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Darla Moore School of Business

Admission Requirements

Full-time MBA programs start with orientation in late June and classes in early July each year during the Summer II term. Due to highly competitive admissions, we advise you to be fully informed of application deadlines and apply as early as possible.

The full-time MBA admissions committee considers candidates with competitive test scores, along with the quality and rigor of their undergraduate institution and degree program, professional work history and leadership activities. They review personal statements and letters of reference as well as other potential indicators of maturity and motivation.

MBA Admissions Deadlines

Round Application Deadline
 Round 1 (Priority)  Oct. 15
 Round II  Dec. 1
 Round III*  Jan. 15
 Round IV**  March 1 
 Round V  April 15
 Rolling Admissions  After April 15

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the application deadline date.

*Preferred deadline for international applicants
**Preferred deadline for scholarship consideration

Admissions Process and Notifications

You must submit an online application and all supporting documents.

Applicants who meet specific criteria are eligible to apply for an Application Fee Waiver [pdf]. Review the eligible criteria and the corresponding procedure for more information.

Interviews are by invitation only, following a preliminary review of the submitted application. Interviews may be conducted in person at the Moore School, in a regional location, or via video. Once the interview is complete, the application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee for an admissions decision. Decisions typically take two weeks to be made from the interview date, and will be sent to applicants via email. Applicants not selected for interviews will also be notified via email of their admissions status.

Admitted students will be notified of any financial award offered by the Moore School. For a list of the different options available, visit the Financing Your MBA webpage.

Notifications for all scholarship awards are sent via email to the account specified on the application.

Information regarding the deadline to pay the non-refundable $1,000.00 enrollment deposit is stated in the Award Notification letter. Payment may be made via credit card, wire transfer or check/money order.


Admission Criteria

General Information: The admissions application asks for your general personal and contact information, academic and employment information, and information related to your participation in certain organizations (i.e., U.S. Armed Forces). Although not all information is required, we encourage you to provide as much information as possible as some of the data is relevant to certain fellowship opportunities (i.e., Peace Corps Fellows).

Supporting Documents: All supporting documents must be received in order for the Admissions Committee to start the application review process. This includes all transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, and TOEFL/IELTS/PTEA (if applicable). Unofficial documents and score reports may be uploaded for admissions consideration.

Professional Work Experience: Your work experience is thoroughly evaluated, as it is often a valid predictor of not only academic success in the program, but also your success from a career perspective. The most competitive applicants have at least two or more years of full-time, post-bachelor, professional work experience by the start of the program. You are required to include your resume as part of your online application.

Essays: You are required to choose one of two essay questions to answer. The application also asks for a Statement of Purpose (maximum of 500 words) that should outline your career objectives and why you want to earn the MBA degree. You may also add a personal essay (Additional Information Essay section) should you want to share additional information for the admission committee to review.

An earned undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required to be considered for admission to the MBA programs. A degree in business is not required. Applicants from any major are encouraged to apply as we value diversity within our cohorts. Admitted applicants with degrees from U.S. institutions typically have undergraduate GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0. Applicants with under a 3.0 GPA from a U.S. institution can still be considered for admissions into the program.

You can attach unofficial transcripts to your online application for the review process.  Transcripts are required from every institution attended for course credit, even if a degree was not awarded.  Official transcripts are required for enrollment and must be sent before the end of your first term to continue in the program.  Documentation includes grade sheets, a statement of degree(s) awarded and the date each degree was conferred.  International universities often have separate grade sheets and certificates showing proof of degree. 

Electronic Transcript Service (Clearinghouse, EScript, Parchment): 

Mail Transcripts:
Graduate Admissions
Darla Moore School of Business
1014 Greene Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29208 

Note: the digital transcript service SPEEDE only sends documents to Undergraduate Admissions.  Once you receive confirmation that your SPEEDE transcript has been downloaded, please forward the notification to so we can request your transcript to be sent to us. 

You are required to provide a valid (five years or less) admissions test. If you have taken a test more than once, the admissions committee will only take into consideration your highest overall score. You may provide either of the following options:

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): The GMAT is composed of verbal, quantitative, written and analytical sections. You may learn more about the GMAT and register for the test on the Graduate Management Admission Council website. To have test scores sent, the institutional/program code for the Moore School's MBA programs is:  JV2-TP-84.

GRE General Test (GRE):
The GRE is composed of verbal, quantitative and analytical sections. You may learn more about the test on the GRE website.  To have test scores sent, the institutional/program code for the Moore School's MBA programs is: 5818.

Test Waiver: The full-time MBA admissions committee may consider candidates without test scores. If you possess a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university, or are an active duty service member or military veteran, reach out to Diondra Black, for assistance in obtaining a test waiver.

Two letters of recommendation are required for your application. It is acceptable to have either professional or academic letters of recommendation; however, we encourage you to submit recent professional letters of reference when possible. Professional references could be written by a supervisor, colleague or client who has had significant interaction with you in a professional capacity.

We encourage recommenders to submit their letters through the online application system. During the application process, you’re able to send an electronic request to the designated recommender. The recommender is then able to complete the review within the online system or upload a saved document.

If necessary, you or the recommender may send completed letters in a sealed envelope to:

Darla Moore School of Business
Graduate Division
Director of Admissions
1014 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208

International applicants who do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution must also submit a valid test score (two years old or less) demonstrating their command of the English language. You may provide either of the following test options:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The TOEFL is composed of listening, reading, speaking and writing sections. The minimum score is 95 in the iBT (internet-based test) format. You may learn more about the test on the TOEFL website. To have test scores sent, the institutional/program code for the Moore School's International MBA program is: 5818.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS): The IELTS is composed of listening, reading, speaking and writing sections. The minimum score is 7.0 in the academic format. You may learn more about the test on the IELTS website. Please make sure you select the University of South Carolina as a score recipient when taking the test.

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): The PTE Academic is composed of speaking, writing, reading and listening sections. The minimum score is a 68. You may learn more about the test on the PTE Academic website. Please make sure you select the University of South Carolina as a score recipient when taking the test.

Duolingo English Test: To accommodate those in regions where some testing centers have suspended their services and where this may impede your ability to demonstrate English language proficiency, or, to have test scores forwarded with your application, you may submit the Duolingo English Test in lieu of alternatives.  This test is administered completely online.  A minimum score of 115 will be required for your application to be considered further.

The International MBA admissions committee does not have a preference in regards to the TOEFL, IELTS or PTEA for admissions consideration.

Please note that the online MBA program being advertised in China and offered by Boss Business School is not a legitimate program of the University of South Carolina.  

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