3 More Top B-Schools Unveil MBA Application Changes

The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Time to get serious, MBA applicants-to-be. Three more top business schools in the United States have officially put you on notice about how and when to apply to their MBA programs this cycle. And for at least one school, there’s a real benefit to acting fast.

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business all made announcements leading up to the July Fourth holiday weekend about test waivers, deadlines, essay prompts, and more for applicants seeking admission to the MBA Class of 2025. Among the mostly minor tweaks to last year’s processes are a few significant changes. (For a comprehensive list of MBA application deadlines at the top business schools, click here.)

“We’re excited for what we hope will be a return to ‘normal’ after two years of disruption caused by the pandemic,” says Allison Jamison, Duke Fuqua assistant dean of admissions.


Allison Jamison, Fuqua’s assistant dean of admissions. Duke photo

The updated Duke MBA application to join the Class of 2025 in fall 2023 goes live on July 7. The biggest change from last year is the launch of a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Concentration that brings to 17 the total number of optional concentrations available to students in Duke’s Daytime MBA.

“The new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion concentration is relevant for any student who will need to effectively lead diverse teams towards common purpose,” writes Jamison in a June 24 blog post. “Applicants will have the option to select it under the other concentrations and certificates section of the application.”

In a separate blog, Rick Larrick, associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, writes that DEI is in Duke Fuqua’s DNA.

“So when we announced this spring that Fuqua was adding a DEI concentration, it wasn’t an out-of-the-blue decision for the school, but rather a natural next step — an acknowledgment of a strong set of DEI diversity and inclusion activities that already exist at Fuqua,” Larrick writes. “In fact, several of our graduating MBA students had already fulfilled the concentration requirements and that achievement has been added to their transcripts.”


Duke also introduced a new Fuqua Impact Scholars program, which will be “a set of named, merit-based scholarships for high-potential admitted students who intend to make an impact on the world through business with a focus area that is tied to one of our research centers,” Jamison writes. “These scholars will have the opportunity to attend special events with faculty, staff, and distinguished speakers, and will have access to specific resources provided by the centers most closely affiliated with their focus area.”

Fuqua Impact Scholars will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Health Care, tied to the Center for Health Sector Management (HSM)
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation, tied to the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)
  • Leadership, tied to the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE)
  • Energy and Sustainability, tied to the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE)
  • Social Impact, tied to the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

As with the Fuqua School’s other merit scholarships, all applicants are considered upon applying to the Daytime or Accelerated Daytime MBA programs.


Applicants to Duke’s one-year Accelerated Daytime MBA will be offered the ability to apply in Rounds 1, 2 and 3 this year; in prior years the school only accepted applications in Rounds 2 and 3. Additionally, the school will be resuming its on-campus visit program this fall, and off-campus travel schedule starting this summer, going to cities in the U.S. and around the world to conduct recruitment events.

A couple of years back, Duke Fuqua made a change to require only one letter of recommendation with the application, but retained the option for applicants to provide a second one. This year the school is removing the second optional recommendation and will only accept one letter of recommendation. “We think this will cause less confusion and angst for applicants who might be wondering if the optional one is really needed or not,” Jamison writes, “and create a more level playing field for applicants since only one letter will accompany each application.”

Other changes:

  • Fuqua will no longer offer a separate interview period if you’re reapplying from the previous year. Instead, reapplicants are encouraged to interview during our Open Interview Period.
  • The school will continue to offer both on-campus and virtual interview options during the Open Interview Period and for interviews by invitation after each round.
  • Fuqua has added the opportunity for Duke alumni who are applying to any of its graduate business programs to receive an application fee waiver.
  • Fuqua will ask MBA applicants to record a video pronouncing their first and last names. “Don’t worry, it’s not a trick question,” Jamison writes. “We want to ensure that we pronounce our students’ names correctly throughout their journey with us as applicants and students.”

See the next page for information about this year’s application changes at Michigan Ross and Dartmouth Tuck.

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