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Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Information

Who should apply to the Tepper School?

Successful Tepper candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and profiles. We encourage interested candidates to focus on the middle 80% range, rather than the mean or median, when reviewing class profile and considering whether or not they should apply. For example, half of our students have GMAT scores below the average, and although most students have between 2 and 8 years of professional experience, there are several that joined Tepper directly after their undergraduate study or that have more than 8 years of experience. We are seeking candidates from all academic disciplines, and generally our class includes approximately 50% that come from non-technical backgrounds. We have many students currently studying at Tepper who were initially concerned about their chance of being admitted, that have been successful and with many  receiving merit scholarships.

The only sure-thing in the admission process is that you cannot get in if you don't apply!  If you have any questions regarding your candidacy, the admissions team would be happy to speak with you. Feel free to contact us  to arrange a meeting with one of our counselors.

What are the Tepper School admissions process requirements?

To be considered for admission, you need to submit a complete application portfolio that includes the following documents: online application form, unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended (including the associated grading scales) at both the graduate and undergraduate level, two letters of reference, official GMAT scores, official TOEFL or IELTS scores (for applicants whose native language is not English), affidavit of financial support (only for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents), current resume, employment record, required essays, and application fee. Check out the application checklist for further information on the application process.

When should I apply? What are the application deadlines? When will I receive my decision letter?

You may access our most up to date application deadlines and decision release dates online.

Do you weigh some parts of the application more strongly than others?

No single component in the application portfolio is more important than any other. A particular weakness may be successfully offset by strengths in other areas.

If I am not admitted to the program, can I re-apply?

Yes, we welcome candidates who wish to re-apply in a subsequent year and each year have students in the class who have been successful admitted. Visit our Re-applicants page for more information on the reapplication process.

If I am re-applying, do I need to submit a new application?

Yes, however, we will waive the application fee and only require one new letter of recommendation. Please visit our Re-applicants page for more information needed in order to re-apply.

May I receive my decision over the phone, via e-mail or fax?

Our primary means of communicating with all candidates is via email, so please make sure to use a personal email address that you will be able to access throughout the application process. Also, make sure to update your online profile if your email address changes. All admission decisions are released to candidates using our online application system. You will be notified by email when your decision is ready for viewing and you will need your login/password to access your admission decision. A hard copy of admission offer letters will also be mailed to the postal address listed on your application.

Are there restrictions regarding who can apply for the FlexMBA online MBA?

Residents of Certain States are Ineligible to Apply for Enrollment in Courses and Programs Delivered via Distance Education: For Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education only: Carnegie Mellon is not able to accept students who are residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota for enrollment in courses and programs delivered via distance education because it has not applied for or received authorization from these states to deliver courses and programs via distance education to residents of these states. Carnegie Mellon has not currently applied for or received authorization from these states because Carnegie Mellon has determined that the administrative and other requirements to obtain and maintain authorization for its distance education courses and programs that would otherwise be delivered to residents of these states, including the fees charged by these states and the additional administrative costs associated with doing so, are disproportionately burdensome, excessive and/or prohibitive, at least at the present time.

ATTN Residents of AL, AR and MN: If you are a resident of Alabama, Arkansas or Minnesota, you are not eligible to apply for enrollment in Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education. Note, however that residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota are eligible to apply for enrollment in all other Carnegie Mellon courses and programs, including those offered at any of its various campus locations.

Inquiries regarding the above restrictions may be directed to: Director of Enrollment Services, Carnegie Mellon University, Warner Hall, A19, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, Telephone: 412.268.5399, Email: krieg@andrew.cmu.edu. All other inquirites concerning the FlexMBA Program should be directed to the Tepper School of Business, Masters Admissions at mba-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu or 412.268.2273 or 800.850.4742 (U.S. only).

Qualifications

How are candidates assessed for admission?

Though our standards are high and our admissions process is very competitive, our ideal student does not fit a rigid profile. We welcome students from diverse academic, professional and personal backgrounds and seek exceptional individuals who have made an impact on whatever path they have chosen. We examine all components of your MBA application to gain an understanding about you as a candidate. Our admissions committee is interested in your potential for academic success at the Tepper School and professional success in the future. We evaluate your reasons for applying to the Tepper School, as we want to be sure that your background and goals are consistent with our strengths. We seek students who are highly motivated, tenacious, self-directed and innovative and who demonstrate a strong work ethic. Personal competencies such as communication, interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills are among other key considerations. Non-native English speakers must be skilled and confident when speaking, listening, reading and writing in English, to ensure that they can participate fully in our learning environment.

Do I have to have post-undergraduate work experience?

No, post-undergraduate work experience is not a prerequisite for admission. We seek diversity in all dimensions, including from "candidates without any post-undergraduate work experience" to "candidates with 8 or more years of work experience."

What consideration is given to post-undergraduate work experience?

Candidates with post-undergraduate professional experience have, everything else equal, a better chance for admission, but we welcome applications from exceptionally talented and motivated individuals who may not have significant experience. Candidates with no or limited professional experience must be strong in other aspects of their MBA application to offset the lack of experience.

On average, how many years of full-time work experience do most accepted candidates have?

Most of our MBA students fall in a range of 2 to 8 years of post-undergraduate professional experience. You can find the work experience average of our most recent class on our class profile. However, the impact a candidate has made on her company, growth in responsibility over time, leadership experience and other factors are used when evaluating experience, not simply the number of years.

Are transfer credits accepted?

No, the business school does not accept any transfer credits into the MBA program.

What is the average GPA?

You can find the average GPA of our most recent class on our class profile.  However, the admissions committee examines the applicant's entire academic record, not just the G.P.A. We look at grade trends, the major, courses taken as well as the rigor of the program and institution. We encourage interested candidates to focus on the middle 80% instead of the mean or median G.P.A.

Am I required to take the GMAT/GRE? When should I take the GMAT/GRE? What is the average GMAT/GRE score? Is there a minimum GMAT/GRE score required to apply to the Tepper School of Business?

All MBA applicants must complete either the GMAT or the GRE. Since both tests are now offered year round, the examination can be taken at any time. However, you should take the test no later than the application deadline for which you are applying. This is the second year that we will be accepting GRE scores. As such, there is not yet a GRE average. There is no minimum score required for either test. Review our class profile for details.

What if I take the GMAT/GRE more than once?

When reviewing your application, our admissions committee always uses your best GMAT/GRE score at the time of application.

What is the minimum TOEFL score?

A minimum score of 600 PBT/250 CBT/100 IBT is required for international students entering the MBA program.

May I waive the TOEFL/IELTS?

International students who hold a degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction was English are eligible to waive the TOEFL/IELTS. Applicants should send a letter requesting the waiver along with their application packet. Note that a statement indicating that the primary language of instruction was English should be listed on the academic documents. If the academic document does not include this statement, an official letter from the University Registrar indicating English is the mode of instruction.

May I receive an application fee waiver?

Fee waivers are granted in some circumstances. To request an application fee waiver, you need to submit a letter with your application detailing why you should be considered for the waiver. Requests will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Are there any pre-requisites?

MBA applicants must hold the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree and demonstrate a strong aptitude for mathematics. Entering MBA students must have completed one semester of college calculus and either statistics, calculus II or linear algebra before matriculating. Candidates who do not meet the math requirements may be admitted with the provisions that they complete the necessary math courses prior to joining the program. We offer an Math Skills Review Workshop (MSW) to students who have studied calculus, but would like a review before classes begin.

Do you accept 3-year undergraduate degrees (i.e. B.Com)?

We will consider applicants who hold a 3-year undergraduate degree. In general, due to the highly competitive nature of our applicant pool, candidates with additional education beyond their 3-year degree are more competitive.

Admissions Process

Will I be notified of my application status?

Applicants who use our online application system are able to monitor their application status on-line. To check on the status of your application and supporting documents, simply log into the application system of our online application provider (the same link used to prepare and submit the online application). Click on the “View Application” button. Next, click on the “Application Status” link on the left-hand side of the screen.

Why have you not received my supporting documents?

There are several likely reasons why supporting documents might take some time to show on the online status. The most common explanations (and steps you can take in advance to ensure arrival of your supporting documents) are:

  1. Time: Due to the large volume of mail that we receive during our application deadlines, please allow 10-14 days for your application materials to be processed. As our office opens mail and processes the supporting documents, your on-line status will be updated.
  2. Inconsistency in the Applicant's Name as Represented in Supporting Documents: We recommend that you ensure that all materials arriving for your application have consistency in your name. If you realize that there is a discrepancy (i.e. a maiden name), please contact our office at 412-268-5687 or mba-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu.

Curriculum

What makes the mini-semester system unique?

The mini-semester system - now duplicated by most other top business schools- splits the typical semester in half, creating four mini-semesters per academic year.   Each mini-semester is 6.5 weeks long, and students typically take 4 - 5 different courses each mini-semester. This system allows students the opportunity to gain exposure to a wide range of topics, and many unique courses. This format allows students flexibility to choose from among more than 120 electives in 13 areas of concentration.

What are the degree requirements for the MBA Program?

All degree candidates enrolled in the MBA Program complete a required core curriculum in addition to 90 units of electives for a total of 192 units (note, students pursuing a dual degree may have a different total unit requirement). Most business school subjects range from 6 to 12 units based on an approximation of weekly class hours, and outside preparation time. Please visit our MBA Curriculum  page for more information .

What are the different concentrations in the MBA program?

Students may complete multiple concentrations during their course of study. Please visit our MBA Curriculum page for more detailed information.

What dual-degree programs are available at Carnegie Mellon?

We are constantly seeking ways to tailor programs to meet new demands. At present, we offer collaborative programs in law, computational finance, engineering, and public policy. Please visit our Dual Degrees page for additional information on each dual

Visits

May I visit the Tepper School of Business?

Visitors are welcome! As a prospective student, we encourage you to explore our program, campus environment and student lifestyle. Campus visitors are welcome Mondays through Thursdays, when classes are in session. Class visits, tours, meetings with students and a weekly information session (Monday-Thursdays at 11:30) are among the options available when you visit. You can schedule a visit by calling us at (412) 268-5687. We hope to offer a full experience when you visit, including attending a class and spending time with our current students. For this reason, visits are discouraged on Fridays and during the summer. Please visit our Interviews and Campus Visits page for additional information.

Where should I stay when I visit?

For a list of accommodations, please visit http://www.cmu.edu/home/visitors/accommodate.html. The following five hotels are in close proximity to the university:

Marriott Courtyard, Shadyside
5308 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412-683-3113

Hampton Inn
3315 Hamlet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-681-1000 or 1-800-426-7866
Use the code "Pitt OK" for a special rate

Holiday Inn, University Center
100 Lyton Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-682-6200 or 1-800-HOLIDAY

The Shadyside Inn
5405 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
412-682-2300

Wyndham Garden Hotel, University Place
3454 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-683-2040

How do I get to campus?

For directions to campus, please visit our Directions to Campus page. You may also find a campus map helpful.

If I am unable to visit campus, are there other opportunities to meet with the admissions staff to learn more?

Absolutely!! We have an extensive travel schedule where we attend graduate school events, MBA forums, and other informational sessions. If you would like to know if we will be in or near your city, please visit our Upcoming Events Calendar.

Student Life

What resources are available for my spouse/significant other?

Recreational facilities, libraries, Partners Club, and a host of other services are available to the spouse/significant other of the Tepper School MBA students.

What housing options are available to business school students?

The MBA students live off-campus. The CMU Housing Office is an excellent resource for locating affordable housing that is close to campus or near the public transportation system.

Where do most students live?

Most students prefer Shadyside or Squirrel Hill (neighborhoods of Pittsburgh); both are very convenient to campus. Pittsburgh is one of the safest and most affordable major cities in the US. Please visit our Pittsburgh  links for more information on the city and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Financial Aid

What is the cost of the MBA program?

Tuition and fees for Full-time MBA students are $58,300 in 2013-2014. To view complete budget estimates, please view our student budget. Note that the cost of living in Pittsburgh is among the lowest in the nation and is lowest among similar metro areas.

What types of financial aid are available?

All admitted MBA students (US and International) are considered for merit scholarships using the information provided in their MBA application. U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for US federally funded loan programs through the school. Please visit our Financial Aid Site to access the variety of forms of available assistance.

Career Opportunities

What career opportunities are available to MBA students? What are the employment statistics for the recently graduated class?

MBA students have an excellent range of career opportunities available through the Career Opportunities Center. Corporations recruit heavily at the Tepper School for both internship and full-time positions. Because of the quality of our students and the school’s broad-based curriculum and generalist approach, the business school graduates are welcomed into many functional areas.

 

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