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2014-15: Your Best Chances for 1-Year Full-time MBA Program

Apply MBA Know your CompetitionApart from differentiating your application by shortlisting relevant life events, and writing from your heart – two techniques that we have taught in Winning MBA Essay Guide, you have to consider the application volume, and competition from other equally qualified applicants. GMAC’s 2014 survey of 469 MBA programs and 259-specialist Masters (non-MBA) program spread across 32 countries (the majority distributed in 41 states in the US), has revealed the trends in application volume.

Fall in Volume (1-year Full-time MBA)

Never has your chances been better to apply to European based 1-year MBA programs. For the first time in 5 years, majority of 1-year MBA programs (60%), of which over 80% are from Europe has reported a steady decline in application volume. The decline is the result of low interest from foreign applicants. If you are an International MBA candidate, this is the year to target the top European MBA programs.

Increase in Volume (2-year Full-time MBA)

It will be a tough competition this year if you are applying to 2-Year Full-time MBA programs. 61% of the 2-year Full-time MBA programs have reported an increase in application volume. Majority of two-year MBA programs are distributed in the US and Asia-Pacific. For both Asian and American Business Schools, there has been a spike in foreign applicants, primarily driven by low cost for Asian Business Schools and better job prospects post-MBA for US based two-year MBA programs.

Master’s Program (Non-MBA)

If you are planning for your Master’s in Finance/Accounting or Management, competition for Master in Management has increased with 58% of the programs reporting an increase in volume. Read MBA vs. Masters in Management to understand the difference between the two programs. Demand for Finance programs – both MBA and non-MBA has not gone back to the pre-2008 era, but the program continues to be a favorite for career switchers. This year, 59% of the programs reported a decreased in application volume. Perhaps, this is the year to apply for the Master in Finance specialization from top Business Schools. 48% of Master in accounting program also reported an increase in application volume.

Work Experience

After GMAT, the second most important element of MBA Application is the work experience. We have seen brilliant applicants asked to accept deferred admission to top MBA programs, just to gain some real-world experience. Interestingly, most of them do not come back to join the program as after 1-2 years, they would have already ventured on their own.

No Work Experience


For those non-entrepreneurial MBA applicants with no experience, your best chance is to apply to US based 1-Year Full-time MBA programs. 31% of the candidates in these programs had no work experience compared to 14% in the 2-Year Full-time MBA program. Europe, Asia-Pacific and Canadian MBA programs have the lowest representation of candidates with no experience. Don’t waste your time applying to schools in these regions.

1-3 Years Work Experience

It is interesting what 1-year of work experience can do to your chances while applying to Canadian MBA programs. 32% of applicants with 1-3 years of experience were the majority applicants in Canadian Full-time MBA programs.

3-6 Years Work Experience

Globally - this is the most popular demographic that apply to Full-time MBA programs. 33% of applicants fall within this work experience. This is where the real competition is when you are applying to top MBA programs in Europe, US and Asia-Pacific.

Recommended Downloads

Comprehensive MBA Research Guide

Winning MBA Essay Guide
MBA Admission Interview Guide

Reference: GMAC 2014 Survey Report


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Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour


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+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)  
MIT vs. Stanford MBA   (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA    
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Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    
IMD vs. INSEAD MBA    
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IIMA vs. ISB   
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Harvard vs. Stanford MBA (2017)

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Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

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  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 


+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

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  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2019)




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