How to get into McDonough School of Business?

Located on the campus of Georgetown University, Washington DC, the Robert Emmet McDonough School of Business is commonly known to the MBA committee as the McDonough School of Business or McDonough. The school ranks as one of the top 25 business schools in the USA and the top 35 schools in the world.

McDonough offers a 21-month full-time MBA program with four one-week residencies. Students are required to participate in all these residencies, one of which is international.

The program starts off with students picking core classes for the first semester. The core subjects offered at this stage are finance, marketing, strategy, decision sciences, economics, and management. The second semester of the program brings in flexibility as students start picking electives, in addition to the core subjects, of their choice and tailoring the course to fulfil their post-MBA career goals.

The school provides a detailed overview of each MBA semester and the electives and core classes offered.

McDonough Application Process 2021

Application Checklist Requirement
Essay Questions The application must answer one of the three prompts provided below: Essay Option One – Principled Leadership: Georgetown McDonough places a strong emphasis on principled leadership, providing both curricular and co-curricular opportunities to strengthen your leadership skills. Describe a time when you have led a team in a professional environment to implement a new idea or process. What leadership characteristics did you utilize? What could you have done to be more effective? And most importantly, what skills will you be able to bring to the teams you lead at McDonough? Essay Option Two – Hoyas for the Common Good: Georgetown McDonough embodies the ethos that people and organizations can and should contribute to the greater good. The admissions committee would like to better understand how you have demonstrated these values during uniquely challenging times. Describe a time where you have put the needs of others ahead of your own or ahead of the bottom line. We look forward to learning more about the challenge you faced, what unique characteristics you brought to that scenario, and what you learned from it. Essay Option Three – Personal Brand: Think of a business leader or role model you admire or aspire to be. What are the defining characteristics of his or her personal brand that you see in yourself?  The applicant must also respond to the following essay prompts: Video Essay: What makes you unique?  Optional Essay: Please provide any information you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included (500 words or fewer). Re-Applicant Essay: Required for re-applicants. How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally (500 words or fewer).
Professional Resume A current professional resume must be attached to the application.
Letters of Recommendation Each applicant must submit one letter of recommendation from a current supervisor, or any professional or social acquaintance who can add value to your candidacy. 
Transcripts The applicant must provide the following:
  1. Academic transcripts must list the course name and grades received.
  2. A diploma/degree certificate that shows the date that the degree was conferred.
  3. An official grading scale of the academic institution.
GMAT/GRE The applicant must report their unofficial GMAT/GRE score on the application. The official scores are required once admitted to the program. GMAT Code: JT7-G0-20 GRE Code: 7821
TOEFL/IELTS/PTE The following applicants are required to submit valid TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores during the application process:
  1. Non-U.S. citizens
  2. Non-U.S. permanent residents
  3. Applicants who have not obtained a four-year or advanced degree from a university where the only primary medium of instruction was English
Application Fee USD 175

McDonough Application Deadlines 2021

Round Application Deadline Decision Notification Date
Round 1 November 3, 2020 December 18, 2020
Round 2 January 26, 2021 March 19, 2021
Round 3 March 16, 2021 May 7, 2021
Round 4 May 11, 2021 June 25, 2021
Rolling June 1, 2021 Rolling

What does the McDonough admissions committee look for?

Respect the admissions committee and the school

This doesn’t seem like something that needs to be written down but turns out McDonough has had instances where applicants did take it one step too far.

Sharing two cases of instant rejection, an admissions committee member from McDonough revealed the reason for rejection in an old interview, “Acting in a way throughout the

admissions process that would be described as dishonest or lacking integrity, rude, disrespectful, lacking good judgment.”

In one instance, a student had reached out to the admissions committee at McDonough with a list of over 40 alumni he had found on LinkedIn and demanded to be put in touch with them.

Another applicant decided that the only way to get a quicker reply to his query was to spam the dean’s suite and the administrative suite with emails, while the school was closed.

No applicant would be outright disrespectful to an admissions committee member as the repercussions would be clear. However, such lapse in judgment is also categorised as a lack of integrity and disrespect and would result in immediate rejection.

Attend admissions events

MBA applicants take a lot of initiative to connect to business schools that are on the top of their list. The McDonough admissions committee suggests doing the same for schools that are your second or third choice as well.

The uncertainty of business school admissions does not allow for any of your top choice schools to be taken lightly while networking.

They suggest attending as many admissions events as you can and connecting to as many McDonough admissions committee members, faculty, current students and alumni.

As much as this research would help you during the MBA application stage of the process, it will also come in handy during the interview. The school admissions committee suggests mentioning names of events and the school member you connected with during your interview.

It goes without saying that this name dropping shouldn’t be forceful but strategic.

Be aware of your surroundings during the online interviews Since MBA applications have moved online including the interview due to COVID-19, it is necessary that applicants adapt to the same quickly.

The admissions committee suggests being aware of the space that gets captured within your screen during an interview. They also suggest looking into the camera rather than the screen as it makes it into more of a dialogue. Although it is odd to the applicant, it makes a lot of difference to the interviewer.

Attend admissions events

MBA applicants take a lot of initiative to connect to business schools that are on the top of their list. The McDonough admissions committee suggests doing the same for schools that are your second or third choice as well.

The uncertainty of business school admissions does not allow for any of your top choice schools to be taken lightly while networking.

They suggest attending as many admissions events as you can and connecting to as many McDonough admissions committee members, faculty, current students and alumni.

As much as this research would help you during the MBA application stage of the process, it will also come in handy during the interview. The school admissions committee suggests mentioning names of events and the school member you connected with during your interview. It goes without saying that this name dropping shouldn’t be forceful but strategic.

Be aware of your surroundings during the online interviews Since MBA applications have moved online including the interview due to COVID-19, it is necessary that applicants adapt to the same quickly. The admissions committee suggests being aware of the space that gets captured within your screen during an interview.

They also suggest looking into the camera rather than the screen as it makes it into more of a dialogue. Although it is odd to the applicant, it makes a lot of difference to the interviewer.

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