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How To Get Into William & Mary Business School

December 22, 2021
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Part 1: Introduction Part 2: About William & Mary Business SchoolPart 3: Level of CompetitionPart 4: Requirements and How to Apply Part 5: Top Tips on How to Get Into William & Mary School of Business Part 6: FAQsPart 7: Conclusion

Located on the picturesque banks of Virginia’s James River, William & Mary University is one of the country’s oldest higher learning institutions. Some of history’s most prominent figures like Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Marshall, and James Monroe studied or walked the school's halls. 

The university’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business offers MBA programs to ignite your passions and provide you with the essential training required  to advance your career path. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting into the William & Mary Business School, including information about its MBA programs, the institution’s competitiveness, and application requirements. 

Our tips to get into the William & Mary Business School can help you tailor your application to what the admissions committee seeks and give you the best chance of acceptance.

About the William & Mary Business School 

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business strives to offer high-caliber education through its array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to serve the Commonwealth, nation, and global community. 

The university fulfills its mission through its purposefully-built faculty’s influence on students, business leaders, policymakers, and other scholars. It also aims to engage students “in innovative educational experiences to nurture creativity, to mentor high ideals, and to accelerate ambitions of leadership so that they will imagine the great business opportunities of the day and seize them.”

All members of the Mason School community must adhere to the three foundational values: 

  • “Respect and responsibility for self and others
  • A spirit of generosity
  • A life dedicated to inquisitive learning and development” 

Some have dubbed William & Mary the “Alma Mater of the Nation” because of its ties to the founding fathers. Overall, W & M is famous for its firsts: 

  • U.S school with a Royal Charter, issued by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1693
  • Greek-letter society 
  • Student honor code 
  • First college to become a university, and first law school in America

William & Mary is known by some as a “Public Ivy," meaning it provides an education similar to some of the nation’s most prestigious schools—the Ivy League. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Mason School No. 71 in Best Business Schools and No. 73 in Best Part-time MBA Programs. 

The Mason School has four MBA pathways to choose from

Full-time MBA: A 22-month residential program “offering leadership coaching and mentorship, graduate career management, and experiential learning in the areas of consulting, financial markets, and entrepreneurship.” 

Part-time MBA: An evening program blending online and in-class delivery models. Each class meets once per week, Monday through Thursday. 

Executive MBA Program: An 18-month program designed for executives. Students meet every weekend in Williamsburg, and the program includes “two global immersions, personalized leadership coaching, and domestic residencies in Williamsburg and Washington, D.C.” 

Online MBA: The Online MBA can be completed in as little as 24 months and is designed for working professionals who need more flexibility.

Level of Competition

William & Mary is less competitive than other top business schools. However, just like lower acceptance rates never spells automatic rejection, a higher acceptance rate doesn’t guarantee entry. According to recent admissions statistics, William & Mary’s acceptance rate is 68.3%. The Raymond A. Mason School of Business releases recent class profile data for each MBA pathway. 

Full-time MBA Class Profile Data 

The average age of full-time MBA students is 27, and they have an average of 60 months of professional work experience before program entry. Other stats include: 

  • Average GMAT score: 620 
  • Average GPA: 3.3 
  • International students: 21% 
  • Female students: 30% 
  • Military: 30%

Part-time MBA Class Profile Data 

Part-time MBA students, on average, are 30 years old and have an average of 8 years of work experience. Accepted students’ average undergraduate GPA is 3.2, 45% of students are female, and 8% have a military background. 

Companies represented in recent cohorts include Apple Inc., AT&T, Bank of America, Deloitte, Honeywell, US Coast Guard, and many more. 

Executive MBA Class Profile Data 

Executive MBA students are 38 years old on average, with an average of 16 years of work experience and 15 years of managerial experience. The average salary of incoming Executive MBA students is $123,000 annually, and 21% of the class already holds a graduate degree. 

Companies represented in recent Executive MBA cohorts include Capital One, General Electric Aviation, IBM, US Airforce, US Army, and the US Navy. 

Online MBA Class Profile Data

William & Mary Business School reports average cohort data and statistics for its Online MBA program. Over 179 undergraduate institutions have been represented, and incoming students have had an average of 10 years of work experience. Other data points include: 

  • Average undergraduate GPA: 3.2 
  • Incoming students aged 26 to 45: 83% 
  • U.S. Minority: 26% 
  • Female students: 33% 
  • Students from a financial services background: 22% 
  • Students from a military background: 18% 
  • Students from a government background: 8% 
  • Students from a technology background: 9% 

Requirements and How to Apply 

Every MBA application requires you to gather or create multiple documents for the admissions committee to consider. William & Mary University uses an online portal so you can upload each component of your application in one place. Here are the admissions requirements for the Full-time MBA program: 

Access and fill out the online application. The online portal allows you to create an account and fill out your personal information. 

Upload your transcripts. William & Mary requires a scanned copy of your transcripts from every college or university you attended. You can choose to submit official transcripts if you wish, but unofficial transcripts are enough for the admissions committee to decide. 

However, you’ll need to submit official transcripts to the program once you’re accepted. William & Mary University requires these transcripts should arrive in a sealed envelope from the Registrar or be submitted electronically. Transcripts mailed by you won’t be considered official, so be sure your school submits them on your behalf. 

Submit your GMAT or GRE scores. Although the Mason School has waived the GMAT or GRE requirement for the 2021/2022 admissions cycle, you can still choose to submit your unofficial or official scores. 

Upload Your Professional Resume: Ensure your resume is concise, easy to read, and outlines your professional experience chronologically. William & Mary encourages applicants to keep resumes under two pages, but the admissions committee prefers one page. 

Obtain two letters of recommendation. The only direction William & Mary gives about recommenders is that they “should be someone who can provide specific and relevant information about your intellectual and professional abilities, performance, and motivation to pursue an MBA degree.” Recommendations can be submitted online or by mail. 

Write your application essay and choose whether or not you want to submit an optional personal statement. You must write an approximately 800-word essay answering the prompt: 

“Why is an MBA the next logical step towards achieving your short-term and long-term professional goals? Why is the William & Mary MBA the right program for you?” 

If there’s anything else about your application you want the admissions committee to know, you can submit an answer to the optional personal statement (approximately 250 words): 

“Is there any additional information that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee which would be helpful in reviewing your application?” 

Pay the application fee or get a waiver. Applying to the MBA program requires paying a $100 non-refundable application fee. Active-duty military, veterans, and others are eligible for a fee waiver as long as they contact MBA Admissions before submitting their application. 

Participate in an interview with the admissions team. Interviews, offered by invitation only, are the final step of the admissions process.While in-person interviews on campus are encouraged, interviews are also offered virtually or in select cities.

Top Tips on How to Get Into William & Mary School of Business 

MBA applications take time, effort, and patience. Although William & Mary University may not be as selective as some other top business schools, you still need to polish your application for the best chance of admittance. These tips ensure your application is well-received and stands out from the crowd. 

Do Your School Research 

This tip may sound obvious, but well-done school research can take your application to the next level. School research can help you tailor pieces of your application to what the admissions committee is seeking. For example, you can sprinkle some positive character traits in your essay related to William & Mary’s mission or values. While you want to know with certainty the school is right for you; you also want to display how the school will benefit from your acceptance. 

Create a Concise and Impactful Resume 

Your resume is a summary of your professional experience. By the time you apply to MBA programs, you will likely have years of post-undergraduate work experience under your belt. While detailing your work experience is crucial, the admissions committee also wants to see “the impact a candidate has made on an organization, growth in responsibility over time, leadership experience, and other factors.” 

If you have limited professional experience, you must make up for it in other application aspects such as your past academic performance, leadership experience, campus, and community involvement, “and possess clearly articulated goals to offset the lack of experience." 

The Mason School prefers one-page resumes, so ditch the industry jargon for concise, clear writing. You can use numbers and statistics to quality your experiences. Highlight the most relevant and meaningful experiences that make you a perfect candidate. 

Choose Your Recommenders Wisely and Give Them Context 

Choosing your recommenders is a crucial part of the application process. Your recommenders should be able to speak accurately about your character, work ethic, leadership capabilities, and ability to handle challenging situations. William & Mary requires two recommendation letters: you may want to choose your current and past supervisor, your former college professor, or anyone else you can confidently speak of on your professional or academic growth. 

However, try to focus on those who can speak to your professional growth. David Simpson, recruitment and admissions director of the MBA and Master's in Finance programs at London Business School, said, "Most schools want you to choose current and previous line managers, who know you well and can judge your professional performance."

While you can’t hold your recommender's hand while they write your letter, you can provide them with a page of context to refresh their memories. Your note can include your most notable achievements, your community involvement or volunteer work, any career milestones you want to emphasize, and your reasons for pursuing an MBA program. You can also include how any MBA would help you achieve your personal and professional goals. 

Carefully Craft Your Essays 

Essays help humanize your MBA application, demonstrate your writing skills, and show you’re more than the sum of your GPA, test scores, and achievements—you also have a winning personality to boot. 

There is no secret formula to make an excellent MBA essay, but the best thing you can do is write authentically about relevant experiences. Margo Bell, senior assistant director of admissions with Pepperdine University's Graziadio Business School, said, “As applicants begin to write their MBA applicant essays, it’s important for prospective students to share who they are as an individual. The essay allows MBA admission officers to get a better understanding of who you are, what you wish to accomplish and why you deserve to be accepted.” 

It would be best if you gave a brief overview of where you’re at in life, in your career, and how an MBA can take you to the next step. Use descriptive language and write in your own voice. Your essays are where your school research comes into play; you want to give concrete examples of why William & Mary is right for you. 

Prepare for Your Admissions Interview 

If you’re invited to participate in an admissions interview, congratulations! You’ve already cleared half the admissions process and made it to the next round of applicants. W & M released their top five MBA interview tips

Be prepared: Read up on the program and what makes it unique, and have an explanation ready about why you want to join the program. If you know your interviewer’s name, looking them up online can be a great help. 

Listen before you speak: Listening skills are critical for MBA students. Remember, you’re not listening only to respond but to have a conversation with your interviewer. 

Expect the unexpected: Your interviewer will probably ask about your weaknesses or a time you failed. Don’t get tripped up, even if you’re asked a follow-up question that you wouldn’t expect. 

Prepare questions for your interviewer ahead of time: You can also ask questions at the end as they come up in your interview. Asking questions shows you’ve thought critically about the program and want more information about it than what’s available online. 

The little things mean a lot: W & M recommends a good night’s sleep even if you’re feeling jittery. Make sure you have enough time to get ready and look clean and professional.

FAQs

1. Do all of William & Mary’s MBA programs require GMAT and GRE scores? 

Ignoring the score waiver for the 2021/2022 admissions cycle, the Executive MBA program doesn’t require GMAT or GRE scores. The reasoning behind this policy is the admissions committee believes “standardized test scores are not the only predictors of success - and certainly not for our executive level students who have multi-dimensional applications that point to many success indicators.” The Part-time MBA also does not require test scores. 

2. How much is in-state and out-of-state tuition for the Full-Time MBA program? 

In-state students can expect to pay $34,926 for tuition, and out-of-state students can expect to pay $45,916. This is just the cost of tuition, though, and doesn’t include your estimated room and board and other expenses. 

3. What’s the Alumni Referral Program? 

William & Mary has a program so alumni can refer and endorse up to three candidates per academic year. If the candidate is admitted, they receive a $10,000 scholarship to attend the Mason School. If you know anyone who went to the Mason School, it could be in your best interest to reach out before you apply! 

4. Are admissions requirements different if I pursue the part-time program? 

Yes, they are slightly different. You’ll still need to submit recommendation letters, resumes, and transcripts. However, you’ll also need to upload an Organizational Unit Document showing your role and contributions in the context of your organization. It doesn’t need to belong and can be a paragraph or chart. 

The Part-time MBA also has slightly different essay questions, both of which are mandatory: 

“1. Explain what has led you to want to pursue a graduate degree, why specifically an MBA and why now? Please address your post-MBA professional goals as part of your response. 

2. Describe a professional situation where you demonstrated one of the following competencies: Focusing on results, solving problems, building relationships, communicating with impact, demonstrating integrity, or being flexible.” 

Both of these essays should be about 800 words each. 

5. How likely am I to be employed after I complete my full-time MBA? 

According to William & Mary’s data, 91% of students had full-time job offers within three months of graduation, and MBA graduates reported an average approximate salary of $95,000 per year. 

6. How can the Part-time MBA impact my salary? 

William & Mary University states 72% of students received a pay raise before graduation, and 49% received a promotion before graduating. 

7. How do I know which MBA program is right for me? 

Choosing the right MBA pathway depends on your lifestyle and goals. Full-time MBAs are great for those looking to switch industries, want an immersive MBA experience, and who can afford to take two years off to pursue their education. 

Part-time and online MBAs are well-suited if you want to stay in your current role and not take time off, are not looking to switch industries, and have other commitments or responsibilities to plan around. 

Executive MBAs are best for those already in management positions with years of experience looking to focus on more advanced business aspects.

Conclusion 

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary University is an excellent option to add to your business school list. With four MBA options, you can pursue the pathway that fits best with your lifestyle. 

You’ll need to gather many materials before you submit your application, so ensure you start the process as early as you can. Give your recommenders enough time to write stellar letters, and give yourself enough time to draft memorable MBA essays. Remember to update your resume and condense the length to one page if possible. 

Using this guide’s tips, you’re sure to have a better chance of acceptance at William & Mary University and be one step closer to realizing all your professional goals.

About Inspira Futures

At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.
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