements for a top MBA?

Spending even a short amount of time researching different types of MBA programs available at a variety of universities reveals many similarities to the admission process. All business schools are looking for students who show a commitment to developing as leaders in business and management. Because of this, most reputable business schools are looking for a fair balance between past academic performance, undergraduate GPA, standardized test scores, and information shared in essays and recommendations and responses given during interviews.

Experts are divided on what requirements of the admission process are most important for a business school candidate. "Ask most admissions committee members and they will tell you that it's the sum of many pieces—there is no one "most important" part. The top schools want to know who you are, and statistics and a résumé don't tell them that. It's the essays, interviews, and recommendations that ultimately reveal the person beyond the paper. Compelling essays, recommendations, and interviews can provide context for a low GMAT score or GPA—but the reverse is not true. Strong numbers will never make up for weak essays or a disorganized, negative recommendation." But what do some of the country's most elite MBA programs look for in potential students, and how can applicants make themselves stand out among the pack to get ahead and gain acceptance into the program of their choosing? Below are some of the specific admissions requirements of the top MBA programs in the country. Use this invaluable information to gain insight on how to market your abilities and communicate your career goals while applying to business schools.

MBA Programs

One of the top three MBA programs currently being offered in the United States is through the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. This award winning full-time MBA has been recognized by such national ranking entities as U.S News & World Report, the Economist, and Bloomberg Businessweek. This program offers concentrations in Accounting, Analytic Management, Economics, Finance, International Business, Marketing Management, and Strategic Management. New MBA students are admitted into this program each year during the autumn quarter only. After a potential candidate applies, interviews are given by invitation only. The Booth School of Business considers a completed application to include the completed online paperwork with personal background check, answered essay questions, a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, GMAT/GRE score, and a $250 application fee. This online application process includes detailed instructions throughout and allows candidates to add and edit content at their discretion before making the final submission to the business school. The next step of the admission process is an interview. "A candidate who receives an invitation will have only one interview. Admission interviews are conducted by admissions staff, students, or alumni. They are held on campus or in a location convenient for the prospective student. All interviews, regardless of who conducts them, receive equal weight in the evaluation process."

Another prestigious program to consider is the on-campus Master of Business Administration offered through the School of Management at Yale University. The Yale School of Management MBA is thoughtfully structured to include the core curriculum, electives, and international study, which strategically develops leaders who can understand big picture thinking of whole organizations. The School of Management requires students to submit all transcripts from every college or university attended, two professional letters of recommendation, GMAT/GRE scores, a sliding scale application fee, and a video recording of application answers. If the School of Management seeks an interview, a representative will then contact the candidate to schedule one.

These elite programs are just two examples of stellar business schools that are highly sought after by potential MBA students. They are not only looking for professionals with solid work experience and good academic statistics; they are seeking men and women who can communicate their goals and professional ambitions to make sure they are a good fit for their programs. Candidates will do well to take special care in communicating clearly their goals, ambitions, strengths, and weaknesses during the application process to be considered for such quality programs.