Applying to the Kellogg Executive MBA Program

Everything you need to know as you navigate the kellogg application.

We are delighted you’re interested in the Kellogg Executive MBA Program and look forward to learning about you throughout this process. Our application is designed to give us a sense of who you are, how you lead and why you think the Kellogg Executive MBA Program is a good fit for you. We know completing an application might seem a bit daunting after taking time away from higher education to build your career, but we are here to help and will be happy to answer any questions you have along the way.

As you read each section below, you will gain a clear picture of how to craft a successful application. You’ll find helpful tips, articles and videos to help make the application process as straightforward as possible.
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Getting Started

Application Process

The number one thing we ask of all our applicants is to be as authentic as possible when you approach this application. There is no right or wrong way to answer the questions. Just be true to yourself, your history and what you hope to achieve with an Executive MBA. Our goal in reviewing your application is to get to know you and to understand the experiences that have helped shape you into the person you are today.

Admission to the Executive MBA Program is contingent upon completing and submitting all application materials. That means in addition to completing your application online, you will also need to submit two letters of recommendation, interview with our admissions team and supply a letter of sponsorship from your employer. Most applicants do not need to submit GMAT scores. Kellogg does not require financial sponsorship from its Executive MBA applicants, but we do require time sponsorship. For more on this, please visit our sponsorship guide.

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Evaluation & Assessment

When we evaluate our applicants, we are looking for rich work experience and demonstrated career growth. The Executive MBA Program is for working professionals with at least eight years of work experience. Students come to us have an average of 14 years of work experience, including military service, which means they have had time to develop a deep expertise in their industry or function, along with managerial experience across people and/or programs.

The admissions committee assesses your:

  • Application responses
  • Essays
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Time sponsorship letter
  • Resume
  • Interview report

Choose Your Campus Location

When you start your application, you have the opportunity to choose between our two campuses and formats: Evanston (meets twice a month) or Miami (meets once a month). With either selection, you’ll receive the same world-class education, learn from Kellogg’s leading faculty, join the same prestigious network and earn your MBA in two years flat.

Before choosing my campus, I interacted with alums from both the Evanston and Miami campuses and was surprised to learn the great opportunities at both places, with the same distinguished faculty.

Vasu Appalaneni (EMBA 2023)

Experience and Test Scores

These components of the application are core to evaluating your experience and aptitude, giving us a better idea of your ability to tackle our rigorous MBA curriculum.

Tips for Employment and Resume/CV

There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your resume or CV. Unlike the resume you’d present for a job, you’ll want to update this version to be less industry-specific so the members of our admissions committee can easily understand your full professional history and background. It’s important to note that we do not require a specific format or length.

In addition to submitting your resume or CV, you will need to fill out the employment section of the application. This is your chance to delve deeper into your career accomplishments and enlighten us on any major shifts that appear in your resume, including key transitions between jobs and big promotions. Make sure to double check the accuracy of information in this section.


Insights from Students and Admissions


Be as authentic as possible, don’t try to guess what the admissions team wants to hear, tell them your story. This requires you to dig deep, who you truly are, your values, desires, aspirations, what you want to achieve and say that in as simple of terms as possible. I dare say the loftier the goals the better, certainly have goals you can clearly articulate.

Mayank Sharma (EMBA 2023)

Test Scores

The Executive MBA Program does not require GMAT or Executive Assessment scores for most applicants. A GMAT score is required if you do not have a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, the admissions committee may ask you to take the GMAT after reviewing your transcripts. We will only make this request, however, in very specific circumstances.

Testing for English Language Proficiency

All candidates who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must show their English language proficiency by sending valid TOEFL or IELTS scores. Students taking the TOEFL must take the Internet Based Test (IBT). The average TOEFL score for a Kellogg Executive MBA student is 104, and applicants must score a minimum of 100 to be eligible. Applicants who take the IELTS must score a minimum of 7.0. Please note that we have the right to request the Test of English to be completed.

To prevent processing delays, we strongly recommend that you upload your official TOEFL or IELTS score report (if available) with the application.

Exemptions may be granted if one of the following criteria is met:

  • You have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university in the United States
  • You have taken the equivalency of English 101 and 102 at an accredited college or university in the United States
  • You have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university where English was the only language of instruction (you must provide the exact URL or documentation from your institution that states English was the only language of instruction)
  • If you qualify for this exemption, you must provide the exact URL or documentation from your institution that states English was the only language of instruction
  • If you graduated from an institution that does not explicitly state this, please provide the URL for the homepage of the school’s website

The program reserves the right to require assessment of English language proficiency even if these exemption criteria are met.

Transcripts

You are required to submit official transcripts from all universities and colleges you attended in the United States and abroad, whether you graduated from the institution or took just one class. To qualify as an official transcript, it must be sent directly to us from your institution and contain the signature or seal of the university registrar.

Official electronic transcripts are preferred and can be emailed directly from the issuing university or evaluating agency to: emba-admissions@kellogg.northwestern.edu.

If unable to provide an electronic transcript, please have your institution or evaluating agency send a hard copy version, in a sealed envelope, to:
Kellogg School of Management
Executive MBA Admissions
95 Merrick Way
Suite 100
Coral Gables, FL 33134

If you have transcripts from an institution outside the United States, you must have them evaluated on a course-by-course basis by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Visit naces.org/members for a list of all university-approved agencies. This course-by-course evaluation report, once received from the NACES-approved agency, will count as your official transcript for application purposes.

Sponsorship Letter

Your company or organization is required to supply a letter stating that it supports and approves the time required for you to attend the Executive MBA Program. If your organization is providing financial sponsorship (which is not required), please state that in the letter as well. If you’d like to make a compelling case to your employer, we recommend using the Sample Request for Corporate Sponsorship as a guide.

The letter of support must:

  • Appear on company letterhead
  • Be signed by someone in the organization who has authority to grant the time off
  • Acknowledge your interest in the program
  • Approve any time off needed to attend classes
  • Confirm that you will not be penalized for any time used to attend the program
  • If applicable, explain the level of financial support the organization is willing to provide
Learn more about time sponsorship and download sample letter templates
Download the sample request for corporate sponsorship guide

Essays

There will be two essay questions included on the application and provide an opportunity for you to share more about your background and values so the admissions committee can get to know you on a more personal level. In your own words, you’ll be able to tell us your story and what you want to achieve in your post-Kellogg life. Professional or personal examples for your essays are welcome.

Possible essay questions include:

  • Essay 1: What are your short-term and long-term career goals? What have you already done to get there and how do you think Kellogg and an Executive MBA will help? (450 word maximum)
  • Essay 2: Define what community means to you. Share an example of how you contribute to a community and how that contribution is impacting that community. (450 word maximum)
  • If needed, you can submit a third essay to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.).

Recommendations

Kellogg asks for two letters of recommendation. We’ve found that this gives us greater insight into who you are as an employee and a leader. One letter should come from your current supervisor or manager. The second letter should come from someone who can evaluate your professional performance and your managerial/leadership potential (e.g., former supervisor, previous employer, client). Additional letters of support are neither required nor encouraged.

All letters should be submitted via the online application. They must address the following questions:

  • Kellogg has a diverse student body and values students who are inclusive and encouraging of others with differing perspectives and backgrounds. Please tell us about a time when you witnessed the candidate living these values. (300 words)
  • How does the candidate’s performance compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the candidate. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)
  • Is there anything else you would like us to know?

*Please note: as long as your online application is submitted by the posted deadline, recommenders may submit their letters up to two weeks after the application deadline. Keep in mind that formal application review cannot begin until all required materials have been received.



Given our program’s teamwork-driven student experience, these recommendations help us see that your abilities are recognized by both superiors and fellow coworkers.

Dustin Saunders, Director of Admissions

Application Fee

The application fee is $150. Submit your payment via credit card with your application. Do not send payments directly to Kellogg.

Fee waivers are granted to:

  • Active duty U.S. military applicants or U.S. military veterans who have been on active duty within three years of applying
  • Candidates employed by Teach For America or the Peace Corps within the past three years
  • Participants in MLT, Forte Launch, Posse Foundation, JumpStart, and Riordan Program Alumni

Active duty U.S. military or U.S. military veterans, Teach For America, Peace Corps applicants:
If you qualify for a fee waiver, send a formal request to emba-admissions@kellogg.northwestern.edu before you submit your application. Provide supporting evidence of your current employment or military status. Military applicants should submit either a pay stub or letter from a commanding officer to verify active duty status. For military veterans who have completed service within the last three years, please submit a copy of Form DD-214.

Applicants participating in MLT, Forte Launch, Posse Foundation, JumpStart and Riordan Program Alumni:
Candidates should inform their partner organization that they are applying to Kellogg’s Executive MBA degree program. The partner organizations will provide Kellogg a list, and Kellogg will waive the application fee within our application system.

Candidates may not be considered for more than one program at a time. Please note that all application fees are non-refundable.

Interview

The interview provides an opportunity for you to learn more about our community. It also allows the admissions committee to further evaluate your interpersonal and communication skills, career focus and motivations for the Kellogg MBA. We strive to interview as many candidates as possible.

Virtual Interviews

All interviews are currently virtual. Shortly after submitting your application, you will receive an email with instructions for how to schedule your interview in our portal.

To schedule your interview, please visit the link provided upon submission, call the Evanston office at 847.491.3622, the Miami office at 305.442.7780, or email us at emba-admissions@kellogg.northwestern.edu.

Keep Track of Your Application

You’ve invested time, energy and resources into completing your Kellogg application, so no doubt you'll want confirmation that your application was received. And we want you to have that peace of mind, too! So, once you submit your application, you can log back in at any time to view the status and double check that all sections were successfully completed.

Application Deadlines for Miami and Evanston

Jan. 2022 (R1): Aug. 18, 2021

Jan. 2022 (R2): Oct. 6, 2021

Sept. 2022 (R1): April 20, 2022

Sept. 2022 (R2): June 1, 2022