selection criteria mba students

We seek to admit hard-working students who are ready to earn success and who want to learn how to lead by example as innovative, socially responsible and globally minded business people.

Strong candidates will exhibit leadership and problem-solving abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, and capability to excel in team-based settings. We look for students whose interests and goals align with our program offerings and who demonstrate the drive and motivation to succeed in a challenging academic environment.

Admission decisions are based on the collective strength of all parts of your application as assessed through a holistic review process. While you will see that some components of the application have minimum requirements, meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission.

Academic Profile

Your academic profile is assessed through quality of and performance in your prior academic program(s) as evidenced in your transcripts and general aptitude as measured by the GMAT or GRE. Successful candidates are not required to have studied business previously. Oregon State MBA students have a variety of academic backgrounds, including engineering, science, social sciences, liberal arts and business.

Our admission process adheres to the university’s minimum academic requirements for admission to a graduate degree program. These requirements pertain to previous degrees earned and prior academic performance. Please review the Graduate Admissions Minimum Academic Requirements page for more detailed information and contact us if you have any questions about your background in relation to these requirements.

GMAT or GRE Scores

All applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores unless they qualify for a waiver. (Pease see the GMAT/GRE Waiver page for information about waivers.) There is no preference between the two scores, and scores are valid for five years.

For more information regarding the GMAT, call 1-800-717-GMAT or visit the GMAT website.
For more information regarding the GRE, call 1-866-473-4373 or visit the GRE website.

Because we use a holistic review process, we do not have minimum requirements for the GMAT or GRE; strong candidates will have earned a GMAT (total) score of 600 or greater or a GRE (total) score of 316 or greater.

Professional Experience

Professional experience is not required for admission to Oregon State’s MBA programs. When reviewing your résumé we are looking for evidence of leadership, initiative, commitment, and accomplishment. Please include full-time positions, as well as part-time jobs, relevant internships, volunteer service, and any professional associations/affiliations.

Short Answer Questions

Your short answer questions will be evaluated for evidence of your motivation for admission and overall fit for the program. We seek to understand more about how your background and experience will help you contribute to the learning environment at Oregon State. We also look for a clear articulation of your professional aspirations and how earning an MBA at Oregon State can help you achieve them.


If using the online reference system, your reference providers will be asked to evaluate you in the following areas: creativity, intellectual ability, maturity, self-motivation, work ethic, and written and verbal communication. Your references will also be asked to comment on your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to your ability to be successful in a graduate program. Reference providers who submit letters should use these points as guidelines to inform their evaluations as well.

English Language Proficiency

If you are required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting scores from the TOEFL or IELTS, then please review the following minimum score requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT: 91 total score with a subscore of at least 22 on each section.  
  • TOEFL PBT: 575 A separate interview to assess speaking will be required. 
  • IELTS: 7 

The OSU MBA program does not offer conditional admission. If you are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores, then you must meet the minimum requirements to be admitted. For more information on who is required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores, please read more details on the Application Process.