Block M in UMICH diag
Application Requirements

Admission to the Michigan Ross PhD program is competitive and highly selective. When evaluating applications, we consider a wide range of qualifications, including the capacity for independent thinking (demonstrated through work or research), creativity, and excellent academic skills. Fit with faculty research interests and contribution to the diversity of the student community is also considered. 

The application deadline for the ‘24/’25 academic year has passed. 
Applications for the ‘25/’26 academic year will open in September 2024. 

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Applying to the PhD Program

Go to Rackham Graduate School's website and determine your status. Create your account on ApplyWeb to get started on your application, or log in to ApplyWeb to manage an application in-progress or add recommendations. It’s easy to get started.

New Applicants or Individuals Reapplying After More Than One Year

Please review the below application requirements in preparation for your application. 

PhD applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and demonstrate working knowledge of college-level algebra, calculus, and intermediate microeconomics. Accounting and marketing students also must demonstrate proficiency in linear algebra and advanced calculus. An MBA or master’s degree in an allied field may be helpful, but it is not required and will not shorten the time in the program. We especially invite applications from qualified students with nontraditional backgrounds, international students, women, and members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. 

Michigan Ross and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan jointly administer the applications for the PhD programs through an online submission process. As part of the application, individuals must designate a single area of study from the seven areas offered.

All applications are submitted online. All of the credentials listed below are uploaded as a part of the online application. Instructions for submitting the application and paying the application fee appear at the end of this list.

Please be aware that you will need to select "Business Administration Ph.D." as your intended graduate program when starting your application. The system will then prompt you to select your subplan (e.g. Accounting, Finance, etc.). The exception to this is if you are applying to the new Business & Economics area.. This is listed on its own under the Business Administration heading.

Please upload a current resume or CV as a part of your application. The application will prompt you for this.

The statement of purpose should be a concise, well-written essay about your academic and professional experiences, your career goals, and how completing the Ross School's PhD program will help you progress toward the realization of these goals. The statement of purpose should be between three and five pages.

The personal statement differs from the statement of purpose in that we ask you to write about how your background and life experiences — including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges — have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. It should be limited to 500 words.

Please do not repeat your academic statement of purpose.

You must register your recommenders through the online application form. Registering your recommenders generates an automated email with instructions on the process. It also grants access to the recommender's portion of the database where they can either compose a new letter or upload an existing letter that will become a part of your application.

Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions process. Applicants are encouraged to submit letters from people, preferably faculty members, who know their strengths and weaknesses as a scholar, and who can speak to their readiness for a doctoral program at a major research institution in the United States. Letters that include information about previous research and/or teaching experience are particularly helpful. Please note that we only accept letters submitted directly by the recommenders. Photocopies or emailed copies of letters sent by the applicants will not be accepted.

Recent updates have been implemented and official transcripts are no longer required at the time of application.

A scanned/electronic copy of the official transcript will be used for initial review by our admissions committee.  You will be required to have your official transcript sent to the Rackham Graduate School only if you are recommended for admission.

All applicants should report their Grade Point Average (GPA) on page 5 of the online application. The GPA should be reported using a standard U.S. four point scale.  Applicants who attended an institution outside the United States should follow the instructions to convert their international average grade point to a U.S. four point GPA (see "How to Convert Grades to a U.S. GPA" here).

Upload a scanned copy of your official transcript(s) on the transcript upload page(s) of the application. 

More information and directions for transcript submission available at Rackham Graduate School

Official GMAT or GRE General Examination scores are no longer required and should not be submitted for inclusion.

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency, unless they meet one of the criteria for an exemption listed below. You qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only
    • If you completed a Master’s degree that was strictly research and no academic classes, that degree does not meet the exemption. This type of Master’s degree is generally awarded at a non-U.S. institution
  • You are a current U-M student

In order for scores to reach us prior to the application deadline, we encourage applicants to plan accordingly and schedule their exams as soon as possible. We will accept official TOEFL or IELTS score reports for tests that are not more than two years old as of the application deadline. Please use the following code when submitting your scores to the University of Michigan:

The TOEFL/ETS institution code is 1839 (a department code is not necessary)

We use the following minimum scores as benchmarks of preparedness for admission to the PhD program. We do not automatically disqualify applicants for low component or total scores. However, low scores could have a negative impact on the admission decision.

  • TOEFL iBT (Preferred) — Total 106 including minimum component scores as follows: Reading – 26, Listening – 26, Speaking – 27, and Writing – 27
  • IELTS — Total score 7 with all component scores (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) at least 7

Once you have completed and validated the application, you will need to finalize your application by submitting the application and paying the application fee. Additional instructions are available within the online application.

The fee can be paid by credit card only. A limited number of fee waivers are available from Rackham.

The application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is $75 USD.The application fee for international applicants is $90 USD.