Application Trends Survey Report 2016

The Application Trends Survey 2016—the 17th since 2000—includes analysis of data submitted by 872 graduate management programs representing 335 business schools and faculties located in 49 countries worldwide, including 42 US states and the District of Columbia.

September 2016


Findings relate to applications for graduate business and management programs in the 2016–2017 academic year. By program type, survey respondents included 509 MBA programs, 334 business master’s (non-MBA) programs (including one nonbusiness master's), 19 doctoral programs, and 3 joint-degree programs.

Survey topics featured in the report include: application volume trends for 2016 compared with 2015 for the 10 most common graduate business programs which had the highest survey response rate; applicant pool composition by citizenship and gender; and targeted candidate outreach, tuition assistance, and employer funding.

Quick Facts

  • Globally, nearly half of all graduate business programs (49%) received more applications in 2016 compared with 2015; while 43 percent received fewer. Eight percent of programs report no change in volumes for 2016 compared with 2015.
  • For the first time since 2012, less than half of full-time two-year MBA programs (43%) experienced year-on year application volume growth.
  • A majority of full-time one-year programs (57%) report growing application volumes this year, continuing the momentum begun last year when 51 percent of programs reported volume growth.
  • Across all program types combined,65 percent of European programs grew their application volumes this year, compared with 46 percent of US programs and 41 percent of programs in East and Southeast Asia that did so.