MBA Admissions Process & Application Guide

Are you considering applying to one of Johnson’s full-time residential MBA programs? 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 and One-Year MBA programs in Ithaca. Candidates applying for the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program should refer to the Cornell Tech website for application and admissions process information. Contact with questions.

NOTE: Johnson has temporarily adjusted admissions requirements to accommodate applicants who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to our COVID-19 admissions update site for the latest information.

Important notice:

In response to continued hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we continue to debate the value of a GMAT/GRE score as a predictor of future academic and career success, Cornell Johnson is offering candidates of the Full-Time MBA 2021-2022 application cycle the ability to request a GMAT/GRE test waiver, without negative bias, through the online application. Candidates should indicate their request and be prepared to submit a short statement for why you will flourish in our rigorous academic environment (100 words). The admissions committee will connect with you via email to indicate if a test waiver has been approved. If your test wavier is not approved, your application will remain incomplete until a test score is submitted. More details can be found under MBA Application Requirements.

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.

Preparing your full-time MBA application

When deciding to apply for a One-Year or Two-Year MBA in Ithaca, be aware of application deadlines and other important dates for each of Johnson’s full-time residential programs. Applications must be completed and submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on the indicated MBA application round deadline.

MBA Application Checklist

Refer to this list to be sure your application to the Two-Year MBA program or One-Year MBA program includes the following:

  • Completed online application form
  • Resume
  • List of activities
  • 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

*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.

Learn more about the MBA application components above in greater detail on our Application Requirements page.

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:

  1. An invitation to interview,
  2. An invitation to join our waitlist without an interview, or
  3. A denial of admission

2. MBA admissions interviews

Interviews will be conducted for candidates invited to continue in the admissions process.

3. Final notification

Following the admissions interview, you will receive one of three decision outcomes:

  1. An offer of admission,
  2. An invitation to join our waitlist, or
  3. A denial of admission.

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.

Enrollment steps for admitted MBA candidates

If you are offered admission to one of Johnson’s full-time residential programs, you must meet deposit and documentation deadlines (corresponding to the round in which you applied) to reserve your place in the entering class.