MIT Sloan Fellows MBA Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Our goal is to make the SFMBA admissions process straight-forward. To help you along the way, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we hear from applicants. If you don’t see the answer to your specific question below, feel free to send us an email!
Admissions and Financial Aid FAQ
How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the current admissions cycle?
We understand that the pandemic may continue to cause some uncertainty for applicants around the world. To accommodate, we have made a few minor changes to our application process this year. We will continue to allow candidates for the 2021-22 admission cycle to submit their application without the GMAT/GRE/EA test requirement and review their submitted material as is and without negative inferences. If admitted, candidates will not be required to take a test. More information on this policy is below.
Additionally, we will conduct all interviews virtually until it is safe for our team and applicants to meet in person. If you have any specific concerns, please let us know via email and a member of our team will be in touch.
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 many international students are in the class?
We have a strong international presence. This past year, about 60% of the class came from outside the U.S. Our international alumni network is also very active, so no matter where you end up post-Sloan, you will have ample opportunities to connect with our international alumni network.
Where can I learn more about the demographics of the SFMBA class?
We have a really diverse class. Check out our SFMBA Class Profile to learn more about the demographics of our current Fellows.
How can I connect with current students?
That’s easy! Register for one of our many virtual events that give you a chance to get to know current students. You can also connect with students via our student profiles page and meet club leaders here.
Do you accept transfer credits into the program?
MIT does not accept transfer credits from other schools.
What do I need to do in order to apply for the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program?
Please see our How to Apply page for instructions and application components.
How does the Admissions process work?
We have three application rounds for the incoming SFMBA class. After each application deadline, our professionally trained Admissions Committee reviews all applications. Based on our initial assessment, a subset of applicants are invited to interview with us. This year, all Round 1 interviews will be conducted virtually. Once a decision has been made about the interview format for Round 2 and Round 3, applicants will be notified.
Who makes up the Admissions Committee?
Our Admissions Committee is comprised of professional staff members within the MIT Sloan community. The Admissions Committee will review your application and a member of the committee with conduct your interview. Current students are not involved in the evaluation process.
Are some parts of the application weighted more than others?
Our Admissions Committee will carefully consider all application materials you submit. No single component is more or less important than another.
Does MIT let applicants apply as a couple?
Each person must submit a separate application and is considered individually, however, there is a place in the application where you can let us know if a family member, spouse, or significant other (SO) is applying as well.
In the application, we’ll also ask you if you have an SO or children who will be accompanying you to Cambridge. Families play a significant role in the SFMBA community and there is special programming for families throughout the year.
Does MIT Sloan have rolling admissions?
MIT Sloan does not have rolling admissions. We review applications in three rounds, each with its own deadline. We begin our review process immediately following each deadline.
Are there advantages to applying in Round 1?
The advantage to applying in Round 1 and Round 2 is that there are more available seats in the class. However, we do admit candidates in Round 3 and you should apply only when you have fully completed your application to the best of your ability. For international candidates, we typically recommend applying in one of the first two rounds to provide ample time for the visa process.
Can I apply in multiple application rounds?
You can only apply once per year.
Is it possible to waive the application fee?
We offer fee waivers to veteran and active duty U.S. military personnel.
To request a fee waiver, please start your application and navigate to the Payment section where you will find the fee waiver form and information on the documentation required to obtain the waiver. Your request will be reviewed and you will receive an email with the results. If your fee is waived, it will be reflected on this page and you will be able to proceed with submission.
Please note that all fee waiver requests must be submitted at least ONE week before the application deadline and 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. We consider all applications individually in accordance with our evaluation standards.
How does the waitlist work at MIT Sloan?
If you are waitlisted in a round and accept a place on the waitlist, you will be automatically considered in the next round and will receive an updated decision in that round.
Do you offer deferrals?
Deferral requests are approved on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply during the year in which they hope to matriculate.
What is the format of the interview?
If you are invited to interview, you will meet one-on-one with a member of the Admissions Committee. We conduct behavioral interviews in which we’ll ask you to provide specific examples of your personal and professional behavior, such as how you have exhibited leadership, built relationships, influenced others, and made decisions. Your interview will last about 30 minutes. This year, all Round 1 interviews will be conducted virtually. Once a decision has been made about the interview format for Round 2 and Round 3, applicants will be notified.
What are you looking for when interviewing candidates?
Our goal with the interview is to get to know you better. We are interested in hearing specific examples of how you have demonstrated leadership and solved complex problems in your career thus far. Additionally, we will plan to ask you more about why the SFMBA program is the best fit for you and how it will enable you to meet your professional goals. Together, these things will help us evaluate the strengths you will bring to the MIT Sloan community.
Finally, we look for professional presentation and communication, as well as English language proficiency.
When are interviews for each Round?
Round 1 interviews take place in late October through early December; Round 2 usually occurs in late-January and early-February; and Round 3 interviews take place in March. This year, all Round 1 interviews will be conducted virtually. Once a decision has been made about the interview format for Round 2 and Round 3, applicants will be notified.
Do I need to mail in copies of my transcripts?
As part of the application, you are required to scan and upload a legible copy of your transcript(s) from all college and universities you attended. If your transcript(s) are not in English, you will need to upload the original and a certified translation.
If admitted, you will receive further instructions on submitting your official signed and sealed transcripts. Any discrepancies between the scanned transcripts and official transcripts may result in a rejection or a withdrawal of our offer of admission.
Should I include non-degree coursework in my application?
Yes! If you earned special certifications or took professional development courses in your spare time, please tell us about them. Feel free to submit academic evidence not already on your transcripts, such as: professional certifications CFA, CPA, ACCA, among others; non-degree coursework such as MITx MicroMasters, CORe, edX, MBA Math, or any other non-degree coursework you completed. All of this information will assist the Admissions Committee in the evaluation process.
If my transcript is not in English, does it need to be translated?
Yes! You are required to upload both the original transcript and a certified translation.
If I did my undergraduate studies outside of the United States, should I convert my GPA?
You do not need to convert your GPA for the online application. Simply enter in the grading system used by your college or university. 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 may leave this blank on your application.
How relevant is my undergraduate GPA to the Admissions Committee?
We want to see your undergraduate GPA, but we understand that it has been a number of years since you were an undergraduate student. This is just one piece of information and we will consider your GPA alongside other (more recent) pieces of your application—like your test score and professional accomplishments.
What test do I need to take to apply for the SFMBA program?
Standardized tests, such as GMAT, GRE, and EA, are a component of the application process and play an important role in our holistic evaluation process. The admissions committee will continue to accept the remote/at-home version of these exams. However due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic the SFMBA Program will allow for candidates for the 2021-22 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/EA 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 2021-22 admission cycle.
What is MIT Sloan’s code for the GMAT, GRE and EA?
MIT Sloan’s codes are:
- GMAT: X5X-QS-41
- GRE: 3536
- EA: X5X-QS-71
Do you require a minimum acceptable GMAT, GRE or EA score?
No. MIT Sloan does not require a minimum test score on any test. View our Class Profile to see the average scores of our students.
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. Our application allows you to enter multiple scores.
Should I send you my official GMAT/GRE/EA score report now? Or, do I send it after I’m admitted?
We want to see your official GMAT/GRE/EA test score by the application deadline. However, we understand that sometimes it takes up to two weeks for test centers to release official scores. So, it’s okay if we receive your scores shortly after our application deadline.
I recently took my GMAT and will not receive the AWA score for another four weeks. May I submit my application without the AWA score?
Yes, you may submit the online application without reporting the AWA score.
Will the admissions committee consider success in my undergraduate or graduate quantitative classes, in addition to my test score(s)?
We consider all parts of the application when making an admission decision. We will look at your entire application—including any graduate degrees, professional certifications/courses, and quantitative professional experience—to understand your strengths.
Do I need work experience to apply to the SFMBA program?
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 more 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 significant work experience, you might consider applying to our MBA program where incoming students have an average of two to five years of work experience.
Does internship experience count as full-time work experience?
While we will certainly consider your internship experience, the SFMBA program admissions process will focus more upon your full-time employment experiences and the skills you have developed as a professional.
Does PhD research count towards work experience?
Yes! We will consider research you conducted to earn your PhD as work experience.
If you’ve been out of the workforce or absent from work for a period of time, will that affect my chances of being admitted?
Not necessarily. Make sure you address any gaps in employment in your application. Please explain why you weren’t working and let us know what you were doing during that time.
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 do not prefer 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 applying to the SFMBA program. Experiences at small organizations, start-ups, and big corporations can all provide distinct, valuable, and rich experiences. Overall, we look for candidates who have demonstrated leadership and who have had exposure to various functional areas within their organization and careers.
How do you factor in applicants with advanced degrees (previous MBA, PhD, etc.)? Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, candidates with previous advanced degrees are eligible to apply! You should, however, detail on your application why you are pursuing an MIT Sloan MBA degree at this time. We consider those with an advanced degree the same as other applicants. Advanced degrees are additional evidence toward academic success, but we do not consider them over 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 Fellows MBA program, if I have no experience in those fields?
The only pre-requisites are a Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of ten years of full-time work experience. If you feel as though you’re missing a quantitative background or want to bolster your quant ability, you may want to take a microeconomics or a calculus course. However, all incoming SFMBA admits are required to take an online math preparation course to refresh their knowledge before the program begins. (We will share more information about this step with candidates who are admitted.)
If English is not my primary language, should I take an English language course before applying?
It depends on how comfortable you are reading, speaking, and listening in English. All courses are taught in English, and student participation is expected. That being said, our SFMBA cohort is very international, and many students speak multiple languages. Occasionally, we grant conditional acceptances and may require you to take an English language course before starting the SFMBA program.
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 application 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. Take a look at our Class Profile to learn more about our SFMBA students’ backgrounds and experiences.
How important are community involvement and extracurricular activities to the Admissions Committee? 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, whether it’s related to work or not. Please feel free to 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 is it okay to also include some personal interests to paint a more complete picture?
Please include whatever highlights best who you are. If that’s a mix of professional and personal examples, then go for it
What should I write about in my cover letter?
We want to learn more about the pivotal experiences you have had thus far in your career and why the SFMBA program is the best route for you to magnify your impact. We believe that past performance is the best predictor of future success, so share a few specific examples that demonstrate your strengths and passions.
The video asks us to introduce ourselves to our future classmates. What is the Admissions Committee looking for in this video?
We’re simply hoping to get to know you better. Just be authentic. Introduce yourself to your future classmates as if you are meeting them for the first time. Make sure you record your video in a single take (no editing), with you speaking directly into the camera. And remember, it should last
How do you collect letters of recommendation?
SFMBA applicants may only submit one professional letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation must be submitted electronically by your recommender through the online portal. We do not accept recommendation letters via email or mail. 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 only 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).
What is the Admissions Committee looking for in the recommendation letter?
We are looking for letter with substantive examples from a professional contact, ideally a manager or supervisor. Generally, we do not recommend letters from peer, personal, or academic contacts. 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 a family member as a recommender. Instead, please select someone who knows you well and can speak to your leadership development. 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?
If you are unable to get a recommendation from your current employer, try to find someone who can speak to your accomplishments in a professional setting. This might be a past employer, a trusted mentor, or a senior colleague.
Why must I include two additional professional references?
If, after reading your application materials, we have additional questions about your background and/or experiences, we might contact your professional references. So please make sure the references you choose are able to speak with detail about your professional strengths and accomplishments.
What should I do if my additional reference contact(s) do not speak English?
Please identify two additional references regardless of their English language ability. If we need to contact your non-English speaking references, we will employ a translator.
Why are you asking for an organizational chart? How will you use it in the evaluation process?
This application component gives us greater visibility into where you sit in your organization and helps us to evaluate candidates in the context of their professional paths. It helps us to see who you report to, who reports to you, and the impact you might have on your department or company. 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 applicants serving in the military are in a unique situation and might want to showcase both their military and civilian professional paths. Military applicants who are currently serving may submit two organizational charts: one outlining their previous civilian job and one representing the role they currently serve in the military.
My organization’s structure is confidential. Do I still have to submit an organizational chart?
We recognize that some organizations’ internal structures are classified or confidential. In these scenarios, do your best to help us visualize your place in the organization without giving away classified details. You can redact names or titles or display only a certain level of your organization. Whatever you can share will be helpful.
If I work in consulting, should I submit an organizational chart of the overall firm or of a recent project team I worked on?
If you work in consulting, we prefer that you submit a chart displaying the structure of a recent project you were staffed on rather than the overall consulting firm. Highlight 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?
If you are a solo entrepreneur or contractor, try this: place yourself at the center of the chart, then make branches representing the various constituents and stakeholders you interact with (for example, clients, suppliers, investors, board of directors).
What constitutes a reapplicant?
Any applicant who has applied to the MIT Sloan Fellows MBA program before.
When reapplying, will the Admissions Committee review both my current and past year’s applications?
Yes. If you reapply, the Admissions Committee will review both your prior and new applications in full. You should carefully consider the content of your new application. Make sure you update us with what has changed since you last applied, but please don’t repeat everything included in your past application. Give us the new highlights.
Do I need to provide a new recommendation if my workplace has not changed?
Yes, please submit a new letter of recommendation. This is an opportunity to share with us new, updated information about you. Use it!
What is the most common mistake you see a reapplicant make?
The most common mistake reapplicants make is submitting the same application materials they submitted the last time. If you are reapplying, make sure you examine your past application to see how you could do a better job of presenting your strengths this time.
Do you recommend reapplicants use the optional question to explain how their candidacy has evolved since they last applied?
Ideally, you should use the entire application to show how your candidacy has changed from the prior application. You are encouraged to use the optional question to give us a summary or highlight what’s new. We’re ready to learn what you’ve been up to!
Do you evaluate a reapplicant’s submission differently than a first-time application?
Not really. In reapplication, we are looking for all of the same characteristics as in regular applicants. This includes examples of your success professionally and academically, your ability to lead and influence others, and your ability to collaborate as part of a community. But keep in mind, as a reapplicant, you will give us twice as much information that we can draw on (last year’s application and this year’s application) as we consider you.
Should I highlight my strongest experiences in my reapplication, even if it means retelling a story?
The most important thing you can do is be clear on what you’ve been doing since the last time you applied, and highlight your new accomplishments and experiences.
Do you have any advice for a reapplicant who was invited to interview the prior year and was rejected? Is it fair to assume that I did not do well in the interview?
We have to make many difficult decisions after interviewing candidates. If you were rejected after interviewing, do not assume it was necessarily due to your interview performance. We recommend reflecting on how you can strengthen any of the materials you submitted in your application in addition to the responses you shared during your interview.
What types of financial aid are available from MIT?
We understand that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant financial investment. Our Admissions Committee automatically considers all applicants for merit-based fellowships. There is no additional application process required, and applicants will be notified of any merit-based fellowship at the time of admission.
Additionally, the majority of SFMBA students use loans to finance their education. These come from two government programs, from MIT directly, or through an alternative lending source. Some students receive funding through on-campus teaching and research assistantships. You may apply for these after the completion of your first semester. You can find more information here.
How are applicants evaluated for fellowships?
The Admissions Committee awards merit-based fellowships to exceptional students who have shown academic excellence, professional achievements and potential to enhance the MIT Sloan community.
When are applicants notified if they have been awarded a fellowship?
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.
What financial resources are available outside MIT?
Plenty of funding opportunities do exist outside MIT and MIT Sloan. If you are applying, 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 first step is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to apply for federal student loans. To expedite the processing of your 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 a certain round over another in terms of financial aid and fellowship availability?
Applicants in each round have equal access to fellowships and financial aid.
Are there any special fellowships and/or scholarships for international students?
Yes! All of our general fellowships and scholarships are open to both domestic and international students. Learn more about fellowship opportunities here.
Does MIT Sloan make 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’re happy to support your spouse in obtaining a dependent visa. However, we are not able to provide work visas. Visit here for more information on visa categories.
Do fellowships cover tuition and living expenses?
Fellowships are applied to tuition only. Visit here for more information.
What support systems exist for admits who need financial aid?
The MIT Sloan Student Funding Office will share additional information about financial aid options and timelines if you are admitted. As an admit, you will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a member of the Student Funding Team to discuss your specific situation and learn more about options that are available to you.