MBA Programs Application Process

Each application is reviewed and evaluated holistically based on the following admissions guidelines:

  • Academic Preparation
    Applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA from their undergraduate institution. Students come from a range of academic backgrounds including business, engineering, economics, languages, and social sciences.
  • Work Experience
    Shidler requires that applicants have two years of full-time, post baccalaureate work experience.
    • Although business experience is not required, the committee looks for applicants who have demonstrated career progression. Current students have worked in a variety of environments including business, non-profits, education, engineering, and the military.
    • Our most recent MBA cohort has an average of 3.5 years of work experience.
    • The JD/MBA joint degree program applicants may substitute the successful completion of the first-year law school curriculum for the work experience requirement.
  • Standardized Testing
    Applicants are required to submit official GMAT scores taken within the last 5 years. The LSAT is accepted in lieu of the GMAT only for applicants to the JD/MBA joint degree program. The GRE is NOT accepted in lieu of the GMAT.
  • English Proficiency
    Most international applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English through the TOEFL or IELTS tests.
    • The Shidler College of Business Graduate Admissions Office requires international applicants to have a TOEFL minimum of 600 (paper-based test), 250 (computer-based test), 100 (internet-based test) or IELTS minimum of 7.
    • Applicants who do not meet these requirements are occasionally granted admission but usually required to take a placement exam at the time of matriculation and/or to take English language classes in addition to their MBA coursework.

MBA applications are generally available from September 1st. The deadline for scholarship consideration and international applicants is March 1st. The regular review deadline for all MBA applicants is May 1st. You may apply to more than one MBA program and do not need to pay an additional application fee. However, please notify us if you plan to apply for more than one MBA program.

Apply for admission by following these steps:

Submit Graduate Admissions Application and $100 application fee.
Submit Essays, Transcripts and Resume.

Fill out top portion of Letter of Recommendation Form to send to your recommenders. Recommenders should submit the form with their letters.

Letters of Recommendation may also be submitted as part of the Graduate Admissions Online Application

Submit GMAT scores using the College's code: PBQ-59-09
Submit Residency Declaration Form (Hawaii residents only) or Confidential Financial Statement (International Applicants only).

Please submit all of the above documents by mail to the Shidler College of Business, Graduate Admissions Office at the following address:

Shidler College of Business
Graduate Admissions Office
2404 Maile Way, C-202
Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Graduate Programs Application

For further questions contact the Shidler Graduate Admissions Office at 808-956-5463 or email

Members of the military who are requesting an application fee waiver should email our Director of MBA Admissions, Marc Endrigat, prior to submitting their application fee to ensure that the fee is waived. Once a payment has been made, the MBA office cannot reimburse applicants.


All applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended, including any study abroad or exchange programs, summer programs, and non-degree work and extension programs.

Shidler College of Business
Graduate Admissions Office
2404 Maile Way, C-202
Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

UH Transcripts
Applicants who attended college in the UH system do not need to submit official transcripts for course work completed at UH. The Shidler Graduate Admissions Office will obtain these transcripts on behalf of the appliant.

JD/MBA Applicants
JD/MBA applicants may request that their law school admissions materials (LSAT score report, letters of recommendation, transcripts) be sent to the Shidler College of Business. For instructions, please see

MBA Course Transfer Credit Policy
Part-time MBA students may transfer up to nine credit hours of graduate-level coursework (600-800 level) from an AACSB-accredited program with the approval of the Master Programs Director. Credits used to fulfill the degree requirements of other programs may not be transferred in for credit. Transfer credit will only be awarded for classes in which the student received a grade of “B” or better.

Due to the fact that the Full-time MBA program is a closed cohort, students will not be able to transfer in any credits.

All requests for the transfer of credits must be completed by the first semester of a students program. Requests made after the completion of the first semester of coursework will not be approved.

International Transcripts
If your transcripts are not on a 4.0 academic scale or not in English, please have them evaluated by the World Education Services.

GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS Standardized Test Scores

All applicants are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Your application is not complete until we have received a copy of your test scores. To have your application reviewed during a specific admissions deadline, your GMAT score must arrive to us by the posted deadline.

The GMAT code for the Shidler College of Business is PBQ-59-09.

The GMAT is administered worldwide throughout the year at approved Pearson VUE test centers. Official GMAT score reports must be sent directly to us electronically from Pearson VUE.

The Shidler College of Business will consider only your highest test score rather than an average of all of your GMAT scores. Therefore, please notify us if you plan on retaking the GMAT to ensure we review your application using your highest score.

GMAT scores more than five years old are not valid (e.g., for applicants entering in Fall 2014, the last acceptable test date is October 2008). For further information and testing arrangements, please visit the GMAT website.

The LSAT is accepted in lieu of the GMAT score only for applicants to the JD/MBA joint degree program.

Most applicants whose native language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS. Applicants may submit unofficial scores while applying for admission. However, admitted students are required to submit official scores in order to enroll at UH Manoa.

Official scores should be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for UHM is 4867. Test scores cannot be more than two years old.

An applicant is exempt from the test if he or she has earned a bachelor's or advanced degree, within the last five years, at a regionally accredited or recognized institution in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore or United Kingdom.

Resume and Essays

Your resume should indicate work experience, internships and related activities. Resume length should be from 1 to 2 pages.

Answer the following essay questions and mail to the Shidler College of Business.

Required Questions
Between 400 - 600 words per question

  1. What are the three most important values you demonstrate as a leader? Tell me a story that demonstrates each of these leadership values in practice within your workplace.
  2. Describe the most difficult situation that you’ve encountered and explain how you handled it. Also, what lessons did you learn from the experience?
  3. Assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing a graduate degree at the Shidler College of Business.

Optional - No more than 350 words

  • If there is further information that you believe would help to the admissions committee make a more informed decision, please elaborate.

Submit Two Letters of Recommendation

You must submit two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation may be submittted via your online application or by using the Letter of Recommendation Form accompanied by a detailed letter from the recommender. The letters may be written by anyone familiar with your professional or educational background.