Application Requirements

Now accepting applications for the Class of 2023. The first application deadline is October 16. Submit your application by September 16 to have your application fee waived. Please note that the MBA Deferred Enrollment program application will open in September 2020.

Class of 2023 MBA Application Guide

When You Apply:

To submit your application, you must upload unofficial (scanned) copies of transcripts* for each degree that you have earned. We will also require transcripts from 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.

For the MBA Deferred Enrollment application, please submit the transcripts of the courses that you have completed and provide a list of courses that you are currently enrolled in.   

When You Enroll:

If you are admitted and decide to enroll with us, you will be required to send us official (physical or electronic) transcripts from each bachelor or graduate degree-granting institution(s).

Note: 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 before releasing your final decision.

We require a standardized test for admission to each of our MBA programs. Please note that the date of your first test attempt must fall before the deadline date of the round to which you are applying. You may reference the chart below for the types of tests we accept for each MBA program:

Test Option Full-Time MBA MBA for Professionals Executive MBA MBA Deferred Enrollment
GMAT âś” âś” âś” âś”
GRE âś” âś” âś” âś”
Executive Assessment (EA)   ✔ ✔  

Full-Time MBA and Professional MBA candidates may be eligible for a standardized test waiver. For more information, please complete the GMAT Waiver Request Form.

Executive MBA applicants may be eligible for a standardized test waiver. For more information, please complete a Resume Pre-Assessment.

When You Apply:

As you work on your application, you will be required to upload the unofficial, “test-taker” copy of your test scores. This unofficial copy is usually delivered to you in a PDF or paper format following your test.

For Professional and Executive MBA applicants, standardized test scores may be accepted if they are past the five-year validity period provided that an official copy of the score report is submitted at the time of application. For more information regarding expired score reports, please visit the GMAC or ETS websites. Applicants to the MD/MBA dual degree program may submit their MBA applications with their MCAT scores, but must submit a GMAT score to be considered for a merit-based scholarship.

*For Full-Time MBA applications, we will accept re-takes of standardized tests until April 17, 2021.

When You Enroll:

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 using the codes below:

GMAT Codes:

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

GRE Code: 7502

Executive Assessment Code: “Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business”*

*Executive MBA or Professional MBA applicants taking the EA must choose to have their scores sent to the Jones School at the time of testing.

Application Tip: We encourage you to take your standardized tests early in the admissions process. If you are unhappy with your test 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 a test after you have submitted your application, please let us know and we will be happy to consider your application with the updated score (although your application may be pushed to the next application round).

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.

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.

For those applying to the MBA Deferred Enrollment program, please focus your resume on your extracurricular activities, including, but not limited to, internships, student club involvement, and volunteer work.

Application Tip: 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.

Applicants to the Rice MBA program are required to collect two professional recommendations. However, you only need to submit one recommendation if it is from your current direct supervisor.

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

Rice MBA programs use the GMAC Common Letter of Recommendation, which allows recommenders to answer the same set of questions for multiple business school applications.

After entering your recommender’s contact information into your application, the application system will immediately send an electronic Common Recommendation form to that individual.


For those applying to the MBA Deferred Enrollment program, one of your recommendations can be from an academic source, but one must be from a supervisor from work or extracurricular activity.

Application Tip: In addition to the official 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.

For MBA Deferred Enrollment applicants, please follow the instructions for the Full-Time MBA essay requirements.

Full-Time MBA & Professional MBA Required Essay #1 (choose one format):

"The Rice Business experience is designed to inspire our students to become future business leaders. How did your path, from both a professional and a personal perspective, guide you to where you are today, and how will Rice Business fit into where you would like to go next?"

Please choose only one method of communication that you would like to use for your response:

  • Write an essay (500 word limit)
  • Share a video (one to three minute time limit)

Full-Time MBA & Professional MBA Required Essay #2 (500 word limit):

""Few in history have experienced a global event that has reached all corners of the world. During the impact of recent global activities, we have all been affected in different ways and have had to operate with ambiguity. What was the biggest lesson you learned during this moment in history and how will you carry this lesson forward as a future leader when having to make decisions with incomplete information?"

Full-Time MBA & Professional MBA Required Essay #3 (choose one topic):

Please choose to answer one of the following prompts:

  • Prompt #1: "What movie, song, or book has most influenced your life and the way you view the world? Why?"
  • Prompt #2: "A picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a picture from your life that you value and tell us the story of that picture - but only in 500 words or less. Feel free to share the photo!"
  • Prompt #3: "Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and food is a large part of these cultures. If you had to design a 3-course menu to prepare for your future MBA core team, what would be on the menu that showcases more about who you are?"

Please choose only one method of communication that you would like to use for your response (you can only submit one video - either for Essay #1 or Essay #3):

  • Write an essay (500 word limit)
  • Share a video (one to three minute time limit)

Executive MBA Required Essay:

“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.” (750 word limit)

Optional Essay:

If you have any additional information for the admissions committee or if you wish to clarify any aspect of your application (including breaks in employment, your choice of recommendation providers, your past academic performance, etc.), you may submit an additional, optional essay. (750 word limit)

*Submit your application by September 16, 2020, and your application fee will be waived.

Once your application has been submitted and the application fee of US$200.00 has been paid*, our Admissions Committee will begin reviewing your application.

*We are proud to offer application fee waivers to:

Once the initial review of your application is complete, the Admissions Committee may ask you to participate in a formal admissions interview. We believe that on-campus, face-to-face interviews offer the most value to prospective students, since they are then able to attend class visits, tour our campus, and meet current students and the admissions team. However, candidates from outside of Houston may also choose to conduct their interviews via a web-based video interview, with no penalty to their application.

Please note that due to the number of applications we receive every year, we are not able to interview every applicant (although 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!

Application Tip: Since our most important admissions criteria is fit, we hope that you will view the admissions interview as an opportunity to showcase not just your personal accomplishments, but your personality as well!

To be eligible to apply to the Rice MBA program, we require applicants to hold a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree, or its international equivalent. We consider undergraduate, bachelor-level degrees that were earned in three years of study to be a valid equivalent.

When you Apply:

  • Before submitting your application, you will be required to upload an unofficial (scanned) copy of your transcripts or mark sheets.
  • If your transcripts are not written in English, you must also upload an additional copy that has been translated into English by a certified translator. Please note that these translations must bear an original ink signature and seal, and that the unofficial, untranslated copy must accompany the translated copy.
  • If we notice issues with legibility or translation accuracy, the Admissions Committee may ask you to send us a full transcript/credential evaluation.
  • You will also need to manually enter your GPA into the "Education" section of your application. If your GPA is not already on a 4.0 scale, please manually convert your grades to a 4.0 scale using a tool such as the WES iGPA Calculator.
  • If you are unable to convert your grades to a 4.0 scale, we may require that you have a full transcript/credential evaluation sent to us.

When you Enroll:

International applicants whose most recent degree was not taught primarily in English must submit an unofficial copy of an English proficiency test score. We accept the following tests:

All English proficiency test scores are valid for 2 years, and we will consider your highest score. To begin reviewing your application, we only require you to submit your unofficial score report. If you are admitted to the Rice MBA and decide to enroll with us, we will require you to have your official scores sent to us using the codes below:

  • TOEFL Code: 7320
  • IELTS & PTE: Scores are mailed directly to our office by the testing service

The Rice MBA programs have 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 prospective students 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 US$200.00.

If you decide to apply again, you will also need to complete an additional, required re-applicant essay:

“Think about the time that has elapsed since you last applied to a Rice Business program. What actions have you taken to improve your candidacy?” (750 word limit)

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 re-sending 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.

We review applications comprehensively, 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.

Throughout the application 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.

If you retake a test, add a new line on your resume, or have any other updates to your submitted application, please reach out to us and we will make sure that your application is updated accordingly.

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 any time during the application process to help you put forward your best application.

Each member of the Rice MBA Recruiting and Admissions team works with all of our MBA programs, so please do not hesitate to email, call, or schedule an on-campus meeting with us. We look forward to getting to know you!