Sign Up For Your Free MBA Assessment Today!

Get Admitted

[For more top 20 b-school application deadlines and requirements, click here to visit our 2016-2016 MBA Application Deadlines and Requirement page]

Getting in to a top business school can be a very challenging – and lengthy – process.

Creating an application that stands out is vital.

You want to make sure you are conveying your personal brand to the admissions committee, and clearly communicating how their business school will help you achieve your career goals.

Knowing the deadlines for the schools you plan to apply to will make it far easier to plan out your application process.

You want to make sure you have the time to decide on references, gather your transcripts, and get your resume together.

And you’ll also need ample time for the two most time-consuming elements of your b-school application: taking the GMAT or GRE, and writing your MBA admissions essays.

What B-Schools Require From MBA Applicants

Many top business school have very similar essay questions as a part of their application.

One common theme is asking about how they will benefit from attending their school in particular, as Wharton, Stanford, and Columbia Business School asks. Other schools, like Berkeley Haas and Ross Business School, ask students about their career path and their career goals.

However, many business schools are using their 2016 MBA applications to ask something a little different. Kellogg, for example, requires students to submit two video essays – and does not reveal the questions ahead of time. Duke’s Fuqua School of Business asks candidates to write a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself”.

NYU Stern requires a standard essay about career goals, but also offers students the opportunity to share something about themselves in any format they choose: written, audio, visual, etc.

We know planning your business school applications can be daunting. But once you start to break it down into the requirements and get a clear sense of the timeline you need to follow, it becomes much easier to get started.

We’ve compiled a list of the application deadlines for some of the world’s top deadlines below.

And don’t forget to visit our blog for more advice about what you need to do before applying to business school, how to choose the right MBA program, and preparing for MBA admissions interviews.

MBA Application Deadlines and Requirements

[For more top 20 b-school application deadlines and requirements, click here to visit our 2016-2016 MBA Application Deadlines and Requirement page]

[For more top 20 b-school application deadlines and requirements, click here to visit our 2016-2016 MBA Application Deadlines and Requirement page]

Harvard Business School Stanford Business School Wharton Business School Columbia Business School Fuqua Business School Ross Business School Tuck Business School UVA Darden School of Business Sloan School of Business Kellogg Business School NYU Stern Business School Yale School of Management Haas School of Business Judge Business School at Cambridge IESE Business School London Business School IMD School of Business

Harvard Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application submitted by 12 noon EST) Notification of decision
Round 1 9 September 2015 December 2015
Round 2 6 January 2016 March 2016
Round 3 4 April 2016 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

Harvard has just a single essay question for the entering class of 2018, with no word limit.

The HBS prompt asks applicants to write an essay imagining they are introducing themselves to their section cohort on their first day at Harvard.

Students who plan to apply for a joint degree must include an additional essay of 400 words on how they feel the joint degree will benefit them personally or professionally.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements 

  • Transcript(s) from your undergraduate program(s)
  • GMAT or GRE score
  • TOEFL (Internet-based test only)/ IELTS/ PTE (not needed if your undergraduate degree is from an institution that conducts courses entirely in English)
  • Two recommendations (no restrictions on who can be a recommender)
  • Resume

 Looking for more advice about getting in to Harvard Business School? Check out our advice on how to write a great HBS MBA admissions essay.

Back To Top

Stanford Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application submitted by 12 noon) Notification of decision
Round 1 22 September 2015 09 December 2015
Round 2 12 January 2016 30 March 2016
Round 3 05 April 2016 11 May 2016

MBA Essay Requirements

Stanford requires applicants to submit two essays, with a combined length that cannot exceed 1,150 words:

  • The topic for the first essay is “What matters most to you, and why?”, and
  • The topic for the second essay is “Why Stanford?”

 Additional MBA Application Requirements 

  • Undergraduate transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE score
  • TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE (not needed if your undergraduate degree is from an institution that conducts courses entirely in English)
  • Two letters of reference

 Looking for help with your Stanford essays?

Check out our Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips for some insight into how to create a great application essay.

Back To Top

Wharton Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application submitted by 12 noon) Notification of decision
Round 1 29 September 2015 17 December 2015
Round 2 5 January 2016 29 March 2016
Round 3 30 March 2016 3 May 2016

 

All applicants are encouraged to apply in rounds 1 and 2; round 3 is more competitive. The exception is current Wharton undergraduates, who should apply in round 3 so as to have the most complete academic record possible.

MBA Essay Requirements

 For first-time applications, Wharton requires one essay with a suggested length of 500 words.

The essay prompt asks applicants, “What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA?”

There is also space for an additional 400 word essay explaining any perceived irregularities or additional information that may help the admissions committee.

Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Academic profile and undergraduate/ baccalaureate transcript(s)
  • Additional coursework or professional certifications – Wharton emphasizes quantitative skills for their applicants, so students without a strong quantitative background may want to consider additional calculus or statistics courses to improve the strength of their application
  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOEFL (required only if your native language is not English or your degree is from an institution which offers instruction primarily in a non-English language)
  • Two recommendations; preferred but not required to be work-related
  • Resume

 Looking for more tips about creating a great MBA application essay?

Check out our Wharton 2016 MBA essay tips.

Back To Top

Columbia Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST)
January 2016 entry (final) 7 October 2015
August 2016 entry

(early decision)

7 October 2015
August 2016 entry

(Merit fellowship)

6 January 2016
August 2016 entry

(final)

13 April 2016

 

Columbia Business School uses a rolling applications process and considers potential students individually as their applications come in.

The school offers a two-year program starting in August and an 18-month program starting in January, so it is important to identify the correct deadline for your program of choice.

MBA Essay Requirements

In addition to three essays, Columbia Business School requires students to submit a short answer (50 character maximum) to explain their immediate post-MBA goal.

The three essays ask applicants to:

  • Address their future career goals, and how the Columbia MBA will help them pursue those goals (500 words);
  • Explain how they will take advantage of Columbia’s location “at the very center of business” (250 words); and
  • Highlight something about themselves that their fellow students will be pleasantly surprised by (250 words).

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s), including GPA
  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE (not needed if your undergraduate degree is from an institution that conducts courses entirely in English)
  • Two recommendations (preferably both work-related, but one can be from a professor if you have less than six months of full-time post-graduate employment experience)

 Looking for help with your Columbia Business School essays?

Our 2016 Columbia MBA admissions essay tips will help your application essay stand out from the crowd.

Back To Top

Fuqua Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application submitted

by 11:59 p.m. EST)

Interview Invitations

sent out by:

Round 1 15 September 2015 29 September 2015
Round 2 14 October 2015 5 November 2015
Round 3 5 January 2016 4 February 2016
Round 4 22 March 2016 7 April 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business requires applicants to submit three short answers and two essays with their application.

The short answer questions should be answered in 500 characters or less, and ask students about their short-term goals, long-term goals, and potential alternatives to their short-term goals.

 For the first essay, Fuqua applicants are asked to submit a list of “25 Random Things About Yourself”, in two pages or less.

For the second essay, also required to be two pages or less, students can choose to write an essay about why they are choosing Duke University, or which of Duke University’s 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” they are most likely to exemplify during their time at the school.

Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • Resume
  • Two recommendations, at least one professional. Additional recommendations from Fuqua alumni or current students are optional, and can result in an application fee reduction
  • GMAT or GRE

There’s a lot to cover when it comes to Duke’s MBA admissions essays.

For more discussion about what the admissions committee is looking for and tips on writing a great essay, check out our Fuqua School of Business MBA admission essay tips.

Back To Top

Ross Business School

Application Period Deadline for applications Notification of decision
Round 1 5 October 2015 18 December 2015
Round 2 4 January 2016 18 March 2016
Round 3 21 March 2016 13 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 Michigan Ross Business School requires applicants to complete two essays of 400 words or less:

  • One essay asks applicants what they are most proud of, and how it shapes their current identity;
  • the second asks applicants about their desired career path.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Team Exercise (held in Ann Arbor, MI) is optional but highly recommended

 For more tips on writing a great essay for your Michigan Ross MBA application, check out our article on writing winning MBA admissions essays.

Back To Top

Tuck Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application due by 5 p.m. EST) Notification of decision
Early Round 7 October 2015 17 December 2015
Round 1 4 November 2015 12 February 2016
Round 2 6 January 2016 11 March 2016
Round 3 4 April 2016 13 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 Applicants to Tuck Business School are asked to complete two essays, in 500 words or less.

The first essay asks about applicants’ short- and long-term goals, and how an MBA (and specifically a Tuck MBA) will help them achieve those goals.

The second essay asks applicants about their most meaningful leadership experience, and how that experience will allow them to contribute to Tuck Business School.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • Letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE (where applicable)

 For more help with your application to Tuck Business School, check out our MBA Essay Tips article.

Back To Top

UVA Darden School of Business

Application Period Deadline (Application due by 12 noon EST) Notification of decision
Round 1 8 October 2015 16 December 2015
Round 2 8 January 2016 23 March 2016
Round 3 8 April 2016 11 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 UVA Darden applicants have just one required essay to complete: in 500 words or less, “Describe the most important professional feedback you have received, and how you have responded to this feedback.”

 Additional MBA Application Requirements 

  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE (required if you hold a degree from an institution where the medium of instruction was not English)
  • Resume
  • Two recommendations, preferably from someone who knows you professionally
  • Transcript(s)
  • Proof of residency or in-state status
  • Visa information (international applicants)

 Looking for more help with your UVA Darden essays?

Check out our blog for tips on writing great MBA admissions essays and more MBA resources.

Back To Top

Sloan School of Business

Application Period Deadline (Application due by 3 p.m. EST) Notification of decision
Round 1 17 September 2015 16 December 2015
Round 2 14 January 2016 4 April 2016
Round 3 11 April 2016 18 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 MIT Sloan has a single required essay for all applicants, asking them to share the details of a recent success and its challenges and impacts in 500 words or less.

If invited for an interview, students will also be asked to submit a 250 word essay on what about their past aligns with the MIT mission to “develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world”.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Resume
  • Optional question – share additional information about yourself with the admissions committee with no limit on format
  • Two letters of recommendation, professional references preferred
  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE

 MIT has not required an essay in several years. If you need help getting going on your application essay, check out our video on overcoming writer’s block on your MBA essays.

Back To Top

Kellogg Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application due by 5 p.m. CT) Notification of decision
Round 1 22 September 2015 16 December 2015
Round 2 6 January 2016 23 March 2016
Round 3 6 April 2016 11 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 Kellogg Business School requires all applicants to complete two 450-word essays.

The first asks students to describe the challenges and learning opportunities from a recent leadership experience.

The second ask students to discuss past professional growth and how they believe the Kellogg MBA will help them to grow in the future.

 Kellogg also asks students to complete two video essays as a part of their application. While the video essay questions are not released in advance, applicants will have the opportunity to complete up to 10 practice questions to get comfortable with the process.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one professional
  • TOEFL/ IETS (international students only)
  • Resume

 Looking for help with the Northwestern Kellogg Business School essays?

Take a look at our article on four steps to a great MBA career essay for some ideas to get you started.

Back To Top

NYU Stern Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application due

by 11:59 p.m. EST)

Notification of decision
Round 1 15 October 205 15 December 2015
Round 2 15 November 2015 15 February 2016
Round 3 15 January 2016 1 April 2016
Round 4 15 March 2016 1 June 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 NYU Stern applicants are required to submit two essays.

The first essay is a typical 750-word essay the topic of your professional aspirations, and how an MBA will improve your life and career.

The second is not a traditional essay; instead, applicants are asked to describe themselves to their MBA classmates in any method they see fit, whether visual, audio, or written.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOELF/ IELTS (non-native English speakers and those who attended school in a country where English is not the primary language of instruction)
  • Transcript(s)
  • Resume & work history
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from your current supervisor (or an explanation of why you cannot provide one from your current supervisor)
  • International student supplement (where required)

 Looking for help with your NYU Stern essays?

Check out our tips on writing a great NYU Stern application essay.

Back To Top

Yale School of Management

Application Period Application Deadline Notification of decision
Round 1 15 October 2015 20 November 2015
Round 2 15 February 2016 25 March 2016
Round 3 12 April 2016 18 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 The 2015-2016 Yale School of Management essay question is 500 words, and asks applicants how they “have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent”.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • Two professional recommendations

 Learn more about creating a standout Yale Business School essay with our MBA admissions essay tips for the Yale School of Management.

Back To Top

Haas School of Business

Application Period Application Deadline Notification of decision
Round 1 1 October 2015 17 December 2015
Round 2 7 January 2016 24 March 2016
Round 3 31 March 2016 13 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 Berkeley Haas requires multiple essays for potential students, and has space for supplemental information and an optional essay as well.

Required essays include:

  • a 500-word essay about your path to business school and future plans;
  • a 250-word essay about a song that expresses who you are; and
  • a 250-word essay about either an experience that fundamentally changed your outlook, a significant accomplishment, or a difficult decision you’ve made.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one strongly preferred from your current employer
  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOEFL/ IELTS (where required; TOEFL preferred)

Want more details about creating an outstanding MBA application essays?

Check out our free MBA essay guide for plenty of tips and advice.

Back To Top

Judge Business School at Cambridge

Application Period Application Deadline
Round 1 18 September 2015
Round 2 23 October 2015
Round 3 8 January 2016
Round 4 4 March 2016
Round 5 6 May 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 Two essays are required for applicants to Cambridge Judge Business School.

The first essay asks applicants to explain in 200 words or less what they learned from their “most spectacular failure”.

For the second essay, students have 500 words to discuss  short- and long-term career goals, and how the Judge MBA will help to achieve those goals.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements 

  • GMAT (GRE not accepted)
  • One reference, from a supervisor
  • Visa application for non-EU students

 For more advice on making the most of your MBA application process, check out our article on Cambridge Judge MBA admissions essays.

Back To Top

IESE Business School

Application Period Application Deadline Notification of decision
Round 1 6 October 2015 11 December 2015
Round 2 5 January 2016 11 March 2016
Round 3 23 February 2016 6 May 2016
Round 4 26 April 2016 17 July 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 As of August 20, IESE had not yet released any essay questions.

The online application is available, so they may not be requiring an essay for the 2015-2016 MBA application.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOEFL/ PTE/ IELTS/ Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (where applicable)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Passport-size digital photograph

 Looking for help with your IESE admissions process?

We’ve got a free guide to MBA interviews to help you get started.

Back To Top

London Business School

Application Period Deadline (Application due by 5pm GMT) Notification of decision
Round 1 25 September 2015 2 December 2015
Round 2 5 January 2016 23 March 2016
Round 3 25 February 2016 11 May 2016
Round 4 21 April 2016 22 June 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

Students applying to London Business School are required to complete two essays:

  • The first essay on post-MBA plans and how London Business School will contribute to them (500 words) and
  • The second essay about the “specific areas of London Business School life” that the student is most interested in and excited about.

Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Resume
  • Two professional references
  • GMAT
  • Transcript(s)
  • TOEFL/ IELTS/ CPE/ PTE/ CAE (not needed for native English speakers or those who have lived or worked in an English-speaking country for two years post-graduation)

Looking for help with your London Business School essays? Check out our article on four steps to a great MBA career essay.

Back To Top

INSEAD School of Business

Application Period Deadline (Application due by 23:59 Central European time) Notification of decision
Round 1 July 2017 16 September 2015 27 November 2015
Round 2 July 2017 14 October 2015 18 December 2015
Round 3 July 2017 13 January 2016 18 March 2016
Round 4 July 2017 24 February 2016 29 April 2016
Round 1 December 2017 2 March 2016 6 May 2016
Round 2 December 2017 20 April 2016 2 June 2016
Round 3 December 2017 15 June 2016 2 September 2016
Round 4 December 2017 27 July 2016 30 September 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 INSEAD School of Business requires several essays as a part of the admissions process:

  • four job essays and
  • four motivation essays.

Job essays are short answer and ask candidates to describe their

  • current position,
  • discuss their next step with the company,
  • summarize their work history, and
  • discuss short- and long-term career goals.

 The motivation essays are longer, 300 to 500 words, and ask applicants to

  • describe themselves candidly, addressing both strengths and weaknesses;
  • describe an achievement they are proud of as well as a goal in which they failed;
  • tell about a time when cultural diversity impacted their life; and
  • discuss their hobbies and extra-professional activities.

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one professional
  • Digital photograph
  • GMAT or GRE
  • Transcript(s)
  • Proof of English proficiency (for non-native English speakers) or second language proficiency (for native English speakers)

Feeling overwhelmed by the INSEAD essay requirements? Fortunately, we have plenty of advice for you in our article about INSEAD School of Business MBA application essays.

Back To Top

IMD School of Business

Application Period Application Deadline
Round 1 1 February 2016
Round 2 1 April 2016
Round 3 1 June 2016
Round 4 1 August 2016
Round 5 1 September 2016

 

MBA Essay Requirements

 

There are three essays required for the 2016 IMD application:

  • The first asks candidates to describe themselves in 200 words or less;
  • the second asks about what applicants have learned from a professional failure (300 words); and
  • the third asks what a close friend or family member would say about you on your 75th birthday, looking back at your life (300 words).

 Additional MBA Application Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendations
  • Transcript(s)
  • GMAT or GRE
  • Digital photo

 Looking for help with your IMD School of Business essays?

We have plenty of tips in our article on the IMD MBA essay tips.

Back To Top