Full-Time MBA Hero Photo

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the most common questions asked regarding the full-time MBA program.

Admissions Questions

Are there any prerequisite courses required for admission?

No. We require an accredited four-year or equivalent bachelor’s degree in any discipline.

Does a certification from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) count towards my eligibility if I have a 3-year undergraduate degree?

Yes, if you have passed all 3 levels of the ICAI certification the Illinois Graduate College will consider you eligible for limited status admission with a 3 year bachelor’s degree for business graduate programs.

Do you accept transfer courses?

No. Due to the strategic nature of our first-year curriculum, we cannot accept any transfer courses. If you have already earned an MBA from another college or university within the United States, you are not eligible for admission to the Gies MBA. If you have earned an MBA outside of the United States, you will need to provide a letter of justification as to why the Gies MBA is not a duplicate degree.

What are the average years of work experience? Is there a minimum work experience requirement?

The average work experience is approximately four years. There is no minimum work experience requirement for immediate admission, however, we recommend that you have a minimum of two years full-time work experience. Strong candidates with less full-time experience who have proven professional maturity as well as those who are interested in pursuing a joint degree will be considered also. Recent undergraduates can apply to our Early Admit Program while they pursue two years of full-time work experience.

What should I do if there is something in my application that needs an explanation?

If you feel there are any parts of your application that are weak or need an explanation, we invite you to connect with us so we can talk it over. We also suggest that you include an optional essay with your application providing this explanation. 

Entrance Exam Questions

What is the minimum GMAT or GRE score required?

We do not have a minimum requirement. We look at the entire application, including work experience, GPA, essays and references.

Is the GRE accepted in place of the GMAT?

We do accept the GRE in place of the GMAT. However, the GMAT was created and is maintained for the purpose of predicting success in business school. An applicant who submits the GRE in place of the GMAT is still eligible for scholarship, but the scholarship decision will be based more heavily on the other aspects of the application.

Which score does the admissions committee consider if I take the GMAT/GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS more than once?

The admissions committee will only consider your highest valid test score.

If I am a joint degree student, do I still need to take the GMAT if I already took a different graduate school test (such as GRE or MCAT)?

Yes, you need to take the GMAT unless you have a valid GRE score. The MBA accepts valid GMAT or GRE scores. We do not accept the LSAT, MCAT, etc.

Admissions Process Questions

How long does it take to make a decision regarding admission?

Once your application is complete, you should be notified in four to six weeks during the peak admissions period. The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing completed applications in December. Some decisions will be deferred until May. You will be advised within six weeks of submitting your completed application if this is the case.

Are interviews required?

Interviews are by invitation only. An interview will only be offered to an individual who has completed his or her application, as this will help give us a complete picture of the applicant.

I’ve been put on the waitlist. What can I do?

If you were placed on the waitlist, you are encouraged to consider the following suggestions in order to strengthen your application. If you have additional questions or wish to send us any of the information specified below, please feel free to contact us.

GMAT: Retake the GMAT, even if you have to take it more than once. You may want to consider taking the GRE. Whether you take the GRE or GMAT, the admissions committee will only consider the highest score that you send in evaluating your application. If you plan to retake the GMAT or take the GRE, please let us know as soon as you schedule the test. Once you take either exam, please fax a copy of your unofficial score report to us and request that PearsonVue (GMAT) or ETS (GRE) send us an official report as well.

GPA: If you do not feel that your undergraduate GPA reflects your academic abilities, please be sure to explain why you think so. You may also use the optional essay to explain. You can also enroll in business-related courses at a local college, particularly if you never took any of these classes, or did not receive compelling grades while an undergraduate. You can send or fax a transcript to us.

TOEFL: If you are an international student and feel that your TOEFL score is not reflective of your English ability, you may retake the TOEFL and request that ETS send us an official score report. In addition, if you have taken any English courses since you took the TOEFL, you may consider retaking it, and you should also make sure we are aware of your additional coursework.

Can my admission be deferred?

The Gies MBA will review applicants for a one-year deferral on a case-by-case basis.


Can I have my application reviewed again if I improve my credentials?

The Admissions Committee’s decision is final. You can reapply for the following year.

If I applied last year but was denied admission, how can I reapply?

Applicants who have previously applied for admission must submit a new application packet. We strongly encourage you to view our profile and find ways to strengthen your application to the best of your ability. This may include retaking the GMAT or TOEFL.

What if my test score is no longer valid upon reapplication?

All test scores must be valid at the time of enrollment. Therefore, you would be required to retake the exam.

Other Questions

What is the workload during the program?

During the first year, you’ll take five courses per module (there are two modules each semester). Each course is one unit or the equivalent of two semester hours. Plan on spending at least 20 hours per week on studying, group work, or doing homework. During the second year, you’ll take four courses per semester in a chosen area of concentration.

How do I know whether I qualify as an Illinois resident?

This information can be accessed through the University of Illinois Residency Status Regulations.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Most students finance the costs of their Illinois Gies MBA using scholarships, student loans, internships, and/or campus employment. For more information, see Scholarships & Financial Aid

I would like to come for a visit, can you arrange an admissions meeting, class visit and tour?

Yes. We would be happy for you to visit us on campus. Contact us to schedule a visit.

News and Events