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Applying for the MBA

To best assist you with your application for the Master of Business Administration we have provided a comprehensive check list and detailed explanations of the various components of the application process.

What does the 500 word MBA application statement involve?

Applicants must provide a statement (maximum of 500 words) that outlines their motivation and reasons for undertaking the MBA.  It should demonstrate how the degree is applicable to their career, how it will help their personal development, along with what action they will take to leverage the MBA experience.  For this criteria, the highest rankings will be provided to those applicants where there is a clear nexus between the desired course of study and their existing/desired career path.  This may involve a fundamental change in their career direction or accelerated career progression within an existing career structure.

For students wishing to enter specific majors such as Strategic Procurement or Oil and Gas, it would be expected that they could show how this major would appropriately align with the current/likely career development.

I am thinking of taking the GMAT to assist in my MBA application, will it help?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardised exam that is taken by many MBA applicants – particularly in North America.  It tends to be used less frequently on programs where the applicants have significant work experience (especially in Australia).  We recommend that the GMAT is undertaken only in limited cases.  If an applicant’s performance across a number of criteria is relatively weak, they may wish to emphasise their potential through a good GMAT performance.  While we will consider a GMAT score as part of the process, we will guarantee an interview to any applicant who scores above 600 on the GMAT (provided they meet the basic entry requirements).  Before undertaking the GMAT exam, you may wish to discuss your initial application with the MBA Director who will assess whether the other elements of your application are likely to be competitive and therefore whether there is any benefit in supplementing your application with the GMAT.

I am an international student, how do I apply for the MBA?

Applications from international students will still need to be submitted through the Curtin International Office.  The same documents will need to be submitted and applications will still be assessed by CGSB staff concurrently with all other applications.

I am undertaking my GCB/ GDB and thinking of pursuing an MBA. Do I need to complete this application process?

Some students undertake a Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB) or Graduate Diploma in Business (GDB) before deciding to pursue an MBA.  As entry to all courses at the CGSB is on a competitive basis, students wishing to progress from a GCB or GDB to a masters program will have to apply for entry to that program by completing an Application for Admission form and submitting it to the Student Services Office prior to the application closing date. All students must submit: a fully detailed CV, two referee reports and a 500 word essay. Students will also be required to participate in an interview (we will arrange phone interviews where required). Students may wish to use earlier referee reports from their previous application although should be aware that we do take referee reports into account when determining student ranking. The 70% CWA is no longer used as a basis of admission into the MBA however, performance in previous studies is taken into consideration in the application.

How will my previous university experience count towards my MBA application?

While good grades in prior studies are advantageous, we recognise that in many cases the degrees were undertaken a decade or more ago when different priorities may have existed, and that past performance during a different stage of life is not necessarily a good predictor of future performance at a graduate level.  We also recognise that different education systems recognise different grade levels as constituting ‘good’ or even ‘excellent’ performance.  In essence, past performance is considered as part of the ranking process, but the longer ago the degree was undertaken, the less weighting it is given and the more weight we give to work experience and achievements.

When will I be interviewed? What happens if I'm an online student?

Interviews will be conducted with those applicants that are likely to be accepted or close to being accepted into the program.  In many cases, and particularly for online students, these will be conducted by telephone.  Very highly ranked applicants can expect a short interview, whereas those that are closer to the cut-off point can expect a more comprehensive interview.

How competitive is entry into the CGSB MBA program

Based up past application trends it is expected that approximately 75% (to possibly 80%) of applicants to the MBA program will be offered a place on the program.  Clarity around the criteria we use to determine entry and strict basic entry requirements tends to limit the number of applications from clearly unsuitable applicants – hence the high acceptance rates.

While the standard of applicants may vary somewhat over time, it would be expected that someone with five to six years of work experience (especially if they had some managerial experience), a solid undergraduate degree, good references, a relatively clear nexus between their present/desired career and the course of study and a reasonable interview result could be confident of receiving an offer for a place on the CGSB MBA program.

How will my work experience and achievements be assessed in my MBA application?

We review all applicants’ CV to determine work experience and consider their major work-related achievements.  All of our units are designed to embrace adult learning principles and the experience of the class cohort is a major determinant of the quality of the educational experience for the entire class.  We therefore prefer a variety of industries and roles to be represented with significant work experience to be held by all of our students.  While the minimum requirement for entry is three (3) years of relevant work experience, the average work experience across our Masters degrees is over 10 years.  Any applicant with 10 or more years experience should expect to be ranked very highly for this component, with five to six years receiving an average ranking.

The other major consideration is if applicants have some management responsibility –be that of people, resources, projects or finance.  While it is not necessary for applicants to have very considerable work experience or management responsibility, above average scores across the other criteria would normally be expected to ensure a good ranking.  To ensure diversity in the cohort, we may rank a very limited number of applicants highly that have followed a non-traditional career path or are likely to be able to provide significant diversity to the student body.

How will my application for the MBA be ranked?

All applicants that meet the basic entry requirements will then be assessed on the basis of the following:

  • Previous university study
  • Relevant work experience and achievements (from the CV)
  • Written references
  • Candidate-supplied 500 word application statement
  • Interview
  • GMAT (where provided)

A team of CGSB staff will then analyse the submitted materials to determine the overall rankings of all applicants.  Offers will be made depending upon the number of places available in each program.

Who is an acceptable referee for the two references I'm required to supply?

References are required from current (or where this is inappropriate – past) employers that detail an applicant’s leadership/managerial potential and capacity to undertake postgraduate studies.  Where applicants are self-employed or CEOs themselves, they should provide references from business partners, key customers or respected business individuals.  The references will be reviewed as part of the ranking process.

Basic entry requirements for the MBA

For entry into the MBA degrees, all applicants must:

  1. Possess an undergraduate (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university,
  2. Have a minimum three (3) years of professional work experience
  3. Meet the University’s minimum English language requirements via completing a degree from a recognised University in English; achieving an IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no score being less than 6.0 on any of the components; or any of the other standards listed on our International website.

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