Master in Management Programs Reverse Trend of Slowing Application Volumes

European programs reported particularly strong numbers in 2016, especially from international candidates.

Jan 12, 2017

Application Trends

Master in Management students

After three years of slowing application volume growth, Master in Management programs held steady in 2016, with a majority of programs reporting growing application volumes (51%). The 2016 Application Trends Survey, which includes data from 48 Master in Management programs located mostly in the United States (48%) and Europe (40%), provides a snapshot of the application trends these programs experienced in the last admissions cycle. 

Compared with programs based in the United States, European programs had a particularly strong year in 2016. Fifty-eight percent of European Master in Management programs reported application volume growth, compared with half of those located in the United States (50%). Increased interest from international applicants drove the growth at European-based programs—2 in 3 European programs reported application volume increases from these candidates in 2016 compared with 2015 (66%). Just 46 percent of programs based in the United States reported application volume increases from international candidates. Conversely, half of US programs (50%) reported application volume increases from domestic candidates, compared with just 39 percent of European programs. 

The differing trends in international application volume seen between European and US programs may have to do with programs’ targeted recruitment strategies. Among European programs, 88 percent reported having a special recruitment or outreach strategy for international candidates, compared with just 37 percent of US programs. The data reveals that United States programs are more likely to have targeted recruitment strategies for undergraduates (68% of US programs) compared with European programs (29%). In 2016, 56 percent of applicants to US programs had no professional experience, compared with 41 percent of applicants to European programs. 

For more information on application trends for graduate business school programs, including data related to tuition assistance and recruitment and outreach, download the 2016 Application Trends Survey Report at