How do Business School Application Rounds Work and When Should I Apply?

Business schools work with two admission policies: rolling admissions and rounds of admissions.

Rolling Admissions

Candidates should submit their application before a single deadline. The applications are considered as they come in.

Admissions By Round

In this case, there are multiple deadlines and the school will consider all the applications from that round before moving on to the applications from the next round. The average number of rounds is three (in the fall, in the winter and in the spring), but a school could have just two rounds or more than three.

It is important that you get the correct information about the number of rounds and their deadlines from the schools you are planning to apply. Deadlines differ from one school to another so make sure you don’t mix the dates and force yourself into applying during the following round by accident.

Which round round should I apply in?

It is better to apply early in the admissions process - whether you are applying to a program with rolling admissions or admissions by round. Applying early in the admissions process means that there are more seats available for that MBA program’s class. Applying after first round or closer to the rolling admissions deadline will mean that the admissions committee has already sent out acceptance letters to many candidates and that there are less available seats available - applicants are fighting for a smaller number of available spots.

Can I Be Accepted If I Apply In the Second or Third Round?

Yes, absolutely! Your chances of acceptance do not decrease significantly between the first and second round. Your chances of acceptance do decrease significantly if you apply in the third round. If you are thinking of applying third round, it is usually recommended that you wait to apply the following year in the first round. Despite lower probability of success in the third round, it is still possible to be accepted.

To get a better idea of your chances, it is recommended to speak with the admissions committees of the schools you are interested in, current students at those schools, or an admissions consultant. Of course, also think about which round is most suitable considering where you in the application process and if you have or haven’t already sat for the GMAT and received a competitive score.


Joseph MashekComment