MBA Admission Priorities for US MBA Programs

Reputation is the key indicator for MBA admission among all business school applicants. 75% of respondents report that reputation is stronger for US MBA programs than non-US MBA programs. Second to reputation, the benefit of accelerated career path afforded by US MBA programs was high at 62%. The third priority in MBA admission is networks, personal and professional.

















Open-ended comments on advantages:

  • Change Markets and go to the states, difficult coming from German undergrad
  • Coming from a Non Business Background, I am looking for 2 year MBA programs vs the European 1 year
  • Difficulty in securing international visa if going abroad after MBA
  • Specific schools and initiatives and institutes linked to these schools.
  • Case based and experiential pedagogies that are popular across US Schools

Open-ended comments on personal and financial fit:

  • Travel costs would be prohibitive for an international program
  • Wouldn’t like to travel overseas away from family for an extended period of time
  • I only want to work in the US
  • I want to stay where my friends and family are.
  • Don’t want to be far from home
  • Significant other lives in the US and do not want to relocate
  • Has the highest level of diversity in its programs

MBA Admission: US vs International Priorities

The vast majority of all respondents value the reputation of the US MBA programs. Accordingly, 76% of US respondents see reputation as a main factor in MBA admission and 75% of international respondents reported the same. Respondents in the US are equally focused on reputation.

US applicants value career path and networks more than international applicants.

MBA Admission: career path








MBA Admission: networks in MBA programs








MBA program rank equal across international and US respondents.

MBA Admission: MBA program rank

Internationals value the strong US economy more than US applicants.

MBA Admission: strong US economy







MBA Admission-Getting admits is the #1 Concern

Getting into a top US MBA program remains the #1 main concern, reported by 85% of all respondents. Funding and application time are other worries.  Recruiting post MBA, at 36%, and the US political climate, at 14%, are not major concerns. By contrast, 85% worry about getting into top programs in the US. 

MBA Admission: Getting In to Top US MBA Programs
MBA Admission: Getting in is the #1 Concern


















Not shown in the chart above is the difference between internationals and US respondents: 85% of US are concerned about getting into a top US business program versus 65% of internationals are concerned about getting into a top US business program. Additionally, international respondents care more than US respondents about post-MBA recruiting and US political concerns. 38% of internationals worry about recruiting versus 25% of US applicants on the same measure. 23% of internationals worry about the political climate versus only 1% of US applicants on the same measure.

MBA Admission: Priorities for EU MBA Programs

Shorter duration and lower tuition costs are key priorities for EU MBA programs, as shown by the chart below. Further, applicants value non-US MBA programs when their post MBA goals are international. Brand and career recruiting for non-US MBA programs was the least valued- at 17%– which is far lower than the perception of US MBA program brand, which was reported at 75% in a previous chart.


MBA Admission: EU Programs valued for shorter duration and lower costs
MBA Admission: EU Program Priorities














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