A US News & World Report article says schools are increasingly using background checks when admitting students into MBA programs. The primary reason for this growth is because the programs want to make sure that students are honestly representing themselves and their experiences.


So what are schools that do these background checks looking at? They may investigate work history, education, recommendations and other information applicants include in the application.


Schools that use background checks to admit students have varied policies. Some check every candidate, others only check if a potential red flag surfaces, and yet others randomly select candidates for background checks.


According to the article, candidates are given the opportunity to explain inconsistencies. And typical reasons for not admitting candidates include:

  • Ethical lapses/questionable behavior;
  • Not disclosing information, such as a layoff, firing or prior graduate studies;
  • Plagiarism; and
  • Undisclosed criminal convictions.


Students, when you apply for a program – any program, not just an MBA – it is in your best interests to be forthright on your application. If you are caught in a lie, even one of lying by omission, it destroys your credibility. And while many schools will work with students who are straightforward about their past, not being honest could result in being rejected from a program or even revoked admission.