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Apply to the Cambridge Master of Business Administration (MBA)

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Who are we looking for?

For this MBA degree, we want people who: 

  • have excelled in previous academic achievements  
  • are highly motivated and ambitious, thrive under pressure, and have already exhibited clear career progression 
  • have international experience through their work, with a global outlook 
  • are confident, resilient, creative and innovative, with strong interpersonal and collaborative skills.

We are committed to admitting a diverse cohort each year. We need to ensure all students can cope with the intellectual rigours of a University of Cambridge degree. Their prior work experience must be of a standard which prepares them to contribute to the MBA experience fully. 

However, we are mindful of the varying routes and metrics that can be used to assess suitability. We take a holistic approach in reviewing an applicant’s profile.  

For that reason, we happily consider applications from non-standard cases who, although have a strong profile and application, perhaps do not meet one of our requirements outlined below. 

View the current class profile

Our minimum requirements

You must have a good 2:1 Honours degree on the UK grading scale or equivalent standard from an overseas institution.

If you do not meet this requirement, we can still consider your application, but we would need to see a strong GMAT or GRE score. If you have a master’s degree, you can also provide details of this in your application, although a master’s degree is not required.

You must have a minimum of two years’ work experience by the start of the intake you are applying for.

The current class average is six years’ work experience.

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 this year is around 687 with the median at 700 (mid-80% range is 630-740).

Our GMAT institution code is WF1-T3-68. Your GMAT or GRE score must be valid at the point of application (scores are valid for five years).

Please note that we cannot accept paper copies of score reports submitted by post. Please ensure that you make your official score report available to us online to verify.

You’ll need one reference from a supervisor. We cannot accept an academic reference or a reference from a relative.

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.

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

If you are a national from outside the UK or Ireland, you will have to apply for a student visa to study on the MBA.

You should refer to the UK Visas and Immigration website for the latest information regarding student visas to see 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.

Here are the main essay questions on the Cambridge MBA application:

  1. Please provide details of your post-MBA career plans. The statement should not exceed 500 words and must address the following:
  • What are your short and long term career objectives? How will the Cambridge MBA equip you to achieve these?
  • Looking at your short-term career goal, describe the research you have done to understand how this industry/role/location recruits MBA talent and what they are looking for in a candidate?
  • How do you meet the requirements of your short-term career goal? What preparation are you doing now?

2. Describe a difficult decision that you had to make. What did you learn from this and how have you changed as a result? (up to 200 words)

3. Describe a time where you worked with a team on a project. What did you learn from the experience and how might you approach it differently today? (up to 200 words)

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be? (up to 200 words)

Fluency in English is a pre-requisite for the Cambridge MBA. If English is not your first language, you must have taken a recognised English proficiency test in the two years prior to 30 September on the year for which you’re applying for entry.

View our full English Language policy

After you have applied – next steps

An online payment of £165 will be charged for the submission of your completed application.

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.

Shortlisted candidates are invited to an interview day, usually held at Cambridge Judge Business School

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and in order to adhere to social distancing, all of our interviews will now be conducted virtually.

We aim to inform applicants within two weeks of their interview date. However, it can take up to three weeks 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 a commitment fee of 15% 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.

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

Are you ready to apply?

The admissions process to recruit the class of 2023/24 is now closed. The new admission cycle for entry in September 2024 will be opening in mid-July.