MBA Frequently Asked Questions
Many applicants encounter challenges as they prepare their applications. In an
effort to make the MBA admissions process as seamless as possible, a number of Frequently
Asked Questions have been compiled at the links above.
If you still have questions after browsing the most frequently asked questions,
Graduate Program Office
FAQ: The Smith School
What is the best way for me to find out more about the Smith School of
You've already begun the process by browsing the Smith School of Business' Web
Site. The best way to find out more about us is to visit our campus and meet with
Smith staff, faculty, and students. You can do so through our Visitors Program or
Host Program. In the fall and January, it is possible that an admissions representative
will be attending an MBA forum or fairs in a city near you.
Click here to find
out about admissions events around the United States, Latin America, and Asia.
What are the program prerequisites?
Applicants must have completed the equivalent of a United States' bachelor's
degree from an accredited college or university in order to be eligible for graduate
study at the University of Maryland. The Smith MBA assumes no prior knowledge of
or background in business. However, due to the quantitative rigors of our program,
the Admissions Committee requires that admitted applicants demonstrate strong quantitative
skills prior to matriculation.
The Admissions Committee will review each applicant's GMAT/GRE score,
undergraduate and/or graduate (where applicable) academic performance, and work experience in
making this determination. If, in the opinion of the Admissions Committee, an applicant
has not demonstrated strong enough quantitative skills for academic success, an
admitted student may be asked to successfully complete a calculus or statistics
course prior to enrolling at Smith. Applicants who are admitted will be notified
in their admission letter if and only if they are required to complete additional
Is there spring admission?
No. The Smith School of Business only admits new students for the fall semester.
Is your MBA program accredited?
Yes. The MBA program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business is accredited
by AACSB International - The
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International is the
premier accrediting agency for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs
in business administration and accounting.
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FAQ: MBA Curriculum
When do classes begin?
The MBA program begins in August with a required Orientation program. Spring
admission is not an option for the MBA program.
How long does it take to complete the degree requirements?
The requirement for a Master of Business Administration is 54 credit hours. This
program can be completed in two years. The degree requirements for dual degrees
range from 66 to 88 credit hours. These programs take on average three to four years
How many credits do program participants take per semester?
Typically 15 - 17 hours per semester are completed.
Can I waive out of classes and complete less than 54 credits?
While it is possible to waive a few core courses, the waivers do not reduce the
total number of credits required for the degree.
The following core courses may be waived if the following conditions are met.
Are transfer credits accepted?
Transfer credits are not accepted into the full-time MBA program.
Transfer credits can possibly be accepted for the part-time MBA
programs in rare situations. For example, a student is unable to complete an AACSB-accredited
MBA program in California due to a job transfer to the DC Metro area. All transfer
credit requests are at the discretion of the Masters Programs Office, but requests
will only be considered if all criteria below are met. Transfer credit requests
from schools in the DC Metro/Baltimore/northern Virginia area cannot be considered.
In order to be eligible to transfer any credits towards your part-time
MBA, you must meet ALL of the following criteria. (A maximum of 9 credit semester
hours may be transferred into the program):
When should I submit my application?
Ideally, you should submit your completed application as early in the admission
cycle as possible. Since admission and financial aid decisions are made on a rolling
basis, early applicants are at an advantage. Incomplete applications will not be
here for a list of application deadlines.
What is required to apply?
here for a complete listing of all application requirements for international and
If something is missing from my application, will it still be reviewed?
Applications are not reviewed until the application package is complete. The
Admissions Committee will not consider any incomplete applications. The only
items missing from the application packet should be the official test scores
(GMAT, GRE, TOEFL) , which are to be sent directly from the testing services. In
order to be considered for a particular deadline, you must have taken your
test(s) by that deadline. It is recommended to submit a photocopy of your
unofficial test score(s) with your application.
If I applied last year and was not accepted, how do I reapply?
If you choose to reapply, you must submit a new application package which
includes: application, application fee, transcripts, resume, and essays.
Recommendation letters previously submitted electronically with the online
application do not need to be resubmitted. If you previously submitted paper
recommendation letters, you will need to send new recommendation letters with
your reapplication. If you previously submitted your official test scores (GMAT,
TOEFL, etc) to the University of Maryland, you do not need to resubmit these
items with your reapplication.
Is work experience a requirement for the MBA program?
Although work experience is not a requirement, it is highly preferred. Approximately
97 percent of the applicants offered admission have a minimum of two years of professional
What is an acceptable grade point average?
The Admissions Committee recognizes that there are many aspects to an undergraduate
experience and encourages applicants to share the details of that experience in
an optional essay. Few accepted applicants have a grade point average below 3.00/4.00.
Those who do have exceptional characteristics in other areas.
Click here to
see the most recent profile of MBA students at Smith.
What is an acceptable GMAT?
The Smith School does not use a cut-off system for GMAT scores. However, applicants
with weak GMAT scores must have exceptional qualifications in other areas to be
considered for admission.
My GMAT/GPA/work experience is lower than I'd like. Is it still worth
my time to apply?
Yes. Every application is considered in its entirety. If you have weak points
in your application, the Admissions Committee will search for stronger points to
Does every applicant to the MBA program have to take the
GMAT or GRE?
Yes, the GMAT or GRE is required for all MBA applicants.
Does the person writing my recommendation have to use the form provided?
The person does not have to respond directly on the form but should answer all
of the questions provided. The form should be signed and submitted along with any
How do I schedule an interview?
Interviews are granted exclusively at the invitation of the Admissions Committee
after your completed application has been received and reviewed. Candidates who
are invited to interview but do not conduct an interview will not receive an offer
If I have been admitted, may I defer my admission?
Admitted students begin their MBA program in the semester for which they have
applied. If a student needs to request a deferral for an emergency medical reason,
the admissions committee will consider requests on a case-by-case basis.
FAQ: Financial Aid
What is the cost of the Smith MBA program?
Click here for a detailed breakdown of
and other costs. Determination of in-state status is made by the Residency Classification
Office at the time an application is under consideration. For a complete list of
residency requirements, please contact the
How do I apply for financial aid?
All applicants to the full-time MBA program whose applications are complete by
January 15 are automatically considered for scholarships and graduate assistantships
when the Admissions Committee evaluates the application for admission. Award notifications
are extended simultaneously with the offers of admission.
US citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for additional financial
aid in the form of loans.
Click here for more
information on financial assistance.
FAQ: International Students
What exactly defines an "international applicant"?
The University of Maryland at College Park defines an international applicant
as any applicant who is not a US citizen or permanent resident.
Is the 12-3 curriculum sufficient?
No. The University of Maryland at College Park does not consider the 12-3 curriculum
to be the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree nor will an additional year of education
suffice. Those who have gone through a 12-3 program must also secure a 2-year Masters
degree or a two year, full-time PGDM from an institution recognized by the University
of Maryland in order to be qualified for admission to the MBA Program.
I'm an international student. I have been living in the US for several
years. Do I still need to take the TOEFL?
If you have earned a degree at a US institution or at an institution in a country
whose native language is English (i.e. Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, English-speaking
Canada, etc.), you will be waived from the TOEFL exam. Otherwise, all international
students are required to take the TOEFL and submit their scores. TOEFL scores are
valid two years.
Can I wait until I've been admitted to submit my Certificate of Finance
Yes, you can have an admission recommendation made on your file without submitting
your certification of finance form. Please be aware a formal admission decision
cannot be rendered and an I-20 visa application cannot be produced until your financial
documentation is received.