Demand For MBA and Business Master’s Programs: Insights on Candidate Decision Making Summary Report, Prospective Students Survey 2019

April 2019


Student making GME decisionsThis report presents findings from the Prospective Students Survey associated with candidate decision making and demand for business school programs and study destinations. The findings detailed are based on survey responses from a total of 9,617 individuals surveyed between January and December 2018, as well as responses from more than 126,000 individuals surveyed between the years 2009 and 2017.

Quick Facts

  • Even as program options expand, the MBA remains the most popular candidate choice for their GME among registrants. Overall, 79 percent of candidates are considering an MBA program type and 61 percent of candidates prefer an MBA program type.
  • The full-time MBA remains the most popular option, as 65 percent of candidates overall are considering a full-time MBA program type and 40 percent say it’s their preferred option.
  • Shifts in candidate study destination preferences are accelerating. Among candidates who plan to apply internationally, preference for the United States as their study destination has declined sharply over the last two years in an acceleration of the long-term, gradual decline seen over the previous eight years. After declining from 54 percent to 48 percent between 2009 and 2016, preference for the United States declined to 44 percent in 2017 and 40 percent in 2018.
  • The opposite trend is observed in international candidate preference for Western Europe, growing from 31 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2018.