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PMBA - Admissions

The Darla Moore School of Business seeks qualified, well-rounded working professionals from a variety of career tracks to enroll in the Professional MBA program.

Apply for the Professional MBA program to earn an MBA degree without interrupting your career.  Applications are accepted for admission in the January and August terms yearly.  


Professional Work Experience

Professional MBA students' work experience, industry knowledge and management skills are an important part of the learning experience. The ability to contribute real-world experiences and situations adds value to the classroom discussion.  Applicants should have at least two years of full-time, post-bachelor, professional work experience.  Submitted resumes should be accomplishment based, and include job responsibilities (current and past positions) that specifically demonstrate applied quantitative and analytical skills.  Candidates are also encouraged to highlight leadership and management experience. 

Academic Review

An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required to be considered for admission to the Professional MBA program.  While a degree in business is not required, approximately 33% of the 2015 class has an undergraduate major within the discipline of business.  Many of the incoming students come from an engineering or science background. Graduate coursework (partial or degree completion) will also be taken into consideration.  

You are welcome to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript to expedite the review of your admission application.  If you are admitted, you will be required to provide official transcripts from all institutions attended to finalize the admission process.

Applicants are responsible for contacting prior universities and/or colleges attended to request a transcript from each institution be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
USC Darla Moore School of Business
1014 Greene St.
Columbia, SC  29208

If your college or university offers PDF delivery of transcripts, the PDF should be sent to Scott King, Director of Admissions for Graduate Programs at the Darla Moore School of Business. Transcripts sent to individuals, other than the director of admissions, may not be considered official.

Scott King, Director of Admissions   


Applicants must provide a valid (five years old or less) Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score or a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score to be considered for admission to the Professional MBA program. The GMAT and GRE are composed of verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections. You can learn more about the GMAT at: The GMAT institutional/program code for the Moore School is JV2-TP-50. For more information about the GRE, visit The GRE code for USC is 5818.

GMAT/GRE test waivers are considered for applicants with at least seven years of significant, progressive management experience and a good academic undergraduate record OR another graduate degree and at least two years of work experience.  To be considered for a test waiver, write an essay in response to the test waiver question in the PMBA questionnaire portion of the admission application OR access the PMBA Test Waiver Request, complete it and upload it to your application prior to submitting the application.

If you are requesting a test waiver based on work experience, you should include detailed information about your professional accomplishments such as projects managed, promotions, and budgetary/product oversight.  Highlight current and/or past job responsibilities that specifically demonstrate applied analytical skills.  Compelling waiver requests include number of people supervised (past or present), budgets managed, sales goals/targets met and other quantifiable successes.

Letters of Recommendation

Two professional letters of recommendation are required for the admission review.   When selecting who will write recommendations, consider current or former managers/directors, colleagues with MBA degrees, senior leaders in organizations that you have worked with, or customers and clients.  Some items to address in the recommendation include performance (current or prior), industry knowledge, ability to work with teams, project management skills and leadership potential.


The statement of purpose essay allows the applicant to provide some insight into why an MBA degree is important to his/her career growth and path.  Select two of the five questions and write an essay of about 250 words. 

If your undergraduate academic GPA is less than a 2.7, address that in a separate optional essay.  


International applicants who do not hold a degree from a United States institution must also submit a valid (no more than two years old) test score demonstrating their command of the English language. The minimum score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is 95 (Internet-based) and 7.0 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The institutional code for the Darla Moore School of Business is 5818.   

Admissions Decisions

Admission decisions are made when the application is complete, i.e., all documents and the GMAT/GRE score report are received. Primary criteria considered for admission include undergraduate performance, GMAT score, and work experience.