While most business schools in the world have a Fall intake (starting in September), there are a few top ranking MBA programs in USA, Canada, Australia and other countries which have a Spring intake (in January) too.
In this article, we take a look at the list of MBA courses that offer this option. We also look at the differences between Fall vs Spring that you should consider before making a decision.
MBA admissions: Spring / January intake in USA, Europe, Australia, Canada
The MBA Fall intake is the most popular as a vast majority of business schools offer only this option. The Fall semester usually begins around August-September. However there are some business schools that also offer a January (Spring) intake.
1. The INSEAD MBA, a top brand, has the option of either a September or January intake. Candidates opting for the January intake are able to take up a two month summer internship during the summer break.
So those keen on using this internship opportunity to set foot in a new industry may prefer the January intake. In fact the college encourages students planning to enter investment banking to consider a January intake as recruitment is mainly done through their summer associate program.
2. HEC Paris is another known MBA program that offers both a September and January intake. The core curriculum remains the same irrespective of the intake and during the customised phase, the students also get a chance to know each other and collaborate.
3. For those heading towards the US, Columbia Business School is another good option to consider. Students may begin their session either in August or January.
Though both the intakes remain the same as far as academics and resources are concerned, the difference would be in terms of internship opportunity.
The January intake would suit those who do not wish to change their career stream or for those with entrepreneurial plans as these candidates would not be able to avail the summer internship opportunity.
Around 30% go in for the January intake, while the majority begin their session during the fall term.
4. IMD Switzerland is also a premier MBA program which has a 11 month duration spanning from January to December.
5. IE Business School’s International MBA (IMBA) is a one year program which has a January, April as well as September intake.
6. Erasmus University – Rotterdam School of Management’s international full-time MBA program has only a January intake. This twelve month long program begins in January and completes in December.
7. Western University – Ivey Business School, Canada again has a one year full-time MBA program beginning in March each year.
8. Queen’s School of Business – Queen’s MBA, Ontario, Canada offers a one year full-time MBA program that starts from January. They also offer 16 month long dual degree opportunities.
9. York University Schulich School of Business offers both a September and January intake for the full-time MBA program.
Students can complete this program within sixteen months spread across four terms or an average of twenty months with summers off.
10. UNSW Australia – Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) full-time MBA is a sixteen month program that commences in January.
This is not a comprehensive list and there are more programs that offer a spring intake.
Fall vs Spring admissions intake: Which is better?
For the two-year U.S. MBA programs, the Fall Intake is when the majority of the students get in and hence will be completing around the same time.
A vast number of recruiting companies plan their campus recruitment so that they’re able to choose and pick the best talent possible in this applicant pool. Though the spring intake may also offer good opportunities, their numbers would certainly be lesser in comparison. This holds true for the U.S. based programs.
However for the non-U.S. brands, the scenario may differ. MBA programs like INSEAD in fact provide better job placement opportunities for the spring intake. So candidates need to do their country-specific and program-related research before deciding to apply.
However there may be candidates who may not have been able to apply for the Fall Semester and would rather apply in the spring semester instead of waiting for another year.
You may also be on a sabbatical and prefer to go back to the same employer, so you don’t need to worry about being rightly placed.
Again there are the ones who would like start their own venture or already have an established business. Both the intakes have the same course content and the MBA experience would also be the same, so it’s finally for the candidate to decide which intake suits them better based on their priorities.