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The basics
THE USA: Applying to University

Admissions at Eastern Washington University (MBA)

Learn some tips for successfully applying to an MBA programme/course, courtesy of Roberta A. Brooke, Director of the MBA Programme at Eastern Washington University.

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MBA programmes are amongst the most competitive courses to get a place on. It’s not just recent undergraduates who apply to study an MBA, but also those from a diverse range of backgrounds, all with different goals in mind.

So how do you get on to an MBA course at a top (American) university? We spoke to Roberta A. Brooke, Director of the MBA Programme at Eastern Washington University about admissions to their programme.


What guidance is available for international applicants who are worried about what stage their application is at?

‘We appreciate students who follow up on their applications.  If they are engaged in the process it all flows much more smoothly. The MBA programme at EWU is relatively small compared to larger, more urban institutions. We pride ourselves on our nurturing customer service. Our programme is designed with a variety of students in mind. Both local and international students can move through the programme at their own pace. Many of our local students are working professionals who are busy with jobs and family obligations and approach the programme on a part-time basis. About 25% of our students are full-time international students. Each group has very specific needs that require special care from our administration and we are happy to provide it. If a student needs to know where his/her application is at in the process, we are quick to track it down. We work to be in touch with our students early so they feel welcome and confident that their application is being given full consideration.

Applicants will find our application process on our webpage along with additional procedures required by international students. We are quick to answer student inquiries within less than 48 hours and often within minutes of receiving them.’ 


Is there anything which immediately turns you off an application?

‘Eastern Washington University is a special place. We have a unique mission of inclusiveness. I like to think we are the university of access. Many of our students are first generation college students.  Because of this, we offer many support services that aid students in the development of excellent study skills, communication skills, and more. Our Office of Global Initiatives is the place international students will find answers to so many of life’s basic questions. Ambassadors from this office will pick incoming international students up from the airport, help them get settled into housing, and provide a thorough orientation that includes everything from visa issues to cultural acclamation aids. 

The MBA office will work individually with each student to get them registered on to the right courses. We guide them through the programme so that they have the most efficient schedule possible. If the students follow our advice, they can complete the MBA programme easily within one year.

We want our students to feel welcome and cared for. Whether they need extra help navigating the admissions process or finding suitable housing, we go the extra mile to support their needs. So, when we look at an application we see an individual and look to see how we can help this person succeed.’


How highly do you rate improvement in grades?

‘Applicants who do not meet our minimum admissions requirements for graduate school (of a 3.0 GPA) often enter the university as a post-baccalaureate student to take or retake coursework in our MBA Preparation Programme. If they can prove to us that they can get a 3.0 GPA or better in these courses, we are more than happy to consider their application for the MBA programme. When this is the case, we can admit the student on a conditional basis and allow them to “repair” their GPA before being admitted into the graduate MBA programme.

The most unique support we offer international students is found in our English Language Institute (ELI). Here, students find a pathway to the MBA Programme that bypasses the TOFEL/IELTS requirement. Students who wish to improve their English language skills to gain admission to the MBA programme may enroll in the English Skills Support (ESS) Programme offered by the ELI. It is a calendar year, intensive programme focused on developing discussion skills and written communication skills equivalent to a 92 iBT TOEFL or 7.0 IELTS score. During the year, students complete the MBA foundation course work required to enter the MBA programme. They attend each business foundation course with an English Language professor. They meet separately with this professor to discuss the coursework and work through any language issues together. With successful completion of the programme the MBA programme waives the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. This has proven to be very popular with our international student groups.’


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