Admission Criteria

Hey guys,

I was just wondering, out of the following, how would you list them from most important to least important in terms of admission by most of the programs.

Major GPA
GRE quant score
GRE verbal score
TOFEL (if needed)
Personal statement
Math courses
Programming skills
Work/internship experiences and financial background
Prestigiousness of previous universities

8) Major GPA
9) GRE quant score
12) GRE verbal score
11) TOFEL (if needed)
6) Recommendations
5) Personal statement
1) Math courses
7) Programming skills
2) Work/internship experiences and financial background
10) Prestigiousness of previous universities
4) Interview
3) Research
My ranking: (explanation)

1. Math courses (mainly because some programs require prerequisites)
2. GRE quant score (this is an easy way to cut down on the applicant pool)
3. Major GPA (also would say that it depends on your major)
4. Personal statement
5. Interview
6. Recommendations
7. Programming skills (generally not required to be a wiz just have the basics)
8. Prestige of previous universities (I think this plays a bigger role than some would like to admit)
9. Work/internship experiences and financial background (only if it's relevant)
10. Research (again only if relevant)
11. GRE verbal score (I think some programs have a min here, beyond that...)
Probably around 6-7 but it is hard to say because for example great work experience would be a plus but probably not enough to overcome a really bad interview or personal statement.

When applying to top ranked programs/schools, I find it best to assume that your competition will be great (above average) in all the listed categories.

Many MFE programs are more geared to people straight out of undergrad or with only a few years of work experience, so don't think of work experience/research as a subsitute for something else but icing on top.