The University of Michigan Ross School of Business: Everything You Need to Know


The University of Michigan is one of the top public universities in the United States. Like the school’s other prestigious graduate programs, including law, medicine, and public policy, its MBA program is consistently ranked in the top 15 in the country.


The University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business (Michigan Ross) offers a well-rounded general management curriculum, complemented by many signature hands-on learning opportunities, including the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) course, through which all Ross MBA students complete consulting projects for companies and nonprofits (located either in the United States or abroad) during the last seven weeks of their first year, and the Leadership Crisis Challenge, a role-playing competition that puts Ross students in the decision-making shoes of an executive facing a dilemma.

A Ross education prepares students for a variety of careers, with consulting (44.2%) and general management (14.6%) being particularly popular post-MBA paths. Michigan Ross is also a fitting choice for candidates with an interest in operations—the Tauber Institute for Global Operations (to which Ross MBA applicants can apply at the same time) trains students for a global career in the field. Given the strength of the University of Michigan’s other graduate programs, Ross also attracts candidates interested in dual degrees. Notably, students with a strong passion for environmental sustainability have the option of doing a joint MBA/MS program through Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. And those with a keen interest in the intersection of business and societal challenges can complete an MBA/master’s in public policy through the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Many candidates who are seeking a true campus vibe with the amenities of a larger city feel that Ann Arbor, Michigan offers both. On Saturdays in the fall, the whole town turns maize and blue to cheer on the football team, the Michigan Wolverines. The university’s basketball and hockey teams also draw plenty of excitement and spectators. Apart from the campus revelry, Ann Arbor offers a vibrant and active arts, brewery, café, and dining scene.

Above all, what sets Michigan Ross apart in the eyes of its community is its collegial culture. At Ross, MBA students are divided into six sections of 70–85 students each, and members tend to show strong allegiance to their sections even after graduation. Alumni describe Rossers as “accomplished yet humble” and the environment as heavily collaborative, with students enthusiastically helping each other master new academic concepts and prepare for job interviews—even for positions they are competing for. Newly accepted candidates get a taste of this culture at Go Blue Rendezvous, the Ross admitted-student event that showcases the Michigan school spirit (cheers of “Go Blue” are frequent) and the business school’s welcoming nature, featuring activities such as a scavenger hunt and smaller group dinners.

The highly streamlined Ross MBA application does not give you much space in which to explain your perceived fit with this culture, but you will have the chance to do so in your interview if you advance to this stage of the process. In your application, you want to focus on concisely communicating your professional and personal accomplishments through your resume and essays, and have your recommender (one is required) attest to your strong performance, potential, and growth. Fortunately, mbaMission offers a depth of resources and services to help you on your application journey.


Michigan Ross and Social Entrepreneurship/Impact

The University of Michigan highlights its significant impact on the Ann Arbor community through initiatives in medicine, environmental sciences, and technology. This university spirit of “doing good” permeates the Michigan Ross School of Business, which has a long-standing commitment to social impact.

The Ross Business+Impact initiative—a major resource for Ross students interested in social issues—offers a Board Fellows program, speaker events, and sponsored consulting internships via its Summer Fund. The Ross Net Impact chapter, designated as a Gold chapter for multiple years, has previously hosted the organization’s annual conference (held in a different location each year) and provides various social entrepreneurship resources to students interested in this track. Additionally, Ross offers a MAP option focusing on the relationship between profit generation and social value creation, a fellowship for students to work on action-based learning projects, and the C. K. Prahalad Grand Challenge, a competition that gives students the opportunity to build a business plan for value creation at the base of the pyramid.


mbaMission’s Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business Insider’s Guide

The Michigan Ross MBA Insider’s Guide

After consulting with Michigan MBA students, admissions committee members, and alumni about their Ross experiences, we have prepared our Insider’s Guide to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. We take an in-depth look at life as a Michigan Ross MBA student, highlighting how the school’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, alumni involvement, and rankings all affect its culture and MBA experience. Then we delve into Ross’s faculty (including renowned finance professor Gautam Kaul) and professional student clubs, revealing how they facilitate the careers of Ross MBA students. Through our guide, you will learn more about the hands-on learning philosophy that underpins the business school—evidenced by distinctive resources such as the Social Venture Fund, the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies’ Michigan Business Challenge, numerous student-run conferences, and other such opportunities. Further, you will come to understand how the LEED-certified 270,000-square-foot Ross building, along with other features of the campus, facilitates collaboration and socialization among students and underscores Michigan’s commitment to sustainability.


Michigan Ross Interview Guide

The Michigan Ross School of Business Interview Guide

Ross interviews—which are most often conducted by students or alumni but occasionally by admissions officers—tend to be friendly and conversational in nature. However, Ross applicants should not get so comfortable that they lose their focus and fail to provide the admissions committee with the critical information that their trained Ross interviewers are seeking. Ultimately, through behavioral questions, the interviewer will generally ask about past experiences to gain insight into your decision-making abilities and your values. Further, you will need to be ready to share why you are a good fit for the school, offering particular reasons why the Ross culture appeals to you and why your post-MBA goals can be best served via the business school’s mix of teaching styles and resources inside and outside the classroom.

Note that in 2018 and 2019, the Michigan Ross School of Business included an optional team exercise component in its interview experience for applicants interviewing on campus and in a few select locations off campus. Ross described this additional exercise as an opportunity for candidates to get to know potential classmates, as well as for the admissions committee to gauge applicants’ interpersonal and communication skills and to better assess their overall fit for Ross. For the 2020–2021 application season, the exercise was dropped because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ross has not yet announced whether it will reinstate it. For more information, including examples of Ross interview questions, check out our University of Michigan Ross School of Business Interview Guide.


Michigan Ross Essay Analysis, 2023–2024

In our view, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan takes a very no-nonsense, just-the-facts approach to its application essays (even the scope of its optional essay is relatively narrow). For the school’s “short answer” questions, candidates choose one prompt from each of two lists of three and are asked to submit what are essentially mini essays of just 100 words. In Ross’s (again concise) 150-word-total career “essay,” candidates share and explain their short-term professional aspirations, thereby demonstrating for the admissions committee that they have a plan in mind and have given serious thought to why they need a Ross MBA to achieve their goal. No specific word limit is stated for the program’s optional essay, but applicants are gently encouraged to use bullet points in their response, reinforcing our impression that the program really just wants the key facts about its candidates, without any extraneous filler.

In our analysis, we provide in-depth guidance on each of Ross’s MBA application essay questions:

  • Part 1: Short Answers
    Select one prompt from each group of the two groups below. Respond to each selected prompt in 100 words or less (<100 words each; 200 words total).
    • Group 1
      I want people to know that I:
      I made a difference when I:
      I was aware that I was different when:
    • Group 2
      I am out of my comfort zone when:
      I was humbled when:
      I was challenged when:
  • Part 2: Career Goal Essay
    What is your short-term career goal and why? (150 words)

Click here to read our analysis

Michigan Ross MBA Program Class Profile (Class of 2024)

Class Size 380
Average GPA 3.50
Average GMAT 720
GMAT Middle 80% Range 680–760
Average GRE (Verbal) 160
Average GRE (Quant) 160
Average Years of Work Experience 5.6
Women 42%
International 36%
Countries Represented (including the United States) 39
U.S. Students of Color
(percentage of U.S. citizen/permanent resident matriculants who identify as any ethnicity group except white, non-Hispanic)

Michigan Ross MBA Rankings

Ross was 15th in the 2022–2023 Bloomberg Businessweek U.S. rankings. In the 2023–2024 U.S. News & World Report MBA rankings, Ross was in eighth place (in a tie with Yale SOM) within the United States. In the U.S. News specialty rankings, the school was included among the top five in the following areas: accounting, management, marketing, nonprofit, production/operations, and project management.

In addition, the Princeton Review’s 2023 survey of 241 MBA programs included Ross in several top five categories: number one for Best Administered, Best Professors, and Top Midwest Entrepreneurship: Grad; number two for Consulting and Top 50 Entrepreneurship: Grad; number four for Best Classroom Experience, Greatest Resources for Women, and Most Family Friendly; and number five for Best Career Prospects.

Michigan Ross MBA Application Deadlines (2023-2024)

Round 1
September 14, 2023

Round 1 Decision
December 8, 2023

Round 2
January 11, 2024

Round 2 Decision
March 15, 2024

Round 3
April 4, 2024

Round 3 Decision
May 3, 2024

mbaMission Testimonials from Michigan Ross MBA Applicants

Melissa Blakeslee is the reason I got accepted!

I have been out of college for 10 years and trying to get into one of the top business schools in the world seemed like a VERY daunting challenge. I was overwhelmed when I looked through the application process and knew I needed help. I found mba Mission which led me to find Melissa. It is a lot of money and I was not sure what to expect but immediately I could tell Melissa was going to get me there! She did tell me that I would get out of it what I put into it so I spent over a month getting her all the information she needed to get the process going and WOW.. She gave EXCELLENT advice, gave me beyond helpful edits on the first few drafts of my essays, and pushed me to do some online classes and other programs/ projects to make up for some of the weaknesses I had in my application. Everything she edited/ suggested is nothing that I would have done on my own. She was ALWAYS on time with giving back edits or answering emails- most of the time she even got back to me right away! I truly felt like she was in my corner, made sure I felt heard on my point of view regarding the essays, and was really fighting for me in any and every way. It was a team effort and never once did she make me feel like I was demanding too much of her time or that I was another client she had to deal with. She encouraged me when my score for the GRE didn't raise at first and she celebrated all my small wins along the way before getting accepted. I am so happy that I was paired with her as she was my rock the ENTIRE time. I WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN MY ACCEPTANCE INTO ROSS BUSINESS SCHOOL WITHOUT MELISSA. I think the best decision you will make is signing up for this service and then asking for Melissa. You can tell she cares and genuinely is fighting with you. Melissa, if you read this, THANK YOU<3 You have been an integral part of my success in getting in and anywhere that Ross takes me! <3
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