Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, offers part-time MBA programs for the working professional. If you’re looking to advance your career path while holding down your full-time job, an education at Wake Forest may be a welcome addition to your list.
Wake Forest University’s School of Business (formerly known as the Babcock Graduate School of Management) provides the essential business training you need to make your mark in whatever industry you’re in and help you become a competitive candidate for promotions and career advancement. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about Wake Forest University’s School of Business, including general information about the school and programs, the level of competition, and what you’ll need to apply.
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get admitted to the school and stand out from other applicants. If you want to give yourself the best chance of acceptance, read on to learn more.
About Wake Forest School of Business
Founded in 1834, Wake Forest has long been guided by its motto, Pro Humanitate (For Humanity). The School of Business’ mission is to shape the whole person and “help businesses create a better world through developing passionate, ethical business leaders who get results with integrity, and thought leadership that is visible and positively impacts the practice of business.”
One of the Wake Forest School of Business’ main goals is to help businesses create a better world. The school aims to “develop passionate, ethical business leaders driven to achieve results with integrity through a dynamic combination of thought leadership, rigorous academic preparation and unrivaled connection to the market.”
Wake Forest is known for its selection of part-time MBA programs. These programs were designed exclusively with the working professional in mind. The school’s part-time programs are ranked No. 1 in North Carolina and No. 22 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Part-time MBA Programs.
There are four MBA schedules to choose from:
You can also choose to do a concurrent degree: either the JD & MBA or Ph.D. and MBA. The Charlotte Evening MBA, Winston-Salem MBA, and Charlotte Saturday MBA are the same programs offered in different places and on other days. The Online MBA has the same content but is more flexible and tailored for online delivery.
A part-time MBA from Wake Forest School of Business takes 20 months (five semesters) to complete. You will move from class to class as a cohort, meaning you can forge meaningful relationships with your peers. Excluding the Online MBA, each option follows a lockstep curriculum. You can also choose an optional concentration in Business Analytics, Strategy & Leadership, and Finance.
Level of Competition
Wake Forest University doesn’t release acceptance rates for their MBA programs, but part-time programs are generally less competitive than full-time, so you may have a better chance of admission. In 2014, Wake Forest announced it would shut down its full-time MBA program due to the part-time programs gaining more traction and interest.
Class profile data for each program is useful because it can show you its diversity and how you stack up to other MBA students statistically.
Winston-Salem Evening MBA Class Profile
Recent data shows the Winston-Salem Evening MBA represents a class size of 59 students with an average of over eight years of work experience. The class represented workers from 34 different companies.
- Average GPA: 3.24
- Average GMAT: 609
- Average GRE: 308
- Female students: 58%
- Underrepresented groups: 18%
Charlotte Evening MBA Class Profile
Charlotte Evening MBA students held an average of 8.6 years of work experience and made up a slightly smaller class at 49 students. Students in the program represented 38 companies.
- Average GPA: 3.06
- Average GMAT: 621
- Female students: 33%
Charlotte Saturday MBA Class Profile
Students enrolled in the Charlotte Saturday MBA program had a higher average work experience than the other two programs at 11 years. The Saturday class is the smallest, with 38 students representing 32 companies.
- Average GPA: 3.08
- Average GMAT: 657
- Female students: 42%
Requirements and How to Apply
Wake Forest School of Business wants to admit students who have demonstrated academic aptitude, professional experience, and community involvement. To apply to any part-time program, you must have a bachelor’s degree, no matter the major, and work full-time. If you do not work full-time, you’ll need to get approval from the Program Director or Associate Dean to move forward.
The Online MBA program prefers applicants to have two years of work experience before their start date. The other part-time programs prefer candidates with at least three years of full-time work experience before their start date. To apply, you must use Wake Forest University’s online portal, where you can create an account to start an application. The admissions requirements for all part-time programs are similar. You must:
Complete the online application and pay the fee. All programs require a $100 nonrefundable application fee and an online application.
Upload your transcripts. You can submit unofficial transcripts for the review process from every school you attended (undergraduate and graduate). If you prefer, you can send in your official transcripts instead because all enrolled students must do so.
Wake Forest offers a Transcript Request Form that you can send to your past institutions. Your school(s) will fill in your cumulative GPA and class rank.
Submit your GMAT or GRE scores. All of Wake Forest’s programs accept the GMAT or the GRE. You can apply for a waiver if you have five or more years of work experience and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you want to apply for the Online MBA, you must contact a Student Success Manager and use the optional essay on the application to describe why you feel you’re eligible for a waiver.
Submit TOEFL/IELTS if applicable. If you did not receive undergraduate instruction in English, or it’s not your native language, you must submit TOEFL/IELTS scores. “The Admissions Committee recommends a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (IBT) or an official IELTS score of 7.0.
Upload your resume. Your resume showcases your professional development and milestones, leadership and volunteer experience, and any other achievements and awards you want to outline. The Wake Forest University School of Business kindly provides a resume template to help you create an easy-to-follow summarization of your accomplishments.
Provide reference information. Unlike other MBA programs, Wake Forest does not require letters of recommendation. Instead, they want you to list two references with their names and contact information. The admissions committee prefers at least one reference from your current manager or supervisor, or your former manager, clients, or colleagues.
Unlike other programs in the School of Business, the MBA programs do not list any mandatory writing assessments of essays as part of the application process.
Top Tips on How to Get Into Wake Forest School of Business
Although Wake Forest University School of Business may not be as competitive as other top MBA programs, perfecting your application is always in your best interest. Polishing your application can be a time-consuming but worthwhile process. These tips below can help you stand out to the admissions committee and give you the best chance of acceptance.
Consider What the Admissions Committee Is Seeking
Knowing what the admissions committee is looking for is a great way to tailor your application. The Wake Forest School of Business states they’re looking for “hard-working students who want to accelerate their career path or embark on a new one.” In your application, demonstrate your diligence, experience, and willingness to collaborate.
Wake Forest says, “ideal candidates have distinguished themselves through academic coursework, relevant experience and community leadership, showing they have the drive and the grit to gain the most from our programs.” Showcase your community contributions, and ensure your resume details the most relevant experiences you want the admissions committee to know.
Give Your Recommenders a Heads-up
Although you don’t need to have your recommenders submit an electronic recommendation on your behalf, you need to provide at least two people's names and contact information. It would be best to make sure one of your recommenders is your current supervisor or manager, and your second can be a former manager or anyone else who can speak to your professional growth and progress.
The admissions committee can choose to contact your recommenders at any time in the admissions process. You want to ensure you give them context because you don’t know when, or if, your recommenders will be contacted. It would be best to discuss with your recommenders why you want to attend an MBA program and why, specifically, you want to go to Wake Forest School of Business. Consider giving your recommenders a copy of your resume, a list of your most notable achievements, and a brief overview of any other pieces of information you think they should know.
Revamp Your Resume
Your resume should be concise and easy to read. Wake Forest offers a resume template for applicants to use.
As you can see, your resume will touch on your education, but you shouldn’t go into heavy detail about your college or graduate experiences. The admissions committee is more interested in your professional, leadership, and volunteer experience. Provide concrete examples where you can, as experts say, “the best MBA resumes tell applicants' success stories, showing how they achieved results for clients and advanced in their careers.”
Make sure your resume does not run over one or two pages to keep things clear and easy to read. And be sure to drop any industry jargon—while the admissions committee may know what you’re talking about, you don’t want to risk leaving them confused by obscure acronyms.
Prepare for Your Interview
All of Wake Forest’s part-time programs require interviews. If you receive an invitation to participate in an interview, it’s then your responsibility to schedule one. Your interview may be scheduled online, on-campus, or off-campus depending on the pathway you pursue.
Before your interview, you should practice what your responses may look like to common MBA questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why do you want to pursue an MBA, and why is now that right time?
- Why do you want to pursue your MBA, specifically at Wake Forest School of Business?
- Discuss your leadership experience.
- Tell me about a recent obstacle and how you overcame it.
- Tell me about a time you failed.
- Do you have any concerns about pursuing an MBA?
- What do you think your greatest strength is?
- How will you contribute to the Wake Forest community?
Your interviewer may ask you about topics related to these questions and more. It would help if you also had a few questions to ask your interviewer at the end of your time together. You want to show you’re interested in the school and want to learn more than the information available to you online.
You can ask your interviewer about their experience working with the school or ask specific questions about the program, like what concentration they think is most valuable for someone in your field. No matter what questions you ask your interviewer, ensure they are respectful and thoughtful.
1. Are Wake Forest’s MBA pathways different degrees?
No, you will earn the same degree regardless of what schedule you choose. Wake Forest offers four pathways, including its online program to cater to the diverse needs of business professionals. The online version will cover materials more flexibly than in-person learning.
2. What are the most common professional backgrounds represented in students?
Recent data shows most Wake Forest MBA students have a background in finance, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, education or non-profit, and consumer packaged goods.
3. How will my career be impacted by a Wake Forest MBA?
Data shows that a recent cohort saw a 35% average salary increase while 60% received at least one promotion in the program, and 32% changed organizations altogether.
4. What are some examples of the classes I’ll take?
You can expect to take core MBA courses like Business Analytics, Financial Accounting, Marketing Management, and Operations Management. You’ll have the opportunity to select electives in your final semester to fulfill concentration requirements if you choose to do so. Here is a sample program schedule for in-person learning:
5. Why should I do a part-time MBA program?
Part-time MBA programs have many benefits, and you will typically learn the same things in these programs as you would if you pursue your degree on a full-time schedule. Part-time programs are an excellent choice if you want to keep your full-time job, apply the knowledge you learn in class immediately on the job, and have other responsibilities or commitments.
6. How are classes structured in the Online MBA program?
You will take two or three seven-week courses each term. There are two terms per semester, and you can graduate within seven semesters.
7. How do I know which pathway is best for me?
Factors that will influence which pathway is best for you include your lifestyle, where you live, and when you have free time. Remember that all MBA programs take place on different days in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, or remotely. Online is probably the best choice if you live far away from these cities. If you have to take your children to dance class every Saturday, you may not want to pursue the Saturday MBA option. It comes down to a matter of preference!
The Wake Forest School of Business part-time MBA programs are an excellent option if you want a timely, cost-friendly MBA education. A Wake Forest education means you’ll benefit from intimate class sizes and get a collaborative learning experience.
If you want to boost your chances of admission, revitalize and streamline your resume, tailor your application to what the admission committee is looking for, and ensure you show up to your interview prepared to answer any question that comes your way. With all these tips in mind, you can claim your seat in the Wake Forest School of Business MBA program.