Many applicants have questions 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 below.
What is the best way for me to find out more about the Smith School of Business?
You've already begun the process by browsing the Smith School of Business' website. The best way to find out more about us is to connect with a professional admissions representative which can be done in any number of ways:
1) Attend one of our flex MBA information sessions
2) Contact us to schedule a one-on-one meeting at your preferred campus
3) Look for our “Chat with Us” icon throughout the flex MBA website to chat with a member of the admissions team and have your questions answered in real-time.
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 admitted applicants to demonstrate quantitative ability 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 coursework.
Is work experience a requirement for the Flex MBA program?
While a few years of post-undergraduate full-time work experience is preferred, applicants with substantive internships, strong academic backgrounds and/or who have recently started their careers may be admissible to the program and are considered on an individual basis.
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.
When do classes begin?
The Flex MBA program begins in August with a required orientation and residency program.
How long does it take to complete the degree requirements?
The requirement for a Master of Business Administration is 54 credit hours. Our Flex MBA program can be completed in 24 months, 28 months, or within a maximum of 5 years. The degree requirements for dual degrees range from 66 to 88 credit hours. These programs take on average three to four years to complete.
How many credits do program participants take per semester?
Flex MBA students typically enroll in 8 credit hours per semester.
Are transfer credits accepted?
Transfer credits can possibly be accepted for the Flex MBA program 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 Master's 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 flex MBA, you must meet ALL of the following criteria. (A maximum of 9 credit semester hours may be transferred into the program):
- Students must have been enrolled as an MBA degree-seeking student at the time the credit(s) were earned.
- Currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student in an MBA program.
- Courses must be from an MBA program that is accredited by AACSB.
- Credits may not have been used to meet the requirements for any degree previously earned.
- The Master's Programs Office deems the courses appropriate for a University of Maryland degree.
- Earned a "B" or better in the courses offered for transfer and a "B" or better average in all graduate work taken at the institution from which the credits are being transferred.
- Credit will not be given for any course work taken more than five years before the anticipated date for completion of the MBA degree.
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 reviewed. See list of application deadlines.
What is required to apply?
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.
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.
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.
What is an acceptable GMAT or GRE score?
The average GMAT score range for our flex MBA students is 550–650 and the average GRE score is 315. The Smith School does not use a cut-off system for GMAT scores. However, applicants with lower GMAT scores must have exceptional qualifications in other areas to be considered for admission. In some cases, a GMAT or GRE waiver may be granted.
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 counterbalance them.
Is every applicant to the MBA program required to take the GMAT or GRE?
Yes, the GMAT or GRE is required for all MBA applicants. For the flex MBA program only, a waiver may be considered if an applicant has demonstrated excellent quantitative, analytical and verbal skills through academic records and/or a successful career trajectory. Applicants must first submit a complete application (all required components except the official GMAT or GRE scores) in order for the admissions committee to consider a waiver. Please contact MBA Admissions with further questions.
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 attached responses.
How do I schedule an interview?
Smith Super Saturdays are interview days specifically for the flex MBA program. Interviews are held in Van Munching Hall on select Saturdays throughout the admissions cycle corresponding to each application deadline.
Smith Super Saturdays provide each and every applicant the opportunity to formally present her or himself as a candidate to our flex MBA community. In addition, activities including networking sessions, workshops and panels round out the experience and provide a look into the professional network and culture that is uniquely Smith. While attendance is not required in order to gain formal admission, it is strongly encouraged.
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, the admissions committee will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. If the deferral request is approved, a student can only defer for one year before they will be required to reapply to the program.
What is the cost of the Smith MBA program?
See a detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other costs. All flex MBA students attending class at a flex campus (Baltimore, Rockville and/or DC) will qualify for in-state tuition.
Are scholarships awarded by Smith for the Flex MBA program?
Yes. In fall 2018, over 88% of our flex MBA students received merit-based awards! In order for students to be automatically considered for merit scholarships, they must apply by our priority deadline. No separate application is needed. See information about our scholarships.
How do I apply for financial aid?
All applicants to the Flex MBA program whose applications are complete by the priority deadline are automatically considered for scholarships. 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. Learn more information on financial assistance.
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.
I have a three-year bachelor's degree from outside the United States. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. Candidates with a three-year bachelor's degree from outside the United States may apply.
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 students are required to take the TOEFL and submit their scores. TOEFL scores are valid two years.