Applying to an MBA program is more than just submitting an application. The right time to apply for an MBA is when you are ready. Your timeline depends on your particular situation, your chosen program, and where you are in your life.
Choosing a graduate school is a major life decision. The application process should come at a time when you are able to efficiently organize all your materials and rid yourself of unnecessary stress. Make sure you choose an MBA program that is tailored to your post-MBA career path so you can best position yourself for future success.
One of the most common questions we get from candidates is which round to target. If you feel confident in your application, you should apply in the first round. But don’t push yourself to apply in the first round if you feel that your application is not ready. Here are a few tips to consider:
Pull Together a Quality Application
Quality is key. Don’t rush your application. Prepare your materials when you can focus on the details. If you cannot give the application your full attention, take some time off and come back to it when you are ready – even if it means waiting an extra round.
Applying Early Can Be Helpful
But … when you are ready, apply! Some candidates believe that applying in an early-round will put them into a tougher candidate pool or that programs make limited offers early in the process. We don’t find either to be true. The earlier you apply to our MBA program, the sooner you will hear from us and be able to make your final decision about attending. This gives you more time to plan the work and life transitions you need to make.
Be Aware of Deadlines
Putting together a quality application takes time. As you start the application process, compile a chart of program deadlines and requirements. Find out which materials you need to submit and whether you’ll need to schedule an interview. Provide recommenders with time to write on your behalf, give yourself time to draft and proofread essays, and request your transcripts at least a few weeks before you need them. And make time in your schedule to read and respond to communications from schools where you have applied.
Once you receive an offer of admission, you will have to make a commitment within a few weeks. Think about what you’ll need to know and whom you might need support from to confidently accept an offer and pay your deposit by the deadline.
Utilize Support from Admissions Officers
Questions? Lean on your admissions officer to answer any questions you may have. They are your advocate throughout the process and, more importantly, they work with the admissions committee to support your application. They want to see you succeed.
If you are not sure when to apply, reach out to your admissions officer. They are there to advise you on what the candidate pool looks like, when is the best time to submit your application, and which round you will be most competitive in. Admissions officers are available throughout the application process to help make it as seamless and stress-free as possible for you.
At Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, timing is everything. The full-time MBA program at Johns Hopkins is built for you to succeed as a business leader. We want to be part of that success. Whether you’re a new graduate or a working professional, the Johns Hopkins MBA will be waiting for you.
Are you ready to build for what’s next?
Kelly Farmer is the executive director of admissions at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School where she oversees recruitment, application evaluation, and candidate experience for all degree and certificate programs. Before joining Carey, Kelly spent 15 years in undergraduate admissions, most recently as assistant VP for undergraduate admissions at Stevenson University.
Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in education policy and leadership, both from the University of Maryland, and completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.