Graduate Admissions Requirements

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Any student with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, regardless of field of study, is eligible to apply for admission to a Lindner graduate program. Applicants should have at least a B grade average (3.0 GPA or equivalent) in relevant undergraduate coursework, or otherwise show evidence of promise satisfactory to the admitting department. Applications are reviewed in a holistic manner, carefully considering your entire application portfolio.

Before admission to the UC is complete, all international students must fulfill US Immigration and Naturalization Service requirements and register with the UC Office of International Student Services.

Application deadlines represent the day that applications must be submitted. All required application items are due within two weeks of the submission deadline. Applications may be considered after the final program deadline pending space availability.

Specific program requirements and admission deadlines can be found within the individual program pages.

When is the application deadline, and what do I need to submit?

It is encouraged for all students to meet the priority deadline for the term in which they plan to start their program. To find more information on deadlines and required materials, please follow the link for your preferred program:

Do your programs offer scholarships or financial aid?

Merit-based scholarships are available on a limited basis to incoming full-time students who meet the priority deadline for their preferred term. Applicants are automatically considered for these scholarships and no separate scholarship application is required.

Several need-based financial assistance programs are available to graduate students through the federal government. The UC Financial Aid Office is the best resource for information pertaining to these programs.

Is the program I am interest in STEM designated?

The following programs areSTEM designated. If your program is not listed below, it is not STEM designated. 

Are three-year bachelor’s degrees accepted for any of the Lindner Graduate Programs?

All Lindner graduate programs require a U.S. 4-year bachelor's degree equivalent. If you have a three-year degree currently, you will need an unofficial evaluation from a NACES Member stating your program equivalence to a U.S. bachelor's degree. Important Note: Avoid using SpanTran or ECE for the evaluation. SpanTran and ECE won't equate a three-year degree to a four-year degree and you will need a new evaluation from a different NACES member.

For more information regarding transcript policies, please see the Official Transcript Submission Policy for Enrollment.

What is the minimum acceptable GPA for admission?

In general, the University of Cincinnati considers a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher to be a competitive score for acceptance into a Lindner graduate program. Once accepted into our graduate programs, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to prevent being placed on academic probation.

Please note: Students whose undergraduate institution was not on a 4.0 scale, your GPA must be officially converted to a 4.0 scale during the application process. 

Are there any scholarships or graduate assistant positions available?

Yes. Students are able to apply for graduate assistant positions or teaching assistantship positions. However, students need to be admitted and confirmed with payment of matriculation fee before they are able to apply using Handshake. Funding for these positions vary across the university and positions are continuously updated within Handshake. Assistantships are typically awarded upon arrival for the start of the program.

Do I need to take the Business Foundations courses before I apply to the program?

Business Foundations courses may be required as a part of your curriculum if you didn't graduate from an AACSB-accredited business program or graduated with a non-business degree.

The business foundational courses may be taken as part of your program curriculum but some prerequisite classes must be completed before you can take some of the required core classes. Information regarding the individual requirements is available on the admissions tab under each program.

Note: For the Lindner full-time MBA cohort program, students are encouraged to take the business foundations courses prior to the start of the MBA program.

Are there additional requirements for international applicants?

Yes, there are additional requirements for international applicants such as successfully passing the TOEFL exam and obtaining a student visa. Important information for international applicants can be found by visiting UC's International Student Services Office.

Do I need to take an English language proficiency exam?

All international students whose undergraduate institution was not in a country with English as the official language may need to take an English Language Proficiency Examination. If you think you may qualify for a waiver, please see the English language proficiency requirements page. 

The Graduate Incentive Award (GIA) and Graduate Assistant Scholarship (GAS) are university-funded scholarships that cover all or part of a full-time or part-time student's tuition and certain fees and cannot be used for any other purpose. Awards are posted directly to student bills and will not be sent as a payment directly to the student. Shortly after an admission offer, the appointing program will send scholarship offers in writing (including information about the amount and duration of the award and the terms of the offer) to students who are awarded funding.

Students receiving a GIA or GAS must be registered for at least the number of graduate credit hours covered by the GIA or GAS in each semester for which they are receiving support. The GIA is for graduate students who are not graduate assistants, and therefore no service is required in return for the award. The GAS is for graduate students who are graduate assistants. These students must meet the eligibility requirements in their Graduate Assistant letter to maintain their GAS.

Other rules and policies that apply specifically to international students are independent of GIA/GAS regulations. Neither negates or takes the place of the other.

The Lindner College of Business allows students to take graduate courses, on a limited basis, without being officially admitted to a degree or certificate program. This is referred to as “non-matriculated” student status. Certain academic and financial restrictions may apply to non-matriculated students and international students must meet our English language proficiency requirements. 

Non-matriculated students can take no more than twelve (12) graduate credit hours toward a program before they must be formally admitted and enrolled in a graduate program. Permission for coursework is not guaranteed, and is at the discretion of the Graduate Programs Office and academic departments. We will reach out to you directly via email once your request has been reviewed and a decision has been made. Please note that permission requests are typically not considered until close to the start of the term in which the requested courses take place.

To request permission to take Lindner College of Business graduate courses, please follow the appropriate guidelines based on your current status:

Current UC undergraduate students

UC undergraduate students who have junior or senior status and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 can request to take graduate courses at Lindner. If you wish to take classes toward a future graduate degree, you must open a graduate non-matriculated program at UC. This ensures that any graduate level courses you take can count toward a future graduate degree or certificate. Please note that courses cannot count toward both an undergraduate and graduate degree. In order to request permission for courses:

  1. Open a graduate non-matriculated program through the Lindner College of Business by filling out and submitting the information requested.
  2. Fill out the "Grad Programs-Course Permission Request" form for UC non-matriculated students requesting graduate classes by following these steps logging into Lindner Central and clicking on  “Grad Programs-Course Permission Request.”

Current UC grad students

Current UC graduate students can request Lindner College of Business coursework to count toward requirements in their non-business graduate program or toward a future Lindner graduate degree. Please fill out the Course Permission Request form.

New or returning UC students with no open program

If you wish to take classes for your personal development or to count toward a future graduate degree, we encourage you to first consider one of our graduate certificate options. If you still wish to proceed under non-degree status, you must open a Lindner College of Business graduate non-matriculated program (certain academic standards may apply in order to gain approval). To request permission for courses:

  1. Request to open a graduate non-matriculated program through the Lindner College of Business by filling out and submitting the information requested.
  2. Fill out the "Grad Programs-Course Permission Request" form for UC non-matriculated students requesting graduate classes by following these steps logging into Lindner Central and clicking on  “Grad Programs-Course Permission Request.”

Graduate Entrance Exams

GMAT and GRE

Our admission review process is holistic, so we do not have firm minimum score requirements. However, our programs are selective and submitting a competitive score on the GMAT or GRE exam is necessary to gain admission to a program. Some programs provide alternative pathways that would allow you to demonstrate your ability to succeed in the program without taking an entrance exam.

Waiver Criteria

Approved entrance exam waiver criteria can be found below, organized by program.

Important notes:

  • The admissons committee reserves the right to request a score as part of the application (even if waiver criteria are met).
  • If a score has previously been submitted to the University it cannot be waived.
  • PhD programs do not have any waiver options for GMAT or GRE.
  • If you have an undergraduate business degree from a domestic AACSB-accredited institution with cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher.
  • No entrance exam required
  • No entrance exam required
  • No entrance exam required
  • I have completed at least 6 graduate credits at UC in a relevant field with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • I have 4+ years of relevant work experience with demonstrated advancement.
  • I have an undergraduate business degree from a domestic AACSB-accredited institution with cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher.
  • No entrance exam required 
  • No entrance exam required
  • I have 4+ years of relevant work experience with demonstrated advancement.
  • I have completed a graduate degree in a relevant field.
  • I have an undergraduate business degree from a domestic AACSB-accredited institution with cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher.
  • No entrance exam required

TOEFL and IELTS

All international students are required to submit scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exam or have an approved waiver. The English proficiency requirement is also met for students who have completed level 112 of Intensive English instruction at an ELS Language Center.

Waiver opportunities are available for students that meet one of the following criteria approved by the University Graduate School. Click here for more information.

If you plan to apply for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver please contact graduate@uc.edu after submitting your application and pay your application fee.

Minimum TOEFL and IELTS Requirements

Minimum TOEFL and IELTS requirements by program
Program TOEFL** IELTS***        Duolingo
MS Business Analytics 95 6.5                      110
MS Information Systems, MS Marketing & PhD programs 100 7.0                      115
All other programs 90 6.5                      110

*GMAT: Can be sent using college/program name
**GRE/TOEFL: Can be sent using school code 1833
***IELTS: Can be sent to University of Cincinnati - Graduate School account.

Special note for doctoral candidates: Upon arrival at the University, each international student's English language proficiency is re-tested. No international student will be permitted to teach in the classroom before they have demonstrated satisfactory oral and written English proficiency.

Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE, if so, is there a minimum score needed?

All graduate applications in the Lindner College of Business are reviewed holistically. This means that all aspects of an application are taken into consideration to render an admissions decision. Due to this holistic process, no minimum GRE or GMAT scores are posted.

A GRE or GMAT may be needed for a complete application to your program. To find more information on whether your program requires the GMAT or GRE, please visit the graduate entrance exam information page.

Are the GMAT/GRE scores used for other purposes other than the admissions application?

Yes. The Lindner College of Business may also use scores to help determine scholarship awards if they have been provided. Test scores are not the only determining factor for scholarships, but they may play a part in our decision..

Does the Lindner College of Business need my official scores to evaluate my application?

Yes, we cannot review applications for admission until all required materials, including test scores, have been received. Additionally, self reported test scores are not considered official and will not complete your application. 

To make sure your test scores are considered official by UC, please have scores sent directly from the testing agency, preferably via electronic sending methods. For GRE scores, please use school code 1833. Do NOT choose a department code. 

For proper matching of your test score(s) to your application, please use the same email address for both your test registration and your admissions application.


Contact Us

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Headshot of Justin Veigel

Justin Veigel

Director of Graduate Recruiting and Student Success

1341 Carl H. Lindner Hall