University of Michigan Ross MBA: Everything You Need to Know

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business ranks among the top business schools. With multiple programs, each geared towards students in various levels of their careers, its renowned faculty attracts a vibrant and diverse student body. In this post, we’ll be discussing highlights of their programs, including information on the curriculum, application process, and the test scores needed to attend a Michigan Ross MBA program.

Ross MBA: Rankings, GMAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, and GPA

With a large student body, you’ll find many diverse students from around the world in the Ross MBA program. And they come with top-notch academic qualifications, too. The class profile reflects the “inclusive community of learners” that the school hopes to foster, according to its DEI mission statement.

CategoryAdmission Statistic
Acceptance Rate
Class Size398
GMAT (average)722
GMAT (middle 80%)690-760
GPA (undergraduate average)3.53
Average Work Experience5 years
International Students28%
Students of Color36%

(Sources: University of Michigan, US News)

The large size of the program means that the school accepts a higher percentage of applicants than many others in ranked in the top 15 by U.S. News & World Report (the Ross School of Business rankings are impressive, coming in at #13 this year). However, that doesn’t translate into lowered standards: the average GMAT score of 722, for example, places students around the 94th GMAT percentile.

But, of course, test scores aren’t the only consideration the Ross MBA adcom takes into consideration when selecting next year’s class! Other factors, from years of work experience to essays and recommendations, also go into their decisions. Here’s what you’ll need for your application.

University of Michigan Ross School of Business sign

How to Get Into University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

The Ross School of Business accepts applications in three rounds throughout the year(more on application requirements here. Exact application deadlines vary year to year, but the Round 1 deadline is typically in early October, Round 2 in early January, and Round 3 in early April.

Applicants are expected to complete the following steps:

  • Submit official undergraduate and graduate transcripts (a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is required)
  • Submit test scores
  • Submit a current resume that reflects your professional working experience
  • Write essays and an optional statement
  • Submit one letter of recommendation (preferably from a current or former manager)
  • Complete an interview (either on campus or with a Ross alum off-site)
  • Participate in an optional team exercise

  • If applicable, submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score. International students with degrees from accredited institutions where the sole language of instruction is English are exempt.
  • Pay a $200 application fee (waived for current/former US military members, and those who have served in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America within the past three years)

(Source: University of Michigan Ross website)

Several of these requirements need a more in-depth look, so read on!

Test Scores for the Ross MBA

The University of Michigan MBA admissions committee will accept a variety of test scores beyond the standard GMAT and GRE scores. They will also accept the MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, or DAT. However, due to the difficulties caused by the pandemic, Ross also offers test waivers in the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, allowing students to make their case for foregoing testing altogether (find more COVID-19 info here).


Students will need to answer both short-answer questions and a longer essay prompt. They choose one prompt from each of the short answer groups, which are:

Group 1

  • I want people to know that I:
  • I made a difference when I:
  • I was aware that I was different when:

Group 2

  • I am out of my comfort zone when:
  • I was humbled when:
  • I was challenged when:

Then, they respond at greater length to this prompt:

What is your short-term career goal and why? (200 words)

Finally, applicants have the option of including an additional statement:

Is there something in your resume or application that could use some explanation? You might want to discuss the completion of supplemental coursework, employment gaps, academic issues, etc. Feel free to use bullet points where appropriate.

Particularly for students from underrepresented minority groups, these are excellent places to make the case for how your experiences, background, skills, and talents would contribute to the community at the Ross MBA program.


Ross issues interviews by invitation only. If you’re selected for one, you’ll hear from the school several weeks after your application deadline.

Ross MBA Curriculum

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the University of Michigan MBA programs–there are many! (And that’s not even counting the renowned Michigan Ross BBA program, consistently ranked as a best undergraduate business program.) These include the:

  • Full-time MBA
  • Part-time MBA
  • Evening MBA
  • Weekend MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Online MBA
  • Global MBA

…in addition to numerous one-year Master’s programs!

However, with that in mind, we’ll take an in-depth look at the curriculum for the full-time, traditional Ross MBA program.

First-year University of Michigan MBA students will commence their studies in the fall start term by focusing on a core curriculum based upon accounting, economics, statistics, strategy, management, marketing, and leadership courses.

At the end of year one, Ross students will undertake the signature Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP). During the MAP, teams of students will work together for seven weeks to solve a specific problem at a nonprofit, corporation, or public organization. At the end of the class, teams will present their ideas to the executives of the selected company.

Second-year students will focus on elective courses, allowing for career specializations in a program of interest like social enterprise, real estate, healthcare, entrepreneurial management, or environmentally sustainable business. In addition to 24 dual-degree programs, the school also offers a possible STEM focus: STEM-Designated Specialization in Management Science.

What makes the Ross MBA program different?

The University of Michigan MBA program offers a variety of experiences that separate it from the pack. Chief among these is their REAL program. This offers students a variety of hands-on experiences, from designing a product and taking it to market in a class, to consulting for existing companies, to creating a student-run investment fund. In turn, students learn to identify real-world solutions to complex problems.

The Ross MBA also stands out for the exceptional international opportunities it affords students. This can take the form of anything from a short trip of a week or two to observe international businesses, to studying abroad with an exchange program, to interning for a foreign company. In doing so, students not only get hands-on work abroad, but also gain an enriching experience with both local and global economies.

Find out more about the global opportunities at Ross here.

Finally, the Ross student body is international (38%), diverse (36% students of color), and nearly achieves gender parity, as well (46% women). This leads to a robust alumni network that can assist graduates when seeking employment after graduation–as well as excellent opportunities for internships in a variety of fields.

Ross MBA Employment Report

36%, or more than 1/3, of Ross MBA graduates go into consulting, making this program a strong choice for those hoping to enter this field. However, employment prospects across the board are strong. After completing the MBA program, 90.3% of Ross graduates receive a job offer within three months, according to the Ross MBA employment report.

Ross MBA graduates spread out far beyond Ann Arbor, going across the country and the globe: 60% end up in a major metropolitan hub. However, this doesn’t make the program any less of a target for recruiters, as 78.4% of students end up with a position that they were connected to on campus.

As students make their way in the professional world after graduation, they’ll receive a high base salary, on average, of $135,000. (Keep in mind that this does vary by field and region, with a range for the past academic year from $43,645 to $194,000.) The average signing bonus was also high, with an average of $30,000.

Source: University of Michigan Ross MBA Graduate Overview (PDF)

Overall, should you apply to the University of Michigan Ross MBA? If you value a large, inclusive environment that prizes hands-on experience and global connections while providing a first-class business education, this could be the perfect place for you!

Still, it’s good to explore all options at top schools. So be sure to check out Magoosh’s full top 25 MBA list, complete with additional admissions guides.

Ready to get an awesome GMAT score? Start here.

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  • Rachel Kapelke-Dale

    Rachel is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She writes and updates content on our High School and GRE Blogs to ensure students are equipped with the best information during their test prep journey. As a test-prep instructor for more than five years in there different countries, Rachel has helped students around the world prepare for various standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT, and she is one of the authors of our Magoosh ACT Prep Book. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University, an MA in Cinematography from the Université de Paris VII, and a Ph.D. in Film Studies from University College London. For over a decade, Rachel has honed her craft as a fiction and memoir writer and public speaker. Her novel, THE BALLERINAS, is forthcoming in December 2021 from St. Martin's Press, while her memoir, GRADUATES IN WONDERLAND, co-written with Jessica Pan, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. Her work has appeared in over a dozen online and print publications, including Vanity Fair Hollywood. When she isn't strategically stringing words together at Magoosh, you can find Rachel riding horses or with her nose in a book. Join her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

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