University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Ph.D. Application Instructions

Successful applicants to the Walton College's PhD programs must be academically strong candidates who demonstrate high leadership potential and an ability to conduct quality research.

Our goal is to find a group of individuals that, taken together, will excel in our programs and contribute to each other's educational experience. Your goal is to provide information that will distinguish yourself from among the many outstanding candidates who apply to the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Use your application materials to distinguish yourself from your peers.

The appropriate Admissions Committee will review and evaluate your application once all supporting documents and the application fee have been received. The official GMAT, TOEFL, and/or GRE scores should be sent directly from the test administrator. Applications will not be considered until the packet is complete.

If you have any questions about our programs or the application process, please feel free to call (479) 575-2851 or e-mail us at We look forward to receiving your application materials.

Admission Criteria

Each applicant's potential is evaluated on the following dimensions:

  • Academic record, including areas of strength and trends in academic performance. Master's GPA is used to assess this criteria. Applicants must hold at least master's degree from an accredited college or university. In rare circumstances, an applicant may be admitted into a PhD program without a master's degree.
  • Aptitude for graduate work in business, as measured by the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is used to make admissions decisions for the PhD in Economics. Management will also accept GRE scores.
  • Background, growth potential, maturity, motivation, and leadership, as indicated by resume and statement of objectives.
  • Academic Research. Resume, statement of objectives, and letters of recommendation are used to assess a student's ability to conduct quality academic research.

Application Instructions

The application can be completed online at All application materials MUST be submitted before an admissions decision will be made.

  • Application form.  Apply Online. - You will not submit academic documents or letter of recommendation information with the application for admission. The Graduate School of Business will send you an email outlining how to activate your Applicant Center in UA Connect to upload documents and recommender information. Please allow up to five business days for email notification.
  • Application fee (non-refundable). - A $40.00 fee for domestic applicants and $50.00 fee for international applicants must accompany application materials. The fee must be made payable to the University of Arkansas in U.S. dollars, drawn on a U.S. bank. The application fee is non-refundable and no application will be processed without the fee. Please call (479) 575-2851 to pay with a credit card.
  • Résumé. A copy of a current résumé is required. Be certain that your resume indicates your full-time and part-time employment history, extracurricular collegiate, professional, and community activities, honors and awards, and foreign language proficiency.
  • Recommendations. Three (3) letters of recommendation are required in support of your application. Select individuals who are familiar with your capacity for graduate-level work. 
  • Transcripts. One official transcript from each college or university you attended, undergraduate and graduate, is required. Course work completed at one institution and posted on the transcript of a second institution is not acceptable. A transcript from the original institution is required (this includes summer course work, exchange programs, etc.). Contact the institution's registrar's office to determine its procedure for requesting transcripts. Unopened transcripts (with the University's stamp across the seal) can be sent with the other materials or directly from the institution. Graduates from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville DO NOT need to send ANY transcripts unless another degree was completed afterwards at another institution; please send that transcript. *Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded for initial review, but official transcripts must be received to finalize any admission offer.
  • Statement of Objectives. Include ways in which you have been influenced by past academic and work experiences, personal strengths and weaknesses, career goals, research interests, and benefits you anticipate from this program.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT is required of applicants to the Accounting, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Supply Chain programs. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), rather than the GMAT, is required of applicants to the PhD in Economics degree program. Management will also accept GRE scores. We require that the test administrator submit your score directly to the University of Arkansas. The appropriate test must be taken within five years of the semester in which you wish to enroll. Your application will not be processed until we have received your official GMAT or GRE score. *Official scores must be received to finalize any admission offer.

International Student Applicants must also submit the following items:

  • Summary of Educational Experience form. The Graduate School of Business requires a chronological record of your school attendance listing the types of schools attended, the certificates earned, the examinations passed, and your graduation. 
  • Supplemental and Financial Information form. A form I-20 or DS-2019 cannot be issued until you have been admitted to the Graduate School of Business and you have completed this form. 
  • TOEFL. The TOEFL is required of all international applicants. We require that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) submit your score directly to the University of Arkansas (code number 6866). You must receive a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based test, 550 on the paper-based test, or 79 on the internet-based test. An IELTS Academic score of 6.5 will also meet this requirement as well a 58 on the PTE-A.
  • A test of spoken English is required. This can be fulfilled by either taking the internet-based TOEFL and scoring at least a 26 on the speaking portion, by taking the IELTS Academic and scoring at least a 7.0 on the speaking portion, or by taking the PTE-A and scoring at least a 71 on the speaking section.

Since it is often difficult to accurately convert grades/scores from overseas universities into GPAs, international students are strongly advised to provide additional documents that will allow us to interpret their program GPAs/scores. Examples of such documentation include a rank certificate, course content forms, etc.

PhD Application Deadlines

Accounting - December 1st

Economics - January 15th

Finance - December 15th

Information Systems - January 15th

Management - January 15th

Marketing - December 1st

Supply Chain Management - December 15th 


Frequently Asked Questions

There is no minimum GMAT score and each academic department has different expectations. Applicants with GMAT scores of over 600 increase their likelihood of being admissible and for some departments, scores of 650 or higher are preferred.

The GMAT is generally required for the PhD in Business Administration. The GRE is required of applicants to the PhD in Economics. Management will accept either the GMAT or GRE.

Work experience is used to evaluate the applicant's ability to be successful in a doctoral program and to conduct quality academic research. If this can be proven by past academic performance, work experience is not required. Work experience may strengthen the application and further differentiate the applicant from the application pool.

Professors and supervisors who know you and know your academic and leadership potential, as well as your ability to conduct research, should write your letters of recommendation.

Yes, only COMPLETE applications received by the deadline will be considered on time and will receive priority.

Yes, we require an original transcript in a sealed envelope from each college/university that you have attended. For University of Arkansas, Fayetteville students, we can obtain an unofficial transcript from the Registrar's Office.

The social security number (SSN) is used to help ensure appropriate classification of in-state residency for tuition purposes, consistent with federal provisions pertaining to immigrant status, as requested by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The SSN is required for administering student financial aid and for reporting to the IRS compensation due to UofA employment. In addition, the IRS requires the University to provide SSNs along with other student information to verify tax credit eligibility. Furthermore, the SSN may be used to match applicant records (such as grades and test scores) and to help track student and alumni records, although it is not mandated for such purposes. SSNs are maintained confidentially and used only for official business by the UofA and affiliated entities and contractors, including for debt collection. Admitted students are issued a University identification number, which serves as the student’s primary identifier and which is different from the SSN.