MBA: The Why, The Whats & The Hows

Which Application Round Should You Apply for MBA Abroad? Complete Guide to Application Timeline for 2023

Yocket Editorial Team
Which Application Round Should You Apply for MBA Abroad? Complete Guide to Application Timeline for 2023 Image

Making the correct decision and applying at the right time for an MBA is very essential to ensure success of your application. Top destinations for pursuing MBA such as USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, etc. accept MBA applications in multiple rounds starting in full-swing from September. As a prospective 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, acceptance rate, average GMAT/ GRE scores, etc. and tailor your application to the best of your abilities 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 2023? Want to know when MBA admission starts at top B-schools and get some advice on when to start the MBA application process, then read through this blog to get clarity in planning your MBA admissions 2023.

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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 basic 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

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Rounds 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 2023 mostly in April.

Early Action

Early action is the best choice of admission round if you have already made up your mind about the B-school you wish to get into. B-schools usually believe that when you are applying 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.

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Round 1

The 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 apply in round 1 MBA admission dates:

  • The first round of MBA applications is suitable for you if you are confident about the credibility of your academic profile and also possess competent GMAT/ GRE
  • Being the first round, you will definitely have better access to scholarships and time to manage your finances.
  • You will also require sufficient time for visa processing for pursuing MBA abroad and by applying early you can ensure sufficient time for sorting your paperwork.

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 think you require more time to prepare your application then you can wait until the MBA round 2 deadline. It is also preferable if you are planning 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 lesser 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.

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When to Start Preparing for MBA Abroad Application?

Generally, all students ask when to start MBA application process? 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 starting of the admission cycle for MBA 2023. 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 2022, you must begin your preparations for applying to round 1 of MBA admissions 2023. Building a quality application takes time so the earlier you start the better it is.

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How Many Schools to Apply for MBA Abroad?

There is no ideal number of B-schools that you must apply for getting MBA admission 2023. To decide how many schools you need to apply for 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.

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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 receive 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 lengthier than 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.

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Advantages of Early Application for MBA Abroad

Applying in the early application round for 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 efforts 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.

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List of Top Universities for MBA Abroad 2023

Before winding up the MBA admissions 2023, let us take a look at the list of top 20 universities for MBA abroad 2023 along with their application rounds. Not all universities have announced the dates for the 2023 cycle as the applications for 2022 have just closed in April. Therefore dates for the previous year have been provided for you to understand when the application process starts and in how many rounds does it take place:


Application Rounds

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Round 1: September 9, 2021

Round 2: January 5, 2021

Round 3: April 12, 2022

(Dates for 2023 cycle to be announced in June 2022)

Harvard Business School

Round 1: September 8, 2021

Round 2: January 4, 2021

Penn (Wharton)

Round 1: September 8, 2021

Round 2: January 5, 2022

Round 3: March 30, 2022

HEC Paris

Round 1: February 1, 2022

Round 2: March 1, 2022

Round 3: April 1, 2022

Round 4: May 1, 2022

Round 5: June 1, 2022

MIT Sloan

Round 1: September 28, 2022

Round 2: January 19, 2022

Round 3: April 12, 2022

London Business School

Round 1: September 10, 2022

Round 2: January 6, 2022

Round 3: March 25, 2022

IE Business School

Rolling admissions with no deadlines


Round 1: September 7, 2021

Round 2: November 2, 2021

Round 3: January 6, 2022

Round 4: February 22, 2022

Columbia Business School

Early decision: October 6, 2021

Regular decision: April 8, 2022

IESE Business School

Early decision: September 6, 2021

Round 1: October 13, 2021

Round 2: January 7, 2022

Round 3: March 21, 2022

Round 4: May 9, 2022

UC Berkeley (Haas)

Round 1: September 23, 2021

Round 2: January 6, 2022

Round 3: April 7, 2022

Chicago (Booth)

Round 1: September 23, 2021

Round 2: January 11, 2022

Round 3: April 7, 2022

Esade Business School

Round 1: October 5, 2022

Round 2: November 23, 2022

Round 3: January 11, 2022

Round 4: February 15, 2022

Round 5: March 15, 2022

Round 6: April 19, 2022

Round 7: May 24, 2022

Round 8: June 7, 2022

Round 9: June 28, 2022

Oxford (Said)

Round 1: September 1, 2021

Round 2: October 13, 2021

Round 3: January 12, 2022

Round 4: March 23, 2022

UCLA (Anderson)

Round 1: October 5, 2021

Round 2: January 4, 2022

Round 3: April 12, 2022

Northwestern (Kellogg)

Round 1: September 15, 2021

Round 2: January 5, 2022

Round 3: April 6, 2022

Cambridge (Judge)

Round 1: September 12, 2021

Round 2: October 18, 2021

Round 3: January 10, 2022

Round 4: March 7, 2022

Round 5: April 25, 2022

(Dates for 2023 will be announced in July 2022)

Yale School of Management

Round 1: September 14, 2021

Round 2: January 6, 2021

Round 3: April 12, 2022

NYU (Stern)

Round 1: September 15, 2021

Round 2: October 15, 2021

Round 3: January 15, 2022

Round 4: March 15, 2022

Michigan (Ross)

Round 1: September 20, 2021

Round 2: January 10, 2022

Round 3: April 4, 2022

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From the above discussion on MBA deadlines, you must have understood when MBA admission starts and when you must apply. The MBA admissions 2023 are yet to begin which means you need to start preparing your applications without wasting any more time to be able to apply in the early rounds of admission. A lot of weightage in your application is given to your references who will most likely be busy which is why you will have to give them time to get a letter. You will also take GMAT or GRE for MBA around three months before applying. Even your essay will help the selection committee to judge you so take time to revise it again and again until you get the final draft which reflects your true personality and enthusiasm to attend their program.

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Sometimes there may be more than 3 application rounds but even then it is not suitable for international students unless absolutely necessary. Somehow applying late also shows 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 Admissions 2023

Ques. When should I apply for MBA application deadlines 2022 2023?

Ans. You must start applying for MBA application deadlines 2023 from September 2022.

Ques. What is the MBA admission last date 2023?

Ans. Since the last round of MBA admission takes place in April, you can expect the MBA admission last date 2023 to be around 30 April 2023.

Ques. Which B-schools accept early action applications for MBA?

Ans. Several renowned B-schools such as Columbia Business School, Rotman School of Management, Darden School of Business, Fuqua School of Business, IEDE Business School, etc. accept early action applications for MBA.

Ques. When will I get an admission decision?

Ans. You can expect to get an admission decision within 1-2 months from the application deadlines.

Ques. When should I take GMAT for MBA admissions 2023?

Ans. To apply for MBA admissions 2023, you must take GMAT at least 3 months prior so as to have sufficient time to retake the test if required.

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