I often get questions about the MBA admissions timeline from applicants, asking “what should I be doing, when? How far in advance? When should I be doing the GMAT, the essays, asking for recommendations?”
There’s no such thing as one correct one answer of course. Much depends you–how fast you work, how much you feel you need to do to feel comfortable, and how many schools you are targeting.
There are general common milestones for the months leading up to application deadline, and I’ve given a distilled sense of timeline best-practices in my book.
Further to all this, I came across a post from Yale SOM EMBA worth sharing. Note that the deadlines are for an executive MBA (later in the year, on average) and generally the terms of advice assume a smaller applicant pool. Nevertheless it is relevant in principle to address common admissions timeline questions.
By the way, if you’re in the EMBA market, Yale SOM is worth your application time. Yale University needs no introduction of course, but the business school has spent a few decades finding itself. It is now undoubtedly racing into the top tier.
With all that said, here’s Hillary Larsen, Assistant Director of Admissions, MBA for Executives talking to applicants ahead of the April 12 final deadline:
February through April
- We would be delighted to get to know and work with you. I recommend meeting our team, current students, and alumni at events online and all around the United States so that you can make a better-informed decision about applying to Yale SOM. Explore the Yale culture and experience the benefits of our small class size.
- You are not on your own. If you have any questions along the way, our admissions team is available to help at email@example.com.
- As a part of the application, you will need to designate the individual who will be signing off on your time away from the office. Now is the time to discuss the EMBA program with your employer. Make sure he or she understands that your EMBA experience will directly benefit the organization. Our students are able to apply what they learn on Fridays and Saturdays directly to their organizations the following Monday, while focusing on developing their own unique leadership attributes throughout the program.
- Discuss this program and the time commitment it will entail with family and close friends. To perform at your best in the program, you will need the support of those around you.
- If you haven’t taken the GMAT or GRE in the past five years, start looking at these standardized tests and decide which one you’d like to take. We have no preference. We recommend taking one of the free practice tests available to gauge your strengths and weakness and to develop a plan of study. Many of our students have taken courses to keep their preparation on track. Keep in mind that the standardized test score gives us an understanding of your current ability to process and analyze (primarily) quantitative data in a time-constrained environment. Since our students have a range of work experience from 5 to 25 years, we have different expectations of test scores. This is just one component of the application, which we review holistically.
- Open the application and review the essay questions. The essays are your best opportunity to showcase who you are and what you are passionate about.
- Consider who you would like to submit a recommendation on your behalf. We suggest asking for a recommendation early and following up with the recommender to ensure that he or she understands the application deadline. We require two recommendations as a part of a complete application.
- If you do not already have copies of your transcripts from your undergraduate institute and any other institution from which you have earned professional or graduate degrees, request them. If your transcripts are not in English, you will need to provide a notarized English translation. Please note that you do not need official transcripts for the purposes of the application; you can upload unofficial copies.
- If you have not recently updated your résumé, now is the time to do so. Please keep the résumé to no longer than two pages. This is your opportunity to clearly show your career acceleration and advancement.
- Finalize your application! Be sure to review the entire application. You have until April 12 to take your GMAT or GRE and record your unofficial score. You must submit your application by 11:59 p.m. ET on April 12. You must also submit your application fee at that time in order for the application to be reviewed by the admissions committee.
- Confirm with your recommenders that they will submit the review form by the final deadline.
- Once you have submitted the application, the employer approval form will be sent to the individual you have indicated. You can check the application status page to monitor if we have received your official test scores and employer approval form.