Course Waivers

The core curriculum was designed as a key part of the overall MBA experience and students take core classes with their section. Waiving core courses provides flexibility to those who have mastered the core concepts that will be taught in the Ross classroom. To honor a student's previous academic coursework while maintaining the overall Ross MBA experience, we limit the number of waivers to two in each quarter (i.e., Fall A, Fall B, Winter A) and four total. The most commonly waived courses are ACC 502, ACC 552, BE 502, and FIN 503. 

View course description here.

3 ways to waive:

1. Professional designation

  • Students who are Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are required to waive this course pending CPA documentation. Titles equivalent to CPA (ie: Chartered Accountant) will also be automatically waived, but are able to take the course, if desired.

2. Prior coursework or work experience. Syllabus and transcript required. One of the following is needed:

  • Six credit hours of financial accounting at the undergraduate level with reasonable grades (typically B or better). Generally this takes students through intermediate accounting. At the Ross School these would correspond to ACC 300 and 312.
  • A comparable graduate level course at the University of Michigan (e.g., School of Public Health course: HMP 608 – Healthcare Accounting) or one that would be accepted for credit in a peer MBA program.
  • At least one course of undergraduate financial accounting plus significant work experience (which often includes training provided through work, a CFA, etc).

3. Complete and pass the Online Accounting Waiver Course and exam. Register here starting May 2nd.

As part of the process for both of the first two options to waive, students will also need to watch online modules recorded by Ross faculty in order to familiarize themselves with Ross-specific language that will be required in advanced accounting electives.

In 2023, there were 142 requests to waive; 103 were approved.


View course description here.

3 ways to waive:

1. Professional designation (CPA, CMA, or equivalent).

2. Relevant work experience.

3. Prior coursework. Syllabus and transcript required. One of the following is needed:

    • Two undergraduate management accounting courses.

    • One graduate management accounting course.

In 2023, there were 59 requests to waive; 39 were approved.

View the course description here.

2 ways to waive:

1. Prior coursework (syllabus and transcript required)

  • Students who were undergraduate economics majors within the past 7 years may be waived based on:
    • GPA of B or better for undergraduate economics courses, and
    • List of courses appearing on the transcript must include intermediate microeconomics, and
    • At least a B in Microeconomics 1 and intermediate microeconomics.

2. Exam

  • An in-person exam will take place on August 9.
    • Resources will be provided to help students prepare.
    • An optional, faculty-led online review session will be offered on August 6.

In 2023, there were 77 requests to waive; 46 were approved.

View course description here.

3 ways to waive:

1. Acceptance into the Fast Track in Finance (FTF) program. If you are pursuing FTF, you do not need to express interest in waiving FIN 503 at this time. 

2. Have a prior background in Finance. The following students can qualify in this category:

  • CFAs.
  • Students with a grade of B or better in an equivalent graduate-level finance course in the last three years. 
  • Students with:
    • A grade of B or better in an equivalent undergraduate finance course(s). Syllabi and transcript required. AND 
    • Proof of work experience in the financial sector or in a finance function at a firm. 

3. Online waiver exam. 

  • Exam will be accessible June 28-Sep 30 at 11:59PM EDT. If you would like the results of your exam prior to fall registration, you must complete the exam by July 22 at 8:00AM EDT.

In 2023, there were 87 requests to waive; 45 were approved.

View the course description here.

1 way to waive:

1. Prior academic or professional experience

  • Work experience in marketing or academic exposure to Marketing Management frameworks (e.g., Cs, STP, or 4Ps).
  • Syllabi of past marketing course(s) should demonstrate that the course(s) had a decision-making approach to marketing management (e.g., use of texts, case, simulations, etc.). Syllabi and transcript required.

In 2023, there were 20 requests to waive; 13 were approved.

View course description here.

1 way to waive:

  1. Prior experience and waiver exam
  • Students must fulfill the following two requirements to demonstrate experience, which may allow them to sit for the exam:
    • Provide written evidence of at least two years of experience working in and/or leading teams. Students must provide a written description of the relevant experience including aspects such as team size, the nature of the team projects, and the student’s roles and responsibilities in those teams.
    • A two-page description (single-spaced) of an experience of failed or extraordinarily successful leadership and lessons learned from that experience.
  • Students must pass the online waiver exam, which will take place on Aug. 1 with an 80% or higher.
    • Exam will include multiple choice questions and essay questions based on a case.
    • Case will be available for review prior to the exam.

In 2023, there were 6 requests to waive; 0 were approved.

View course description here.

2 ways to waive :

1. Prior coursework. Syllabi and transcript required. One of the following is needed:

  • Two undergraduate strategy courses.
  • One graduate strategy course.

2. Prior work experience

  • Time in a consulting firm doing strategy work or work within a strategy function of a firm
  • Students must provide a resumé along with a written description of how their work experience satisfies the above criteria. This should be no longer than two paragraphs.

In 2023, there were 4 requests to waive; 2 were approved.

View course description here.

1 way to waive:

1. Previous coursework and waiver exam.

  • To be approved to sit for the exam, students must have taken one or more undergraduate or graduate courses that cover all of the key topics taught in Strategy 503. Syllabi and transcript required. Relevant coursework is likely to include some combination of courses on International Economics, International Business, International Management, and International Strategy. Key topics include the following:
    • Currencies, Competitiveness & Business Strategies
    • Inflation, Interest Rates, Exchange Rates & GDP Growth
    • The Current Account, Fiscal & Monetary Policy
    • Currency Crises & Contagion
    • Comparative & Competitive Advantage
    • Comparative & Competitive Advantage & Institutions
    • Trade Policy, National Politics & Global Competition
    • International Trade Agreements
    • Globalization, Inequality, Capital Flows & the Environment
    • Going International: Foreign Direct Investment
    • Global Strategy
  • An online waiver exam will take place on Aug. 2.
    • Students must pass the waiver exam with a 75% or better.
    • An online study guide will be provided.

In 2023, there were 4 requests to waive; 1 was approved.

View course description here.

2 ways to waive:

1. Prior coursework.

  • Statistics majors or directly related field (ie: Biostatistics, Econometrics, Applied Mathematics) based on:
    • Syllabi and transcripts are required for multiple courses related to statistics and probability in recent years, and excellent grades in those courses.
    • Extensive work experience in a related field will be considered favorably along with prior coursework.
  • Exam. Need an 80% or higher to pass.
    • An in-person exam will take place August 12.

In 2023, there were 39 requests to waive; 11 were approved.

View course description here.

1 way to waive:

1. Academic experience: At least 6 credit hours of prior course work in operations management. Syllabi and transcript required. The courses must have been taken within the past 7 years with a letter grade of “B” or better in each one.  Each 1 credit hour of operations management course can be substituted with 2 credit hours in a closely related field such as model-oriented operations research or management science.

  • Extensive operations management work experience can substitute for some academic credit, but not more than 3 credit hours.  Substitution will be granted based on quality and extent of work experience. 
  •  Waiver requests must be accompanied with relevant transcripts, syllabi, and, if applicable, documentation of prior operations management work experience.

In 2023, there were 13 requests to waive; 1 was approved.

Course Waiver FAQs

The benefit of waiving a core course is that you can tailor your curriculum to best serve your future goals and build upon concepts you have already mastered. Some students have chosen not to waive courses in order to have more time in class with their section. In addition, some alumni recommend learning core concepts from Ross faculty. If you do choose to waive courses, you are encouraged to replace them with electives and keep about the same number of credits as your classmates. Remember, waiving a course requires you to replace the lost credits with elective credits of your choosing.

Just under 50% of the incoming class in 2023 requested to waive one or more courses.

Yes, the reviewing faculty don't know how to evaluate your request without your undergraduate syllabi. Generally students are successful in getting a copy of their previous syllabi by contacting the supporting program office or University Registrar. 

Faculty reviewers prefer a syllabus from the term you actually took the course; if that is not possible, please submit a syllabus from a different term with similar content.

After you submit all required materials, they will be shared with a faculty reviewer from each area. If more information is required, an academic advisor will reach out to you. Once a final decision has been reached, you will hear from the MBA Program Office. This process may take a few weeks, depending on the course, timeline, and faculty availability. If you take a waiver exam, you must register by June 24 and then you will receive details on the next steps.

All decisions for fall term courses will be finalized prior to registration.

Decisions will be made over the summer as materials are submitted and you will be informed on a rolling basis. All decisions, including if you are waiving via exam, will be finalized before registration for fall term opens in August.

If you're a dual degree student who has already completed one year at your other school, you may be eligible to waive based on that coursework. Please be sure to take the Course Waiver Survey and you will receive more details on the next steps. You will also need to submit your transcript to be approved.

View the core course syllabi here.