How to Get In: University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers.

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6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting?

At UF M.B.A. we want to hear from individuals who can provide us key insights into a candidate's work experience, background, and performance. We strongly request that at least one recommendation come from a current or former supervisor. Academic references are discouraged, and we don't take recommendations from friends or family members. It is critical that your recommenders have worked with you regularly in a professional environment. We provide forms for the specific observations and skill set evaluations we are seeking. Recommenders can provide additional insights in a letter accompanying the form as well. If an applicant knows a current UF M.B.A. student or alumnus, we do like to get their insights and perspective also. We require a minimum of two recommendations, but no more than three.

7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?

We encourage applicants to submit the online application first and submit the supplemental materials as they complete them. Submission of the online application lets us know you are a serious candidate and leads to immediate and regular interaction with our admissions team. We operate on a rolling admissions basis, so once all of an applicant's materials are received it will be reviewed by the admissions committee. For full-time candidates, decisions take about two to three weeks. Part-time candidates usually get decisions in about one or two weeks. If a candidate is waitlisted for a program, the admissions committee will share the reason why the candidate was waitlisted and if there is anything a candidate can do to move from waitlist to accepted student. If a candidate is denied, declines, or defers admission, all applications are kept on file for a year.

We highly encourage candidates to apply early. This affords full-time candidates the best opportunity for scholarships and gives all applicants the best opportunity for a positive outcome.

8. Which firms recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?

A variety of firms recruit from our program. Ryder, CSX, and Exxon Mobil are the most active employers. Additionally, Darden Restaurants, Johnson & Johnson, and BB&T recruit heavily as well. Corporate finance is the most sought-after area of expertise, but marketing, operations, and human resources talent is regularly sought after as well. Popular industries for our students include energy, government, financial services, and banking.

9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?

The biggest mistakes are not being thorough in answering questions and not following instructions on the application. Grammatical mistakes, short answers, incomplete sentences, and skipping questions make us wonder if you are taking the process seriously and if you will be able to succeed in a team and/or academic environment. Our deans want to know why applicants are seeking a UF M.B.A. and want them to define how they fit into the program.

We ask applicants to provide a résumé and a detailed work history. These are two different things, and many applicants just cut and paste their résumé into the application without providing the additional details we are looking for in the work history section. This is a critical mistake for applicants on the cusp of two years experience or lacking in quality of experience. Canned responses in essays or interviews are not good. Full-time applicants need to make sure they are prepared for interviews, dress appropriately, and speak appropriately. This seems to occur more often in online or phone interviews. Please note that every interaction with our admissions team is noticed. Being rude, impatient, or pushy with our staff does get passed on to the admissions directors and committees.