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3 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing Your Fisher SMF Application

Three things to keep in mind when preparing your SMF application

Be aware of deadlines

Deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you. I recommend taking a look at the deadlines and working backward. If you want to submit your application by December 1, for example, you know that gives you approximately three months or twelve weeks from now until then. You need to be aware of how long each item will take to be completed and submitted to us. Examples include but are not limited to:

GMAT: About two weeks will go by from the time you take the GMAT to the time we get your scores. Accordingly, if you want your scores to be here by December 1, you should plan on taking the GMAT no later than November 15.

References: How long will your references take to prepare their recommendations for you? Work backwards from December 1 and add an extra couple of weeks or more as “cushion” in case anything unforeseen and unpredicted occurs.

It is OK to do things “out of order” / you do not need to wait before everything is complete before submitting your application materials

For example, you can submit GMAT scores before submitting your application. Conversely, you can submit your application before taking the GMAT. You can submit your application before all your references are received. And so on.

Be very aware of how long things will take to complete/submit when compiling your application materials

As mentioned earlier, we will not receive your GMAT scores the day after you sit for the test. Plan for the lag time. Also, your references will need (on average) at least one month to prepare your letters of recommendation.

Transcripts can take a long or short time to get to us – it all depends on the university issuing the transcripts. And sometimes colleges “forget” to send them. Advice: Find out from your school how long it will take to issue your transcripts. Plan accordingly. Build in a margin of safety. And follow up with your school to ensure it sent them to us.


TOEFL scores can take a long time to arrive at Ohio State. How long? It varies. It can be anything from several weeks to several months. The delay is almost always due to the test administrator involved. If you are an international student and need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, be sure to keep in close touch with the TOEFL or IELTS test administrator.


Fisher SMF applications for autumn 2012 are now available

The Fisher SMF application for the 2012-2013 academic year is now live and available online.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early – your chances of earning admission and merit-based financial aid are best at the beginning of the application cycle.

Deadlines for Autumn 2012 are listed below:

DOMESTIC APPLICANTS (U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents)

November 14 – early decision deadline. Complete applications submitted by this date will have an admission decision (admit, deny, wait-list) by December 31.

December 28 – Fellowship/priority funding deadline

June 5* – Final deadline
*Complete applications received after this date may be reviewed on space available basis.



November 14 – early decision deadline

December 28 – Fellowship/priority funding deadline

February 15 – Final deadline


Over the next few months, please check back on this blog. I will post information that may help you as you prepare to submit your application. Enjoy the rest of your summer in the meantime!

Enjoy summer while it lasts!

Things you can do this summer to prepare for applying to graduate finance programs for autumn 2012

Take these steps towards your future!

If you are beginning to think about applying to graduate finance programs this fall, there are a number of things you can work on this summer to get ready:

1) Begin your research on programs to determine which one is going to be the best fit for you (hopefully it is Fisher!). Visit the program websites, read the admissions blogs (great job!), etc. Learn about opportunities to visit campus or connect with members of the admissions staff.

2) Prepare for the GMAT exam. Visit for all of the information you could possibly want to learn about the test, study guides, resources and free, downloadable, full length practice tests. Most schools will look at your highest score, but ideally you only have to take the test once at $250 per attempt! (In other words, you have an economic incentive to score well on your first attempt.)

3) Think about who will serve as your references. Many graduate finance programs now use electronic reference forms. By the time your reference receives the link to complete the reference form and upload the letter of support, he/she should already know what to expect and be prepared to complete the process. If you are still in school (e.g. entering your senior year), academic references (e.g. professors, etc.) carry the most weight in the Fisher SMF admission decision review process.

4) Request transcripts from your undergraduate institution(s) early. Sometimes it takes awhile for those transcripts to arrive, so don’t wait until the last minute. You need to send us two official transcripts, issued directly by your university’s registrar office. We need two official transcripts from each college/university attended. And it is very OK to send those transcripts to us prior to you submitting your application. (The address to which your transcripts need to be sent is SMF ADMISSIONS; 100 Gerlach Hall; 2108 Neil Ave; Columbus OH; 43210-1144.)

5) Begin thinking about your essays. Our essay questions are posted online so you can review them before you even begin an application. The essays will really give you a chance to highlight elements of your personality, personal accomplishments, interesting aspects of your background and experience, etc. – they give you the best chance to differentiate yourself, so spend some time thinking about how you want to be perceived by the admissions committee.

Click here for a complete list of things to prepare for if you are applying to the Fisher SMF program for autumn 2012.

Our application for Autumn 2012 should be available as of August 1, 2011. In the meantime, please click here to be added to our database and to request more information about Fisher.

Still want to be a Buckeye?

Good news!  The Admissions Committee will continue to accept qualified applicants for Fall ’11.  Why?  First, we realize that our start date is later, so why should we follow the deadlines of the other schools?  Second, SMF wants the best possible class and that could include you.  It may be the case that you just recently took the GMAT or perhaps you had the realization that graduate school if you; whatever your reasoning is, you may have an opportunity to join the scarlet and gray!

As always, the earlier you apply, the better!


Spring break 2011 :: and why this affects our response time

Hold tight, we'll be with you shortly!

All Fisher graduate students are on their well deserved spring breaks this week. Everyone will be back on campus by next Monday (March 28). Why is this of concern to anyone who might be reading this blog post? If you have contacted the Fisher SMF Admissions Office via its email account (, it is likely you have interacted with both full time and part time (e.g. students) admissions personnel. When students are not on campus, it decreases our staffing that handles these general inquiries by at least 80%.

The email account will be monitored during spring break – but it will likely not be checked as often as it normally is since the number of people to assist with the account is significantly reduced during spring break. We will be back to “normal” staffing levels next week. Until then, we thank you for your patience!

P.S. If you have anything that is urgent, you can always contact the Fisher Graduate Programs Office directly at +1-614-292-8511

‘Submit’ vs. ‘Complete’

We're working on your file!

As we approach our final deadline (remember, it’s March 11), please note that there is a difference between SUBMITTED applications and COMPLETED applications.  When you ‘submit’ an application, it may not necessarily be ‘complete.’  If you ‘complete’ an application, you clearly had to have submitted it first.

When it comes to the deadlines listed on the website, those deadlines are set for those applications that are COMPLETED.  Therefore, if you just SUBMITTED your online application by the deadline, it may not necessarily make the round.  However, please DO NOT PANIC if you do not complete your application by the deadline.  We are reviewing COMPLETED files on a continuous basis.

Additionally, we are receiving numerous e-mails about application statuses not reflecting reality.  Please remember that due the large volume of applications,  it may take several weeks for our processing department to mark your file complete.  Again, DO NOT PANIC!  Last, you are always welcome to turn your supplemental materials (transcripts, test scores, etc) prior tp SUBMITTING your online application.  Please allow a few days to a few weeks for those items to show up with your application to be considered complete.

Thanks, everyone!


IELTS and TOEFL guidelines

Attention international applicants:

Although most international applicants choose to take the TOEFL, some choose to take the IELTS to satisfy the Ohio State University Graduate School’s requirements for English proficiency at time of application. Either TOEFL or IELTS are perfectly acceptable when applying to the Fisher SMF program. If you plan to submit TOEFL scores for your application, we recommend at least 100 overall and at least 24 on the speaking subsection to be minimally competitive. For those of you that plan to take the IELTS exam in lieu of the TOEFL, an overall band score of 7.0 and 7.0 on the speak section of the IELTS is what we recommend to be minimally competitive.

My professor is out, can I replace my reference?

We have received a few inquiries from applicants who have submitted their applications and one or more of their listed references have not completed the online recommendation form.  We generally get a question like this:  “I listed a professor/former supervisor as a reference in my application and it appears his/her reference is the only one missing. I am unable to get in touch with him/her, as s/he no longer works at my company (or is at the university) and I am afraid s/he may have forgotten about my reference for my application. Can I select another person in his/her place in order to complete my application?”

You have two options.

Option 1 – replacing reference with an electronic reference

If you wish to replace the missing reference with an electronic reference, send an email to Include your full name and email address – specifically, the name and email address you used when you submitted your application. Also include your applicant ID number if available. In your email, include the follwing information:

  • First Name of your recommender
  • Last Name of your recommender
  • Email address for your recommender
  • Relationship to your recommender (e.g. supervisor, professor, etc.)
  • Your recommender’s job title
  • Your recommender’s place of employment (e.g. company, university name, etc.)
  • The number of years and months your recommender has known you

Option 2 – replacing reference with a paper reference

If you wish to replace the missing reference with an paper reference, you do not need to change anything on your submitted application. Simply download and print the paper reference form, complete/sign/date page 1 of the form and provide both page 1 and 2 to your reference with a stamped, addressed envelope. (For the mailing address, it is critical you use the following address: SMF ADMISSIONS; 100 Gerlach Hall; 2108 Neil Ave; Columbus OH 43210-1144.)

If this situation applies to you, I hope this information helps! Let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help!

Transcripts- Yes, you have to submit ALL of them!

Being an OSU alumna, Jen doesn't have to send in her transcripts.

Recently, I have been getting the same question, “Do I need to send in every transcript, even the ones that have been transferred to my current university?”

The answer to this question is, “YES!”  The Ohio State University requires that two copies of ALL transcripts be sent in order to receive an admissions decision.  This means that if you took a summer course at a community college, transferred from another institution, went to a school in a different country or even took continuing education credits at a college or university, you will need TWO transcripts from each school you attended.

What is the ONLY exception?   Ohio State will NOT require transcripts from Ohio State.  We can pull these internally for you.

On an unrelated note- today is the second round deadline.  Happy submitting, everyone!

What to Write?

As you are preparing your essay responses for your application, keep these tips in mind:

  • Provide rationale for pursuing the SMF degree at this stage of your personal/professional development
    • include an explanation of your career path to date and how your past experiences have informed your decision
    • include a discussion of your goals – both personal and professional – and how the SMF program will help you achieve them
    • be honest with yourself and with us - if you don’t know exactly what job or what industry you are targeting after graduation, that is okay – after all, you may be pursuing a SMF to help you figure this out! Don’t write what you think we want to hear.  It is okay to reveal some shortcomings – we all have them.
  • Provide rationale for pursuing the Fisher SMF degree specifically (there are numerous graduate accounting programs out there offering a variety of delivery formats – why Fisher’s?) in a way that makes sense for you personally.  We don’t want to read our website regurgitated in your essay responses.  We don’t need you to list all of the programs and resources we offer.  Be thoughtful about these programs and resources and how you intend to leverage them to accomplish your individual goals.  What is it about the Fisher SMF program that really resonates with you?
  • Explain any red flags or issues that the application may reveal (e.g. sub-par undergraduate grades, big employment gaps, etc.)

Always think of your essays as a one way interview. We are unable to interview every applicant to the program. This is your chance to tell us about yourself. Let us know if you have any questions!

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