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How Americans Can Apply For European MBA Programs

Author: Andrew Smith

Studying for an MBA in Europe is a fantastic idea for Americans looking for a career boost. With the potential to learn or perfect a second language and study with people from all over the globe, students graduate with the foundation for an international career.

This article examines the application requirements for some of the top European MBA programs in Europe. For the most part, the schools require that candidates have an undergraduate degree, leadership potential, an international outlook, the ability to contribute to the school, and an ability to finance their studies (financial aid, when available, is limited to around 40%). At least one interview is required as well as a strong academic history, career progression, and a GMAT or GRE score. (For more, see: When Is An MBA Worth It?)

United Kingdom

The top UK school is also the top European school — London Business School. The MBA program can be completed in a flexible 15, 18, or 21 months and has four admission deadlines: October, January, February, and April. The tuition fee is £67,750 ($101,000 USD). The school requires two years of work experience (the average is five and a half years). In addition to the application form, the school asks for three essays, a resume, two references and a GMAT score (the average for accepted students is 700).

Oxford: Said Business School has similar requirements to the London Business School. Oxford requires a 3.5 GPA, two years of professional work experience (incoming students have an average of six years), a GMAT (average 690) or GRE (average 160 verbal, and 161 quantitative) score. Applications should include references and 3-5 writing samples. Applications are accepted from September to May, and the 12-month program costs £47,925 ($71,500).


HEC Paris has two MBA intakes dates – one in September (application deadlines run from January to June) and one in January (with January to November deadlines). The school either requires three years of work experience and an undergraduate degree or, if a candidate doesn't have an undergraduate degree, five years of professional work experience including three in management. National athletes are also able to apply without an undergraduate degree.

Along with the application, a candidate should provide a resume, essays, a 600+ GMAT score (average 685) or a GRE score in the 65th percentile. HEC Paris also requires two interviews, and tuition is €52,000 ($56,600 USD).

Insead also has two intakes – one in September (application deadlines start from the previous September to March) and one in January (March to August application deadlines). An undergraduate degree is not required, but candidates should have practical knowledge of a second language, and a minimum of two years of work experience (average five and a half years). Applications should be accompanied by a GMAT score in the 70th-75th percentile or a GRE score in the 80th percentile, two reference letters, and 4-5 essays. Tuition is €65,800 ($71,700 USD)


IE Business School offers international MBAs in English, Spanish, or both, and sufficient language ability is required for whichever language stream is chosen. The program is 11-13 months long, and tuition is €61,900 ($67,400 USD). Applicants should have a minimum of three years of work experience (average five years), and applications should include a GMAT or GRE score and three essays.

Escade Business School's MBA program begins in September and can last 12, 15, or 18 months. Candidates should have a minimum of two years work experience (average five years), and a GMAT score (average 670). Applications should be accompanied by essays and a resume, and are due between the previous October and June. Tuition is €59,700 ($65,000 USD).


The University of St. Gallen has a 12-month program costing 56,500 ($59,500 USD) Swiss francs. Application forms should be submitted between October and June and should be accompanied by two essays, a GMAT or GRE score, and two references. Candidates are required to have a minimum of two years of work experience.

IMD requires candidates to have a minimum of three years of work experience, a GMAT score (average 670) or GRE score in the 75th-80th percentile, and three reference letters, and are due between February and September. The program costs 60,000 ($63,100) Swiss francs.


The cheapest European MBA program and only Italian school in the top 10 is SDA Bocconi. The 12-month program begins in October but has pre-courses that start a couple of weeks earlier. The average candidate has five years of work experience. Applications should include a resume, two letters of reference, and a GMAT or GRE score. The school has rolling admissions and tuition is €42,000 ($45,700 USD). (For more, see The Pros And Cons Of Going Abroad For Your MBA.)

The Bottom Line

Choosing an MBA program can be a difficult and daunting choice. With hundreds of schools in the world, it is easy to become overwhelmed. By narrowing the selection down to a specific country based on career-goals or interests, and then finding requirements that match your qualifications, the process gets easier. Europe is a great place to study for an international career — which country will you choose?

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