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Western Kentucky University

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We are delighted that you have questions about our WKU MBA program. We have one great program with three excellent alternate delivery systems. We have organized frequently asked questions (FAQs) into 3 topic areas: FAQs about admission, the program, and financial considerations.

Admissions Related Questions

  1. Do I have to specify to which option I am applying when I apply?
  2. Is there any way I can skip taking the GMAT test and still be accepted?
  3. How do I arrange to take the GMAT test?
  4. Can I start MBA classes as soon as I am admitted or is some preparation required?
  5. Is there a minimum grade point average (GPA) required to be accepted?
  6. Is there a minimum score I must achieve on the GMAT to be accepted?
  7. I would like to apply for the Professional Option. What work experience must I have?
  8. What are the deadlines for applying?
  9. I started a graduate program before. Can I transfer in hours from another program?
  10. Can I work full-time and enroll in the MBA program?
  11. I will be a student coming from a foreign country where English is not the national language.  Do I have to take the TOEFL exam?

Program Related Questions

  1. Is your MBA program accredited?
  2. If I complete the Online MBA Option will my diploma say "online" or will it be just like every other MBA diploma?
  3. Can I mix the programs – take some Online Option courses and take some Full-Time Option courses?
  4. Will I be choosing my courses?
  5. Can I get my MBA in some particular area – like Finance or Marketing?
  6. Is there a minimum grade point average (GPA) I must maintain while in the program?

Finance Related Questions

  1. How much is tuition for the WKU MBA?
  2. Do you have Graduate Assistantships available to MBA students?
  3. Do you offer financial aid to MBA students?

Answers to FAQ

Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the WKU MBA.

Admissions Related Answers

Do I have to specify to which option I am applying when I apply?

Yes. Each set of admission decisions is separate.

In your letter of application and on your application itself you need to specify to which option you are applying. Is it the Full-time Option here on campus OR the Online Option part-time program OR the Professional MBA premium option for those with substantial managerial or professional experience.

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Is there any way I can skip taking the GMAT test and still be accepted?

Yes. We have a waiver available only for individuals who have already completed a Doctorate Degree. For applicants without a Doctorate Degree, there are no waivers. We do not accept any other substitute tests (like the GRE).

The GMAT is the only test constructed for the single purpose of predicting the best MBA students. Every accredited program in the U.S. uses the GMAT as far as we know. All applicants for law school take the LSAT; all applicants for medical school take the MCAT, and all applicants for accredited MBA programs take the GMAT. The GMAT is basically a verbal and comprehension ability test as well as a test of quantitative skills. It is not a knowledge test over business disciplines like finance and marketing.

We suggest that your first step in deciding whether to pursue and MBA degree is to take the GMAT. It tells you where you rate when compared to other MBA applicants.

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How do I arrange to take the GMAT test?

You can register to take the GMAT and also download some test preparation materials at http://www.gmat.com.

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Can I start MBA classes as soon as I am admitted or is some preparation required?

Applicants who have a fairly recent business degree from an AACSB accredited business program need no added preparation and can start directly into the 11 MBA classes (our program has eleven 3-credit hour classes).

Applicants who do not have a recent business degree must be evaluated on an individual basis to see whether they have the preparation needed in each of these 8 specified content areas:

  1. Accounting I (Financial) AND II (Managerial)
  2. Economics I (Micro) AND II (Macro)
  3. Business Statistics
  4. Principles of Finance
  5. Principles of Management
  6. Principles of Marketing
  7. Computer Information Systems (business emphasis)
  8. Quantitative Methods OR Production Operations Management

Applicants can demonstrate competency in these foundation areas in a combination of ways.

  1. Recent course work in each of these content areas (within last six years).
  2. Substantial work experience demonstrating mastery of a content area can be considered as preparation in a few areas.
  3. A challenge test is available in Finance.
  4. Completing the "MBA Foundation Modules." This can be used to satisfy all foundation requirements. These modules are on-demand and can be completed at your own pace. They also cost much less than all the college courses. You can contact us to learn more about these preparation modules at mba@wku.edu.

ADVICE: If an applicant is deficient in only one or two courses, then we advise you to take the one or two courses at a regionally accredited university at the undergraduate level. We strongly advise you to check with us BEFORE you the take the course(s) to make sure they will be acceptable. If three or more courses are needed, we advise students, as a cost factor, to consider taking the BA 502 "MBA Foundation Modules" course offered through WKU's Independent Learning Division. This is a 4.5 hour graduate course that is a self-paced, online independent learning course and contains modules covering all eight content areas listed above. A minimum score of 70 on final exams in each area is required for passing. When considering the foundation course, please note that all modules must be completed to warrant completion of the course. You cannot just take one or two of the areas within the MBA Foundation Modules since it is viewed as a single foundational "course."

Return to Questions

Is there a minimum grade point average (GPA) required to be accepted?

Yes. All MBA Options require a minimum undergraduate overall GPA of 2.75. When there are more applicants than seats in our programs we will always pick the most qualified students. This means that having a minimum score on any of the requirements does not assure admission.

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Is there a minimum score I must achieve on the GMAT to be accepted?

It depends upon the Option into which you wish to enroll:

  1. Both the Full-Time Option and the Online Option require a minimum score of 500. Sorry, but we do not accept students in these two options with scores lower than 500. If you fail to achieve the minimum score, but are close, we strongly encourage you to take the exam again and reapply (there is no additional application fee for reapplying within a time limit). Some of the GMAT materials say that a common improvement score for someone retaking the GMAT might be an additional 60 or 70 points. We have seen applicants improve more points than that, but generally only if the applicant is from another country and is still learning English.
  2. The Professional Option does not have a stated minimum score for admission. Applicants for the Professional Option must demonstrate a job history not required in the other two options. It is constructed much more as an "executive-type" program. Therefore, the admission decisions for the Professional Option take more factors into consideration. The GMAT score is still required however.

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I would like to apply for the Professional Option.  What work experience must I have?

The Professional MBA Option is targeted to a very specific group of individuals. The qualified Professional Option participants will be managers and professionals who have demonstrated at least 5 years of success in their jobs. If you would like to participate in this special program your vita, letter of application, and your two professional recommendation letters should clearly indicate this managerial and/or professional experience.

Many participants in "executive-style" MBA programs have professional degrees and find that they now need business preparation to better manage the business of their profession. Employers may identify fast-track managers and encourage them to take their education to the next level. Some managers and/or professional have hit a ceiling in their career and can use the MBA to break through to the next career level. Our Professional MBA Option is targeted on these participants.

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What are the deadlines for applying?

This depends upon to which Option you seek admission:

  • Full-time MBA and Professional MBA Options only admit students into the fall term.
  • Online MBA Option students can be admitted into either the fall or the spring terms.

The fall application deadline which applies to all options is March 15th for U.S. students and March 1st for international students.

The spring application deadline which applies only to the Online MBA option is October 15 for U.S. students and September 1 for international students.

If there is any extension of the deadline a notice will be posted on the MBA website.

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I started a graduate program before.  Can I transfer in hours from another program?

We will accept up to 6 hours of graduate level courses. They must be fairly recent. If these courses are graduate level business courses, they must be from an AACSB accredited institution. If in a non-business program (but related to business) graduate course electives may be accepted from an appropriately accredited institution.

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Can I work full-time and enroll in the MBA program?

This depends upon the Option for which you apply.

Our Professional Option and Online Option delivery approaches are made to help busy, full-time employees complete their MBA. So, if you are apply for the Professional or Online options, yes – you can be working full-time.

You cannot work full-time and be admitted to or continue in our Full-time Option.

The Full-time Option was created to meet the needs of those who are not working full-time but instead are deferring their income to more quickly complete their degree. Full-time Option classes will be held at various times and days throughout the week. Full-time students will be taking specific 4-5 courses in both the fall and the spring. They will also be taking about 3 courses in the summer (or in combination with the mini-winter term). This is a very challenging academic schedule. Students cannot devote the time and energy that we demand for this academic schedule and work full-time.

If Full-time Option students must work, we suggest working no more than 20 hours per week.

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I will be a student coming from a foreign country where English is not the national language.  Do I have to take the TOEFL exam?

It depends upon whether you are enrolled in our ESLI program.  If you are an ESLI student you do not currently have to take the TOEFL exam but instead must complete the ESLI program.

If you are an international student and not in the ESLI program you must score a minimum of 550 on the written TOEFL OR a minimum of 213 on the computerized TOEFL OR a minimum of 79 on the Internet TOEFL OR a minimum of 6.0 on the IELTS.

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Program Related Answers

Is your MBA program accredited?

Yes. Both our business program AND our accounting program are accredited. Only 3 universities in the state of Ky have such accreditation. We are accredited by AACSB International. This accreditation is only for the top business and accounting programs. AACSB accreditation assures qualified faculty, solid academics, and resources for excellent business and accounting programs. Only the top 15% of business programs earn AACSB accreditation. We are proud to be one of them.

A large percentage of colleges are only accredited by a regional arm of the Department of Education. WKU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS and other regional arms of the Dept. of Education accredit entire institutions including junior colleges. These regional accreditation units fulfill an important purpose overall but do not accredit business programs separately. This means that regional accreditation does not tell a perspective student much about the schools' business program. The result is that there are very many colleges with this "overall" regional accreditation who have business programs that fail to meet the rigorous standards of AACSB. We recommend that you consider only business programs who are AACSB accredited.

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If I complete the Online MBA Option will my diploma say "online" or will it be just like every other MBA diploma?

Your diploma will not be labeled as "online." Graduates from all of the 3 options will receive the same WKU MBA diploma.

Each of the three options is really the same 33 credit-hour program. Only the electives may be different. So, you are graduating from a fully accredited (AACSB) program, the WKU MBA program. We believe we do an excellent job of facilitating your learning whether we are using distant learning technology, a concentrated Saturday professional program, or a traditional face-to-face approach.

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Can I mix the programs – take some Online Option courses and take some Full-Time Option courses?

No. Each Option has separate admissions. Being admitted to one Option does not admit you to courses in another Option. We do not mix the options.

Those students applying for the Full-Time option are applying to a program where their schedule will be laid out for them completely. This is common in full-time programs in the US. This requirement is often called "lock step". Both our Full-Time Option and our Professional Option are lock step programs.

Online "seats" have to be reserved for the Online Option students. Otherwise, they might be locked out of taking a class they need to graduate. Occasionally we have a seat or two available in a summer online elective. When that happens we send email out to non-Online Option students to make the seat available. However, this is infrequent and cannot be relied upon for graduation.

Return to Questions

Will I be choosing my courses?

This depends upon the Option for which you apply. Both the Professional and the Full-time Options are "lock step" programs where every semester is chosen for you. Only the Online Option allows students to "skip" classes and pick from among available electives.

We are like most MBA programs. All but 9 of the 33 credit hours are required courses. To make the short time frames work (one-year for the Full-time and only alternate Saturday meetings generally for the Professional) we need to control and pre-select the electives.

Return to Questions

Can I get my MBA in some particular area – like Finance or Marketing?

No. MBA degrees are "in" business administration. Only 3 classes are electives. Depending upon your program you either may or may not have any choice in the electives. The Full-Time and Professional options have all courses preselected (lockstep). However, there often are some choices over time among electives for Online Option students.

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Is there a minimum grade point average (GPA) I must maintain while in the program?

Students must maintain an overall MBA GPA of 3.0 during their entire program.

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Finance Related Answers

How much is tuition for the WKU MBA?

It depends upon the Option into which you enroll. Each has a different tuition. For tuition and fees information for the Full-Time MBA, Online MBA, and the Professional MBA click here.

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Do you have Graduate Assistantships available to MBA students?

Yes, only if you are admitted to the Full-time Option. The MBA office works with the Office of Graduate Studies to identify a limited number of full-time students who might qualify for a graduate assistantship (GA).

Applications can be found at the Graduate School website. GAs are appointed for one academic year (or one semester with possible renewal). The stipend as of January 2013 is $10,000 per academic year. Continuation of the assistantship is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the degree, maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA, completing graduate courses at the full-time student rate, and proper fulfillment of duties.In addition, a limited amount of tuition "waivers" are available only to graduate assistants. Tuition waivers are based on available funds and are awarded competitively.

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Do you offer financial aid to MBA students?

We do not offer any through the MBA office. For financial aid, please visit WKU's Student Financial Aid office.

Many employers offer tuition reimbursement that can be helpful in paying all or part of your tuition. Check with your employer to see what might be available to you.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14