IESE 2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines

IESE campus in Barcelona, Spain

IESE Business School has released its MBA application deadlines for the class it expects to enroll in September of 2020.

All together, the Barcelona-based school boasts five rounds, including an early decision round deadline of Sept. 3, a cutoff that assures an admit-or-deny decision by Oct. 18th.

The round one deadline is Oct. 10, with a decision on Dec. 5. The round two deadline is Jan. 8, with a decision due March 3. Round three applicants need to complete their applications by March 3 to get a decision on May 8th. The fourth and final round ends on May 5th, with decisions released on June 12th (see Inside An Adcom Session: How IESE Decides Who Gets In).

IESE’s 2019-2020 MBA Application Deadlines

IESE Rounds Application Deadline Decision First Deposit Due Second Deposit Due
Early Decision September 3, 2019 October 18, 2019 November 25, 2019 November 25, 2019
Round One October 10, 2019 December 5, 2019 January 10, 2020 February 10, 2020
Round Two January 8, 2020 March 3, 2020 March 31, 2020 April 30, 2020
Round Three March 3, 2020 May 8, 2020 May 30, 2020 May 30, 2020
Round Four May 5, 2020 June 12, 2020 June 26, 2020 June 26, 2020

At IESE, the application process starts with an online form and GMAT or GRE scores and then your application is given a pre-committee review before the school does a personal interview. Face-to-face interviews are held on the IESE campus in Barcelona, via videoconference, or with admissions directors who travel across the world.

Candidates are then invited to campus for a voluntary assessment day. Though this step is not mandatory, the school recommends that candidates who are invited to campus take advantage of it. IESE runs four assessment days in Barcelona every year, three in New York, two in Sao Paolo, two in Singapore and one in Hong Kong. Then, your application is presented to and reviewed by IESE’s admissions committee. Applicants are informed by both a phone call and email of the committee’s decision.


Academically, the Class of 2020 features a broad range of undergraduate majors, including Business (42%), Engineering (33%), Humanities (15%), and Sciences (10%). It is an equally diverse mix in terms of career choices, with 61% of the class working outside the financial services (20%), consulting (13%), and public service (6%) sectors. What’s more, 85% of the class is from outside Spain because the school puts a 15% cap on residents of Spain in the program to maintain a global perspective. That said, the IESE vision of diversity goes beyond careers, cultural backgrounds, and long-term goals.

IESE does not disclose the actual number of applications it receives for each class but it is estimated at roughly 2,100 for 350 to 370 seats in the class. That comes to an admit rate of about 26%. The school interviews up to 70% of all its applicants. The average GMAT score for the class that entered in 2018 was 686.


“Before everything, ask yourself one thing: why do you want to do an MBA? If you are looking to move into Europe or Latin America or to make a move into marketing, consulting or banking, then an MBA at IESE is a stellar pathway. However, if you’re looking to stay within your industry and region, ask yourself, is an MBA the right thing to get me ahead or an expensive break? If after this you want to come, work on your mathematics and get a solid GMAT score. Your CV will speak for itself, but strong quantitative competency will not just help you get in, yet also help you immensely in the work when you get here.” — Louis Williams, IESE Class of 2019 MBA

“First, I would advise to conduct thorough research on the school’s values and reach out to alumni and current students to understand more about the school’s culture to see if you fit in. IESE students are, on average, super hard-working, so if you’re going to the MBA only for the fun part, IESE might not be the right choice for you. Second, I would try to engage with the Admissions team in your region to show your interest in the school and that you are aligned with IESE’s values. If you make it to the interview, be humble and respectful and show the recruiter all the effort you’ve put into your application (talking to students, researching what the school stands for, etc.). In the end, they are as interested in the contribution you can bring to your classmates as they are in the more traditional aspects of your application, such as the GMAT score.” — Mariana Kaplan Pereira, IESE Class of 2019 MBA


“Three simple reasons:

1) The coffee chats: I went to coffee chats of a variety of schools and none of them made me feel more comfortable than when I met Vanessa Macdougal and a number of IESE students. People felt genuine to talk to and I didn’t witness the chest beating self-love that I had unfortunately seen at other coffee chats with other schools.

2) An international perspective: IESE has no more than 15% of the student body coming from any one country in this world. I didn’t want to just end up being able to understand how business works in the US. I desperately wanted to understand how challenges are resolved in different countries

The city: Honestly, I can think of a few places in the world as incredible to live in as Barcelona. You have 3) sun, beach, mountains for skiing and cycling: a broad selection of bars and restaurants at 60% of the cost of London. It is a historic architectural center, connected by an incredible public transportation system with an interwoven quilt of cultures: Spanish, Catalan, Latin and International. And that ignores the fact that Barcelona is one of the nightlife capitals of the world.” — Louis Williams, IESE Class of 2019 MBA

“First, I knew I wanted to come to Europe, because of the class diversity, the two-year program, and to really be able to enjoy the MBA experience. This narrowed down my search to a couple of top schools in Europe. When doing my research on IESE, I was initially attracted by the case-study method and the general management focus (of course, living in sunny and shiny Barcelona would be a plus). When I started getting in touch with students, alumni, and the recruiting team, I knew it was the right school for me. Everyone was absolutely passionate about IESE, and they talked with an intensity about their experience that I didn’t see in any of the other schools where I was applying. I was able to notice a pattern from these conversations: IESE students were collaborative, humble, and wanted to become leaders who would make a difference in the world. I wanted to be in this environment where people are welcoming, helpful and have a higher purpose in life than just finding a high-paying job after the MBA.” — Mariana Kaplan Pereira, IESE Class of 2019 MBA


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