Applying For An MBA Part 3 – Transcripts

by Ryan Guina

Applying for an MBA program is no easy task! You need to make sure you are organized and have all your papers in order. This is part 3 of an 8 part series on applying for an MBA program.

Why transcripts are important: The Admissions Committee at your prospective MBA program will want to see the work you’ve done your previous schools, and more importantly, how well you did it. Keep in mind that the Admissions Council will want official transcripts from all universities attended, not just the degree granting universities.

What you need: Official transcripts from each undergrad or graduate program you attended. This means you will need a transcript from a university or other institution even if you only went there for a short spring term or summer school session.

Don’t worry about your grades! At this point, there is not much you can do about your past grades. Your coursework is completed and your grades are set in stone. Instead, focus your energies on creating the best application you can – score high on the GMAT, write stellar essays, and send in a complete and accurate application.


  • Get an official transcript!!! This is the most important thing to remember. Many universities will issue unofficial transcripts to students, and some universities issue transcripts that are official only as long as the envelope is sealed. Be sure you send official transcripts with your MBA application!
  • Request your transcripts with plenty of time to spare – it may take several weeks from the time you request your transcripts until your prior university will be able to issue it to you.
  • Be aware you may have to pay for your transcripts. The cost can easily be $5-20 per transcript. If you are sending applications to several MBA programs, this may add up quickly!
  • Know where to have the transcripts sent. Some MBA programs prefer the transcripts to be sent directly to them, while others prefer they be sent with the rest of the application package. Do your research and have the application sent exactly where it should go.

Remember, your grades are already set in stone. At this point, just focus on getting an official copy of them to the MBA Admissions Committee and let the rest of your application speak for itself!

This is Part 3 of a series on applying for an MBA program. Please read the rest of the articles for more information!

For more information about selecting an MBA program, please check out my 8 part series:

Selecting an MBA Program

Published or updated January 2, 2009.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer

Do get a copy of the transcript sent to you as well: when applying for law school, I found an error on my transcript that took some time to correct.


2 Ryan

Jennifer, Great tip! I will add that to the list! 🙂


3 Sri

You should always keep a copy of ALL the transcripts because most places will accept an unofficial transcript for evaluation and then give you an offer subject to original transcripts.

Oxford accepted my unofficial transcripts.
Also, if u went to a community college or did summer classes somewhere and transferred it to the 4 year college, chances are those transfers are in the 4 year transcripts as well so you dont really need the community college or summer schools.


4 Ryan


I appreciate your insight and adding to the conversation. I’ve got plenty of copies of unofficial transcripts, so that will make it easier to make the application deadlines. It will be a lot cheaper that way as well. 🙂

Thanks for the tips! 🙂


5 KiraBG

Actually, GPA is important if you want to get a scholarship or fellowship or an assistantship at the school. Also, a high GPA+a high score on GRE can replace the GMAT in some cases, so you do not need to take it at all.


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