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Tell us your story

Our application process is designed to give us a sense of who you are, what drives you and why Kellogg is the right place for you. 

We recommend becoming familiar with what is required for each section of the application. You’ll find information and key resources below to help you prepare, navigate and successfully complete your application.

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Preparing to apply

  • Eligibility

    A bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university by the time of matriculation is required to apply. Previous study in business or economics is not required, with the exception of the One-Year Program. Since much of the MBA curriculum utilizes quantitative skills, we encourage students to complete introductory courses in calculus and statistics prior to enrolling.

    Evaluation and assessment

    When we evaluate our applicants, a few qualities really stand out to us, including the ability to push past comfort zones and question the norm. These responses and instincts help us understand if an applicant is ready to seize all of the opportunities that come with joining Kellogg.

    The committee assesses your:

    • Application responses
    • Essays
    • Transcripts
    • Test scores
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Resume
    • Interview report
    • Video essays

    For international candidates, the committee also assesses:

    Professional experience

    The committee also values professional experience, including military service. We look for breadth and depth of skills and experiences to serve as a foundation for the MBA classroom. We look for people who are not afraid to question the status quo, can motivate a team to drive impact, and are eager to dive in and collaborate with an engaged, ambitious community of peers.

  • There is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to business, so why should your MBA be any different? At Kellogg, we are proud to offer six distinct Full-Time MBA ProgramsOne-Year, Two-Year, MBAi, MMM, JD-MBA and MD-MBA — all uniquely designed to fit your personal and professional goals. If you haven’t already, we highly encourage you to research all program options to make sure you’ve found the right fit for your needs.

    Each applicant is allowed to apply to one full-time Kellogg program per year. Once you submit your application, you have the option to select one alternate Full-Time Program of interest and/or the Kellogg Evening & Weekend MBA Program. If you select an alternate program, you'll be asked to provide a short paragraph explaining your interest in the another program.

    Students walking on campus
  • To apply to Kellogg, you’ll need an updated version of your resume or CV, transcripts from all educational institutions, test scores and two recommendation letters. If you know you plan to apply but do not want to begin your application yet, we recommend beginning to gather these materials.

Writing your application

The most important thing you can do during this process is to be your authentic self. We can’t stress enough that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Rather, we encourage you to tell your story as authentically and honestly as possible, because we truly want to get to know you and the experiences that helped shaped you as a person, student and employee.

  • These components of the application are a core part of showing us your experience and aptitude so we can get a better idea of your ability to tackle the challenging MBA curriculum.


    You’ll be asked to provide a current resume or CV as part of the application. It should be similar to one you would use for a job application, but tailored to a more general audience as it will be reviewed by those with different backgrounds. You are not obligated to submit it in a specific format or length. Instead, try to ensure our team can look at your resume and application and easily understand your professional background and accomplishments.


    In addition to submitting a copy of your resume/CV, the application has an employment section. This is to provide us with a more in-depth understanding of your career history, key transitions between jobs, and promotions. Make sure to double-check the accuracy of the information in this section.

    Work experience

    With the exception of our Kellogg Future Leaders Deferred Enrollment Program, we strongly recommend that you have at least two years of full-time work experience upon matriculation. We firmly believe work experience will enrich your academic experience and allow you to fully participate in classroom discussions and group projects.

  • Your education is a major part of how you got here today, and we want to make sure we understand all parts of it. We ask that you list all colleges, universities and study abroad programs you have attended or are currently attending. Please note:

    • If the grades you received from a study abroad program are on your transcripts, you do not need to submit a separate transcript for that program
    • If the grades from your study abroad program are not included in your transcript, you’ll need to submit a separate transcript for that program
    • Transcripts from transfer programs are not required if grades are included on the transcript of the degree-granting institution
    • Hard copies of official transcripts are only required upon matriculation
    • Your transcripts must have a conferred date. If it does not, you will need to submit a copy of your diploma and you must have a conferred degree prior to your expected matriculation to Kellogg
    • Applicants accepted to the JD-MBA Program must submit two sets of official transcripts — one to Kellogg and one to Northwestern Law
    • If academic records and diplomas are not originally issued in English, you must submit both the original record and an authorized verbatim English translation

    All records must show your name, the name of the institution, enrollment dates, courses taken, units of credit, marks or ratings in each subject, and rank in the total class or group (if available).

  • Kellogg requires you to submit a GMAT, GMAT Focus, or GRE score; no preference is given to one particular test so choose the option that works best for you. If you’re interested in seeing a typical score range, check out our latest Class Profile. Note that we do not have a minimum acceptable score.

    Please request that official test scores are sent to Kellogg by using one of the following school codes:

    • Our GMAT and GMAT Focus code is 6WZ-3J-89
    • Our GRE code is 7921

    Important facts

    • You must submit a complete application prior to the expiration date of your GMAT/GMAT Focus/GRE score. GMAT/GMAT Focus/GRE scores are valid for five years.
    • Only valid test scores will be considered
    • Test scores are just one criterion our admissions team considers and not the only indicator for success in business school

    International students

    If English is not your first language, we encourage you to read more about the additional English language proficiency test.

  • We want to get to know you. The written and video essays are your chance to tell us your story and why Kellogg is the right next chapter for you. Take some time to think through the experiences that led you here and how they have shaped where you want to go.

    Written essays

    The following two essays are required of all applicants:

    Question 1 (450 words)

    Intentionality is a key aspect of what makes our graduates successful Kellogg leaders. Help us understand your journey by articulating your motivations for pursuing an MBA, the specific goals you aim to achieve, and why you believe now is the right moment. Moreover, share why you feel Kellogg is best suited to serve as a catalyst for your career aspirations and what you will contribute to our community of lifelong learners during your time here. 

    Question 2 (450 words)

    Kellogg leaders are primed to tackle challenges everywhere, from the boardroom to their neighborhoods. Describe a specific professional experience where you had to make a difficult decision. Reflecting on this experience, identify the values that guided your decision-making process and how it impacted your leadership style. 

    Those applying to or listing a specialty program as their alternative choice will be prompted to complete an additional question.

    Re-applicants will receive a prompt about their growth since their last application: How have you grown or changed personally and professionally since you previously applied and what steps have you taken to become the strongest candidate you can be? (250 words)

    Video essays

    We’ve read your essays, we’ve read your resume — now we want you to bring all that to life in a video. Show us the person behind all those carefully crafted words.

    The video will be comprised of three questions, each designed to help you showcase your personality and share some of the experiences that brought you here today.

    Some things to keep in mind as you prepare to complete this section:

    • Video essays are due 96 hours after the application deadline.
    • A video essay link will appear on your Application Status Page after you submit your application and payment.
    • You will need an internet-connected computer with a webcam and microphone.
    • The video should take about 20-25 minutes to complete, which includes time for setup.

    After submitting your application and payment, you will be able to access the video essay through your Application Status Page.

    Here are some additional tips:

    • There are practice questions that you may complete as many times as you like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience to help you prepare.
    • We encourage you to practice so you are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions. You will not have an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions.
    • You will have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give your response
  • Letters of recommendation provide insight into your experience and accomplishments as a leader through the eyes of someone else.

    You’ll need to submit two letters of recommendation for your application to be considered complete. Ideally, one letter should come from a current supervisor or manager. The second should come from someone who can evaluate your professional performance and your managerial/leadership potential (e.g., former supervisor, previous employer, client).

    Please choose your recommenders carefully as additional letters of support are neither required nor encouraged.

    Recommender prompts:

    1. Kellogg has a diverse student body and values students who are inclusive and encouraging of those with differing perspectives and backgrounds. Please tell us about a time when you witnessed the candidate living these values. (300 words)
    2. How does the candidate’s performance compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
    3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the candidate. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)
  • The application fee is $250. You will need to submit your payment via credit card within the application. Do not send payments directly to Kellogg.

    Fee waivers are granted to:

    • Active duty U.S. military applicants or U.S. military veterans who have been on active duty within three years of applying
    • Candidates employed by Teach For America, AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps within the past three years
    • Forte MBA Launch, JumpStart Network, Posse Scholar, Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) and Riordan Program members, fellows and alumni. Those who request an application fee waiver at the time of submitting their applications will be prompted to provide supporting documentation for review

    If you qualify for a fee waiver, send a formal request to mbaadmissions before you submit your application. Provide supporting evidence of your current employment or military status. Military applicants should submit either a pay stub or a letter from a commanding officer to verify active duty status. For military veterans who have completed service within the last three years, please submit a copy of Form DD-214.

    Candidates may not be considered for more than one program at a time. Please note that all application fees are non-refundable.

After you submit

Once your application is complete, there are several other ways you can continue to strengthen your candidacy.
  • The interview provides an opportunity for you to learn more about our community. It also allows the admissions committee to further evaluate your interpersonal and communication skills, career focus and motivations for pursuing a Kellogg MBA.

    Virtual interviews

    All interviews are virtual. You will receive an email regarding the status of your interview and scheduling instructions.

    Interview waiver

    Due to the high demand for interviews and the limited availability of interviewers, you may receive an interview waiver. If your interview is waived, the admissions committee may contact you if further information is needed to make a decision on your candidacy.

    All interview requests are final

    You may not change the time of your interview after it is scheduled. If you are unable to attend your interview, please contact the Office of Admissions at 847.491.3308 to cancel your request and the office will issue an interview waiver. Waivers do not have an impact on an applicant’s candidacy; we will reach out directly if further information is needed to render a decision.

  • You may submit employment changes, grades for recent classes, or new test scores to your application after submitting it. We encourage you to add this update directly to your application. To do this, please sign in to your application and then add your update in the supplemental information page. Please note that, due to admissions cycle timing, there is no guarantee that we will be able to consider updated information prior to rendering a decision.

  • You’ve invested time, energy and resources into completing your Kellogg application, so no doubt you’ll want confirmation that your application was received. And we want you to have that peace of mind, too! So, once you submit your application, you can log back in at any time to view the status and double-check that all sections were successfully completed.

    You can check your application portal for your decision.

Application dates and deadlines

Upcoming deadline for Full-Time MBA program
Sept. 11, 2024
Apply now
Application deadline Decision released
Round 1 Sept. 11, 2024 Dec. 11, 2024
Round 2 Jan. 8, 2025 March 26, 2025
Round 3 April 2, 2025 May 7, 2025