Application Trends Survey Report 2015

2015  Application Trends cover, small

September 18, 2015

The Application Trends Survey 2015—the 16th since 2000—included participants from 641 graduate management programs representing 306 business schools and faculties located in 35 countries worldwide, including 42 US states and the District of Columbia.


Findings relate to applications for graduate business and management programs in the 2015–2016 academic year. By program type, survey respondents included 426 MBA programs, 196 specialized business master’s (non-MBA) programs, 18 doctoral programs, and 1 joint-degree program.

Survey topics featured in the report include: application volume trends for 2015 compared with 2014 and with 2005 (10 years ago); applicant pool composition, highlighting work experience, citizenship, and gender; and targeted candidate outreach, tuition assistance, and employer funding.

Quick Facts

  • Globally, a majority of both full-time two-year and full-time one-year MBA programs report increases in application volume compared with last year. Both program formats are performing better compared with 10 years ago as well.
  • In the United States, the share of programs reporting increases in domestic applications is up for both full-time two-year and full-time one-year MBA programs.
  • Changing patterns in demand for professional MBA programs yielded mixed results for some programs. Demand for flexible and online MBA programs grew this year and stabilized for executive and part-time MBA programs compared with 2014.
  • Survey findings show strong demand this year for Master of Finance and Master in Marketing & Communications programs. A greater share of Master of Accounting programs report declining volume compared with last year, and a net percentage of Master in Management programs reported application volume in 2015 that increased or held steady compared with last year.