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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 GRE test information can be found at
  • 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:
    60=89 TOEFL
    60=6.5 IELTS

    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
    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 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.

Application materials

  • 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.


    Questions about transcript requirements should be directed by email to 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.
    Please include your name at the top of each page of the statement.
  • 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.


    Recommendation letters are not required to be submitted on company letterhead. While letterhead is recommended, it is not required. The recommender should include his/her name, title, company name and contact information on the letter, as appropriate.
  • 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.

Distance learning

Enrollment procedures

  • 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.

Financial aid/scholarships/assistantships

General admissions

  • 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.

Military personnel


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

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