MBA application timeline to boost your admission chances



It’s never too early to start preparing your MBA application. In fact, the earlier you start, the better your chances of being admitted to your dream school.

mba application timeline

So what tasks should you be doing and when to maximize your chances of getting into a business school.

  • The first thing you should do is take the GMAT. This test is a key component of your application and your score will play a big role in determining which schools you can apply to. aim to take the GMAT at least six months before you plan on applying to business school. This will give you enough time to retake the test if you’re not happy with your score.
  • Next, you should spend time researching schools and networking with current students and alumni of your target business schools.
  • Next, you’ll need to start working on your essays. These essays are your opportunity to sell yourself to the admissions committee and you’ll need to make sure that they are well-written and convincing. Start brainstorming topics and drafting your essays at least four months before your applications are due.
  • Finally, you’ll need to gather letters of recommendation. These should come from people who can speak about your professional abilities and potential as a business leader. Ask your recommenders at least two months in advance so they have enough time to write a strong letter.

But, when should you start working on your MBA application? That would depend on the application deadlines of your target business school.

Let’s take a look at the application deadlines.

Also, if you’re targeting a top MBA program, our admissions consultants can help you with every component of the application. Schedule your free 1 on 1 call today.

MBA application deadlines

The MBA application deadlines usually begin in September.

 There are 3 application rounds (for most business schools) and applicants are encouraged to apply in Round 1. 

Round 1 deadlines are generally in September, Round 2 deadlines in December/January, and Round 3 deadlines in March.

  Application deadlines Decisions
Business Schools Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Duke Fuqua  Sep 2, 2021 Oct 11, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Oct 14, 2021 Dec 15, 2021 Mar 16, 2022
UPenn Wharton Sep 8, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Mar 30, 2022 Dec 15, 2021 Mar 23, 2022 May 10, 2022
Harvard Business School Sep 8, 2021 Jan 4, 2022 Dec 9, 2021 Mar 30, 2022
UVA Darden Sep 9, 2021 Oct 6, 2021 Jan 5, 2022
Stanford GSB Sep 9, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Apr 12, 2022 Dec 9, 2021 Mar 31, 2022 May 26, 2022
Yale SOM Sep 14, 2021 Jan 6, 2022 Apr 12, 2022 Dec 3, 2021 Mar 25, 2022 May 18, 2022
Northwestern Kellogg Sep 15, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Apr 6, 2022 Dec 8, 2021 Mar 23, 2022 May 11, 2022
NYU Stern Sep 15, 2021 Oct 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2022
Michigan Ross Sep 20, 2021 Jan 10, 2022 Apr 4, 2022 Dec 8, 2021 Mar 18, 2022 May 11, 2022
Berkeley Haas Sep 23, 2021 Jan 6, 2022 Apr 7, 2022 Dec 16, 2021 Mar 24, 2022 May 12, 2022
Chicago Booth Sep 23, 2021 Jan 6, 2022 Apr 7, 2022 Dec 2, 2021 Mar 24, 2022 May 26, 2022
Dartmouth Tuck Sep 27, 2021 Jan 3, 2022 Mar 28, 2022 Dec 9, 2021 Mar 17, 2022 May 5, 2022
Georgetown McDonough Sep 27, 2021 Jan 6, 2022 Mar 31, 2022 Dec 9, 2021 Mar 22, 2022 May 5, 2022
MIT Sloan Sep 28, 2021 Jan 19, 2022 Apr 12, 2022 Dec 15, 2021 Apr 4, 2022 Jun 1, 2022
Carnegie Mellon Tepper Oct 3, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Mar 6, 2022 Dec 8, 2021 Mar 9, 2022 May 4, 2022
UW Foster Oct 5, 2021 Jan 4, 2022 Mar 15, 2022
UCLA Anderson Oct 5, 2021 Jan 4, 2022 Apr 12, 2022 Dec 14, 2021 Mar 22, 2022 May 17, 2022
Emory Goizueta Oct 6, 2021 Jan 10, 2022 Mar 16, 2022 Dec 9, 2021 Mar 17, 2022 May 5, 2022
Columbia Oct 6, 2021  Jan 5, 2022 Apr 8, 2022  Rolling Rolling Rolling
UNC Kenan-Flagler Oct 11, 2021 Jan 10, 2022 Feb 28, 2022 Dec 13, 2021 Mar 14, 2022 Apr 25, 2022
UT Austin McCombs Oct 12, 2021 Jan 6, 2022 Mar 29, 2022 Dec 16, 2021 Mar 24, 2022 May 5, 2022
Cornell Johnson Oct 12, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Apr 12, 2022 Dec 16, 2021 Apr 8, 2022 Jun 1, 2022
USC Marshall Oct 15, 2021 Jan 5, 2022 Mar 1, 2022 Dec 31, 2021 Mar 31, 2022 May 15, 2022

MBA application timeline

The application process typically should start 10 months before the application deadline. However, we strongly suggest starting preparing at least 1 year before the deadlines of the application round in which you want to apply.

Since most MBA applicants are working professionals it’s better to have ample time to work on your profile so that you can balance work and preparation.

Here’s a timeline if you are targeting admissions for the class of 2023 and are planning to apply in Round 1 or 2 of MBA admissions.

 January 2022 – Initiating the application process

  • Visit school websites to learn about programs, registration dates, and the admissions process
  • Visit candidate information sites
  • Contact students and alumni

 February – April 2022: Take the GMAT, prepare a strategy

  • If you haven’t already – take the GMAT. A GMAT score is valid for 5 years and it can be taken anytime as long as the score remains valid at the time of application submission
  • Begin the strategy phase of application preparation
  • Focus on three programs and learn about them as much as possible (It is recommended to apply to 4-5 programs in total)

May-August 2022: Application, TOEFL (if necessary)

  • Prepare applications (resume, essays, recommendations)
  • Prepare for the TOEFL (if necessary)
  • Take the TOEFL
  • Order transcripts

 Take a look at these articles to know how you can create a compelling essay, and resume, and help your recommender write great letters of recommendation.

 August 2022 – January 2023: Applications Submission

  • Send transcripts
  • Submit applications. According to data from the last few years, admission chances are strongest between August – October (Round 1). In a few instances, Round 2 (November – Early January) submissions are advantageous. Admission chances for the final round (usually Round 3, sometimes Round 4) are usually significantly lower. At most business schools, the final rounds start sometime in January and end in March. Between mid-January and July, however, there are still a number of non-final admissions rounds
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Confirm recommendations were sent
  • Interview (at most schools – if you received an invitation)

January – May 2023: Decisions

  • Check admissions decisions
  • Decide where to study and notify the school
  • Submit scholarship applications (if relevant ones are offered)
  • Participate in a Welcome Weekend if one is conducted on campus

Do you want to get into your dream school?

At Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of students get into top MBA programs around the world. We would be happy to help you too.
Schedule a free call with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your business school goals.

Final Thoughts

Let’s take a look at the application deadlines.

So, what are the tasks involved in an MBA application? 

The GMAT, essays, letters of recommendation, and resumes are all important parts of the process. 

What is the timeline for completing these tasks? 

You should start preparing your resume about six months before you apply to business school. Essay writing can begin three to four months before you submit your applications. 

The GMAT should be taken at least six months before you submit your applications. Letters of recommendation should be solicited about one month before you apply. 

Finally, don’t wait until the last minute to complete your applications! Many schools have rolling admissions, which means that they review and accept applications as they receive them. However, applying early does give you an advantage over other candidates.

The tasks involved in an MBA application can seem daunting, but with the help of an experienced admissions consultant, you can make the process much easier. 

Here at Admit Expert, we have helped hundreds of applicants get into their dream schools. We know what it takes to craft an application that stands out from the rest. Schedule your free consultation today and let us help you get on your way to achieving your business school goals.

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