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University of Michigan Ross School of Business — MBA Program & Application Overview

Applying to Ross? Read this guide for the most practical strategies and tips curated by the best MBA admissions coaches in the world and Ross alumni to get you that much closer to your dream school.

February 3, 2023

Class Profile (2023)

  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Class Size: 398
  • Average Years of Work Experience: 5
  • Average GPA: 3.53
  • Acceptance Rate: 20%
  • GMAT Average: 722
  • GRE Average: 160 (Quant); 160 (Verbal)
  • Women: 46%
  • International: 28%
  • Students of Color: 36%

"Michigan Ross is defined by its diverse community of students interested in impact and provides great opportunities to do real work with the guidance of faculty and other mentors. My experiences and relationships built at Ross continue to shape how I lead today."

Cynthia Shih (MBA/MS ‘13), Global Director of Knowledge at McKinsey

Application Overview (Class of 2024)

Ross Deadlines

Round 1: September 19, 2022

  • Decisions released December 9, 2022

Round 2: January 9, 2023

  • Decisions released March 17, 2023

Round 3: April 3, 2023

  • Decisions released May 5, 2023

The Ross Application Checklist

  1. Choose your deadline.
  2. Order your transcripts.
  3. Submit your standardized test score.
  4. Update your resume.
  5. Write your essays.
  6. Choose your recommender.
  7. Prepare for your interview.
  8. Pay the $200 application fee.

Put in your email to receive our full, customizable MBA Application Checklist here.

GMAT/GRE

Applicants do not need to submit an official test score until after admission. At the time of submission, they are able to self-report their results.

If students have taken the test more than once, Ross will use the highest total score and corresponding breakout scores. They do not mix and match the different scores. All the test results must be active at the time of application.

Learn more here: GMAT vs. GRE

Ross Essays

In order to understand their applicants, Ross requires three writing assignments: one essay and two short answer questions.

Part 1: Short Answers

Applicants select one prompt from each of the two groups below and are expected to respond in 100 words (200 words or less for both).

  • Group 1:
    • I want people to know that I…
    • I made a difference when I…
    • I was aware that I was different when…
  • Group 2:
    • I am out of my comfort zone when…
    • I was humbled when…
    • I was challenged when…

Part 2: Short-Answer Question

Pick one thing from your resume and tell us more. (100 words)

Part 3: Career Goal

What is your short-term goal? (25 words)

Why is this the right short-term career goal for you? (150 words)

Optional Statement

Is there something in your resume or application that could use some explanation? You might want to discuss the completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

Learn more here: How to Write a Powerful MBA Essay—With Examples

Letters of Recommendation

Guidelines

Ross uses the GMAC Common Recommendation Form which requires only one recommendation. When selecting a recommender, think about whether they are well-acquainted with your professional performance and/or work style. A current or recent supervisor would be an ideal candidate.

Questions

These questions will be sent to the recommender. When picking who you will ask to write the recommendation, think about whether they will be able to answer these questions while portraying you in a positive light.

  • Please provide a brief description of your interaction with your applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization.
  • How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles (E.g., what are the applicant’s principal strengths?)
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Learn more here: How to Get the Perfect MBA Recommendation Letter—With Examples

University of Michigan Ross Interviews

At Ross, interviews are given by invitation only. Applicants receive information about the interview a few weeks after their round’s application deadline. The interviews are conducted by a current student or Ross alum. In the interview, Ross wants to understand how applicants present their experiences in a professional setting.

Read more here: How to Ace Your MBA Interview: With Prep Questions & Answers and How to Nail Your Virtual MBA Interview

Other Application Items

Application Fee

Ross’ non-refundable application fee is $200. It can be waived for applicants who fit into one of the following categories:

  • US Military active members and veterans
  • Members of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, Teach for China, Teach for India, or other Teach for All Network Partners
  • Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Michigan
  • Citizens of a country on the UN’s list of least developed countries
  • Students who submitted an application to the Ross full-time MBA within the past five years

Academic Transcripts

Ross requires that its applicants have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the time of application. Unofficial copies of transcripts are satisfactory at the time of application submission; however, official transcripts are required after acceptance.

Resume

The resume should be one-page and currently updated with all the correct educational information and professional experience. The dates on the resume should match those on the application. Ross recommends adding community service and hobbies/interests sections.

Learn more here: How to Craft the Ultimate MBA Resume—With Examples

Ross Tuition and Costs

One-Year Cost Breakdown

Tuition

  • Non-Michigan Residents: $72,114
  • Michigan Residents: $67,114

Educational Supplies: $1,716

Food and Living Expenses: $16,998

Personal: 6,350

Estimated Total Cost of Attendance: $100,607

Term Tuition Due Dates

Fall 2022: August 31, 2022

Winter 2023: January 31, 2023

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business also offers different kinds of financial assistance to its students, including graduate student research assistantships, a child care subsidy program, and a loan repayment assistance program. All applicants are automatically considered for scholarships when they apply and are notified of awards after admission.

International Students

While international students can apply for any of the rounds, they are encouraged to apply for either round 1 or 2 to allow time for the visa to be processed. International applicants must hold the equivalent of a four-year American bachelor’s degree. In addition to transcripts, Ross requires a diploma or other document that shows the date that the degree was conferred. If the original transcripts are not in English, a translated version must be provided as well.

If the native language of the international applicant is not English, they are required to take an English proficiency test. Ross accepts the TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS. Students who attended an undergraduate institution where the sole language of instruction was English are exempt from taking the test.

Ross MBA Programs

There are many different MBA options available at the Ross School of Business. The options include:

Full-Time MBA

  • Average age: 27
  • Program length: 2 years
  • Average work experience: 5 years

Online MBA

  • This program was designed with flexibility in mind for students who want to complete their MBA at their own pace. It also includes three hands-on, interactive residencies.
  • Work Experience: Required
  • Program length: 3-4 years

Weekend MBA

  • Designed for students who want to continue working a full-time job while getting their MBA, this program provides the full Ross education on the weekends twice a month.
  • Average age: 30
  • Average work experience: 7-8 years
  • Program length: 2 years

Executive MBA

  • This program is for business leaders who want to skip over the business fundamentals and hone their managerial skills.
  • Average age: 38
  • Average work experience: 15 years
  • Program length: 21 months

Global MBA

  • This accelerated program is for mid-career professionals who want to learn about business through an international approach. Students will take part in action-based coursework and global leadership development experiences in Ann Arbor and around the globe.
  • Average age: 32
  • Average work experience: 7 years
  • Program length: 15 months

Program Overview

Ross’ program is expansive and includes built-in flexibility so that students can choose their specialization to match their individual and career goals. Students will start with core classes that provide a foundation of business fundamentals and are then able to build their expertise through electives. Of the 52 credits that are required to graduate, up to 10 can be taken at another school within the University of Michigan.

There are many different concentrations that students can choose to pursue. Some of the most popular ones include Business and Sustainability, Data and Business Analytics, and Healthcare Management.

First-Year Structure

Fall A

  • Financial Accounting
  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Applied Business Statistics
  • Corporate Strategy

Fall B

  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Leading People and Organizations
  • Elective Course

Winter A

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Operations Management
  • Elective Course

Winter B

  • Multidisciplinary Action Projects (over 100 options)

Second-Year Structure

Each term (Fall A/B, Winter A/B), students will take an elective course and complete the rest of their degree requirements. These include the classes Business Law and Competing in the Global Business Environment and a summer business experience.

Popular Electives:

  • Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Development
  • Entrepreneurial Turnaround Management
  • Big Data Management Tools & Techniques
  • Business Leadership in Changing Times
  • Marketing Engineering and Analytics
  • Integrated Product Development

Dual Degree Programs

Michigan’s MBA program can be combined with 22 other degree programs to give students the ability to practice interdisciplinary thinking and solve modern business programs that exist at the intersection of different areas. Applicants that are interested in one of the established dual degree programs must apply and be admitted to each program separately. To be eligible for a Russ dual degree, students must be admitted into the second program within the first half of their initial degree program.

At graduation, students must have completed both colleges’ requirements and will be given two different degree citations and two separate diplomas. A dual degree program with Ross requires that students complete the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 45 Business Administration credits
    • Including 30 credits of the core curriculum and 15 elective hours
  • Successful completion of the other degree program’s requirements
  • A minimum number of total credits. This requirement varies by the partner program.

For most dual degree programs, students will spend one year under one school, the second year under the other school, and the third year taking combined courses from both schools. Dual degree programs are available in the following areas:

  • Architecture
  • Construction Engineering
  • Educational Studies
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Health Services
  • Higher Education
  • Information
  • Industrial and Operations
  • Law
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Naval Architecture
  • Public Policy
  • Social Work
  • Urban Planning

The Ross Experience

Ross emphasizes learning through real experiences evidenced in their R.E.A.L programs (Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning). These include entrepreneurship resources for students interested in starting their own businesses, consulting projects in 20 different countries, and six student-led investment funds. There are also 21 different centers, institutes, and initiatives that students can take advantage of to learn about emerging markets, the impact of business, and management leadership, among other topics.

The University of Michigan is situated in Ann Arbor, a city that has been named “The Best City to Live” in America. Known for its food scene, tech hubs, and trivia nights, Ann Arbor is a fun and upbeat place to call home.

A Virtual Tour of the Ross School of Business

Admissions Advice

Ross FAQs

In which round should I apply? How important is it to apply in Round One?

  • We encourage you to apply in either round 1 or round 2, depending on when you are able to put together the strongest application. Your chances of admission and scholarship award will be similar in both rounds. Chances of admission and scholarship in round 3 vary from year to year.

How much work experience do I need before I can apply?

  • We do not require a specific number of years of work experience prior to entering the Ross MBA program, but almost all incoming Ross students have worked for at least 2 years. The average Ross student enters the MBA program with 5 years of work experience.
  • That said, we evaluate work experience not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. We examine the impact you have had on your organization and the leadership qualities you have demonstrated. We consider the range of stories and experiences you will be able to share with our classmates. If you have limited work experience, you should demonstrate on your application why it is the right time to pursue an MBA, and what you will be able to contribute to the Ross community.

Can I apply to the Ross MBA Program as a college senior? Does Ross admit students straight out of undergrad?

  • You must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree at the time of your application. Recent graduates are eligible to apply, but historically students with more than 2 years of work experience have been most successful in the full-time MBA program. Recent graduates are evaluated on the same criteria as all applicants. For more on what the admissions committee is looking for, review these tips from the Admissions Director.

Do I need an undergraduate business degree or business classes to be admitted?

  • We welcome applications from a wide variety of backgrounds and do not look for or favor specific undergraduate majors. Business classes are not required before entering the MBA Program.

Is a three-year undergraduate degree from India acceptable to apply?

  • Yes, we will consider applicants who hold a three-year undergraduate degree from India.

I already have an MBA. Can I still apply to the Ross MBA Program?

  • We do accept applications from individuals who have an MBA. However, you must explain through your application why you feel you need another MBA degree.

Can I transfer into the MBA Program?

  • No, previous coursework will not transfer into our MBA Program. In addition, students admitted to Ross may not be simultaneously enrolled in two graduate programs unless enrolled in an approved dual-degree program.

Can I apply to both the Full-Time MBA and Part-Time MBA programs?

  • No, you must choose between programs and may only apply to one program in any given cycle.

Can I reapply to the MBA Program if I was previously denied?

  • Yes. You can apply for admission to the next available admitting term. If you apply within one application cycle, your application is streamlined so that submitting a new test score, recommendation letter, and essays are optional and the application fee is waived. If you reapply after one application cycle, you must submit a completely new application and supporting documents. Please visit the application requirements page for procedures and tips on reapplying.

What is the GPA requirement for applying to the Full-Time MBA Program?

  • There is no minimum GPA requirement; we encourage you to apply to our program regardless of your GPA. Your GPA is only one factor we review in determining your eligibility and academic readiness for the MBA program. Please refer to the class profile for our current average GPA in the class.

Does Ross prefer one of the standardized tests over another? Which tests may I submit?

  • A standardized test score is a required component of our application. You can submit the GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, or DAT. Your performance on any of these exams will be used as part of our assessment of your academic ability, and you are at no advantage or disadvantage by taking one exam instead of the other.

What is the minimum GMAT/GRE required for admission to the Full-Time MBA Program?

  • There is no minimum score requirement for either exam. See the full-time MBA class profile to find the average and ranges for the current MBA class.
  • Your standardized test score is only one of a number of factors we review in determining admission. We encourage you to apply to our program regardless of your score performance. However, if you feel your score has room for improvement, you may want to consider retaking the exam.

What is the minimum TEOFL, PTE, or IELTS exam score required for international students who apply to the Ross MBA Program?

  • We strongly recommend a TOEFL score of 100 or higher on the internet-based test (iBT). Michigan Ross' TOEFL score reporting code is 1839. Ross will accept the PTE or IELTS as an alternative to the TOEFL, and we strongly recommend a PTE score of 70 or higher, or IELTS exam score of 7 or higher.

Are there instances in which I wouldn’t be required to take the TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS exam?

  • International applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution where the sole language of instruction was English are exempt from the TOEFL/PTE/IELTS requirement.

What type of work experience are you looking for in the admissions process?

  • We seek diversity in the professional backgrounds of our admitted students, just as we do in other parts of our applicants' profiles. No one industry or field is favored over another. We are more interested in your contribution to the group or organization.

What should I do if my recommender has not received my online invitation to recommend me?

  • This tends to be a problem with a recommender's email account spam or junk email filter settings. The emailed invitation is either blocked or automatically filtered into a junk mail folder. You can check the status of your recommendations, resend a recommendation request, and even update a recommender if the recommendation is not yet started via the Personal Activity page. You can access this under the "Apply Online" section of your online application homepage by clicking on the Review Your Submitted Application/Manage Your Recommendations link.

How do I submit supplemental information (e.g. transcript, recommendation) if I’m unable to upload it with my online application?

  • If there was a problem submitting transcripts or a recommendation via the online application, you can scan these items and attach them to a support ticket. Please include your name and date of birth in the email, and let us know that supplemental information is being sent because it could not be submitted online.

Do I need to schedule an interview?

  • Interviews are by invitation only. You will receive an email from rossinterview@umich.edu if you are invited to interview.

Can I submit my application after the deadline?

  • Applications received after the application deadline will be considered for the next round. Applications cannot be submitted after the Round 3 deadline.

What should I do if I need an early decision on my application?

  • Unfortunately, requests for admissions decisions before our decision notification dates will not be granted.

I was not accepted into the MBA Program. Can I appeal?

  • Unfortunately, there is no appeals process for denied applicants. Denied applicants are encouraged to re-apply for a subsequent admissions cycle.

Does Ross grant deferrals?

  • Deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and are rarely granted. Requests to defer admission should be submitted in writing to RossAdmissions@umich.edu. A detailed explanation of the request and appropriate documentation are required.

Contact Information

  • How can I contact the Office of Admissions?
  • Telephone: 734-763-5796 Fax: 734-763-7804
  • Email: rossadmissions@umich.edu
  • Mailing address: 700 East University, Kresge Hall, 1st Floor, Suite K1521, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234

Can I make an appointment to talk with someone in the Office of Admissions?

  • Most applicant questions are addressed on the Ross Full-Time MBA website, but you can connect with Admissions during our Full-Time MBA Admissions Office Hours. We recommend watching this virtual information session, which addresses a number of frequently asked questions about the Ross MBA. To learn more about the program and application process, we encourage you to:
  • Check our events page for upcoming webinars, admissions events, and cafe chats in your home city
  • Email specific questions to RossAdmissions@umich.edu

Can I schedule an appointment with a professor?

  • The Office of Admissions does not schedule appointments with professors or instructors. Please contact the appropriate faculty department.

Does participating in a Michigan Ross admissions event affect my chance of admission?

  • No. While we encourage you to learn more about Michigan Ross, participating in a Michigan Ross admissions event has no impact on your admissions decision.

Final Note

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