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Applying to the Iowa MBA Program as an international student is a little bit different.


Work experience

International candidates should have at least two, and preferably three to five, years of post-undergraduate work experience, which is more than we ask of the typical domestic candidate. Why is work experience so important for international students?

Three reasons. First, it’s difficult to contribute to team/class discussions without work experience. Second, most MBA employers aren’t interested in hiring someone without work experience prior to B-school. And third, international students must be sponsored by a company to work in the U.S., which makes the job search more challenging. Having work experience puts you on equal footing with other MBAs, and makes you more competitive in the job market.

Undergraduate education

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required to apply. We prefer 16 years of education (typically 12 years of elementary/secondary plus 4 years postsecondary education), but exceptions for 3-year bachelor’s degree holders are made on a case-by-case basis. An application is needed before we can consider you for an exception, so step one is applying.

Transcripts, diplomas, and marks sheets

Certain information is required on your academic documents—proof of degree conferral and marks for each course. View our transcript requirements.

English proficiency

Details about English language proficiency are located in the application process.

Admissions interviews

Interviews are invitation-only for international students unable to visit campus in person. Interviews are conducted on Skype; make sure you have access to a webcam.

What happens after you’re admitted

  1. You’ll be given a decision deadline; before then, you need to accept or decline our offer of admission.
  2. If you accept, you’ll receive a request for financial verification from the International Admissions Office.
  3. Once finances are verified, we’ll issue your visa paperwork and you can pay your deposit (we call it an Advance Payment). Deposits are $750 and are nonrefundable. 


You’ll need an I-20 to apply for a student visa. The I-20 (also known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant [F-1] Student Status For Academic and Language Students) is an immigration document we issue after you’ve verified finances. Some international students may be issued a different immigration form; it depends on your circumstances. All the info you’ll need will be sent to you from our Office of International Admissions after you’ve accepted admission.

Verifying your finances

You’ll need to show proof of financial resources for one year of study using the Financial Statement for International Applicants. See Estimated Costs of Attendance for dollar amounts. If you’ve been awarded a scholarship package with an assistantship, use the lower amount listed for students with assistantships.

Financing your MBA

You’ll be considered for scholarships at the time you apply, using the same criteria we use for admission. There are a number of special scholarship packages for international students.

We encourage you to explore all sources of funding from your home country, including government and private scholarships and loans. Some U.S. banks will permit international students to borrow through them with a creditworthy U.S. citizen cosigner.