Application and Admission Process
Q: Do you admit students in both the Fall and Spring Semesters?
A: No. All of our MBA options only admit students once per year. The One Year Accelerated MBA students begin their course of study in June, Professional Evening students in mid-August, and our Professional Greek students begin in October.
Q: What are your deadlines for application submission?
A: This depends on whether you are applying to the Professional Evening or One Year Accelerated MBA option. Professional Evening student applications must be completed by March 15th for international students, and July 1st for domestic students. One Year Accelerated student applications must be completed by January 15th for international students, and May 11th for domestic students who are not seeking financial aid. Those seeking scholarships must apply by April 1.
Q: Do I need a business background to enter the MBA program?
A: No. You do not need a business degree to enter the MBA program. We seek qualified candidates from all backgrounds, and our program is designed for individuals from all backgrounds. Our curriculum covers the basic principles of business before you enter advanced topics.
Q: What materials must I submit with my application?
A: This depends on whether you are applying to the Professional Evening or One Year Accelerated Option. Many requirements are common to both options, but a few are unique to the Professional Evening option. We require that all entering students submit the following:
- An MBA Application: MBA Applications are accepted online. You may apply here.
- Graduate School Application : This is also available on the web. It can be filled out online and be submitted directly to the Graduate School along with the application fee.
- We are now accepting either the GMAT or GRE for admission consideration.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test): Have official scores directed to University of Kentucky (school code = 1837). Admission decisions may be based, in part, on unofficial scores, but official scores are required prior to full admitted status.
GRE (Graduate Records Exam): Have official scores directed to University of Kentucky (school code = 1837). Admission decisions may be based, in part, on unofficial scores, but official scores are required prior to full admitted status. * The GMAT or GRE may be waived by the MBA Admission Committee if the applicant has either been awarded a degree in law, Medicine or Pharmacy Doctorate, or presently enrolled (in good standing) in such programs.
- Undergraduate Degree and Transcripts: Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended; applicants should possess a four-year undergraduate degree (or its equivalent) with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75/4.0.
The following international degrees are acceptable:
- India: Applicants with a three-year arts, science, or commerce degree must present both Bachelors and Masters degrees.
- Germany and Austria: Applicants with an arts or science degree must attain a degree level of Diplom or Magister.
- France: Applicants must complete a four-year Licence, a Diplome, or attain a professional title beyond the Baccalaureate.
- Letters of Recommendation: Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals (e.g., professors, current or former supervisors, etc.) who are able to objectively assess the quality of your character, your capabilities and accomplishments, and your overall potential as an MBA student and future business leader. No forms or particular letter formats are required. Letters may be submitted to MBA Center in two different ways:
- Letter writers may mail letters directly to the MBA Center at address above or e-mail to Beverly Kemper
- Applicants may include letters with the MBA application if they are in envelopes signed and sealed by the letter writers
- Current Resume
- English Language Proficiency: International students (with the exception of those who hold a degree from a U.S. institution of higher education) must submit the official results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with an overall minimum score of 550 (written exam) or 213 (computer exam), and the Test of Written English (TWE) with a score of 4.5 or higher. International students can also submit the official results of the IBT (Internet Based Test) for the TOEFL with a minimum score of 79.
Students interested in the Professional Evening Option must also either:
- Demonstrate completion of an undergraduate business degree with pre-foundation courses from an accredited program.
- Demonstrate Completion of the Pre-Foundation Course Requirements: These pre-MBA foundation courses are NOT required for application and initial admission to the MBA program. Indeed, students with pre-MBA foundation course deficiencies may be granted provisional admission status. However, students MUST complete the specified prerequisites PRIOR TO the beginning of the first day of MBA classes. Students will be granted full admission status and allowed to continue in the program ONLY after submitting documentation of successful completion of the required pre-MBA foundation courses.
Generally, it may be assumed that students who have earned an undergraduate degree in business administration (BBA or equivalent) possess a mastery of pre-MBA skills and material. However, applicants who have been out of school for a long period of time, have been working in non-business functions, or feel the need to 'brush up' on their basic skills are strongly encouraged to reacquaint themselves with the pre-MBA foundations by way of option 1 below.
Certification of pre-MBA foundation courses may be satisfied in one of the following ways:
- Passing the required prerequisite courses at the University of Kentucky*:
- ACC 201 & ACC 202 : Financial and Managerial Accounting
- ECO 201 & ECO 202 : Micro- and Macro-economics
- Passing equivalent courses at another accredited university*
- Successfully completing the required courses online or via equivalent correspondence courses at any accredited university*
- Passing college-level proficiency ( CLEP ) examinations
Q: I have a business undergraduate degree or have taken a number of courses similar to those in your program. Will you allow me to waive these courses to shorten the time to earn my MBA?
A: No. The Gatton MBA is a lockstep program. We admit students once a year and they follow a sequence of classes outlined for their specific program of study. We believe that the lockstep format leads to a better educational experience and allows group experiences that teach how to work together and deal with pressures of management positions.
Q: What criteria are used for admission into the program?
A: There is no set formula. Our goal is to admit academically strong applicants who show the greatest potential for completing the program and succeeding in a career. We look for applicants whose backgrounds will contribute to the academic excellence and the demographic, educational and experiential diversity of each class. Because our goal is to prepare business leaders of the future, our review includes all aspects of an applicant's background.
Your academic qualifications, which include undergraduate major, institutions, GPA, and GMAT or GRE scores, are all a part of the admissions process. In this review we try to assess whether you show the abilities and motivation to succeed in a graduate program. The other half of our evaluation involves an analysis of your essay responses, work experience, letters of recommendation, writing skills, and extracurricular, community and professional activities. From this review, we try to determine your leadership experience and potential.
Q: What is an acceptable GMAT or GRE score and GPA?
A: We do not have a minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement. The average GMAT or GRE score of applicants admitted to the program varies from year to year, depending on the pool of applications received. The average GMAT score of those admitted last year was 607.5. The average GRE score of those admitted last year was 305. While we consider many elements of an applicant's background when making admission decisions, it is important that applicants have a competitive GMAT or GRE score.
We realize there are certain limitations with standardized tests like the GMAT or GRE; however, the GMAT & GRE scores give us a very important comparison among applicants from different schools and majors. Therefore, we encourage you to prepare for the exam, take it as early as possible, and retake it if you do not score competitively. The University's Graduate School requires a 2.75 GPA for entry into a masters program. If the Gatton College wants to admit an applicant with a GPA below 2.75 to our MBA program, we must request a waiver of this requirement. The average GPA of those admitted last year was 3.27.
Q: Should I take the GMAT or GRE over if my score is low?
A: We encourage applicants to prepare well (the Graduate Management Admission Council suggests 400 hours of test preparation) in order to score competitively (600 or better) on the GMAT and (305 or better) on the GRE. If you feel that your GMAT or GRE score does not reflect your true abilities (you did not adequately prepare, extenuating circumstances the day of the test affected your performance, etc.) we strongly encourage you to retake the test to improve your score. We will use the highest score earned on the GMAT or GRE. Multiple GMAT & GRE scores are reviewed in different ways among graduate management schools. If you are applying to more than one graduate program and plan to repeat the GMAT or GRE, we suggest you inquire as to how your scores will be interpreted.
Q: What is an acceptable score for the TOEFL & IBT?
A: To be a competitive applicant, we require a TOEFL score of 550 or above (paper-based test) or 213 or above (computer-based test). Students are expected to complete a great deal of reading and writing in the program. A strong command of the English language is imperative for success, thus we also require the Test of Written English (TWE) with a score of 4.5 or higher. We also except the IBT exam where the minimum score required is a 79.
Q: Can I work while in school?
A: Study required for the MBA program is time consuming and includes classroom time, individual study time, group work and other program requirements and activities. The One Year Accelerated students can expect each week to spend 20-30 hours in class, 30-45 hours in individual and group study, plus time for programs sponsored by MBA Center and student organizations. This time commitment is incompatible with full-time work. One Year Accelerated students should not work full-time while in the program. Students who must maintain full-time employment should apply to our Professional Evening option, which is designed for the working professional.
Q: Can Professional Evening students take a full course load?
A: Yes. The Professional Evening MBA option is designed for working professionals who choose to complete their degree at night, but some students take 9 credits per semester and finish the program in two years.
Q: Is it possible for me to register for some MBA courses before being admitted to a graduate program?
A: No. The Gatton's MBA classes are in very high demand and are therefore not open to the general public.
Transfer Issues and Graduation Requirements
Q: Does the program accept transfer credits?
A: The One Year Accelerated MBA Program program does not accept transfer credit. The integrative experiences and core courses are an integral part of the MBA experience. The Evening MBA Program will accept up to nine credit hours with approval by the MBA Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate School.
Q: Can I transfer from the Professional Evening MBA to the One Year Accelerated MBA Program?
A: No. The One Year MBA Program is lock-stepped with cohorts, meaning that the same group of students are admitted together and share the same schedule, working in groups across several courses. The Evening MBA Program is designed to be more flexible. Evening program students can, however, take nine credit hours per semester if they choose.
Q: Can I transfer from the One Year Accelerated MBA Program to the Professional Evening program?
A: Yes, under special circumstances. Students who have been admitted into the One Year Accelerated MBA Program and have not completed the pre-foundation courses, are only able to transfer into the Professional Evening program after having completed the first two modules (rapid immersion and business fundamentals platform). Students who have met the pre-foundation requirements could transfer at the end of the rapid immersion, business fundamentals platform or new product development modules and carry forward up to 6 hours. Students are not permitted to carry more than 6 hours from the One Year Accelerated MBA Program to the Professional Evening program.
Q: Should I have to temporarily suspend my education for personal or professional reasons, can I come back and complete the program?
A: Yes. The Graduate School requires that any student complete their Masters degree in eight years. Subject to that rule, students in good academic standing in either the One Year or Evening program could drop out and reenter the program. One Year Accelerated MBA Program students must reenter at the start of the module in which they left. Thus, if they completed only a portion of a module, they would have to repeat a few weeks of that module upon reentering the program. Evening students must simply complete all twelve courses in eight years.
Q: What are the minimum requirements for graduating from the program?
A: The Professional Evening program requires 36 credit hours. Students cannot receive a grade of "C" in more than six credit hours (after a retake option) and must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. One Year Accelerated MBA Program students must complete 51 credit hours and cannot receive a grade of "C" in nine credit hours (after a retake option) and must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0.