Step 1: Gather Academic Records

Requirement: Unofficial transcripts from all degree-granting institutions and institutions at which you earned nine (9) or more credit hours.

To submit your application, you must upload unofficial (scanned) copies of transcripts for each degree that you have earned. We will also require transcripts for each institution at which you completed nine (9) or more credits, unless those courses and grades are reflected on the final transcript from your degree-granting institution.

You will not be required to send us official (physical or electronic) transcripts until you decide to enroll in the Rice MBA program. If the admissions committee notices issues with the accuracy or legibility of your unofficial transcripts, we also reserve the right to request that you send us an official transcript.

If you are an international applicant, please review our international transcript policy.

If you are re-applying to the program, please review our reapplication policy.


Step 2: Take Standardized Tests

Requirement: Unofficial GMAT or GRE score reports; unofficial TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score reports if applicable.

To be considered for admission to the Rice MBA program, applicants are required to take either the GMAT or the GRE. Your testing date must fall on or before the deadline date of the round to which you are applying. We also cannot accept test scores that are older than five years.

Before you submit your application, you will be required to upload the unofficial, “test-taker” copy of your test scores. If you are admitted to the Rice MBA program and decide to enroll with us, we will require that you have your official scores sent to us.

We encourage you to take the GMAT or GRE early in the admissions process. If you are unhappy with your GMAT or GRE score, we also encourage you to consider retaking the test. We do not look upon retakes negatively, and we will consider only your highest score when reviewing your application for admission. If you do decide to retake the test after you have submitted your application, please let us know and we would be happy to consider your application during the next application round.

If you choose to have your official scores sent to us right away, please use the appropriate program codes below:

GMAT Codes:

  • Full-Time MBA Program: 3WS-WD-92
  • MBA for Professionals Program: 3WS-WD-68
  • *MBA for Executives Program: 3WS-WD-58

GRE Code: 7502

If you are an international applicant, please review our additional English proficiency test requirements.

*MBA for Executives applicants may be eligible for a GMAT waiver on an individual, case-by-case basis.


Step 3: Think About Work Experience and Extracurricular Activities

Requirement: Professional resume

In order to assess your work experience, we require you to submit a professional resume. Spend some time before submitting your application to make sure that your resume is up-to-date and appropriate to use in an application to a business school.

In general, your professional resume should be no longer than one page (as opposed to an academic curriculum vitae, or CV). Rather than serve as an exhaustive list of all of your job duties, your resume should highlight your employment history, education, and extracurricular involvement.

We also want to learn about who you are outside of your job duties, so our application includes an entire section dedicated to your extracurricular activities. Use this space to list the groups you are a member of, the activities you lead, and the impact you have on your community. You will also have a chance to talk about any awards or special recognition that you have received.


Step 4: Obtain Evaluations

Requirement: One professional recommendation from current direct supervisor; two recommendations if first is not from current direct supervisor

Each applicant to the Rice MBA program is required to collect one recommendation from your current direct supervisor. If you are not in a position to ask for a recommendation from your current direct supervisor, we will require that you collect two professional recommendations.

At least one recommendation needs to be from someone highlighting your professional abilities; altogether, applicants are allowed to provide us up to three recommendations.

After entering your recommender’s contact information into your application, the application system will immediately send a recommendation form to that individual. Recommenders will be asked to evaluate your performance and abilities via this online form, and will also have an opportunity to attach a traditional letter of recommendation before submitting it.

In addition to the recommendations, if you know a current Rice MBA student or alumni, you may ask them to write you a Build the Class referral, which will qualify you for an application fee waiver.


Step 5: Write Essays

Requirement: Two essays for Full-Time MBA and MBA for Professionals applicants; one essay for MBA for Executives applicants

Essay #1:

  • Full-Time MBA – “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)
  • MBA for Professionals –  “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)
  • MBA for Executives –  “As you evaluate where you are today, how have your educational, professional and personal endeavors brought you to this point? In addition, please explain how the Rice EMBA is part of your future plan.” (Maximum 750 words)

Essay #2:

Applicants to the Full-Time MBA and MBA for Professionals programs must also choose one essay from the following three options:

  • “Describe a defining moment or event that changed your life.” (300 words)
  • Tweet: “If you had to tweet something to the world for the first time about yourself, what would you tweet?” (140 characters)
  • Video: “Introduce yourself to your classmates in a 90 second video.”

Optional Essay

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 any aspect of your application. (Maximum 750 words)

If you are reapplying for the Rice MBA, please review our reapplicant essay requirement.


Step 6: Interviews

Requirement: Admissions interview

Once your application has been submitted and application fee (USD$200.00) has been paid, our Admissions Committee will begin reviewing your materials. We review applications holistically, which means that no one piece of the application is viewed as more important than the others. Rather, we evaluate the quantitative (years of work, GMAT score, GPA, etc.) and qualitative (leadership, community involvement, career progression, etc.) elements of your application together to determine your overall fit with the program.

Once the initial review of your application is complete, the Admissions Committee may ask you to participate in an admissions interview. Candidates from outside of Houston may conduct their interviews via Skype (preferred) or telephone; however, visiting the campus for a face-to-face interview (most preferred) may also allow you to attend a class visit, tour McNair Hall, and meet current MBA students.

Since our most important admissions criteria is fit, we hope that you will view the admissions interview as an opportunity to showcase your personality – not just your professional accomplishments. Please note that due to the number of applications we receive every year, we are not able to interview every applicant (and every admitted applicant will have received an interview invitation), so we also invite you to get to know us throughout the application process. Through frequent communication and follow-up, this will help us to better understand your personality and aspirations.


Step 7: Follow-Up and Communicate

Throughout the review process, we will check to make sure that we have all of the information we need to properly review your application. If we require additional clarification regarding a piece of your application or notice that you are missing an important material, we will reach out to you via email or telephone.

While we do not give feedback on individual applications after an admissions decision has been made, we are more than happy to work with you early in – and all throughout – the application process to help you put forward your best application.

Each member of the Recruiting and Admissions team works with all of our MBA programs, so please do not hesitate to email, call, or stop in to our office and visit with us. We look forward to getting to know you!

*Please note that applicants to the MD/MBA program are not required to pay the application fee. The application fee is also waived for current United States Military servicemen/women and veterans, Teach for America corps members and alumni, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) fellows, Forte MBALaunch members, and Rice University alumni.


Special Instructions for Reapplicants

Requirement: Reapplicant essay

The Rice MBA has an extremely competitive pool of talented candidates, so while we may not have been able to offer you admission in a previous admissions year, we invite you to consider reapplying to the program in the future. Since you cannot apply more than once during an admissions cycle, we suggest using the time between your decision and the opening of a future admissions cycle to self-assess your last application and think of ways that you could improve it.  

To reapply, you will need to submit a new application. This will require new essays, new letters of recommendation, and another application fee of USD$200.00.

If you decide to apply again, you will need to complete an additional reapplicant essay: 

  • “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)

Unless your test scores have expired (five years for the GMAT and GRE, two years for English proficiency tests), you will not need to worry about resending your score reports to us; we will still have access to your scores and will be able to add them to your application. We will also still have your official transcripts on file, if you chose to send your transcripts to us previously.