Top MBA programs starting in January 2025



As we step into the new year of 2024, prospective MBA candidates are presented with a unique opportunity – the Winter Intake or the January Intake. If you’re considering a career boost through an MBA and prefer the brisk winter air to the traditional fall start, then this article is a must-read for you. In this article, we’ll explore the top MBA programs starting in January 2025, focusing on nine distinguished business schools that have consistently proven their commitment to shaping global leaders.

Top MBA Programs for Jan 2024 intake

Top MBA programs starting in January 2025

Here are the top eight MBA programs beginning in January 2025:

  2. HEC Paris
  3. IMD Switzerland
  4. Schulich School of Business
  5. Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University
  6. Queen’s University – Smith School of Business
  7. Ivey Business School
  8. IE Business School
  9. Columbia Business School  J-Term

Let’s look at each MBA program in detail.


INSEAD’s January intake is geared specifically toward students interested in pursuing an internship. While the September intake does not allow for full-time internships, the January intake has two months set aside for this purpose. Class sizes are typically the same as in the September intake, and both terms allow for a Fontainebleau-Singapore exchange.

Here are the deadlines for the INSEAD January 2025 intake:

RoundApplication DeadlineFinal decision notification
ROUND 1Mar 12, 2024May 17, 2024
ROUND 2Apr 23, 2024Jul 5, 2024
ROUND 3Jun 18, 2024Aug 23, 2024
ROUND 4Aug 6, 2024Oct 11, 2024

HEC Paris

HEC Paris is a world-renowned business school located in the heart of Paris, France. Founded in 1881, HEC Paris has a long tradition of educating tomorrow’s business leaders. With a dynamic and international faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and a rigorous academic curriculum, HEC Paris provides an exceptional education for its students. In addition to its top-ranked MBA program, HEC Paris offers programs in finance, management, and strategy. HEC Paris also has a strong research department that produces groundbreaking research in the field of business and management. With its global reputation and renowned faculty, HEC Paris is an excellent choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in business.

Application deadlines for Jan 2025 intake

The school offers deadlines practically throughout the year, indicating that it has rolling admissions. However, non-EU students should apply by July to maximize their chances of an admit.

Here are the deadlines for Jan 2025 intake.

RoundApplication DeadlineDecisionsDeadline to confirm
1Jan 15, 2024Feb 16, 2024Mar 15, 2024
2Feb 12, 2024Mar 15, 2024Apr 14, 2024
3Mar 18, 2024Apr 19, 2024May 18, 2024
4Apr 15, 2024May 17, 2024Jun 16, 2024
5May 20, 2024Jun 21, 2024Jul 20, 2024
6Jun 17, 2024Jul 19, 2024Aug 18, 2024
7Aug 19, 2024Sep 20, 2024Oct 19, 2024
8Sep 16, 2024Oct 18, 2024Nov 17, 2024
9Oct 14, 2024Nov 15, 2024Dec 12, 2024
10Nov 12, 2024Dec 13, 2024Dec 31, 2024

IMD Switzerland

Unlike the other schools on this list, IMD only has one intake, with classes beginning in January. The program is extremely intimate, with a maximum class size of 90 students, and allows for an immersive experience. The class has an older demographic, with an average entry age of 31 years. If you want to work in Europe after finishing your MBA, the school has a strong brand and plenty of opportunities.

Application deadlines for Jan 2025 intake

Application deadlinesFinal decision by
15 January 2024 (Earlybird application fee waiver)01 March 2024
15 February 202401 April 2024
15 April 202401 June 2024
15 June 202401 August 2024
15 August 202401 October 2024
15 September 202418 October 2024
15 October 202408 November 2024

Schulich School of Business

Schulich School of Business is one of the world’s leading business schools, offering programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. 

Located in Toronto, Canada, Schulich is known for its entrepreneurial approach to business education and research. 

The school’s faculty members are widely respected for their academic and professional achievements, and they are committed to preparing students for success in a rapidly changing global business environment. 

In addition to its strong academic program, Schulich offers students the opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships, co-op placements, and international exchanges. With more than 15,000 alumni around the world, Schulich graduates are well-positioned to make a positive impact on the business world.

Application deadlines for the Jan 2025 intake

Round 1June 6, 2024
Round 2*July 18, 2024
Round 3September 5, 2024
Round 4*November 25, 2024
* Round 4 is for Domestic applicants only. Late domestic applications may be accepted pending space availability.

The MBA program is available in both full-time and part-time formats. Both full-time and part-time studies start in September and January. The Part-Time downtown cohort starts in September only. Not all courses are available downtown. On a rolling basis, domestic applicants are considered for admission. Following each round deadline, international applicants will be reviewed and may be held for further review in subsequent rounds if additional information is required.

International students are strongly encouraged to apply by Round 2 to allow enough time for study permit processing.

Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University

Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University (RSM) is an internationally ranked research-intensive business school. It is the only Dutch member of the prestigious Club of Ten, a select group of elite European business schools. RSM offers a full range of programs from undergraduate to executive education, both on-campus and online.

Students come from all over the world to benefit from the school’s rigorous academic programs and renowned faculty. RSM’s research is highly regarded, and the school is constantly ranked among the top research institutes in Europe.

The school’s focus on responsible leadership and sustainability ensures that graduates are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of the future. With its commitment to excellence, RSM is educating responsible leaders for a global society.

Application deadlines for the Jan 2025 intake

You can begin working on and submitting your MBA application at any time of the year. Rounds of interviews and evaluations are conducted. As a result, please submit your application for the Full-time MBA program beginning in January 2025 by one of the deadlines listed below:

Application RoundDeadline
Round 113 February
Round 29 April
Round 34 June
Round 413 August
Round 51 October
Round 65 November

Queen’s University – Smith School of Business

Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business is one of the world’s leading business schools, offering a unique combination of academic excellence and real-world experience. Located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, the school is ranked #1 in Canada for its undergraduate programs and #2 for its MBA program.

The school offers a wide range of programs, including full-time and part-time MBA, Executive MBA, Ph.D., and Master of Finance. With a global reputation for excellence, the school attracts students from around the world. The school’s faculty is comprised of leading scholars and researchers who are committed to teaching and mentorship.

In addition to its academic programs, the school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs, which provide students with opportunities to network and build relationships. The school’s strong focus on career development helps students to secure positions at top organizations around the world. Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in business education.

Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is another school in Canada that has a January start.

Application deadlines for Jan 2025 intake

The next class will begin in January 2025. Applications are currently being accepted online and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the best class members are chosen.

The deadline for international applications is September 1, 2024. International applicants must submit their applications in plenty of time for their study visas to be processed. All international students are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Ivey Business School

The MBA program begins each year in March. Please keep in mind that applications are processed on a rolling basis and that both admissions and scholarship decisions are made between application deadlines. You do not need to wait for a deadline to apply and decisions are made within 4-6 weeks.

Application RoundDeadline
Round 1January 29, 2024
Round 2April 15, 2024
Round 3July 8, 2024
Round 4September 23, 2024
Round 5November 18, 2024
Round 6January 10, 2025

All international applicants are highly encouraged to apply by Round 4 on September 23, 2024, to ensure sufficient time for visa processing.

IE Business School

IE Business School, located in the vibrant city of Madrid, offers a unique January intake for its MBA program with flexible durations of 11, 15, or 19 months. The program is conducted in English or as a bilingual option in both English and Spanish, catering to a diverse and global student body. The in-person, full-time format provides an immersive learning experience, allowing students to benefit from the rich cultural and business environment of Madrid.

Application Deadline for Jan 2025 intake

Notably, IE Business School has a rolling admissions process for the January 2025 intake, eliminating a fixed application deadline.

However, prospective students are encouraged to apply early due to the high volume of applications received. It’s important to note that student visa processing times vary by country, and for detailed information, applicants are advised to consult Student Services. Upon completing the entire application, including documents, exams, and interviews, applicants can expect to receive a response within approximately one to two weeks, making the admission process efficient and transparent.

Columbia Business School J-Term

When a traditional schedule does not meet your needs, Columbia Business School’s J-Term option allows you to join a smaller cohort for four consecutive terms beginning in January. The compressed format gives you access to a diverse student body as well as faculty mentors, alumni, and C-level connections.

In this program video, two students explain why the J-Term was the best option for them.

Except for the schedule, the January term is identical to the August term: same professors, same rigorous core curriculum, and same highly selective admissions standards. J-Term students attend orientation in the spring, while August-entry students begin their second terms. During summer, J-term students finish their core courses and August-entry students take summer internships.

The two tracks merge in the fall of the second year, when all MBA students choose from the same pool of electives, have access to the same career management resources, lead the same clubs, and graduate as a single class. In January, approximately 30% of full-time MBA students begin their studies.

Take a look at this graphic to know more.


The main prerequisite for the January term is that you do not believe you require an internship. Students who want to stay in the same industry (including sponsored students), entrepreneurs, and students in family businesses are generally attracted to this program.

Application deadline

Please keep in mind that there is no early decision option for January entry and that January term applicants are not eligible for merit fellowship consideration due to the timing of the application cycle. The final deadline for J-term applications is September 13, 2023.


Which US business schools offer a January intake for their MBA programs?

Columbia Business School offers J-term for students who want to join the MBA programs in January.

Do any Canadian Business Schools offer January intake for their MBA programs?

Yes. These business schools offer January intake –
Schulich School of Business
Queen’s University – Smith School of Business
Ivey Business School

Which European business schools offer a Jan intake for their MBA programs?

These European business schools offer Jan intake
HEC Paris

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