Graduate Admissions Made Easy

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Justin: Hello everyone and welcome to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Graduate Admissions Made Easy live information session. My name is Justin and I’ll be your moderator for today’s webcast.

Before we begin I’d like to touch base on a few logistic items real quick. This is being broadcast, so please ensure your speakers are not muted. If you’re experiencing any technical difficulties you can click on the help icon on the bottom toolbar to troubleshoot that. We will be doing a Q&A live at the end of the session, so any questions you may have please type those into the Q&A box at the left side of your screen. You’ll also be able to obtain a link of this recording for on-demand viewing, which will be emailed to you following the day.

As you can see by today’s agenda, we’ll be discussing term overviews, admissions requirements for each of our programs, I’ll run through the application checklist, discussion additional tips, and then answer any additional questions you have during that live Q&A at the end.

The programs we will be discussing today, as you can see, will be the Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Accounting, and the Masters of Science in Management Information Systems degrees.

Real quick on our term overview, we do have three entry points throughout the year when you can start your program, so Spring, Summer, and Fall. These are all … they are 15 week terms and our courses are comprised of 7 weeks in length. For our Spring and Fall semester, you see, we’ll get a week off between those two classes. You have 10 to 20 days off between each semester as well. Just a reminder here, the priority app deadline for our Summer term is April 1st, so it’s right around the corner.

Now, the admissions requirements for each of the individual programs. The Masters of Accounting or MAc program we require a bachelor’s degree in accounting from a regionally accredited institution from within the last five years before enrollment or a completion of the internal bridge program. The GMAT score that we require is a 480 and that GMAT test is good for five years prior to enrollment as well. We have a waiver available for the Masters of Accounting program it is for any student that graduated with an accounting degree from an AACSB accredited school, we will give the waiver for that. We will require official transcripts from all of your institutions, any junior colleges including your universities that you attended. We recommend that you upload two letters of recommendation. They’re not required, but they are good to have on your file for acceptance purposes. We do require a resume or a curriculum vitae. Then, obviously, the application fee that goes along with that.

All programs have different requirements, so the Management Information System one requires a bachelor’s degree in an IT or information systems related field from a regionally accredited program and a GPA is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If you do not have that degree you need to have a bachelor’s degree in an area of study from a regionally accredited institution or another graduate degree, completed our bridge program for the Management Information Systems program, or if you can submit evidence of work experience, typically, 3 to 5 years or more in the IT or IS fields, or you have industry certifications we can get you in that way as well. A GMAT score of 480 or higher.

Again, the waiver is available, waiver is mainly based on years of experience in the IT field. Online application and application fee. A personal statement, the personal statement for this is going to be a lot of what you talk about with your admissions advisor. What are you looking to do in this field? What does your background look like? Why is UAB the fit that makes sense for you? That should be in your essay and, typically, you’ll do that on a Microsoft Word document and upload it attached to the application. We do require official transcripts, again, from all schools attended and then a resume as well.

The last one, the MBA. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, official transcripts from all schools attended, resume detailing progressive professional work experience, two letters of recommendation are required from professional backgrounds. An online application fee, and an essay that deals again, with why is UAB the right fit for you, and what you’re looking to do with it. A GMAT score of 480 or higher. Now, there is a waiver available based on your work experience being progressive, so multiple years of work experience, more than three at least with progression in their field. Typically, from entry level up to or including manager/supervisor positions. Then, we do have a math thing that we do. If you have not completed your business pre-calculus course in the last five years we will actually have you complete a quantitative preparatory assessment that you can work on while you’re in your first class to meet that requirement.

Details about the programs, I’m going over that in the next couple of slides and give you tips regarding the requirements to use along those lines. You’ll see a link to the application here on your page. In that first page they’re going to ask you to select your program of choice, you will have to actually select whether it be the Management Information Systems, the Masters of Accounting, or the MBA program. The app fee for the program is $70 for domestic, 85 for international students. Once you submit your application with your fee it is locked, you can no longer make any edits or changes to it, so before submitting it you want to make sure everything there that needs to be there.

Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions. This is a very good point, you must request all of them and have them sent over. Now, at the Masters level we will evaluate on unofficials, but you need to have your officials send to us by the end of your first classes. As you can see, the date is listed there, if you have any questions on that please reach out to your individual advisor they have that date to give to you. Then, if the school you went to sends electronics, which is much faster and much more convenient because it does give you a documentation of it arriving, if they ask for an email to send it to it’s

Resume. One, with your resume you can send it directly to your advisor or you can upload it to your application. It’s recommended that you at least send the initial one to your advisor, so they can help you if it needs to be updated in any shape, way, or form. With each program looking at different things for the resume, it’s always good to have a good idea to have somebody look through it for you that you know if there’s any area that you can beef up or change a little bit to make it a little bit more presentable.

In this resume, the big thing we’re looking for is your experience. Project management, strategic decision-making, managing/developing teams, resource management. The industry you’re in is a big part of it, how many years you’ve been in it especially for the MSIS especially if you’re working in an IT field you want to make sure that’s highlighted on there. Even for the MBA some areas are little bit more looked at, engineering and things along those lines, so if you have that in your background please make sure it’s in there. Again, your own advisor can help you with this as well. Then, make sure you’re communicating with them about the skillset so they can help you to the best of their ability.

Essays/personal statements. MBA it’s 500 to 1000 words and, basically, you’re talking about your background, your education, and your career decisions, professional development so far, and goals for the future, and how our program here at UAB and the MBA in general can help you achieve those goals. Again, work with your advisor a lot of this information you’ll discuss in your conversation with them, so that they can help you with some of the recall and how to best word it.

The MSIS, Management Science Management Information System, again, personal statements they’re a little bit more stringent on the one page, but they definitely want you to talk about your professional background, challenges you faced, and then why the MSIS degree is a good fit for you. Again, reach out to your advisors, they can give you some tips on that as well. Then, the Masters of Accounting does not require that.

Letters of recommendation the MBA does require them and it requires at least two. One must be from a professional background, professional boss/supervisor. If you don’t have one of those reach out to your advisor to see who’s the next best thing. Both of them should probably come from your professional background though. With the Masters of Accounting letters of recommendation are not required, but can obviously be part of your final application, it can favorably affect along the lines of getting accepted. As well as the MSIS.

How it works on the application is you input the name and email address of the person you would like to write the letter of recommendation, they will receive an email from the application site where they will click on a link, complete a short survey where they rate you in specific areas. Then, they have the opportunity to upload the letter of recommendation and submit it that way. Again, biggest thing, if you run into issues or you have questions, specific questions about your references please reach out to your admissions advisor about that.

Some important dates coming up. Summer term is going to start May 7th, the classes start. The application deadline is next Monday. You can get an extension if the application is submitted before next Monday if we are waiting for transcripts or letter of recommendation, so don’t hesitate to move forward with that. If you have interest in this Summer reach out to your advisor as soon as possible. Then, you can see the link is there and you should’ve received the email from your advisor at this point as well.

That’s a general overview, is there any question I can start off with? We have a couple in the box here. We have one that deals with the Bridge program. Not sure if they’re talking about the bridge for the Masters of Accounting or the Masters of Information Systems, but the question is, “Are the bridge programs class credit based?” They are credit based. For the Masters of Accounting program is eight courses, each class is three credit hours that you complete. We do accept transfer credit into that, so if you have some background in that, but it’s about 24 credit hours to complete for the bridge. For the Management Information Systems it is two courses, about six total hours. Again, you want to reach out to your advisor and determine if you need that or not.

Another one, “I’ve submitted my application but I did not submit to my letters of recommendation because it said they were not required in the app. How do I get those uploaded?” Great, if you submitted your application in any way for anything you may have missed don’t hesitate to reach out to your actual advisor and any documents you would like to submit, whether it be an essay, letters of recommendation, a resume they can actually take those from you and have those submitted. We can send them over to the grad school and they can upload them by hand. Reach out to your advisor, send the email of letters of recommendation over to them, and they can have them uploaded for you. Great question.

More questions. Again, the letter of recommendation, there’s that one. “How can I change my pacing?” To give an idea, typically, our students are taking two classes a semester. One class for the first seven weeks and another class for the last seven weeks, if you are looking to change your pacing you would reach out once you’re in classes to your student advising team and they can actually upload or set you up for additional coursework per semester. The biggest thing when deciding to increase your pacing is to understand the time commitment that it will be, but if you feel you have the ability definitely reach out to your student advisor once you’re in classes.

One specifically about the MSIS program. “I come from a non-IT background, can I still pursue this program?” The answer is, yes very much so. With a non-IT background as long as you meet the requirements of the GMAT, grade point average you can absolutely start that program. You would be required to take the two bridge classes at the beginning of your program. Those bridge courses run in the Summer and the Fall, so if you’re interested, please at this time, get in touch right away so we can get you into the Summer term and get you started on those bridge courses right away. Great question though.

It looks like we’re at the end of the questions. Were going to leave it open for a couple more minutes, so if you have any question please type them in right now. Wait up for a couple more minutes and answer any more that might come in. “Dates application or classes for Fall?” Fall applications have opened up, the priority deadline for the Fall term is going to be June 30th. The final deadline is August 1st. Reach out, again, to your advisors to discuss that with them in detail. Classes would begin August 27th, it’s the last Monday of August and run through basically December 15 to 16 for the finals and things along those lines. [inaudible 00:15:37].

A question did come in about tuition reimbursement. “I have tuition reimbursement available from my employer, am I able to utilize that?” The answer is, a resounding yes. With tuition reimbursement each company, and your company, directly will have their own special requirements in terms of how they disperse the money to you as well as how you can qualify for it. We will work with you on area along those lines. We work with students to get their schedule to them so they can submit it for approval with the other students whose company will wish to be billed we can set that up for you as well. It really comes down to what your company needs, so reach out to your advisors after you talk to your HR and find out what you need then we can work with you on that, but we do utilize tuition reimbursement as a funding option for students in school.

Another one, “Will this webinar be available to view after the session?” Absolutely. By the end of the day you should receive an email with a link to it so you can watch it at your own pleasure. Then, your advisor can actually email you out a copy as well, so you want to reach out to your advisor. Both ways you can see it.

The question came through is, “If I don’t meet all the necessary admission requirements am I still able to apply?” The question to that is, it depends. Some areas, GPA, can be one of those areas where they’re able to go a little bit lower than 3.0 depending on work experience. If you’ve worked in the field for 5 to 10 years and your GPA when you were in undergrad didn’t quite meet a 3.0, I would definitely recommend applying. To the extent if you have a 2.1 GPA you’re probably not likely, but if you’re 2 8 or 2 9 and you feel like with your experience it maxes out we do look at that as an opportunity for students. Again, absolutely, but again reach out to your advisor. They will be able to give you more detailed information on your specific issues.

Another one came through here. “How do we know who our advisor is? Is that the person we’ve had phone contact with?” Yes, so your student advisor is the person that you’ve talked to, typically, probably had at least an initial conversation or maybe a full interview with that person. [She-rita 00:19:20], I know I’ve worked with you so you can reach out to me, but I am the one that would be going through the details of this with you or your advisor you’ve talked to at this point. Yes.

Next, “I’m in the bridge program next Fall, will my GPA for my Bachelors of Business for my undergrad be combined with the bridge program GPA?” It will, so when you get a final transcript when you graduate from the bridge program, complete the bridge program they will be listed as undergraduate coursework and they will be entered into your [inaudible 00:19:55] GPA at the end of your program. It will be separate from your Masters, but those are undergraduate coursework, so yes.

Looks like we’ll keep it open for a few more minutes. If anybody else has any more questions please type those out now.

Ladies and gentlemen this will conclude our webinar for the day for today. I want to thank you all for joining us. As a reminder, the app deadline for the Summer session is April 1st, classes do start May 7th, if you have any additional questions please reach out to your advisor. Thank you all and have a great rest of the day.