MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program
Frequently Asked Questions
In this time of uncertainty, you likely have questions related to how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect the 2021 admissions cycle. The Admissions and Financial Aid questions reflect updates related to the 2021 admissions cycle and include specifics on application procedures and requirements, interviews, and financial considerations.
Following MIT-issued guidance, our staff is working virtually and are here to answer any questions you may have not already addressed below. We also encourage you to register for an upcoming virtual event to learn about MIT Sloan and interact with community members.
Admission and Financial Aid FAQ
What is the size of the program? How many students are in the class?
We have approximately 100 MIT Sloan Fellows per class year.
How can I request a copy of the MIT Sloan MBA program brochure?
Download a brochure here.
Are there any programs that connect prospective applicants with current students? How can I contact a current student?
Of course! We offer many virtual events which give you the chance to get to know current students. In addition, you can connect with students via our student profiles connecting with club leaders, or joining one of our online student panels.
Do you accept transfer credits into the program?
MIT does not accept transfer credits from other schools.
How many students are international?
We have a strong international presence, this past year about 70% of the class came from outside the U.S. Our international alumni network is also very active.
What is the Class Profile?
The SFMBA Class Profile.
What do I need to apply to the MIT Sloan Fellows Program (SFMBA)?
Please see our How to Apply page for instructions and application components.
How does the Admissions process work?
Our professionally trained admissions committee reviews all applications after the application deadline. Based on our initial assessment, a subset of applicants are invited to interview. After your interview, a final admissions decision will be made and you will be notified on the decision date.
Are some parts of the application weighted more than others?
Your application will be reviewed in full and holistically. We carefully consider all application materials submitted. No single component is more or less important than another.
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 a family member, spouse, or significant other is applying as well.
Does MIT Sloan have rolling admissions? Are there advantages to applying early?
MIT Sloan does not have rolling admissions. Applications are reviewed in three rounds, immediately following each deadline. There may be some advantages to applying as early as possible, although applicants should apply when their application has been completed to the best of their ability. International applicants should apply in Round 1 or Round 2.
Can I apply in multiple application rounds?
You can only apply once per year. You’ll have to decide which round is best for you.
Is it possible to waive the application fee?
We offer fee waivers to the following applicants:
- Active U.S. military personnel
- Attendees at special Identity + Inclusion events (not including Coffee Chats)
Applicants who qualify must submit the fee waiver form at least ONE week before the application deadline (an application fee waiver notification will be granted for attendees at special Identity + Inclusion events post-attendance. You do not need to submit the fee waiver form).
The form is accessible on the instructions tab within the application once you have created your account. Your request will be reviewed and you will receive an email with the results. If your fee is waived, you will be able to proceed to submit your application.
*Please note that we cannot grant retroactive fee waivers if the application fee has already been paid online.
Do you compare all international applicants against one another?
No. All applications are individually reviewed in accordance with our evaluation standards.
Who reads our applications and conducts the interviews?
Our admissions committee is comprised of professional staff members within the MIT community. The admissions committee will review your application and a member of the committee will conduct your interview. Current students are not involved in the evaluation process.
What is the format of the interview? What are you looking for when interviewing candidates?
We conduct behavioral interviews, which look at past behaviors as a way to indicate how you would handle future situations. We are looking for specific examples of how you have exhibited leadership, built relationships, influenced others, and made decisions. Additionally, we're looking for professional presence and English language proficiency. Your interview will typically last 30 minutes.
When are interviews for each Round?
Round 1 interviews will occur in late October-early December, Round 2 usually occurs in February and March, and Round 3 interviews take place in March. This year all Round 1 interviews will be conducted virtually.
How does the waitlist work at MIT Sloan?
If you are waitlisted in a round, then you are automatically considered in the next round and will receive an updated decision in that round.
Do you offer deferrals?
We will consider requests for deferral on a case-by-case basis.
Do I need to mail in copies of my transcripts?
You will be required to scan your unofficial transcripts and submit them as part of your online application. 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 the How to Apply section here.
Should I include non-degree coursework in my application?
Yes! If you have taken non-degree coursework that you would like the admissions committee to consider, please upload the relevant transcripts.
If my transcript is not in English, does it need to be translated?We require both the original version and 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.
My university does not provide class rank, what should I do?
Many schools do not provide a class ranking system 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 all in the evaluation process however we take a holistic approach to the admissions process and will consider everything you submit when making a decision.
What test do I need to take to apply for the SFMBA Program?
The GMAT, GRE, EA are components of the application process and play an important role in our holistic evaluation process. However, in view of challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, we will allow candidates for the 2020-21 admission cycle to submit their application without the test and review their submitted material as is and without negative inferences. If admitted, candidates will not be required to take a test.
Additionally, applicants are welcome to submit other pieces of evidence, such as expired test scores (GMAT, GRE, EA, etc.); MITx MicroMasters, CORe, edX, MBAMath, or any other non-degree coursework completed; or certifications earned such as CPA, ACCA, CFA, etc; all of which may assist the Admissions Committee in its evaluation process.
Should I submit a GMAT/GRE score if I already have one?
Yes! If you have a valid or expired test score, please include that as part of your application. We will consider both expired and valid test scores for the 2020-21 admission cycle.
What is MIT Sloan’s code for the GMAT, GRE and EA?
MIT Sloan’s codes are:
Is there a minimum acceptable GMAT, GRE or EA score?
MIT Sloan does not require a minimum test score. View our Class Profile to see the average scores.
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 a higher quant score?
You may submit both- the application allows you to enter multiple scores.
Do I have to send you the official test score report now? Or, can it be sent upon admission?
Due to challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, we will allow candidates for the 2020-21 admission cycle to submit their application without the test, however, applicants are welcome to submit expired test scores, which may assist the Admissions Committee in its evaluation process.
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.
Will the admissions committee consider success in my undergraduate quantitative classes, in addition to my test score(s)?
We consider all parts of the application when making an admission decision. Evidence of academic success and quantitative professional experience is welcome.
Do I need work experience to apply?
The MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program is designed for mid-career professionals who want to dedicate a year of immersive learning in areas of leadership, management, and innovation. Therefore, students have an average of 14 years of work experience and having work experience can help leverage the opportunities at MIT Sloan. Use your own judgment in deciding the best time for you to pursue an MBA within the MIT Sloan Fellows program. If you do not have work experience, you might consider our other specialized master’s programs.
Does internship experience count as full-time work experience?
We will look at your internship experience, but it is not considered full-time employment.
Does PhD research count towards work experience?
Yes, you should count all research done to achieve your PhD as work experience.
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. Additionally, if there are gaps in your employment history, please explain why in the employment section of the application.
Are there specific types of work experience and industries that you look for in potential candidates? Would lack of work experience in a major organization count against me in my application, despite the success of my independent venture?
We aren’t looking for any specific industry experience. Experiences at small organizations, start-ups, and big firms all provide unique, interesting, and rich experiences.
How do you factor in applicants with advanced degrees (previous MBA, PhD, etc.)? Am I eligible to apply?
Candidates with previous advanced degrees are eligible to apply. These candidates should, however, detail the reasons for their pursuit of an MBA degree in the application. 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.
Is there any academic preparation or pre-requisites required prior to applying or enrolling? 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?
The only pre-requisite is a Bachelor’s Degree. However, certain candidates may be given a conditional acceptance and required to take a course(s) in microeconomics, calculus, or financial accounting prior to starting their SFMBA studies. If you feel as though you’re missing a quantitative background from your undergraduate years or want to bolster your quant ability, you may want to take a microeconomics or a calculus course.
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?
We do not pre-screen applicant materials (including resumes) to determine eligibility. The evaluation process is holistic, meaning we must receive and review your complete and submitted application in order to evaluate your candidacy. We encourage you to look at our Class Profile to learn more about our SFMBA students’ backgrounds and experiences.
How important are extracurricular activities? Is it ok if some are work related?
We are interested in learning about what is important to you and how you spend your time. Please include details of extracurricular activities and hobbies on your resume and/or in your video.
Should I include only professional experience and goals in my cover letter, 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.
What should I write about in my cover letter?
We do not evaluate you on why you want an MBA or what you intend to do with it afterwards, so concentrate on your past achievements. Past performance is the best predicator of future performance and we look forward to learning more about your experiences and achievements!
The video asks us to introduce ourselves to our future classmates. What is the Admissions Committee looking for in this video?
The Admissions Committee is looking to get to know you better. We encourage you to be authentic and introduce yourself as you would to your future classmates. Videos should be a single take (no editing) lasting no more than one minute (60 seconds) and consisting of you speaking directly to the camera. Please avoid using background music and subtitles.
How are the letters of recommendation accepted?
Starting in 2019, only one professional letter of recommendation is required. The letter 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 How to Apply section here.
Is it okay if I translate the recommendation because my boss does not speak English?
Applicants should use an official translator to translate any non-English letters of recommendation.
May I submit an additional letter of recommendation?
Applicants to the SFMBA program may submit one letter of recommendation. If you have an additional recommender, you can consider listing them as one of your two professional references instead.
Does MIT Sloan accept peer recommendations from either current MIT Sloan students or alumni?
We would not recommend using MIT Sloan students or alumni as your official recommenders unless they can speak to your professional abilities and achievements (i.e. your direct supervisor is an MIT Sloan alum). If a student or alum would like to write a letter of support on your behalf, it should be emailed to email@example.com and it will be attached to your application as supplemental information.
What is the Admissions Committee looking for in the recommendation letter?
We are looking for a professional letter of recommendation over a peer, personal, or academic recommendation. We want to better understand your accomplishments and successes in your career.
What if I own my own business, or work for a family business? Who can I use as a recommender?
We do not suggest using family members as a recommender. 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 I cannot get a recommendation from my current employer or supervisor because I don’t want to risk losing my job? What if my supervisor changes frequently?
Recommenders should be people who know you best and can best speak to your professional abilities and development. Who you ask to write the letter is up to you. 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.
What is the purpose of including two additional professional references?
Similar to the recommendation letter- we may contact these additional references for more information about your background. The Admissions Committee may contact them at any time.
What should I do if my additional reference contact(s) do not speak English?
Please include your references regardless of their English language ability. We will use a translator from our end to contact the reference, should we have additional questions.
Why are you asking for an organizational chart? How will you use it in the evaluation process?
The organizational chart is intended for us to better understand the role you play within your organization. It helps us to see who you report to, who may report to you, and the impact you may have on your department or company. This application component gives us greater visibility into where you sit and helps us to evaluate candidates in the context of their professional paths. We encourage you to think of the organizational chart as a visual representation of your resume, providing us with a scaled illustration of your role and who you interact with in your company. The organizational chart may also show us your career progression when viewed in conjunction with your resume; your resume might outline internal advancement and your organizational chart can help us conceptualize that path.
I don’t have any direct reports. Will the organizational chart put me at a disadvantage?
The organizational chart is not intended for us to count the number of direct reports you have, but rather to give us a clearer picture of the role you play within your organization and with whom you interact.
I am currently serving in the military but previously held a different role, which job should I include in my organizational chart?
We recognize that military applicants are in a unique situation and may want to showcase their professional paths both while serving and in civilian life. Military applicants who are currently serving may submit two organizational charts: one showing their previous civilian job and one representing the role they currently serve in the military.
My organization’s structure is confidential. How can I complete this requirement?
We recognize that some organizations may keep their internal structures classified or confidential. In these scenarios, we rely on you to help us best visualize your place in the organization within these constraints. This may include redacting names or titles or displaying only up to a certain level of your organization.
If I work in consulting, should I submit a chart of the overall firm or of a recent project team I worked on?
Given the traditional structure of consulting firms, we would prefer you submit a chart displaying the structure of a recent project you were staffed on and the role you played on that team.
I’m a solo entrepreneur or external contractor. What is the best way to display my chart when I am a part of an organization of one?
In the case of a solo entrepreneur or contractor, you might consider placing yourself at the center of the chart with branches displaying the various constituents you interact with (for example, clients, investors, board of directors).
What constitutes a re-applicant?
Any applicant that has applied to the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program before.
When re-applying, will the admissions committee review both the current and past year’s applications?
If you are re-applying, we will review both your prior and new applications in full. You should carefully consider the content of your new application in order to balance continuity and updated information, while avoiding excessive repetition.
Do I need to provide a new recommendation if my workplace has not changed?
It is best to include a new letter 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 application and materials. If something didn’t work the first time around, this is your chance to adjust your application.
Do you recommend re-applicants use the optional question to explain how their candidacy has evolved since they last applied?
Re-applicants should use the entire application to show how their candidacy has changed from the prior application. While the optional question can be used, you are encouraged to use new examples and tell us what has changed since you last applied throughout your materials.
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.
What types of financial aid are available from MIT?
Financial aid for MIT Sloan Fellows MBA students is primarily in the form of loans, either from two government programs, from MIT directly, or through an alternative lending 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 here 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. Visit here for more information.
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, write to:
FAFSA Information Center P.O. Box 84, Washington, DC, 20044
Or call FAFSA at: 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 one Round over another in terms of financial aid and fellowship/scholarship availability?
Applicants in each Round have equal access to fellowships/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. Learn more about fellowship opportunities here.
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 support spouses in obtaining a dependent visa. However, we are not able to provide work visas. Visit here for more information on visa categories.
Do fellowships/scholarships cover tuition and living expenses?
Fellowships/Scholarships are applied against tuition. Visit here for more information.
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/scholarships until after we admit students. Each fellowship/scholarship has different criteria and you can indicate on your application which ones you would like to be considered for. Visit here for more information.
When are applicants notified of fellowships and scholarships?
Our goal is to notify fellowship recipients of their awards at the time of admission. There are times when additional funds do become available after decisions have been released and we are able to notify recipients at that time.