Answers to your most common questions
Frequently asked questions cover general topics regarding curriculum, teaching style, student life, and career support. Here you will find details about application procedures and admissions requirements, visiting campus, interviews, and financial considerations. We also discuss the characteristics we look for in applicants. You will also find questions and answers from some past online chats we have held with prospective applicants.
What is the size of the program? How many students are in the class?
We have approximately 350 MBA students and 50 LGO students per class year. We currently do not have any plans to increase the class size. First year students are divided into cohorts of approximately 60 students and take their core semester courses as a group.
Are there any programs that connect prospective applicants with current students?How can I contact a current student?
The Ambassadors Program which runs throughout the academic year,provides you with the opportunity to meet current students on-campus and to ask them many of the questions that you may have .
Do you accept transfer of credits into the program?
MIT does not accept transfer credits from other schools.
Do you offer any distance learning and/or part-time opportunities?
We do not offer part-time or on-line MBA opportunities. Our MBA program is full-time for two years and is on-campus only. We do have an Executive MBA (EMBA) program that meets every 3rd Friday and Saturday for 20 months.
How many students are international?
We have a strong international presence, each year about 40% of the class comes from abroad. Our international alumni network is also very strong.
What is the class profile?
What are the general criteria and desired qualifications for admission?
We seek students whose personal characteristics demonstrate that they will make the most of the incredible opportunities at MIT, both academic and non-academic. We are on a quest to find those whose presence will enhance the experience of other students. We seek thoughtful leaders with exceptional intellectual abilities and the drive and determination to put their stamp on the world. We welcome people who are independent, authentic, and fearlessly creative — true doers. We want people who can redefine solutions to conventional problems, and strive to preempt unconventional dilemmas with cutting-edge ideas. We demand integrity and respect passion.
The Admissions Committee looks for applicants with demonstrated academic excellence, proven personal achievement, and strong self-motivation to make an impact and to inspire, no matter where they are in an organization. High academic potential and personal achievement are typically reflected in test scores, academic records, and recommendations that go beyond a polite endorsement.
Do I need work experience to apply?
No, work experience is not required for admission, although having work experience can help leverage the opportunities at MIT Sloan. Students who already have a framework of experience against which to apply their education, and who understand workplace issues, generally get more out of the program and contribute more to classroom discussions and team projects.
Is there any academic preparation or pre-requisites required prior to applying or enrolling?
The only pre-requisite is a Bachelor’s Degree. However, accepted applicants may be given a conditional acceptance and required to take a course(s) in microeconomics, calculus, or financial accounting prior to starting MBA studies.
Do I need an undergraduate degree in a specific major to apply?
We welcome applications from college graduates from all areas of concentration, including the humanities, the social and physical sciences, and engineering. View our previous class profile to see academic background of our students.
I already have an MBA. Am I eligible to apply?
Candidates with previous MBA degrees are eligible to apply. These candidates should, however, detail the reasons for their pursuit of a second MBA degree in the application.
Alternatively, if you hold an MBA degree or equivalent (such as a Master of Finance or Master of Economics) from a non-US institution, you may be eligible to apply to our one-year Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS).
I already have an PhD. Am I eligible to apply?
Candidates with a PhD degree are eligible to apply. These candidates should, however, detail the reasons for their pursuit of a second MBA degree in the application.
I have a three-year bachelor's degree from outside of the U.S. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. Candidates with a three-year bachelor’s degree from outside of the U.S. may apply.
Can you tell me my chances given my background?
The admissions process at MIT Sloan does not include a pre-screening of resumes. Requests for pre-screening of resumes to determine eligibility cannot be conducted by our staff.
Is there a preferred type of job before graduate business school?
No. There are as many routes to graduate business school as there are students. The best approach is to simply follow your own genuine abilities and aspirations.
What are the Admissions criteria?
When reviewing applications and interviewing students, we are looking for examples of the applicant’s success professionally and academically, ability to lead and influence others, and for those who demonstrate a collaborative spirit and a community focus. View our previous class profile and see qualifications/criteria section for more details.
How does the Admissions process work?
Our admissions process works in the following way. We read all applications after the deadline, and a smaller percentage of applicants are selected based on those reads to move forward in the interview process. This has been our approach for years and it works very well for us. Every application is read and evaluated.
Are some parts of the application weighted more than others?
No single characteristic in the application is more or less important than any other. Each applicant is evaluated as a whole.
Does MIT let applicants apply as a couple?
Couples each need to submit a separate application, but there is a question on the application where you can indicate if you are applying with a spouse/significant other.
Does MIT Sloan have rolling admissions? Are there advantages to applying early?
MIT Sloan does not have rolling admissions. Applications are received in two rounds. Applicants should apply when they have completed the application. There is a competitive disadvantage to applying after the final deadline, as the decision process — along with class selection — is well under way. LGO applicants must apply in the LGO round. If you are not accepted to the LGO program, your application will automatically be considered for the MBA program in Round II.
Can I apply in both application rounds?
You can only apply once per year. You’ll have to decide if Round I or Round II is best.
Does it matter if I submit my application early?
No, it does not matter when the application is submitted as long as it is before the deadline. We begin reviewing all applications immediately following the deadline.
Can the application fee be waived?
College seniors graduating from a U.S. institution and active U.S. military personnel may request an application fee waiver by emailing email@example.com prior to submitting your application. Please include your school name, graduation date, and the email address used to create your application. The application fee is non-refundable.
How is it decided whether a candidate is a "sure yes" for the program?
We have a sophisticated scoring system that evaluates eight different competencies. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate these competencies.
Would you be able to provide any insight as to the life cycle of an application after we submit?
Interview invites will go out on a rolling basis up until our final decision deadline. Once you submit your application, it will be reviewed by our admissions committee who are a group of trained professionals on our staff. Once your application is read, we will determine whether or not you will be invited to interview.
How do you evaluate the verbal ability of an applicant?
We look at your verbal test scores and your essays, and we also rely on the interview.
Do you compare all international applicants against each other? Or the comparison is based on country basis?
There are no quotas for international applicants. We review each applicant individually.
What key attributes are interviewers looking for? What is admissions looking for when interviewing candidates?
We are looking for examples of leadership, integrity, analysis, teamwork, etc. You should have demonstrated examples of these attributes that you can share with us. Be sure to use examples that you did not use in your application. We conduct behavioral based interviews and we are looking at past behaviors to indicate how you would handle future situations. We are looking for specific examples of how you have built relationships, influenced others, and your drive. Additionally, we're looking for English ability.
Who reads our applications and conducts the interviews? Is it only the admissions office or do MIT Sloan professors participate?
All of the interviews are conducted only by members of the Admissions committee who have read your applications. Professors, current students or alumni are not involved in reading applications or interviewing.
Is there anything we can put in our application to guarantee an interview?
Unfortunately, there is no trick to guaranteeing an interview.
Can you describe the weight of the interview in the final admissions decision?
The interview is a very important part of the application process. The interviewer will typically make the final recommendation on your admission to the program.
How long does the interview last? How many interviewers are there?
There will be one interviewer and it will typically last 30-45 minutes.
Does an applicant have to travel to Cambridge, MA for interviews?
We conduct interviews at hub cities around the world, as well as on-campus. You will be asked in your application to list the closest city to where you live and receive an invitation accordingly.
When are interviews for each Round?
Round I interviews will occur in November, and Round II usually occur in February and March.
Do you know approximately what percentage of the applicants will be invited to interview?
We typically interview about 20% - 25% of the candidates who apply.
How does the waitlist work at MIT Sloan?
The process is a little different each year, depending on the number of applicants. However, if you are waitlisted in Round I, then you are automatically considered in Round II.
Do you offer deferrals?
Our general policy is not to defer admission, except in the case of college seniors who wish to get work experience before returning to school.
Can you provide feedback on my previous application?
Each year we receive many more applications than places in the class. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources within our staff to give individual application feedback.
Do I need to mail in copies of my transcripts?
You will be required to scan your transcripts and submit them as part of your online application. During the application process, we accept unofficial transcripts. Applicants admitted to the program will be required to provide an official transcript from each school attended. All admitted students will receive further instructions after the decision deadline on where to send the materials. Any discrepancy between the scanned transcripts and official transcripts may result in a rejection in our decision or a withdrawal of our offer of admission. For more information, visit Application Instructions.
If my transcript is not in English, does it need to be translated?
We require an official translation of all transcripts, if not already in English. Any professional translator in your city can provide this service. If your university is able to do this, we will accept that as well.
Do I need to convert my GPA? What if I did my undergraduate studies outside of the U.S.?
You do not need to convert your GPA for the online application. Simply enter in the grading system used by your school. We are familiar with the various grading systems and can evaluate it on our end. No need to try to translate an international GPA into a US one.
My university does not provide a class rank, what should I do?
Many schools do not provide a class rank so you can leave this blank.
How relevant are previous academic grades to get admitted to the program?
All of your previous academic work is important to us, and we consider it in the evaluation process.
What is MIT Sloan’s code for the GMAT?
The School’s code for the GMAT is X5X-QS-41 when applying to the MBA Program.
Can you confirm receipt of my GMAT score?
No, we cannot confirm receipt of your GMAT score. Please check with ETS to confirm that you have designated MIT Sloan (Code: X5X-QS-41) to receive your score.
Where can I get more information on the GMAT?
You may visit MBA.com for more information on the GMAT, including sample questions and information on test registration.
Can my GRE score take the place of the GMAT?
Yes, MIT Sloan will accept the GRE in lieu of the GMAT. The School’s code for the GRE is 3791.
Is there a minimum acceptable GMAT/GRE score?
No, MIT Sloan does not require a minimum GMAT score. View our previous class profile to see the average GMAT score.
Where can I get more information on the GRE?
You may visit GRE.com for more information on the GRE as well as test registration information.
Which do you prefer, the GMAT or the GRE?
We do not discriminate between the two, they are viewed equally, and it is not necessary to take or submit both.
If I have taken both the GMAT and the GRE, can I submit both scores?
Yes, you can submit both scores.
Where can I find the average scores for GRE in your class profile?
We do not publish our average GRE scores since the test has only been recently accepted and based on the percentage of people who apply, we do not have enough data.
What if I took the GMAT or the GRE several times? Do you receive each score?
We only require you to submit your highest test score, so we don't necessarily look at how many times you have tested or how many different types of test you took.
Should I submit a test score with a higher overall score but lower quant score or a test score with a lower overall score but higher quant score?
If you have taken the GMAT more than once, you should use the highest of the cumulative scores. We will consider the test score that you have indicated on your application to be your highest score. Do not worry about taking it multiple times, we only see the score you give us.
How long are GMAT scores valid?
Only GMAT tests taken after September 1, 2010 are valid.
What is the last date on which I can take the GMAT?
You may take the GMAT anytime up to the last day of the application deadline. The GMAT must be taken before the online application form is submitted and must be self-reported on that electronic application. No submissions will be allowed without complete GMAT or GRE scoring information.
Do I have to send you the official GMAT/GRE score report now? Or, must it be sent upon admission?
We require that the official GMAT/GRE test scores are sent to us by the application deadline. We understand that sometimes it takes 1-2 weeks for the test centers to release the scores. Therefore, it is acceptable if we receive the scores shortly after the application deadline.
I recently took my GMAT and will not receive the AWA score for another four weeks. Can I submit my application without the AWA score?
Yes, you may submit the electronic application without reporting the AWA score.
If my score is not in the middle 80% for MIT, does the fact that I performed well in Finance, Accounting, and Statistics classes on my undergraduate transcript help? Is this something that the admissions committee will consider in comparison to my GMAT score?
We consider all parts of the application. And for those who don’t score as high on the GMAT, we are looking at academic experience and quantitative professional experience.
How much of a disadvantage is a low GMAT score?
We accept candidates with a wide range of test scores. If your GMAT is on the lower side, we'll look to use other parts of your application to balance out that score. For example, we'll look for strong academic work, and quantitative work experience.
Is the TOEFL required to apply to the MBA program?
No, a TOEFL is not required to apply to the MBA program.
Since it is not required to submit a TOEFL, how do you measure English speaking ability?
We measure this during personal interviews. This is our best gaugeof English ability. We will also use the verbal sections of the GMAT or GRE to evaluate English language ability.
What is your requirement for work experience?
We do not have a work experience requirement, although students have an average of 5 years of work experience. Use your own judgment in deciding the best time for you to pursue an MBA.
Does internship experience count as full time work experience?
We will look at your internship experience, but it is not considered full-time employment.
If you have been absent from work for a period of time, does it affect the chances of being admitted?
It’s important to address this in your application and explain why you haven’t been working. You may use the optional portion of the application to address this situation.
How do you measure the quality of work experience in such a diverse range of experiences?
We have a competency model we use to evaluate candidates. We are looking for candidates to demonstrate evidence of these competencies, and they can come from any type of experience.
Are there specific types of work experience and industries that you look for in potential candidates?
We aren’t looking for any specific industry experience; instead we want to see that you've been successful at whatever it is you've chosen to do prior to the MBA.
Would lack of work experience in a major organization count against me in my application, despite the success of my independent venture?
Often working at a small organization or start-up provides much more interesting and rich experiences, so you do not need to have experience at a big firm.
How do you factor in applicants with advanced degrees?
We consider those with an advanced degree as other applicants. Advanced degrees are additional evidence toward academic success, but are not considered instead of undergraduate transcripts.
Does PhD research count towards work experience?
Yes, you should count all research done to achieve your PhD as work experience.
Does MIT Sloan prefer students who have more quantitative background, due to MIT’s strength in that area?
We look for candidates who are strong in both verbal and quantitative abilities. We don’t judge one as more significant than the other.
Is prior background in finance (major and/or work experience in finance) required for the Finance Track?
We would recommend the Finance Track for any students considering a career in finance in the future, regardless of what you studied in undergrad.
Should I take any finance or accounting courses at a local college prior to applying to the MIT Sloan MBA program, if I have no experience in those fields?
If you feel as though you’re missing a quantitative background from your undergraduate years, you may want to take an economics or a calculus course at a local college. This is not necessary to be admitted however.
Do you advise students to improve their quant academic credentials by taking post-bachelor courses?
Students don't have to take post-bachelor courses; however, if you feel the need to bolster your quant ability we would suggest taking microeconomics and calculus.
Will it be a disadvantage if I don't have credit in calculus from my undergraduate experience?
It is not a disadvantage at all if you have not taken calculus during your undergrad. We certainly admit students who have not taken calculus, although we may ask you to take the course prior to matriculation if we feel it is appropriate.
MIT Sloan asks for a Calculus grade in college. I took a series of Calculus classes back then, so which grade should I report on the application?
You should report your Calculus I grade. If you advanced out of this course, write in AP as the grade.
I have taken an economics course but not Microeconomics. Can I report this grade where it asks for a Microeconomics class?
No, but we will see that you have taken this class when we view your transcript. You should only report a grade if the class was entitled Microeconomics.
How important are extracurricular activities? Is it ok if some are work related?
You are welcome to share your extracurricular work activities and hobbies in the "optional question" section of the application. You may also want to include this information in your resume.
Should I include only professional experience and goals in my essays, or also include some personal interests to paint a more complete picture?
We advise you to paint a clear picture of yourself using a mix of personal and professional examples that best answer our questions.
In the application essays, should all of the content and stories come from within the past three years alone?
We highly encourage you to use examples within the past three years, and the more recent the better.
Should I focus on past achievements or future goals in my essays?
Concentrate on your past achievements. Help us better understand you and what you have already accomplished: past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Your essays should focus on what you have already done, your past performance, rather than what you want to do. We do not evaluate you on why you want an MBA or what you intend to do with it afterwards, but do want to get to know you and your interests better.
The optional question asks us to give more information to the admissions committee and future classmates. There is no set format - it can be a written essay or a multimedia option. What are our options for the multimedia format?
There are no restrictions for the format you choose - be creative!
What other information can I share in the optional question?
Feel free to use this section to explain any gaps in your resume, extenuating circumstances that led to poor performance, choice of recommenders, etc. If you choose to do this, you can also include an additional essay or multimedia component.
How are the letters of recommendation accepted?
All letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application process. We do not accept mailed in hard copies. For more information, please visit the Application Instructions.
Is there a word limit on recommendation letters?
There is a two-page limit for the recommendation letters. There is no word limit as long as the recommendations are up to two pages each.
Is it okay if I translate the recommendation because my boss does not speak English?
No, we don't want the applicant to translate the recommendation; either an official translator or the assistant of the recommender will be fine.
May I submit an additional letter of recommendation?
Applicants to the MBA program are required to submit two letters of recommendation. You should not submit more than two official letters of recommendation through the online application.
Does MIT Sloan accept peer recommendations from either current MIT Sloan students or alumni?
We do accept letters of support from alums or current students. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will attach them to your application as supplemental information. We would not recommend using them as your official recommenders unless they can speak to you from a professional perspective as well (i.e. your direct supervisor also is an MIT Sloan alum).
What is Admissions looking for in the recommendation letters?
We prefer professional recommendations over peer, personal, or academic recommendations. We want to understand your accomplishments relative to your peers and also get representative examples of your professional accomplishments.
What if I own my own business, or work for a family business? Who can I use as a recommender?
We suggest not using family members for recommendations. Recommenders should be people who know you best and can best speak to your leadership development. They should be people who are in supervisory positions to you. You may ask a client, a mentor, or a co-founder for a recommendation in this case.
What if my supervisor changes frequently? Should I submit a recommendation from a current supervisor or a past supervisor?
Recommenders should be people who know you best and can best speak to your leadership development. This decision is up to you.
What if I cannot get a recommendation from my current employer or supervisor because I don’t want to risk losing my job?
If you are unable to get a recommendation from your current employer, you should still find someone who can speak to your accomplishments in a professional setting. In addition, you should use the optional question section to explain why your current employer/supervisor is not represented in your recommendations in order to clarify the situation in your application.
Should my recommender answer your specific questions or write a recommendation letter?
We accept both as long as the letter addresses our questions.
What constitutes a re-applicant?
You are only a re-applicant if you applied the previous year.
When re-applying, will the admissions committee review both the current and past year’s applications?
If you applied last year, we will review your previous application along with your new application. It’s important to consider this when submitting the new application. You don’t want to be too repetitive of last year’s application, but at the same time there should be some continuity.
Do I need to provide new recommendations if my workplace has not changed?
It is best to include new letters of recommendation and required. You have a unique opportunity to submit additional information and you should take advantage of this.
What is the biggest mistake you see a re-applicant make?
The biggest mistake re-applicants make is submitting the same exact package as the year before. If something didn’t work the first time around, this is your chance to adjust your application materials.
Do re-applicants need to re-submit official GMAT scores and transcripts?
You do not need to re-submit your official GMAT score report again, and we do not need a second official transcript.
Do you recommend re-applicants use the optional question to explain how their candidacy has evolved since they last applied?
Yes, you can address this topic in the optional question but should use more recent examples throughout your essays to show how your candidacy has changed from last year.
What percent of re-applicants have been accepted?
This percent varies, but typically the acceptance rate for re-applicants is a few percentage points higher than our average. So if on average we have a 12% acceptance rate, re-applicants are at about 15% acceptance rate.
How do you evaluate a re-applicant’s submission differently than a first-time application?
We are looking for all of the same characteristics as in regular applicants: we are looking for examples of the applicant’s success professionally and academically, ability to lead and influence others, and for those who demonstrate a collaborative spirit and a community focus. But re-applicants have twice as much information that we can draw from (last year’s application and this year’s application) in the evaluation process.
Should you still highlight some strong experiences even if it means retelling a story?
It is important to be clear on what you’ve been doing since the last time you applied.
Do you have any advice for a re-applicant who was invited to interview the prior year and was rejected? Is it fair to assume that the interview was poor and to improve in that area if the opportunity is presented again?
It’s not safe to assume it was just the interview that didn’t go well. Therefore, it is important to make sure your new written application is strong as well.
Is it ok to use the experiences from one workplace for all the essays in my re-application?
It’s important to showcase your different talents, and the competencies you demonstrate in each. It's ok if all of your essays come from the same workplace as long as you answer the specific essay questions that we ask.
What types of financial aid are available from MIT?
Financial aid for MIT Sloan MBA students is primarily in the form of loans, either from two government programs, from MIT directly, or through an alternative loan source. In addition, many students receive funding through teaching and research assistantships on campus. You can apply for these after the completion of your first semester. Visit our Financing Your MBA page for more information.
What financial resources are available outside MIT?
Opportunities for funding do exist outside MIT and MIT Sloan. Potential students should begin researching other sources of financial aid beyond MIT as early as possible.
What are the first steps in the financial aid application process for U.S. applicants?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to apply for federal student loans. To expedite the processing of federal loan applications, we recommend that you complete the FAFSA as early as possible. The FAFSA School Code for MIT is 002178. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education homepage for more information on the FAFSA, or write to:
FAFSA Information Center P.O. Box 84, Washington, DC 20044 1-800-433-3243
All other aspects of the financial aid application process do not begin until students have been formally admitted into the program.
Are there benefits to applying in Round 1 over Round 2 in terms of financial aid and scholarship availability?
Applicants in each round have equal access to scholarships and financial aid.
Are there any special fellowships and/or scholarships for international students?
All of our general fellowships/scholarships are open to both domestic and international students.
Does Sloan provide provisions for loans for international students without U.S. cosigners?
International students are eligible for loans without U.S. co-signers.
Can my spouse get a visa if I’m a student at MIT Sloan?
We can only give our students visas. Typically spouses would need to find sponsorship from their employers in order to work here.
Do scholarships cover tuition and living expenses?
Scholarships cover part of your tuition cost; we don't offer any full scholarships although many students receive different amounts of awards. See how to Finance Your MBA.
How are applicants evaluated for fellowships and scholarships?
The application process is a needs-blind process, meaning we do not review the need for fellowships or scholarships until after we admit students. Each fellowship and scholarship has different criteria and you can indicate on your application which ones you would like to be considered for.
When are applicants notified of fellowships and scholarships?
The status of these awards is communicated when you receive your decision letter.
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“Our mission, along with the mission of MIT Sloan, is to both develop leaders who make a difference in the world, and also to make a contribution to thinking about the topic of leadership.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“Getting an education from MIT is like taking a drink from a fire hose.”