Admissions, Exec Application Tips, Executive MBA

Executive MBA App Review Process — A Primer

By Brett Twitty-
executive-mba-primer

And the application advice keeps rolling with a post today about the Executive MBA app review process. Previously, we shared our Top 10 tips for Executive MBA applicants, as well as our thoughts on the Executive Assessment (EA).

Our Executive MBA application review consists of two stages: our initial “interview” review and a more comprehensive “final” review. In our Executive MBA application process, interviews are by invitation only, and we interview any candidate we are considering for admission. Our “final” review is when we actually make a decision on an applicant’s file, and there are three outcomes of this review: Admit, Waitlist and Deny.

The documentary requirements for these two stages are slightly different, with some implications for how you might manage your application process. 

For our initial interview review, we require:

  • Application
  • Application fee (or valid fee waiver)
  • Transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • Standardized test score, valid test waiver or pending test date
  • One recommendation

For our final review, we require:

  • Application
  • Application (or valid fee waiver)
  • Transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • Standardized test score or valid test waiver
  • One recommendation

So, what’s the difference? Take note of the standardized test information. We can begin to move your application through our initial review process with a pending test date. However, to receive a final decision, you will need a test score (or a valid test waiver). As long as we have your score in hand at least a couple days prior to the decision date for your target round, we can keep your decision on schedule.

Let’s take a closer look at how all this actually works, using our 10 September deadline as an example.

You are targeting our 10 September deadline, but you have not taken your standardized test. Can you still apply in our September round? Yes!

What should you do? You should still submit your application on or before 10 September. But you will want to note your pending test date in the Test Scores section of your application. What if you schedule your test after submitting your application? No problem. Simply email us with your test information, and we will add it to your application. And what if you have to reschedule your test? Just let us know, and we will update your test information. 

So, what’s the latest date you could take your test? Our review process moves quickly, and for most rounds, it’s three weeks (or less) from deadline to decision. Our deadlines page contains target interview period, decision release date and deposit deadline information for each round.

The decision release date for our 10 September round is 27 September, so we would need your test score by no later than 25 September to keep your decision on schedule. Of course, you can take more time to sit for your test, but doing so will delay a decision on your application.

Okay, so I’ve scheduled my test. What should I do once I take it? First and foremost, make sure you have your official score report sent to our office. In addition, upon completing the test, you will receive a score report reflecting your overall score and section breakdown. Please email us a copy (photo or scanned PDF are both acceptable) of this report, and we will add this information to your file. This approach will allow us to continue moving your application through our review process without having to wait for the downloadable report, which can often take several days to reach our team.  

As this approach makes clear, we have two primary operating principles when it comes to file review:

  • To include your application in an earlier round if at all possible
  • To get you a decision as quickly as reasonably possible

Have more questions? We are here to help. Feel free to contact us at ExecMBA@darden.virginia.edu