Application Trends Survey Report 2017

The Application Trends Survey Report 2017 includes analysis of data submitted by 965 graduate management programs representing 351 business schools and faculties located in 45 countries worldwide, including 40 US states and the District of Columbia.

September 2017


Findings relate to applications for graduate business and management programs in the 2017–2018 academic year. By program type, survey respondents included 573 MBA programs, 369 business master’s programs and 23 doctoral programs.

Survey topics featured in the report include: application volume trends for 2017 compared with 2016; applicant pool composition by citizenship and gender; and targeted candidate outreach, tuition assistance, and employer funding.

Quick Facts

  • Size, popularity matter: Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) graduate business programs with 201 or more class seats report increased application volumes this year compared to 39 percent of programs with 50 or fewer seats.
  • International demand shifting away from U.S.: Programs in Europe and Canada are about twice as likely to report growth in international applicants compared with the U.S. Across all program types, just 32 percent of U.S. programs report growing international application volumes in 2017 compared with 49 percent in 2016. Seventy-seven percent of Canadian programs report increases in international applications (46% in 2016), as well as 67 percent of European programs (65% in 2016). Despite the Brexit vote, about two-thirds of programs in the United Kingdom (65%) have seen international demand grow.
  • Women make gains: This year women represent 42 percent of the total applications received by participating survey programs, up from 37 percent in 2013. Most program types have experienced an increase in the representation of women in the application pipeline. Specifically, among MBA programs women represent 39 percent of applications, up from 33 percent in 2013.