Guide to Apply


How to Apply

How to Apply

Below are several critical elements that you must include with your application for admission into the Purdue-Kelley MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management program.

Application Process

It is recommended that applicants contact the program manager before starting the application process.

The program requires only one application, which is submitted to the MS-MBA program manager. After application materials have been collected by the program manager, they are reviewed by a Purdue University Agricultural Economics committee. If approved, the application is sent to the Purdue Graduate School and the Kelley Direct admissions committee. This process can take up to four weeks. The GMAT or GRE does not have to be completed before beginning the application.

Completing the Application

The application does not have to be completed in one sitting—you will be able to come and go from the application with a user name and password.
In order to complete the Purdue Graduate application, it is critical that you follow these steps:

1. Within the application

Campus and Program left side navigation link

  • Select West Lafayette (Main Campus)
  • Select Agricultural Economics as your proposed graduate major (PWL)

 Program Details left side navigation link

  • Select Food and Agribusiness Mgmt as your area of interest
  • Select Master of Science as your degree objective
  • Select Hybrid (online or off-campus location)
  • Select your entry term and year: Fall 20XX

 Education Background left side navigation link

  • Applicants do not need to upload transcripts (more information in step 6)
  • Undergraduate GPA should be very close to the actual number. For example, a GPA of 2.58 may round to 2.6 but not 3.0.
  • Class rank not needed

 Additional Information left side navigation link

  • Faculty with whom you would like to study – leave blank
  • Check “No – Self or Externally Funded” in regards to seeking a Purdue University graduate assistantship or fellowship

Test Scores left side navigation link

  • Applicants do not need to list an official GRE or GMAT score (more information in step 5)

Diversity Essay left side navigation link

  • There is no need to upload a Diversity Essay because you are not eligible for fellowships/funding, simply hit continue.

2. Recommenders

Within the application, you will be asked to provide names and contact information for three recommenders. One of the recommenders must be a direct supervisor, regardless of their monetary support.

Recommenders should be people that know your work; they are not character references. They should know that you:

  • Have a proven record of excellence at a job
  • Have been a productive employee
  • Have the respect of your peers

Once you have submitted the recommender contact information, they’ll immediately be notified via email with a unique link specific to his/her recommendation. For this reason, it is critical to give recommenders notice. Some have missed notification because the email was caught in their spam filter.

Once they access the website, recommenders will see a series of questions regarding character. They will also be asked to: “Please include a statement about the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses and potential for success in graduate school.” The Purdue committee prefers an uploaded letter on letterhead rather than responding to the question within the text box.

Applicants will receive an email when the recommendation has been submitted, and can see when the recommendation has been completed.

3. Resume

The application asks that you upload your resume. A resume for the MS-MBA program is quite different from a job resume. This resume can be up to 3 1/2 pages in a plain font, and should contain:

  • Heading: Include your name, current home address, a personal email address and cell phone number.
  • Education: List your graduation year, followed by major and minor. If you attended a college but did not get a diploma, do not list it.
  • Experience: This section should begin with your most current employment. If you have had a promotion in that position, differentiate it. This will show the committee that you have moved up along the way. Use bullet points in describing your responsibilities, and if possible, use power words to talk about those responsibilities.
  • Internships can be used on your resume, but mark the time spent in the position (for instance May— September 2009) and if the internship was paid or unpaid. Often, paid internships will count toward your time in the workforce.
  • Leadership: If you have held different leadership positions as an undergraduate or in a community activity, list them and how they developed your leadership skills.

Do not provide references.

If at any time you would like the program manager to review your resume for you, feel free to email it before uploading to the Graduate School online application. Remember—once you have submitted your application and paid the fee, you cannot change anything.

4. Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should be seen as a business document. Do not sentimentalize it. It is critical to show the committee what you bring to the table. The statement of purpose:

  • Should be no more than two pages (though the graduate school application asks for 300-500 words, the MS-MBA program does not follow this rule)
  • Should be typed in a font 10 pt or larger, with 1.5 or double spaced lines
  • Should cover reasons for wanting to study at Purdue and Indiana University, applicant’s professional plans, and ultimate career goals
  • Does not need to be signed 

The program manager is happy to review purpose statements in advance. 

5. GRE or GMAT Exam

All applicants are required to take the GRE or GMAT. However, the GRE or GMAT may be waived if you have completed an advanced degree.

For the GMAT, the minimum total score considered is a 500, but it is important that your quantitative percentile is at least a 30%. On test day, please select Purdue University – Indiana University – Kelley School of Business – MS/MBA in Food Agribusiness Management as a score recipient. For more information about the GMAT, contact the program manager.

For the GRE test, we recommend scores of at least Verbal 149 (35%) and Quantitative 148 (31%). Results should be sent to Purdue University (Institutional Code 1631) and Indiana University (Institutional Code 1324). For more information about the GRE, contact the program manager.

6. Transcripts

All applicants must submit two official paper copies of their transcripts or have one official copy emailed to and one emailed to (Amanda Thacker). Transcripts must show receipt of an undergraduate degree, and the courses and grades associated with that degree. Applicants must also submit transcripts from any school they attended and earned more than 20 credit hours.

Unofficial copies of transcripts will not be accepted. Please use this Transcript Request Form to obtain copies of your transcripts.

7. Release of Information Statement

Purdue cannot forward your application information until you download and complete the Release of Information Statement.