MBA Programs See Growth in Applications

Application levels at business schools around the world continued to climb this year, says a new research report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Application levels at business schools around the world continued to climb this year, says a new research report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Two-thirds of full-time MBA programs in the latest GMAC Application Trends Survey said they received more applications from potential students in 2009 than in the previous year. The results were somewhat mixed for part-time and executive MBA programs, with more than half reporting that application levels were down or unchanged this year. In 2008, application levels rose for the majority of these programs.

One-year full-time MBA programs had the strongest application growth of any MBA program type in the survey, with 69 percent reporting an increase in 2009. Seventy percent of one-year MBA programs saw an increase in applications in 2008.

Among all full-time MBA programs, 66 percent reported receiving more applications in 2009 than in 2008. A year ago, 77 percent of this group of programs said they saw an increase in applications. Sixty percent of part-time MBA programs reported receiving more applications in 2008, while this year the number dropped to 42 percent.

Master of Accounting and doctoral programs experienced an overall uptick in application levels in 2009 compared with 2008. Sixty-eight percent of Master of Finance programs posted an increase, slightly below 2008 levels.

"Our research underscores that earning a graduate business degree gives people an edge in the job market that endures despite the economic cycle," said Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer of GMAC, the international association of business schools that owns the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). "In particular, the rise in popularity of one-year MBAs and master's programs shows that graduate management education continues to find ways through rich and innovative programming to be attractive to students."

The sharpest downward change occurred among executive MBA (EMBA) programs, where the percentage of programs recording an increase in applications fell to 37 percent in 2009 from 60 percent in 2008. Moreover, 50 percent of EMBA programs -- which are designed for people with more work experience than their counterparts in other types of MBA programs -- said application volume declined. The average number of applications per program decreased 25 percent.

GMAC researchers say that the declines seen in application volumes for EMBA programs are a consequence of several forces affecting students and schools. Chief among these factors is the weak economy, which is making it difficult for potential students to secure funding for tuition from employers or through loans.

The 2009 Application Trends Survey includes responses from 332 graduate business schools and reflects application volume at 667 graduate management education programs in 35 countries. The survey was conducted from May 27 to July 8, 2009.

The Graduate Management Admission Council ( is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools worldwide dedicated to creating access to and disseminating information about graduate management education. GMAC is based in McLean, Virginia, and has a European office in London. The GMAT was created in 1954 and is used by approximately 4,600 graduate management programs at some 1,900 business schools around the world to assess applicants. The GMAT -- the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide -- is currently available at more than 450 test centers in over 100 countries. More information about the GMAT is available at

SOURCE Graduate Management Admission Council

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