Harvard | Mr. Consumer Goods Senior Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 8.27/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Evolving Teacher
GRE 328, GPA 3.26
Columbia | Mr. Indian I-Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 8.63
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech-y Athlete
GRE , GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Deferred Financial Poet
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Ms. EV Evangelist
GRE 334, GPA 2.67
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Indian Engineer + MBA Now In Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 8.7 / 10
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indonesian Salesperson
GMAT 660, GPA 3.49
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Tech For Non-Profits
GRE 312, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Combat Pilot Non-Profit Leader
GRE 329, GPA 3.73
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Actual Poet
GMAT 720, GPA 12.0/14
MIT Sloan | Mr. Indian Healthcare Analytics
GMAT 720, GPA 7.8
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Administration & Policy Latino Advocate
GRE 324, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Asian Mexican Finance Hombre
GMAT 650, GPA 2.967
Stanford GSB | Mr. Filipino Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Columbia | Mr. Fintech Data Scientist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
Tuck | Mr. Opportunities In MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Harvard | Mr. Strategy For Social Good
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
NYU Stern | Ms. Hopeful NYU Stern Marketing Ph.D.
GRE 297, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Strategy Consultant Middle East
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4

Fast Approaching: Round One In 2021-2022 MBA Application Deadlines

The countdown to apply to a top MBA program during the 2021-2022 admissions season

After what many expected would be one of the most competitive admission cycles ever for elite MBA programs, the competition to earn a seat in the 2022 intake at a top business school should lessen for most applicants. The only likely exception: Candidates from India who view the U.S. as a more welcoming place to study and work with the change in administration in Washington, D.C.

With the impact of the pandemic beginning to diminish in the U.S., most business schools are planning an on-campus start to the fall of 2021, though a new normal is taking effect. The success of many virtual events, including the CentreCourt MBA Festivals, has convinced the admission officials at most schools to continue with a full schedule of online info sessions for would-be applicants.

What to expect this admissions cycle? “The world is not going to be normal again yet,” says Soojin Kwon, managing director of full-time MBA admissions and student experience at Michigan Ross. “So what we are looking at is another virtual recruiting year for the foreseeable future. When the pandemic first broke out, our immediate reaction was, ‘How are we going to recruit? You mean we can’t go to all these countries in person? What are we going to do?’

VIRTUAL ADMISSION EVENTS MADE RESEARCHING SCHOOLS MORE EQUITABLE

“And then the world went virtual,” she adds. “We were able to connect with so many more candidates in places that we had never gone before, countries and cities that may not have the number of candidates interested in pursuing an MBA so we might not have gone there. Now we can connect with them and they can connect with us at different times of day from the convenience of their living rooms and bedrooms. It’s a benefit to candidates because now they’re able to attend some of our conferences and other events hosted by our students or by the school. So they can get to know the school better in different ways that they might not have had the chance to unless they could spring for a plane ticket or hotel. It also reduced the costs of investigating schools and made it more equitable for people to do that research.”

At Dartmouth Tuck, campus visit programs and tours for prospective applicants will begin in September and will be offered in person as is was to pre-pandemic years.  One slight difference: through at least Round 1, all interviews for 2021 – 2022 applicants will be conducted virtually. “We found this past year that virtual interviews gave us great insight into candidates, and as the world has gotten very accustomed to Zoom, candidates have become more comfortable with the virtual format,” adds Pat Harrison, co-executive director of Tuck Admissions.

As is often the case, Harvard Business School kicked off the 2021-2022 admissions season with a round one deadline of Sept. 8 to apply for its Class of 2024. That cutoff date is exactly the same as last year’s cutoff date. The second and final deadline at HBS would be a day earlier than last year: Jan. 4.  For candidates who apply by the R1 deadline, Harvard is guaranteeing a final decision by Dec. 9th at noon EST for applicants who gain an admissions interview. For those who meet the R2 deadline, decisions would be released on March 30. The application deadline for Harvard’s deferred admissions program, 2+2, will be April 29th, with notifications scheduled for July 7th. The R1 and R2 deadlines for Stanford’s Graduate School of Business are a day after HBS’s deadlines.

MOST APPLICATIONS WILL BE SIMILAR IF NOT EXACTLY THE SAME AS LAST YEAR

In general, most schools are keeping their applications similar to a year-earlier, with some tweaks here and there. The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, for example, has reduced its three essay questions down to two from three to two and places a word limit on its career goal essay to 200 from 300 a year earlier. The school is also returning to its traditional three-round schedule of deadlines starting with an R1 cutoff of Sept. 20 and a final R3 deadline of April 4th. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, in a nod to the pandemic, has added a new video question to its application: “Share your resilience with us.”

Kellogg also has added another wrinkle to increase flexibility for applicants. For the first time, Kellogg candidates will be able to select and be considered for multiple MBA programs through one application, from its two-year MBA to its accelerated one-year MBA, as well as evening and weekend and Executive MBA programs. “So, rather than committing to just one program during the application process, you’re now able to be considered for multiple program options within Kellogg’s programs,” wrote Kate Smith, the assistant dean of admissions and financial aid, in a blog post. “This means that during the application, you will select a primary program within our Full-Time portfolio for which to be considered. Then, you will have the option to select — and rank — additional programs from our Full-Time, Evening & Weekend, and Executive MBA Programs for which to be considered. If we’re unable to offer you admission to your program of choice, then we’ll consider you for the other program(s) in which you are interested.”

Ross, along with UVA Darden, NYU Stern and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, is also continuing to offer MBA applicants the option to request a waiver of its standardized test requirement for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. After receiving more than 1,300 requests for a test waiver from potential applicants, Darden is offering the same flexibility on testing into 2021-2022. Roughly 13% of its next entering cohort of MBAs this fall will have enrolled with an approved test waiver. Many more schools are expected to follow the lead of Darden and Ross.

Some schools that have released their deadlines are still holding back their updated essay questions, if they, in fact, will update them. Wharton, for example, has put out its 2021-2022 deadlines but won’t release the essay prompts for its full-time MBA application until July.

APPLY AS EARLY AS YOU CAN BUT NOT UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE THE BEST JOB POSSIBLE

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 2020-202` admissions season, you can access them by clicking on the “Yes” in the table below.

Earliest 2021-2022 MBA Application Deadlines

School Deadline Interview Notification Decision Essay Release
HEC Paris Aug. 15, 2021 (R5-Sept. 2022 Intake) By Rolling Invitation Sept. 17, 2021 Yes
Oxford (Said) Sept. 1, 2021 (R1) Sept. 20, 2021 Oct. 23, 2021 Yes
Duke (Fuqua) Sept. 2, 2021 (Early Action) Sept. 20, 2021 Oct. 14, 2021 Yes
Harvard Sept. 8, 2021 (R1) Oct. 1, 2021* Dec. 9, 2021 Yes
Wharton Sept. 8, 2021 (R1) Oct. 27, 2021 Dec. 15, 2021 No
Cornell (Johnson) Sept. 8, 2021 (Early Action/One-Year MBA) Oct. 13, 2021 Nov. 18, 2021 Yes
Stanford GSB Sept. 9, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 9, 2021 Yes
Virginia (Darden) Sept. 9, 2021 (Early Action) Open Interview NA Yes
London Business School Sept. 10, 2021 (R1) Oct. 14, 2021 Dec. 2, 2021 Yes
Cambridge (Judge) Sept. 13, 2021 (R1) Oct. 15-29, 2021 Rolling Yes
Yale SOM Sept. 14, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 3, 2021 Yes
Northwestern (Kellogg) Sept. 15, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 8, 2021 Yes
Duke (Fuqua) Oct. 11, 2021 (R1) Nov. 8, 2021 Dec. 15, 2021 Yes
NYU (Stern) Sept. 15, 2021 (R1–Full-Time MBA) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 1, 2021 Yes
NYU (Stern) Sept. 15, 2021 (R1–Fashion & Luxury MBA) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 1, 2021 Yes
NYU (Stern) Sept. 15, 2021 (R1–Tech MBA) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 1, 2021 Yes
Michigan (Ross) Sept. 20, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 8, 2021 Yes
Chicago (Booth) Sept. 23, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 1, 2021 Yes
UC-Berkeley (Haas) Sept. 23, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 16, 2021 Yes
Emory (Goizueta) Sept. 23, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 10, 2021 Yes
Dartmouth (Tuck) Sept. 27, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 9, 2021 Yes
Georgetown (McDonough) Sept. 27, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 9, 2021 Yes
MIT (Sloan) Sept. 28, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) Oct. 3, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 8, 2021 Yes
UCLA (Anderson) Oct. 5, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 14, 2021 Yes
Washington (Foster) Oct. 5, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Columbia Business School Oct. 6, 2021 (Final Deadline for Jan. 2022 entry) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Columbia Business School Oct. 6, 2021 (Early Decision for Aug. 2022 entry) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Virginia (Darden) Oct. 6, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Oct. 11, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 13, 2001 Yes
Cornell (Johnson) Oct. 12, 2021 (R1/ One- & Two-Year MBA) Nov. 18, 2021 Dec. 16, 2021 Yes
Cornell (Johnson) Oct. 12, 2021 (Priority/Cornell Tech) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Texas-Austin (McCombs) Oct. 12, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 16, 2021 Yes
Vanderbilt (Owen) Oct. 12, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 17, 2021 Yes
Oxford (Said) Oct. 13, 2021 (R2) Nov. 10, 2021 Dec. 8, 2021 Yes
NYU (Stern) Oct. 15, 2021 (R2–Full-Time MBA) By Rolling Invitation Jan. 1, 2022 Yes
Indiana (Kelley) Oct. 15, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 30, 2021 Yes
HEC Paris Oct. 15, 2021 (R6-Sept. 2022 Intake) By Rolling Invitation Nov. 19, 2021 Yes
USC (Marshall) Oct. 15, 2021 (R1) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 31, 2021 Yes
Cambridge (Judge) Oct. 18, 2021 (R2) Nov. 26-Dec. 10, 2021 Rolling Yes
NYU (Stern) Nov. 15, 2021 (R2–Fashion & Luxury MBA) By Rolling Invitation Feb. 1, 2022 Yes
NYU (Stern) Nov. 15, 2021 (R2–Tech MBA) By Rolling Invitation Feb. 1, 2022 Yes
HEC Paris Nov. 15, 2021 (R7-Sept. 2022 Intake) By Rolling Invitation Dec. 17, 2021 Yes

An asterisk indicates an estimate based on last year’s dates because the school has not formally announced a date for when it will notify applicants of interview invites.

Round Two 2021-2022 MBA Application Deadlines

School Deadline Interview Notification Decision Essay Release
Dartmouth (Tuck) Jan. 3, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 17, 2022 Yes
Michigan (Ross) Jan. 4, 2021 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 7, 2021 Yes
Harvard Jan. 4, 2022 (R2) Feb. 4, 2022* March 30, 2022 Yes
UCLA (Anderson) Jan. 4, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 22, 2022 Yes
Washington (Foster) Jan. 4, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Stanford GSB Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 31, 2022 Yes
Northwestern (Kellogg) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 23, 2022 Yes
Wharton Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) Feb. 14, 2022 March 23, 2022 No
Columbia Business School Jan. 5, 2022 (Merit Scholarship deadline for Aug. 2022 entry) BBy Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Virginia (Darden) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 9, 2022 Yes
Indiana (Kelley) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 15, 2022 Yes
Duke (Fuqua) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) Feb. 2, 2022 March 16, 2022 Yes
Cornell (Johnson) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2/One- & Two-Year MBA) March 19, 2022 April 8, 2022 Yes
Cornell (Johnson) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2/Cornell Tech) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
USC (Marshall) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 31, 2022 Yes
Vanderbilt (Owen) Jan. 5, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 25, 2022 Yes
Chicago (Booth) Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 24, 2022 Yes
UC-Berkeley (Haas) Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 24, 2022 Yes
Yale SOM Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 25, 2022 Yes
Texas-Austin (McCombs) Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 24, 2022 Yes
Georgetown (McDonough) Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 22, 2022 Yes
London Business School Jan. 6, 2022 (R2) Feb. 10, 2022 April 7, 2022 Yes
Michigan (Ross) Jan. 10, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 18, 2022 Yes
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Jan. 10, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 14, 2022 Yes
Cambridge (Judge) Jan. 10, 2022 (R3) Feb. 18-March 11, 2022 Rolling Yes
Oxford (Said) Jan. 12, 2022 (R3) Feb. 16, 2022 March 16, 2022 Yes
Emory (Goizueta) Jan. 13, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation March 25, 2022 Yes
NYU (Stern) Jan. 15, 2022 (R3–Full-Time MBA) By Rolling Invitation April 1, 2022 Yes
NYU (Stern) Jan. 15, 2022 (R3–Fashion & Luxury MBA) By Rolling Invitation March 1, 2022 Yes
NYU (Stern) Jan. 15, 2022 (R3–Tech MBA) By Rolling Invitation March 1, 2022 Yes
MIT (Sloan) Jan. 19, 2022 (R2) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes

An asterisk indicates an estimate based on last year’s dates because the school has not formally announced a date for when it will notify applicants of interview invites.

R3 & Later 2021-2022 MBA Application Deadlines

School Deadline Interview Notification Decision Essay Release
NYU (Stern) Feb. 15, 2022 (R4–Fashion & Luxury MBA) By Rolling Invitation April 1, 2022 Yes
NYU (Stern) Feb. 15, 2022 (R4–Tech MBA) By Rolling Invitation April 1, 2022 Yes
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) Feb. 28, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation April 25, 2022 Yes
Indiana (Kelley) March 1, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation April 30, 2022 Yes
USC (Marshall) March 1, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 15, 2022 Yes
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) March 6, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 4, 2022 Yes
Cornell (Johnson) March 8, 2022 (R4/One-Year MBA) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Cornell (Johnson) March 8, 2022 (Rolling/Cornell Tech) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
NYU (Stern) March 15, 2022 (R4–Full-Time MBA) By Rolling Invitation June 1, 2022 Yes
Washington (Foster) March 15, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Emory (Goizueta) March 17, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 6, 2022 Yes
Cambridge (Judge) March 17, 2022 (R4) April 15-29, 2022 Rolling Yes
Oxford (Said) March 23, 2022 (R4) April 20, 2022 May 25, 2022 Yes
Duke (Fuqua) March 24, 2022 (R3) April 7, 2022 April 29, 2022 Yes
London Business School March 25, 2022 (R3) April 28, 2022 June 10, 2022 Yes
Dartmouth (Tuck) March 28, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 5, 2022 Yes
Texas-Austin (McCombs) March 29, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 5, 2022 Yes
Vanderbilt (Owen) March 29, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 6, 2022 Yes
Wharton March 30, 2022 (R3) April 14, 2022 May 10, 2022 No
Georgetown (McDonough) March 31, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 5, 2022 Yes
Michigan (Ross) April 4, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 11, 2022 Yes
Northwestern (Kellogg) April 6, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 11, 2022 Yes
Virginia (Darden) April 6, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Chicago (Booth) April 7, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 26, 2022 Yes
UC-Berkeley (Haas) April 7, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 12, 2022 Yes
Columbia Business School April 8, 2022 (Final Deadline for Aug. 2022 entry) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) April 11, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation May 23, 2022 Yes
MIT (Sloan) April 12, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation NA Yes
Yale SOM April 12, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 18, 2022 Yes
UCLA (Anderson) April 12, 2022 (R3) By Rolling Invitation May 17, 2022 Yes
Cornell (Johnson) April 12, 2022 (R3-Two-Year MBA) May 13, 2022 June 1, 2022 Yes
Indiana (Kelley) April 15, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation May 31, 2022 Yes
USC (Marshall) April 15, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation June 15, 2022 Yes
USC (Marshall) After April 15, 2022 (R5) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) April 18, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation May 18, 2022 Yes
Cambridge (Judge) April 25, 2022 (R5) June 3-17, 2022 Rolling Yes
Georgetown (McDonough) April 26, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation May 25, 2022 Yes
Vanderbilt (Owen) May 16, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation Rolling Yes
Michigan (Ross) June 1, 2022 (R4) By Rolling Invitation June 25, 2022 Yes

An asterisk indicates an estimate based on last year’s dates because the school has not formally announced a date for when it will notify applicants of interview invites.