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Indiana Kelley Essays

Next, detail your accomplishments and experience in this field — remember to show more than tell. Provide evidence of your interest through your actions during a research project or an extracurricular activity. For example, instead of saying “I like both science and art,” illustrate the year you spent researching the brain’s ability to store memories through Dali’s paintings, and how this caused you to view the process of recollection as more of an art rather than a hard science, leading to your desire to study both neuroscience and art history. Not only does this show your interest in both fields, it also implies you are curious and innovative.


This paragraph is also a chance to portray your ability to grow and conquer challenges in your given field. So, rather than writing “I won state for Mock Trial,” describe the struggles you overcame and the growth you experienced in your role as president of your school’s mock trial team. By weaving narration throughout the paragraph, you will be able to portray a more authentic and unique story.


Lastly, connect your aspirations to IU. Specificity is key here. Avoid being vague and general with sweeping statements like “Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is perfect for me” or “As a student at IU, I could study abroad.” Vague statements demonstrate a lack of interest and lack of effort. Research and learn about the qualities and programs that make Indiana University unique and special to your needs. What are unique programs or extracurriculars at Indiana University, and what will they teach you? What is a quality of IU that is important to you? Avoid generic responses that could apply to any other university.


If you want to be an investment banker through Kelley, describe the focused skillset you will gain from the school’s investment banking workshop, or the network you will create from the small classes and tight-knit community of the Kelley Business Honors Program. An aspiring global correspondent could describe the IU’s worldly approach towards learning and interning in London through the Media School’s “Summer in London” program.


Your primary goal is to connect your accomplishments and aspirations with the opportunities that await you at IU; however, avoid listing every possible activity you could participate in and stay focused.


To review:


  1. Start with a personal, vivid anecdote conveying your interest in a single field.
  2. Share a narrative of you overcoming an obstacle in this field; provide evidence of your experience in this interest.
  3. Describe the essence or quality of a program or activity at IU that would help you grow in this area.


Good luck!


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1. Prepare for, register and take the GMAT or GRE

You must take the GMAT or GRE before submitting your application.

  • GMAT test takers: Have your scores sent to the Kelley Full-time MBA Program (code 8ZG-41-37).
  • GRE test takers: Have your scores sent to Indiana University, Bloomington (code 1324).

In addition, if you have not requested to have your official scores sent at least two weeks before the deadline, email a scanned copy of your unofficial GMAT or GRE score report to iumba@indiana.edu so we can move forward with your application until your official test scores arrive.

Note: We cannot accept GMAT or GRE scores that are more than five years old.

2. International applicants: Prepare for, register and take the TOEFL or IELTS

If English is not your native language, you must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English language Testing System) before submitting your application.

  • TOEFL test takers: Have your scores sent to Indiana University, Bloomington (code 1324).
  • IELTS test takers: Simply request your scores be sent to Indiana University, Bloomington.

Minimum scores: We require a minimum internet-based TOEFL score of 100; 600 on the paper-based TOEFL; or band 7.0 on the IELTS at the time of application in order to be eligible for admission.

In addition, if you have not requested to have your official scores sent at least two weeks before the deadline, email a scanned copy of your unofficial TOEFL or IELTS score report to iumba@indiana.edu so we can move forward with your application until your official test scores arrive.

Note: We cannot accept TOEFL or IELTS scores that are more than two years old.

Waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS requirement: The requirement will automatically be waived for international applicants who have earned an undergraduate or post-graduate degree from an institution in which English was the language of instruction. Candidates may simply indicate this in their application or optional essay; nothing further is required.

3. Access the eApp

Create an account and begin the eApp, Indiana University's online application for graduate admissions. In the 'Desired Degree' tab, select “Business Full-Time MBA” as your academic program.

Joint degree seekers: The eApp only serves as your application to the MBA Program. If you are interested in the MBA/JD program, select “Business Full-Time MBA/JD.” For information on the Law School application process, contact the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Office of Admissions. 

For admission information for the MBA/MA or MBA/Telecom Program, see our Joint Degrees.

Steps 4-6 are found in the department information tab of the eApp.

4. Contact one individual to submit a recommendation on your behalf
Your recommender should be someone who can comment meaningfully on your professional performance. A current or recent supervisor is preferred. Utilize our Online Recommendation System (also found on the 'Department Information' tab in the application) to provide your recommender’s information. Recommenders are strongly encouraged to use the online process, but instructions are provided within the online system for those who prefer to provide a hard copy of their recommendation. Recommendations are also due by the application deadline.
5. Access the admission essay questions

Download the essay questions and upload your responses in a single file on the 'Department Information' tab in the application. We encourage you to be honest, informative, creative and concise.

6. Scan and upload your official academic records
We require a scanned copy of the official transcripts from every college or university you have attended. The scanned documents must be clearly legible and sized to print on standard 8½-by-11-inch paper. Transcripts for study abroad programs or transfer credits are not required if the course titles, grades and credit hours are included on the transcript of the degree-granting institution. If your transcripts are in languages other than English, also submit translated versions. You do not need to submit hard copies of academic records when you apply. If you are offered admission and accept, you will be required to submit hard copies at a later date.
7. Update your resume and upload it to the resume section of the eApp
You are encouraged to limit your resume to two pages—one page resumes are preferred. 
8. Submit your application online
Once you have uploaded your supporting documents and your application is complete, submit your application using the final tab in the eApp. You will be prompted to pay the $75 application fee by credit card. Remember, you must take the GMAT or GRE (and TOEFL or IELTS for international applicants) before submitting your application. Your recommendation should also be submitted by the deadline.
9. Meet the deadlines
Submit your complete application by one of the deadlines listed below. Early application is encouraged. Our first two deadlines are priority deadlines for merit-based financial aid consideration. To be considered on time, your online application must be submitted and all supporting materials received by the deadline you choose.
10. Schedule an interview
Although interviews are not required, we encourage you to schedule an interview as a part of the admission process. We offer interviews on the Bloomington campus and at events throughout the United States (schedules permitting). You may complete an interview before you submit your application. Once you submit your application, interviews will be by invitation only. Those invited to interview may be offered the opportunity to interview by Skype or phone. Skype or phone interviews will not be available to candidates who have not yet applied. To make arrangements for an interview or a campus visit, contact us or schedule a campus visit online.

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