Your Business School Application Timeline and Checklist

Most prospective graduate business school students spend a year on the application process.

Here’s a checklist to guide you through a full calendar year, ending with the first day of classes:

 Timeline
 Action
One Year Out:
Begin the self-assessment process
Register and start studying for GMAT Exam
Start researching schools
Start saving, budgeting, and trying to live like a student
Nine Months Out:
Register for any prerequisite or supplemental classes
Six Months Out:
Submit your applications
Take the GMAT exam

Four reasons to consider applying early:

  1. Get more attention: Your application will receive more time and consideration if it arrives before others.
  2. Demonstrate your interest: Applying early demonstrates a serious interest in a program and reflects your good planning skills.
  3. Attract financial aid: An early application increases your chance of receiving scholarships or financial aid. Should they fall through, you will have more time to work on other financing options.
  4. Solve problems: Should any problems arise, such as misplaced transcripts or recommendations,  you will have time to submit them ahead of deadlines.

Your application checklist: 

  • Complete the entire application.
  • Follow all instructions; if you have a question about the application, contact the admissions office.
  • Organize your application so it looks neat and professional.
  • Double check the materials each school needs, and submit the appropriate materials with each application.
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