Kelley Direct Online MBA frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Below you’ll find the answers to the questions prospective students ask us about the Kelley Direct Online MBA Program. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us at kdirect@indiana.edu or 877-785-4713.


Degree options

What is the Kelley Direct Online MBA?

There are four main components for our 54-credit online MBA curriculum including the core courses, elective options, in-person requirements like Kelley On Campus, and experiential learning options. You may choose to tailor your electives in a specific area, resulting in a major. Majors are:

  • Business Analytics
  • Digital Technology Management
  • Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Leadership
  • Supply Chain and Operations

Explore curriculum

Coursework & student experience

Do you have live, synchronous class sessions?

On average, students enjoy two live class sessions per week total. Live sessions are held via Zoom allowing for real-time interaction and engagement. Live sessions typically last about an hour to 90 minutes, usually starting between 6 to 9 p.m. ET. Our students are busy working professionals who report that these sessions fit easily into their week and that they are some of the most valuable aspects of the learning experience. Given the busy schedules of our students, our faculty can work with you on alternatives if you need to miss a live session here or there. Most students find these sessions extremely valuable and say they wouldn’t miss them for anything.

I am a busy working professional. Is this online MBA flexible?

Yes! Students typically complete the Kelley Direct Online MBA degree in two years while working full-time. Most students enroll in 6 credits per term for the duration of the program and are able to juggle courses, work, and life. We have designed a flexible curriculum for working professionals, which enables you to accelerate or extend your plan of study and complete your degree at your own pace.

Watch a live Q&A with Kelley Direct Online MBA students and alumni to hear what it's like to balance the program and continue to work.

Watch the Q&A

What are Kelley On Campus and Kelley On Location?

Kelley On Campus is an intensive case study competition for Kelley Direct Online MBA students that takes place during the first year of the program on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, IN. Kelley On Location includes three to four days at a client-specific location in the US. Most students say that these in-person experience sessions are the most impactful academic activities they have ever experienced.

In-person experiences

What is the timeline to complete the program?

The Kelley Direct Online MBA can be completed in as little as two years. With the flexibility our program offers, you have up to four years to complete the MBA. Accelerating your pace faster than two years might be possible, but there may be limited course offerings and/or availability.

See Academic Calendar

Kelley Direct Career Advancement & Performance Coaching

How will Kelley Direct help me accomplish my career goals?

Kelley Direct provides online MBA students with a robust array of career services, as well as access to a network of more than 127,000 living Kelley School of Business alumni. In addition to in-person networking opportunities at Kelley On Campus, we offer traditional services such as job boards, access to online resources, dedicated career coaching, and professional development classes. Kelley’s career services last a lifetime, so alumni can reach out to our career coaches years after graduating for personalized assistance crafting a resume or preparing for an interview.

Explore Kelley Direct Career Advancement & Performance Coaching

How do you network in an online program?

Our students tell us that every interaction they have with peers, faculty, and staff during their MBA experience is an opportunity to network. During live virtual class sessions, office hours with faculty, and collaboration with peers while involved with our Student Leadership Association, students enjoy many opportunities to make connections in an online environment. In addition, we offer various ways to connect in-person including biannual Global Connect Nights. It’s an opportunity for you to meet with other Kelley students and alumni in locations across the globe. Whether you are at Kelley On Campus building bonds with your case team or collaborating virtually on group projects with students around the globe, you will grow your personal and professional network.

Accreditation & reputation

How will the degree appear on my diploma?

The Kelley Direct Online MBA Program is offered by the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. The Kelley School’s world-renowned faculty will teach your Kelley Direct courses. Your diploma will indicate you received an MBA from the Kelley School of Business.

Is this an accredited online MBA program?

The Kelley School of Business and the Kelley Direct Online MBA are accredited by AACSB International. The AACSB accreditation process includes rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review elements, as well as a continuous improvement review every five years to ensure we are improving over time.

Is this online MBA respected?

The Kelley Direct Online MBA is the longtime leader in online education with a proven reputation for success. Other schools look to us for guidance on virtual instruction because of our expertise. Our renowned Kelley School of Business faculty have been teaching online classes since the 1990s. We are currently ranked the #1 online MBA by The Princeton Review and the best online MBA for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Employers view the Kelley Direct Online MBA as a rigorous, quality MBA program, and they often tell us how much they respect the dedication and talent of our graduates. Many Kelley Direct Online MBA students—about 64%—are promoted while in the program.

View rankings

Cost & funding options

What is my investment? How much does an online MBA cost?

For the most up-to-date tuition and fees, please visit our Tuition & Financial Aid website. You are responsible for the cost of books and travel expenses for Kelley On Campus. Most students take advantage of employer tuition reimbursement or financial aid opportunities.

Learn more about tuition and financial aid

Are scholarships available?

Applicants for all of our degree programs can complete the scholarship application as part of our admissions process. Discover specific opportunities and details about the scholarship application and decision process on the Scholarships site.

Get scholarship details

Military benefits

Are there online MBA benefits for military students?

IU accepts most military tuition assistance, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. The Center for Veteran and Military Students can help determine what benefits are available to you. Indiana University waives the $75 application fee for military and veteran applicants. Thank you for serving our country.

Resources for military students

Please note: GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.


How do I apply?

The application process for domestic and international students, including our application deadlines, can be found on our How to Apply page. The Kelley Direct Phase 1 application is free and only takes a few minutes to complete if you have a resume on hand. We encourage you to start it now—before taking the GMAT or GRE—as you continue to consider your options. Once you submit, you will be contacted via email regarding our Phase 1 decision. If you are selected to continue the application, an admissions team member will contact you to schedule an enrollment interview and walk you through Phase 2 of the admissions process.

Apply now

When will I be notified of an admission decision?

Admission decisions are made after both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the admissions process. Once the program application and your resume are received for Phase 1, we will review your experience and background. You will be contacted via email within one to two weeks with a Phase 1 decision. If you are selected to continue your application, an admissions team member will contact you to schedule an enrollment interview. Once your Phase 2 application is complete (including the interview, the IU Graduate School application, and additional documents), the admissions committee will begin the Phase 2 review process. Typically, students are notified of the final admissions decision within two to three weeks.

How to apply

Start application

Do you provide a GMAT/GRE waiver?

You may request a GMAT/GRE test waiver when you submit your Phase 1 application. Once we have received your Phase 1 application, you will be contacted via email within one to two weeks regarding our test waiver decision.

What factors are considered in test waiver decisions?

We offer GMAT/GRE waivers to qualified applicants. Consideration for test waiver eligibility involves factors such as prior academic performance, work experience, and quantitative ability through coursework or professional experience. 

If I am waived from test requirements, how does it impact my application?

If you are granted a test waiver by the admissions committee, it does not signal admission. Your admission decision will be based on a holistic review of your application. Applying for a test waiver will not impact your eligibility for scholarships.

Do you provide application fee waivers?

Application fee waivers are available for veterans and for women who participate in the Forté MBALaunch program.

If I am admitted, can I defer to a different term?

You are expected to begin coursework in the term for which you applied and were admitted. You may request to defer your program start a maximum of one time by providing a written request to the admissions office. You must have paid the $500 admission deposit before being allowed to defer admission to the next available program start term. If your deferral request is approved, you will be required to meet the degree requirements and pay the tuition rate effective at the time you matriculate into the program. Any scholarship award included with the original offer of admission will be applied to the deferred start term.

If you do not enroll in courses in the next available start term, you will be administratively withdrawn and your deposit forfeited. You must then fully apply for admittance into any future term and, if admitted, pay the admission deposit again. Admission into future cohorts is not guaranteed. Any original scholarship offer is not applicable, as you will be reconsidered for awards with each future application.

I used to be enrolled in Kelley Direct. What do I do if I am seeking readmission?

Former Kelley Direct students who withdrew or were withdrawn from their graduate studies and wish to return may apply for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Consideration for readmittance is based upon several factors including academic standing at the time of withdrawal, the length of the absence, activities undertaken during the absence, and program capacity at the time of the readmission request. If approved, readmitted students will be required to follow the degree requirements and pay the tuition rate in place at the time of reenrollment. If you are seeking readmission, please email kdirect@iu.edu to request the full readmission policy and process.

Does Kelley Direct utilize a waitlist admissions process?

Yes. We are fortunate to have tremendous interest in our programs. And while we are an online program, we still utilize small classroom environments to ensure a high-quality learning experience. If you are considering Kelley Direct, we highly encourage you to submit your application by our priority deadline for the best consideration for admission into the program.

I received an offer of admission for a waitlist. What does that mean?

Unfortunately, even though students may be strong candidates for admission based on their academic records, work experience, and test scores, we are only able to admit a fraction of qualified students given the space we have available in our classes in our top-ranked programs. Admission on the waitlist offers a guaranteed spot in the next available start term in addition to an opportunity to start for the term you applied for if it becomes available. We will reevaluate our capacity to admit any additional students from the waitlist after we are sure that all deposits have been received, approximately three weeks before the start of the term.

Transfer credit policy

What is your transfer credit policy?

The Kelley Direct Online MBA program may accept up to six hours of transfer credits in accordance with our transfer credit policy and with approval of program leadership. Transfer credit will only be evaluated by program leadership upon admission to the program. Credit must have been earned within the last five years, cannot count toward another degree at IU or another institution, and must have been completed prior to matriculation into Kelley Direct. Credit must have been obtained at an AACSB accredited business school with a grade of A or B.