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When Can I Enroll in an Online MBA Program?

Each business school has vastly different admissions deadlines for enrolling in an MBA program. Most have firm deadlines for the fall and spring semesters. Some, however, have rolling deadlines throughout the year, allowing students to begin their studies as soon as a cohort can be put together. You can visit a business school’s website directly or connect with an enrollment advisor to find out the exact dates by which you will need to submit your application materials. For elite or highly-selective schools, you may need to apply almost a year in advance or make sure you apply in one of two to three highly-competitive rounds. For other schools, a month or two ahead of the starting date is typical.

Let’s use some specific examples. Drexel University’s online MBA degree program has a deadline of late August for the fall semester and early March for the spring semester, according to the Drexel website. Others, like American Intercontinental University, allow students to enroll all the way up to the start date after students have spoken with an enrollment advisor. Others, like the Rochester Institute of Technology, allow graduate students to begin their studies in fall, winter, spring or summer terms. Western Governors University, which has a continuous-based academic calendar, enrolls students at the first of each month, allowing even more opportunities for students to kick off their education.

Once you have determined that you have the qualifications to enroll in an online MBA program (2-3 years of full-time work experience, bachelor’s degree, etc.), it is best to apply to programs as early as possible. This will prevent server issues that might result from waiting until the last possible day to apply, when a large quantity of other applicants may be submitting their applications at the same time. It will also allow the university some lead time to get in touch with you if something is missing from your application materials.