MBA News: B-School Applications Make a Comeback

According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, interest in MBA programs may be “heating up.” The latest word from the Graduate Management Admission Council, which surveyed 683 graduate business programs at 328 schools, is that MBA application volumes are on the rise after a four-year lull. Approximately half of the programs surveyed in 2013 reported growth, compared with just 43% last year. U.S. schools claimed a median 5% gain, though much of the applicant volume was due to international interest—with 56% of programs reporting that they received more applications from international candidates than domestic ones.

While full-time MBA programs seem to be attracting a healthy candidate pool, interest in part-time programs has been limited, incurring a volume increase among only 29% of respondent programs. Specialized master’s programs did not fare quite as well, either. However, as the Wall Street Journal notes, the demand for one-year MBAs remains on the upswing, with 55% of the programs surveyed reporting higher volumes of applicants for 2013.

Application Volume for a Sampling of Full-Time, Two-Year MBA Programs

Number of applications, 2012 Number of applications, 2013 % change 2012–2013
Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis 1,289 1,404 8.90%
Columbia Business School 5,409 5,765 6.60%
Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University 2,094 2,343 11.90%
Harvard Business School 8,963 9,315 3.90%
Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles 3,335 3,124 -6.30%
Stanford Graduate School of Business 6,716 7,108 5.80%
Fuqua School of Business, Duke University 3,161 3,150 -0.35%
Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University 515 639 24.00%
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School 6,409 6,034 -5.90%
Krannert School of Management, Purdue University 556 576 3.60%

Source: Wall Street Journal

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