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The MBA Application Timeline

Sep 19, 2022
What to expect during the MBA application process

By Arial Starks

Bailey McChesney

If you are looking to change your career trajectory, you may be considering pursuing an MBA. At Vanderbilt Business, the MBA application timeline is streamlined, but it can take some time to complete, so the sooner you start, the better prepared you will be to put your best foot forward. Bailey McChesney, Director, MBA Admissions, walks us through the Vanderbilt MBA application process to give potential candidates an idea of what to expect. 

Before starting the application

As soon as you decide to return to school to earn an MBA, you should begin researching different programs and their requirements to learn what you will need to do in preparation for the application cycle. Most schools require test scores from the GRE, GMAT, or Executive Assessment, or they require you to submit an approved test waiver. International students must take an English Language Exam or provide a test waiver. Since it can take up to 14 days to receive your official test scores back, it is recommended to take standardized tests at least a couple weeks before the application cycle to ensure your scores are ready in time.The more time you have to prepare and take the test, the better. 

At Vanderbilt Business, applicants have opportunities to attend virtual information sessions with recruiters to learn more about the MBA program before applying. Since the Vanderbilt application cycle begins in the fall, applicants can use a couple of months prior to gather components of the application. McChesney suggests candidates start with the components of the application that will take the most time. 

“Give your recommender as much time as possible to complete the recommendation form,” she said. “We advise selecting your recommender and entering their contact information as soon as you start the application.”

Components of the application

During the summer months, before the application cycle begins, applicants should be gathering all items on the application checklist that they will need to submit. Applicants can begin entering their information and uploading required documents at any point once they have them. 

The Vanderbilt MBA application requires several items, including a letter of recommendation, written and video responses, academic transcripts, a resume and standardized test scores. Applicants can upload these components to the online application as they complete them until everything is accounted for. Once everything is finished, the applicant can upload all required documents, pay the application fee, and submit the application.

Deadlines and decisions

After submitting the online application at Vanderbilt Business, applicants should prepare in case they are invited for an admissions interview. Applicants can use this time in between to perfect their story and also engage with the program’s recruiting team to learn more about what to expect next. If invited for an interview, applicants can expect to attend a roughly 30 minute virtual session with members of the admissions team. This will give the applicant an opportunity to express themselves off-paper and answer and/or ask any lingering questions.

“We love hearing your story and are excited to offer all of our MBA interviews virtually this year,” McChesney said. “Because applicants can conduct virtual interviews from whenever and wherever, we find virtual interviews make the process more accessible.”

Following the interview, a final decision is made about both admissions and scholarships. Applicants are notified of the admission decision and any scholarship award simultaneously. Since Vanderbilt’s MBA application timeline cycle includes several rounds of deadlines, the timing of your interview and returned decision is dependent on when you submit your application.

Click here to learn more about the Vanderbilt MBA application process.

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