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New Applicants or Individuals Reapplying After More Than One Year

The application process is jointly administered by the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Please note the instructions on this page take precedence over any application instructions listed on the Rackham School's website.


The application for Fall 2015 admission will be available in September 2014. The application deadline will be December 15, 2014. The online application must be submitted and all supporting documents should be postmarked by the date of the application deadline. To avoid delays in processing, we strongly encourage applicants to submit their materials two to three weeks prior to this deadline.


Application Requirements

Your application must include the items listed below in order to be complete. Most of these items can be submitted directly through the online system.

**Please read these instructions carefully before beginning the application**


  1. Complete online application
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Academic statement of purpose
  4. Personal statement
  5. Three letters of recommendation
  6. Transcripts from all institutions where you have earned a degree
  7. Official GMAT or GRE General Test scores
  8. Official TOEFL or IELTS Scores
  9. Submit application and pay application fee

Application Process: Detailed Information

We strongly prefer that applicants submit their application materials electronically through the online application.


Complete the online application - All applications are submitted online. Most of the credentials listed below are uploaded as a part of the online application. Instructions for submitting the application and paying the application fee appear at the end of this list.

Please be aware that you will need to select "Business Administration Ph.D." as your intended graduate program when starting your application. The system will then prompt you to select your subplan (e.g. Accounting, Finance, etc.).

*Click here for the link to the online application*

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Resume or curriculum vitae - Please upload a current resume or c.v. as a part of your application. The application will prompt you for this.

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Academic statement of purpose - The statement of purpose should be a concise, well-written essay about your academic and professional experiences, your career goals, and how completing the Ross School's PhD program will help you progress toward the realization of these goals. The statement of purpose should be between three and five pages.

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Personal statement - The personal statement differs from the statement of purpose in that we ask you to write about how your background and life experiences — including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges — have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. It should be limited to 500 words.

Please do not repeat your academic statement of purpose.

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Three letters of recommendation - You must register your recommenders through the online application form. Registering your recommenders generates an automated email with instructions on the process. It also grants access to the recommender's portion of the database where they can either compose a new letter or upload an existing letter that will become a part of your application.

Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions process. Applicants are encouraged to submit letters from people, preferably faculty members, who know their strengths and weaknesses as a scholar, and who can speak to their readiness for a doctoral program at a major research institution in the United States. Letters that include information about previous research and/or teaching experience are particularly helpful. Please note that we only accept letters submitted directly by the recommenders. Photocopies or emailed copies of letters sent by the applicants will not be accepted.

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Transcripts - We ask that you submit transcripts from all institutions where you have earned a degree. If you believe you have completed relevant coursework in a summer program, or if you transferred a substantial number of credits between two institutions, include those transcripts ONLY with your online application; DO NOT send them to Rackham. Only submit transcripts to Rackham from the institution(s) where you earned a degree.


The process requires transcripts to be submitted in TWO ways; you must do both (a) and (b):


Upload a scanned copy of your official transcript(s) on the transcript upload page(s) of the application.
Submitting illegible or incomplete transcripts will delay the processing of your application. Here are a few things to keep in mind when scanning your transcripts:


Review your scanned transcript to ensure it is legible and that your name appears on it. Transcripts printed on security paper may not copy well, and transcripts printed on paper larger than 8.5" x 11" should be resized so that they print out on standard office paper used in the U.S. You may need to experiment with the settings on your scanner.

Remember to scan the back side of the transcript. Most transcripts issued by colleges and universities in the United States include the grading scale and other important information on the back of the transcript. If the information is the same on every page, only scan it once. This is especially relevant for transcripts from institutions that use non-standard grading scales (i.e. U.S. institutions that report grades other than A through F). International applicants, please see transcripts issued by institutions outside the United States.

Additional tips are included within the online application.


Send an official copy of the transcript to Rackham at this address:

Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts / UM ID# (if known) or Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Also see transcripts issued by institutions outside the United States.



You must send both the electronic and the paper copy of the transcript in order for your application to be complete.

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Official GMAT or GRE General Test scores - Official GMAT or GRE General Examination scores are required from all applicants. In order for scores to reach us prior to the application deadline, we encourage applicants to plan accordingly and schedule their exams as soon as possible.

We only will accept official GMAT or GRE test scores for exams less than five years old. This includes scores for exams taken on or after Sep. 1, 2009. Official scores are those submitted from Pearson Vue or ETS directly to the University of Michigan. Please use the following codes when submitting your scores:

     • The GMAT/Pearson Vue code is SN1-J6-77
The GRE/ETS institution code is 1839 (a department code is not necessary)

*Please note: You must use the ETS code 1839 (Rackham Graduate School code). We are not able to access scores sent to the code 2528 (general Ross School of Business code).

There is no minimum GMAT or GRE requirement. However, the application process is highly selective. The average test scores for applicants admitted over the last five years may be found here.

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Official TOEFL or IELTS scores - Evidence of adequate spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. Individuals who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a U.S. institution are exempt from submitting these scores.

In order for scores to reach us prior to the application deadline, we encourage applicants to plan accordingly and schedule their exams as soon as possible. We will accept official TOEFL or IELTS score reports for tests that are not more than two years old as of the application deadline; this includes scores for exams taken on or after Sep. 1, 2012. Please use the following code when submitting your scores to the University of Michigan:

     • The TOEFL/ETS institution code is 1839 (a department code is not necessary)

There is a strong preference for TOEFL iBT scores over the other test scores. We use the following minimum scores as benchmarks of preparedness for admission to the PhD program. We do not automatically disqualify applicants for low component or total scores. However, low scores could have a negative impact on the admission decision.

TOEFL iBT (Preferred) - Total 106 including minimum component scores as follows: Reading - 26, Listening - 26, Speaking - 27, and Writing - 27

TOEFL CBT - Total 250

TOEFL PBT - Total 600

IELTS - Total score 7 with all component scores (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) at least 7

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Submit the application and pay the application fee - Once you have completed and validated the application, you will need to finalize your application by submitting the application and paying the application fee. Additional instructions are available within the online application.

The fee can be paid by credit card only. A limited number of fee waivers are available from Rackham. (Details)

The application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is $65 USD.

The application fee for international applicants is $75 USD.


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Find out how to check the status of your application once it has been finalized and submitted to us.