Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Harvard | Mr. Public Finance
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Harvard | Mr. Startup
GRE 327, GPA 3.35
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Almost Ballerina
GRE ..., GPA ...
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Darden | Mr. Engineer Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3

2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines

2019-2020 MBA application deadlines

Last year, Harvard Business School surprised everyone by eliminating its third and final application round for MBA hopefuls. The school must have liked what it saw because HBS has decided to stick with just two application rounds.

As is often the case, Harvard’s first round deadline comes faster, in fact, a day faster than last year on Sept. 4th, though the school has yet to announce the date when it will send out decisions and interview invites. Typically, HBS enjoys setting the pace with the earliest application cutoff of any of the leading schools. Meantime, HBS moved its round two deadline two days later to Jan. 6. Harvard won’t push its actual online application live until early June, but the school suggests that applicants can download the school’s Application Guide to learn more.

“HBS likes its two-round system or it would have gone back to three rounds, which it had prior to the 2018-19 cycle,” says Linda Abraham, founder of, a leading MBA admissions firm. Her other early takeaways: “It likes its essay question and has used it for several years now. The lack of essay limit is an opportunity for applicants to show judgment as well as communications ability, or the lack of both. HBS is interested in that information. The short answers and form fields reflect what Harvard to know, and they are a critical part of the applicant’s narrative.”


On the other hand, Columbia Business School has added a pair of new essays this year: “Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you?” (250 words) and “Who is a leader you admire, and why?” (250 words). CBS retained its first 500-word essay: “Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job?”

Columbia is the only highly ranked full-time MBA program with a January class start in addition to its regular September cohort. The school is fourth behind HBS, Stanford and Wharton for the number of applications received every year for both full-time MBA cohorts. The school, which sends out interview invites and admission decisions on a rolling basis, has set an early decision deadline of Oct. 4th (which is also the deadline for its January 2020 class start) and a final regular deadline of April 10th. But if you want to qualify for a merit scholarship, you would need to apply by Jan. 3, 2020 (see Columbia 2019-2020 MBA Deadlines for specific advice on how to apply and answer the school’s new essay questions).

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, meantime, has so far posted the earliest deadline–for its early action round. The deadline is a day ahead of HBS on Sept. 3rd. A major benefit of applying that early to Darden is that you don’t have to be invited to an admissions interview. Instead, you are able to get one without an invite. That is also true for early action candidates at Duke Fuqua during the school’s open interview period from Sept. 11 to Oct. 9th and at Kellogg, Tuck and Vanderbilt for all applicants. Darden’s open interview schedule is between mid-July through the end of September.

It’s always wise to follow the links to the web pages of the school’s admissions office. It’s often possible that there could be slight changes in the dates, or greater detail. If you are an international student or a candidate who needs scholarship money, you are at an advantage in applying earlier to give you time to get a student visa and when little of the scholarship grants have been doled out. And if you are applying as a Consortium candidate, you also can’t wait until the later rounds. Some schools, including Dartmouth College’s Tuck School, have different deadlines entirely for Consortium candidates. The normal round one deadline at Tuck this year is Oct. 7th but if you are applying under the Consortium it’s Oct. 15th.

There can be significant differences in the number of rounds and deadlines from school to school. Consider INSEAD, for example. The school has four times as many application deadlines as Harvard every year, four rounds for each of its two intakes in September and January. For our money, by the way, INSEAD’s website contains the clearest and most comprehensive admissions info of any business school in the world, with exact dates for when applicants are told whether they will get an alumni interview and when final decisions are posted, along with much more, including a ten-week schedules of making decisions from application to acceptance or rejection (see 2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines At Leading European Schools).


No matter what you do, there’s some helpful general advice: If you can, 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. Typically, the second application round is the largest, and many schools, including Wharton, advise candidates that round three is the most competitive mostly because the vast majority of the class seats are already filled. 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. If a school has released its essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season, you can access them by clicking on the “Yes” in the table below.


SchoolDeadlineInterview NotificationDecisionEssay Release
Virginia (Darden)Sept. 3, 2019 (Early Action)Schedule Your OwnOct. 9, 2019No
IESE Business SchoolSept. 3, 2019 (Early Decision)RollingOct. 18, 2019Yes
HarvardSept. 4, 2019NADec. 10, 2019Yes
Cornell (Johnson) One-Year MBASept. 5, 2019 (Early Action)Oct. 15, 2019Nov. 20, 2019Yes
Cambridge (Judge)Sept. 9, 2019 (R1)Sept. 30Nov. 4, 2019Yes
Yale SOMSept. 10, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 4, 2019Yes
Stanford GSBSept. 12, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 12, 2019Yes
NYU (Stern)Sept. 15, 2019 (Round 2-Tech & Fashion MBA)RollingDec. 1, 2019Yes
Pennsylvania (Wharton)Sept. 17, 2019Oct. 29, 2019Dec. 18, 2019No
Pennsylvania (Wharton)Sept. 17, 2019 (R1 for MBA/Lauder)NADec. 18, 2019No
Notre Dame (Mendoza)Sept. 17, 2019 (Early Decision)RollingNov. 1, 2019Yes
Northwestern (Kellogg)Sept. 18, 2019 (Round 1)Sept. 20, 2019Dec. 11, 2019Yes
INSEADSept. 18, 2019 (Round 1-Sept. Intake 2020)Oct. 18, 2019Nov. 22, 2019Yes
Duke (Fuqua)Sept. 19, 2019 (Early Action)Oct. 2, 2019Oct. 28, 2019Yes
Chicago (Booth)Sept. 26, 2019NADec. 5, 2019Yes
UC-Berkeley (Haas)Sept. 26, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 12, 2019Yes
Michigan (Ross)Sept. 30, 2019RollingDec. 18, 2019Yes
MIT (Sloan)Oct. 1, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 18, 2019Yes
Georgia Tech (Scheller)Oct. 1, 2019 (R1)Oct. 25 & 28Nov. 11, 2019Yes
UCLA (Anderson)Oct. 2, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 18, 2019Yes
Emory (Goizueta)Oct. 4, 2019 (R1)RollingNov. 29, 2019Yes
Columbia Business SchoolOct. 4, 2019 (Early Decision/January cohort)RollingRollingYes
Virginia (Darden)Oct. 4, 2019 (R1)NADec. 11, 2019No
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)Oct. 6, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 11, 2019Yes
Dartmouth (Tuck)Oct. 7, 2019 (R1)Nov. 1, 2019 (Applicant Initiated)Dec. 12, 2019Yes
Cornell (Johnson) One & Two-Year MBAOct. 8, 2019 (R1-Oct. Round)Nov. 15, 2019Dec. 20, 2019Yes
Texas-Austin (McCombs)Oct. 8, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 17, 2019Yes
Washington (Olin)Oct. 10, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 17, 2019Yes
IESE Business SchoolOct. 10, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 5, 2019Yes
Rice (Jones)Oct. 11, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 6, 2019Yes
Duke (Fuqua)Oct. 14, 2019 (Round 1)Nov. 1, 2019Dec. 18, 2019Yes
Vanderbilt (Owen)Oct. 14, 2019 (Round 1)NADec. 13, 2019Yes
NYU (Stern)Oct. 15, 2019 (Round 1)RollingJan. 1, 2020Yes
Notre Dame (Mendoza)Oct. 15, 2019 (R1)RollingDec. 13, 2019Yes
Cambridge (Judge)Oct. 28, 2019 (R2)Nov. 18, 2019Dec. 23, 2019Yes
Cornell (Johnson) One & Two-Year MBANov. 5, 2019 (R2-Nov. Round)Jan. 15, 2020Feb. 20, 2020Yes
INSEADNov. 6, 2019 (Round 2-Sept. Intake 2020)Dec. 6, 2019Jan. 24, 2020Yes
NYU (Stern)Nov. 15, 2019 (Round 2)RollingFeb. 1, 2020Yes
Emory (Goizueta)Nov. 15, 2019 (R2)RollingJan. 24, 2020Yes
Georgia Tech (Scheller)Dec. 2, 2019 (R2)Jan. 23 & 24, 2020Jan. 31, 2020Yes
Columbia Business SchoolApril 10, 2020 (Final Regular Decision)RollingRollingYes

Source: Business school websites


Search Our Directory For An MBA Admissions Consultant

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.