USC Marshall | Mr. Utilitarian Mobility
GMAT 740, GPA 2.67
Wharton | Mr. Social Impact CPA
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Looking To Learn
GMAT 760, GPA 3.0
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Future Gates Foundation
GMAT 720, GPA 7.92
Wharton | Mr. Infrastructure
GMAT 770, GPA 3.05
MIT Sloan | Mr. Data Mastermind
GMAT N/A; will be taking in May, GPA 3.6
London Business School | Mr. Aussie Analyst
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Sustainable Real Estate
GRE SAT 1950 (90th Percentile), GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Harvard | Ms. Lucky Charm
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Harvard | Ms. URM
GRE 325, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Stay Involved
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55

2014-2015 MBA Application Deadlines At Top Business Schools

Time to learn conceptual image

The earliest deadline this year? As always, it’s Harvard Business School with a Sept. 9th cutoff date for the first round. That’s a full week earlier than just a year ago which was eight days earlier than the previous year.

Typically, it takes two to three months to hear back from a school with the verdict on your application. Despite the early Sept. 9 deadline at HBS, the school says candidates who’s get a decision until three full months later on Dec. 10. Stanford will notify applicants in its first round on the same date as HBS but you don’t have to apply to the school until Oct. 1, three weeks after the Harvard application deadline.

Most schools have three application deadlines, but that’s not always the case. MIT Sloan has just two, with a round one deadline of Sept. 22 and a round two final deadline of Jan. 8. Dartmouth’s Tuck School, on the other hand, has four rounds, starting with an early action date of Oct. 8 and an April round deadline of April 1. Columbia Business School is different from most of its peer schools in having a rolling decisions schedule with an early decision deadline of Oct. 8 where applicants have to agree that once accepted they will attend Columbia and withdraw their applications from other schools. The final deadline at Columbia is April 15.

The general advice: Apply in the first round when none of the seats in the class are filled. At most schools, early applicants have an advantage over those that complete their applications in later rounds. There are some other reasons why you want to get your app in early:

  • The ability to receive a scholarship award from the school’s Financial Aid Office prior to the date by which you must respond to your offer of admission.
  • Ample time to complete recommended quantitative and/or language coursework prior to arrival on campus.
  • Access to on-campus housing lottery systems at some schools.
  • Sufficient time to complete the visa application process for international candidates.
  • Attendance at a school’s Admit Weekends. Sometimes, round three candidates lose out on this opportunity.

All that said, the best time to apply is when you believe you’ve done the best job possible with your application. If you have to rush and cut corners to make round one, don’t. Hold off until another round. At all the highly selective business schools, admissions officials are looking for reasons to cut you from the pool. After all, the odds are substantially against you and as many as 80% of the candidates in any school’s applicant pool are usually fully qualified to attend. So you want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward when you do apply.

We’ll update this list continuously as more schools provide info on their new deadlines.

EARLIEST APPLICATION DEADLINES FOR 2014-2015 AT TOP SCHOOLS

SchoolFirst Application DeadlineAdmission Decision
Harvard Business School   Sept. 9, 2014Dec. 10, 2014
Duke (Fuqua)Sept. 17, 2014 (Early Action)Oct. 29, 2014
Yale School of ManagementSept. 18, 2014Dec. 8, 2014
MIT (Sloan)Sept. 23, 2014Dec. 17, 2015
INSEADSept. 24, 2014 (September 2015 Intake)Nov. 28, 2014
Northwestern (Kellogg)Sept. 24, 2014Dec. 17, 2014
Chicago (Booth)Sept. 25, 2014Dec. 18, 2014
Stanford Graduate School of Business Oct. 1, 2014Dec. 10, 2014
Pennsylvania (Wharton)Oct. 1, 2014Dec. 16, 2014
UC-Berkeley (Haas)Oct. 1, 2014Jan. 15, 2015
Cornell (Johnson)Oct. 1, 2014Dec. 17, 2014
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)Oct. 5, 2014Dec. 15, 2014
Michigan (Ross)Oct. 6, 2014Dec. 19, 2014
Columbia Business SchoolOct. 8, 2014 (Early Decision)Rolling decisions
Dartmouth (Tuck)Oct. 8, 2014 (Early Action)Dec. 18, 2014
Virginia (Darden)Oct. 10, 2014Dec. 17, 2014
Emory (Goizueta)Oct. 10, 2014Dec. 4, 2014
Georgetown (McDonough)Oct. 10, 2014Dec. 20, 2014
Texas-Austin (McCombs)Oct. 14, 2014Dec. 18, 2014
Indiana (Kelley)Oct. 15, 2014Late December
New York (Stern)Oct. 15, 2014Dec. 15, 2014
University of Washington (Foster)Oct. 15, 2014Dec. 15, 2014
North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)Oct. 17, 2014 (Early Action)Dec. 15, 2014
Duke (Fuqua)Oct. 20, 2014 (Early Action)Dec. 19, 2014
UCLA (Anderson)Oct. 22, 2014Jan. 28, 2015
Vanderbilt University (Owen)Oct. 28, 2014Dec. 12, 2014
Washington University (Olin)NANA

Source: Business school websites

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.