MBA is one of the most sought after courses by Indian students and professionals. Many try to get into an IIM or ISB right out of graduation, while others try to snag a top-tier international MBA after being employed for a few years.

The truth is that having an MBA degree on your CV, be it from IIM or Stanford, is going to drastically raise your salary levels. And there are also more benefits such as a life-long networking opportunity and of course a whole new set of business management skills that every company needs.

But, applying for an MBA is not as easy as applying for another degree. The level of preparedness required from the candidates is absolutely high, especially if you are applying for an international MBA. The first step in this process is to know the application deadlines, and thereby set your application building timeline accordingly. This coming MBA admissions cycle is expected to be one of the biggest ever and one of the most competitive. Applications to business schools generally go up when the economy goes down so that’s one reason.

But the deep recession caused by the pandemic along with pent up demand from young professionals who found plenty of opportunity in the past from a growing economy will likely cause a big spike for 2021-2022.

We have prepared this article so that you don’t need to check each individual B-school, and can get a well-rounded sense of the application deadlines for the year 2021. Let’s get started!

MBA application deadlines 2021 – Early deadlines (Round 1 & 2)

School Deadline Interview Notification Decision
HEC Paris June 1, 2021 (R4-Sept. 2022 Intake) NA April 9, 2021
INSEAD June 18, 2021 (R3-Jan. Intake) July 23, 2021 Sept. 3, 2021
INSEAD July 30, 2021 (R4-Jan. Intake) Aug. 27, 2021 Sept. 24, 2021
HEC Paris Aug. 15, 2021 (R5-Sept. 2022 Intake) NA Sept. 17, 2021
Virginia (Darden) Sept. 9, 2021 (Early Action) Open Interview NA
Harvard Sept. 8, 2021 (R1) Oct. 1, 2021 Dec. 9, 2021
Wharton Sept. 8, 2021 (R1) Oct. 27, 2021 Dec. 15, 2021
Cambridge (Judge) Sept. 13, 2021 (R1) Oct. 15-29, 2021 Rolling
Northwestern (Kellogg) Sept. 15, 2021 (R1) NA December 8, 2021
Michigan (Ross) Sept. 20, 2021 (R1) NA Dec. 8, 2021
Chicago (Booth) Sept. 23, 2021 (R1) NA Dec. 1, 2021
Emory (Goizueta) Sept. 23, 2021 (R1) NA Dec. 10, 2021
Columbia Business School Oct. 6, 2021 (Final Deadline for Jan. 2022 entry) By Invitation Rolling
Columbia Business School Oct. 6, 2021 (Early Decision for Aug. 2022 entry) By Invitation Rolling
Virginia (Darden) Oct. 6, 2021 (R1) By Invitation NA
UCLA (Anderson) Oct. 5, 2021 (R1) By Invitation Dec. 14, 2021
HEC Paris Oct. 15, 2021 (R6-Sept. 2022 Intake) NA Nov. 19, 2021
Cambridge (Judge) Oct. 18, 2021 (R2) Nov. 26-Dec. 10, 2021 Rolling
HEC Paris Nov. 15, 2021 (R7-Sept. 2022 Intake) NA Dec. 17, 2021

 

MBA application deadlines 2021 – Round 2 & 3

School Deadline Interview Notification Decision
Michigan (Ross) Jan. 4, 2021 (R2) NA March 7, 2021
Harvard Jan. 4, 2022 (R2) Feb. 4, 2022* March 30, 2022
UCLA (Anderson) Jan. 4, 2022 (R2) By Invitation March 22, 2022
Northwestern (Kellogg) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) NA March 23, 2022
Wharton Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) Feb. 14, 2022 March 23, 2022
Columbia Business School Jan. 5, 2022 (Merit Scholarship deadline for Aug. 2022 entry) By Invitation Rolling
Chicago (Booth) Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) NA March 24, 2022
Virginia (Darden) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Invitation NA
Michigan (Ross) Jan. 10, 2022 (R2) NA March 18, 2022
Cambridge (Judge) Jan. 10, 2022 (R3) Feb. 18-March 11, 2022 Rolling
Emory (Goizueta) Jan. 13, 2022 (R2) NA March 25, 2022

 

MBA application deadlines 2021- Round 3/4/5

School Deadline Interview Notification Decision
Cambridge (Judge) March 17, 2022 (R4) April 15-29, 2022 Rolling
Wharton March 30, 2022 (R3) April 14, 2022 May 10, 2022
Michigan (Ross) April 4, 2022 (R3) NA May 11, 2022
Northwestern (Kellogg) April 6, 2022 (R3) NA May 11, 2022
Virginia (Darden) April 6, 2022 (R3) By Invitation NA
Chicago (Booth) April 7, 2022 (R3) NA May 26, 2022
Columbia Business School April 8, 2022 (Final Deadline for Aug. 2022 entry) By Invitation Rolling
UCLA (Anderson) April 12, 2022 (R3) By Invitation May 17, 2022
Michigan (Ross) June 1, 2022 (R4) NA June 25, 2022
Cambridge (Judge) April 25, 2022 (R5) June 3-17, 2022 Rolling

 

Which round should you apply at?

If you can, apply in the first round when none of the seats in the class are filled. At most schools, early applicants have an advantage over those that complete their applications in later rounds. Typically, the second application round is the largest, and many schools advise candidates that round three is the most competitive mostly because the vast majority of the class seats are already filled.

There are some other reasons why you want to get your app in early:

  • The ability to receive a scholarship award from the school’s Financial Aid Office prior to the date by which you must respond to your offer of admission.
  • Ample time to complete recommended quantitative and/or language coursework prior to arrival on campus.
  • Access to on-campus housing lottery systems at some schools.
  • Sufficient time to complete the visa application process for international candidates.
  • Attendance at a school’s Admit Weekends. Sometimes, round three candidates lose out on this opportunity.

A very common question that also arises is whether you should hold off an entire academic year if you have missed the Round 1 applications for your target B-school. Watch this short video to understand what your course should be: MBA Application Game Plan, Deadline, Tips to Crack your Dream Business School

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