An Upswing For Full-Time MBAs In U.S.


Full-time, two-year MBA programs in the U.S. are experiencing an upswing in application growth, with 52% of programs reporting application increases over 2012, according to a new study published today (Sept. 24) by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

In its 2013 application trends survey, GMAC said it is the first time since 2009 that a majority of U.S. full-time MBA programs reported year-to-year growth. Many of the application gains come from international students: 56% of the programs had more international applicants this year than last, and 59% reported fewer domestic applicants this year than last. Even so, GMAC said that domestic application volume for U.S. programs in 2013 was, nevertheless, greater than 2012, when just 22 percent of these programs reported growth in the domestic applications.


In contrast with the United States, a greater share of full-time two-year MBA programs in Asia-Pacific reported a substantial decline in application volume in 2013 when compared with 2012 survey results. Just 46% of programs in the Asia-Pacific region reported increased application volume in 2013 compared with 79% in 2012.

GMAC researchers said that the change in Asia-Pacific appears to be driven primarily by declining numbers of domestic applicants, who make up three-fourths (76%) of the applicant pool for MBA programs located in the region. Although a majority of programs reported increased domestic application volume in 2013 (54%), it is much lower compared with 2012 results, when 75 percent of programs reported increased domestic growth.

“In 2008 and 2009, early in the Great Recession, there was impressive growth in the proportion of full-time MBA programs showing application increases,” said Lawrence Rudner, GMAC vice president, research and development, in a statement. “In 2010 and 2011, there was a subsequent decline, but full-time programs began to rebound in 2012 and look even sturdier today.”

Full-Time Two-Year MBA Programs Reporting Increased Application Volume

Source: GMAC 2013 Application Trends Survey

Source: GMAC 2013 Application Trends Survey

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