While the MBA application cycle is typically divided into several rounds, every business school is different. The traditional three-round application process has been extended to four, and even five, at some business schools, while MBA programs outside the US have varying start dates.
Whatever your situation—and especially if you’re an international applicant or want to stand the best chance of getting an MBA scholarship—you’ll need to understand what the different rounds mean.
MBA Application Rounds & Your Application
- The 2022-2023 admissions cycle is expected to be less competitive in the US due to a predicted decrease in domestic applications.
- Both Europe and North America expect a continued growth of international applicants in 2022.
- Only time will tell how much the Great Resignation and looming recessions in the UK and US will impact MBA application cycle. In previous eras of economic downturn, MBA applications have increased.
If possible, our advice is to apply as early as possible this application cycle, in MBA application Round 1.
More spaces in an MBA class are filled with each passing deadline, and schools will have less scholarship money to award. As a general rule, the earlier you apply, the more chance you have of getting accepted and getting a scholarship.
Applying in R1 demonstrates that you are serious about a school and have been planning your application for some time. International candidates should strongly consider applying in R1 to allow time to apply for student visas.
“Apply in the early rounds of the admissions cycle, not just to have better chance securing a place on the program, but also to show commitment and dedication, which will allow you to have better access to different types of scholarships and funding sources,” notes Amir Michael, director of the MBA at Durham University Business School.
Round 2, 3, and beyond, are often more competitive than R1 with fewer places remaining in the MBA class.
Round 2 is when things start heating up in the application process so it's important to show what you can uniquely bring to the program to make yourself stand out from other applicants.
Applying in the Early Action (EA) round, offered by some business schools, conveys that you would take that school’s acceptance above all others—that they’re your number one—and typically the application is binding.
“Most candidates apply in Round 1 or Round 2, but candidates should always apply only when they feel they have their strongest application prepared,” says Allison Jamison, assistant dean of admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
MBA Application Deadlines 2022-2023
The business schools listed below are ranked in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings (2021 & 2022) and/or are BusinessBecause Partner Business Schools. All deadlines are for full-time MBA programs.
The below list is a roundup of MBA application deadline at 15 top business schools:
Chicago Booth MBA application deadlines:
Sep 22, 2022 Jan 5, 2023 April 11, 2023
Columbia MBA application deadlines:*
Sept 28, 2022 (ED) April 5, 2023
Cornell MBA application deadlines:
One-Year: Oct 11, 2022 Jan 5, 2023 March 7, 2023*
Two-Year: Sept 22, 2022 Jan 10, 2023 April 11, 2023*
Duke MBA application deadlines:
Sep 26, 2022 Jan 5, 2023 March 28, 2023
Harvard MBA application deadlines:
Sep 7, 2022 Jan 4, 2023
INSEAD MBA application deadlines:
Aug 2023 intake: Sept 6, 2022 Nov 15, 2022 Jan 10, 2023 March 7, 2023
Jan 2024 intake: Mar 7, 2023 Apr 18, 2023 Jun 27, 2023 Aug 8, 2023
ISB MBA application deadlines:
Sep 4, 2022 Nov 27, 2022 TBA
Kellogg MBA application deadlines:
Sep 14, 2022 Jan 10, 2023 April 5, 2023
London Business School MBA application deadlines:
Sep 9, 2022 Jan 5, 2023 March 27, 2023
MIT MBA application deadlines:
Sep 29, 2022 Jan 18, 2023 April 11, 2023
NYU MBA application deadlines:
Sep 15, 2022 Oct 15, 2022 Jan 15, 2023 March 15, 2023
Stanford MBA application deadlines:
Sep 13, 2022 Jan 5, 2023 April 11, 2023
UCLA MBA application deadlines:
Oct 5, 2022 Jan 4, 2023 April 12, 2023
Wharton MBA application deadlines:
Sep 7, 2022 Jan 4, 2023 March 29, 2023
Yale MBA application deadlines:
Sep 13, 2022 Jan 5, 2023 April 11, 2023
* = rolling admissions.
EA = Early Action deadline.
For the full list, download our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2022-23, where we guide you through the key components of a successful MBA application and provide exclusive insight and application tips from leading MBA admissions directors.