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Candidates. Cambridge MBA

Who are we looking for?

We want people who have:

  • excelled in previous academic achievements (top 25 per cent of class in undergraduate degree)
  • are highly motivated and ambitious, thrive under pressure, and have already exhibited clear progression within their career
  • have had some international experiences through their work and have a global outlook
  • are confident, creative, innovative, with strong interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • an interesting and varied life outside their work

Does this describe you? Then introduce yourself to us

View the current class profile

When to apply

We recruit one intake per year, starting in September. To recruit each cohort, we run a staged admissions cycle, including five deadlines during the recruiting year. There is no quota for each round - simply the best candidates will be invited to interview. There are benefits in applying early though.

Round Application deadline Interview days
1 9 Sep 2016 24 Oct 2016
2 21 Oct 2016 5 Dec 2016
3 6 Jan 2017 20 Feb 2017
27 Feb 2017
4 10 Mar 2017 24 Apr 2017
5 5 May 2017 12 Jun 2017

Our requirements

Work experience

You must have a minimum of three years' work experience by the start of the intake you are applying for. The current class average is six years' of work experience.

A GMAT/GRE score

You have to take either the GMAT or GRE to apply to Cambridge. We do not request a specific score range, but our average GMAT score in each cohort is c.690.

A reference

You'll need one reference from a supervisor. Decide who you would like them to be and ask them now. Applications are often held up because of references failing to be submitted. An automated reference request will be sent to your referee once you have entered their contact details into our online application system.

The ability to finance your MBA

You need to think carefully now about how you plan to fund your MBA - do not wait until later. See our funding pages for more information.

A visa

If you are a non-EU national, you will have to apply for a student visa in order to study in the UK. You should refer to the UK Visas & Immigration website for the latest information regarding student visas to ascertain if you require a visa and the criteria that you will have to fulfil. For more information, visit the Admissions Process section of our FAQs page.

A completed application form

All applications must be submitted via our online application system. Candidates should submit their application by 17:00 GMT on the day of their chosen deadline.

Essay questions on the form

The following are the main essay questions on the Cambridge MBA application:

  1. Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must address the following questions:

    • What are your short and long term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?
    • What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?
    • If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?

  2. What did you learn from your most spectacular failure? (200 words)

  3. Describe a situation where you had to work jointly with others to achieve a common goal. What did you learn from the experience? (up to 200 words)

English language skills

You are required to show English language proficiency to apply for the Cambridge MBA. To demonstrate this, English must be your native language, or you must have a TOEFL score of at least 110, or an IELTS score of at least 7.5. Further details can be found in our English Language Policy.

Download our English Language Policy

After you have applied – next steps

Application fee

An online payment of £150 will be charged for the submission of your completed application.

Your application will be reviewed and you may be shortlisted for interview

Your submitted application will be reviewed by the Cambridge MBA Admissions Committee and a decision made regarding whether to shortlist you for interview.

Your application must be complete (including the receipt of all necessary supporting information) before it can be considered.

Because of the volume of applications we receive, we’re sorry but we cannot provide feedback on individual applications that are unsuccessful.

We will tell you within three weeks of the relevant deadline if you are invited for interview

Short-listed candidates are invited to an interview day at Cambridge Judge Business School.

In exceptional circumstances (for example if it is difficult for you to get a visa at short notice to visit the UK) we are sometimes able to offer interviews in your own country or occasionally by Skype.

We do, however, strongly prefer candidates to visit us in Cambridge for interview.

After interview, we may give you a ‘conditional offer’

We aim to inform applicants within three days of their interview date, however, it can take up to a week for the Admissions Committee to make a decision.

The initial offer is called a conditional offer. You will be asked to inform us of your decision within three weeks. If you accept your offer, we will ask you for or a commitment fee of 15 per cent of the programme fee, and financial guarantees that you can meet the costs of the programme. Certain conditions must be met before we can convert this to an unconditional offer.

Unconditional offer

This is the final stage of the applications process. We will send you a letter confirming that you have reached this stage and it is this letter that can be used for visa applications where applicable.

Cambridge MBA staff and alumni are currently travelling the world to meet potential candidates. We also offer regular online meetings and webinars.

View our events schedule

Application deadlines

For entry in September 2017

Scholarships & bursaries

We offer numerous bursaries for MBA candidates with particular sector experience, nationality, or high academic achievement.

Learn more