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)
|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
|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
|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
The Best Executive MBA Programs in the World and How to Crack Them?
Indian IT Applicant: 6 steps to ace MBA Interviews?
Cracking Wharton with a No brand background
Kshitij cracks Schulich Business School with a low GMAT score