The Ross School of Business is known for its diverse community of students and aims to provide excellent opportunities for students to do real work. With faculty and peers guiding you along the way, they ensure you can positively impact the business world with your MBA. But applying to the Ross School of Business can be an intimidating feat to conquer.
With an acceptance rate of about 32%, submitting your application can be daunting because of the complex application requirements. This article will include all the critical information and requirements in the application process and provide you with valuable tips to increase your chances of admittance into the Ross School of Business.
About Ross School of Business
The Ross School of Business is renowned for its action-based learning and diverse community, ranked #6 by the U.S. News and World Report for its Part-time MBA program and #10 for its Executive MBA program. The school strives to create leaders who desire to positively impact the world around them through business.
The Ross School of Business values traits such as collaboration, growth, accomplishments, ownership, and inclusivity, all of which the school aims to use to develop new ideas that positively impact the community. The school thrives on diversity, with a strong belief in its ability to fuel student success on campus by enriching debate and providing new perspectives.
There are various student stories praising the school and even the option for you to reach out to over 200 student ambassadors for a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a part of the Ross community. Ross also makes it easy to stay up to date on upcoming events, making it where you can reach out to the admissions office directly through the University's website.
There are various student clubs offered, including social, sport, community, identity, or career-based. With over 70 student clubs to choose from, there is something for everyone at Ross, whether based on personal preference or career goals.
The Ross School of Business offers various programs, including:
Master of Accounting
Master of Management
With 24 dual degree options and ten specializations, your degree plan can be customizable to the content you want to learn. The Full-Time MBA program curriculum has a 57 credit requirement, with 10 of the credits eligible to be completed in one of the 97 other programs the school offers.
While the first year is dedicated more to core courses, the second is more flexible and allows ample space for electives of your choosing. You can customize your MBA program by participating in multidisciplinary action projects at the close of your first year.
Your second year would be built entirely by you with electives that interest you and align with your personal goals. The core courses are meant to help you develop a knowledgeable foundation of business.
This foundation will further develop in your electives, where you can apply the materials you learned in real business challenges. Ross School of Business stresses the importance of using your learning by requiring students to complete a Summer Business Experience which students can take in either their first or second year in the 2-year MBA program.
Ross students can fulfill this requirement with an internship, assistantship, or nonprofit employment. Still, it must satisfy the summer business experience requirements for the course to be deemed complete. This experience must have you work for 6 - 12 weeks with a minimum of 20 hours per week with you actively gaining practical business experience.
It can be paid or unpaid and either inside or outside of the United States as long as the other requirements are met. Ross School of Business provides resources to help with this by offering specific internships and assistantships that would allow students to work directly with faculty members.
Obtaining an MBA from Ross School of Business provides employment opportunities to desirable companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Because of this, 95% of Ross MBA graduates switch careers after graduation, with 60% of these graduates going into the consulting or technology field.
With a small class size of about 300, faculty and peers are encouraged to challenge you to look at problems from different perspectives. There is a strong emphasis on equity, and while Ross pushes you to be your best, it provides unwavering support every step of the way.
Competition and Class Profile
While the Ross School of Business is not considered a highly competitive school, with a 32% acceptance rate, the prospects of admittance may seem challenging paired alongside the relatively small class size. The class usually consists of around 350 students, with an average GPA of 3.5. Most students have approximately 5 years of work experience and a 710 average GMAT score.
About 20% of students come from consulting backgrounds, and 13% from finance. But, it is essential to note that Ross accepts students from a variety of professional backgrounds and has no minimum requirement for your GMAT or other test scores. With about 28 countries represented in the student body diversity, around 36% of students are of color.
Like many MBA programs, there are four total application rounds. The first round has a deadline in September, with a decision by December, the second round has a deadline in January, with a decision by March, the third round has a March deadline, with a decision by May, and the final round deadline is at the beginning of June, with a decision by the end of the month.
While each round is open to all students, international students are encouraged to apply in the first two rounds due to evolving visa processing times. If international applicants were to apply in round 4, it wouldn’t be possible to apply with enough time to obtain visas for the following fall semester.
Applicants must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree or international equivalent at the time of their application. You can submit an unofficial copy with your application, but the admissions committee will need the official copy if you are admitted. For test scores, you can submit the following: GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, or DAT.
These tests can be considerably tricky, especially for those with gaps in their academic career. But, there are various workshops and exam preparation courses that can make completing these exams less complicated in the application process. The Ross School of Business has no preference for which test is submitted as long as the scores are valid at the time of application submission.
If you have taken the test multiple times, you can submit whichever test score is highest. It is also required that you submit a resume. This resume should include your professional experience, current educational info, community service activities, and hobbies/interest, including dates. It is recommended that this is no longer than one page unless necessary.
There are two essays, a recommendation, and an interview required in the Ross School of Business application process. The first essay usually consists of two short-answer questions that aim to showcase your personality. These responses should be 100 words each and allow the admissions committee some insight into your character.
The concise word count is purposeful and meant to help you focus on the main idea of your response with no filler. The second essay is usually focused more on your career goals, with a broad question such as “What is your short-term career goal and why?” This essay’s word limit is usually about 200 words. There is also an optional statement, allowing you to explain any discrepancies in your coursework, employment, or academic career.
The Ross School of Business only requires one letter of recommendation. The recommender must be able to provide insight into your professional performance and work style. Usually, a current or former supervisor is the best recommender, as they had a first-hand look into your work experience. But if it’s not possible to receive a letter from your current or past supervisors, an alternative would be a professional mentor or project manager.
The recommender should provide a brief anecdote of their interaction with you in their organization in the recommendation. They should also discuss the applicant’s performance and compare this to other qualified individuals in the same or similar roles. Recommenders should also describe a vital piece of constructive feedback that they have given you and provide detail for the circumstances and your response.
The first introductory description is usually about 50 words, while the other two anecdotes can be up to 500 words. The recommendation and applicant rating form must be submitted online by the recommender within the deadline of your application round.
After your application has been successfully submitted, and if it is well-received, you will be invited to an interview with a current Ross student or a Ross alumnus. These interviews are by invitation only, and you will receive information regarding the next steps and the interview timeline after the application deadline has passed.
Additional Application Information
The Ross School of Business has a non-refundable application fee that is usually around $200. But this fee can be waived for applicants meeting one of the five criteria.
Active military and veterans
Peace Corps, Americorps, or Teach For America Volunteers
Students currently enrolled in a University of Michigan Graduate Degree Program
Citizens of a country on the UN’s list of least developed countries
Students who applied to the Ross full-time MBA program within the past five years.
As said before, an undergraduate degree is required to apply to the Ross School of Business along with any other undergraduate degrees obtained. With your application, this degree information should include your name, years of attendance, courses taken, grades received, and your degree/diploma/certificate with the date you obtained the degree.
You can submit a photocopy with your application. Still, the official document will need to be submitted if admitted to be sent to the World Education Services for authentication. Proof of English proficiency is also required with your application. If your undergraduate degree was taught in English, verification is not needed. If not, the admissions committee will take proof of proficiency through the TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS exam.
There is also an application designed specifically for underrepresented applicants. Ross School of Business is a part of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, aiming to highlight diversity in business education. Applicants are encouraged to apply to the Ross Full-Time MBA program through Consortium if they are a part of an underrepresented group.
Members of the Consortium are there to help you navigate the admissions process, provide opportunities to network, and provide information on jobs. Other similar programs Ross is partnered with include the Riordan Fellows Program, Toigo Foundation, National Black MBA Association, and National Society of Hispanic MBAs.
The requirements for reapplicants are slightly different, depending on how soon the reapplication is submitted. If you applied during the application cycle the year prior, you are eligible to submit an abridged application.
This process begins with completing an application form and submitting an updated resume with a brief letter discussing achievements and career goals since your original application. If your test scores have expired, then you will have to retake whichever test you choose and submit the new test score along with your application.
While you can use your previous recommendation letter, it is optional to provide a new one following the same recommendation criteria. You also can submit new transcripts if needed and new responses to one or more of the essay questions for the application cycle in which you’re applying.
Again, you can use your previous essay answers if you wish to do so. But, if you reapply to the Ross School of Business after more than one previous application cycle, you will be required to submit a completely new application.
Tips For Success
The admissions committee is looking for both personal and professional accomplishments in your application and interview. Your achievements showcase your career path and how you advanced both professionally and academically. Ross School of Business wants to witness your impact on the world around you and see your potential to succeed in your career goals.
This purpose can be shown through your interpersonal and communication skills, providing anecdotes from situations where you displayed leadership in a professional setting, and how effectively you work with others. The admissions committee will be evaluating your ability to succeed, how you’ve challenged yourself, your quantitative background, and your English language proficiency.
1. Challenge yourself academically.
Ross School of Business is looking to create a class of leaders ready to impact business with fresh thoughts and ideas. Because of this, Ross is looking for applicants who are willing to challenge themselves to unearth their highest potential. While this may seem challenging to portray in your interview, you can use your application to your advantage, especially your academic transcripts. It is highly encouraged by the admissions committee that you take quantitative workshops to prepare for the rigorous course requirements, which you can find in the course catalog. Doing so will also display your drive and willingness to push yourself to better your education and succeed professionally. By going the extra mile academically, not only will you be more prepared for the MBA program, but you will also be able to provide anecdotes of times where you prospered in challenging situations in your essays and interview. These experiences will demonstrate your character and display the values the admissions committee is seeking.
2. Emphasize your personal and professional goals and achievements.
The Ross School of Business values the potential you have to succeed by obtaining an MBA from its program. Ross wants to know what steps you’ve taken so far toward your success before submitting your application. How you plan to execute your personal and professional goals is important to the admissions committee and should be emphasized in your application.
You can use your essays, interview, and your resume to achieve this. Your essays often are about your achievements or hardships, which provides an opportunity to bring up your accomplishments. But, these essays require a great deal of introspection, which could take some time to complete.
While they are about your achievements, you must find a way to emphasize your personal and professional goals in your essays without rambling under the word count restraints. Your interview will allow you to demonstrate how your achievements shaped you as an individual and give you the chance to explain how you plan to progress in your career goals.
Your resume would be the easiest of the three to utilize, showcasing your accomplishments thus far for the admissions committee to see. By emphasizing your personal and professional goals, not only are you establishing your values as a prospective student, you are expressing your excitement to receive an MBA from Ross by being purpose-driven.
3. Highlight what you learned in your previous work experience.
Ross School of Business has expressed how essential teamwork and diversity are to its learning environment. By highlighting your work experience in your application, you can sell yourself as an applicant on both of these fronts and stand out in the applicant pool.
With previous work experience, you can provide lessons you’ve learned along with your experiences with business to create a diverse classroom dialogue. Based on the class profile, most students in the MBA program are admitted with about five years of work experience. Because of this, paired alongside the small class size, it is best to place your previous work experience at the forefront of your application.
Doing so will provide insight into your work ethic and vital takeaways you acquired from your professional work experience. This will display you as an asset to the school’s desire for diversity and increase your chances of admittance.
Your work experience can also be reflected in your recommendation letter, a key example of how you maneuvered in a professional environment from an objective perspective. Your work experience will be an opportunity for you to portray the interpersonal and communications skills the admissions committee is looking for, displaying how you present yourself in a professional setting and how well you can work with others.
Not only does providing this information highlight your collaboration skills, but this will also introduce your diverse background as well. Both attributes are valued highly by the admissions committee, looking to build the best class possible with these traits.
1. What is the minimum GPA requirement for the Ross School of Business?
While there is an average GPA of 3.5 in the class profile, there is no minimum GPA requirement for the Ross School of Business application.
2. Does Ross prefer one of the standardized tests over another?
No, Ross does not have a preference on which standardized test is submitted with your application. They accept the following: GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, or DAT.
3. What is the best way to contact the admissions office?
The admissions committee takes correspondence through phone, fax, email, and mailing address.
4. Is there a specific amount of work experience needed to apply?
There is no amount of work experience needed to apply. Still, the admissions committee recommends an applicant have at least two years of work experience at the time of their application.
5. Is completing a college-level calculus course required in the application process?
No, completing a college-level calculus course is not required. But, with the analytical challenge the coursework of the MBA program may present, it is expected that you have working knowledge in basic calculus and other basic college-level mathematics.
6. Does the Ross School of Business accept transfer credit into the MBA program?
No, previous coursework is not transferable into the MBA program.
The Ross School of Business has an MBA program appealing to any applicant looking to take their professional goals to the next level. Because of the various application requirements and rigorous coursework, submitting your application may seem intimidating at first glance. But, by arming yourself with the information you need to succeed, your chances of admission rise significantly.
You can do this by researching the Ross School of Business before starting your application. This research will leave you with a good idea of what the admission committee is looking for in an applicant and demonstrates initiative.
You can focus on your academic attributes by participating in quantitative workshops and taking exam prep courses to submit the best score possible with your MBA application. Highlighting your personal/professional goals and achievements and emphasizing your work experience will also make your application stand out in the applicant pool.
By including this background specifically, you can tailor your application to match the values the admissions committee is looking for in a prospective Ross Business School student. Following the tips provided in this article, your journey to being admitted to the Ross School of Business will be smooth sailing.
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.