James Parker, new director of recruitment and admission at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, helps a prospective student at a recent informational session.
Applying to a graduate business program can seem daunting, and students often have many questions about the best way to approach the process. 
James Parker, the new director of recruitment and admission at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, answers questions about Kellstadt's admissions and what prospective students should know when applying.

What questions do you see most often during application season?

Parker: The biggest questions we get are certainly about what’s required to apply. Specifically, we get questions about the minimum GPA or GMAT score needed to be admitted. It’s important for our applicants to realize that admission is holistic. The admission committee looks at all admission requirements to determine if the student is a good fit for the Kellstadt programs and if our programs are a good fit for that student’s goals. There are no minimum GMAT or GPA requirements, but we can say the average GMAT score for our currently admitted students is 570 and the average GPA is 3.2.
We also get a lot of questions about how long essays should be. Our best advice is no more than two pages. We have thousands of applicants a year, and the essays can really add up. What you want to say in the essay is basically what you want to get out of the degree, how it will benefit your career goals and why you’re ready for a graduate program. Outside of that, the committee can see your academic background, resume, etc. 

What should students keep in mind when applying to Kellstadt?

Students should plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your admission materials to us. We want to make sure you have enough time to get us everything we need and that you  give yourself time to make final plans for starting your program. Kellstadt does rolling admission and we admit for every quarter for most of our programs, which is not common for all graduate programs. We also encourage students to ask questions. The admission staff is more than glad to answer questions, check your status, look at your materials and provide advice. Use us as a resource for a smooth admission process. We’re here to help you prepare an application that will allow the admission committee to see you as a good candidate.

What deadlines should prospective students keep in mind when applying?

While Kellstadt has deadlines, they actually are more like priority dates than hard deadlines. The deadlines are a way for us to ensure we have enough time to process and notify students about an admission decision and give students time to develop a degree plan and register as early as possible. But we work hard to make sure students can get into the quarter they wish to start, so if in doubt, contact our office. We can help you get the process finalized even closer to the start of the quarter. In the end, our commitment is to process as quickly and efficiently as possible regardless of the time before the quarter starts. But for guaranteed admission timelines, I’d follow our deadlines as much as possible. Our upcoming deadlines are April 1 for the summer quarter and July 1 for the fall quarter.
International applicants need to know that the deadlines are there to ensure they have time to get their I-20 (student visa application) submitted for their visa interview and time to purchase airline tickets etc. It’s important to note that the process for international applicants is much longer, so applicants need to plan in advance and give us enough time to get scores, transcript evaluations, etc.

What makes DePaul distinctive?

One of the things I value about DePaul and the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business is our commitment to our students—whether it’s our ability to provide a strong practical education, our faculty’s personal approach to mentoring students, or the opportunities that we provide in relation to career and professional development through our strong connections to the business community. I value the college’s efforts to allow students to change careers or just find growth in their current jobs. The university’s mission—to provide access to education to those who are looking to expand their educational or career potential—is an important factor that makes both DePaul and Kellstadt distinctive. The other factor that makes us unique is our commitment to graduate education for working professionals. I believe we provide a top-notch education for those who are trying to balance work, family and a desire to expand their potential with a graduate degree.    

What drew you to DePaul?

What attracted me to DePaul is the mission of the university. I really value the commitment to education, service to the community, social justice and the focus on the whole individual. Our Kellstadt faculty members are committed to both their discipline and to our students, and it shows. The business school also has a strong practical and career focus developed into a curriculum that prepares our graduates to be leaders in business, nonprofits and education. All of those values are at my core personally and professionally. I’m glad I’ve found a job and institution that allows me to contribute to that mission.
To learn more about applying to Kellstadt, contact the business school admission office at kgsb@depaul.edu or (312) 362-8810 (toll free outside of Illinois: 1-800-4DEPAUL).​