INSEAD MBA Application

As one of the world’s true international business schools, INSEAD’s mission is “to promote a non-dogmatic learning environment that brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world, changing lives, and helping transform organizations through management education.”

Having a strong global mentality, INSEAD prefers applicants who intend to work in a multi-national, multi-cultural environment. While English is the primary language of the institution, multilingualism is a valued skill, and many languages are taught on campus to prepare students to work in a number of cultures. More than half of all students have already worked outside of their native country.

INSEAD is a rigorous program that draws motivated, determined students from around the world. The acceptance rate is just 32%. Some may find the diverse student body fragmentary, but INSEAD sees this vast cultural mix as a vital learning experience. The international environment makes for many opportunities for students to share and learn from one another about different cultures and business practices.

National Weeks are a unique tradition at INSEAD where students who hail from a certain nationality or culture organize a week of related events so that others may learn about their country’s culture, business, music, food, and national pastimes. Students get sponsorship from companies based in that country or region, so the weeks also provide good networking opportunities.

We asked the former INSEAD admissions officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team to profile what INSEAD seeks. Their consensus is as follows:

INSEAD is a leading global program which aims to attract and develop global leaders in business. With its richly diverse student body, everyone is a minority, with each not having any dominant culture (more than 11 or 12 percent of any one nationality) in its population of over 90 nationalities. The breadth and depth of this international approach is its edge, and it will be looking for applicants who have a global mindset, experiences and goals. Additionally, INSEAD’s compressed 10-month format offers an accelerated degree aiming to equip its students with the general management skill set to thrive in an increasingly connected global business community.

Contact us for an assessment of your INSEAD MBA candidacy today. Here’s our SBC admissions consulting team.

Admissions Stats

Here is a snapshot of how INSEAD compares with LBS:

Class of 2024/25 Admission Stats INSEAD LBS
Average GMAT* 710 710
GMAT Range* 670-750 Not available
Average GPA 3.5 N/A
Selectivity* Not available 25%
Enrolled MBA Students 1,000 487
Women MBA Students 38% 43%
Europe/UK origin 37% 24%
Asia/Oceania origin 34% 37%
North America origin 12% 18%
Central/South America origin 9% 17%
Middle East/ Africa origin 9% 10%

We have found some data more difficult to discern for the top European programs. Much like admit rates for INSEAD, LBS doesn’t report undergraduate majors:

Undergrad Degrees INSEAD LBS
Humanities/Social Science 14% Not available
Engineering/Math 39%
Business/Economics 47%

Application Essays, Tips & Candidate Evaluation 

Cathy, who was accepted to both LBS and INSEAD’s MBA programs and is now a Senior Consultant at Stacy Blackman Consulting, shared the differences between INSEAD and LBS’s essay requirements. “Overall, the most significant difference between the INSEAD and LBS applications is the length: INSEAD has three essays, plus one optional, while LBS has only one, plus one optional and smaller questions in the application form.

INSEAD provides you the space to share about your goals, ambitions, experiences through their variety of questions, while LBS expects you to share about them in a focused manner with their two essays. That naturally means that you’ll have to express yourself much more concisely in the LBS essays, being sure of what aspects of yourself on which you’d like to focus, whereas you’ll have more space to share different aspects of your story and motivations in the INSEAD essays.”

INSEAD requires that the applicant be fluent in English and have an intermediate proficiency level in a second language. If admitted, the candidate is required to have basic proficiency in a third language before graduation.

“INSEAD was one of the first European Business Schools to introduce video questions within the selection process. INSEAD requires all applicants to complete the exercise, as it provides additional opportunities to introduce themselves to the Admissions Committee,” shared a representative for INSEAD’s MBA program.

Sample INSEAD Essays

Sample INSEAD essays from successful admits are instructive to applicants.

More INSEAD Application Tips

View our extensive overview of how the application for INSEAD varies from that of LBS here.

INSEAD Class of 2024 Key Statistics
Entering Full-Time MBA Students: 1,000 (estimated)
Average GMAT Score: 710
Average Age: 29
Average Work Experience: 5.5 Years
Rolling Admissions: No
Women: 38%
Asian/Pacific Students: 34%
European Students: 37%
North American Students: 12%
South American Students: 9%
Middle East and African Students: 9%

INSEAD Important Dates

Round 1 Deadline: September 10, 2024
Round 2 Deadline: November 5, 2024
Round 3 Deadline: January 14, 2025
Round 4 Deadline: March 4, 2025


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