PhD Frequently Asked Questions

I want to change one of my recommenders in the online system. Can I do this?

Yes, you should be able to log into your account and change the information. Please contact if you have issues with the form.

Do I have to list my courses on the application?


Do I need an MBA or another master's degree in order to apply to the Doctoral Studies Program?

No. We only require a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent. However, about 60% of our applicants do have a relevant master's degree.

I went to an international university and am not able to send official transcripts. Can I still apply?

Yes, if your university will not let you access or send official transcripts, we can temporarily use the scanned copies from your application for review purposes. However, if you were offered admission, you would need to submit official transcripts before your offer was processed. Please note, status of transcripts in Wolverine Access will remain as Not Received until official copies are sent directly to Rackham.

Can you tell me if I am qualified to apply to your program based on information I give you about my test scores, transcripts, work experience, etc.?

Given the complex nature of the admissions process, we are not able to make any preliminary judgments about the competitiveness of an applicant's credentials. If you are interested in our program, we encourage you to apply. You also can view our class profile page to see a basic statistical breakdown of students who have been admitted to the program, but please note these are general benchmarks, not minimum requirements.

Can some of my recommendation letters come in after the December 15 deadline? What is the latest you will accept them?

Ideally, letters should be submitted by the 15th but recommenders can submit letters at any time, even after the deadline. Please remind them that their letters should be submitted as soon as possible. Please note, applications are reviewed shortly after the application deadline and missing letters may negatively impact your application.

What are your institution codes for the GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL?

Our GMAT institution code is SN1-J6-77. Our GRE/TOEFL/ETS institution code is 1839. You do not need to include a department code. *Please note: You must use the ETS code 1839 (Rackham Graduate School code). We are not able to access scores sent to the code 2528 (general Ross School of Business code).

Do you accept copies of test scores?

No. We must receive test scores directly from the testing services.

Do you accept a GRE in place of a GMAT score?

The Business & Economics PhD program will only consider GRE test scores. All other areas (Business Administration) no longer require GRE or GMAT test scores. We only will accept official GRE scores for exams less than five years old. We do not have required minimum scores. Average GRE scores range from 550-800 (new scores 156-170) for the verbal component and 700-800 (new scores 155-170) for the quantitative component.

I have taken the GMAT/GRE/TOEFL recently and my official scores may not reach you by the December 15 deadline. Is this ok?

Faculty begin reviewing applications shortly after the deadline, so please make sure your scores are reported to us as soon as they are available. 

I won't have time to take the TOEFL/GRE/GMAT before I apply to your program. Is there a way you can grant me conditional admission?

We do not have a conditional admission process. We must have all the required items before we review your application and make a decision regarding admission.

Do I have to submit a TOEFL score if I have a degree in the U.S.?

We have recently changed our policy regarding the TOEFL. Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a U.S. institution (or from an international institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English) are exempt from submitting TOEFL scores. There is no formal waiver required. Please see the Rackham Graduate School's website for complete details on this policy.

I submitted my application but noticed I made a mistake in one of my essays. Can I submit a new document to replace the original?

No. We are not able to switch documents in your application after it has been submitted.

Do international students have to submit a financial support statement?

Please do not submit financial information at the time of application. Please see the Rackham website for more information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

On average, students require five years to complete the program even with a previous MBA - two years of coursework and approximately three years of research and dissertation writing.

I'm currently a PhD student in a program at another school, and I am interested in transferring to Ross. Is this possible?

We do not have a transfer process. If you applied and were admitted to our program, you would be starting your PhD over from the beginning.

Where can I download a copy of the application?

You only may apply online. We will provide printed and printable copies of the application only when an applicant has severely restricted access to the Internet. Contact the Doctoral Studies Program office to request these materials.

Should I send anything directly to the department or faculty?

No. Applicants should follow the directions on the How to Apply page regarding submission of documents.

What if I miss the Dec. 15 deadline?

Our application system shuts down and we will not accept applications past the deadline.

What if my application is missing some of the required supporting documentation?

We will not review incomplete applications until we have received all supporting documentation. The application deadline is Dec. 15, and the online system will close at 12:01 a.m. PST on Dec. 16. You must submit the online application by the stated deadline.

I may have some documents sent to Ross before I submit the application forms. What happens to them?

We require all materials to be submitted online along with your application. We will not accept any hard copies of documents. Any documentation submitted to us becomes the property of the University of Michigan and cannot be returned to the applicant.

Note: Any documentation submitted in support of the application becomes the property of the University of Michigan and cannot be returned to the applicant.

How many students are admitted to each area of concentration in any given year?

The number of admitted students varies by area. The average is one to three students per area.

What is the admission rate?

On average, we admit 4-5% of the applicant pool.

How can I see my application status on Wolverine Access? Can you tell me what I am missing?

Please look at the Credentials tab. As long as everything is listed as received, your application is complete.

Can I apply to more than one area?

You should narrow down your choice before applying and apply to one area only. Even when affiliated with one department, you can still take courses in other departments.

How do I select a specific department in the online application?

At the top of the second page of the application, you will find the section where you choose a department. You must click the link that says "Choose Subplan" and then select one of the seven areas of concentration.