School of Business

MBA FAQ's

Do I need an undergraduate degree in business or accounting to apply to the MBA?
Applicants do not need an undergraduate degree in business or accounting to apply and be admitted. The MBA program admits students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Individuals may be required to complete foundation requirements as part of the MBA program. Determination of foundation course requirements is based on previous undergraduate and graduate course work.

When are applications due?
Qualified students are being admitted daily. MBA applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Priority deadline for scholarship consideration is January 15 for fall admission. Recommended deadline for completed application packages for fall is August 1. Recommended deadline for spring (January) admission is December 1. Financial Aid deadline is February 15 for fall admission. Applications completed after the deadline will be considered on a space available basis. The recommended deadlines allow students the necessary time to submit immunization records, return the admission reply form, and register for courses.

What constitutes a complete application?

  • Applicants should provide the following information:
  • Application (online only)
  • Resume
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Three letters of recommendation (form provided)
  • GMAT examination or equivalent
  • Application Fee - $65 (nonrefundable)
  • TOEFL examination (International Applicants Only)
  • Certification of Finances (International Applicants Only)

Is work experience required?
No. The candidates may join the MBA program directly out of undergraduate school.

How do I schedule an informational visit?
Please contact the Graduate Programs Director, Alice Cash by e-mail (acash@usm.maine.edu) or by phone at 207.780.4184 to arrange an appointment for phone, Skype, or in person.

Are there any additional requirements for international students? International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit scores as part of the application documents. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 550 or higher on the paper-based test, 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or 79 or higher on the iBt will be considered for admission to a graduate program. International students are also required to provide a completed Certification of Finances form, which can be downloaded by following the previous link. A completed Affidavit of Support Form must be provided if applicable.
English translations of all transcripts from prior college/university study. Translations must show degree received and be notarized.
For further information on international student requirements, please see the admissions page.

Is the School of Business accredited?
The School of Business is nationally accredited through the AACSB - International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. USM is regionally accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Is financial aid available to graduate students?
All students are considered for the merit-based scholarships/tuition waivers. Graduate students may be eligible for Federally-funded financial aid in the form of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans and/or work study. Information and forms are available at USM’s Financial Aid Office website. Graduate students may also apply for graduate assistantships. In return for full remuneration, the graduate assistant is expected to take at least (6) credits each semester and to work no less than 20 hours per week. Partial assistantships may also be available for students. Download a copy of our Graduate Assistant Application.

Must I take the GMAT?
The School of Business admission policies require that students submit a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score from an exam taken within the past five years. Students who have already taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years may submit the GRE scores in lieu of the GMAT scores. The GMAT is computerized and student’s may schedule an appointment to take the GMAT through the Graduate Management Admission Council website. Applicants who have completed a terminal degree (J.D., Ph.D., PharmD, M.D., etc.) or who have completed and passed all sections of the CPA exam are not required to submit GMAT or GRE scores. The Graduate Management Admission Council offers free downloadable software for GMAT preparation – www.mba.com.

What is the GMAT school codes for the Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern Maine?
The MBA Program code is: RX6WG54

What is the average GMAT Score?
The average GMAT score is currently 570. The Admissions Committee encourages applicants to achieve GMAT scores of 500 or higher for regular admission.
The GMAT scores serve as only part of the decision process. The application essays, letters of recommendation, work experience (resume), and transcripts also play a significant role in the decision process.

Do I have to take the GMAT if I have a Masters degree in another program?
Yes, the only time a GMAT is waived is if the student has a PhD or other terminal degree such as the J.D., PharmD., or M.D., or those who have completed and passed all sections of the CPA exam.

Is there any way to get started without having taken the GMAT?
Students may contact the Graduate Programs Director to discuss foundation course requirements that may be fulfilled through undergraduate courses. Students may jump-start their programs by enrolling in these undergraduate courses on a space available basis. All foundation courses have undergraduate course equivalents. Please see the foundation course equivalency form.

When are classes offered?
During the fall and spring semesters School of Business graduate classes are typically offered once a week from 4:10 to 6:55 PM, 5:35 to 8:20 PM or from 7:00 to 9:45 PM. In Summer Sessions, the classes generally meet twice a week for three hours for the seven week session. Some of the undergraduate courses have different schedules and many of the undergraduate courses have day, as well as evening, offerings.

What is the typical class size?
The typical class size is currently 15-25 students. Generally, MBA courses are capped at 30 students.

How many courses are required to complete the MBA?
Thirteen courses (39 credit hours) are required, plus any required foundation courses (up to 5 courses (15 credit hours)).

How do I know which, if any, foundation courses will be required?
Transcripts will be reviewed and a determination made regarding foundation course requirements. Information on required foundation course work will be provided with the letter of admission. We are willing to review course work for waiver of foundation courses. If a student wishes to challenge a foundation course decision, the student may submit a copy of the syllabus for the course to be considered. Student wishing to have transcripts reviewed prior to admission may contact the Graduate Programs Director.

What is the difference between waiver and transfer credit?
Waiver of foundation courses come previous course work with grades that are "C" or better. Transfer credit applies to the 600-level course work and is from graduate level work at an accredited institution that is completed within the past six years with a grade of "B" or better. Transfer courses are reviewed for approval on a course by course basis with the submission of a course syllabus and written rationale for the transfer.

May I start the MBA as a special student to make sure this is what I want?
To be eligible to enroll as a "special student" in our program, students must meet the prerequisite requirements for the course they wish to take. Special student status requires the approval of the instructor and the graduate programs director. Additionally, a student may request to enroll in a course by completing the "Special Student form.” Students must submit transcripts from (a) all
undergraduate institutions attended and (b) the graduate program, if any, in which s/he is enrolled. Students must submit a GMAT score. Pursuant to USM policy, special students, like regular students, are expected to provide the program with a score from a standardized test. Students are required to complete the MBA Program Enrollment Request Form

Students may be considered "special" for one semester and must matriculate into the program in the semester immediately following the semester in which the student is enrolled as "special" to be eligible to carry the core and/or elective course credit forward toward the degree.

What is the cost of the MBA program?
Program costs include tuition and fees. Tuition and fee costs are set annually by the University of Maine System Board of trustees. Total program costs will depend on the number of common body of knowledge and foundation courses needed. Details regarding current tuition and fees are available at the Student Accounts website. 

Based on the current (2013-2014) tuition and fee structure completion of the MBA programs for Maine residents, not including books, room and/or board charges, are approximately as follow*:

MBA, 39 credit hours, no foundation:
Maine residents $19,240
Non-residents $44,434

MBA, 39 credit hours, plus 15 credits foundation:
Maine residents $26,550
Non-residents $61,524

*Actual tuition and fee charges may vary based on courses taken per semester. The Accounting concentration may be $5,000 (instate) to $12,000 (non-resident) higher because of additional foundation courses.

Are there Dual or Joint Degree MBA Options?
Yes, we offer a dual degree in MS in HPM and MBA, MS Nursing and MBA and a joint degree in JD and MBA. The joint degree in Health Policy Management and MBA is offered in conjunction with the Muskie School of Public Service. For more information about the joint degrees in Health Policy and Management and Business Administration please e-mail Elise Bolda [eliseb@usm.maine.edu], Chair of the H.P.M. program. The dual master’s degree in Nursing and Business Administration at the University of Southern Maine is designed for students in the health professions who wish to combine advanced nursing skills with the analytical tools of business. For more information about the dual degree in Nursing and Business Administration please contact the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Masterton Hall, P O Box 9300, Portland ME 04104-9300 (207) 780-4505. For information on the joint degree, JD/MBA, students should contact the School of Law.

Want more information?
Email mba@usm.maine.edu
or fill out the MBA Information Request