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MBA Application Guide 2020-21

In our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2020-21, we list the latest MBA application deadlines for the world’s top b-schools and explain how COVID-19 could impact your application

Tue Sep 15 2020


Download our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2020-21, where we list the latest full-time MBA application deadlines for the world’s best business schools to help you plan your business school application for a 2021 start.

From our guide, you'll:

- Get insider advice on how COVID-19 may impact your MBA application this cycle.

- Read exclusive application tips from MBA admissions directors from top schools like Harvard, Duke Fuqua, LBS, and IE, and real example MBA essay questions.

- Follow our step-by-step guide to your MBA application covering application rounds, GMAT, essays, resume, and recommendation letters.



COVID-19 and your MBA application

Is it worth pursuing an MBA? It’s the question we’re hearing the most from BusinessBecause users right now. The coronavirus pandemic has closed business school campuses, shifted admissions timelines, and forced MBA students around the world into studying online.

However, we at BusinessBecause believe that the long-term value of an MBA will remain.

The MBA is still the world’s most popular graduate management degree. Employers hire thousands of MBA graduates each year. 93% of MBA alumni say they would still pursue their degree knowing what they know now. Often, it’s at a time of crisis when applications to MBA programs increase.

In our MBA Application Guide 2020-21, we explain how COVID-19 may make applying for MBA programs more competitive this cycle, with more candidates and deferrals filling up available seats.

Round 2, rather than R1, is expected to be especially busy as new entrants to the market are more likely to have their applications ready by then; visa issues may be resolved; and some business schools, keen to fill classes in R1 after the disruption of 2020, will use R2 to optimize rather than build their classes.

We explain when you should apply in the Early Action Round and highlight four key questions you should ask yourself before applying in Round 3 or later.

MBA Admission Requirements 2020-21

“Strong candidates have a habit of leadership in past and current endeavors, analytical appetite and curiosity, and a penchant for contributing to the success of a community. We want to get to know each applicant and to try to understand how s/he will contribute in our classrooms and community.” Chad Losee, MBA admissions director, Harvard Business School.

Applying to MBA programs is a little different in 2020-21. If you can’t visit a school’s campus, talk to current students and alumni, and read our exclusive MBA stories, to get a flavor of the school.

Still, the core admissions process and what business school look for is the same. To apply for an MBA, you’ll typically need an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and a minimum level of work experience, which varies by program. 

You’ll also need to prepare the following materials for submission, which we go through in depth in our MBA Application Guide:


The GMAT Exam is the premier admission test for business schools, used as a quality indicator when measuring your suitability for an MBA. One big difference in 2020-21 is the launch of the GMAT Online Exam in light of COVID-19. If you can’t get to an open GMAT test center, you can take the GMAT Online Exam at home from your computer.



The application essays are a chance to tell business schools your story. Your personality, experiences, interest, and suitability to the program should shine through. We provide you with examples of essay questions from top business schools like Harvard and LBS.

Recommendation Letters

Follow our guide to ensure you get recommendation letters that are tailored to your profile and support the rest of your application.


Read how to write a winning MBA resume.

MBA Application Deadlines 2020-21

The 2020-21 MBA application deadlines are out! If you’re applying for a top MBA program, you’ll need to know your target business school’s deadlines and understand what the different application rounds mean.

In our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2020-21, we list the MBA application deadlines for 130+ business schools, including all the top-ranked business schools like Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, INSEAD, CEIBS, and more!