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

This year’s Application Trends Survey included 683 graduate-level programs in business and management at 328 business schools in 42 different countries. GMAC publishes results for a wide variety of graduate business and management programs, including part-time, online, and executive MBA programs as well as specialized master’s degrees in business fields such as finance and accounting.

Other key findings in this year’s report:

  • Among full-time MBA programs in the Asia-Pacific region, more one-year programs reported application increases (53%) than decreases (47%), and as many two year programs reported increases as decreases (both 46%). This represents markedly slowed growth as compared with last year’s survey, in which 77% of one-year, full-time MBAs and 79% of full-time two-year MBA programs reported application gains from 2011.
  • In Europe, Master in Management programs continue to show strength, as 73% of programs report application increases from 2012. Meanwhile, 38% of Europe’s full-time one-year MBA programs showed application gains this year, comparable to the 37% in last year’s survey that noted growth from the year before.
  • Far fewer professional MBA programs, including part-time, flexible, online, and executive MBA programs, showed application gains from 2012. Just 29% of part-time MBA programs received more applications than in 2012, with 53% receiving fewer, and 18% about the same as last year.
  • Although majorities of specialized master’s degrees in business fields such as accounting and finance have shown year-to-year application gains each year for the past five years, the worldwide picture is mixed for 2013. Although 61 percent of the master in management programs reported more applicants this year than last, just 35% of the master of accounting and 42% of the master of finance programs reported receiving more applications as they did in 2012.

“As business schools around the world offer a growing array of programs to meet student needs, different application trends appear for different programs, reflecting the increasingly complex marketplace,” Rudner added.


Admissions professionals at a majority of business programs worldwide also reported offering a variety of tuition assistance options to incoming students—ranging anywhere from 52 percent of online MBA programs up to nearly all (96%) full-time two-year MBA programs.

Scholarship awards represent the most common type of tuition assistance that business schools offered to incoming students in 2013. Given the range of students who actually will receive these awards in 2013 (13% to 43%), it appears scholarship programs encompass a highly competitive process.

More Master in Management programs (87%) offer scholarships to incoming students compared with any other specialized master’s or MBA programs, although full-time two-year MBA programs had the highest average percentage of student scholarship recipients (43%) across all program types, according to the report. Professional MBA programs were the least likely to offer scholarships to incoming students.

Percentage of Programs Offering Scholarship Awards in 2013

Source: GMAC 2013 Application Trends Survey

Source: GMAC 2013 Application Trends Survey

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