Frequently Asked Questions
Admission test requirements
- Can I be admitted to a program and then take the admissions test (GMAT/GRE) during
the first semester?Admissions tests that are required as part of the application should be submitted by the appropriate deadlines. Application files lacking test scores are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for admission.
- Can the GRE be used instead of the GMAT?Each degree program has its own admission test requirements listed on the application page of the website. Generally, the answer is no, the GRE cannot be used instead of the GMAT. Some programs will accept either the GMAT or the GRE, and some only accept one and not the other test. The MBA program accepts either the GMAT or GRE. GMAT test information can be found at mba.com. GRE test information can be found at ets.org.
- Can the test requirement be waived?Each program has specific requirements, but unless otherwise specified on an individual program’s website, the test requirement cannot be waived. In general, preparing for an assessment can serve as useful practice for individuals seeking to resume academic studies.
- I am an alumnus of OSU, is the GMAT required?Unless a specific program’s website indicates otherwise, all applicants must submit the listed application materials before admission can be considered. Alumni status has no bearing on the requirement of application forms; our degrees are all graduate-level, so just as you might have applied for undergraduate admissions, you must also apply for graduate admissions.
- For international applicants, is the TOEFL or IELTS required? Can the IELTS be used
instead of the TOEFL?A TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score may be required for admission to OSU, as indicated by the Graduate College. (See International applicants, English proficiency requirements here) The online application system will discern whether or not the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic would be required for admissions to OSU, and will indicate to you if a score must be submitted with the application materials. This cannot be answered based on an email; the applicant must begin the online application form to find out if a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score is necessary. If a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score is required by the Graduate College, then the master’s business programs will also require it, and the minimum iBT TOEFL score for admission to our programs is 89; the minimum IELTS score is 6.5; the minimum PTE Academic score is 60. Please submit test scores directly to the Graduate College electronically by request from the testing service. (Institution code for TOEFL and IELTS: 6546) Hard copies of test scores are no longer accepted, and should not be sent through the postal service.
The IELTS can be used instead of a TOEFL. The equivalency for our admissions requirements is:
7.0 IELTS = 100 TOEFL
6.5 IELTS = 89 TOEFL
6.0 IELTS = 79 TOEFL
PTE Academic minimum score equivalents are:
If an English proficiency test is not required, then our master’s programs will not require an English-language test score for admissions at all. The applicant should then simply complete the online application and submit it as instructed, along with the other required documents at that point. However, please note that the Spears School Ph.D. Programs may require a TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic score as part of the application, regardless of the Graduate College requirement. Please refer to the application page for your chosen Ph.D. Program for details on this particular issue.
- How long does it take for a test score to arrive at the Spears School Graduate Programs
office?Official GMAT test scores are usually available 5-10 days after the test date, and official GRE scores take approximately three weeks. All test scores should be sent to OSU using the appropriate institution codes. Official test scores are received by the OSU Graduate College in an electronic format; scores will then be attached to applications after the online forms are submitted.
- What are the GMAT school codes for the Graduate Programs at the Spears School of Business?
Program Code MBA V0W-5V-16 - FULL TIME
V0W-5V-97 - PART TIME
V0W-5V-93 - ONLINE LEARNING
MIS V02-5V-86 MSQFE V02-5V-63 MSIA V02-5V-42 Entrepreneurship V02-5V-20 MS in Accounting V02-5V-40 MS in Business Analytics V02-5V-41 Accounting Ph.D. V02-5V-95 Finance Ph.D. V02-5V-35 Management Ph.D. V02-5V-52 MSIS Ph.D. V02-5V-03 Marketing Ph.D. V02-5V-75
- What are the school codes for the TOEFL or GRE tests?The OSU school code for both the TOEFL and GRE is 6546. Test scores are sent to OSU in an electronic format that is imported to a database for access by graduate departments as needed. These test scores are not sent to individual departments, which is why there is only one institution code. The testing service may show different divisions (such as Undergraduate or Graduate Schools), but the main score recipient will be Oklahoma State University, so 6546 is the school code for sending scores to OSU.
- What if I don't make the minimum recommended score on the admissions test? Can I still
be admitted?Possibly. Admissions committees carefully review each application on an individual basis before making a final decision. Keep in mind that test scores play a key factor in the decision, and a score that is less than the recommended number or is less than the current competitive threshold can be detrimental to the final admissions decision and admissions may be denied because of this.
- Where can I find information about preparing for the GMAT or a GMAT Test Preparation Course?The best place to find information about the GMAT is at http://www.mba.com/us. This official website for the GMAT holds information about preparing for the test. While OSU does not offer any prep courses for this test, applicants may be interested in an online GMAT Prep Course offered through Meridian Technology Center.
- Are transcripts required as part of the application materials for Spears Graduate
Programs?Yes, transcripts are required to be submitted as part of the application materials. For admissions purposes, unofficial copies can be scanned and attached to the application in an electronic format along with the other required materials. All applicants, including current or former OSU students, must include a scanned version of transcripts. Transcripts from OSU will not automatically be pulled from Banner by the Graduate College. However, if admission is granted, the Graduate College will require official transcripts to be sent from the undergraduate institution directly to OSU. To be official, the transcript must show the complete scholastic record with degree conferred, bear the official seal of the institution, and be signed by the issuing officer. Only one set of official transcripts should be submitted, either electronically (which is preferred) or in hard copy form.
Current or former students of OSU can have transcripts sent from the OSU Registrar directly to the Graduate College. The official eTranscript option through the OSU Registrar is acceptable and preferred. Hard copies of transcripts should be mailed only to OSU Graduate College, 202 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078. Please do not mail them to any other address at OSU; doing so can cause delay in receipt and processing by the Graduate College.
- Can applications be submitted after the deadline?Application materials should be submitted by the deadline dates posted on the department websites. Please remember that a “deadline” is not a suggested date—it is set on a specific date for a reason. Our first impression of an applicant is from their application, which includes meeting the application deadlines.
- For a Master's program application, what is a Statement of Purpose and what should
be included in it? What is the suggested format?The statement can be presented as a cover letter, an essay of no more than two pages or one page of short answers (three or four sentences per question). The following topics should be addressed:
- Explain why you have decided to pursue a graduate business degree at OSU. Describe how your experiences, both personal and professional, have led you to pursue this degree at OSU.
- What are your career aspirations? How will this degree aid you in achieving these goals?
- What personal strengths will help you attain your goals? What personal weaknesses must you overcome to attain your goals?
- Include a brief paragraph on professional conduct and demeanor from your personal perspective.
- How should recommendation letters be formatted, what information should be included
and do they have to be on company letterhead?Applicants will enter the recommenders’ names and email addresses on the online application form. The online application system will automatically email the recommender and provide a link to submit their letter OSU. Recommendations can be letters in a traditional business format or a few paragraphs in the text box provided on the form; whichever way is most comfortable for the recommender is fine. A recommendation letter should endorse the person being recommended, including specific traits, qualities or skills that make him/her the best choice for admission to graduate school.
- I'm applying to a Ph.D. program and a statement and writing sample are required. What
should I use and how long should it be?Include the following:
- A statement explaining why you want to pursue a Ph.D. in your chosen area of specialization, and why you think you will be successful (3 pages, maximum).
- Evidence of any prior independent research work, such as a thesis or research papers
- Who should I ask for recommendations for the application?Professional or academic recommenders are always preferred. You are applying to a business graduate program, so recommendations should be of a more business-minded nature. You are trying to present the most professional image of yourself as possible. With that in mind, recommendations from personal friends or relatives should be avoided.
Career placement services
- Does the Graduate Programs office offer career placement services?Yes. There are two primary points of contact within the Watson Graduate School of Management providing a broad array of career readiness and placement support including, but not limited to: resume review, mock interviews, career fair preparation advice, employer connectivity, mentoring program access, career search tools and career competency development. Please schedule an appointment by calling or visiting the Watson office.
- Can I complete a Spears Ph.D. program online?No. None of the Ph.D. programs at Spears School are available through Online Learning. All of them, with the exception of our Executive Ph.D., are only based at the Stillwater campus and students admitted to these must attend OSU-Stillwater.
- Does Online Learning require any time on campus in either Stillwater or Tulsa to complete
the requirements for graduation?No. The entire degree can be completed via online learning.
- What degrees can I get through Online Learning?Courses in the MBA, MS BAnDS, MS MIS and various Graduate Certificate programs can be completed through online learning. However, full admission requirements must be met prior to enrollment in online-designated course sections.
- What is Online Learning?Online Learning is an option for enrollment that is not based in a classroom at the Stillwater or Tulsa campuses. It is not a “watered down” version of any of our degrees, nor is it an “online” degree. It is simply a different method of delivery for our classes. All admission requirements must be met prior to enrollment.
- What is the first thing new Online Learning students need to do about the OKEY, email
and pin setup?To set up your OKEY account, new students should begin here. Follow the prompts to activate a new account. Please contact the OSU Help Desk if you have any problems.
- What are the benefits of the Professional Program fee of $250 as an online learner?
The OSU/A&M Board of Regents recently approved the applicability of the existing Spears $250 professional development fee for online graduate students, which means you may now register and participate in additional educational programming throughout the academic year. This includes cutting edge programs and conferences through the OSU Center for the Future of Work, opportunities to join regional social events, new ways to join online speaker events, plus much more! Stay tuned to our regular communication to your OSU email account for the latest lineup of opportunities each fall and spring.
- What will the diploma show if I completed the coursework through Online Learning?The diploma will only show the name of the master’s degree and Oklahoma State University. Since this is not an “online” degree, the diploma won’t indicate it as such.
- Who is the academic advisor for Online Learning enrollment?Your academic advisor will be the program coordinator for your chosen degree, unless otherwise told. The staff at the Online Learning office are not academic advisors.
- How frequently do online classes meet?Students go online at their convenience to pick up homework assignments, check class announcements, participate in chat room discussions with other students and download or view the class lectures.
- Are networking events available for online students?Students enrolled in online courses are welcome to attend networking events tied to their respective academic programs. Event coordinators will typically announce off-campus or out-of-state opportunities through social media whenever planned and strongly suggest participation should include an RSVP or direct communication with the program before securing travel arrangements.
- Are study abroad trips available for online students?Yes, online students may enroll in trips arranged by the Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement (CAGLE) for program credit. Current opportunities can be viewed here.
- How long has OSU been offering the online venue?OSU has offered its MBA program through online learning since 1992.
- Where can I find more answers to my online program questions?Visit Online Learning
- Can I take all the classes in Tulsa and complete the degree there?The MBA part-time program can be completed entirely in Tulsa, but the full-time program requires some coursework to be completed at the Stillwater campus.
Specialty master’s programs are based in Stillwater, yet some occasionally offer classes at OSU-Tulsa. Ph.D. programs are only available at the Stillwater campus.
- I've been admitted to a Master's or Ph.D. program, how do I enroll for classes?Enrollment information will be provided in the same letter or email that offers admissions, but admitted students should contact the program coordinator’s office for an advisement appointment.
- What's the difference between full-time and part-time?This relates to the number of hours in which a student is enrolled, not a specific degree. For graduate students, “full-time” enrollment is nine or more semester credit hours, and “part-time” enrollment is eight or fewer hours. Our Online Learning option is designed for students who plan to enroll in graduate school part-time while still working full-time, and will only take one or two classes per semester.
- What financial aid/scholarships do you have for Online Learning students?Spears School Graduate Programs typically do not have scholarships available for online enrollment. Please consider exploring external scholarships and note many companies provide tuition assistance for their employees.
- Where can I find additional information about financial aid or scholarship opportunities? List of financial aid resources
- Can I apply for summer admission to a master’s or Ph.D. program?Only the MS in Accounting program offers a standard summer admission option. All other programs offer either a fall only or fall and spring admission option. Please check the program-specific webpage for more information.
- How long are the semesters?Academic semesters at OSU are 16 weeks. While the exact start/end dates vary each semester, the spring semesters are mid-January through early May, and fall semesters are mid-August through mid-December. Courses offered during the summer (May, June and July) may be four to eight weeks in length, but will still cover the same amount of material in a 16-week semester.
- Can military training be used as "transfer credit" or will active duty experience
qualify for course credit?No. Only graduate-level coursework from AACSB accredited schools can be accepted for transfer into the School of Business master’s programs. A full list of accredited institutions can be found at http://aacsb.edu/. Neither can active duty experience be used for course credit.
Can military service/training substitute for the GMAT or GRE as it relates to admission
requirements for the MBA program?
Military service or training cannot be used as a substitute for the test requirement. If you’d like to request your application be reviewed without an entrance exam, please follow the eligibility and test intent submission prompts during the application process.
- Where can I find information about Veterans Services?
- How long after application deadlines will I find out if I've been admitted?The average review time for admissions is four to six weeks; much depends on the program and number of applications received. Often, the review may only take a few days and you will be notified as soon as a decision has been made. You should receive notification of admissions decisions in a combination of methods: email from the program, hard copy letter from the Graduate College, or both. Applications handled through the Spears School Graduate Programs office will always receive email notification when the file is forwarded for review.
- I have a three-year undergraduate degree, can I apply to Spears?Our Master’s programs require a four-year undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree or its international equivalent, OR in lieu of that, an undergraduate degree from a three year institution PLUS a two year degree in a master’s field.
- Where do I find housing if I am moving to Stillwater?Off Campus: OSU Off-Campus Student Association’s Resource
On Campus: Residential Life
Non-degree seeking/'special' students
- Are pre-requisite or "leveling" courses required for MBA admission?No. All courses required for graduation are included as part of the curriculum.
- Can I enroll in classes without being admitted to a program?Enrollment as a “non-degree seeking” or “special” student is an option to consider, yet the cost of attendance under this status could vary—especially for non-residents interested in online coursework. Applications for non-degree seeking students must be submitted to the Graduate College. A full application to the appropriate program must be submitted by the appropriate deadline, and admission granted, before a student will be allowed to enroll in classes beyond those three hours. Students classified as “non-degree seeking” or “special” are NOT admitted to a specific program; they have simply been admitted to the Graduate College as a graduate-level student who can enroll in a class. Until an application has been submitted to the appropriate program and they are approved for admission, they are NOT admitted to their desired program.
- I'm a non-degree seeking student through the graduate college. How do I get enrolled?Students classified as non-degree seeking will be directed by the Graduate College to contact the academic advisor for any program in which they wish to enroll. Enrollments are most likely to be scheduled by appointment only, and may be limited to the week before the semester begins. You will enroll just like any other student (either with a form at the Registrar’s office, or registration through Online Learning).
Residency and tuition
- How can I know if I qualify for in-state tuition?Information about residency can be found on the OSU Registrar’s website.
- If I completed my undergraduate degree at OSU, but now live outside the state of Oklahoma,
can I still get in-state residency tuition rates?While we are not the definitive source, the answer to this question is generally “no.” Residency is established by where you permanently reside, not where you attended college. Being one of the alumni of the university does not affect tuition rates for graduate-level study.