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Application FAQs

Do I need to take the TOEFL exam?
The Tepper School of Business requires the TOEFL exam of non-native speakers of English. Hence, if you come from a country where English is the native language, you do not need to take the TOEFL. The Tepper School will also waive the TOEFL requirement if you have spent at least a year in a certified degree program in an English-language college or university, in a country where the official language is English. The IELTS is not accepted by the Tepper PhD Program.

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Do I need a master's degree prior to pursuing the Ph.D.?
No. None of the areas within the Tepper School Ph.D. program require a Masters degree for admission to the program. Students in the program who successfully complete two years of class study and pass all qualifying exams are eligible to receive a Masters of Science in the area in which they are enrolled. Completion of coursework and production of the doctoral thesis over the next two to three years then completes the students' doctoral studies and leads to the awarding of the Ph.D.

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Are transfer credits accepted?
No, the business school does not accept any transfer credits into the doctoral program.

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Can the GRE and GMAT be substituted for each other?
In general, yes, although for Economics, the faculty prefer that applicants take the GRE. Applicants in the functional areas of business generally take the GMAT, but may substitute the GRE if they wish, although it is advisable to check the web pages for the particular area you are applying to for detailed information on this.

**To have your GRE test scores sent to the Tepper PhD program, you should use institutional code 2074; the institutional code 4883 is only for Tepper's Masters program**

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How important are the exam scores in the application screening process?
The Tepper School of Business faculty who review applications use the test scores as one component in the overall evaluation of an applicant's file. For the more technical areas, a high quantitative score sends a positive signal about the applicant's ability to handle math. In other areas, this may be less important. More generally, because of the relatively small size of the Tepper School Ph.D. program, we recruit students very carefully, looking at how well prepared they are for the course of study they have chosen, how well their research interests match with those of our faculty, and how well recommended they are by the people chosen as references. In this process, essays, transcripts of work done in college or previous graduate school, references and exams all play a role in assisting the decision.

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How many applications do we typically receive?
This varies by the area in which you are applying, and by the state of the world economy. Areas like Economics and Finance receive 2 to 3 times the number of applications that areas like Accounting or Information Systems receive. In a typical year, we receive over 800 applications, although in a year in which the economy is down, this number can approach 1000. The Tepper School's acceptance rates are highly selective, in the 3-5% range, given the small size of the program overall and the school's ability to support Ph.D. students while they are in residence. One consequence of this selectivity is that the faculty who review applications will generally find many more acceptable candidates than we have room for, so, out of necessity, we turn away many qualified applicants.

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How will I know if Tepper has received my application materials?
It is the responsibility of each applicant to check the status of his/her own application using the online application system. Once you have submitted your completed electronic application, you will have the capability of checking its status by signing into the site using the username (your full email address) and the password that you created. You will see instantly if each of your letters of evaluation, transcripts, and test scores have been received.

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I had my GRE/GMAT/TOEFL score sent to Tepper; why isn't it shown as "received" on my online application?
In general, these test scores are the last part of the application package that is marked as "received". This is due to the fact that we receive many test scores for people who then decide not to complete their application. The GRE scores are sent directly to the Doctoral Programs office by ETS. GMAT and TOEFL scores, on the other hand, are handled by Tepper's Masters Admissions office. At the height of the application season, we try to match up scores with applicants' files as soon as possible. Due to the volume of applications, this may only happen a few times per week.

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How will I be notified if I have been accepted into the doctoral program or not?
As soon as a decision is reached by the committee, it is posted onto the website. No decisions will be posted before February 1, and all decisions will be posted by April 15. This is the fastest way for applicants to find out the decision on their admittance. Official letters are also sent to all applicants. If you have been accepted into the program, you will first be contacted by email or phone by a committee member for your area of study. This will then be followed by an official letter. If you have not been accepted into the program, you will also receive an official letter; usually these letters are sent out after April 15.

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