MEDIAN 4.1 APPLICATIONS FOR EVERY FULL-TIME MBA SEAT AVAILABLE
GMAC said that full-time MBA programs attracted applicants with consistent levels of prior work experience and rising academic qualifications, compared with 2012. Full-time two-year MBA programs received a median of 4.1 applications for each available spot, and reported the lowest median acceptance rate of the MBA program types (45%), similar to 2012. A typical candidate attracted to full-time two year MBA programs has three or more years of work experience, as was the case for 61% of applicants in 2013. Nine out of 10 programs reported that this year’s full-time two-year applicant pool was either more qualified or just as academically qualified as last year.
Full-time one-year MBA programs received a median of 2.7 applicants per available spot, and had an average acceptance rate of 49%. Similar to the applicant pool for two-year MBA programs, one- year candidates typically have three or more years of work experience (69%). Also, 89 percent of full-time one-year MBA programs reported in 2013 that their applicant pool was either more or just as academically qualified as last year’s candidates.
Applicants Per Available Seat for Full-Time MBA Programs in 2013
GMAC said that oreign applicants make up a hefty share of the business school applicant pool for full-time MBA and specialized business master’s programs, representing between 47% and 78% of this year’s incoming class, depending on the program type.
MASTER OF ACCOUNTING PROGRAMS HAVE DEEP APPEAL TO CHINESE APPLICANTS
“Full-time MBA and Master in Management programs receive applications from a broad range of sources in terms of citizenship groups,” the report found. “In contrast, Master of Accounting and Master of Finance programs are almost singularly dependent upon the East and Southeast Asia region as a source of foreign candidates. In fact, 88% of Master of Accounting programs report that their single largest source of foreign applicants is China. At the same time, however, nearly half (46%) of Master of Accounting programs reported that Chinese citizens also accounted for their greatest decrease in foreign application volume.
“This dependence on a single region as a source of candidates may be a contributing factor in changes in application volume seen this year by quantitative master’s programs,” the researchers concluded. For the 2013 incoming class, the majority of Master of Accounting and Master of Finance programs experienced decreased application volumes, marking an about-face from nearly half a decade of year-on-year growth. China’s slowing economy and rising unemployment rates, plus increased competition among the expanding number of accounting programs within and outside the United States are all factors that may help explain the declining applicant volume for quantitative master’s programs.
For the incoming 2013 class, added GMAC, citizens of countries in Central and South Asia as well as in East and Southeast Asia make up the largest segments of applicants for full-time two year (71%), full-time one-year MBA (59%), and Master in Management (52%) programs. Candidates from other world regions, such as Europe and Latin America, also account for a sizeable proportion of the applicant pool.
Citizens of Middle Eastern countries represent seven percent and six percent, respectively, of the foreign candidate pool for full-time two-year and full-time one-year MBA programs, about twice the size of their representation in any of the specialized master’s programs included in this report.
Latin American applicants represent 10% of the foreign candidate pool this year for Master in Management programs, seven percent of full-time one-year MBA, and six percent of foreign applicants to full- time two-year MBA programs. Master of Finance (4%) and Master of Accounting (1%) programs had the smallest share of foreign applicants from Latin America.
European citizens make up a greater percentage of the foreign applicant pool for Master in Management programs (25%) in 2013 compared with their representation in the incoming classes for full-time two-year MBA (8%) and full-time one-year MBA (15%) programs.
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