What is the MBA Admissions Cycle?

The MBA admissions cycle refers to the different steps that you need to go through both before and after you apply. Most of the top business schools in the nation have an application deadline, and if you submit any information after that deadline, the school may ignore your application. Other business schools have a rolling admissions policy that lets those schools continue accepting students until it runs out of space in its program. While you should look at which schools have a deadline, you’ll also want to look at the various stages in the admissions cycle.

Before You Apply

Though the admissions cycle starts with the application that you submit, you need to take several steps before you send in your application. One of the first steps is the taking of the GMAT, which is a standardized test that most top tier business schools require prospective students take. You can sign up for test prep classes online or in your city, take practice exams online and read books that offer tips on taking the test. You’ll also want to do some research and get a look at the acceptance rate of schools and the information that those schools need from new students.

When You Apply

Applying to business school is often an exciting and worrying experience. While some students apply for admission to one of these programs during their senior year in college, others gain some working experience and spend a few years in the business world before going back to earn an MBA. Most MBA programs require that prospective students submit an online application, a college transcript and a professional resume. You may need to submit your GMAT score, an essay or statement or purpose and several letters of recommendation too. Some business schools also require that students attend an interview session on campus.

Recommended Reading: Top 10 Best Online MBA Programs

After Applying

According to Chioma Isiadinso, part of the MBA admissions cycle takes place after you turn in your application. He suggests that you refresh your mind and pick up some new skills with an upper level business class that you take before enrolling. Siadinso also recommends thinking about how your career with interfere with your studies. If you need to cut back on your hours at work or quit your job, he recommends coming up with a plan to talk with your supervisors in advance. You may want to file the FAFSA or talk with your employers about paying for some of your college courses too.

School Wait List

Business schools receive more applications every year than those schools have room for in their MBA programs. Even if you have amazing letters of recommendation and high test scores, you may not receive an acceptance letter right away. Many schools have a wait list filled with qualified students. Not all students who receive an acceptance letter will go to that school. As the college hears back from those students, it will begin calling those on the wait list and offering them a space. If you land on the wait list, there is a good chance that you might still start classes the next semester.

MBA programs better prepare students for working in high paying jobs and let them choose concentrations in areas like finance, management or leadership. The MBA admissions cycle typically includes distinct steps both before and after you apply.