Which Round Should I Apply? New Advice from the Admissions Team


For prospective MBA students, July is a perfect month to start mapping out their admissions journey. One of the most common questions candidates ask is: In which round should I apply? 

In the past, my answer has been fairly simple: apply when you have the strongest application package possible. However, the past two admissions seasons have left admissions directors and applicants alike grappling with new challenges. So as you plan your MBA application journey, here are a few thoughts to consider. 

If you need to apply for a visa...

We strongly recommend that international students apply during Round 1 or 2 to allow time for visa processing if you’re admitted. This recommendation differs from previous years, where we were still able to welcome international students who applied during Round 3 (and before Round 4 existed). Unfortunately, the past two cycles have been far less predictable in terms of visa processing and travel restriction variability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so if you are an international student, you should apply in the early rounds. 

If you are considering a dual degree...

If you are considering a dual degree, Michigan Ross is definitely the place for you! The University of Michigan has nearly 100 graduate programs ranked in the top 10, allowing students to customize their experience in an exciting interdisciplinary environment. However, pursuing a dual degree means you will have more than one set of deadlines to consider; other schools on campus set their own application deadlines that may be before or after the MBA deadlines. Applying during Round 1 or 2 will give you the most flexibility as you create your graduate school experience, and we have found deadlines at U-M tend to be best aligned during this time period. 

Otherwise, submit when your app is the strongest.

If you won’t have to apply for a visa and are not considering a dual degree, you should apply in the round in which your application will be strongest. Remember to allow sufficient time for your recommender to write a glowing statement and for you to update your resume, polish your essays, and, if you plan to take a standardized test, achieve the best score possible. 

Good luck and enjoy the process of reflecting on your achievements and goals! 

Check out the Michigan Ross application requirements