Public & Nonprofit MBA

Admission Process

What type of applicant does BU look for?
The Admission Committee looks for three primary factors when they review an application:

  • A record of academic excellence — so we can be assured that you will thrive in our dynamic learning environment
  • Evidence of managerial and leadership potential — to indicate the value you will bring to future employers
  • Diversity of thought — to ensure that you will be challenged by people who have different fields of reference within your teams and in the classroom

Learn more about our class profile, approach and mission.

We are committed to enrolling qualitatively excellent incoming classes that represent global, ethnic, and demographic diversity. It is our policy to encourage prospective students to consider our management programs regardless of race, color, religious creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, eligible veteran status or any other category protected by law.

How do I begin an application?
We ask all interested applicants to fill out our online application and follow our admission procedures.

When is the deadline to apply?
We have several deadlines throughout the year. Please see our deadlines page for additional information.

What is the reapplication policy?
The Graduate Admissions Office keeps all records on file for one year. In order to reapply you must follow the reapplication procedure as outlined on our website.

Where do I send my official application components (i.e official transcripts)?
All documents should be mailed to:
Boston University Questrom School of Business
Office of Graduate Admissions
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02215

Who should write my recommendations?
While it is your choice to decide who to ask to write your letters of recommendation, we suggest recommendations come from an employer or someone you have worked with in a professional setting.

How long will I have to wait for my admission decision?
If your application is submitted in its entirety by the required deadline, we aim to release the decision to you in four to six weeks. This precludes our doctoral programs. For the anticipated decision response dates, please visit our application deadlines page.


Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE?
Yes. All applicants must take the GMAT or GRE. There are no exceptions. We accept students with a range of scores. Having a score that exceeds the average does not guarantee admission, nor does a score below the average necessarily mean that you will not be accepted. To see the averages of our current class, please visit the full-time and part-time class profile pages.

Is there a minimum GMAT 0r GRE requirement?
No. There is no minimum GMAT or GRE score an applicant must receive in order to be considered for admission. We accept students with a range of scores. Having a score that exceeds the average does not guarantee admission, nor does a score below the average necessarily mean that you will not be accepted. To see the averages of our current classes, please visit the class profile pages.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
No. There is no minimum GPA requirement in order to be considered for admission. To see average GPA’s for each program, please consult our class profiles.

Do I need to interview?
Interviews are by invitation only. Upon receiving your application, we will determine whether an interview will be necessary. We do not offer informational interviews, but instead strongly encourage you to attend one of our information sessions instead.

Do I need to come to campus for my interview?
No, though we encourage you to visit campus, it is not necessary to come for your interview. We offer off-campus interviews in many major cities around the world, as well as ample opportunities to conduct your interview by telephone or Skype.

Do I need to complete a video essay?
All candidates to our full-time MBA, Professional Evening MBA, and MSMS programs need to respond to three video essay questions as part of their applications. Please use the hyperlink found in the “Documents” section of the “Program Materials” portion of the application to complete the video essay process. Click here for more information on what the admission committee is looking for in your video essay.

Is work experience required?
We do not have a minimum work experience requirement applicants must meet in order to be admitted. With few exceptions, accepted students have at least two years of full-time, post-undergraduate professional experience. The Admissions Committee takes internships and cooperative education assignments into account, but those experiences are usually considered supplementary. To see the averages of our current classes, please visit the class profile pages.

Are there any prerequisite courses? Do I need an undergraduate degree in business or a professional business background?
For our full-time program there are no prerequisites. The Admissions Committee looks for good quantitative skills, leadership and analytical ability, and excellent verbal expression. You can demonstrate these competencies through a variety of undergraduate majors and professional experiences. A large percentage of our MBA students do not have an undergraduate business background.

Do I need a four-year degree?
We require that applicants hold a four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution or its international equivalent.  If you have earned a three-year degree that is the equivalent of a four-year degree in the US, it will be accepted in the admissions process.  For example, if you earned a three-year degree in India, your degree will qualify you to be considered for admission.  Regardless of program length, if you are uncertain whether your undergraduate degree meets our qualifications, please contact before starting the application process.

Do I need a TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score?
Candidates who have earned or will have completed at least two years of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at an institution in which the language of instruction was solely based in English are eligible for an automatic TOEFL/IELTS/PTE waiver.  Candidates must present evidence of language of instruction with the application for admission (through their transcript/accompanying documents or a link to the institution’s website).  Additionally, candidates who have or will have worked for at least two years in a full-time, post-Bachelor’s degree position in the US are eligible for an automatic waiver.

If you do not meet this criteria but would like to be considered for a waiver, you can submit a written request highlighting your experience with and proficiency in the English language to prior to the submission of your application.  The Admissions Committee will consider these requests on a case by case basis.

If you are submitting test results with your application, please be advised that tests are valid for 2 years.

What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores you accept?
TOEFL: Minimum scores of 600 on the PBT or 95 on the IBT are recommended.  BU’s TOEFL code is 3087, department code is 02.

IELTS: A student must score a minimum of 6.5 across each band.

PTE: As more candidates submit the PTE, we are developing updated standards for our requirements. As new information becomes available, it will be posted here.

Are official documents, such as transcripts and GMAT scores, required?
To expedite the admissions process we ask that you upload unofficial documents at the time of your application submission. Admitted candidates are required to submit official copies of all documents.

Program & Transfer

How are the schedule and curriculum different for PNP students vs. for general MBA students?
Students enrolled in the PNP program earn a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialized focus in Public & Nonprofit Management. The program combines the core business curriculum with elective courses in Public & Nonprofit Management and also includes a required public or nonprofit summer internship. In addition, all PNP students are required to take Nonprofit Finance and Accounting. PNP students will then choose three public and nonprofit electives to complete the PNP portion of the degree. PNP students can choose their remaining MBA electives from a wide range of courses, providing the chance to concentrate in an additional business function or focus on an area covered by the Masters electives.

In what areas/sectors is the program strongest?
Our graduates are prepared to work in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. The Boston University MBA program offers superb teaching and multiple course offerings in many areas, but especially in Sustainable Business Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurship, Social Impact, Strategy and Technology. See Career Opportunities for specific organizations graduates have started or joined.

Can I have more than one concentration?
Yes. Those PNP students who are not also enrolled in the MS·MBA program have the opportunity to work towards an additional MBA concentration.

Are there study abroad opportunities?
Yes, International Field Seminars are two week intensive electives conducted abroad by BU faculty. Recent International Field Seminars include trips to Asia, Europe, India and Brazil. The field seminar to Brazil is designed for MBA students who seek to understand the changing role of business in society. Specifically, it examines the business model(s) of social enterprises that are meeting the needs of emerging markets while also addressing societal challenges such as access to health and education and maintaining a sustainable environment.

Can I take classes before applying?
In most instances, a student must be matriculated in the Boston University Graduate School of Management in order take courses at the School. Those interested in taking one or more courses without matriculating need to meet certain, specific criteria in order to register as a guest student. There are four categories of eligible guest registrants:

  1. Current graduate students of other schools or colleges within Boston University.
  2. Current MBA students registered at another AACSB accredited institution.
  3. MBA alumnus/a from Boston University Questrom School of Business Graduate Program or another AACSB accredited MBA program.
  4. Graduate students at Consortium institutions (Boston College, Brandeis University, Tufts University, and Hebrew College).

If you satisfy any of these requirements, you can contact the Graduate Programs Office at (617) 353-2673 for more information about guest student registration.

Can I transfer into the MBA program?
While we do not have a formal transfer application process, students currently enrolled in other MBA Programs are welcome to apply through the standard application process.

Can I transfer credits from classes I have previously taken?
Pending approval, we accept transfer credit for the Full-Time MBA and MS•MBA Programs, as well as the Professional Evening MBA Program. You will need to follow the general admission process and requirements and be admitted into a program before we can determine if transfer credits will be accepted. In order to transfer credit, courses must be from AACSB accredited institutions. Please note that transfer credit will not count towards MBA core courses, nor will it count towards the requirements for a concentration. To determine whether or not a course will transfer into the MBA Program at Boston University, you will be required to submit the course syllabus, course description, and official transcript. In some cases, waiver exams are offered to students who are ineligible for the transfer of credit process. Please contact the Graduate Programs Office ( at (617) 353-2673 for more information.

Can I waive out of a core class if I have a strong academic background in that area?
Due to the highly integrated nature of the Two-YearMBA/MS·MBA curriculum, waivers are not offered for core courses

At the Questrom School of Business, we pride ourselves on offering the same high quality MBA education to our full-time and part-time students alike. We also understand the increased investment of time that our full-time working professional part-time students put into earning their MBA. In recognition of that commitment, the Questrom School of Business offers the following core course waiver policy to our Professional Evening MBA Students:

Students who apply to the Professional Evening MBA program at the Questrom School of Business will automatically be considered for  Advanced Standing Course Waivers of required core classes based on: (1) previous completion of at least four undergraduate courses in a core course area or (2) demonstration of competency. Students who achieve Advanced Standing will be notified prior to the start of the program. If the student chooses to accept Advanced Standing, they will have the approved class waived, receive a notation on their transcript of receiving a waiver, and therefore reduce the overall credits required for graduation. Executive Skills or Career Management courses may not receive advanced standing waivers.

1. Waiver by Undergraduate Coursework

Students may waive the core PEMBA course of their AACSB accredited undergraduate business or economics major/minor/concentration if they completed a minimum of four courses in the major area with an average GPA of 3.0 or greater in the four courses. Students may receive advanced standing for up to two core PEMBA courses based on their undergraduate experience.

2. Waiver By Competency for Select Courses

Students may waive AC711 as a (A) Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Accountant, or (B) through the passing of an Accounting Waiver Examination.

(A) With evidence of having passed the CPA exam or copy of a CPA or CA license, students may waive out of AC711 Financial Reporting and Control. For more information on this process, please contact us at

(B) If a student has previously completed one financial accounting course (required) and one managerial accounting course (recommended) taken at the undergraduate or graduate levels, the student may be certified to waive AC711 through the demonstration of proficiency through a waiver exam. For more information on this process, please contact us at

Students may Waive FE722 with a Chartered Financial Analyst® Designation
With evidence of a CFA® charter or having passed three levels of the CFA exams, students may waive out of FE722 Financial Management.

Students may waive PL700 having earned a Juris Doctor
Students who have earned a JD from a US institution, or are a member of a state Bar Association in the US, may waive PL700 Introduction to Business Law. Students who have earned a JD from outside the US are required to take PL700.

Can international students study part-time?
Usually not. If your reason for entering the United States is to enroll in the full-time MBA Program, you will be eligible for a University-sponsored student visa that entitles you to full-time study only. International students who are looking to study in our part-time program must have a visa that allows them to do so, such as an employer-sponsored working visa.

Can I take MBA courses at Boston University via distance learning? Do you have online courses?
No. All of our MBA programs are only available in-person, at the Questrom School of Business, located in Kenmore Square.

How can I switch between programs? Between the part-time MBA and full-time MBA program? Health Sector & Public & Nonprofit MBA?
This depends on where you are within the process:

Application in Progress: If you have started, but not yet submitted an application, you may not change programs, without losing all of your inputted data. In this case, please submit the application you have started and follow the steps below.

Application Submitted: Once you have submitted your application, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office ( with a written request to change your application to the program for which you’d like to be considered. The Admission Committee will consider your request and will notify you of the outcome. Please note, you may only be considered for one program per semester.

Enrolled student: Once you have enrolled in a program, changing programs is handled on a case by case basis. Students wishing to switch between programs should work with their advisor in the Graduate Programs Office.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

How do I apply for Financial Aid?
Admitted candidates to the Public & Nonprofit MBA Programs are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. You do not need to submit any additional information to be eligible for a merit-based award. Notification about scholarships is included in the acceptance packet. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is available to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The maximum loan eligibility is 20,500 per academic year. Learn more about our financial aid offerings

Do you offer financial aid to international students?
Yes, all applicants to our full-time program are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships provided that their applications are submitted by the admission deadlines. There is not a separate application process for scholarship consideration. In addition, international students can finance their graduate education with private education loans provided they apply with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a U.S.-based address.

Are scholarship opportunities available?
Admitted candidates to the full-time MBA programs and Professional Evening MBA programs are all considered for merit-based awards (scholarships). You do not need to submit any additional information to be eligible for a merit-based award. Notification about scholarships is included in the acceptance packet.

Still have a questions?

The Graduate Admission team is here to support you during the admission process. Please feel free to email us at or to call us at (617) 353-2670. We’re also on Chat on MSN/AIM/ Yahoo/Google—our screen name is BostonUMBA.