Kelley School of Business [Review]

Kelley school of business is a reputable business school in the US with an innovative approach to teaching business that will prepare students for a successful and meaningful career. The school is recognized nationally as one of the best, and kelly students are recruited by more than 900 companies each year.

In this detailed Kelley School of Business review, you’ll get to know the history of Kelley, Kelley School of business ranking, Kelley School of Business Undergraduate majors & Minors, Kelly School of Business MBA, Kelley School of Business Direct Admit, and lots more. 

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Kelley School of Business [Review]

About Kelley School of Business

Kelly school of business (KSB) is an undergraduate and graduate business school of Indiana University founded in 1920 and located in Bloomington and Indiana, United States. In 2017, about 7,500 full-time undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at its Bloomington campus, while the Indiana campus at Indianapolis had 1,740 enrolled students campus. In addition, the school offers online MBA and MS programs through “Kelley Direct, and more than 800 students are studying for graduate degrees.

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Kelley School of Business History

In 1920, the Kelly school of business was first established as the “School of Commerce and Finance” of Indiana University. It was later renamed the “School of Business Administration” in 1933 and “School of Business” in 1938. In 1997, alumnus E.W. Kelley, chairman of the Steak n Shake Company, gave a donation of $23 million and it was named “Kelley School of Business”.

The school was initially housed in the Commerce Building constructed in 1923 (William A. Rawles Hall since 1971). It moved to the Business and Economics Building in 1940 (called Woodburn Hall since 1971), and finally to the present-day Business School building in 1966.

Classes started being held in Indianapolis in 1961, and the Kelley School of Business officially expanded to Indianapolis in 1974. It is located in the Business/Spea building on the IUPUI campus. During the expansion, Kelley School of Business was “one school, one faculty, one curriculum in two different locations”. The dean’s office is located on the Bloomington campus. The Executive Associate Dean – Indianapolis, and the Associate Dean of Indianapolis Research and Programs positions were created to lead the Kelley School of Business curriculum, faculty, and programs at IUPUI.

The $33 million Graduate and Executive Education Center was completed in 2003 and provides facilities to the Kelley School’s graduate and executive education students.

In 2003, the Bloomington Brands was launched after Kelley School and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, a unique brand management work-study program for both undergraduates and MBA students, went into a partnership.  The Osmocote Plant Food brand under contract from Scotts is managed by participating students. Students are instructed and regulated by Bob Stohler, a former Scotts executive. All marketing variables for the Osmocote brand, including the selection of product formulas, packages, sizes, pricing, and the development of marketing strategy, media purchase and selection, advertising, promotional activities, and consumer research. At Scott’s, Brands students work closely with other multiple business functions.

Interim Dean Dan Smith was appointed as the new dean of Kelly business school in the summer of 2005. He replaced Dean Dan Dalton who stepped down in 2004.

In a ceremony on October 21, 2005, the Kelley School Graduate and Executive Education Center were renamed in honor of William J. Godfrey, an alumnus and successful businessman who had bequeathed the school with land valued at $25 million.

On March 30, 2012, the Undergraduate Building Hodge Hall was renamed in honor of James R. Hodge who gave $15 million to Kelly school for the renovation and expansion of its facility. The $60 million expansion and renovation of Hodge Hall were completed in May 2012 and was opened in the fall of 2014. A substantial amount was also donated by the Eli Lilly Foundation as well.

After serving as dean for seven years, Dan Smith stepped down in June 2012 and took a new position as president and CEO of the Indiana University Foundation. Interim dean Idalene Kesner was announced as the new dean of the school on May 9, 2013. She was the first woman to serve as dean at Kelly school of business.

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Kelley School of Business Ranking

  • Indiana University Bloomington ranked #14 Best Universities for Economics and Business among US schools  and #24 globally by U.S. News & World Report 2022
  • BEST Business Schools for Marketing by Clear Admit 2019–2020
  • Ranked #3 Best MBA for Marketing by The Princeton Review 2021
  • Ranked #7 for Best Professors by the Princeton Review 2021
  • Ranked #8 most family-friendly business school by the Princeton Review 2021
  • #6 best business school in Career services, #18 overall in the US, #38 Worldwide by Financial Times 2021
  • Ranked #22 Overall best business school by Poets&Quants 2022
  • Ranked #22 Overall best business school by U.S. News & World Report 2023
  • Ranked #21 Overall best MBA program by Fortune Best MBA Programs 2021
  • Ranked #19 Overall by Expansión MBA Ranking Internacional 2021
  • Ranked #38 Global QS MBA Rankings 2021

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Kelley School of Business Undergraduate majors & Minors

The Kelley School of Business offers 18 undergraduate majors, 4 minors,  a variety of graduate programs, and a certificate program. This includes a wide variety of master’s courses to study, as well as the 4 types of MBA in Kelley School of Business, made available for full-time, working and distance course students. 

Some of the various programs offered in different departments at Kelley School of Business include: accounting, entrepreneurship, consulting, finance, health care administration, general management, marketing, and supply chain management/logistics. 

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Kelley School of Business Majors and co-majors

Kelly school of business majors and co-majors include Accounting, Business Analytics, Digital, and Social Media Business Applications, Digital Technology Management, Economic Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and Corporate Innovation, Finance, Information Systems, International Business, Law, Ethics, and Decision-Making (LEAD), 

Leading Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Organizations (LDEI), Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Professional Sales, Public Policy Analysis, Real Estate, Supply Chain Management, and Sustainable Business. 

Business minors and certificate

A minor or certificate earned from Kelley School of Business will get you closer to achieving any career goals you’ve set. If you are pursuing IU Bloomington undergraduate degrees outside Kelley School, you are still eligible to complete any or all of the business minors and/or certificate programs. 

Additionally, if you’re a non-degree-seeking student, you can go for the Business Foundations Certificate. This includes Business, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Financial Literacy, Marketing, and Certificate in Business Foundations. 

Kelly School of Business MBA

At the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, integration is the focus of business programs. In the first semester of the full-time M.B.A. program, the goal will be to bring together every business discipline to broaden the students’ understanding of business. The concept of Leadership is prevalent within Kelly. During the first semester, it is implemented when students are placed into teams of four to work together and complete projects. Additionally, influential leaders and business executives come to campus to discuss a myriad of topics with students through the Kelley Leadership Speakers Series.

Full-Time MBA Program

Kelley’s residential Full-Time MBA Program is offered at the Bloomington campus and guides you toward your professional goals in a collaboration of extensive learning curriculum and experience.

Evening MBA Program

The Evening MBA program is a flexible 24-month part-time program offered at the Indianapolis campus and is ranked number one in the U.S for academic quality by Bloomberg Businessweek. The program combines online and on-campus learning. You can choose a general administration degree or choose one of four majors to specialize in. 

The Evening MBA can be completed while you work full-time. Kelly’s dual-degree option also allows you to customize your education to meet your specific career needs. 

Kelley Direct Online MBA

Our Online MBA is taught in Bloomington by the same faculty as Kelly’s in-residence programs ranked among the best in the U.S by U.S. News & World Report. Other online master’s degrees offered include business analytics, strategic management, and finance. While studying the Online MBA program, you can still major in business analytics, entrepreneurship, digital technology management, finance, corporate innovation, marketing, strategy and leadership, operations, and supply chain.

Business of Medicine MBA

The business and medicine MBA program is developed specifically for physicians and is delivered online and on the Indianapolis campus. The program tests your expertise in medicine with leadership education designed for the fast-changing healthcare environment.

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While pursuing a full-time M.B.A., students can also pursue an online M.B.A., Ph.D., or complete a specialized master’s degree in accounting or information systems. Joint degrees are available and offered in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences, Maurer School of Law, and the Department of Telecommunications.

Kelley School of Business students gains a majority of their career guidance through experiential learning. One example of this is Bloomington Brands, which occupies students with real-world business problems in the classroom so that they can prepare for life outside school. Kelley Academies provides opportunities for students to partner with a professor who is an expert in their career area so that they can be guided through post-graduate decisions. Over 18 clubs and 20 committees are available for Kelley students to participate in on campus.

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Kelley School of Business Admissions

Acceptance Rate

Kelley School of Business has an acceptance rate of 38% and a moderate selective admission policy.

Admission Deadlines

Admission to Kelley School of Business is available in fall, winter, summer, and spring. The MBA application deadlines are on January 5 for the second round of admissions, March 1 for the third round, and April 15 for the final round. 

Admission Requirements

A GPA of 3.7 to 4.0 on a 4.0 scale (~92-100%), and excellent academic achievements are required for admission to the Kelley School of Business. ACT super scores of 28 to 32 or SAT super-score of 1290-1390 are the average scores achieved by previous applicants. Other basic admission requirements include SOP, LOR for the USA, personal essay and financial availability documents are some of the b-school.  

Kelley School of Business International Student Admissions

International students are generously admitted to Kelley School of Business generously. The population of international students at Kelly is 13%.

The Kelley School of Business has international centers in more than 30 countries in various parts of the world. These centers contribute to ensuring a better admission environment for Kelley’s international community. If you are applying for a program, follow the below-mentioned guidelines.

Application Portal: IU Application Portal

Application Fee: a non-refundable application fee of 65 USD must be transferred by the applicant for the online international application process.

Other admission requirements include: 

  • High GPA scores and official academic transcripts
  • English proficiency test Scorecard (Test codes for SAT: 1324, TOEFL: 1324, ACT: 1210)
  • IU-specific essay. If you are applying via Common Applications, this essay is known as a writing supplement.
  • LOR(s)
  • An updated resume showing your educational qualifications and professional experience
  • SOP/Letter of intent 
  • Financial affidavits

Kelley School Of Business Undergraduate Admissions

You can apply for admission into any of Kelly’s business school undergraduate either through the Common Application Portal or Coalition Application Portal. Once admitted, the enrollment deposit is 100 USD

Application Requirements for Kelly’s undergraduate program include: 

  • Transcript/High school diploma
  • A minimum GPA of 3.5/4 (87%) 
  • A brief essay (200–400 words) emphasizing academic and career plans and any special interests you may have. 
  • ACT/SAT scores
  • Additional Documents: Letters of recommendations, leadership experience, work experience, and community service

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Kelley School of Business Direct Admit

You can begin your studies at the Bloomington campus as a directly admitted Kelley business student

This means that you will bypass the admissions requirements that is expected to be accepted into any program of your choice at Kelly. You start to work with Kelley academic and career advisors from the first day you arrive.

Only first-year students entering the fall semester are offered direct admission. Students who matriculate in the spring semester, students who do not intend to major in a Kelley business degree, and transfer students, are not eligible for direct admission.

Earning Kelley direct admission

Step 1: Apply to Indiana University by November 1

  • Beginning August 1, apply to Indiana University, the fall of your senior year of high school.
  • On your IU Bloomington application, choose one of the undergraduate business majors offerd at Kelly business school as your intended major. This is not a permanent selection as you can still change your major as you move through the Kelley curriculum.

Step 2: Meet the GPA, ACT, and SAT test score criteria

  1. The required test score you must earn is:
  • a composite ACT score of 30, or
  • an SAT score of 1370 (Writing and Math & Evidence-Based Reading)
  1. Earned a high school cumulative GPA of 3.8 on a 4.0 scale. The highest GPA sent to IU Admissions from your official high school transcript will be used. This may also be the weighted GPA in most cases. 
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If you wish to apply under test-optional guidelines or your record does not meet the criteria above, you will need to petition through the school’s website to be considered for Kelley direct admission.

Step 3: Receive your admission decision from Indiana University and Kelley business school

If you submit your application materials by November 1 and meet the required admissions criteria, you’ll hear from Kelly business school four to six weeks after you are admitted to IU. You will not be notified if you are not offered direct admission. 

Your IU admissions letter will carry the heading “Pre-Business”. Every student admitted to Indiana University is admitted as a “Pre-Major” until they are admitted by Kelly.

Once you accept your admission into Kelly, you can now pay your $100 enrollment deposit, and this officially make you a Kelley student. 

Petition for Kelley’s direct admission

If you missed the November 1 application deadline or did not meet the admissions criteria, you must request approval for direct admission to Kelley. This is called a petition and more than 65% of submitted petitions are approved. The process takes only 10 minutes to complete.

You will not be informed by the Kelley Admissions committee if yo did not meet the criteria for direct admission. If you did not meet the requirements, the only way for Kelley School of business to know that you’re interested in direct admission is through your petition.

Most competitive petitions exceed the GPA or test score direct admission criteria. For instance, a student might have a 32 ACT or 3.9 GPA. 

For fall 2020, the middle 50% of approved petitions were:

  • ACT super score (Composite): 28 to 32
  • GPA: 3.70 to 4.0
  • SAT super score (Math and Evidence-Based Reading & Writing): 1290 to 1390

Kelly School of Business Fees

Its tuition is full-time: $28,143 per year (in-state); full-time: $52,483 per year (out-of-state); part-time: $23,544 per year (in-state); and part-time: $39,339 per year (out-of-state). At graduation, 79.30 percent of graduates of the full-time program are employed.

Kelly Alumni

Kelley School Alumni include Harold Arthur Poling, former president and CEO of Ford Motor Co.,John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia.

Visit School Website


Kelley school of business is a reputable business school, recognized nationally as one of the best business schools in the US. The school has an innovative educational approach that will prepare students for a successful and meaningful career in Business. 

One unique aspect of Kelley school of business is that you can bypass the admissions requirements and begin your studies at the Bloomington campus as a directly admitted business student. You start to work with Kelley academic and career advisors from the first day you arrive.

Every year, kelly students are recruited by more than 900 companies.

Kelley School of Business FAQs

Is Kelley School of Business Prestigious?

Kelley School of Business is one of the prestigious public business schools in the U.S. Overall, its undergraduate B.S. in Business was ranked 4th in the U.S  out of more than 100 other top business schools in America. 

Is it hard to get into Kelley School of Business?

The acceptance rate into Kelley School of Business is 38%. Excellent academic achievements are required for admission to the Kelley School of Business. ACT super score of 28 to 32 or SAT super score of 1290-1390 is the average score achieved by previous applicants.

What GPA do you need to get into Kelley School of Business?

A 3.2 cumulative GPA with an 1170 SAT (a minimum of 530 on the math component) or a 24 ACT (a minimum of 21 or higher on the math component) is required to get into Kelly school of business. 

Does Kelley offer Undergraduate majors & Minors?

The Kelley School of Business offers 18 undergraduate majors, 4 minors,  a variety of graduate programs and a certificate program. 

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