MBA and Health Care MBA FAQs

Program Information

Do you offer one-year, part-time, or executive MBA programs?


We offer a two-year full-time, daytime MBA program and a two-year full-time Executive MBA program, which meets every Saturday. We also offer several one-year programs: Master of Science in Finance (MSF), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), MAcc Valuation and Master of Management in Health Care (MMHC). In addition, we offer an America's MBA for globally-minded executives. At this time, we do not have a one-year full-time MBA program or any part-time, online or evening MBA programs.

When do students matriculate each year?


Classes begin in mid-August. Orientation is required for all incoming students and begins the week before classes. The U.S. Business Communications and Culture program begins in mid-July and is required of most international students. The finalized academic calendar will be available in June for the following year.

Do you accept applications for spring entry into the MBA program?


No. We accept applications for fall entrance only.

Admissions Criteria

Does a particular academic or professional background give me any advantage in the admissions process?

No. We seek students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Diversity in all forms - academic, professional, cultural, ethnic, gender, geographic, socioeconomic, and so on - is an important component of the Vanderbilt MBA experience.

What kind of work experience does the Admissions Committee consider?

All kinds, but only full-time post-baccalaureate work experience is counted in the official statistics we report. When we evaluate your application, we consider all full-time work, military experience, part-time work, internships, co-op assignments, summer jobs and volunteer work.

Does the Vanderbilt MBA program require calculus, statistics or other quantitative courses as prerequisites?


No, there are no specific prerequisites. However, the Admissions Committee looks for a variety of abilities in all applicants, including critical thinking and analytical skills, communication abilities and interpersonal and leadership skills. Most students who have successfully completed introductory courses in college-level calculus and statistics find that they are adequately prepared to meet the quantitative demands of the program. Before classes start, Vanderbilt offers optional Online Reviews for incoming MBA students who want additional preparation. Some students with little or no business background might also find helpful an overview of basic finance, accounting and/or economic principles. Click here for a detailed explanation of our admissions criteria.

Can I waive any core courses?

Exemptions are available for students with superior competency in accounting, economics and statistics; however, 62 credit hours still are required to complete the Vanderbilt MBA degree. Exemptions are awarded by the Assistant Dean of Academic Programs based on previous academic courses.

If I already completed an MBA or similar degree from another school, in or out of the U.S., am I still eligible for admission?


No, Vanderbilt does not admit applicants seeking a second MBA degree or a similar graduate management degree, regardless of where the first was obtained. Exempt from this policy are graduate management degrees that were earned at a college or university outside the U.S. in order to satisfy the four-year U.S. bachelor's degree requirement. Also exempt are master's degrees that focus on a specific functional area of business (such as accounting, finance or management information systems) and do not offer a broad general management curriculum typical of the MBA degree.

Does the Vanderbilt MBA program accept transfer students or transfer credits?


No. Most top business schools do not accept transfer students or transfer credits. If we do admit an individual who is already enrolled in another full-time MBA program, we will not accept transfer credits. The student will be expected to complete all 62 credits required for the Vanderbilt MBA degree.

My spouse/partner and I are applying and plan to enroll together. Will you evaluate our applications together or separately?


The Admissions Committee considers each candidate individually. Admission is always based on individual credentials.

How to Apply

What is the process for reapplying?

We retain all admissions materials for two years before destroying them. You must submit an entirely new application with a different email address from your original application. However, we can match previously submitted supplemental materials such as official test scores, transcripts and recommendations to your new application. We also ask that you provide an additional statement in the Optional Essay area describing your personal and professional activities since the original date of application and explaining why you are now a stronger candidate for admission. If the essays have not changed since you originally applied, and your answers have not changed, you do not need to submit new essays. Just enter “See Previous Application”. Please email appstatus@owen.vanderbilt.edu with questions.

Is there any advantage to applying in an earlier application round?


We seek outstanding candidates regardless of the application round. However, space and scholarships are limited, so it is wise to apply as early as possible. Applying earlier means that you will receive an admissions decision earlier, leaving you more time to plan your transition to the Vanderbilt MBA program.

If I am admitted this year, may I defer my enrollment until next year?


Generally, no - we do not offer deferred enrollment. In exceptional situations beyond the candidate’s control, the Admissions Committee may offer a deferral. One exception is that all deferral requests for U.S. military personnel will be approved. Otherwise, candidates must decline an offer of admission and reactivate the application for admission and financial aid consideration the following year.

How can I check the status of my application?


We will update your status as supplemental items are received and after the application round in which you have applied once your application is processed. You can check your status by accessing the application checklist. We occasionally send email reminders about any missing items needed to complete your file. Please allow sufficient time for the delivery and processing of all materials after the round for which you applied before checking your application or contacting our office. If you require a personal response from one of our assistants, please email us, but do this only if necessary. We will do our best to communicate with you promptly and accurately. We appreciate your patience and understanding, especially during the busiest time of the admissions process from January through June.

Transcripts and Test Scores

Does the Vanderbilt MBA program require the GMAT or GRE?


You must submit a GMAT or a GRE score as a part of your application (GMAT is preferred). Your performance on either exam will be used as part of our assessment of your academic ability. There is not a minimum score requirement for either exam. See the MBA class profile for average scores.

Standardized test scores are only one of many factors that we review in determining admission to Owen. We encourage you to apply to our program regardless of the level of your score performance. However, if you are concerned about your test performance, you may want to consider retaking your selected exam to improve your score after additional practice and preparation. We will only look at your highest submitted score.  It is helpful to properly study and prepare for the GMAT or GRE. In addition to the many test-prep courses, books and materials available, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) offers tools to help you prepare at MBA.com, such as The Official Guide to the GMAT and GMAT Focus, and Educational Testing Services (ETS) offers tools to help you prepare for the GRE at www.takethegre.com.

If my GMAT, GRE or GPA is significantly below the average for Vanderbilt MBAs, should I still apply?


Although the GMAT or GRE and GPA are important indicators of your academic ability, they are not the only factors we consider. Your overall academic record, the quality of your undergraduate institution, the difficulty of your course of studies and the consistency of your performance are also good indicators of your potential for success in the first year of a rigorous MBA program. Candidates who are weak in one area of the application (low GMAT or GRE, weak academic record or limited experience) may balance that with strengths in other areas (above-average GPA, outstanding test scores or exceptional work experience).

Can I take the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic more than once?

Yes. If you submit different test results, we will consider and report your best overall performance based on the total score. If your scores are below average, we strongly recommend that you retake the test, prior to submitting your application, to increase your chances of admission. Keep in mind that a vast majority of those who apply can handle the work, so we also are evaluating how competitive their performance is compared to the pool and our school's MBA profile. Over half of the candidates who enroll have taken the GMAT or GRE more than once.

I submitted my application before I took the GMAT or GRE. I scored lower than I thought I would and plan to retake the GMAT. Will the Admissions Committee hold my application until my new scores are available?


We recommend that you take the GMAT or GRE before submitting your application so that you are satisfied with your scores and can record your scores on your application. No admissions decision will be made until all components of the application have been submitted. Applicants are allowed to retake the GMAT or GRE in an attempt to improve their score, but it is important to email appstatus@owen.vanderbilt.edu to report your new intentions and test date. If you submit different test results, we will consider and report your best overall performance based on the total score. If your scores are below average, we strongly recommend that you retake the test, prior to submitting your application, to increase your chances of admission.

Is there a way for international students to waive the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic?


You may contact our office to request a waiver if you (1) have earned an undergraduate degree in a country where the official language is English (not just an English-speaking institution or just a country where English is spoken) or (2) have lived and worked in an English-speaking country for the past two or more years. A waiver is automatically granted if a candidate scores in the 90 percentile or higher on the verbal component of the GMAT or GRE.

If I take the GMAT or GRE more than once, do you consider the highest score or do you average the scores?

We will only utilize the highest score when making an admissions decision.

When should I submit my official transcripts and test scores?

1. Take the GMAT or GRE (GMAT is preferred) and TOEFL, PTE Academic or IELTS, if required, before submitting your application so that you can include your scores in the application. If you have already taken your required tests and sent your score reports to Vanderbilt, your scores will automatically be verified by Vanderbilt. Verified score reports are required to complete your application.
Please send all score reports to:
Center for Data Management - OWEN
Vanderbilt University PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

2. You will be required to upload a copy of your transcript from every college or university you attended. Only if you are offered and accept our offer of admission, will you be required to mail official transcripts from each institution.
Please send all official transcripts to:
Center for Data Management - OWEN
Vanderbilt University PMB 407833
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-7833

What is Vanderbilt’s school code for test score reports?

Our institution code is 1871 and our department code is 02.

Essays and Recommendations

May I submit more than two letters of recommendation?

No. It is not recommended to submit more than two letters of reference.

How do I choose my recommenders?


The Admissions Committee is interested in recommendations from people who can assess your ability to succeed, not only in an academic environment but also in your career and in positions of leadership or management. The Admissions Committee wants to know about your communication and analytical skills and how you work with others. People who often serve as strong references include your current supervisor, a former supervisor or those with whom you have worked for a reasonable amount of time. There are times when applicants don't want their supervisors to know their plans to attend business school. In these situations, a client, previous manager or contact from an extracurricular organization can be useful. The recommender need not be the CEO, CFO or other head of a company, especially if he or she has had little direct contact or interaction with the prospective student. Familiarity with the candidate is key. Academic recommendations provide the Admissions Committee with information on your ability to succeed in an academic environment, but professional recommendations tell us more about your ability to contribute in a business context. Recommendations from friends, work peers or subordinates, family members or family friends are not appropriate and may detract from the overall strength of your application.

Tuition and Beyond

What is the cost of a Vanderbilt MBA education?


Click here for the current estimated program cost of education for a single student during the nine-month academic year. For your second year of study, you should anticipate a 4 percent increase in tuition, fees and living expenses. The Vanderbilt Board of Trust approves the budget every July.

What are the health care costs and requirements for spouses and/or dependents?

Vanderbilt requires that all students, spouses and dependents have health care coverage. The detailed costs, forms and form completion/submissions deadlines are all available on the Vanderbilt Student Health Website.

Does Vanderbilt have a computer requirement?


Yes, all students are required to have a computer. 

Is it possible for MBA students to live in university housing on campus?


No. On-campus housing is limited to undergraduate students. For more information, please visit Vanderbilt University’s off-campus referral service. Students who live close to Vanderbilt generally walk or bike to campus. There are restaurants and shops in the West End and Hillsboro Village areas and also within walking distance of campus. If you choose to live farther from campus, having a car would be required. Most students have cars, but this is a personal decision. Find out more about Nashville’s cost of living here.

Will I be able to obtain a parking pass? How much does a pass cost?


Students can purchase parking passes at the Office of Traffic and Parking in Wesley Place Garage, across the street from Owen on Scarritt Place. Click here for cost and other information about Traffic and Parking at Vanderbilt. Most Owen students choose to purchase a Zone 2 general permit, which allows them to park in any unreserved Zone 2 parking space. There are Zone 2 surface lots and two Zone 2 parking garages in the immediate area of the Owen building.

Interview Process

How important is the interview in relation to the rest of the application?


The interview is an important component of the application and provides you an opportunity to share your story. Through the interview, we hope to hear more examples of the types of experiences you have had in both your personal and your professional life and to get a sense of your demonstrated record of achievement, your interpersonal and communication skills and your focus—why an MBA?

What is Vanderbilt MBA's policy on interviews?


An evaluative interview is required before an offer of admission can be extended, but not all applicants may be interviewed. Regardless of your status in the application process, we encourage you to schedule an interview in conjunction with a campus visit or during one of our recruiting trips by emailing your resume and GMAT test scores with the location and date of your interview request. Interview appointments are limited and priority is given to applicants with more than two years of full-time work experience. If you are unable to interview with an admissions director on campus or in a city near you, you may be invited to interview via a video call only after all required application materials have been received and evaluated by MBA Admissions staff. If you are invited to interview, we email you with instructions for scheduling an appointment to interview via a video call.

Do I have to come to Nashville for my interview?


No. We recognize that it’s not possible for everyone to travel to campus, especially in the middle of the work week or from far away. As a result, we are happy to schedule interviews with you when we visit one of more than 80 cities around the world. If necessary, we will conduct your interview by a video call once your application has been submitted and reviewed and only after you have received an invitation to schedule a video call interview. Despite that flexibility, we still strongly believe in the value of a trip to Owen, Vanderbilt and Nashville.

Is there an advantage to interviewing on campus?


There is no advantage in our admissions decision-making process. However, campus visits are the best way for you to get a firsthand look at the Vanderbilt MBA program. You can attend a class, go to lunch with a current student, interview with an admissions officer and attend an information session with career management staff. Vanderbilt wants to enroll students who are excited about life at Owen and in Nashville. Visiting campus is one way to demonstrate this passion.

How long do interviews last?


The interview usually lasts 30 to 40 minutes. In general, the goal of the interview is to assess your maturity, judgment, professionalism, initiative, interpersonal and team skills, communication skills and ability to think critically.

What can I expect during the interview?


We conduct a structured conversational interview. We are interested in evaluating all candidates on a common set of criteria, but we also want to discover your individual story, unique talents and personal ambitions. Your interpersonal skills, communication ability and professional presence are at least as important as the specific content of the interview. We expect that you will wear professional attire and bring a copy of your current resume.

What should I do if I cannot interview prior to a specific application deadline?


Your application will be evaluated without the interview and we will contact you by email with instructions for scheduling an interview if you are a competitive applicant. For candidates who have not completed an interview, we allow two weeks for processing and preliminary review after each deadline, then four weeks for those candidates to complete their visits and interviews, and another two weeks for final decisions. You may hear sooner than the published notification deadline.After the 4th round of admissions, decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Scholarships

How do I apply for scholarships? What are the selection criteria?


All admitted applicants are automatically considered for scholarship awarded by Owen. A separate application is not required for scholarship consideration. Selection criteria are based on many of the same factors evaluated for an admissions decision: academic performance, GMAT scores, quality of work experience, leadership potential and personal characteristics demonstrated through the essays, interviews and recommendations. There are two diversity scholarships that require a supplemental essay. Scholarship decisions are communicated in conjunction with admissions decisions. More details are available here.

How much are scholarships worth?


Scholarships range from $5,000 per year to full tuition. They are renewed automatically for the second year as long as you maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

Are there scholarships available for rising second-year students?

All scholarships are awarded during the application process to incoming students. While there have been small cash awards to certain outstanding first-year students in the past, one should not rely on future scholarships/awards for funding.

What is the Dean’s Scholar award?


The Dean’s Scholar Award is the highest honor for an incoming student. With it, the Dean recognizes and rewards the outstanding achievements and potential of future Vanderbilt MBA leaders. Recipients interact with current students, faculty, staff and alumni during Scholars’ Weekend. Those who receive the award gain access to special programming as Owen students.

Loans

When and how do I start the financial aid process?

The loan application paperwork is usually available in the fall of the year prior to enrollment. Visit Vanderbilt University’s financial aid website for details.

Are there loans available for international students?

International students do not qualify for federally funded loan programs unless they are permanent residents of the U.S. However, an international student may apply for a private alternative source of funding, but a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is required as a co-borrower. Learn more.

Who can apply for financial aid?


In order to qualify for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Federal financial aid includes the Federal Stafford Loan Program. International students can apply for private alternative educational loans only with the assistance of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer.

How do I apply for financial aid?


In order to qualify for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Vanderbilt MBA students will complete this form online click here. The Title IV code for Vanderbilt is 003535. Therefore, completing your federal income tax return first is recommended. Financial aid is always determined by the federal income tax information filed for the previous year.

How do I contact the financial aid office?


Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, Vanderbilt University, 2309 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-1725 or email the office of Student Financial Aid; telephone 615.322.3591 or 800.288.0204; or fax 615.343.8512. General office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT. Karen Hauser is the Owen Financial Aid Officer, and you may reach her by calling our office or by emailing her directly.

What is the financial aid timeline?


Filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for federal financial aid. The FAFSA may be completed as early as February. You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) for your verification. Financial aid awards will be determined based on the information supplied on the FAFSA. A financial aid package will be calculated including any Vanderbilt MBA scholarships, Federal Direct Stafford Loans and a Federal Direct Graduate Plus loan to meet the cost of education or academic budget for the year.

What loan programs are available to domestic and international students?


Subsidized Direct Federal Stafford Loans are limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.  Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans are non-need-based loans for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. The borrower is responsible for the interest on these loans as soon as the loan is disbursed. Private alternative loans are available for all students. A number of major lending organizations offer loan programs to qualified borrowers. A listing is available at the Office of Student Financial Aid.  The student may borrow up to the cost of education minus any financial aid. International students can use this resource if a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident serves as a co-signer.

What is the interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans?


Federal Direct Unsubsidized Graduate Stafford Loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan is a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent.

How can I find detailed information regarding student loans?


You can view the Department of Education’s website for complete information regarding student loans.

Are graduate assistantships available?


A limited number of graduate student work assignments will be available. These positions range from 10 to 15 hours per week for a professor or one of the school's administrative offices and are selected by the sponsoring professor or office. These opportunities are typically posted in the Owen Daily News at the beginning of the school year or on the Admitted Applicants website leading up to Orientation. Positions may also become available throughout the year. Additionally, the Vanderbilt Office Student Employment maintains a site of all student positions available on campus on www.hireadore.com.

Can I work as a student?

Most students find that life as a Vanderbilt MBA student is very demanding. Classes, group work, individual study, the career search, student organizations, guest speakers, recreation and social events are time-consuming activities, but they are an important part of the Vanderbilt MBA experience. As a result, most students do not work while classes are in session. Those who wish to work have several options to help fund their education and gain valuable experience.

U.S. citizens, permanent residents and eligible non-citizens may apply for graduate assistant positions. Opportunities to work with professors and administrators are posted at the beginning of each academic year. Students may work up to 20 hours per week, but most jobs require only 10 to 15 hours and offer flexible schedules. International students may NOT work off-campus during the first nine months of their program as governed by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration. Thereafter, authorization to work off-campus is required for summer internships or during the academic year.

There may be other opportunities for employment on campus and outside the business school. For more information, you should contact Vanderbilt’s Student Employment Office, which is part of the Office for Student Financial Aid. In the past, some Vanderbilt MBA students have lived on campus and worked part-time as advisors or supervisors in one of the residence halls or international houses. To learn more about this option, contact the Office of Housing & Residential Education.

International Students

Is there a special application for international students?


No, but the U.S. government does require international students to show proof of sufficient financial resources to support themselves for the two-year period of their studies. Therefore, international students are required to complete the Preliminary Financial Declaration portion of the online application prior to submitting. Also, note that transcripts and diplomas not issued in English must be accompanied by notarized translations.

How do international students apply for a private loan?


International students can apply for a private alternative educational loan, with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer, for an amount up to the total cost of education. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for additional information.

Deadlines and Fees

What if I don’t respond to my offer in time or I don’t satisfy the conditions of my admission?


The Admissions Committee reserves the right to rescind any offers of admission or financial aid from candidates who have not responded by the specified deadline date and from candidates who have not completed the courses or pre-MBA programs required as a condition of their admission.

How much is the application fee?


The application fee for the full-time MBA program is $175.

Resume and Work History

What is the profile of current Vanderbilt MBA students?

Please visit the Vanderbilt MBA Class Profile page for current information.

Will my application be considered if I have fewer than two years of full-time work experience?

Yes. The Admissions Committee reviews every application, regardless of the amount of experience, and considers candidates for admissions with little or no experience as long as other areas of the application are exceptionally strong. On average, our students have five years of full-time postgraduate work experience. Applicants with more experience are generally more competitive; however, the quality of experience is important as well. Despite the duration of your experience, we want to see where you have worked effectively in teams, demonstrated leadership, exceeded customer expectations, successfully managed major projects, etc.

Admissions Decisions

How does your waiting list work?

Applicants may be placed on the waiting list if the Admissions Committee wants to defer its final decision to a later date.

If the Admissions Committee has specific concerns that may be addressed by providing additional information, a member of the admissions team will reach out to you in order to provide you with this feedback.

In recent years, the Admissions Committee has admitted a number of candidates from the waiting list to help manage the size of the incoming class. We do not rank waiting list candidates nor can we predict the likelihood of admission. It may be a matter of weeks or months before a decision can be made. We will keep candidates on the waiting list as long as they remain interested and as long as there is still a reasonable chance of admission, right up until the start of Orientation if necessary.

When are admissions decisions made?


In general, we will notify you of the admissions decision within six to eight weeks of the application deadline for the round in which you applied and no later than the posted decision deadline.

How can I check the status of my application?


We will update your status as supplemental items are received and after the application round in which you have applied once your application is processed. You can check your status by accessing the application checklist. We occasionally send email reminders about any missing items needed to complete your file. Please allow sufficient time for the delivery and processing of all materials after the round for which you applied before checking your application or contacting our office. If you require a personal response from one of our assistants, please email us, but do this only if necessary. We will do our best to communicate with you promptly and accurately. We appreciate your patience and understanding, especially during the busiest time of the admissions process from January through June.

Campus Visits

I live in the U.S. but prefer not to travel to Nashville until I know I have been admitted. Will failure to visit negatively affect my candidacy?


No. In general, you are encouraged to visit campus at least once because it is the best way to introduce yourself to members of the Owen community and to learn about the Vanderbilt MBA program, the university and Nashville. If you have not visited campus before receiving an offer of admission, we strongly encourage you to visit before you make a final decision about attending Vanderbilt. Most candidates prefer to visit during the academic year while classes are in session. However, we encourage you to visit at any time.

Whom will I meet while visiting Vanderbilt?

During a personalized campus visit, you will be introduced to a student host, who will take you to his or her class, introduce you to faculty and fellow students and accompany you to lunch. After lunch, you can participate in a small group discussion with a member of our Career Management Center. You can arrange an evaluative interview or information session with a member of the Admissions Committee as a part of your visit.

Can I specify the subject for the class I will attend during my campus visit?

Our graduate assistants will try to organize your visit around your individual background, interests and goals. The unpredictability of your travel schedule, the availability of student hosts and the activities of a certain class on any given day prevent us from guaranteeing that we will be able to fulfill everyone’s desires all of the time. Regardless of the class you attend, the host you meet or the duration of your stay, we know you will find your visit to Vanderbilt to be a pleasant and productive experience.

May I schedule more than one class visit?

It depends. The availability of hosts, suitability of classes, number of visitors and other demands on our resources often make it difficult to arrange for you to attend more than one class during your campus visit. Our graduate assistants will work with you to make sure you get the most out of your visit to Vanderbilt.

How should I dress for my campus visit?

Our guests usually wear business professional attire if they are conducting an evaluative interview during the visit. Otherwise, most campus visitors wear business casual attire.

Do I have to complete an evaluative interview during my campus visit?

Many applicants consider it ideal to complete an admissions interview while visiting campus; however, it is not required. You may skip the evaluative interview during your visit or you may replace it with an informational meeting with a member of the Admissions Committee. Interviews can be conducted regardless of whether an applicant has submitted an application. When limited interview slots are available, priority is given to the most competitive applicants.

How do I get to Nashville?

Click here for directions to Nashville and additional information about Owen, Vanderbilt and Nashville. Click here for a campus map.

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