Are you considering applying to one of Johnson’s full-time residential MBA program? Below you’ll find action items related to the admissions process and learn what to expect before, during, and after you apply.
Note that the information below applies to the Two-Year MBA program in Ithaca. Candidates applying for the One-Year Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program should refer to the Cornell Tech website for application and admissions process information. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Before you apply
Applicants are permitted to apply to only one of Johnson’s full-time MBA programs. Make sure to research each program and choose carefully. We encourage you to engage with us in one or more of the ways listed below before you begin MBA the application process. This will help you determine if Johnson’s MBA programs are a good fit for you. It’s also important to be sure you are financially prepared for your MBA journey.
Note that Johnson does not offer candidates pre-assessments. All aspects of your application must be reviewed in full to determine whether or not you are qualified for admission.
Johnson hosts weekend-long events for diverse candidates, women, and military veterans interested in the Two-Year MBA program based in Ithaca. During these premier admissions events and symposiums, prospective MBAs can connect with admissions officers, meet with students, and listen to a series of panels and speakers discuss topics relevant to their MBA journeys.
Connect with MBA student ambassadors in our Ithaca program. You can choose to speak with a current student in the Two-Year full time MBA program based on a particular immersion, career goals, or personal interest.
Goals Statement and one required essay (a second essay is optional)
Academic records and transcripts for all post-secondary coursework and degrees
GMAT or GRE score report (test waiver optional)
TOEFL or IELTS score report (for applicants whose first language is not English)
One letter of professional recommendation (a second letter is optional)
Non-refundable $200 USD application fee
Cornell Johnson is offering candidates of the Full-Time MBA 2023-2024 application cycle the ability to request a GMAT/GRE test waiver, without negative bias.
You may submit unofficial copies of your transcripts and test scores for your application; however, if you are admitted and enroll, you will be required to submit official copies of these documents by the required deadline. Offers of admission are not binding until we verify your official academic records and test scores.
Applications for dual-degree programs at Cornell must be filed separately with Johnson and the co-sponsoring school. Often, the co-sponsoring school has different application deadlines and procedures than Johnson does. Applicants to dual-degree programs should make sure to follow the individual school’s instructions carefully. More information can be found on our dual degree Applications and Requirements page.
Reapplicants to the Two-Year MBA program are required to complete the second essay. Use this essay to explain how you have improved your candidacy. You are also required to submit a new letter of recommendation (though, it can be from the same person), and new test scores if your previous scores have expired.
Is there a format to follow when uploading documents into my application?
When uploading Word documents or PDFs into your application, check that the “Title” of the document matches your name listed on your application.
Word document example:
The entry located in the Title section near the bottom of the properties tab correlates with the name of the user adding documents to the application, John Smith
The entry located in the Title section located in the Description tab correlates with the name of the user adding documents to the application, John Smith
Why is my Rich Text Area field stating I am over the allotted limit?
When cutting/copying and pasting text from any product that uses an HTML editor (including Salesforce and Microsoft Word), the hidden HTML is included in the character count. To minimize character count, we recommend that you copy and paste your text to a neutral editor like Notepad before entering it into your online application.
When completing my declaration of finance form, what constitutes an “asset?”
You must include documentation for assets equal to educational and living expenses for one year of the MBA program when completing your declaration of finance form. Acceptable assets include:
Bank certification letters
Bank statements for checking accounts, savings accounts, or certificates of deposit
Statements of stock accounts or mutual funds (NOT retirement funds)
Do not include loans, property deeds, property assessments, gold, or jewelry.
After submitting your MBA application
We know waiting for the next step in the admissions process or an admissions decision can be challenging. We’ve outlined important MBA program application dates and deadlines here, per application round. In general, here’s what you can expect after you hit submit.
1. Initial notification
You will receive one of three initial notifications following a preliminary review of your application materials:
An invitation to interview
An invitation to join our waitlist without an interview
A denial of admission
2. MBA admissions interviews
Interviews will be conducted for candidates invited to continue in the admissions process. Candidates invited to interview have the opportunity to select an on-campus or virtual interview.
3. Final notification
Following the admissions interview, you will receive one of three decision outcomes:
An offer of admission
An invitation to join our waitlist
A denial of admission
Updates to the status of your application are officially communicated via our online application portal. Throughout the admissions cycle, you will receive emails indicating that there has been a change to your application status and that you should login to the online portal for updated information. However, the Admissions Committee loves to communicate offers of admission by phone so we can share the good news directly—make sure you answer your phone!
Applications are reviewed and decisions are rendered regularly throughout the application cycle. We release decisions on a rolling basis and will post decision outcomes by the initial and final notification dates for each round of admission. Please review our application deadlines for specific dates.
Your admissions interview allows the Admissions Committee to get to know you, and you’ll have the opportunity to assess whether our program and community are a good fit. Interviews are available by invitation only. Invitations will be sent via email following a preliminary review of your application materials. Candidates must complete an admissions interview in order to be offered admission to the Two-Year MBA program.
Interviews may be conducted in person in Ithaca, NY, or via Zoom. On occasion, we may also conduct in-person interviews in your local city. While we encourage you to visit us in Ithaca, we understand that making a trip is not always possible, especially for international applicants. Please know that the Admissions Committee does not have a preference in terms of interview format and that interviewing via Zoom will not have a negative impact on your presentation as a candidate.
Interview scheduling and completion
We encourage you to schedule your admissions interview within seven days of receiving your interview invitation. Interviews must be scheduled and completed by the interview completion deadline that corresponds to the round in which you have applied. Please note: Admissions interviews are scheduled by invitation only. If invited to interview, you will be notified via email following a preliminary review of your application materials.
Admissions interviews are conducted by admissions and MBA programs professional staff and/or trained second-year MBA students known as members of our Johnson Admissions Group (JAG). All interviews are evaluated equally, regardless of the interviewer.
While we do not offer alumni-conducted interviews, we do offer a limited number of in-person interviews to be conducted off campus. If you are to be invited to complete an off-campus interview, we will notify you by email of our plans to travel to your city.
Following your interview, final decisions, including invitations to join the waitlist, will be released on a rolling basis and posted no later than the final notification date for the round in which you submitted your application. Your decision will be posted to your Johnson Application portal and you will receive an email message indicating that your decision is available.
Scholarships are awarded based on merit, regardless of citizenship, and recipients are selected once an offer of admission is made. If you are awarded a scholarship, this information will be included in your official offer letter at the time of your admission decision. All admitted students are considered for merit-based funding/scholarships—no additional application is needed.
Two-Year MBA students who enroll without scholarship funding during their first year should not expect to receive scholarship support in their second year.
Deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and typically granted for reasons of health and/or medical emergency, military service, or enrollment in a Cornell dual degree program with a defined (delayed MBA program start) degree sequence. Deferral requests are typically not granted for financial reasons (i.e., needing more time to secure funding), educational reasons (i.e., studying elsewhere), or work obligations and/or changes to employment status.
Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback to candidates who are not admitted.
Information for waitlisted candidates
If you have been invited to join our waitlist with or without an interview, it means that you show potential as an applicant but may have one or more areas in which you can strengthen your candidacy. While a visit to campus can be very helpful in understanding the culture and community here at Johnson, it does not have a direct impact on your candidacy. If you voluntarily choose to visit us on campus, we encourage you to make the most of your experience by reaching out to current students and clubs that you are interested in or attending a class or Coffee and Convos session with our current students.
We reserve our admissions interviews for candidates invited to complete this step in the admissions process. Candidates may be invited to join Johnson’s waitlist without an interview or after their interview takes place. Due to the volume of requests that we receive throughout the admissions cycle, we are not able to provide individual feedback sessions for waitlisted candidates.
We encourage you to engage in self-assessment and review your application to determine where there may be possible areas for improvement. When reviewing your application, you may consider our Two-Year MBA class profile to gain a better understanding of the general profile of students who were successfully admitted to the program.
If you were waitlisted following your admissions interview, you may also want to reflect on your interview experience and determine whether you sufficiently addressed any potential areas for concern with the interviewer.
Candidates can attend one of our Waitlist Webinars hosted throughout the admissions cycle, which will provide feedback and tips. We also ask that you review your application, identify potential areas for improvement, and create an action plan. Once you have done this, please send your action plan to email@example.com. Your action plan will be reviewed, and we will be in touch should we identify any additional areas for you to consider or address.
If you have identified that your GMAT/GRE score is a potential outlier within your application, then we encourage you to consider a retake of the exam, especially if you have only taken the exam once. While not required, having two or more scores gives us a more informed understanding of your performance relative to this admissions requirement. Please also note—while your average score may be at or above the posted class average, the average score of this year’s applicant pool may be higher, and therefore, your application may not be as competitive.
If you have taken a standardized test multiple times and have received consistent scores that you believe do not reflect your capabilities, consider taking an alternate test (GMAT or GRE). Both exams are accepted for admission to our full-time MBA programs, and while one exam format is not easier than the other is, some candidates indicate that the change in format results in better test performance.
Consider taking courses to demonstrate your academic aptitude and capabilities in the classroom. MBA Math online, or an accounting or finance course can help the admissions committee better understand your capabilities as well as introducing or re-introducing you to business math skills and concepts.
You are welcome to submit an additional letter of recommendation if you believe the recommender can add new information to your application. Please send no more than two additional letters. Additional letters of recommendation should be emailed to the attention of our MBA admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no specific format for additional letters of recommendation, though please make sure that your recommender can highlight the accomplishments and/or details that you would like to have conveyed on your behalf.
If your work experience has changed following your application to the program, please send us a copy of your updated resume and call attention to the areas that have changed.
Waitlisted candidates are reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the admissions cycle. While it is possible to receive a final admissions decision during the admissions cycle, it is also possible to remain on the waitlist through, and following, our final deposit deadline in June and until our entering class is finalized.
We understand and appreciate that you may have alternate offers to consider, and likewise, appreciate you for being in touch to let us know of your considerations and decision timelines. As our review of waitlisted candidates is driven by our own entering class composition and priorities, please understand that sharing an update about your decision timeline is unlikely to result in an immediate decision or change of status.
If you choose to withdraw yourself from the waitlist you may do so at any time, though we do ask that you notify us of your decision to do so.
Enrollment steps for admitted MBA candidates
If you are offered admission to Johnson’s full-time Two-Year residential MBA program, you must meet deposit and documentation deadlines (corresponding to the round in which you applied) to reserve your place in the entering class.
Candidates who accept an offer of admission must submit an enrollment agreement, as well as a non-refundable initial enrollment deposit, by 12:00 PM ET on the date that corresponds with the round in which you submitted your application. Enrollment deposits are non-refundable. If you feel that a refund is due, or you made a payment in error, please contact the Admissions Office to discuss the correction.
If you applied with unofficial documentation, please refer to our application requirements for official transcript and standardized test submission procedures. You must submit official copies of your materials with your enrollment agreement and deposit. As a policy, we do not offer deposit extensions.
Two-Year MBA program
The initial enrollment deposit for Two-Year MBAs is $1,500. A second and final deposit of $1,500 should be made by June 14 before matriculation.
The initial enrollment deposit for Park Fellowship Recipients (including Consortium candidates selected for Park Fellowships) is $3,000. A second and final deposit of $1,500 should be made by June 14 before matriculation.
As a final step in the enrollment process, all matriculating students are asked to complete a background check to confirm that the information provided in their application is accurate and reflective of their own experience and accomplishments. To assist us with this process, we have chosen Re Vera Services, a company specializing in academic verifications, to be the third-party provider of these services for our MBA program. As ethics are a critical component of our programs and in the business world, the completion of the background check helps to ensure that Johnson’s learning environment and community maintains its integrity.
Please note that your admission may be rescinded should you elect not to initiate and complete this required review or if the background check should produce an ethical violation.
How to complete your Re Vera background check
Once you have accepted your offer, you will receive a link directly from Re Vera Services to initiate the verification process.
Following submission, Re Vera Services will provide you with written confirmation of payment as well as your release.
On average, the Re Vera review process will take approximately two weeks, but can take up to 30 days, from the point you receive confirmation of payment and release, which must be submitted by your Deposit, Official Documentation, & Re Vera Initiation Deadline. We encourage you to initiate this process as soon as possible so that you do not run into any delays that could negatively affect your program start.
All programs begin with a pre-term orientation. The Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program begins in May. The Two-Year MBA program begins in August.
Register for admitted student events
Admitted and incoming Two-Year MBA students should register to attend Destination Johnson. This event will welcome you to the Johnson community and give you the opportunity to interact with current students and faculty and learn more about how you’ll fit into our full-time MBA programs.
Review the New Student Website and Guide
All students enrolled in Johnson’s full-time MBA programs should review the information on our New Student Website. You should also look for and read the New Student Guide, which will be sent to you in the weeks leading into the start of each program.