Frequently Asked Questions

The curriculum, course structure, class size and composition, and campus exchange opportunities are identical for the September and January intakes. The primary difference is that if you choose to begin in September, you will complete the MBA in ten consecutive months. If you choose to begin in January you will have a two-month summer break during which you can pursue an internship or other endeavours.

There is no typical day as the schedule will change every day throughout the year. During the first two periods when students take their core courses, they often have 2 to 3 classes a day of 90 minutes each, Monday to Friday, starting at the earliest at 8.30am and finishing at the latest by 7.00pm. Students also have assignments and group projects, career counselling sessions and extra-curriculum activities. For the last three periods, each student has their own academic schedule depending on the electives he or she has chosen, with the same amount of assignments and group work, and typically increasing time spent on career related activities.

No, we do not accept transfer credits from other schools.

INSEAD offers more than 75 electives across both campuses, giving you the chance to construct a tailor-made MBA programme that fits your personal and career goals. We do not have specialisations or majors. You are free to pursue a generalist path towards management or specialise in a particular area such as finance or entrepreneurship. However, regardless of the path you decide to take during your elective period, everybody graduates with the same general MBA degree diploma

Final course grades for most classes will be determined by a mix of class participation, projects and exams. For exams, INSEAD grades on a Standard Normal Curve, also called a Z-Curve, with a mean of 3.0. There are no forced fails. To graduate, participants must maintain a mean grade of 2.1 in core courses and electives.

No. INSEAD adheres to a strict non-disclosure policy. Your grades will never be shared with recruiters, classmates, or anyone outside of the INSEAD community. During on-campus interviews, recruiters are not permitted to ask about your grades, and you are not permitted to volunteer them. This policy allows you the freedom to challenge yourself and enhance the breadth of your knowledge by taking electives in unfamiliar subject areas without worrying that your grades will influence your job prospects

The INSEAD MBA curriculum is designed to quickly and thoroughly prepare you for a career in international business. Taking on the challenge of our accelerated programme, you will see a considerably faster and greater return on your MBA investment. Our recruiters tell us that the one-year format helps students to manage their time efficiently and effectively. Setting priorities and making choices about learning, socialising and personal time from the very beginning of the programme, you will become an expert at decision making which is one of the most valued qualities in a business leader.

CFA Institute partners with a limited number of globally diverse, select institutions that are recognized leaders and serve as role models for other institutions. These universities cover a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, including its ethical and professional standards, in their degree programmes. The INSEAD MBA programme is recognized as CFA partner, because of the large number of finance core and electives in its program. As part of the partnership, INSEAD students are entitled to apply for scholarships, have access to CFA Institute curricula, journals, webcasts, and other educational resources. Each student will have access to a specially prepared online Level I sample exam.

 Participants in our current class have an average of 5.5 years work experience, with the range being between two and ten. However, applicants with less experience who demonstrate exceptional maturity and outstanding leadership through their professional and personal experiences will also be considered.

There is no age limit for entry. However, the MBA is aimed at those who are at an early stage in their career. INSEAD participants in the current class have a range of between two and ten years of post-graduate work experience. If you have more than ten years of work experience, we encourage you to consider one of INSEAD's Executive MBA Programmes, where you will have the opportunity to learn with a more experienced and mature peer group.

At INSEAD, we value diversity at every level. We welcome applications from people with a variety of professional and academic backgrounds, including the arts, law, medicine, military, non-profit, etc. As with all candidates, we will be looking for you to demonstrate your potential as a leader, and we will consider your professional experience and past performance when assessing your application.

Your campus selection has no impact on the admissions decision. In fact, the Admissions Committee, which makes all final admission decisions, does not have access to information about candidates' campus preferences.

There is no typical profile at INSEAD. We have an extremely diverse student body in terms of age, professional experience, education and culture. Check the latest class profile.

Yes. While the vast majority of our participants have undergraduate and/or advanced degrees, this is not compulsory for admission. Candidates who do not hold an undergraduate degree, but who have an excellent career record and GMAT score are also welcome to apply.

INSEAD does not have a minimum GPA requirement as the GPA system is not a globally used grading methodology. We primarily look at the courses taken and the grades received in each course, in addition to the overall academic performance.

Our GMAT reporting code (through Pearson Vue) is INSEAD: DL3-S8-89 MBA, Full Time.

INSEAD does not have a minimum required GMAT score. Rather than focusing on your overall score, we assess your individual results in the Quantitative, Verbal and IR sections of the exam. We need you to demonstrate your strengths in all of these sections. In order to be competitive, you should aim to achieve a score at or above the 70 - 75 percentile in both the quantitative and verbal sections. For the Integrated Reasoning section, we recommend achieving a score of 6 or above. Please keep in mind, however, that the GMAT is just one of several admission criteria. A high score does not guarantee admission, and a below average score does not eliminate a candidate.

If you have reported more than one score to INSEAD, the Admissions Committee will still consider the full history of your GMAT attempts, but will place the greatest weight on the highest score you achieved. Also, if you have obtained a satisfactory percentile in one section of the test but a lower percentile in the other, and vice versa in a second test, the Admissions Committee may consider that you have reached a sufficient level overall, provided the second test does not show too significant a drop in the lower element. 

Your GMAT score is valid for five years prior to application deadline.

No. We will review your application only when all elements of the application package have been received, including your GMAT score. You can take the GMAT up until the day of the Admissions deadline but you would need to provide us with a copy of your 'Unofficial Score Report' (to be uploaded as part of the supporting documents).

As of June 2012, the GMAT test includes an Integrated Reasoning (IR) section, which is designed to measure a test taker’s ability to evaluate information presented in new formats and from multiple sources. When taking the GMAT test, you should aim for achieving an IR score of 6 or above.

Yes, assuming your test results are still valid (five years from the date of test to application deadline), INSEAD will accept them.

You can visit for more detailed information on the exam.

In countries where the GMAT test is not offered, we will accept a GRE test instead. Similarly, a GRE test is acceptable for prospective students looking to follow the Dual Degree path. A score above 85% for the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE is highly recommended. The ETS code to report the score to INSEAD is 0970 and the score is valid for five years.

English is the language of instruction at INSEAD. You need to be fluent in English to apply to the MBA programme. Acceptable valid English proof must be sent with your application for it to be considered as complete before your admissions evaluation starts. (See page 5 of the Language Policy.)

At INSEAD, we believe strongly in the importance of an international outlook. The ability to communicate in more than one language will give you a competitive advantage in the global marketplace and enable you to work effectively across multiple cultures. Check our Language Policy for more details. 

No. English is the language of instruction on both campuses.

When: The Admissions Office requires valid English proof to consider an application as complete to start the selection process. (See page 5 of the Language Policy.)

How: You can demonstrate English fluency:

  • Either with a university degree (a minimum of one full-time academic year with a diploma received from that host university) where all courses were taught exclusively in English. (An exchange programme does not qualify.) If your university degree was exclusively taught in English but in a non-English speaking country, please make sure that your transcripts clearly mention the language of instruction is English to complete your application
  • Or by taking one of the following English tests and aiming for the recommended scores in brackets hereafter: TOEFL (internet-based test: 105, computer-based test: 260, paper-based test: 620); TOEIC (all 4 sections) Listening & Reading (950), Speaking (190) & Writing (170); IELTS Academic (7.5); CPE (B); PTE Academic (72). These tests have a validity period of 2 years prior to the application deadline to which you are applying. (See page 3 of the Language Policy.)

Yes. Living and working in an English-speaking environment is not accepted as proof of fluency in English. If you possess a full university degree (undergraduate or postgraduate) where all courses were taught exclusively in English, we will accept your degree as proof of your fluency in English.  Your transcripts should clearly indicate that the curriculum was entirely taught in English.  Otherwise, you may take one of the following English language tests (the recommended minimum score is in brackets): TOEFL (iTOEFL: 105, Computer-Based: 260, Paper-Based: 620); IELTS (7.5); CPE (B); PTE Academic (72); TOEIC Listening and Reading (950) plus TOEIC Writing (170) plus TOEIC Speaking (190). For TOEIC and IELTS, you need to submit score results for all 4 parts: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. More details can be found in our Language Policy.

If English is your native language, you have to demonstrate at least a practical knowledge of a second language (referred to as 'entry' language) before the start of the programme by passing one of our accepted language tests for your chosen second language. If you are a non-native English speaker, your native language will fulfil this requirement (no test required).

If you are joining the programme in September, you will need to provide certification of your second language no later than 1 June. If you are joining the programme in January, you will need to provide certification of your second language no later than 1 November. Accepted certifications are listed in the Language Policy.

In addition to the two entry languages, all students will need to demonstrate at least basic knowledge of a third language (referred to as 'exit language') in order to graduate. If you already possess basic knowledge of a third language, we recommend you certify your exit language either before the start of the programme or during Orientation Week. If you need to learn a third language, you can do so during the programme and pass the language test before graduation. Language instruction is available on both campuses.

Yes. Both entry and exit languages must be officially recognised by the government of a country. Entry and exit languages must also be sufficiently different from each other. More details are available in the Language Policy.

'Fluent' knowledge is defined as the ability to communicate precisely and effectively in complex situations.

'Practical' knowledge is defined as the ability to communicate about familiar matters regularly encountered at work, school, and in leisure activities.

'Basic' knowledge is defined as the ability to communicate in a direct exchange of information in the simple present, future and past tenses.

Yes. All applications go through a process of first selection, whereby a short-list of interviewees is compiled. At this stage, only those selected for interview continue with the application process. In most cases, two separate interviews are conducted.

You will be informed if you have been selected for interview within approximately six weeks of receiving your acknowledgement of your completed application. For a full overview of our interview and decision deadlines please visit Dates and Deadlines.

You will be informed of your final decision approximately six weeks after you were informed that you were selected for interview. For a full overview of our interview and decision deadlines please visit Dates and Deadlines.

You will be advised by e-mail of your final admissions decision.

If you are offered a place on the MBA programme, you will be notified of a specific date by which you must confirm acceptance and pay a non-refundable deposit of approximately 10% of the total academic fees (usually within four weeks). Approximately one month before you begin your programme you will also need to pay a non-refundable tuition instalment equivalent to 60% of total tuition (90% for company sponsored participants). The final tuition payment (remaining 30% of total academic fees) is due approximately four months into the programme. For more information visit Fees and Expenses.

Each year, INSEAD awards scholarships to participants. In addition, we encourage you to explore all sources of financing which may be available to you in your home country or country of residence. There are a variety of international and national scholarship programmes, as well as attractive loans available through external sources. Those which are known to INSEAD can be found on our External Funding page.

All admitted MBA students are eligible to apply for an International Loan Programme from Prodigy Finance, a loan programme funded by INSEAD and other top business school alumni. For more details, visit

Scholarships are granted according to various criteria depending on the sources. The two basic categories of scholarships are 'Need-based' and 'Merit-based'. To view detailed descriptions and eligibility criteria for all of our scholarships, visit the INSEAD Scholarships page.

Candidates in the first three rounds will apply for financial aid at interview stage. Round 3 candidates qualify to apply for the Need-based, L’Oreal and Louis Franck Scholarships only, so if scholarships are a priority to you, you should apply within the first two rounds. Round 4 candidates will not have access to scholarship applications. However, funds will be reserved to offer a number of merit scholarship awards upon admission. Awards will be based on the quality of the admission application.

Deadlines for scholarship applications can be found on our Scholarship Application Guide.

Yes, you may be awarded up to two INSEAD scholarships. However, we encourage you to limit the number of scholarship applications to a maximum of five.

Scholarship decisions are announced up to ten weeks before the start of the programme.

Throughout the period that the online scholarship application is open, you can modify or withdraw your scholarship applications as you please. In addition, you can track the status of your application with the help of your personal link.

You can find a list of companies recruiting at INSEAD in the latest Employment Statistics, which is also available online. The majority of these companies are regular recruiters on campus or companies with which INSEAD Career Development Centre have established relationships.

Salary and benefits packages vary widely across industries, companies and regions. Please refer to our latest Employment Statistics for detailed salary information of the last two graduating classes.

You will find detailed insight into our graduates’ career, function and location changes in our latest Employment Statistics. Naturally, some career changes can be made more easily than others and are influenced by previous professional experiences, knowledge of the market, languages, etc. For those who are interested in making a career switch to banking specifically, it is recommended that you secure a summer internship with a financial institution or investment bank.  For other sector or functional moves, graduates need to identify these career goals early on and work in conjunction with Career Development staff to prepare for these transitions.

Some recruiters see an intrinsic value in hiring international graduates and are used to securing work permits for employees. For other recruiters, it depends on whether the skills you have are in demand in that specific geography (language abilities, experience in certain markets, etc.) to justify the extra burden of obtaining working papers. The delay in obtaining a work visa can vary considerably, and is impacted by both the applicant’s own nationality and the country in which the applicant wishes to work. There are some countries for which working papers may be more easily obtained for INSEAD graduates. 

Your chances of finding a job have more to do with your skills, experience and potential than your campus location. The Career Development team is well integrated across all locations and provides the same tools, advising, and resources, irrespective of whether you are studying in Fontainebleau, Singapore or Abu Dhabi. Career Development strongly recommends that you start networking in your target region early on and choose your campus for the peak recruiting season accordingly. On-campus recruiting is not generally impacted by location, as all companies recruiting from INSEAD must include students from both campuses in their recruitment campaign. Of course there may be exceptions where recruiters in the different regions have separate processes but they can also use the videoconference facilities or Skype, to conduct interviews with students, regardless of location. Being based in the region where you ultimately want to work does obviously increase opportunities for networking, which can translate into a higher likelihood of securing the job you want.

You will only have student status once you have started the MBA Programme. CDC does occasionally receive pre-internships from recruiters and these are posted on MBA Connect.

Companies recruiting at INSEAD prefer that you wait and go through the process when on-campus. By that time, you will have more information through company presentations, speaking with alumni who work at these companies or in the industry, and through your classmates who may be able to give you additional insights. 

Our career opportunities are identical across both intakes. Whether you join in September or January, you will begin working with the Career Development team early on to prepare for the next step in your career. Those interested in a career in investment banking are strongly encouraged to consider the January intake, as investment banks hire full-time positions primarily through their summer associate programmes.

The INSEAD Alumni network currently consists of more than 50,000 INSEAD Alumni - including MBA and Executive degree Alumni, living and working in over 170 countries. For more information, visit our MBA Alumni pages.

Attending one of our events is a good way to meet and network with MBA Alumni. In addition, we suggest tapping into your own networks (LinkedIn, Facebook etc.). You can also contact our National Alumni Association network.

You can find out whether the online components of your application have been received by visiting the Dashboard of the online application centre. This page will indicate the status of your application. An email notification will also be sent to you within one week of submitting your application. We will inform you as to whether your file is complete or if any components of your application are missing. It is therefore important that you check your e-mail account regularly after submitting your application. Due to European Data Protection laws and our own confidentiality policy, our Admissions Office is regrettably unable to give out any information over the phone about applications.

If you encounter technical difficulties when completing your application form, please contact the IT Support Team.

We only accept applications submitted electronically. This allows us to process your application more quickly. It also allows you to stay informed of the status of your application throughout the process by checking it online.

Due to the large number of applications we receive for each intake and the confidentiality of the deliberations of the Admissions Committee, we are unable to provide individual detailed feedback on rejected applications.

Unsuccessful applicants may reapply for a later intake. Please exercise your own judgement in deciding if you have any significant changes in your new profile since your first application that will make a difference with the Admissions Committee. All re-applicants are requested to submit a new online application, unless otherwise indicated.

We will strive to accommodate your campus choice. However, if your preferred home campus is full, you will be offered the choice of either a place on the other campus or a place on the wait-list for your preferred campus. In such cases, we encourage you to start your MBA programme on the campus that was not your initial preference, and then participate in the campus exchange to experience the other campus.

In the large majority of cases, no. You should apply for the intake in which you intend to enrol. In truly exceptional circumstances, the Admissions Committee may grant a deferral. All requests should be made in writing and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

To be included in a specific round, applications must be complete and submitted by midnight French Time on the day of deadline. A complete application includes the online form, GMAT test scores, English test scores (if applicable), all supporting documents, two letters of reference, payment of the application fees and video interviews*. For more details please visit Supporting Documentation, under Application Checklist.

* Please complete your video interviews at your earliest convenience and no later than 48 hours after the deadline to which you are applying.

Each round is equally competitive as the ratio of acceptance is the same for all rounds. We allocate more places in round 1, 2 and 3 than in round 4, but we also receive more applications in round 1, 2 and 3 than in round 4. When choosing a round in which to apply, the most important consideration is to dedicate enough time and thought to your application so that it accurately represents your strengths and talents. However, we encourage you to apply to round 1 or 2 if scholarships are a priority or if you need more time to relocate to your starting campus.

The September and January intakes are equal in size and composition and are equally competitive.

If you choose to delay submission of your application until the following round of the same intake, your application form details will be saved automatically. Note that access to your form will be temporarily disabled from Midnight French Time on the day of the deadline, as the system will shut down for about four days. Access to your form will resume once the temporary shutdown period ends, so you can continue editing it.


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