Application Process

|Back to FAQs|

On what basis do you assess applications?
Admission to the doctoral program is selective. We seek students with high potential to engage in an academically rigorous and collaborative learning. A faculty committee considers each application evaluating your areas of interest with respect to our curriculum and faculty research specialties, your prior academic preparation, letters of recommendation from former professors and mentors, and standardized test scores.
How many applicants do you accept?
Each year the Organization and Social Change track aims to enroll four to six new students. The Finance track and the MIS track will be looking for entering classes about twice that size every other year (with the first doctoral students expected in 2014 and 2016, respectively).
What documents do I need to provide?
Applicants need to submit a current resume or CV, a personal essay, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts of all prior academic work, a writing sample, official GMAT or GRE scores, and, if appropriate an official TOEFL or IELTS score. Provide these materials directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. Sending them to the College of Management will delay processing and review. Read more »
May I, and should I, contact individual professors?
During the pre-admissions process, you are free to initiate contact with individual faculty members about their research interests and current areas of policy work. In fact, this outreach could help to identify a potential academic advisor or mentor. However, there is no requirement to make such contact.
Are standardized tests required?
Yes, all applicants must take the GMAT or GRE.
If I already took the GMAT or GRE, must I take it again?
If you took the test within the last five years, we will accept an official notification of that score.
Is there a minimum required GMAT/GRE score?
We do not consider applicants with less than 450 on the GMAT (or its equivalent on the GRE). As in our master’s degree programs, the higher your GMAT/GRE score, the more likely your chances of acceptance, but no score on a standardized test guarantees a positive admission decision.
Is the TOEFL required for all international applicants? Do you have a minimum acceptable score?
Non-native speakers of English, who earned their bachelor’s degree from a college or university outside the United States, must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS). Target test scores for the PhD in Business Administration are as follows: TOEFL: Paper-based: 600, Computer-based: 250; Internet-based: 100. IELTS: 7.0. These targets are flexible and are higher than the College of Management looks for in its master’s programs. Read more »
I will be taking the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL Test in January or February. Should I submit the application without these scores?
Yes. Indicate that the standardized test score will be forwarded to the University of Massachusetts Boston and indicate the date that you are taking the exam. We can begin to process the application without all of the information, but note that no official action can be taken on an incomplete application.
What is the minimum required GPA?
There is no application cutoff in terms of GPA, but academic excellence is expected.
What does the writing sample entail?
The writing sample should be a sample of your intellectual work. It can be a paper from a previous course or a technical study you prepared at work, if that is appropriate.
Who should I get to write my letters of recommendation?
Recommendations should be from faculty members in your major field, but may also be written by employers or others familiar with your academically-related strengths.
Can the Graduate Programs Office advise me whether I am likely to gain admission?
No. The evaluation of the details of each applicant's record requires consultation with several faculty members. We undertake this task only when the application is complete and the application fee has been paid.
Do I have to have an interview?
Finalist applicants may be interviewed, in person or via the phone or internet.
If I am denied admission, may I receive feedback on my application?
Due to the volume of applications, the College of Management is unable to share the details of its application decisions.
Once accepted, may I defer my admission?
Not usually. The Finance and MIS tracks follow a cohort model with a new class starting every other year, so deferral is not practical. With the track director’s approval, accepted students in OSC may defer admission to the next annual admission cycle. To discuss deferrals, contact the Graduate Program Office at
May I reapply if I am not accepted?
Yes. However, due to the competitive nature of PhD study, the admissions committees do not encourage an applicant to reapply unless there has been a significant change in his or her credentials, such as additional coursework or a much-improved GRE or GMAT score.