INSEAD MBA | Deadlines, Fees, Essays, Success Stories


INSEAD Deadlines, Fees, Essays, Success Stories

The INSEAD MBA is a ten-month full-time program with campuses in Fontainebleau, France, Singapore, and Abu-Dhabi.Ranked highly in multiple rankings – Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2018 placing it at #2 in the world – these programs run in parallel and students have the option of switching campuses during the elective period.

In fact, INSEAD has been among the first b-schools in setting up this multi-campus approach. The global setting allows for a mix of global faculty members and curriculum, besides the advantage for students who can familiarise themselves with different cities in different countries across the world and explore job opportunities in and around.

There are also added opportunities, available to INSEAD students, to participate in Campus Exchange programs with INSEAD’s partner b-schools at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, or China’s CEIBS.

INSEAD course structure

The INSEAD MBA program has been one of the top-ranked with modern campuses and excellent facilities for students. The program comprises of 5 terms each of 8-week duration. The initial period covers the 14 core courses and during the latter period, students can choose 12 electives from a pool of over 75 choices available, depending upon their career goals and area of interest. The 5th, and last, period has a Capstone project for direct application of learnings received over the previous terms.

INSEAD follows a free-form teaching method, based on the basic premise of classroom interaction, whereby faculties can choose the method most suited to the content of the session. Among the various methods, students frequently experience business simulations, case study method which is extensively used (many of which are designed in-house by the INSEAD faculty and which are also used by other business schools), role-plays, projects, and study tours. The students learn in study groups, interacting through the period in groups of 5 or 6. Collaboration and team work thus forms an integral part of the learning process.

The core courses explore the fundamentals such as finance, organizational behaviour, strategy, accounting, operations. Leadership, macroeconomics, business ethics, and more. The 75+ electives casts a much wider net in the various disciplines such as accounting and control, decision sciences, economics, entrepreneurship, marketing, and more.

INSEAD MBA Class Profile

Class profiles, at INSEAD reflect on it pursuit for diversity and excellence. An average of nearly 90% students are internationals from well over 70 countries, with about 30% women candidates, and a wide range of experience sectors. The table below shows the numbers for 2018’s INSEAD class. It is representative of incoming students in the recent past.

Total Number of students (estimate) 500
Average Age 29 years
Average GMAT/Highest GMAT/Lowest GMAT 709/780/570
Student Background Business – 34%
Engineering – 29%
Average Previous Experience 6 years
Professional Experience Sectors Consulting – 31%
Corporate – 34%
Financial Services – 24%
Technology, Media, etc – 11%
(From 2017 Employment Statistics)
90% of 1000+ students from two classes employed in 3 months after graduation
Salary from 2017 Employment Stats Annual Mean – $105,000
Annual Median – $103,000
Median Sign-On Bonus – $25,000
Recruiting Companies 300+ Companies including McKinsey & Co, BCG, Bain and Co,


INSEAD MBA application process

Admission into INSEAD’s prestigious program is contingent on an applicant’s ability contribute through her professional and personal experiences, a good academic background, GMAT score, and demonstrated leadership potential. A strong inclination, or understanding, for business in an international setting is also required. Evidence of working in an international environment, knowledge of foreign language, professional experience in a multinational company, etc, all fall within the purview of international exposure.

The application process itself is ten weeks long. The application form needs to be filled online, with details on applicant profile, job description, and essays. There are three essays and an optional essay. Word count is important so try not to exceed it though a 10% additional is permitted. The essays are critical part of the application process and provide an opportunity to the Admissions Committee to understand the applicant. The essay questions dwell on the personal side of the candidate, their motivation, their inspirations, and so on.

The other documentation required, are the following:

  • Application Fee of $300
  • GMAT and TOEFL (Min. IBT:105, CBT:260, PBT:620). Also accepts TOLEIC (all 4 parts. Listening and Reading:950, Writing:170, Speaking:190), IELTS (Academic:7.5), PTE (Academic:72), and the Certificate of Proficiency in English Test (CPE:B)
  • Two letters of recommendation – one from current supervisor or manager and second from someone with the ability to evaluate the candidate in a professional setting.
  • Latest CV
  • A recorded video interview upon submission of the application form. The video must contain responses to 4 questions, with a preparation time of 45 seconds for each and 60 seconds to record. You can try practice questions an unlimited number of times. Details are available on Kira prep.
  • Official transcripts, in English or French, from each college or university attended.

INSEAD doesn’t provide admission deferrals. However, reapplications are accepted. INSEAD also allows candidates to choose either campus, or select Both Campuses, if undecided. Those shortlisted for an interview would be informed accordingly.

For Indian professionals, INSEAD also offers the INSEAD Leadership Program for Senior Indian Executives (ILPSIE) option.

INSEAD MBA application deadlines and dates

INSEAD has two student intakes – once in January and once in September. Each comprises of four stages or rounds. Here is a list of tentative schedules for each round for each intake.

January Intake

Round Deadline for complete application Interview notification Final Decision
Round 1 February 3rd/4th week March 3rd/4th week April 3rd/4th week
Round 2 Mid. April Mid. May June 3rd/4th week
Round 3 June 1st week July 1st week August 1st week
Round 4 July 3rd/4th week August 3rd/4th week September 3rd/4th week


September Intake

Round Deadline for complete application Interview notification Final Decision
Round 1 September 3rd/4th week October 3rd/4th week November 3rd/4th week
Round 2 Mid. November Mid. December January 3rd/4th week
Round 3 January1st week February 1st week Mid. March
Round 4 March 1st week April 1stweek May 1st/2nd week


INSEAD MBA blog posts & forum

For more on INSEAD, read these INSEAD Blogs

Our INSEAD MBA Success Stories

We’ve got folks into INSEAD. Here’s what one of our clients had to say:

“Guys – pleased to confirm that I received the acceptance call from INSEAD today! Yay!!! 🙂
Thanks for all the support. Given my checkered past with MBA applications, I will celebrate once I’m in Fontainebleau!”

Trivia: The ‘chequered past’ mentioned by the candidate refers to multiple application attempts. This was the third year of applying.

Read more testimonials on the MBA Crystal Ball reviews page.

For more success stories MBA Crystal Ball has been a part of, read our article on MBA Admissions Consulting Reviews

How MBA Crystal Ball can help you get into INSEAD MBA

Many successful INSEAD applicants refer to us as the Best Admission Consultant for INSEAD. We’re not sure if there’s any ‘best’, since opinions are subjective. But we do try our best for a selective few INSEAD applicants who work with us.

Check out our MBA MAP and MBA Essay Editing packages. Take the first step in the right direction. Drop us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Leave a Comment