Frequently Asked Questions
The MBA Program
The Admission Process
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Answers to Questions Below. Please Scroll Through or Find Your Question Above
Where is Clarkson University located?
Clarkson University is located in upstate New York. Nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Potsdam, NY (The town in which Clarkson is located) is about 1.5 hours from many cities such as Lake Placid, NY; Watertown, NY; Ottawa, ON, Canada; and Montreal, QC, Canada.
When was Clarkson University founded? When was the School of Business at Clarkson established?
Clarkson University was founded in 1896. The Clarkson University School of Business was established in 1952.
How many alumni does the School of Business have?
The School of Business has over 6,300 alumni including those who have completed their undergraduate and/or graduate degree from Clarkson University. There are approximately 1000 alumni of the Graduate Business program.
How many full time faculty members are in the School of Business at Clarkson?
There are 37 full-time faculty members in the School of Business.
How can I get more information?
To request more information, you can visit our Web site. You may also click on the link for our information brochures, e-mail our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application packet or call our office at 315-268-6613 or toll free at 1-866-333-6613 (United States and Canada only).
How can I schedule a personalized visit to campus?
We welcome you to call us at 315-268-6613 or at our toll free number 1-866-333-6613 (United States and Canada only) if you would like to schedule a visit. You may also email us at email@example.com. You may visit a class, meet with current graduate business students and/or graduate faculty, have a tour, and meet with our Graduate Business Program staff.
Do I need to bring my own computer?
Not necessarily. Our campus is equipped with land and wireless connections. Most classrooms also have individual computer hookups for academic purposes if students want to bring their own laptops. Our graduate business students do have access to their own computer lab in Bertrand H. Snell Hall.
When will I receive information about orientation and registration?
Once your are accepted and return signed acceptance letters and the $300 security deposit, we will then matriculate you as a student. Upon completion of this, we will send out information pertaining to orientation. This includes a schedule, items needed upon arrival, etc. We typically host a orientation website at http://www.clarkson.edu/mba/orientation. Of course, you can always contact our office for any additional questions you may have.
I would like to contact a current student with similar interests. Can you put me in touch with someone?
Certainly! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with a current student.
What are the statistics for the past year's class in terms of age, GMAT score, and GPA?
For students admitted to the MBA program this past fall, the average age was 24 years, average GMAT score was 550, and the average grade point average was a 3.29/4.00.
What is the average work experience, in years, of admitted candidates? Is work experience required?
In the past few years, the average work experience for our graduate business students has been approximately two years. Work experience is not required for admission.
How many students are typically in the incoming MBA class?
Each year, we enroll approximately 60-80 students each year.
How many applications do you receive each year?
Our application pool varies each year. Typically, we receive over 150 applications each year for the One Year MBA program.
What is the average age of students entering the MBA program?
For the past four years, the average age has been 24 years old.
The MBA Program
How many credits do students need to graduate from the full-time One-Year MBA program?
Our One-Year MBA program is a total of 38 credits (ten modules at two credits each, four electives at three credits each and one required experiential course at three credits).
What are the fields of study in the MBA program?
The Clarkson MBA allows you to pursue a General MBA (with four electives of your choice) or a track in Global Supply Chain Management, Innovation and New Venture Management, or Environmental Management. The Director and Associate Director of the Graduate Business Program serve as your advisors but you would also be encouraged to meet with faculty, alumni, and others for coursework/career advice.
What are your prerequisite business foundation courses?
Students are required to complete the eleven business foundation courses (with a grade of "C" or better) prior to the start of the MBA program. These courses are Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Information Technology (or a computer foundation course), Statistics, Business Law, Principles of Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Corporate Finance, and Operations/Production Management. These courses can be completed as part of your undergraduate degree, during our summer Business Concepts Program or at another institution with prior approval from the Graduate Business Program Director.
What is the length of the full-time MBA program if all business foundation course requirements have been successfully taken?
The full-time MBA program is two academic semesters (or approximately nine months), and spans from mid-August to early May. In some cases, students choose to pursue the MBA over the course of three or four semesters.
What courses do you offer in your program and where may I find the course descriptions?
You may view course descriptions online for the fall semester and for the spring semester courses. You may also download our published information packet (.pdf 1.02 MB).
Does Clarkson offer opportunities to study abroad?
Yes. Each student must participate in a 3 credit hour experiential course as part of the program. They can select to participate in the a Global Business Strategy course on campus. Also, students can select from summer international abroad program options. Further information on these options can be found on our Web site.
Is working part-time during the semester possible?
You may work as a graduate assistant during the academic year and earn up to $1500/semester. We do not encourage additional employment, as it is a fast-paced 9-month program. However, some students do work successfully during the year.
How is teamwork integrated into the One-Year MBA program?
Teamwork plays a particularly important role within the One-Year MBA. You will be assigned to complete teamwork in various classes during the year. The teams are changed with each class to allow students the opportunity to work with different individuals. This allows each student's unique personal and professional perspective to add to the group's educational experience.
In addition to the student teams within the course component, the program also stresses the importance of teamwork within the cohort. Students participate in workshops designed to facilitate teambuilding and improve group communication.
After earning an MBA, how will this degree aid in my career pursuits?
With an MBA, you will have attained a high level of knowledge about a wide range of topics considered essential in modern business leadership. As such, the MBA marks you as a person who was willing to invest the time and effort needed to gain the degree, and as someone who is prepared to accept and meet all the challenges the business world has to offer.
How does Clarkson compare to other schools? What is the ranking?
Clarkson offers an AACSB accredited program, enriched in a strong technological heritage. Our program is smaller in size, enabling strong connections with Faculty and Cohorts. Our placement is higher than the national average each year (for similar placement reporting), and does this in an accelerated nine month format. Clarkson has been placed among the best business schools by the US News & World Report
How is the curriculum structured?
Clarkson's 38 credit hour MBA program is structured by modules, free electives and an experiential requirement. Visit the curriculum page for additional information.
Should I expect a more collaborative or competitive educational environment?
Our program is cohort based. This means that you'll find a collaborative environment which enables you to become stronger in interpersonal skills, leveraging other people's strengths, and working together to achieve a common goal. This business model is common in most corporations today.
Approximately how much time outside of class will I need to spend on work?
Given that each class meets just three-five hours a week, you should plan on double to triple that amount of time outside of class. This does not include simply autonomous work such as readings and homework, but the many group projects you'll have where you'll need to maintain a flexible schedule to meet with your groups.
When do classes meet?
Classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 12:45. In the spring semester, electives hold various schedules and it will vary. In the fall however, all students have the same class schedule.
How long is each class?
Classes are one and a half hours in length, and meet two days a week.
The Admission Process
Do you admit students for fall and spring admission?
Traditional admission for the MBA program begins in the fall semester only. If a student needs to complete any foundation courses, they may enroll in the academic year or spring semester prior to the start of the MBA program. If you do need to complete any business foundation classes, we would encourage you to apply for the Business Concepts Program, which begins during the summer prior to the start of the MBA program in the fall.
Can I transfer into Clarkson University's MBA program from another graduate program?
Yes. If you have taken graduate level courses from an AACSB-accredited university and have earned a grade of "B" or higher, you may request a transfer of up to 9 credit hours providing there is an equivalent graduate course at Clarkson. Upon evaluation of the courses, students can apply these credits towards their MBA program at Clarkson University.
Can only students with a business undergraduate degree obtain their MBA at Clarkson in one year?
No. With our new summer Business Concepts Program, students pursuing a non-business undergraduate major or who have obtained a non-business undergraduate degree can fulfill business foundation classes during the summer prior to the start of the MBA program in August. Students interested in this program must apply and be accepted prior to the start of the needed summer classes.
While an interview is not required, would I be able to conduct a phone interview or have a personal interview?
Yes. We can provide either a phone interview or a personal interview. For a personal interview, we can meet with you either while we are on your campus/traveling to a nearby location or you can schedule a personal interview during a Clarkson University campus visit.
What is the average undergraduate GPA you recommend/require for admission?
We strongly recommend that an applicant's grade point average for his/her last four semesters (or last 60 credit hours) be 3.00 or higher. We also evaluate the rigor and type of program an applicant has undertaken or is currently pursuing.
Are photocopies of undergraduate transcripts accepted?
No, we do require an official transcript(s) to be sent from the schools you attended for admission. We do review unofficial transcripts to provide feedback on courses completed to date and to review current grades.
Do you require previous business work experience?
No. We do not require professional work experience to be admitted into our MBA program at Clarkson. Our program integrates real world experiences that train those with or without work experience. If you do have work experience, we will consider this when evaluating your application for admission.
What does it mean to "waive my rights" under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act on the letter of recommendation?
Under the FERPA Act, students check "agree" to waive their right to review references submitted for their application, or, check "disagree" meaning they would like to review these references.
How do I choose my references?
As the MBA is a professional degree, the admissions committee is interested in evaluating the applicant's academic and professional accomplishments and ability to work in a professional setting. Applicants who do not feel they can ask current supervisors to submit a letter of reference are encouraged to seek out former supervisors, clients, customers, or individuals who can discuss their professional experiences and accomplishments. For those without professional experience, at least two professors who can evaluate your academic performance and abilities should be submitted.
What official GMAT or official GRE score do you require?
We strongly recommend each applicant to strive for a score of 550 or better on the GMAT exam. For the GRE exam, we recommend a total score of 1100 or better. While we do not require a specific score, it is beneficial for the applicant to score well on either exam for admission purposes and to be considered for a merit-based scholarship.
Can we submit the official GRE exam score in lieu of the official GMAT exam score?
Yes. Applicants can submit either the GMAT exam score or the GRE (General Record Examination) exam score. Information on the GMAT can be obtained by visiting http://www.mba.com or for information on the GRE, you can visit http://www.gre.org.
Once I take the official GMAT or the GRE exam, how long are my scores valid?
Once the official exam is taken, the score is valid five years from that date.
What if I have taken the official required standardized exams more than once (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL)?
Clarkson will consider the higher of your scores for those tests taken within a year of the semester for which you are applying.
When I have my official GMAT score, official GRE score and/or TOEFL scores to Clarkson, what is your school code?
Clarkson University's GMAT institution code is V1G-53-52. For the GRE and TOEFL. Clarkson's institution code is 2084.
Are photocopies of international GMAT/GRE and TOEFL scores acceptable?
No, we do require the official scores to be sent in order for your application to be evaluated. We do provide advice to those who have taken these exams before sending the official scores to our office.
Are there any advantages to applying early?
While we offer rolling admissions, students if a student is a citizen of the United States or Canada and submits the application form by or before December 30, we will waive the application fee. All other requirements (essays, resume, transcripts, official GMAT score, official transcript(s), three references) can be submitted after December 30.
Can I apply online?
Yes. Clarkson encourages you to apply online. Electronic applicants and reference forms are available at http://www.applyweb.com/apply/clarksng/menu.html. You may also download our application form along with the reference form or request an application packet be sent to you by mail.
Must I send all supporting documents together or can I send my application requirements at separate times?
With our rolling admissions policy, you may either send all the application requirements in at the same time or send them in at separate times. We will keep in contact with you to let you know which documents have been received and what we still may need to complete your application.
Where do I send all of the application materials?
You may mail your application materials to:
Office of Graduate Business Programs
8 Clarkson Avenue
PO Box 5770
Potsdam, NY 13699-5770
What are the deadlines for admission to the full-time MBA program?
We offer a rolling admission policy. Our international applicants are required to complete all application requirements by May 1 (assuming all business foundation courses are met).
After completing my application, how long will it take to receive a decision?
Our goal is to communicate a decision to you within two weeks of completing your application requirements.
How can I check the status of my application?
We encourage you to keep in constant communication with our office with respect to your application. You may contact us by phone at 315-268-6613 or by e-mail at email@example.com. We will also be in touch with you to let you know which application requirements have been received by our office and what we may still need to complete your application.
Can I defer my admission once accepted?
Yes, we can defer for up to one year from the initial date of admission. After that time, you may be required to submit a new application and provide other supportive materials.
What are the procedures for re-applying?
To re-apply, you will need to re-submit your application, resume, essays as components to your application. If your standardized test scores are out of date (five years for the GMAT/GRE, and two years for the TOEFL exam), then you will need to retake those as well.
Do you have a fee waiver program?
We do not have a fee waiver program. All students will be considered for merit based scholarships which can range from 5% to 65% of total tuition.
May I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
Any recommendation submitted will be reviewed, however it does not provide any extra strength to an application other than providing us with an understanding of each applicant's capabilities. Three recommendation letters is usually plenty.
How long do I have to accept an offer of admission?
In a students' acceptance letters, we provide a deadline for submitting an admission deposit. After this time, we will usually defer the applicant unless otherwise specified. With rolling admissions, it is acceptable to provide a delayed answer, depending on whether or not the student needs to complete any of the business foundation courses.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
What is the tuition for the full-time Clarkson MBA program?
For all applicants, tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year will be $50,312 for the 38 credit hour program. Room, board, books, fees, etc. are estimated to be $11,090. If a student receives a merit-based scholarship, this amount is deducted from the cost of tuition ONLY.
What is the tuition for the new Summer Business Concepts Program?
The tuition for the Summer Business Concepts Program is free of charge (each course is 1.5 credits). Room, board, and books are an additional cost depending on the number of courses needed.
Are there scholarships available? Do I have to apply separately to be considered for a scholarship?
Approximately 85% of all incoming students receive some form of merit-based scholarship. You do not need to apply separately to be considered for a merit-based scholarship.
Are there government loans available to international students?
No, an international applicant may apply for private loans if they have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident. Further information on loans, grants and outside scholarships can be found on our Web site.
How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?
Each year the Clarkson MBA program provides all students who wish to work the opportunity to earn up to $1,500 each semester for living expenses. Upon receipt of acceptance letters, students may indicate their desire to work during the academic year.
How do I apply for financial aid?
The Office of Graduate Business Programs and Clarkson University's Student Administrative Services Offices are available to help you through the financial process. Information on loan programs, outside financial aid and useful Web sites can be found on our Web site.
There is not a separate application to be considered for a merit-based scholarship or a graduate assistantship. Applicants are considered for a merit-based scholarship during the review of the completed application to the program. Graduate Assistantships are available to those who are accepted and are interested in working during the year of the program.
What type of loan programs may I be eligible for?
For United States residents, you may fill out an application for federal loans (now both subsidized and unsubsidized) as well as Graduate PLUS loans. There are also numerous private loans available to you. Private loans may be taken out by international students only with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as their co-signer.
What is the financial aid timeline?
In order to qualify for the Federal Loan program, it is required that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) be completed. Students can complete this form online.
What was the median compensation package offered by companies for graduating MBA students last year?
The average first year compensation for our Class of 2013 was approximately $67,000. This figure depends on the geographic area, nature of the position, company, industry and the students' past work experiences.
What percent of Clarkson MBAs are employed within three months of graduation?
Typically, our placement rate is approximately 90% or more.
What services does Clarkson offer to assist the graduate business students in their career and job search?
Through the Graduate Career Center and the Campus Career Center, Clarkson offers personalized job search strategy sessions with students from day one. Workshops, seminars, and individual counseling are offered year round. Clarkson's alumni and successful recruiting history also aids students in their search.
What is Career Leader?
This is a self-assessment tool on each student's interests, abilities, and values. This assessment is made available by our Coordinator of Graduate Career Services to incoming graduate business students at no cost. It can be completed online during the summer prior to entering the MBA program and your results will aid the Coordinator in discussing your career interests and options when meeting with you. Prospective students can also take this self-assessment tool by visiting mba.com where there is a charge of $50.00.
What is Knightlink?
This is our web-based system for keeping students updated on interviews, job postings, internship postings, and company presentations. Students store their resumes and cover letters on this system and then "apply" for jobs and presentations. We archive information on companies and jobs, as well as maintain a calendar of events. You must be a current student to access this system.
How many alumni are members of the Alumni Career Networking Database and how active (assist in job search efforts, etc.) are they?
There are approximately 35,000 members in the database; 60 - 70% of them are active.
What types of job opportunities are available for an international student during the academic year?
Our international graduate students may work as a graduate assistant, or, in some cases, on campus working for our dining services or other areas.
How do alumni assist in the job search process?
Alumni serve Clarkson in many ways. They participate in career fairs and on-campus recruiting with their companies, act as mentors and a source for information to current students, as well as network with other alumni and the Clarkson community for many different venues.
What resources do you offer international students in their job search?
We understand that finding a job in the US as an international student may take a few additional steps. We offer one-on-one career counseling, training and workshops referring to federal laws for employment, strategies for finding employment, and much more. With a long history of diversity, Clarkson's alumni network also serves as a wealth of knowledge for our current and prospective students.
How many recruiters come to Clarkson University?
Each year, Clarkson attracts companies to recruit students during fairs, on-campus visits, on-campus interviews, etc. For the Fall 2011 Career Fair, we hosted a record number of 150+ companies. Nearly 200 companies are in contact with students each year at Clarkson, with many of them recruiting business students. Information on these companies is available by contacting Graduate Career Services, or the Campus Career Center.
I am an international student planning to apply to your program. What are the application procedures?
For international applicants, we require the following:
• a $35 application fee,
• a resume/vitae,
• two essays,
• official transcripts from undergraduate institutions attended,
• three reference letters,
• official GMAT score or GRE score
• official TOEFL score (minimum 550 paper-based or a 80 on the TOEFLiBT is required),
What official standardized examinations do I need to take as an international student?
International applications are required to submit an official GMAT score or GRE score, official TOEFL score
If I need to have my official scores sent (GMAT or GRE score and/or TOEFL) to Clarkson, what is the institution's code?
Clarkson University's GMAT institution code is V1G-53-52. The GRE and TOEFL institution code is 2084.
Once I take the official TOEFL exam, how long are my scores valid?
Once the official TOEFL exam is taken, the score is valid two years from that date.
Can the TOEFL requirement be waived?
Yes, in some cases. Applicants who have received degrees from institutions in the U.S. or institutions where English is the primary language usually are not required to submit TOEFL scores. Students who are currently enrolled and have been enrolled at least one year at a U.S. institution may also request to have the TOEFL requirement waived.
Do you accept IELTS scores from international applicants?
While Clarkson University prefers to use the TOEFL exam for its international applicants, we will accept an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.
Do international students need to submit their references and transcripts in English?
Yes, all application materials from international students must be submitted in English.
Will you conduct a phone interview rather than a personal interview?
Yes. We can provide a phone interview, if requested by a student. We do encourage you to meet with us if we are visiting your campus or a location nearby or schedule a date to visit our campus.
Are there government loans available to international students?
No, an international applicant may apply for private loans if they have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident. Further information on loans, grants, and outside scholarships can be found by visiting our Web site.
Do you have an "English as a Second Language" program?
No, however each international student is encouraged to take the ESL placement exam during orientation to determine their level of English speaking/writing skills. Based upon the score on this exam, a student may be encouraged to take an ESL course during the fall and/or spring semester at no charge.
Is a three-year bachelor degree from India sufficient to apply for the Clarkson MBA program?
Yes, however, an applicant will need to show verification of earning a bachelor degree prior to the start of the MBA program along with an official transcript.
Do the MBA students live on or off campus?
Our MBA students at Clarkson University traditionally live off campus in apartments or houses. We provide a detailed housing list, which is updated each year, to inform students of area housing opportunities.
How much does the typical MBA student spend for rent and utilities?
The average monthly rent for an unfurnished, one-bedroom apartment is $500 - $800. Utilities usually cost between $100 - 300 per month depending on what is included in the rent. Costs vary depending on the size of the apartment and location. For guides to apartments, visit Housing.
How much does the average MBA student need for additional expenses?
For room, books, fees, and other various expenses, the average student should plan to spend up to $11,090. This is a high estimate, as the actual cost does depend on individual preferences.
I was offered admission and want to learn more about student life at Clarkson. What resources are available?
There are a few different resources available to you. Visit the Student Life webpage or contact a student ambassador. You should also consider visiting Clarkson and Potsdam to see it in person.
What attire do you recommend to wear during the MBA program?
The MBA program does have a dress code for students. During presentations and professional events, formal business is expected. For all other times such as class and during the day, business casual is the requested dress.
Are there any clubs/activities offered within the MBA program?
During the MBA program, students engage in the Graduate Business Association, Intramural Sports, International Associations, or participate in Graduate Student Association Activities. It is important for students to participate in activities and maintain a healthy balance between work, social interaction, and overall well being.