Admissions Criteria

The right fit for both you and our community.


The Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is unique in our mission to provide world-class business education on a personal scale. We seek exceptionally talented and diverse individuals who will value our unique community, meet the challenges of our rigorous program of study and join our productive alumni network. Each person impacts who we are collectively. 

As we evaluate applications, we have a holistic and balanced approach to admissions and look for success in three main areas of your life:

Your Academic Potential

As expected, we rely on your academic records and test scores to assess your ability to succeed academically in the Vanderbilt Master of Marketing (MMark) programrelative to others in a competitive applicant pool. 

The ideal candidate is close to completing a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a top-quality college or university, and may apply before graduation, but will be expected to complete that degree successfully as a condition of any admission offer prior to enrollment in the MMark program. 

We seek students who have taken a demanding course load in any field of study and have a consistent record of high performance. 

Learn more about Admissions Criteria by visiting our MMark FAQs.

Your Experience and Goals

Most incoming students find that professional marketing internship exposure enables them to understand new concepts in graduate school more fully and apply them more quickly. These experiences enable relevant and meaningful contributions to the learning community so students can realize a greater return on their MMark investment with access to more and better career options.

  • Full-time post-baccalaureate work experience is not required; however, we strongly recommend internships in marketing or a related field. No minimum amount of experience is specified because we believe that exceptional candidates are able to prepare themselves for graduate management education through competitive internships, student and community leadership and other developmental experiences.

  • We look for students who can work well with others, seek opportunities to manage projects and lead people and consistently exceed expectations.

  • While our curriculum allows students to explore various areas of marketing study, we expect applicants to have invested a considerable amount of time into considering their career goals. Applicants should try to attain professional exposures that will build the right transferable skills, laying the proper foundation for business school and their post-MMark career.

  • We do not require a certain type of experience. All fields of work, military duty, volunteer service and involvement in community and extracurricular activities give prospective students the ability to share unique perspectives.
We evaluate your experience via your resume, essays, letters of recommendation, and admission interview (by invitation). Note: Informational interviews via phone are granted any time to help you explore the program but are not admission interviews. 

Your Personal Qualities and Fit

Our students have a balanced approach to life, a history of accomplishment, a sense of social responsibility, an entrepreneurial spirit and strong interpersonal and creative skills, all showing outstanding potential for leadership in business and society.

  • We believe that everyone is diverse in some perspective. By fostering diversity of nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, educational and professional experience, personal backgrounds and goals, we can enhance the Vanderbilt MMark experience for everyone. Applicants should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and how they can add value to the learning experience of others.

  • Owen is a community that gives back. We look for students who have made a difference through their involvement and leadership in academic and professional associations, civic and religious groups, and extracurricular and recreational activities.

  • We hope your essays, recommendations and interview will reveal personal qualities that fit the Vanderbilt MMark culture: integrity, professionalism, communication skills, diversity, curiosity, open-mindedness, team orientation, cooperation, ambition, motivation and excellence.

Do you have these questions or others?

  • Can a Master of Marketing graduate return to Owen to complete an MBA?
  • Who is eligible to apply?
These answers and more in our FAQs. Click here.