About the Application Trends Survey

The go-to source for data and insight into graduate management education worldwide.

The GMAC Application Trends Survey research has been a leading source for comprehensive statistics and timely and reliable insights into the demand for graduate management education worldwide for 17 years.

Intended for use by business school admissions professionals, our Application Trends research studies offer actionable data you can use in your planning, marketing, and recruitment activities.


The Application Trends Survey assesses longitudinal trends in the application volume of all graduate management program types, and since 2000, has provided information on:

  • Changes in application volume over time
  • Applicant pool demographics, including candidate gender, age, work experience, and citizenship 
  • Quality/academic credentials of applicants
  • Acceptance/enrollment rates
  • Key admissions criteria
  • Incoming class size
  • Recruitment strategies, marketing channels, and more
  • Availability of tuition assistance and employer funding

How to Participate

Invitations for the Application Trends Survey will be emailed on June 6, 2016. If you do not receive this email, visit gmac.com/surveysignup to secure your survey invitation today.

Who Is Eligible to Participate?

Our goal is to gain insights into the entire graduate management community, so GMAC invites all graduate-level management programs to participate in our surveys regardless of school location, affiliation, or admission structure, whether or not you are a GMAC member, and regardless of whether you use the GMAT exam. We encourage universities to complete the Application Trend Survey for each of their business programs:

  • All full-time MBA and part-time MBA programs (including professional and weekend programs)
  • Executive MBA programs
  • Online, hybrid, and flexible MBA programs
  • Non-MBA business master's programs, such as Master in Management, Master of Finance, or Master of Accounting) 
  • Other business master's programs in newly emerging or rapidly growing disciplines, including Data Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, or Operations, IT/Systems, and more
  • Doctoral programs

School Benefits

Participants gain competitive advantage over their peers through early receipt of findings from the Application Trends Survey Report before its public release, and exclusive access to the following online tools:

  • Interactive Data Research Tool—A FREE online tool that lets users examine survey findings in greater depth and conduct customized data searches by numerous variables including program type and school location, application volume trends, class size, regional trends, school outreach, and more.
  • Customized Benchmark Report Tool—A FREE online service that allows survey respondents to create instant benchmark reports comparing your program responses against those of your peers. (You will receive a unique Benchmark Report for each program that you submit for the survey.) Watch our interactive demo to see how easy it is to generate a customized benchmark report for your school or program. These two tools are now combined in one application, making it easier to get to the data you most need to help market your programs.
  • GMAC staff expertise—If you have any questions about the project or the data, or if you need additional analysis or help interpreting results, we are here for you.

Timeline for 2016 Survey

Survey responses are collected over a six-week period during the months of June and July. Here is the timeline of activities for the 2016 survey:

  • June 6—Survey opens for data submission.
  • July 15—Survey closes after six weeks in the field.
  • August—Benchmark report and interactive data research tools become available online exclusively for survey participants.
  • Mid September—Survey reports are distributed electronically to participants before public release.

Questions? Contact Us