COVID-19 and MBA Admission Implications

Cornell University leadership is working proactively with local and state public health organizations to monitor the novel coronavirus outbreak and to protect the health and well-being of the Cornell community. Cornell’s Coronavirus website will continue to be updated as new or relevant information emerges. We encourage you to consult that site for the most up-to-date information related to university policies and procedures.

Impacts on the admissions process for Ithaca-based programs

Information presented here is for candidates who have applied for, or are in the process of applying for, admission to Johnson’s One-Year or Two-Year residential MBA programs in Ithaca.


Connecting with admissions

All scheduled in-person campus visits have been cancelled. While travel to campus is restricted, we encourage you to engage with our team and community online:

  • Ask Admissions online chats—Connect with members of our admissions team through information sessions and scheduled chats
  • Community search tool—Reach out to current MBA students with shared backgrounds and interests to learn more about our residential MBA programs in Ithaca
  • Virtual admissions events—Check this page regularly for new online events for prospective, admitted, and waitlisted candidates
  • Contact an admissions team member—You can connect with admissions and financial aid officers during Skype open office hours Monday through Friday

Application components and important dates

We understand that COVID-19 may have impacted your ability to fulfill the GMAT/GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS testing requirements. We encourage you to move ahead with submitting your application and all other supplemental materials. We will proceed with a preliminary review of your application, to include interview consideration, and ask that you send an email to mba@johnson.cornell.edu, letting us know which test scores will not be included with your submission. Please also note the following:

  • If you have a current GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS score, but hope to retake an exam, please proceed with submitting your current test scores and use the Optional Essay to indicate that you are planning to retake an exam if and when it is possible to do so.
  • If you do not have a GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS score, please proceed with submitting your application materials and stay in touch with us via email as we monitor the changes to testing center operating status and exam format. Refer to the standardized testing section below for updates. If you are able to confirm a test date, please send us an email at mba@johnson.cornell.edu to let us know the date.

One-Year MBA applicants, rolling admissions:

Applications will be received and reviewed on a space-available basis through April 15, 2020. If you are able to submit test scores by April 30, 2020, we will proceed with a final review and decision notification. If you are unable to submit test scores by April 30, 2020, we will transfer your application to the 2020–2021 admissions season so that you do not have to re-start the application process entirely.

Two-Year MBA applicants, April Round:

The April round application deadline is April 8, 2020. If you are able to submit test scores by June 1, 2020, we will proceed with a final review and decision notification. If you are unable to submit test scores by June 1, 2020, we will transfer your application to the 2020–2021 admissions season so that you do not have to re-start the application process entirely.

Two-Year MBA applicants, January Round:

The initial notification deadline for all Two-Year MBA January Round applicants was Friday, March 20, 2020. All initial decision notifications have been issued for candidates with complete application files. Applications that recently moved to complete status will be reviewed and issued an initial notification decision within a week of moving to complete and “under review” status. Final decision notifications are expected to be issued on schedule and no later than April 10, 2020. Candidates admitted to the Two-Year MBA program will receive an invitation to join Destination Johnson (DJ), our admitted student event to be held online during the weekend of April 17—19, 2020. Further details regarding virtual DJ will be updated online.


Standardized testing

Please let us know of any changes to your testing status by email. This will help us keep an accurate understanding of your overall application status. As testing centers update their own operating statuses, we will work with impacted candidates and adjust our MBA application review timelines.

Be sure to check the following resources for updates related to test center closures, individual accommodations, and testing postponements:

NEW: GRE at Home Testing and TOEFL iBT Home Edition Test

To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE® General Test or TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at Home option as well as a TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is securely monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®.


MBA admissions interviews

All admissions interviews will be conducted via Skype. Additional Skype interview appointments will be made available to accommodate all candidates.


Submitting official test scores and transcripts

Admitted students who are unable to secure official transcripts or test scores due to changes to university or testing center operating status will be given adjusted deadlines by which to submit their documentation and complete their ReVera background check. Our admissions teams will communicate with you directly regarding these adjusted timelines. If you have been admitted to Johnson, please email us to let us know of any anticipated difficulties obtaining official documents.

At this time, mail will continue to be delivered to our office; however, our team is unable to access the building to process documents and add official documentation to applications. Once the university’s operating status is updated and we’re able to safely enter the building, we will work to add all official documentation and notify applicants about receipt of these items.


Start dates and delayed arrivals for admitted students

If you are an admitted student and have questions about your program start and arrival status, please refer to your program’s new student website and new student guide, which will be sent in the weeks leading up to the start of your MBA program. These resources will provide additional information regarding contingency plans related to COVID-19. You can also contact the student services team at newstudents@johnson.cornell.edu.