Many candidates struggle with the concept of NO DEADLINE in the application process at IE as they don’t know when to submit their application. This post aims to clarify the concept and provides recommendations on when to apply.

IE operates a rolling admissions process which allos candidates for the Master programs to apply all year around. So, you can apply for a Master Degree which starts in Spring 2012 as well as for a program that might start within the next couple of months. The main difference to admissions processes with established rounds is that IE does not compare candidates with each other as it is difficult to compare an Architect from US with an Engineer from Japan or a Lawyer from Germany. A Master Degree is all about contribution and it is difficult to tell if the architect, the engineer or the lawyer enhances more the class discussions with their experiences while in the program. Candidates who meet the admissions criteria will receive an admission to the program of their choice independently when they apply.

Of course, this does not give any revelation on WHEN to apply. The general indication is to start your application process around 9-12 month before the intended program start. Taking into account that some programs close up to 5 months before the program officially starts, the admissions process takes up to 2 month and the student visa processing alike, you quickly notice that applying 9 months ahead, might already be a little tight. Probably the more simple rule is the following:

  • You apply for the spring intake (programs starting from February to April), you should take your summer holidays to start with your preparation for your GMAT, GRE and gathering the additional required documents.
  • You apply for the fall intake (programs starting from September to November), Christmas time always provides a nice break from the stress at work and gives you time to plan ahead for your Master Degree.

Nonetheless, the best thing of a rolling admissions process is its flexibility. You still might decide to start your program in the coming spring intake, but you should start working on your application NOW and check with the Admissions Department or the Representative Offices whether there are still spaces left in the desired program and intake. As the admissions standards are continuously high, don’t expect an easier process but it might be a little quicker than the previous indications. The worst case scenario always can be that you don’t arrive on time and you have to wait till the coming intake – but if it’s important to you to start as early as possible, if you don’t give it try you definitely won’t make it!

One final recommendation: if you plan to apply for Financial Aid, opt always for the “well-planned option”. Financial Aid funds are limited and will get assigned on the first come first serve basis. The later you apply for any intake, the less likely it is that you will get the desired funds to finance your program.

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