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Darla Moore School of Business

Admissions Requirements

Ph.D. programs start in late August each year during the fall semester, with orientation activities starting in mid-August. Due to highly competitive admissions, we advise you to be fully informed of application deadlines and to apply as early as possible.

Program Admission List and Application Deadlines

Given the competitive nature of doctoral programs and the individual attention given to each student, some departments may admit applicants only in specific years.

Every year, once the admission process is completed (around April 15), all applications are closed. During the summer, the Ph.D. program office, in conjunction with each academic department, evaluates plans for the next admission cycle and confirms which programs will accept applications. At that point, around August 15, applications for all programs admitting for next cohort reopen and all information on this page is updated to reflect the new cycle. Interested prospects may then start their application.


Program Admission List for August 2022 Cohort

 
Ph.D. in Economics
Program Accepts Applications for August 2022 Cohort Will Accept Applications for August 2023 Cohort
Economics Yes No
Ph.D. in Business Administration
Program Accepts Applications for August 2022 Cohort Will Accept Applications for August 2023 Cohort
Accounting No Yes
Finance Yes No
International Business No Yes
International Finance Yes No
Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Yes Yes
Production/Operations Management Yes Yes
Marketing Yes Yes

Admission plans for August 2022 Cohort are official. Admission plans for August 2023 Cohort are tentative and subject to change.


Ph.D. Application Deadlines for August 2022 Cohort

You may create a profile and work on your application at any time. You should provide detailed information throughout your application. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the application deadline date. Once you submit your application (as per the deadline schedule provided below) and after all required documents (review Admission Process section below for more information) are received, the admissions committee will begin its review.

Round Application Deadline** Notification By
Preferred* Dec. 15, 2021 As decisions are made by admissions committee
Final Round Jan.15, 2022 As decisions are made by admissions committee

*Given the limited availability of space in the program, all completed applications received by this date receive preferential review. Applications submitted by the second deadline are welcome and receive consideration as per space availability.


Admissions Process

Each year, around August 15, plans for the following cohort are confirmed. At that point, the Program Admission List and Application Deadlines Schedule on this page is updated with information for the new cycle and the application for the programs that plan to admit students for the upcoming cohort is made available. Prospects may then start their application.

If you are not ready to submit an application yet, but would like to start a profile, you simply create an account and work at your own pace. You will have access to the admissions application fields and essay questions and can add profile information as you progress through the application process. 

Program Selection: As part of your profile/application, you will be asked to select the program you are interested in. In addition, you will be asked about the following:

  1. Degree Sought: You can select one of two degrees :
    1. Ph.D. in Economics
    2. Ph.D. in Business Administration
  2. Ph.D. Concentrations: You can select one of the following options (provided we are accepting applications for this particular application season):
    1. For Ph.D. in Economics: Economics
    2. For Ph.D. in Business Administration: Accounting, Finance, International Business, International Finance, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, Strategic Management/Business, Production/Operations Management or Marketing,

You are able to change your selection at any time; however, changes can only be made prior to submitting your application.

Applicants must submit an online application. A non-refundable application fee of $100 is required. Payment is only available online via electronic check or credit card. Details are available within the online application for admission.

Applicants who meet specific criteria are eligible to apply for an Application Fee Waiver [pdf]. Review the eligible criteria and the corresponding procedure for more information.

All supporting documents must be received before the admissions committee can start the application review process. This includes all transcripts documenting all academic work, GMAT or GRE scores and the English proficiency test (TOEFL/IELTS/PTEA), if applicable.

Unofficial documents and score reports may be uploaded for application review consideration. Official documents will be required, if admitted to the program, before the end of the first semester of enrollment. Please review the Admissions Criteria section below for more details on required supporting documents.

Preferred Round: All applications which have been submitted and completed (including all test scores and support documents) by this deadline are gathered and prepared for review. Application files are provided to each admissions committee for their review by mid-January. The committee may request a follow-up conversation with the applicant to better assess the merits of his/her application. Once the committee makes its decision, the Ph.D. office sends an offer of admission to the selected candidates. Given the competitive nature of the process, and taking into consideration the two-week winter break that the university observes, notification of admission may vary depending on committee availability and volume of applications.

Final Round: All applications which have been submitted and completed (including all test scores and support documents) are gathered and prepared for review. Application files are provided to each admissions committee for their review by early February. The committee may request a follow-up conversation with the applicant to better assess the merits of his/her application. These applications receive consideration as per space availability.

Post Deadline: Applications which are submitted or completed (including all test scores and support documents) after the final round are considered late. Such applications are provided to the committee on the ongoing basis but may be considered only as per space availability and as per unique strength of the application. The committee may request a follow-up conversation with the applicant to better assess the merits of his/her application.

Once a committee selects the candidates to be admitted, these applicants receive official admission notification via email. The notification will include information regarding the financial support package (i.e., graduate assistantship) offered to the applicant. Applicants who at this point have not been selected are considered as to be in waiting list status. Should any admitted applicant not accept their offer of admission, the Ph.D. program office will notify the next candidate to whom the committee would like to make an offer of admission. Admitted applicants must accept or reject their offer of admission by April 15.

Once all available spaces in the program are offered and accepted, the admission process is considered complete. At this point, all applicants who were not selected for admission receive official notification and the application system is closed for the remaining of the academic year. Applications are made available again around August 15 for the next admission cycle.

Applicants who are offered admission and a graduate assistantship award by the Darla Moore School of Business must accept or reject the award by April 15.

To officially accept and hold a seat for the incoming class, the applicant must provide a $250 enrollment deposit. Instructions to officially accept and submit this deposit will be provided in the official notification of admission.

As soon as deposit has been submitted, but not earlier than April 1, incoming students start receiving information pertinent to preparing for their arrival. This information includes documentation needed for enrollment (i.e., immunization forms, orientation information and program start dates).

The program starts typically during the third week of August each year (between Aug. 20 and 25). For official dates, please visit the Academic Calendar section of the Registrar’s website and select the appropriate academic year.

Incoming students are asked to plan to arrive on campus on or before the start of the Aug. 1week, as a Math Camp (required for some programs) and orientation activities (required for all programs) take place during the first three weeks of the month. Specific dates are provided as part of the pre-enrollment communications described above.

 

Admission Criteria 

General Information:

The admissions application asks for your general personal and contact information, academic and employment information and information related to your participation in certain organizations (i.e., U.S. Armed Forces). Although not all information is required, you are encouraged to provide as much information as possible.

Professional Work Experience:

Though it may or may not be directly related to your future work in academia and/or research, and even though it is not a requirement for admission into the Ph.D. program, your work experience is certainly a complementary aspect of your application. You’re required to include your resume as part of your online application.

Essays:

The application also asks for a Statement of Purpose (maximum of 500 words) that should outline why you want to earn a Ph.D. degree. You may also add a personal essay (Optional Essay section) should you want to share additional information for the admission committee to review.Program Selection: As part of your application, you will be asked to select the program for which you are applying. For more information on what options you may select, please refer to the Admissions Process section above (under Starting an Applicant Profile).You are able to change your selection at any time but only prior to submitting your application.

Transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended must be submitted to the Darla Moore School of Business as part of the admissions process. This includes graduate level credit (if applicable) and any credit received from an institution in which you did not graduate (i.e., transfer credit). Transcripts must be submitted by the application deadline. For transcripts issued in a foreign language, an officially translated version must be submitted.

These documents must be sent to the Moore School's Graduate Division in a sealed envelope from the respective institution. The Moore School has access to transcripts of UofSC graduates, and no further action is required if the University of South Carolina was the last school you attended.

Please send all transcripts to:

Darla Moore School of Business
Graduate Division-Director of Admissions
1014 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208
USA  

E-transcripts are also accepted for admissions consideration if sent directly from the respective institution. These should be sent to Lisa Carter , the graduate admissions director.

Applicants must provide a valid (five years or fewer) admissions test. The Ph.D. in Economics programs requires the GRE test. The Ph.D. In Business Administration accepts either the GMAT or GRE tests. 

GRE General Test (GRE):

The GRE is composed of verbal, quantitative and analytical sections. You may learn more about the test on the GRE website. To have test scores sent, the institutional/program code for the Moore School's Ph.D. programs is: 5818.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT):

The GMAT is composed of verbal, quantitative, written and analytical sections. You may learn more about the GMAT and register for the test on the Graduate Management Admission Council website. To have test scores sent, the institutional/program code for the Moore School's Ph.D. programs is: JV2-TP-84.

Minimum Test Score Requirement: 

There is no specific minimum requirement. Each program’s admissions committee looks at all components of the application to make a final decision, including test scores, letters of recommendation, statement of career objectives, transcripts and overall potential for success in the program. In general terms, the GRE/GMAT scores of applicants who have been admitted in the past have been in the 60 to70 percentile range and above, although the overall strength of the application is what drives the assessment of the application by the committee.

At least two letters of recommendation are required for your application, although an applicant may submit additional letters. Also, please note an individual department may request more as the committee evaluates the application. Letters should comment on your academic or professional qualifications.

We encourage recommenders to submit their letters through the online application system. During the application process, you’re able to send an electronic request to the designated recommender. The recommender is then able to complete the review within the online system or upload a saved document.

If necessary, you or the recommender may send completed letters in a sealed envelope. Hard copy letters of recommendation should be written on company/organization letterhead, include the official signature of the writer, and be sent to:

Darla Moore School of Business
Graduate Division: Director of Admissions
1014 Greene St.
Columbia, SC 29208
USA

International applicants who do NOT hold a degree from a U.S. institution must also submit a valid test score (two years old or less) demonstrating their command of the English language. You may provide either of the following test options:Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The TOEFL is composed of listening, reading, speaking and writing sections. You may learn more about the test on the TOEFL website. To have test scores sent, the institutional/program code for the Moore School's Ph.D. programs is: 5818.International English Language Testing System (IELTS): The IELTS is composed of listening, reading, speaking and writing sections. You may learn more about the test on the IELTS website. Please make sure you select the University of South Carolina as a score recipient when taking the test.Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): The PTE Academic is composed of speaking, writing, reading and listening sections. You may learn more about the test on the PTE Academic website. Please make sure you select the University of South Carolina as a score recipient when taking the test.Minimum

Test Score Requirement:

Test Score
TOEFL ibt 100 
(no specific requirement for any of the test sections)
IELTS 7.0
(no specific requirement for any of the test sections)
PTE Academics 68
(no specific requirement for any of the test sections)

The Ph.D. Programs committee does not have a preference in regards to the TOEFL, IELTS or PTEA for admissions consideration.

English Proficiency Test Exemption:

International applicants who fall in one of the following categories are exempted from this requirement and do not need to provide a test score:

  • Holds a degree from an institution in the U.S., as noted in their transcript
  • Are citizens of one of the countries in the exempt list.
    Applicants most mention such citizenship in the student information section of the application and upload a copy of their passport or similar official document along with their transcript.
  • Completed and earned a degree from one of the countries in the exempt list as noted in their transcript.
  • Completed and earned a degree for which the medium of instruction was English as confirmed either by an official notation in their transcript or by an official letter from the institution stating that the medium of instruction in the student’s program was English (a copy of the letter must be uploaded to the application along with the transcript). In this case, after reviewing all aspects of the application (including a potential interview requested by the committee), we reserve the right to require an English Proficiency Test score as per admissions committee assessment.

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