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When to Apply to MBA Programs

Posted by David White

When you should apply to MBA programs — which year, and whether you should target Round 1 or Round 2 in that year — is an important decision.

In which year should you apply?

MBA programs prefer to admit candidates with 4-5 years of pre-MBA work experience upon matriculation because:

  1. They want students to have interesting experiences to share in classroom discussions
  2. Many post-MBA employers prefer 5+ years of pre-MBA work experience
  3. Students with 4-5 years of experience are likely to have a few leadership experiences, which prepares them well for further leadership development.

The admissions officers sometimes get a bit of advice from their friends in the career development office, too.

In which round should you apply?

This depends on many factors, including:

  • Will the school see a lot of applicants with a similar profile to yours?
  • Have you completed the necessary preparation for making a quality application, like school networking?
  • Do you have enough time remaining to do your best work on the applications?

Watch our video to figure out when your best application round will be:

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