Master’s Admissions Policy, Effective with Admissions for Fall Quarter 1992


One of the key aspects of the recently approved strategic plan for the Robinson College of Business is the goal of improving the quality of students admitted to our master’s programs. “RCB will become more selective in admitting graduate and undergraduate students …. The faculty feel that it is only through continually striving for excellence in its program that the college will increasingly attract highly capable students …. This vision of excellence will be achieved by (building) a master’s program student body with average GMAT scores and other admissions credentials competitive with highly respected comprehensive business schools….” (pp. 1.5-6)

At the present time, admissions to our master’s programs are made on a “rolling basis.” Applicants who are above the minimum standards are automatically admitted as soon as their applications are received. Applicants who fall below this minimum standard may still be considered for admission on an exception basis by the Master’s Admissions Committee (MAC). Past efforts to increase the quality of master’s students entering our programs have been made by attempting to increase incrementally these minimum standards gradually over time.

Rather than employing this bottom-up approach, the Graduate Program Council recommends instead that a top-down, “best-class” approach be used. The “best-class” refers to overall academic ability, experience, and diversity of the students accepted. The MAC would take into consideration GMAT and GPA performance and a desired composition of the student body in terms of such characteristics as race, sex age, geographic location of applicants, full-time/part-time mix, work experience, and undergraduate major and degree.

Applications would be “pooled” periodically and the MAC would make admission decisions from the top down. The most qualified applicants would be admitted first, and the process continued until a “best class” has been selected consistent with the minimum enrollment requirements as dictated by the college ten-year plan. The “pooled” admission process would be repeated for each admission cycle with admission deadlines and the latest notification dates published well in advance. Thus the resulting policy would shift from “weeding out the worst” to “selecting the best.”

Policy Statement

The Graduate Program council recommends the adoption of the following admissions policy to replace the master’s admission standards and procedures (including minimum admission standards) approved by the RCB faculty 5/25/88:

Effective with admissions for Fall Quarter 1992, admission for all master’s-level students will utilize a “best class” approach on a periodic basis consistent with the enrollment requirements in the College’s ten year plan using guidelines and procedures established by the Graduate Program Council. This admissions policy is not to be interpreted as favoring full-time students over part-time students.<

(Policy statement approved by RCB Faculty 5/22/91)

Robinson College of Business Guidelines and Procedures for Master’s-Level Admissions Effective with Admissions for Fall Quarter 1992

(Approved by Graduate Program Council 5/6/91)

The admission procedures contained in this document are the initial step in what the Graduate Program Council (GPC) believes will be an evolving process in applying the “best-class’ concept to our pool of master’s applicants. The guidelines and procedures apply to all students seeking master’s-level admission in the Robinson College of Business and can be modified as needed as the College gains experience.

In addition to providing the admission procedures for the various master’s programs, this document also provides admission guidelines, the composition of the Master’s Admissions Committee (MAC), and plans for reporting to the faculty the results of the implementation of the admission policy and procedures.

Admission Guidelines

The proposed master’s admission policy calls for the MAC to work with the GPC in developing and modifying guidelines for the selection of students that comprise the “best class’ for the academic quarter under consideration. In applying the “best-class” policy, the MAC will take, into consideration a desired composition of the student body in terms of characteristics such as GMAT and GPA performance, race, sex, geographic location of applicants, full-time/part-time mix, work experience, and undergraduate degree/major.

The MAC will prepare admission guidelines to ease the burden of having to screen each application. For example, the MAC might propose in their guidelines a set of working admission standards considerably higher than the existing student profile, above which students are automatically accepted. Applicants below these working admission standards for a particular quarter would be pooled and considered as a group; the MAC would then make the remaining admission decisions from the top down. In general, the guiding principle for the MAC in making their decisions should be to select the “best class” for the College.

Minimum Master’s-Level Admission Standards

The current master’s-level minimum admission standards are:

(180 x GPA4) + GMAT > 980 or (180 x GPA2) + GMAT > 1020 and GMAT > 25 percentile and GMATQ > 25 percentile, where GPA4 is the applicant’s overall undergraduate grade point average; GMAT is the total score the applicant received on the GMAT; GPA2 is the applicant’s grade point average for the latest two years, including any graduate course work; GMAT is the applicant’s percentile on the verbal section of the GMAT; and GMATQ is the applicant’s percentile on the quantitative section of the GMAT.

Based on the new “best-class” admission policy, meeting these minimum standards does not guarantee automatic admission. The MAC will view these minimums as a floor below which students should normally not be admitted. The GPC is cognizant of the concerns frequently expressed by our faculty regarding the lack of preparation of some students to perform acceptably in the master’s-level courses. To respond to these concerns, particularly during the initial implementation of the top-down approach, and to achieve the objectives of the strategic plan of increasing the minimum quantitative and verbal GMAT scores over time, the GPC will instruct the MAC to consider standards higher than the current minimums so long as enrollment requirements are met.

Master’s Admissions Committee

The MAC will be composed of the following individuals: 1) associate dean for academic programs, 2) director of master’s admissions, 3) director of the MBA program, 4) associate director of master’s admissions, and 5) one representative from the Master’s Coordinators Committee. The associate dean will serve as chair. The director of master’s admissions will serve as vice-chair and will be responsible for the general administration of the Committee.

A separate admissions committee exists for the Executive MBA (EMBA) program. Its members are the associate dean for academic programs, the director and associate director of the EMBA program, the director of master’s admissions, one member of the RCB faculty who teaches in the EMBA program, and one alumnus/ae. The EMBA director will serve as chair. The EMBA associate director will serve as vice-chair and will be responsible for the general administration of the Committee.

Admission Cycles

To implement the ‘best-class” policy, admission to the master’s programs will be on a-periodic rather than a continuous basis. The number of admission periods will be determined by the MAC with the approval of the GPC. (Quarterly admission will continue at this time.) The MAC will set deadlines for submission of completed applications, for review of applications, and for notification of admission decisions. Admission will be granted only for the quarter of entry specified on the application. Applicants accepted for a given quarter who do not enroll in that quarter must request that their application be placed in the pool of applicants for reconsideration for a subsequent cycle of admission.

Admission to the MBA Program

Applicants to the MBA program should indicate whether they intend to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis (see next section). The MAC will select the “best-class” from the pool of applicants, given the credit hours needed to meet the college plan. In selecting students for the MBA program, the MAC should foster the development of full-time enrollment without compromising the overall quality of the class admitted.

Full-Time and Part-Time MBA Enrollment

Full-time enrollment is designed for students who can devote the majority of their time to studying for the degree and requires completion of the degree requirements within two calendar years. Part-time enrollment is for students who cannot enroll on a full-time basis and requires completion of the degree within 15 calendar quarters.

Other than the time limit to complete the degree, there are no differences in the academic requirements of the two enrollment categories. The same standards of admission and performance are required of students in both enrollment categories. Full-time and part-time students can enroll in day or evening classes. The College will attempt to provide some amenities to the full-time students to facilitate their registration and camaraderie, i.e., speaker’s bureau, students’ club, etc.

A student who has enrolled full time may, at a subsequent registration, change to part-time status and vice versa, provided the student is able to meet the relevant time limit. However, a student may enter full-time status only once.

Admission to Specialized Master’s Programs

Each academic unit (unit) will submit to the MAC a list of acceptable applicants chosen from the pool of relevant applicants. The specialized master’s programs may have more selective criteria than the criteria used by the MAC. Only those applicants recommended by the unit will be considered by the MAC. The MAC will combine the lists of applicants from each unit to be placed in the pool of applicants for the College. The applicants in the college pool will be screened based on overall qualifications; unit preference will have relevance only in selecting applicants for a given unit.

Applicants will be accepted from the College pool following the College’s “best-class” policy, employing a top-down approach, until the desired size of the “best class” is achieved and without regard to each unit’s size or each unit’s portion of the incoming class.

Executive MBA Program

The EMBA Admissions Committee will work with the GPC in developing guidelines for selection of students that comprise the “best class.”


The MAC will report annually to the faculty regarding the number and profile of applicants admitted and denied. To the extent information is available, the MAC also will report on the profile of recent admissions to other schools with which GSU aspires to compete.