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ben-hendrix-2
Ben Hendrix

MBA 2009
Investment Banking Summer Associate
UBS Investment Bank

Owen students are some of the most academically engaged and professional individuals that I have encountered in my education and career. I am impressed with their ability to balance a collegial, supportive educational environment with a competitive edge rivaling that of any top tier business school.

Admissions Criteria

The right fit for you and us.

The Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is a unique community. With an incoming class size of about 180 students each year, our MBA program is one of the world’s most selective—and one of the best.

We seek exceptionally talented and diverse individuals who will value our unique community, meet the challenges of our rigorous program of study and join our productive alumni network.

As we evaluate applications, we have a holistic and balanced approach to admissions and look for success in three main areas of your life: your academic potential, your experience and goals and your personal qualities and fit.

Your Academic Potential
We rely on your academic records and test scores to assess your ability to succeed in the Vanderbilt MBA program.

  • The ideal candidate has earned at least a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a top-quality college or university.

  • We admire a demanding course load in any field of study and a consistent record of high performance and we welcome applicants who have taken courses or completed degrees in graduate or professional programs other than business administration.

  • In recent years, applicants offered admission have had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3 and GMAT of 682.
Your Experience and Goals

Most incoming students find that substantial work experience enables them to understand new concepts more fully and apply them more quickly. They are able to make more relevant and meaningful contributions to the learning community and they can realize a greater return on their MBA investment with access to more and better career options.

  • Full-time post-baccalaureate work experience is strongly recommended but not required. No minimum amount is specified because we believe that exceptional candidates are able to prepare themselves for graduate management education through competitive internships, student and community leadership and other developmental experiences.

  • In recent years, nearly all Vanderbilt MBA students have had at least one year of full-time work experience and 90 percent have worked three or more years before enrollment.

  • We look for students who can work well with others, seek opportunities to manage projects and lead people, and consistently exceed expectations.

  • While our flexible curriculum allows students to explore various areas of study, we expect our applicants to have invested a considerable amount of time into determining their career goals. Applicants should try to attain work experiences that will build the right transferrable skills, laying the proper foundation for business school and the post-MBA career.

  • We do not require a certain type of experience—work in all fields, military duty, volunteer service and involvement in community and extracurricular activities give our students the ability to share unique perspectives.

We evaluate your experience via your resume, interview and letters of recommendation.

Your Personal Qualities and Fit

Our students have a balanced approach to life, a history of accomplishment, a sense of social responsibility, an entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding potential for leadership in business and society.

  • We believe that everyone is diverse in some perspective. By fostering diversity of nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, educational and professional experience and personal backgrounds and goals, we can enhance the Vanderbilt MBA experience for everyone. Applicants should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and how they can add value to the learning experience of others.

  • Owen is a community that gives back. We look for students who have made a difference through their involvement and leadership in academic and professional associations, civic and religious groups, and extracurricular and recreational activities.

  • We hope your essays, recommendations and interview will reveal personal qualities that fit the Vanderbilt MBA culture: integrity, professionalism, diversity, curiosity, open-mindedness, team orientation, cooperation, ambition, motivation and excellence.


Do you have these questions?

  • What if my undergrad GPA is low?
  • Do you average GMAT and GRE scores?

These answers and more in our FAQs. Click here.