MBA Admissions Q&A: Michigan State University |

MBA Admissions Q&A: Michigan State University

By Mike Grill

Updated May 15, 2019 Updated May 15, 2019

The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management is the home of Michigan State University’s MBA program, known as the Broad MBA, a program that now stands within North America’s top 40, according to the opinions of international recruiters and academics in the fields of business and management. sought out the school’s MBA admissions director, Paul North, to get the inside story on the Broad MBA’s application process. In this interview, North advises interested parties to ensure they articulate their accomplishments properly in their application yet, at the same time, to keep things concise so that the admissions team at Michigan State University can get a clear idea of a candidate’s suitability for the program. They’re also looking for a bit of the ‘Wow!’ factor in applicants’ CVs. Read on to learn more…      

What is the typical acceptance rate to the Broad MBA program?

The Broad MBA program’s average acceptance rate for the last 5 years has been 34%.

What are the most important aspects of the Broad MBA application process besides GMAT score, prior GPA, and current job position?

We look for candidates that can display strong leadership, innovative and creative thinking and who are excellent team players.

What is a common mistake you see applicants make?

One of the biggest mistakes we see applicants make is an inability to articulate their thoughts and success stories.

What is something you would like to see applicants do more often?

The admissions team at Michigan State University would like to see applicants present their ideas and goals in a concise way to help the admissions committee determine if the program can help them get to the next stage in their career.

What does the Broad MBA application process look like?

Michigan State University’s MBA program follows a very simple online process that requires zero official documents (if the candidate is accepted to the program, we will require all the original documents). We have an early application deadline and four application rounds that extend from October to March. Candidates are offered a decision on their file typically within 50 days of the program receiving a completed application. Candidates also get to know what their fellowship award is at the time of admission.

How can a candidate overcome a lower GMAT score?

If the candidate is averaging out on their GMAT score and they feel it’s on the lower end of the 80th percentile, I would recommend leading with other strong areas in their application (for example- résumé, undergraduate coursework, achievements etc.).

MBA admissions tips

Essay(s): Get to the point (don’t stray) and follow the word limit.

Interview: Use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) approach and keep your answers to less than two minutes.

Letters of recommendation: Talk to your recommenders about your achievements on projects they worked with you on, before you ask them for a letter of recommendation.

CV/résumé: One page – it has to have the ‘Wow!’ factor.

School visit: Definitely visit a school you intend to apply to (unless it’s impossible to go to).

This article was originally published in September 2015 . It was last updated in May 2019

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Mike's remit covers content, SEO and blogger outreach. Outside of his work for, he is an assistant coach for MLU outfit, the Portland Stags.