Frequently Asked Questions About...
Application and Admissions
- Do you offer conditional admission?
No. All applicants must apply fully to the MSM program and may not take MSM classes unless they are officially admitted to the program.
- Can I receive admission to the MSM program if I have more than 2 years of work experience?
The classroom curriculum, discussions, assignments, and career workshops within the program are tailored to students who have received their Bachelor degrees within the past two years. If you have more than 2-3 years of post-Bachelor's degree work experience, we suggest you also research the Florida MBA programs. However, each application package is reviewed individually and in some cases, MSM is a better fit than MBA. Where the average age of the MSM student is 22-23 years and they have an average of .2 years full-time work experience, the MBA students are, on average, 27 years old and have 3.5 years of significant, full-time, post-Bachelor's degree work experience. The MSM program provides outstanding experiences and a high quality education with the same faculty members who teach in our MBA programs, but the class peer group is distinct from MBA. Also, recruiters who come to UF know that the MBA students have professional experience, so they intentionally target those students for the more advanced, higher-paying jobs. Admission to MSM is decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Once my application is complete, how long will it take to receive an admission decision?
The time required varies by program and time of year. Applications are reviewed in cycles. We try to make decisions within three weeks of an application being complete. In the interest of confidentiality, no admissions decisions will be given over the phone when you call us. If you have questions about your application please email (msm at warrington.ufl.edu, Subject: Application Status) with the Subject: Application Status.
- Do you allow deferred admission? That is, can I defer my admission from one year to another?
When an admitted student is unable to enroll and requests to be admitted the following term or year, the admissions committee will confer with the applicant to determine if the deferment is possible. Deferment past one year requires that the applicant re-apply to Graduate School and the MSM program.
- My recommenders want to send in their letters. Do they have to do the recommendations online?
Yes and No. The MSM office is making every effort to become "paper-less". We prefer that recommendation letters be submitted online with the application and statement of purpose. If the recommender has already written a letter, they can copy and paste it into the box provided when they fill out the online form. However, if a recommender doesn't have access to complete the recommendation online, in that case, we will accept a paper recommendation. In the end, we do want the process to be convenient and easy for the recommender since s/he is doing you a favor by writing the recommendation.
- What is the difference between a "resume" and a "CV?"
A resume is typically one page long and used throughout the business world. A CV or Curriculum Vitae is used in academic settings and typically includes detailed information such as research and publications and consists of multiple pages.
For admissions purposes, we prefer a CV type resume that gives us a broader picture of the applicant. It allows students to include brief descriptions of ALL types of activities since the beginning of college such as sports, fraternity/sorority, study abroad, internship, employment, volunteer work, club/organization participation, awards/recognition and positions of leadership within these settings instead of just a bulleted list in a typical one-page resume. Once admitted to the program, MSM's will receive one-on-one counsel as how to best present a one-page resume in the typical business/corporate format.
- What if I am not accepted? Can I re-apply?
Students who are denied may reapply if they so choose. Usually they do so only if information or test scores change from their original application package. Transcript information is unlikely to change if it was submitted after graduation from a Bachelors degree. Students who do wish to reapply must resubmit all of their materials through the online application process and send new a test score if applicable. Old materials are moved to storage and are not easily accessible.
- I want to "walk-in" and talk about the program. Can I come in anytime?
We love to meet with students and welcome further discussion about our MSM program. We accept walk-ins generally from Monday - Friday between 9 AM and 3 PM. We also encourage appointments so that you can prepare with specific question based on what you read on the web site. Further, setting an appointment will guarantee that a representative is in the office and able to meet with you when you come. Any special office closures outside of normal holidays will be announced on the home page of the web site.
When on the MSM home page, use the menu located on the left-hand side of the web page to navigate and locate information regarding requirements, eligibility, curriculum, how to apply, tests/scores, timelines, costs, financial aid and other important details on each page of the site. In addition, click on the links and .pdf files that are contained there. Most of your questions will be answered as you continue through the material.
- My GMAT/GRE is low, but I have a strong GPA and other experiences (or the reverse situation with a low GPA and high test score). Do I still have a chance for admission?
We ask for a variety of application materials for a reason. We review every applicant file individually and ALL the contents of that file. Most important to us in admissions are:
- Undergraduate Academic Performance
- Extracurricular Activities
- Outstanding Recommendations
On rare occasions, we may interview an applicant. Admission for the MSM program is based on highly selective (not so much competitive) criteria, thus students with low test scores should attempt a re-take.
- If I have a great GPA, can I waive the test?
No. The Graduate School and the MSM department require either a GRE or GMAT test score for admission, the exception being if the applicant has achieved a terminal degree from a US school. (e.g. PhD, JD, MD, DDS, DVM)
- I've taken the test and did not do as well as I wanted, should I re-take the test?
If you've taken the GRE or GMAT and your score was not in the median range for that particular test but your score is close (GRE: 1100-1200 or GMAT: 550-600), you could wait to see if the committee feels your application package was strong enough for admission. If necessary, you will be asked to retake the test. However, if your score is far below the range, retaking the test is recommended. We do not average your test scores. We will take your highest composite score as your true score and will use that score in the admissions process. Ultimately, the decision to retake the test is up to you.
Please keep in mind that it can take up to 3 weeks for new official scores to be sent. Please be aware of this if you are planning on retaking the test.
- How long does it take for UF to receive my scores?
It takes two to three weeks for your official scores to be received and put in your application is complete or your program starts soon, we suggest you scan and email (msm at warrington.ufl.edu) your unofficial score or fax it to 352.392.7347. We can use your unofficial score to evaluate your application while waiting for your official score to arrive.
- Which test should I take - the GMAT or the GRE? How & how long should I prepare? Do I need to do the writing portion?
The MSM program has no preference as to which test you take. It is up to your personal taste, budget, time constraints and plans. We suggest that you check out both test websites and determine which one is right for you. Links to each of the websites are located within the program option Handbook found on each of the Program Option pages. If your plans include another master's degree or further non-business education, you might want to consider GRE. If your plans see you looking toward an MBA or another graduate business degree, you might want to consider GMAT. Both tests have a 5 year validation period.
Preparation for GRE/GMAT, like any standardized test, is very individual. Some students prefer to use the websites, some prefer books and some prefer prep-courses. Some want to take a long time to study and others want to cram. It depends on the individual and what works best for you. You know yourself better than anyone and know how you best prepare for standardized tests. With regard to the writing section, the MSM program does not consider the score in their admission decision, so it does not matter to us whether or not you do this section. We have reports from other students that the writing section came first and it exhausted them before the verbal and quantitative sections. We do not encourage students to skip the writing portion because if they apply to another program that DOES require the writing section, they automatically will have to take the test again to obtain a writing score. We leave the decision entirely up to the student to do what is best for them.
- Are there any scholarships or assistantships available? Do I have to apply for them?
The MSM office offers no assistantships for teaching or research. We generally do have money available for small MSM scholarships. You do not need to apply since qualified candidates are identified and selected during the admissions process. The typical scholarship award is between $1500 and $3000, and we regret that only U.S. Citizens or Residents are eligible. The mean GPA for scholarship recipients was 3.72, the mean GMAT was 612, and the mean GRE was 1220 (based on the 2007/2008 academic year). Recommendations as well as the resume also play a very important part since selection is highly competitive.
International students: No federal or state loan or grant programs exist for international students. International students must be able to pay the cost of tuition and living expenses. Please refer to the "Links to Aid for International Students" on the MSM Financial Information page and to the UF International Center website for information/assistance regarding financial aid, tuition waivers, campus employment, etc. The MSM office is unable to assist you with these issues.
- How can I calculate the costs for participating in a UF graduate program?
Please refer to the UF Financial Services-Student Links page for a cost calculator. Information regarding fee deadlines, payments, refunds, holds, loans, etc, can also be found here.
- As an international student, how long will it take for me to get a decision regarding my application to the program?
For international applicants who earned a Bachelor's degree from a non-U.S. institution, once we have received your application materials in our department, the materials are copied and placed into your file and the originals are walked next door to graduate admissions. Your official transcripts and documents must be certified by UF Graduate Admissions if they are not from a U.S. college or university and this is a very lengthy process. Because of large number of international applicants to UF, it can take up to 2 months or more. We cannot give you a decision until they have concluded their review. This is why the international applicant deadline is so far in advance of the actual start date.
If you are admitted to the program, you will be notified by email and given the volume of international applicants we have to our MSM program, we will not be able to request that our UF International Center create an I-20 document for you until we have received the positive program response and $350 payment.
Once officially admitted, international applicants are required to document proof of financial support for the first year. The International Student Advisors at the University of Florida International Center (UFIC) will only contact admitted students via email to request this information.
MSM Program in General
- What are the MSM classes like?
The MSM classes are intense, fast moving and taught in shortened modules. A 2-credit course meets two times per week for 100 minutes each meeting time. And, because courses are offered in 8-week periods, it is possible to have a quiz or project due during the second week of class. In addition, time spent outside of the classroom will be critical to positive performance. MSM is also different in the fact students are obtaining a master's degree in a field they are totally unfamiliar with, therefore the work can be particularly challenging. This makes time management and commitment extremely important. Most of the courses require teamwork and group projects, so the ability to work well and communicate with others is a key to success in the program. Students looking for an individualized or solitary work environment will not find it in the MSM program. The teamwork structure presents a microcosm of the workplace and allows students to practice their interpersonal skills along with their newly found knowledge in a hands-on fashion.
- Can I do an MSM online or in the evening or on the weekends?
No. As we explain in the Program Options on our website, we do not have distance learning courses nor do we have weekend or evening classes. MSM is an on-campus program and classes take place during the day. Our "part-time" option only indicates a reduced credit load and longer timeline for completion of all 32 required credits. Part-time students are in Gainesville or the vicinity and they have made arrangements with employers (who allow them to be flexible with their work schedule) in order to take 1-2 classes each module. Work and other activities should not interfere with a commitment to MSM. This is a fast-moving one-year program and was designed with the full-time student in mind.
- Can I do a minor with the MSM program?
No. MSM is an interdisciplinary degree using courses from all departments in the College of Business. For this reason, you cannot do an official UF graduate minor from any department in the College of Business. This is a UF Graduate School rule.
- Can I participate in a study abroad when I am in the MSM program?
The MSM program is highly structured with core courses offered in every module. Students who wish to do a study abroad within the one year are limited to short term summer options during a time when you can avoid interfering with core courses. If an MSM wishes to do a longer study abroad, they may do so but will need to work with an advisor to come up with a program of study as to how they will complete the MSM program. We also recommend that the student consider application to and pursuit of the Master of International Business as a concurrent graduate degree. Details can be discussed with Ana Portocarrero, the Director of the MSM and MIB programs.
- Can I participate in an internship when I am in the MSM program?
Since most MSM's have little to no work experience, it is valuable to have an internship to include on your resume. Unlike a study abroad, there are usually no short-term options and typical internships last from 8-10 weeks or possibly longer depending on the organization. MSM's who elect to participate in an internship must be prepared to graduate later than their peers. The student is responsible for procuring his/her own internship. The MSM program does not arrange internships for students nor can we offer much assistance. Students must do this on their own through UF career centers, web postings, or personal contacts.
Internships usually require students to be enrolled in school and if this is the case, we would assign you to a 2 credit "internship" class so you could participate. However, these 2 credits will NOT be counted toward MSM credit and would be additional credits/cost beyond the required 32. We have had a number of MSM's hired by companies/organizations who hosted their internships. An internship is an excellent way to "try-out" a company and "get your foot in the door." It is a chance for them to rate you as a potential employee as well.
- How does this program compare to other Master of Science in Management programs?
The MSM program at The University of Florida is unique in the United States. If you research various Master's programs that offer a Master of Science in Management, you won't find one exactly like MSM. Aside from the high-quality classroom education you will get from world-renowned University of Florida professors, MSM degrees at other universities either require a business background or they tend to specialize in a particular area, such as Information Systems Management or Human Resources. MSM at UF is unique in that it offers students from backgrounds other than business to obtain a graduate degree in the field of business from a highly ranked College of Business.
The program requires much group and teamwork and it also offers many opportunities for students to get to know each other as well as forming long-lasting friendships. Our students typically comment positively on the program because of the diversity and backgrounds of the students within the program. They also appreciate the ability to create their own unique experiences within MSM based on their personal needs and interests such as the certificate options, the Poe Ethics Center, the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Retail Center and the ability to focus electives in a particular concentration. We have heard frequently from former students that doing the MSM program was one of the best decisions they ever made!
MSM is challenging and rigorous program. It is fast paced and intense; you will work very hard and must manage your time effectively. You will learn practical lessons in management through the group projects and teamwork. You will have access to top level career assistance and opportunities to participate in activities and events to network with potential employers. And, you will also have a lot of fun and you will gain a solid business background that will allow you to grow in ways you never thought possible, open up opportunities that were previously closed and give you a skill set that will sustain you throughout your lifetime.
- What is my weekly time commitment for schoolwork?
The schoolwork commitment for MSM's is too high for full time students to maintain full time employment. Some students are able to maintain part-time work up to about 15 hours a week. The typical equation is for every hour spent in class, there should be 3 hours of study time and depending on the individual student it may be higher.
- Am I eligible for student football tickets?
Yes. All MSM students are eligible to apply to the football lottery in the spring term. Go to GatorZone.com for information.
- What kinds of job offers do MSM graduates usually receive?
MSM's are everywhere. Our students have diverse educational backgrounds. So, the jobs pursued and secured by our students can vary tremendously. The intense curriculum is designed to provide skills that encompass general business understanding and the art and science of management, thus preparing you for any career path in which comprehensive business knowledge is useful. Graduates enter the workforce prepared for the challenges of managing in a rapidly changing work environment. For the "typical" MSM student (no prior work experience), the noticeable difference in career advancement does not occur immediately upon graduation (although that does happen as well with many students) but rather within 2-3 years after leaving the program. The MSM degree is not a guarantee to a big title and large starting salary but instead it is a tool that can be used, combined with your other assets and experience, to enhance your long-term career & salary potential.
MSM job offers directly correlate to the amount of time and energy put into the job hunt, which begins at orientation when you start the program. Those MSM students who took advantage of the resources available to them within Business Career Services as well as the Career Resource Center (CRC) (i.e. career workshops, info sessions, mock interviews, career fairs, etc.) usually obtained several offers by graduation time.
Within business industries, well-known consulting firms such as Accenture and Ernst & Young as well as large multinationals such as Citigroup, FedEx, Sea World, Target, Motorola, and ING have hired MSM's in the years since the program began. Some students also choose small or start-up companies, government jobs, or pursue more education such as law school, medical school or PhD programs. Individuality is prevalent.
- How much does the average MSM graduate make in the first year?
Starting salaries follow the current economic trends. However, because there is no specific industry that MSM's move into, we do not carefully track salary ranges from our students. Starting packages (salary + bonus) will vary between industries, locations, current state of the economy and individual student background. A typical MSM student without professional work experience might move into a management training program or an entry-level management position. They should expect to start in the range of $38,000-62,000. We have seen that the majority of our students get a significant raise or promotion within the first two years at a company/ organization. Or, once they have acquired a few years of professional experience, students move on to another job at a much higher salary. In 2007, sales related jobs and positions within the finance and real estate industries presented the most earning potential. U.S. government jobs are becoming more available and are climbing in starting salary as well since a large part of that work force will retire in the next 10 years.
MBA vs. MSM
- What is the difference between MSM and MBA and why should I do MSM instead of MBA?
The first big difference between MBA and MSM is work experience. Good MBA programs that are consistently highly ranked in the most recognized ranking mechanisms require professional work experience, usually a minimum of two to three years. MSM does not require work experience. The second big difference is time. A traditional on-campus full-time MBA program is 2 years. An MSM from UF takes one year and is the equivalent of the first year of our traditional 2-year MBA (core courses). MSM's are enrolled in classes with the same professors who are teaching the MBA's, although they are in separate cohorts (groups). With the addition of some specific electives, the coursework is equivalent. The second year of an MBA allows for specialization in a particular area of interest. With MSM, you leave with a solid business foundation and enter the workforce sooner.
If you have recently graduated or plan on doing a graduate business degree immediately after getting your Bachelor's degree, you should think about the following when comparing MSM to MBA:
- If you get your MBA right after the MSM degree, you use up an opportunity that you can never use again. If you want to change industries or acquire another specialization later on in your life, you will not be able to get another MBA in order to do so. Getting an MSM now does not eliminate the future MBA opportunity but enhances it. In the future, you would be able to look at a one-year MBA program because you would already have a business degree.
- What is the research, organizational, and international activity of the majority of professors teaching in that MBA program? Are they recognized in their fields?
- What will my peer group be like? Things to consider: age of students, undergraduate backgrounds, diversity, motivation, ability to unite and work in teams effectively.
- Is this Business School and University world-renowned and respected by higher education and the corporate world alike?
- Several students doing the MSM program each year think they may want to do an MBA later in life, especially if an employer pays for it. They choose to do MSM because of the recognition and respect UF and the Warrington College of Business have around the world. Also, in completing a Master's degree before they start their careers, they already have a tool that will help them advance and move into the higher ranks of a company or organization. One never knows if going back to school later in life will be a viable option. Because travel and international study are difficult later when you are more settled and have obligations you may not have at a younger age, MSM does offer the flexibility to allow students an opportunity to participate in study abroad if they wish.
- If I do MSM at UF, can I automatically get an MBA at UF?
No. You must apply to UF MBA on their website and meet their criteria for admission. UF's MBA program is ranked nationally and internationally; it is very competitive. For further information, visit the UF MBA website.
- I am a UF employee. Can I do the MSM program and will MSM be covered by the EEP program?
Yes and yes. You should discuss your plans and the MSM program with your supervisor and determine if they can offer you the flexibility to attend classes during the day since we do not have evening or weekend classes or distance learning. MSM is fortunate to be able to offer a part-time option to students and employees. If your supervisor agrees and is supportive, you will need to fully apply and be admitted to MSM.
Once admitted, you may submit your paperwork to EEP. Keep in mind that as a part-time student, you will need to meet with an MSM advisor to get a general plan for your program of study. You may register yourself for classes but you must adhere to the EEP rules and guidelines. You should contact UF Human Resources for details on pursuing a degree through EEP and you will need to be in constant contact with that office. One thing to note: EEP will not cover an MBA as they are 'off-book' courses and the tuition is at a much higher rate.
- Since my registration appointment will always be near the start of classes, will I be guaranteed a seat in the classes?
Yes and No. As an MSM student you will be able to get into the required courses without a problem. The difficulty lies with elective courses because of popularity and the fact that MSM does not have priority over most elective classes but typically EEP students are able to get into elective courses they like and finish the degree.