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Graduate Admission

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are a few of the questions we get most frequently in the Office of Graduate Admission.

COVID-19 FAQS FOR APPLICANTS

We understand you may have many questions in this time of great uncertainty. We have compiled responses to anticipated questions below and will continue to update this list as the situation evolves. In addition, we encourage you to contact the Graduate Admission office directly to discuss your specific concerns and see how we may be of assistance.  

Are you open for business?

The Graduate Admission office is open to visitors by appointment. We are available for on campus visits or virtually during normal business hours. You may connect with our office by phone at +1 781-891-2108 or connect with student ambassadors are online to chat with you at https://www.bentley.edu/graduate. You can schedule a personal consultation with one of our Admissions Officers. Outside of business hours, you can email us at applygrad@bentley.edu.  

Are campus tours or visits available at this time?

Bentley University is offering campus visits in-person by appointment. To schedule a campus tour and meeting with our Admission Officers visit our Connect with Us page for available times.

Due to the closure of testing centers, I am unable to complete my test in time to meet the application deadline. What can I do?

We are aware that many test centers (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) remain closed, however, these tests are available in online, proctored formats. Alternatively, we may be able to waive test requirements based on other aspects of your application, accept alternative credentials, or extend deadlines. We recommend you contact us to discuss the best option for your particular situation, as a strong test score may be your best route to admission and scholarship opportunities. For more information about online testing, visit ETS.org (GRE, TOEFL), MBA.com (GMAT), or IELTS.org.

My undergraduate university is closed due to the pandemic. What should I do if unable to obtain official transcripts?

Bentley University will accept unofficial copies of transcripts to review your application for admission.  We require an official copy of your transcript showing conferral of your undergraduate degree prior to the start of classes.

Some of my courses were graded Pass/Fail due to impact of the virus. Will these courses still be considered for foundation waivers?

We will evaluate Pass/Fail grades in the context of your overall academic record for determination of foundation waivers. 

What happens if I am unable to arrive at Bentley University by the start of the term because of a travel ban or other restrictions?

New international students must obtain an F-1 visa and plan to study in-person for the 2022- 2023 academic year. Those unable to arrive in person must defer admission, if eligible, for arrival in a future term. Contact us to discuss your enrollment plans.

What can I do if I am not be able to send required financial documents to complete the I-20 process because my financial institution is closed due to the virus?

Admitted international students must submit financial documents prior to issuance of an I-20. We anticipate a delay in visa processing and encourage you to collect your materials as early as possible for best results. Should delays in materials or appointment times prevent you from arriving on time, you can defer your start date for up to one year. Contact us to discuss our department to discuss your enrollment plans.

Due to embassy/consulate closures in my region, I am not able to obtain a visa appointment. What should I do?

Some locations are experiencing long delays, while others are closed entirely. Check appointment times in other cities that may be accessible to you and keep checking every few days as appointment availability changes frequently. Bentley’s Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS) offers resources and advising for admitted international students. Contact the Graduate Admission office for more information.  

Programs

Which programs are STEM-designated?

Our Master of Science programs in Accounting, Business Analytics, Human Factors in Information Design (UX), and the Analytics track of our MS in Finance, are all STEM-designated.

How long do Bentley degree programs take to complete?

The time to complete a degree depends on the student and their program of study, and Bentley offers flexible scheduling options to accommodate your goals and preferences. General guidelines are described below, and we encourage you to contact us to discuss your particular program plan. 

MBA Formats:

  • Full-Time, typically completed in 18 to 24 months, depending on foundation course waivers 
  • Part-Time, most students finish in 2.5 years 
  • Accelerated Online, designed for completion in 18 months when waiving at least three foundation courses 

MS Programs: 

  • Full-Time, a typical 10-course MS program can be completed in as little as 12 months (3 terms), but most students will finish in 16 months (4 terms) when factoring in foundation course requirements and/or summer internship. Students who need at least three foundation courses and also pursue a summer internship may take up to 20 months (5 terms) to complete their program. 
  • Part-time, most students finish in 2 years. 

Dual MBA + MS:

  • Full-Time, students can complete a dual MBA and MS degree in two years. 
  • Part-Time, students have up to 5 years to complete both degrees with credits shared between the two. 
Can I switch between full-time and part-time status?

International students enrolled in F1 or J1 visa status must maintain full-time enrollment of at least 9 credits (3 courses) per term during the fall and spring terms. Other students may adjust their enrollment plan from term to term, keeping in mind that many federal funding sources require at least 6 credits per term. All students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registration to discuss their program plan and course sequencing, as some courses may have prerequisites and/or may be offered only once per year. 

How long will I have to complete my degree?

Graduate students have up to 5 years to complete their degree program.

Are there any degrees I can earn completely online?

The MBA is offered in an entirely online, asynchronous format with minimal scheduled programming. The Part Time MBA and all Master of Science programs can be completed online through our hybrid course format with scheduled course times. Our certificate programs are conducted online only and may include a mix of asynchronous and scheduled course offerings. Bentley University is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to provide online education under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

What is the difference between a Certificate and an MS degree?

Our three course skills-based graduate certificates can meet your reskilling and upskilling needs in less than a year and are stackable toward a Bentley master’s degree. Certificates are considered non-degree programs and thus not eligible for student services and not open to students seeking F1 visa. Our nationally-ranked MBA and specialized master’s programs complement your prior education and experience to give you the advanced skills and knowledge to be a leader in your field. 

Can I do a dual degree with an MBA program?

Yes. Many of our MBA students continue on for a Master’s in a specific discipline, and vice versa. If you plan accordingly, you can "share" 4 elective courses between the two degrees. Since our Master of Science programs require 10 courses and the MBA requires 12, you may earn a dual MS and MBA with a minimum of 18 courses. If you are not able to waive any of the MBA foundation requirements, then you will need at least 21 courses for both degrees. You may apply to both degrees when you first enroll or add the second degree later. You cannot combine two MS degrees. Consult with an academic advisor to ensure your course selections maximize your shared electives. 

What is a “Global Business Experience”?

A "GBE" provides students with the opportunity to earn 3 credits by travelling to an international destination with your class. These trips combine academic preparation, corporate immersion experiences, cultural exposure and post-trip final projects. These are generally 7 to 10 days long and scheduled during the winter and summer breaks, which allows students who are working to use vacation time to participate. The trip cost is additional to your course tuition.

International Students

I am an International student. Can I stay in the US after I graduate?

International students are allowed 12 months of “Optional Practical Training” or OPT after they receive their degree. This enables students to stay in the US and work. Students that graduate from a STEM designated program are allowed 36 months of OPT.

As an international student, am I able to work while I pursue my degree?

Per the F1 Visa policy, international students are able to work up to 20 hours per week on campus only. This can include a work requirement with a Graduate Assistantship scholarship. There are also limited Graduate Student Jobs students can apply directly for through Student Employment.

What specific resources are available for international students?

Bentley provides many services for international students, some of which are free and others which are fee-based. Many students take advantage of these programs to improve their language skills and build connections on campus and in the Boston area.

Do you accept a 3-year degree from India?

Bentley accepts a 3-year Indian bachelor's degree earned in Division/Class I from an institution accredited by NAAC with a grade of "A" or better. Students may be required to submit documentation from their university indicating accreditation.

What are international job placement rates?

This varies significantly based on the program. You can get the details by speaking with an Admission Officer. One thing to keep in mind: full-time placement is most often dependent on a company’s sponsorship through an H1B visa, which is not something an educational institution can control.

Can I waive out of the English Language Test (ELT) requirement?

You may be able to waive the ELT requirement if you are a citizen of a pre-approved* English-speaking nation or completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or higher degree in which all instruction was provided in English (documentation of English instruction is required). If you meet either qualification, you may request a waiver at the time you submit your graduate school application; note that your application must be complete before your waiver will be considered, and an interview may be required. Contact us to discuss your potential eligibility for a waiver. 

*Pre-approved English speaking nations include: United States, Canada, United Kingdom (including its territories), New Zealand, Australia, Uganda, and South Africa. 

Which tests are accepted to fulfill the English Language Test requirement?

We accept IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, or Pearson’s PTE scores from the past 24 months. Other types of tests may be considered only in the context of requesting an ELT waiver. 

Tuition & Aid

What is the price of a graduate program?

For all of our master’s programs, tuition is charged at the per-course rate for the duration of your program. If you receive a merit scholarship, it will reduce the per-course rate for the duration of your program. Rates for the current academic year, along with average merit scholarships and other estimated expenses, can be found on our Graduate Tuition and Aid page.

Is financial aid available for both full-time and part-time graduate students?

Yes. We evaluate every applicant for merit-based financial aid. Please keep in mind, these awards are completely merit-based and not tied to a student’s financial need. Domestic students may apply separately for federal loans to fund their education costs, and full-time students may be eligible for institutional grant funds based on financial need. Visit our Financial Aid overview page to learn more about the variety of merit-based aid awards available to highly qualified full-time and part-time graduate students.

Is financial aid available for international students?

All applicants are evaluated for merit-based scholarships, and full-time candidates may be considered for graduate assistantships. Other funding options available to international students include private loans and external scholarships, particularly those offered through their home country. Bentley does not have relationships with any loan providers. Many of our international students work with MPower as a lending agency that does not require a US co-signer, while others work with any number of loan providers using a US co-signer. Refer to our Financial Aid flyer for a list of external online resources to help you find scholarship opportunities. 

How much can I expect to receive in scholarship?

Merit scholarships are based primarily on academic, professional and personal achievement, without regard to financial need, and vary based on program and competitiveness of the applicant pool. Scholarships are distributed in the form of tuition remission for the duration of your program, and recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA to retain award eligibility. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible for best consideration. Average awards for the prior academic year can be found on our Graduate Tuition and Aid page. 

How can I apply for a Graduate Assistantship?

Full-time applicants indicate their interest in a graduate assistantship within their application. Once accepted, these applicants are considered for available assistantships in a separate review process that typically begins in early March and continues until all spots are confirmed. Assistantships provide valuable work experience that helps students secure competitive internships and employment offers, and the Graduate School offers about 30 positions each year to our best full-time students entering the MBA or any of our MS programs. While benefits vary each year, they typically include a stipend for work proceeds in exchange for a 15-hour per week work commitment during the first academic year (fall-spring) and are non-renewable. Contact your admission officer to learn more about assistantship opportunities and benefits offered during the current application cycle. 

Campus

Do you have online classes or Saturday classes?

We have many online classes available. These are “hybrid” classes, which means they are held at the same time as an in-class session and allow you to be an active participant. We do not offer any Saturday classes at this time.

Is there housing for graduate students on campus?

No. However, there are many local apartment complexes within walking distance from the Bentley campus. There are also apartments available in Belmont and Cambridge with a local shuttle for students to get to campus. We also have an off-campus housing service that can help you find listings for apartments, roommates and local real estate agents through our website at https://offcampushousing.bentley.edu

Do you have any remote campuses?

We currently offer our MS in Human Factors in Information Design at our San Francisco location.

Do all graduate students have access to Career Services?

All MBA and MS students have lifetime access to the services and resources provided by our highly-ranked Pulsifer Career Development Center. We start working with you as soon as your studies begin, then provide new ways to develop your skills, make new connections and reach your goals throughout your entire career. Non-degree and certificate students are not eligible for Career Development services. 

Are there opportunities for students to work on campus?

Many graduate students pursue student employment in Bentley offices and departments to gain experience and income. These positions are posted at the start of each semester in the Workday student system and typically require an application and interview process. Student employees can expect to work between 5 and 20 hours per week, depending on the needs of the position, and earn the current minimum wage set by Massachusetts ($12.75/hour for calendar year 2020, and $13.50/hour for calendar year 2021). 

Admission

Are there any prerequisites I can complete before I get to Bentley?

Many of our programs require foundation courses that can be completed prior to enrollment or during your studies at Bentley. Some or all foundation course requirements may be waived based on prior equivalent coursework that meets all of the following criteria: 

  • Completed within the past 5 years 
  • Earned a grade equivalent of B or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) 
  • Taken at an undergraduate institution with AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA, or U.S. regional accreditation 
Is the GMAT or GRE exam required for admission?

A GMAT or GRE score is required to complete your application, though we have no preference between the two. Students may be eligible to waive the GMAT or GRE exam requirement for their program based on prior qualifications, as described later in this FAQ; however, a strong test score will make your application more competitive for admission and merit aid consideration.  

How can I request a GMAT or GRE waiver?

If you meet the below qualifications for your program, you may request a waiver within your graduate school application.  

  • For all programs, applicants may request waiver if they hold a previous master’s (or higher) degree in a related field from an accredited* institution. 
  • For the MBA and Master’s programs in Finance and Taxation, applicants may request waiver if they have earned a degree with a GPA of 3.2 or higher from an accredited* institution within the last 5 years, or have at least 5 years of professional experience in the field of study, or hold relevant professional certification. 
  • For our STEM-designated Master’s programs in Accounting, Business Analytics and Financial Analytics applicants may request waiver if they have earned a degree with a GPA of 3.2 or higher from an accredited* institution within the last five years with a grade of ‘B’ or better in at least 2 quantitative courses, or have at least 5 years of professional experience in the field of study with demonstrated applied quantitative or analytic skills.
  • MBA and MS dual degree applicants requesting waiver are reviewed based on their corresponding MS program selection  
  • Bentley alumni are automatically waived from the test requirement if they completed a prior MBA or Master’s degree. Undergraduate alumni who graduated in the past 5 years with a GPA of 3.2 or higher or have at least 5 years of professional experience may waive the test requirement for MBA and Master’s programs with the exception of Human Factors in Information Design. We may also consider waivers for undergraduate alumni who demonstrate an equivalent combination of education and experience; contact us to learn more. 

*U.S. regional, AACSB, EQUIS or AMBA accreditation 

What is the minimum GMAT or GRE score for admission?

We do not require a specific minimum score, as we understand that tests are imperfect predictors of success in a graduate business program, and we instead look at all components of your application to determine eligibility for admission. However, we do expect students to achieve recommended scores in order to demonstrate their preparation for the academic rigor of our programs. Scores below our recommendations should be supplemented by significant academic achievement and/or extensive relevant experience in the field (refer to the above guidelines for GMAT or GRE waiver).  Recommended scores are: 

  • Applicants for the MBA and Master’s programs in Accounting and Taxation should have a GMAT total score of 550 or higher or GRE score of at least 154 on each section. 
  • Applicants for STEM-designated Master’s programs in Accounting, Business Analytics, Financial Analytics, and Human Factors should have a GMAT total score of 600 or higher or GRE score of at least 157 on each section. 
Do you allow for transfer credit or waive courses based on prior experience?

We do not accept transfer credit for courses in the core of any graduate program. We will grant waivers for foundation level courses, and may substitute core courses, if you have completed prior equivalent course work. In some cases, we are able to waive foundation level courses based on extensive professional experience in the discipline. Course waivers are evaluated based on your application materials and communicated with your admission decision. Prior course work may qualify for waiver or substitution if it meets all of the following criteria:  

  • Completed within the past 5 years 
  • Earned a grade equivalent of B or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) 
  • Taken at an undergraduate institution with U.S. regional, AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA accreditation 
My application for admission was denied. When can I re-apply?

Applicants are able to apply beginning one year after their denial decision was rendered unless having received alternative guidance from a member of our admission team. In some cases, students may apply for a different degree level within the same academic year.

What is the school code for sending official test scores?

Bentley University’s school code for GRE and TOEFL scores is: 3096.

School codes for GMAT by program are:

  • Full Time MBA: 84V-P6-36
  • Part Time & Online MBA: 84V-P6-08
  • MS Accountancy & MS Accounting: 84V-P6-48
  • MS Business Analytics: 84V-P6-04
  • MS Finance: 84V-P6-40
  • MS Human Factors: 84V-P6-27
  • MS Taxation: 84V-P6-06
Where should I direct transcripts and other official documents?

Electronic transcripts should be sent by your institution to: applygrad@bentley.edu

Hard copy documents should be mailed to:

Bentley University Graduate Admission
175 Forest St., LAC 295
Waltham, MA 02452
USA

Alumni

I have been admitted to the Advanced Standing in Business or Finance program. Do I need to apply through the Graduate School application?

The Advanced Standing in Business (ASB) and Advanced Standing in Finance (ASF) programs are open to high-achieving Bentley undergraduates interested in continuing into our MBA or MSF degree programs. These two programs provide a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to earn their graduate degree faster. Students admitted into the ASB or ASF offerings will continue into graduate studies without having to submit a general graduate application. Students completing the ASB or ASF program that wish to enroll in a second graduate degree must apply through Graduate Admission. Visit our Advanced Standing programs webpage to learn more. 

I have been approved to enroll in blended term courses in my last undergraduate semester. Do I need to apply through the Graduate School application?

Blended term students may receive permission through Graduate Advising to take up to two graduate-level courses during their last semester of their Bentley undergraduate program and apply these courses toward a master's degree within 5 years; no application is necessary for blended term enrollment. Participation in blended term does not automatically enroll students in graduate school. If interested in pursuing a graduate degree, students must apply through Graduate Admission. 

Can I apply course credits to multiple degrees?

If you are enrolled in ASB, ASF or completing an MBA/MS dual degree, you can share courses between two degrees based on varying program criteria. Undergraduate students enrolled in ASB, ASF term courses cannot apply these credits to more than one graduate degree. Blended term credits are not used to fulfill undergraduate requirements and may be used for a dual graduate degree. 

When should I apply if I am a Bentley undergraduate?

The Graduate School of Business enrolls new students for spring and fall semesters. A completed bachelor’s degree is required for all incoming graduate students prior to matriculation. Current undergraduate students are encouraged to work with academic advising to determine the best time to apply. While we typically encourage that you apply early in the application cycle, you must have completed at least 3 years of credit (about 90 hours) at the time that you submit your application.  

Is there a separate graduate application for Bentley alumni?

Bentley alumni can apply to the Graduate School through the general application. By indicating that you are a Bentley alumni in the application, you will be waived from completing one of two required essays and are not required to submit letters of recommendation. There is no application fee for alumni. 

Can I live on campus as a graduate student?

Bentley University does not offer housing for graduate students. Exceptions may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Bentley Residential Center for Advanced Standing students and fifth-year student-athletes. Our University staff is happy to provide support and resources if you are in search of housing in anticipation of your graduate studies. Visit here for more information on off-campus housing and transportation resources. 

Do I retain my scholarship if electing to enroll in the graduate school?

Any undergraduate scholarship awarded does not continue for your graduate studies. The Graduate School offers limited merit-based scholarships to a select number of qualified applicants. Recipients are selected based on criteria that includes their previous academic and professional achievements, test scores, and skills or attributes that suggest a unique contribution to their incoming class.  

Am l eligible for an alumni discount?

All Bentley alumni (with exception of ASB and ASF students) who have completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree at Bentley are eligible to receive a 10% alumni discount on graduate courses (numbered 500-799). Since the ASB and ASF programs are generously discounted with opportunity to earn a graduate degree at an accelerated rate, students enrolled in these programs are not eligible for the 10% discount on the master’s degree portion of their program; however, these students are eligible for the 10% alumni discount on additional graduate study. Discounts do not apply to Global Business Experiences (GBE courses).  

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