The final application deadline for the Professional and Executive MBA programs has been extended to June 27. GMAT waivers available.


Ten Easy Pieces

by Kalyn Speck, Rice Business Recruiting and Admissions Specialist

How to Apply for a Rice MBA in Ten Steps

Interview with Kalyn Speck, Rice Business recruiting and admissions specialist

If you're planning on applying to Rice Business you're likely a high achiever – and showcasing all your qualifications to best effect, in one application, while meeting your other responsibilities, may seem daunting. Don't let it be: Rice Business recruiting and admissions specialist Kalyn Speck shows you how to bring your best game to the application process in ten manageable steps.

Step 1: Ask Questions

Before starting your application, spend time researching programs and the MBA process overall. What do the alumni from a particular program go on to pursue after getting their degrees? What are the typical career paths after earning an MBA? What are your goals for an MBA? Why is a Rice MBA right for you?

Step 2: Start your online application.

Once you open your online application account, it will be a work in progress. Please check this page for up-to-date information on MBA application requirements. You'll be able to add to and edit it as much as you want in the days before submitting. Rice Business reviews applications comprehensively, which means that no one piece of your application carries more weight than any of the others. Instead, quantitative credentials – such as work experience, GMAT or GRE score and grades – will be assessed alongside qualitative achievements such as leadership, community involvement and career progress. This ensures a range of ways for you to show why you belong here. Keep in mind you don’t need to fill out the application all in one sitting; many successful candidates work on their application as a study break from their GMAT or GRE test preparation. 

Step 3: Choose Your Test

Determine if you want to take the GMAT, GRE or EA (executive assessment). All candidates, except Deferred Enrollment, are now eligible to take the EA. We don't have a preference. However, some applicants tend to perform better on one of these tests over the other. So you should research which type of test you do best on. Another tip: A few industries tend to prefer one test over the other. Depending on your career goals, you may want to choose a particular test. Rice Business only needs unofficial scores until enrollment.

It is currently possible to request a GMAT waiver. This is a request, not a guarantee. If you choose to make this request, you should do so well before submitting your application. 

Step 4: Gather Transcripts

Gather unofficial copies of your higher education transcripts. We advise taking this step early on, because you may need to reach out to your former schools for these documents. The application process only requires unofficial copies, such as scans. For enrollment, you'll need to submit official copies.

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Step 5: Choose Your Recommenders

Select your recommenders, and let them know they should expect an email from our admissions office. It will contain a link to the form for the GMAC Common Letter of Recommendation. We suggest having a conversation with your recommenders beforehand, explaining why you are interested in an MBA program. It can be helpful to remind your recommenders of a couple of projects you have worked on. Rice Business applicants are required to collect at least two professional recommendations, though just one is acceptable if it comes from your current, direct supervisor. One recommendation needs to be from someone who highlights your professional abilities, and altogether you may provide up to three recommendations.

Step 6: Ready Your Resume 

Now it's time to prepare your resume. A tip for your Rice Business application is to follow a 70-10-20 rule. This means that about 70 percent of your resume should focus on your work experience, 10 percent should describe your education and 20 percent can inform on everything else relevant to your profile as a Rice Business candidate. Make sure to focus on what you’ve actually accomplished rather than simply describing your role at work or at school, and to quantify your achievements wherever you can.

Step 7: Write Your Essay

This is a multiphase step, because you'll want to think deeply about what you want to say about yourself and your goals. The Rice Business application asks for one essay, which all applicants must complete. (Full-Time, PMBA and Deferred Enrollment MBA candidates will also have to write a couple of short responses.) 

It’s important to be clear and concise. Tell us your story and not what you think we want to hear. Be authentic. Don't simply list the facts. We want to hear your voice, get to know you and understand what will make you unique as a student and a member of the Rice Business community. Finally, don't forget to check your spelling. Feel free to reference the most updated information here, including the essay questions. 

Step 8: Put It All Together

Now it's time to upload anything that you haven't already put online: your scanned transcripts, the names of your recommenders, the final version of your essay. Double check that you've filled out all requested biographical and practical questions, such as your birth date, address and contact information. Proofread – and submit!

Step 9: Other Assessments

The Rice Business application process includes other assessments with candidates who are selected as finalists during our review. We have a tight-knit, collaborative learning environment and these assessments are an opportunity to learn why you belong here. Please reference the MBA admissions guide to learn more.

Step 10: Acknowledge Taking A Stride Forward

Give yourself a treat: take yourself to dinner or enjoy some time in nature. You've applied to one of the top business schools in the country and made a substantive stride toward the future.

Ready to start your application?

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Interested in learning more about the MBA programs offered by Rice Business? Send us an email at

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