MBA: The Why, The Whats & The Hows

MBA Application Timeline: When do Admission Starts for 2024-25?

Yocket Editorial Team

Applying at the right time for an MBA is essential to ensure the success of your application. Top destinations for pursuing MBAs such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, etc. accept MBA applications in multiple rounds starting in full swing from September.

As an MBA aspirant, if your goal is to get into one of the top 10 universities, you will have to determine the competitiveness of your application compared to the pool of applications received by the business school by looking at the previous class profile and tailor your application to meet the expectations of the selection committee.

If you have answers to questions like why MBA and which B-school, the next question that comes to your mind is which application round to apply for MBA 2025? To get expert advice on when to start the MBA application process, connect with Yocket Experts. Book a FREE 1-1 Meet with Experts today!

Top Universities With Rolling Admissions

Table of Contents

College Application Timeline and Deadline for MBA Abroad

Before moving on to understanding the different types of rounds involved in the application process for MBA abroad, let us first help you with the college application timeline below:

Given below are the deadlines for MBA applications abroad:



Early Action

November 1

Early Decision I

November 1- November 15

Early Decision II

January 1- January 10

Regular Decision

January 1 - February 1

UC Application Deadline

November 1- November 30

MBA in USA Without Work Experience

How Many Rounds are Involved in the Application Process for MBA Abroad?

MBA admission involves at least 3 to 4 rounds of application. MBA applications round 1 mostly starts in September with second, third, and fourth rounds scheduled around December, January, and April. Some universities also have an early action round just a few days before applications for round 1 fall intake begin in September. Also, you will see that there are B schools abroad that accept applications on a rolling basis with a specific MBA admission last date of 2025 mostly in April.

: Top Universities With Rolling Admissions

Early Action

Early action is the best choice for the admission round. B-schools usually believe that when you apply for early rounds of admission, that is your first choice of institution above all others.

If you are someone who wants to keep several options open for comparison then maybe it is better to apply for regular admission as you might feel burdened to make a decision early for which you are not fully prepared and you may not be able to compare it with other universities whose decisions you are awaiting.

Fall Intake in the USA

Round 1

Round 1 of MBA applications is the primary round usually beginning in September where all seats are open for applicants which also implies a lot of competition. This is also the round where the maximum number of applications are received. Take note of the following points if you are looking forward to applying for round 1 MBA admission dates:

  • The first round of MBA applications is suitable for you if you are confident about your academic profile and have a competitive GMAT/ GRE score.
  • Being the first round, you will have better access to scholarships and time to manage your finances.
  • You will also require sufficient time for visa processing. By applying early you can ensure enough time for sorting your paperwork.

Watch Vamshi’s testimonial, on why she chose an MBA in the USA instead of India. An MBA in the USA is the best degree for the highest ROI. With the right guidance and roadmap, you can pursue it too! Link:

Round 2

There will still be enough places available in the program by round 2. Universities may start accepting applications for round 2 in December or January. If you need more time to prepare your application, wait until the MBA round 2 deadline. It is also preferable if you want to re-appear for GMAT/ GRE to improve your score. The number of seats available in round 2 decreases and at the same time, this is the round where maximum international student applications are received which makes the selection process strict.

Round 3

Round 3 is sometimes the last round of applications accepted by B-schools which takes place in March or April. You can expect a subsequent round only if there are vacant seats in the program. This round is usually not recommended for international students. For international students, round 3 will leave them with less time for visa processing and making other arrangements before leaving for their program. There will be fewer or no scholarships left by this round. Only if you know that your application will stand out from the others should you apply for this round.

Exams and eligibility to study MBA abroad

When to Start Preparing for MBA Abroad Application?

Your preparation to apply for an MBA abroad starts as soon as you make up your mind for the program. Once you have chosen MBA as the right fit for you, shortlist universities around 6-9 months before the start of the admission cycle for MBA 2025. Ideally, it is recommended to start preparing your MBA applications around 6 months before the first round of admission starting in September. It means around March-April 2024, you must begin your preparations for applying to round 1 of MBA admissions 2025. Building a quality application takes time so the earlier you start the better it is.

How to build your profile for MBA abroad?

How Many Schools to Apply for MBA Abroad?

There is no ideal number of B-schools that you must apply to to get MBA admission in 2025. To decide how many schools you need to apply to for an MBA abroad, you need to do some research related to MBA class profiles of your shortlisted universities and compare it with your application to get a reasonable idea of your chances of getting in.

Another aspect to be looked at is the acceptance rate of the universities you apply to. The top B-schools for MBA will only accept the top 10% of the applicants where you may or may not be able to make the cut. To be on the safer side, include at least 2-3 universities with above 30% acceptance rate.

Cheap MBA Colleges in USA for International Students

Which Round to Apply for MBA Abroad?

There are several factors that come into play to determine which round to apply for MBA admissions. You must be on the right track before applying for an MBA because applying for a later round is better than applying unprepared.

Here are the factors you must consider before deciding when to submit MBA applications:

  • Preparedness of your application: One thing you should definitely not miss is to check how prepared you are for applying. If you have good GMAT/ GRE scores and have completed working on getting recommendations, writing essays, resumes, etc. only then go ahead to apply in the first round. Otherwise, slow down and take your time to retake competitive exams or polish your essay, etc. because the weightage of these factors in your application is more than you might have imagined.

  • Shortlisted business schools: If you have targeted one of the top 10 ranked business schools then obviously it is better to apply early. Applicants for the most sought-after B-schools are well-prepared with their applications in advance and aim to apply in the first round itself. Therefore, the first round at these top institutions receives the maximum number of applications thereby reducing the number of vacant seats in the upcoming rounds.

  • Completing the application process for international students: The application process for international students is much longer than for domestic applicants. Therefore, it is recommended that you complete your applications by round 2 and not wait any further. Some business schools also specify that international applications will not be accepted in later rounds.

Cost of Studying MBA in USA

Advantages of Early Application for MBA Abroad

Applying in the early application round for an MBA abroad definitely has its own benefits. Take a look at the advantages of applying for early MBA deadlines:

  • The benefit of applying MBA abroad to the early action round is that it is a non-binding plan unlike early decision rounds and will help you get an admission decision early while you can accept it by the general reply date for all candidates.
  • It is also believed that early application rounds have higher acceptance rates which means a greater chance of you being selected since you will be competing against a smaller number of applicants.
  • You will also be invited for evaluative interviews before those applying for general admission.
  • If you are determined to get into a particular B-school, applying early will help you save the time, money, and effort of applying to multiple institutions.
  • As international students, it is always great to have additional time on hand to apply for a visa, look for accommodation, and complete the enrollment process.
  • You will also get access to more financial aid opportunities by being an early applicant.

Post Study Work Permit in USA

List of Top Universities for MBA Abroad & Application Deadlines

Before winding up the MBA admissions 2025, let us take a look at the list of top 20 universities for MBA Abroad 2025 along with their application rounds. Not all universities have announced the dates for the 2025 cycle as the applications for 2024 have just closed in April. Therefore some dates for the previous year have been provided for you to understand when the application process starts and in how many rounds it takes place:


Application Rounds

Stanford Graduate School of Business

  • Round 1: September 12, 2023
  • Round 2: January 4, 2024
  • Round 3: April 9, 2024

(Dates for the 2025 cycle are to be announced in June 2024)

Harvard Business School

  • Round 1: November 1, 2024
  • Round 2: January 1, 2025

Penn (Wharton)

  • Round 1: September 6, 2023
  • Round 2: January 4, 2024
  • Round 3: April 2, 2024

Deferred Admissions Round: April 24, 2024

HEC Paris

  • Round 1: September 15, 2023
  • Round 2: October 13, 2023
  • Round 3: November 17, 2023
  • Round 4: December 15, 2023
  • Round 5: January 19, 2024
  • Round 6: March 15, 2024
  • Round 7: April 19, 2024
  • Round 8: May 17, 2024
  • Round 9: June 21, 2024
  • Round 10: July 19, 2024

MIT Sloan

  • Round 1: September 27, 2023
  • Round 2: January 17, 2024
  • Round 3: April 8, 2024

London Business School

  • Round 1: September 8, 2023
  • Round 2: January 3, 2024
  • Round 3: March 25, 2024

IE Business School

  • Round 1: September 19, 2023
  • Round 2: January 9, 2024
  • Round 3: March 21, 2024
  • Round 4: May 13-31, 2024


  • Round 1: September 12, 2023
  • Round 2: November 7, 2023
  • Round 3: January 16, 2024
  • Round 4: March 5, 2024

Columbia Business School

  • Round 1: September 13, 2023
  • Round 2: January 5, 2024
  • Round 3: April 3, 2024

IESE Business School

  • Round 1: September 19, 2023
  • Round 2: January 9, 2024
  • Round 3: March 21, 2024
  • Round 4: May 13-31, 2024

UC Berkeley (Haas)

  • Round 1: September 14, 2023
  • Round 2: January 4, 2024
  • Round 3: March 28, 2024

Chicago (Booth)

  • Round 1: September 21, 2023
  • Round 2: January 4, 2024
  • Round 3: April 4, 2024

Esade Business School

  • Round 1: October 5, 2023
  • Round 2: November 23, 2023
  • Round 3: January 11, 2024
  • Round 4: February 8, 2024
  • Round 5: March 15, 2024
  • Round 6: April 18, 2024
  • Round 7: May 16, 2024
  • Round 8: June 6, 2024
  • Round 9: June 20, 2024

Oxford (Said)

  • Round 1: September 27, 2023
  • Round 2: January 5, 2024
  • Round 3: March 20, 2024

UCLA (Anderson)

  • Round 1: October 5, 2023
  • Round 2: January 4, 2024
  • Round 3: April 12, 2024

Northwestern (Kellogg)

  • Round 1: September 13, 2023
  • Round 2: January 10, 2024
  • Round 3: April 3, 2024

Cambridge (Judge)

  • Round 1: August 29, 2023
  • Round 2: October 3, 2023
  • Round 3: January 8, 2024
  • Round 4: March 11, 2024
  • Round 5: May 7, 2024

(Dates for 2025 will be announced in July 2024)

Yale School of Management

  • Round 1: January 4, 2024
  • Round 2: February 21, 2024
  • Round 3: April 9, 2024

NYU (Stern)

  • Round 1: September 18, 2023
  • Round 2: October 18, 2023
  • Round 3: January 18, 2024
  • Round 4: April 18, 2024

Michigan (Ross)

  • Round 1: September 14, 2023
  • Round 2: January 11, 2024
  • Round 3: April 4, 2024

: Know About the Highest Paying MBA Specialisations

From the Desk of Yocket

Don't miss your shot for a 2025 MBA! Start preparing now for early application rounds. Secure strong references by contacting them well in advance. Schedule your GMAT/ GRE three months before deadlines. Craft a stellar essay that reflects your true self and program enthusiasm. With focused early preparation, you'll be a standout applicant come application season.

Sometimes there may be more than 3 application rounds but even then it is not suitable for international students unless absolutely necessary. Applying late also shows a lack of commitment and seriousness which might lead to the rejection of the application. The acceptance rate of top B-schools also reduces with the number of admission rounds conducted. So connect with experts at Yocket and make sure you apply for your dream B school on time!

Frequently Asked Questions about MBA Abroad Admission Timeline 2024

Which B-schools accept early action applications for MBA?

When will I get an admission decision?

When should I take GMAT for MBA admissions 2025?

Which is better: Round 1 or Round 2 for MBA applications?

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