The Rice MBA Full Time Program FAQs

How do I apply?
Apply online.

What must be submitted to complete a Rice MBA application?
  1. Completed online application.
  2. Two required essays submitted online (12 point font; single- or double-spaced)
  3. Professional resume submitted online.
  4. Official test scores submitted to the Jones School (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL or PTE Academic).
  5. One confidential recommendation (required form) submitted to our office provided that this one recommendation is from your current, direct supervisor. If this one recommendation is not from your current supervisor, you are required to submit two confidential professional recommendations.
  6. Official transcripts of all degree-granting institutions mailed to our office.
  7. $125 USD application fee paid online or by check mailed to our office (payable to Rice University).

Which of the admissions criteria are most important?
Applications are considered in their entirety. We seek students who possess strong academic and quantitative analytical aptitude, demonstrated management potential, and a diversity of experiences.

How much is the application fee?
$125 in U.S. dollars, payable by credit card, check or money order to Rice University. Applications not accompanied by this fee will not be reviewed.

Do you offer application fee waivers?
MBA/MD applicants are not required to submit the application fee. The application fee is also waived for United States military personnel (active duty or veteran), Teach for America corps members and alumni, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellows.
What are the application deadlines and decision dates?
All materials must be submitted by the deadline at midnight CST in order for your application to be considered in that round. If your supplemental materials are received after the deadline, your application may be considered in the subsequent round. Interviews will be scheduled on an invitation only basis following the initial review of your application.

Admission Round   Application Deadline   Decision Date
  October 26, 2015     December 4, 2015 
  January 4, 2016   February 26, 2016
3   February 22, 2016   April 1, 2016
4   April 4, 2016   May 6, 2016

Who should write my confidential recommendations?
Your confidential recommendations should be written by individuals who have known you professionally. One of these should be from a direct supervisor, and should provide specific, detailed insights into your administrative and/or academic performance. Use your best judgment in selecting evaluators; if you feel it is necessary, you may also include a note in your application explaining your choice. If you have taken a leadership role in some other activity, a reference from that organization would also be appropriate. Please do not use friends or family members. If you work in a family business, please ask a client or previous supervisor from outside the family business. Recommendations should be current and address your potential as an MBA candidate.
Must confidential recommendations be written on the form included in the application?
The online recommendation form is a requirement and must be submitted. You may submit an accompanying letter of recommendation as well.

Is an evaluation interview part of the application process?
Once an application is completed, the admissions committee may request an evaluative interview. Interviews are by invitation only after all materials have been received and initially reviewed. Candidates from outside of Houston may conduct their interviews via telephone. However, visiting the campus for a face-to-face interview will also allow for class visits and a tour of facilities.  


How many essays are required, and what are the topics?

All applicants must submit two required essays. Applicants reapplying to the program are must complete the required essay for re-applicants. 


The essay topics are:


  1. Required for all applicants - Describe your short-term and long-term goals, and how the MBA will help you to achieve those goals. Include in your discussion: Why is now the appropriate time to pursue an MBA and why are you interested in obtaining a Rice MBA? (Maximum 750 words)
  2. Required for all applicants Choose one of the following three options to submit as your second essay*:
    1. Describe a defining moment or event that changed your life. (300 words)
    2. Tweet: If you had to tweet something to the world for the first time about yourself, what would you tweet? (140 characters)
    3. Video: Introduce yourself to your classmates in a 90 second video.
  3. Optional - You may use this essay to discuss anything else that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you, or to provide information or clarification on one or more aspects of your application. (Maximum 750 words) 
  4. Required for re-applicants ONLY - Think about the time that has elapsed since you last applied to the Jones School. What actions have you taken to improve your candidacy? (Maximum 750 words)
Can I transfer into the Jones School from another educational or MBA program?
No. Course work from other programs is not transferable.

Can I work while I attend the Jones School's MBA program?
No. Classes are held during the day, and the rigorous nature of the program does not make it feasible to work elsewhere simultaneously. However, the Jones School does offer an MBA for Professionals and an MBA for Executives, which are designed to enable working professionals to pursue a traditional MBA degree.

May admitted students postpone entering the program?
Postponements are rarely granted. Each request is reviewed on an individual basis.

I can't obtain my official undergraduate transcripts. What should I do?
Unofficial (scanned) copies of transcripts are accepted as uploads in the application and can be used during the application review process.  However, this convenience is intended to benefit international applicants who may experience difficulty requesting and delivering transcripts in time to meet the deadline.  The admissions committee reserves the right to require an official transcript during a candidate's review process if there are any discrepancies or legibility issues with the copies and could delay an admission decision or move an application to the following round.  Official transcripts are required in order to enroll in the Rice MBA program.  It is highly recommended that applicants submit official transcripts for the initial review process if possible.  Candidates who attended a United States higher education institution should have no issues requesting the delivery of official transcripts in a timely manner.

Transcripts from my undergraduate institution are not in English or the GPA format. What should I do?
If your original official transcripts are not in English, you must submit an English translation of your transcript in addition to the originals. Transcript translation can either be completed by the degree granting university or by a credential evaluating service.

To be considered for admission, your degree must be equivalent to a U.S. four-year bachelor's degree. Some, but not all, three-year degrees granted outside the U.S. are equivalent, so if you received a three-year degree we require that the degree be evaluated by a recognized credential evaluation service, such as those listed below. Your evaluation should include your degree equivalency as well as a course-by-course conversion of marks/grades. You can request that the evaluator return the translated version to you, or have it delivered directly to Rice. The evaluation should be in a sealed envelope with an official stamp across the flap when it is received by the Admissions Office. For all other non-U.S. degrees, please note that the Admissions Committee may request a credential evaluation if there is any question about the equivalency of your degree, and this could delay your admissions decision. If you have any specific questions about this policy, please contact the Admissions Office.

If you have completed an equivalent four-year degree but your GPA is not in the 4.0 GPA format, you must convert it to the 4.0 scale in order to enter your GPA accurately into the online application. To obtain an English credential translation (required) or evaluation (recommended), please contact one of the following companies:
Educational Credential Evaluators

SpanTran Educational Services

For a small fee, you can use an online tool to convert your G.P.A. to a 4.0 scale. You must fax, scan, or mail the printed GPA calculation that lists the grades and courses as you entered them.

Can my undergraduate school send you my transcripts directly?
Yes, please send transcripts to: 

Rice MBA Admissions
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

However, if you have received it in a sealed envelope with an official stamp, seal or signature over the flap or opening, you can send along with any other supplemental application material.

Must I submit a transcript from EVERY institution I've ever attended, including those where I participated in summer programs and semesters abroad? You must submit transcripts from your degree-granting institutions and those whose grades were transferred to your degree-granting institution - unless those grades appear on your final transcript. It is not necessary to submit transcripts from summer course work or study abroad if it was not required for your degree, if it was less than 9 credit hours, or if completion of these courses is reflected on your main transcript.

Do you require the GMAT?
We require either the GMAT or the GRE. We do not offer a waiver for the GMAT or GRE. Without either a GMAT or GRE score, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. We require only the MCAT if you are applying to the joint MBA/MD program. MBA/MD applicants who wish to be considered for scholarship must submit a GMAT score.  Register for GMAT or Register for GRE. 
What are the minimum acceptable GPA, GMAT, and GRE scores? Because the Jones School invites applications from students worldwide, many of whom have attended universities with very different grading systems, we have no minimum GPA, GMAT, or GRE requirements. We evaluate applications in their entirety, searching for strengths in all areas.

If I take the GMAT or GRE more than once, are my scores averaged?
No. We consider only your highest score.

How must GMAT scores be submitted? What is the GMAT test code?
In your application, you must report the scores from your preferred GMAT test date. For verification purposes, in both cases, you must also request that the testing service send your official score report directly to Rice MBA. The GMAT test code is 3WS-WD-92.

What if my official GMAT or GRE scores arrive after the deadline?
We do not need to receive your official GMAT or GRE score by the application deadline; however, please do indicate on your application the month and year your test is scheduled. Your application will not be considered for admission until your official GMAT or GRE score is received.

How do I apply to take the GMAT or the GRE?

Visit for the GMAT and for the GRE.

I've taken the GMAT or GRE more than once. Can I submit components from various testing dates?
No. Component GMAT or GRE scores must be reported from the same date. While the score reports contain all of your scores, the board will focus on the highest score.

Do you require an English proficiency exam?
International applicants who did not earn an undergraduate degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction was English, must submit a valid score report from one of the following:
  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  2. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)
  3. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
All test scores are valid for two years. Please allow at least four weeks for your test results to reach us. The English language test requirement is automatically waived for international applicants with master’s degrees or a PhD from colleges or universities where English was the primary language of instruction.

How do I apply to take the TOEFL, PTE or IELTS?
Additional information about each may test be obtained from the following:


Do you ever waive the requirement for an English proficiency exam?
Waivers will be granted on a case by case basis and you must have a GMAT test score if you wish to be considered. For more information, please call us at 888-844-4773 or Email

If I take the TOEFL or PTE more than once, are my scores averaged?
No. We consider only your highest score.

How much professional experience, on average, do Jones School applicants bring to the program?
Full-time students have, on average, five years of professional work experience.

How important is my work experience to your decision?
Every element of your application is given equal consideration. With work experience, our Admissions Committee is interested less in the quantity of work you have performed than in what you may have learned from the sum of your experiences and how they prepared you for the challenges of participating in the Rice MBA program.

Must I have an undergraduate degree to enter the Jones School?
Yes, you must have a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university if you received your education in the United States. If you are an international applicant, your undergraduate degree must be the equivalent of a U.S. four-year degree. If you have completed a three-year Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) degree, we also require a Master of Commerce (MComm) degree.

What undergraduate major is required?
No particular undergraduate major is required for the MBA.

Are undergraduate business courses a prerequisite?
Is an interview required?
Yes, but not all applicants will receive an invitation to interview. Once an application is completed, the Admissions Committee may request an evaluative interview. Interviews are granted by invitation only after all materials have been received and initially reviewed. If the Admissions Committee is requesting an interview, you will be contacted via e-mail. It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm the appointment. Appointments which have not been confirmed will not be honored. You may contact us toll-free at 888-844-4773, at 713-348-4918, or at

How do I arrange to observe a class?
You will need to make an appointment one week prior to your arrival. We do not hold classes on Friday or during the summer. To schedule a class visit, call or email the Admissions Office toll-free at 888-844-4773 or 713-348-4918,

Can I meet the faculty?
You are welcome to observe classes; however, faculty are not able to meet individually with prospective applicants.
I was not admitted with the first deadline. Can I reapply for the next deadline? What about next year?
You may not reapply again this year; however, you may reapply for the following school year.

What are my chances for admission if I reapply?
The Rice MBA applicant pool becomes more competitive every year. If you reapply within two years, your previous application will also be reviewed. In the new application, we will look for evidence of increased management responsibility, personal growth, or improved academic performance through additional course work.

How do I complete the application form if I'm reapplying?
If you applied to the Jones School previously, we ask that you submit the complete application package again regardless of the previous decision. You will be required to use a new e-mail address to start a new application. You will no longer have access to your previous application. Properly completing the application requires new essays, new letters of recommendation, an updated resume, and the application fee ($125USD). If you have applied within the last two years, we will still have your transcripts on file, so you will not need to resend those items unless something has changed. In addition, you must complete a required fourth essay responding to the following prompt in 750 words or less: Think about the time that has elapsed since you last applied to the Jones School. What actions have you taken to improve your candidacy? (To clarify – re-applicants must submit 4 required essays, and may submit an optional 5th. Please see the Applications tab for the additional essay information.)

To reapply, do I need to have all of my test scores (including the GMAT and TOEFL or PTE Academic) sent to you again?You do not need to resend your test scores, unless your score has expired or if you have retaken the exam. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years from the test date; TOEFL and PTE Academic scores are valid for 2 years.
Full-Time MBA
Class of 2016
Class Profile

Number of Incoming Students 109
Average GMAT 676
Median GMAT 690
Average GPA 3.4
Average Years of Work Experience 5.4
% Women 32%
% Foreign Nationals 34%
Countries Represented 17
% U.S. Underrepresented Minorities 10%
Undergraduate Majors:  
       Business/Economics 36%
       Math/Science/Engineering 38%
       Liberal Arts/Other 26%

What other programs does the Jones Graduate School of Business offer?
The Jones School offers a PhD in Business, in addition to the MBA for Professionals, the MBA for Executives, and the MAcc. We also offer three joint programs, the MBA/ME, MBA/MS, and the MBA/MD. Additionally, Executive Education offers non-degree courses and certificates.

For K-12 educators, REEP (Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program) combines a business school education with an intensive entrepreneurship curriculum to provide exceptional leadership abilities and management principles.