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Graduate Admission

Frequently Asked Questions

Here the questions we get most frequently in the Office of Graduate Admission

Graduate FAQS for Applicants

We have compiled responses to the anticipated questions below and will continue to update this list as needed. We encourage you to contact the Graduate Admission office directly if you have questions that are not addressed below.  

Programs

Which programs are STEM-designated?

Our Master of Science (MS) programs in Accounting, Business Analytics, Human Factors in Information Design (UX), and the Analytics track of our MS in Finance, are all STEM-designated. While our MBA is not STEM, you may be able to pair it with an eligible MS program by adding as few as 8 classes.

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 traveling to an international destination with their 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 who 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 during regular semesters (fall and spring), but may work up to 40 hours per week during breaks between semesters. 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 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.

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 the United States, Canada, the 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. 

Do you require international transcript evaluation?

Yes, Bentley requires a NACES-member evaluation for degrees awarded outside the U.S. Evaluations must display course-by-course grades and degree equivalencies. With this evaluation, we are able to consider your prior coursework for foundation course waivers. This evaluation can be requested from within the BusinessCAS application, or you may select your own provider from the list of NACES member evaluation services.

Do you require English translation of transcripts and other admission documents?

Yes, original materials that are issued in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified English translation.   

Do you accept a 3-year degree from India?

We will consider the results of your international transcript evaluation, along with any supplemental coursework, to determine whether your education is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

What can I do if I am not be able to send required financial documents to complete the I-20 process once admitted?

Admitted international students must submit financial documents prior to the issuance of an I-20. We anticipate a delay in visa processing and encourage you to collect your materials as early as possible for the 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.

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 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.

I am not able to obtain a visa appointment on time. What should I do?

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

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 aid (scholarship). 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 may be eligible for institutional grant funds based on financial need. Visit our Tuition and Aid 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 partners with Prodigy Finance, a reputable lender servicing international students without a co-signer. Other potential financing opportunities include MPower and Paras. Visit our Tuition & Aid page to learn more.

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 the 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 the 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 mostly “hybrid” classes, which means they are conducted live via Zoom at scheduled meeting times for in-person or online participation. Some courses are offered fully online as “asynchronous” classes, which means there are no scheduled meeting times. We do not offer 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.

Do you have any remote campuses?

We currently offer our MS in Human Factors in Information Design at our San Francisco location. All programs are accessible remotely via the hybrid course format. 

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 ($14.25/hour for the calendar year 2022, and $15.00/hour for the calendar year 2023). 

Admission

How do I apply?

General degree applicants for Fall 2023 and beyond must utilize the centralized BusinessCAS application service to apply. To start, create a BusinessCAS account, search for Bentley University, and select your program of interest.

Alumni, staff, and faculty are invited to apply through our custom, streamlined Bentley Graduate application.

Visit our application page for more information and to begin your application.

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 

International coursework accompanied by a NACES member transcript evaluation will be considered if deemed equivalent to U.S. regional accreditation. 

Is the GMAT, GRE or GMAC Executive Assessment exam required for admission?

While the Graduate Admission Committee believes standardized test scores are an important aspect of an application, submitting a test score is optional as of Fall 2023. Submitting a strong GMAT, GRE, or GMAC Executive Assessment score allows the admission committee to assess your preparation for a graduate business degree easily and can result in a faster decision. If you choose to apply without a test score, be sure that other components of your application (transcripts, resume) sufficiently demonstrate your aptitude. When in doubt, schedule a consultation to talk with us about your background and qualifications.

What is the minimum GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment score for admission?

While the Graduate Admission Committee believes standardized test scores are an important aspect of an application, submitting a test score is optional as of Fall 2023. Submitting a strong GMAT, GRE, or GMAC Executive Assessment score allows the admission committee to assess your preparation for a graduate business degree easily and can result in a faster decision. If you choose to apply without a test score, be sure that other components of your application (transcripts, resume) sufficiently demonstrate your aptitude. When in doubt, schedule a consultation to talk with us about your background and qualifications.

If you choose to submit test scores, 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.

Recommended scores are: 

  • Applicants for the MBA and Master’s in Taxation should have a GMAT total score of 550 or higher or GRE score of at least 154 on each section, or an Executive Assessment score of 10 or higher 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, or an Executive Assessment score of 10 or higher on each section with at least 12 in the Quant 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 coursework. 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 coursework 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?

While the Graduate Admission Committee believes standardized test scores are an important aspect of an application, submitting a test score is optional as of Fall 2023. If you choose to apply with a test score, Bentley University’s school code for GRE and TOEFL scores is: 3096. General degree applicants can utilize the BusinessCAS application to enter test dates and scores.

School codes for GMAT by the program are:

  • Full-Time MBA: 84V-P6-36
  • Part-Time & Online MBA: 84V-P6-08
  • 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 for general degree applicants should be ordered through the BusinessCAS application or 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

I am considering applying to Bentley University without a GMAT, GRE or GMAC Executive Assessment score. What should I demonstrate in my application that affirms my preparation for graduate school?

Submitting a test score is optional as of Fall 2023. If you choose to apply without a test score, be sure that other components of your application (transcripts, resume) sufficiently demonstrate your aptitude. When in doubt, schedule a consultation to talk with us about your background and qualifications.

Bentley University is one of the nation's top business schools making admission competitive. Candidates who submit an application without a standardized test must demonstrate analytical proficiency in some academic programs and may be required to complete an admission interview to better understand their experience in preparation for graduate school.

Here are some examples in which the Graduate Admission Committee may determine your preparation for an advanced degree in business, we encourage candidates to consult with the admission team for program-specific considerations.

Proof of prior academic experience or professional experience in the field of study that demonstrates aptitude in (e.g., Computer Science, Calculus, Statistics, Mathematics, User Experience Design, Engineering, Psychology, etc.).

Relevant professional certifications such as CFA, CPA, CFP, IRS Enrolled Agent
Certificate Program, Non-degree coursework, or training programs in a related field of study.

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 the determination of foundation waivers. 

Alumni

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

The Advanced Standing programs in Business (ASB), Finance (ASF), and Business Analytics (ASBA) are open to high-achieving Bentley undergraduates interested in continuing into our MBA, MSF, or MSBA programs, respectively. These programs provide a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to earn their graduate degrees faster. Students admitted into the Advanced Standing offering will continue into graduate studies without having to submit a general graduate application. Students completing the Advanced Standing 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 the 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 terms 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 an Advanced Standing program or completing an MBA/MS dual degree, you can share courses between two degrees based on varying program criteria. Undergraduate students enrolled in Advanced Standing graduate 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 who apply to the Graduate School through the custom Alumni/Employee application will be waived from completing one of two required essays, are not required to submit letters of recommendation, and will not be charged an application fee.

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 include their previous academic and professional achievements, test scores (optional), 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 Advanced Standing 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 Advanced Standing programs are generously discounted with the 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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