The Rice MBA for Professionals Program FAQ

How do I apply?
Apply online.

What are the application requirements?

  1. Completed online application.
  2. Two personal 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 or GRE, TOEFL or PTE Academic).
  5. One confidential recommendation 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 recommendations.
  6. Official transcripts of all previous coursework 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 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 waive the application fee?

REEP 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 do the application deadlines and decision dates really mean if I am applying to the MBA for Professionals program?
Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee when all materials (including letters of recommendation, test scores, official transcripts, completed online application, etc.) are submitted and complete.  All applications for the MBA for Professionals program are reviewed on a rolling basis which simply means that as soon as your application is submitted and considered complete, you should receive a decision within four to six weeks. 

Do you require interviews as part of the application process?
Interviews are scheduled on an invitation only basis and will be extended when your application is submitted and considered complete.  Not all applicants will be granted an interview.  However, all admitted students will have gone through the interview process.  You are highly encouraged to come to campus for your interview.  Interviews should take 30 minutes.  Your interview will be conducted by an Admissions Counselor who is a 2nd year current student in the program and a member of the Admissions Committee.


Decision Round Application Deadline
Round 1   October 26, 2015 
Round 2   January 4, 2016
Round 3 February 22, 2016
Round 4 April 4, 2016
Round 5
(EMBA and MBAP only)
June 6, 2016

 *Please note that in order for us to process your application for this admissions cycle, you must take the GMAT or GRE exam no later than June 18th, 2016.


 **Please note the deadlines are set for the Full-Time MBA program and all applications to the MBA for Professionals are considered on a rolling basis.  Admissions decisions should take approximately four to six weeks upon completion of your application. (For those candidates considering the REEP MBA Pathway, please check REEP for the more limited REEP-specific application deadlines). 

Who should write my confidential recommendation?
One confidential recommendation is required and should be from your current, direct supervisor. Your current, direct supervisor is one who has known you professionally and should be able to provide detailed insights into your administrative and/or academic performance. If this one evaluation is not from your current supervisor, you are required to submit two confidential recommendations. It would be helpful to include a note in your application explaining your choice of recommenders. 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 submitted online?
The online recommendation form is a requirement and must be submitted. An additional uploaded letter addressing specific questions on the form is also required to complete the recommendation.

What if I already started my application for the MBA for Professionals Evening program and now I want to switch to the MBA for Professionals Weekend program? Can I switch?
Yes. You can make changes in the first section of your online application. Just select the schedule option that best fits your schedule and lifestyle.

How many essays are required, and what are the topics?
All applicants must submit 2 required essays. Re-applicants must submit a 3rd required essay. REEP MBA Pathway applicants must submit an additional required essay. Please see REEP for more details. All applicants may submit an optional additional essay if they choose.

The essay topics are:


1.  Required - Describe your short-term and long-term career goals, and how the MBA will help you achieve those goals. Include in your discussion: How is pursuing an MBA while still a working professional the right choice, and why are you interested in obtaining a Rice MBA? (Maximum 750 words)

2.  Required - Choose only 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)   



Can I transfer into the Rice MBA for Professionals from another educational or MBA program? No. Coursework from other programs is not transferable.

Does the Rice MBA for Professionals offer deferred admission for college seniors?

May admitted students postpone entering the program?
Deferments are rarely granted, but individuals may reapply in a subsequent year. Each request is reviewed on an individual basis. Students forfeit their $2,000 deposit if they do not enroll the year they are admitted.

Is the Jones School AACSB-accredited?

What is the time schedule for the MBA for Professionals Evening program?
Students primarily meet on Monday and Wednesday evening from 6:15PM until 9:30PM and the evening course work comprises approximately two-thirds of the total credits. Students will be also required to periodically participate in non Monday-Wednesday coursework. In addition to two Monday through Saturday Immersions, there are approximately nine Saturdays, five Fridays, and two Thursdays over the course of the program. There is a summer break during the months of June and July.

What is the time commitment outside class?

Students spend on average 25-30 hours a week outside class in individual study and team meetings.

Do MBA for Professionals have access to the Rice MBA Career Management Center?
All Rice MBA and MBA for Professionals students have access to our Career Management Center.

What is the time schedule for the MBA for Professionals Weekend program?
The MBA for Professionals Weekend program will meet on Friday evenings from 4:00 – 9:30PM and Saturday mornings from 7:30AM – 6:30PM on alternating weekends. There is also two Monday through Saturday Immersions held in August before the start of each year.

How long does it take to complete the MBA for Professionals Weekend program?
The program is 54 credits and takes 22 months to complete (with a 4-5 week break during the summer).
What if I was already admitted to the MBA for Professionals Evening program and now I want to switch to the MBA for Professionals Weekend program?
Even after your admittance to the Evening program, you can switch to the Weekend program if that better suits your schedule and lifestyle. Submit your request in writing to Sue Oldham, Director of Admissions. The Admissions Committee will review your request and you will receive written notice of the decision. Please note that this change can only be made once prior to the start of the two-year program and can be done up to two weeks prior to the start of classes.

Can I specialize or choose a concentration in one area, e.g., finance?
The Professional schedule is a lock-step program wherein all students take the same classes in sequence for the first year. This provides the general business education most appropriate for professional students. In the second year, students may choose electives that support their individual career goals. There is a health care track offering for students in the MBA for Professionals program. This specialization track prepares students by providing them with a general business background in health care and also a deep understanding of key topics driving the industry. Students interested in this specialization track will take a total of 15 additional credits (3 required credits and 12 elective credits) to fulfill the requirements for the track. Courses will be offered during the summer and may not be substituted for regular electives.

Will we work in teams?
Yes. Study teams are assigned at the start of each term. Class assignments usually require a combination of team and individual work. Our communications faculty provides team dynamics and project management assistance in the form of theory, workshops, and personal consultations.

Does Rice offer any international trips during the business school experience?
Every year, students from all three Rice MBA programs may choose to embark on several international trips. Arranged during winter and spring breaks, the different options do not conflict with class schedules. Before embarking on an international trip, Rice MBA for Professionals students must first arrange leave from work.

Past trips have included destinations including China, Mexico, Latin America, South America and India. Itineraries include visits to corporate offices, U.S. embassies, and plant sites, as well as alumni and prospective student events. Students make business contacts and learn firsthand about the economic situations in the host countries.

Are there any Study Abroad Exchange programs within the MBA program?
Rice MBA students are able to study abroad for a semester through our partnership with Instituto Centroamericano de Administracion de Empresas (INCAE) in Costa Rica or the Escuela de Graduados en Administracion y Direccion de Empresas (EGADE) business school at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). Students who wish to study at EGADE can do so at any of their 33 campuses in Mexico.

Rice MBA for Professionals students are able to participate in an exchange program during their second year and must first arrange leave from work. The exchange programs are one term (six weeks) in length and students typically choose six to nine credits of elective course work. The credits transfer, although grades do not.

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.  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.

Can my undergraduate institution send my transcripts directly to you? 

Yes, please send transcripts to: 

Rice MBA Admissions 
6100 Main Street MS-531 
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. 


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 the ones 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?
We prefer to see that you have received it in a sealed envelope with an official stamp, seal, or signature over the flap or opening, which you can send along with your application. However, if your school's policy requires the school send transcripts directly, we will accept them in this manner.

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. Without either a GMAT or a GRE score, your application is not complete and will not be reviewed. Register for GMAT or Register for GRE.

What are the minimum acceptable GPA, GMAT, and GRE scores?
Because Rice 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 total score.

How must GMAT or GRE scores be submitted?
In your application, you must report the scores from your preferred GMAT or GRE test date. You must also request that the testing service send your official score report directly to Rice MBA.

What if my official test scores, arrive after the deadline?
We do not need to receive your official GMAT score by the application deadline; however, please do indicate on your application the month and year your test is scheduled.

How do I apply to take the GMAT or 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, including verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing assessment tests, must be reported from the same date. While the report contains all of your scores, we will focus on your highest total score.

What is the average GMAT score of Jones School applicants?
The GMAT average for the MBA for Professionals Class of 2016 is 627.

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. For more information, please call us at 888-844-4773888-844-4773 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?
MBA for Professional 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 prepare you for the challenges of the Rice MBA program.

Must I have an undergraduate degree to enter the Rice MBA for Professionals?
Yes, you must have a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. 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?
I am a prospective student and would like to come visit the campus to learn more about the Rice MBA for Professionals program. How do I go about doing this? 
There are two ways to learn about the program. First, we encourage you to attend an on-campus information session to learn about the admissions requirements and meet current students and faculty. This is probably the first-step in learning about the program. Learn more about our on-campus information sessions

Second, we highly recommend that you sign up for a Class Visit. Select from a class list of our core classes by picking the subject and the date. You will be paired up with a Student Host. Enjoy dinner with your Student Host and other current students and faculty plus get the chance to participate in an optional social activity as well. The Class Visit is a great way to really see what life is like as a student in this program. Learn more about our Class Visit schedule.

Is an interview mandatory?
Yes, but not all applicants will receive an invitation to interview. Interviews are granted by invitation only after all materials have been received and initially reviewed. Once an application is completed, the admissions committee may request an evaluative formal interview.  If the admissions committee is requesting an interview, you will be contacted via e-mail.

It is your responsibility to confirm the appointment. Appointments which have not been confirmed will not be honored. You may contact us at 888-844-4773888-844-4773 FREE, 713-348-4918713-348-4918, or email

Can I meet the faculty?
You are welcome to observe classes; however, faculty are not able to meet individually with prospective applicants.

How much is tuition for the Rice MBA for Professionals program?
The current tuition cost is $98,500 for the Evening program and $102,000 for the Weekend program. The tuition covers the complete 22-month schedule of course work and is billed in 25% increments over 4 semesters. An enrollment deposit of $2,000* is due upon acceptance and will be applied toward your first semester bill.

There is only one required institutional fee** in addition to Tuition: students pay a Student Activities Fee ($50 per semester). The following items are provided to students at Jones School expense:

  • Textbooks and program materials
  • Parking
  • Privileges at Fondren Library
  • Light meals before classes

Many students’ tuition needs are supplemented by company financial support. We encourage you to check with your company regarding education benefits and tuition reimbursement programs. Students are required to have a laptop that meets Jones School specifications. Further information on required and recommended hardware and software will be provided to admitted students.

For more financial information visit the Financing Your Rice MBA page.

*The $2,000 non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance into the program and serves as a guarantee of enrollment in the year for which you are accepted. Failure to enroll in that year results in forfeiture of the deposit and will require reapplication.
**Medical insurance is an institutional requirement; however, with proof of alternative medical insurance that meets university standards, you may have this fee waived.

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 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 leadership responsibility, personal growth, and/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. Properly completing the application requires new essays, new letters of recommendation, an updated resume, and the application fee ($125USD). In addition, you must complete the fourth optional essay explaining why your application should be reconsidered. 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.

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 for they will remain on file for a period of 5 years. You will only need to resend your test scores if your score has expired or 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.

Rice MBA for Professionals - Class of 2016
Class Profile

Number of Incoming Students 165
Weekend Students:      59
Evening Students: 106
Average GMAT 629
Average GPA 3.3
Average Years of Work Experience 5.75
Average Income Salary $93,258
% with Advanced Degrees 24%
% Foreign Nationals 10%
Number of Companies Represented 122

Does Rice offer a Ph.D. program?
The Jones School offers a PhD in Business.

Does Rice offer MBA or MBA for Executives programs?
Yes, we offer the Full Time MBA and the MBA for Executives programs. Rice Executive Education also offers a number of career-enhancing, non-degree programs and courses in McNair Hall, as well as customized seminars that can be held at sites worldwide.

How does the MBA for Professionals program compare with the MBA and MBA for Executives programs?
All Rice MBA students, whether on the MBA for Professionals, MBA for Executives, or MBA schedule, receive the same degree and the same diploma. The primary differences are the schedule and number of available electives (fewer in the professional program). The curriculum and faculty contact hours are comparable.

What other programs does the Jones Graduate School of Business offer?
We also offer three coordinated programs, the MBA/ME, the MBA/MS, and the MBA/MD. 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.