Demand Increase For Graduate Business Education No Passing Fad

The volume of applications for graduate business school programs has sustained the elevated demand since the onset of a global pandemic, a survey has revealed.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has released its anticipated annual 2021 Application Trends Survey, which received input from nearly 1000 MBA and business master’s programs.

It found the volume of applications for graduate business school programs grew 0.4 percent from the year before, sustaining the elevated demand since the onset of a global pandemic in 2020 when business schools worldwide saw unusually high volume of applications due to the economic uncertainty.

President and CEO of GMAC Sangeet Chowfla said candidates looked for alternative career options during the COVID-induced recession and business schools introduced more flexible admissions policies, resulting in soaring application volumes last year.

“The question was whether this was a fleeting event caused by the pandemic or the start of a new uptick in applications,” Chowfla said.

CEO of GMAC Sangeet Chowfla.

“In this context, the 2021 application cycle indicates that the surging demand for graduate business education is not a passing fad but has staying power beyond 2020.”

The annual GMAC Application Trends Survey focuses on global demand for graduate management education and analyzes differences by programs and regions for the 2020-2021 admissions season (incoming class of 2021). This survey data was collected between July 8 and August 23, 2021, and garnered responses from 967 programs at 269 business schools worldwide.

The survey found international students rebound as women and U.S. underrepresented groups flock to full-time MBA programs

More details of the full report, and other research series produced by GMAC, are available on

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