SOURCE: Graduate Management Admission Council

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August 25, 2010 09:17 ET

Applications to Executive MBA Programs Rise Sharply

RESTON, VA--(Marketwire - August 25, 2010) - Applications to graduate management education programs painted a mixed picture in 2010, with demand for programs aimed at mid-career professionals particularly strong even as interest in full-time MBA programs continued to soften, according to a global survey of business schools released today by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs -- designed for people with substantial work experience -- posted the most notable gains among all programs in the survey. Fifty-nine percent of these programs saw more applications in 2010 than they did a year ago, compared with the 37 percent that reported gains a year ago, reversing a one-year slide that coincided with the deepest part of the Great Recession.

The 2010 GMAC Application Trends Survey also found that part-time MBA programs -- which appeal to people looking to pursue their studies while managing jobs, families or other responsibilities -- may be gradually emerging from a period of slowing application growth that began two years ago. About 43 percent of the part-time programs in the survey reported a year-over-year increase in applications volume, the same as in 2009.

Meanwhile, the percentage of full-time MBA programs reporting an increase in applicant volume declined for the second year in a row. Forty-four percent of full-time MBA programs saw applications rise this year compared with levels seen in 2009, down from 66 percent last year and 77 percent in 2008, when applications to these programs peaked.

"The findings from this survey underscore the importance of flexibility and creativity in delivering management education," said Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer of GMAC, an international nonprofit association of leading business schools that owns the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). "People can always derive great value from going to business school; our surveys attest to this fact. But many changing factors affect the kinds of programs that best meet their needs. Applicants need to find the very best fit for their own game plan."

The GMAC Application Trends Survey reflects data supplied by 665 graduate management education programs at 327 business schools in 39 countries around the world. The survey reflects applications for admission to MBA programs beginning this fall.

Master's programs in finance, accounting and management reported robust applications levels, according to the survey. More than 60 percent of the programs in each of these categories indicated that they received more applications in 2010 than they did a year ago.

To access this press release, an accompanying video and a report about the survey, visit the GMAC News Center at

For more about the Graduate Management Admission Council, visit