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 above.
If you still have questions after browsing the most frequently asked questions, contact:
MBA and MS Admissions Office
FAQ: The Smith School of Business
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) Look for our online "Live Counselor" throughout the admissions webpages to have your questions aswered in real time. 2) Contact us to schedule a one-to-one consultation at a preferred campus, or via telephone or Skype. 3) Attend one of our group Part-Time Information Sessions. 4) Stop in at a local coffee house before your work day begins for one of our Info to Go Coffee Chats. 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 admitted applicants 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 Part-time MBA program?
No. While a few years of post-undergraduate full-time work experience is generally 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.
FAQ: MBA Curriculum and Policies
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 average pace for part-time MBA students is three years and a maximum of five years is permitted. 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?
Part-time MBA students typically enroll in 8 credit hours per semester.
Are transfer credits accepted?
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):
- 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 which is accredited by AACSB.
- Credits may not have been used to meet the requirements for any degree previously earned.
- The Masters Programs Office deems the courses appropriate for the 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. Click here for a 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. 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 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 Part-time 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?
Interviews are not a part of the application process for our Part-Time MBA program.
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 tuition, fees, and other costs. All Part-Time MBA students attending class at a Part-Time campus (Baltimore, Rockville and/or DC) will qualify for in-state tuition.
Are scholarships awarded by Smith for the Part-time MBA program?
Yes. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are awarded to Part-time MBA applicants. Demonstrated strength in academics, standardized exams or work experience are assessed for scholarship as well as general admission. All submitted applications are reviewed for both admission and scholarship. No additional form is required for scholarship consideration.
How do I apply for financial aid?
All applicants to the Part-Time MBA program whose applications are complete by the February 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. 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.
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.