The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is home to the esteemed Kenan-Flagler Business School. This renowned institution is celebrated for its commitment to leadership development, a wide array of overseas study programs, and the remarkable career paths its alumni pursue. In addition to offering a full-time MBA program, Kenan-Flagler also provides three Executive MBA programs and an online MBA degree option.

Aerial view of the Kenan-Flagler Business School campus
Overlooking the sprawling campus of the Kenan Flagler Business School where future business leaders are forged

UNC’s STEM-Designated Full-Time MBA Program: Kenan-Flagler’s full-time MBA program is designed to equip students with the business acumen, analytical skills, leadership experience, and professional networks to propel their careers. The program combines a rigorous and flexible curriculum with multiple opportunities for practical application before graduation.

  • Features of the Program:
    • Faculty and Classmates: Kenan-Flagler boasts a faculty committed to student success, including world-class scholars and instructors. The collaborative learning environment ensures a demanding yet rewarding academic experience.
    • Customized Leadership Development: The program provides tailored leadership development programs that cater to individual career goals.
    • Career Services: Kenan-Flagler has a dedicated career services team focused on long-term success.
    • STEM-Designation: The program is STEM-designated, signifying the analytical rigor of the coursework.
Group of Kenan-Flagler MBA students
A diverse and driven cohort of MBA students at Kenan Flagler Business School

Class Profile:

Kenan-Flagler’s MBA cohort represents a diverse mix of industries and professional backgrounds, offering a truly global learning experience. Students’ industry experiences vary, ranging from consulting, banking, and financial services to fashion and performing arts. With an average work experience of 5 years, students bring their rich industry insights to the classroom and facilitate peer-to-peer learning beyond traditional coursework. The school also prides itself on a commendable 38% gender diversity ratio, a noteworthy achievement compared to other B-schools worldwide.

Infographic of Kenan-Flagler MBA class profile
Snapshot of the Kenan Flagler MBA programs class profile showcasing the diversity and academic excellence of its students


Kenan-Flagler offers twelve concentrations and an emphasis area to help students tailor their academic strategies further. Concentrations include Consulting, Real Estate, Healthcare (in collaboration with UNC’s School of Medicine), Business Analytics & Management Science, and more. Specializing in a particular area enhances expertise and marketability for specific roles and industries, providing students with a competitive edge in the job market.

Post-MBA Salaries:

The Kenan-Flagler MBA program boasts a strong track record of delivering exceptional outcomes for its graduates. The average mean salary for the Class of 2023 is $167,000 USD, reflecting the program’s effectiveness in advancing students’ careers and financial prospects.

Kenan-Flagler MBA graduate salary data
An insight into the successful financial outcomes for Kenan Flagler MBA graduates
Employment statistics for Kenan-Flagler MBA graduates
High employment rates post graduation reflect the market ready skills of Kenan Flagler MBA students

Financial Support:

Many commercial organizations and government programs offer financial assistance in the form of fellowships, grants, and scholarships. Kenan-Flagler’s Funding Information Portal streamlines these resources, making it easy for students to explore funding opportunities. Some of the organizations and initiatives that have previously supported Kenan-Flagler MBA students include Prospanica, The Robert Toigo Foundation, Barclays Inspiring Excellence Fellowship, and more.

2023-2024 application deadlines:

waiver deadline**
Round 1October 16, 2023October 2, 2023December 11, 2023January 12, 2024
Round 2January 8, 2024December 25, 2023March 11, 2024April 12, 2024
Round 3March 4, 2024February 19, 2024April 22, 2024May 17, 2024
Round 4April 29, 2024April 15, 2024May 20, 2024June 7, 2024

Admission Criteria:

  • GMAT Score: The average GMAT score for incoming students is 706. This stringent admission criterion ensures a highly competitive and academically vibrant student body.
  • GPA: The average GPA for admitted students is 3.43, reflecting the commitment to academic excellence at Kenan-Flagler.

Application Details: To join the ranks of successful Kenan-Flagler MBA students, applicants must meet comprehensive application requirements, which include the following:

  • Application form
  • Essays
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Test scores (GMAT/GRE, with a waiver option available for those who meet the criteria)
  • Enrollment deposit – Once you are admitted and decide to attend UNC Kenan-Flagler, there is a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $1,500 USD, regardless of which round you apply in. 

Essay Analysis

Let’s dive into the essay analysis

Study environment in Kenan-Flagler Business School library
The serene study spaces at Kenan Flagler foster focus and innovation among MBA students

Essay 1 (required)

Your response should be no longer than 500 words and should address the following questions:

  • What are your immediate career goals and how will you benefit from earning an MBA at Kenan-Flagler Business School?
  • As the business world continues to evolve, circumstances can change and guide you in a different direction. Should your goals that you provided above not transpire, what other opportunities would you explore?

Introduction (Approx. 50 words):

I would start by briefly introducing myself, mentioning my current professional role and perhaps sharing an anecdote or experience that led me to pursue an MBA. The introduction sets the stage for the essay and hooks the reader’s attention.

Body (Approx. 400 words):

Immediate Career Goals (Approx. 100 words):

  • Begin by stating your immediate career goals, being specific and concise.
  • Highlight why these goals are important to you and how they align with your past experiences.
  • Explain how you believe an MBA from Keenan-Flagler will be a crucial stepping stone toward achieving these goals.


My immediate career goal is to transition into a leadership role in the technology sector. After several years working in technical roles, I have developed a passion for bridging the gap between technology and business, and I aspire to lead cross-functional teams in innovative projects…..

Benefits of Earning an MBA at Kenan-Flagler (Approx. 200 words):

  • Discuss how Keenan-Flagler’s program and resources uniquely align with your goals.
  • Mention specific aspects of the school, like the curriculum, faculty, or extracurricular opportunities, that will help you grow.
  • Highlight any relevant skills or experiences you bring to the program that will contribute to the Keenan-Flagler community.


Keenan-Flagler’s emphasis on experiential learning through its renowned Business Accelerator program resonates with my career goals. I’m eager to leverage the expertise of the distinguished faculty, particularly in technology management…..

Alternative Career Paths (Approx. 100 words):

  • Discuss your adaptability and open-mindedness to evolving circumstances.
  • Show that you’ve considered the possibility of your primary goals not materializing.
  • Highlight how an MBA from Keenan-Flagler will equip you with skills and a network to explore other opportunities.


While my primary goal is to lead in the technology sector, I understand that the business world can be unpredictable. Keenan-Flagler’s holistic MBA program will prepare me for various career paths…..

MBA student studying in Kenan-Flagler library
MBA students at Kenan Flagler delve deep into research supported by extensive resources and a collaborative atmosphere

Essay 2 (required)

Your response should be no longer than 500 words and should address the following question:

Reflect on a project or initiative you were involved in that had a significant positive impact on a community, organization, or individual. How did this experience shape your sense of responsibility as a future leader dedicated to making a difference in the world?

Essay Analysis:

This essay prompt requires you to reflect on a specific project or initiative and explain how it has shaped your sense of responsibility as a future leader. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to approach this essay effectively:

  1. Choose the Right Project: Select a project or initiative that you were genuinely passionate about and which had a clear, positive impact. Ensure it’s a memorable experience that you can discuss in detail.
  2. Narrative Structure: Start by providing a brief introduction to the project, including the context, your role, and its goals. Describe the community, organization, or individual affected by the project.
  3. Impact and Results: In the next part, delve into the details of the project. Explain what you did, how you contributed, and the specific impact it had. Use facts, figures, and anecdotes to demonstrate the significance of your contribution.
  4. Personal Growth: Discuss how this experience impacted you personally. Did it challenge you, change your perspective, or teach you valuable lessons? Highlight the skills you developed or honed during the project.
  5. Sense of Responsibility: Articulate how this experience shaped your sense of responsibility as a future leader. Did it inspire a commitment to social or environmental causes? Did it highlight the importance of ethical leadership or teamwork?
  6. Long-term Goals: Connect your experience to your aspirations as an MBA candidate and future leader. Explain how the skills, values, or insights gained from this project will help you achieve your goals in the business world.
  7. Why Keenan-Flagler: If applicable, briefly mention why you believe Keenan-Flagler is the right place to continue your leadership journey. Specific programs, faculty, or values of the school that align with your aspirations can be mentioned.
  8. Conclude Thoughtfully: Conclude your essay by summarizing the transformative power of this project and your commitment to making a difference in the world. Leave a lasting impression on the reader.
  9. Edit and Proofread: Review your essay for clarity, conciseness, and grammar. Ensure it’s well within the 500-word limit.

Remember that the admissions committee is looking for evidence of your leadership potential and your ability to reflect on your experiences. Be authentic and showcase your genuine commitment to making a positive impact.

Personal study desk of a Kenan-Flagler student
The personal study spaces at Kenan Flagler are where ideas take shape and visions are crafted

Essay 3 (optional)

We encourage you to tell us more about who you are so we can get to know you as a person and potential member of the Carolina community. Use this essay to convey information that you may not have otherwise been able to in the application. Your response should be no longer than 200 words

For an optional MBA essay like this, you have an opportunity to provide additional context and insights into your personality and background. Here’s a strategic approach to crafting your essay:

  1. Reflection: Begin by reflecting on what makes you unique. Think about your life experiences, values, and qualities that you haven’t had the chance to showcase in the rest of your application.
  2. Showcase Diversity: If your background, experiences, or perspectives bring diversity to the Carolina community, highlight that. Diversity can be in terms of ethnicity, nationality, career background, or personal experiences.
  3. Personal Impact: Share a personal story or experience that has shaped you and is relevant to your MBA journey. It could be a challenge you’ve overcome, a unique hobby or interest, or a transformative moment in your life.
  4. Alignment with School Values: Highlight how your values and aspirations align with those of the Keenan-Flagler MBA program. Discuss how you can contribute to and benefit from the school’s community and culture.
  5. Conciseness: Given the 200-word limit, be concise and to the point. Every word should add value to your essay. Avoid unnecessary filler or redundancy.
  6. Proofread: Once you’ve written your essay, proofread it carefully for grammar and clarity. Ensure it is error-free.


During my childhood in rural India, I witnessed the transformative power of education firsthand. My family struggled with limited resources, but my parents instilled in me a deep appreciation for learning. Their sacrifices and unwavering support led me to become the first in my family to attend college…..

Conclusion (Approx. 50 words):

Sum up your essay by reiterating your enthusiasm for the Keenan-Flagler MBA program and your readiness to adapt to a changing business landscape. End with a forward-looking statement, showing how you’re prepared to make the most of your MBA journey, whatever path it may lead to.

Remember to keep your essay concise, well-structured, and free of grammatical errors. Tailor it to your unique experiences and aspirations, and make sure it reflects your genuine passion for the Keenan-Flagler MBA program and your future in business leadership.

MBA graduates celebrating at Kenan-Flagler
A moment of triumph as Kenan Flagler MBA graduates step into the future of business leadership

In conclusion, the Kenan-Flagler MBA program at the University of North Carolina offers a comprehensive educational experience with a strong focus on leadership development, a diverse and collaborative student body, and numerous specializations to cater to individual career goals. With a STEM designation, competitive admissions criteria, and financial support options, it’s a program that stands out in the world of business education, preparing students for successful careers in a global and competitive business landscape.


1. What is the Kenan-Flagler Business School known for?

  • Kenan-Flagler is renowned for its strong emphasis on leadership development, international study programs, and the diverse career paths pursued by its alumni.

2. What types of MBA programs are offered at Kenan-Flagler?

  • Kenan-Flagler offers a full-time MBA program, three Executive MBA programs, and an online MBA degree option to suit various career goals and preferences.

3. What makes Kenan-Flagler’s Full-Time MBA Program stand out?

  • The program stands out with its renowned faculty, customizable curriculum, challenging yet collaborative learning environment, tailored leadership development, and a dedicated career services team.

4. How diverse is the Kenan-Flagler MBA class profile?

  • The MBA cohort represents a wide range of industries and professional backgrounds, contributing to a truly global learning experience. Additionally, it boasts a commendable 38% gender diversity ratio.

5. What is the average GMAT score and GPA for incoming students?

  • The average GMAT score for incoming students is 706, and the average GPA is 3.43, reflecting the program’s high academic standards.

6. Can students specialize in specific areas within the Kenan-Flagler MBA program?

  • Yes, Kenan-Flagler offers twelve concentrations and an emphasis area, enabling students to tailor their academic strategy to align with their career goals and interests.

7. How does Kenan-Flagler support its students financially?

  • Students can access fellowships, grants, and scholarships from various organizations and government programs. The UNC Funding Information Portal streamlines these resources for easy access.

8. What is the average post-MBA salary for Kenan-Flagler graduates?

  • The average mean salary for the Class of 2023 is $167,000 USD, highlighting the program’s effectiveness in enhancing graduates’ career prospects.

9. What are the application requirements for the Kenan-Flagler MBA program?

  • The application requirements include submitting an application form, essays, letters of recommendation, a resume, transcripts, and test scores (GMAT/GRE, with a waiver option available).

10. How does the STEM designation benefit Kenan-Flagler MBA students?

  • The STEM designation signifies the analytical rigor of the coursework, providing students with a strong foundation in data-driven decision-making, a valuable skill in today’s business landscape.

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