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Applying to the Full-Time Kellogg MBA Program

Discover key tips on how to prepare for and navigate the application process.

We are thrilled you’re interested in the Kellogg School of Management and can’t wait to learn more about you. Our application process is designed to give us a sense of who you are, what drives you, and why you think Kellogg is the right place for you. And just remember — you’re not alone in this process! Our admissions team is available to answer any questions you may have.

As you get started, and throughout this process, we recommend becoming familiar with what is required for each section of the application. You’ll see information and key resources sprinkled out below to help you prepare, navigate and successfully complete your application.

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  • While test scores and work experience are an important part of an application, your candidacy isn't based on those components alone. We take everything into account, including your values, goals, and the impact you’ve had on your organization.

    We value individuals who:

    • Approach business problems with a mix of hard and soft skills.
    • Seek to adapt to the evolving business world with open curiosity and innovation.
    • Believe in strong, empathetic collaboration as a way to strengthen work, perspectives and outcomes.
    • Embrace the power of diversity in your teams and networks.

    What we look for:

    • Academic readiness
    • Work experience
    • Professional goals
    • Leadership
    • Impact
    • Interpersonal skills
  • Application process

    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.

    Criteria for admission


    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 qualities 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, that has provided a 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.

    Program of interest

    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 five distinct Full-Time MBA Programs — One-Year, Two-Year, MBAi, MMM, and JD-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 will be given the option to select one alternate Full-Time MBA program of interest and/or the Kellogg Evening and Weekend MBA program. Individuals who select an alternate program will be asked to provide a short paragraph explaining why they are also interested in the alternate program.

  • These components of the application are core to evaluating your experience and aptitude, giving us a better idea of your ability to tackle the challenging MBA curriculum.

    Tips for Employment and Resume/CV

    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, you’ll also complete an employment section of the application 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.

    Education and transcripts

    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 do 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 or 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).

    Test scores

    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

    • For those submitting a test score, you must submit a complete application prior to the expiration date of your GMAT/GMAT Focus/GRE score.
    • 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.
    • GMAT/GMAT Focus/GRE scores are valid for five years.
  • Kellogg is unique in that we ask you to complete written essays as part of the application as well as video essays. This is your chance to tell us why you think Kellogg is the right place 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)

    Kellogg Leaders are primed to tackle today’s pressing concerns everywhere, from the boardroom to their neighborhoods. Tell us about a time in your life where you’ve needed a combination of skills to solve a problem or overcome a challenge. Which skills did you use? What did you accomplish?

    Question 2 (450 words)

    At Kellogg, our values are based on research that concludes organizations comprised of leaders with varied backgrounds and perspectives outperform homogeneous ones. How do you believe your personal and professional experiences to date will help to enrich the Kellogg community?

    Certain applicants will respond to an additional question about their interest in our specialty programs.

    Reapplicants 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.

    We find these videos to be a great opportunity for you to tell us more about your story, experiences and why Kellogg is the right place for you.

    Here are 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, so this is meant to be a useful tool to help you feel prepared.
    • 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 are particularly useful to us because they 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.

    Have your recommenders respond to the following prompts:

    1. Kellogg has a diverse student body and values students who are inclusive and encouraging of others 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. Submit your payment via credit card with 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 app fee waiver at the time of submitting their applications will be prompted to provide supporting documentation for review. 

    Active duty U.S. military or U.S. military veterans, Teach For America, AmeriCorps or Peace Corps applicants:

    If you qualify for a fee waiver, send a formal request to 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.

  • 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 currently 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 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.

  • Work experience is recommended

    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.

    Best time to apply

    Applying early may be advantageous for grants, scholarships or on-campus housing preferences. Candidates who apply in Round 1 or 2 can also take advantage of our admitted-student weekends.

    We admit candidates for all programs during all three rounds. We encourage international candidates to apply in Round 1 or 2 to allow time for visa processing. We also tend to admit One-Year MBA and MMM students in Round 1 or 2 to accommodate the programs’ early start date.

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

    Updates to your application

    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 there is no guarantee that we will consider this information prior to rendering a decision.


    Deferral requests are rarely granted and considered on a case-by-case basis. We ask that you provide a detailed explanation for the request and appropriate documentation.

    Applying with your spouse or partner

    If you are applying with your partner:

    • Each application is assessed independently
    • You may note that you are applying with your partner

    Feedback on applications

    We do not provide application feedback to those who were not admitted to our incoming class.

  • Make sure you keep these important dates on your radar throughout your application process.

    Full-Time MBA
    Round 1
    Round 2
    Round 3
    Application Deadline
    September 13, 2023
    January 10, 2024
    April 3, 2024
    Decision Released
    December 13, 2023
    March 27, 2024
    May 8, 2024
    • Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. CT on the application deadline date.
    • If you’re an international applicant, we encourage you to apply in Round 1 or 2 to allow time for your visa application.

    Decision notifications

    Once our decisions are made, we will email you a link to your application status page where you can learn of your acceptance status.

Preparing for the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Application

Christy Heaton, associate director of admissions, provides tips on helping you prepare for applying to the Kellogg Full-Time MBA program. From which test to take to choosing the right MBA program for you, Christy explains what you should do even before you apply.

Three key areas of the Kellogg Full-Time MBA program application

Gain insight into what Kellogg admissions is looking for in the video essay, your interview and essay questions. Christy Heaton, associate director of admissions, provides tips on the three main areas of the Kellogg Full-Time MBA Program application.

Telling your story on your Kellogg Full-Time MBA application

Christy Heaton, associate director of admissions, provides tips on telling your story through the Kellogg Full-Time MBA application. Dive into the different aspects of the application and how you can utilize each section to tell a full and authentic story about yourself.

Contact us about the Full-Time MBA Program at Kellogg

Full-Time MBA Application Deadlines

Round 1: Sept. 13, 2023
Round 2: Jan. 10, 2024
Round 3: April 3, 2024