Why should you apply to IMD?

IMD, located in Lausanne, on the shores of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes, is an accelerated powerhouse situated about 40 minutes from Geneva.

IMD offers an intensive and intimate one-year MBA experience for just 90 students. It may well be one of the most thoughtfully crafted MBA programs for individuals available. The program — which focuses on leadership, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility — starts in January and ends in December.  IMD’s “Real World. Real Learning” approach provides the foundation for the MBA program. Taught in English, the IMD MBA covers the same amount of material as a traditional two-year program and incorporates unique leadership experiences, start-up projects, building networks, and intensive personal coaching. The program starts with business fundamentals in such core areas as accounting, finance, marketing, and operations. Students get to understand the functional areas of organizations and how they work together. The second half of the year is highly project based, allowing advanced application of the fundamentals to real leadership situations. Final grading is based on exams, class participation, and group project

The program also has a heavy experiential learning component wherein students work directly with a start-up company, as well as with CEOs and board-level executives of global companies.

Leadership development is an important feature of the IMD program. Participants develop the skills to tackle complex business challenges and lead in a responsible manner. The integration of classes, live business cases and company projects across the globe allows participants to apply what they learn and develop the skills to run any global business. They live a start-up experience, help develop sustainability, and work with top management in multinationals. They develop leadership skills based on technical competence, self-awareness and moral judgment and have an optional 20 sessions with a psychoanalyst to increase their personal development.

IMD MBA Rankings at a glance

  • FT Rank in 2016 #13
  • Poets & Quants 2015 #6 (international MBA ranking)
  • Economist #12 #6 (international MBA ranking)
  • Business Week #5 #6 (international MBA ranking)
  • Forbes #2 #6 (international MBA ranking)

Recruitment at IMD

IMD’s combination of relevance and rigor is part of the reason why companies come to recruit at IMD and why the IMD MBA consistently ranks among the best in the world.

As its hiring statistics reveal, IMD consistently showcases a diverse recruitment pattern. At IMD (statistics taken from the class of 2015) 93% of the class changed function, industry or geography while 74% changed two or more dimensions of their career and  33% changed all three dimensions.

Hiring Statistics

  • Industry 75%
  • Manufacturing 22%
  • Consumer Goods 14%
  • Pharmaceutical/Healthcare 13%
  • Technology/Media 11%
  • Petroleum/Energy 8%
  • Entertainment/Travel 3%
  • Real Estate 2%
  • Not-For-Profit 2%
  • Consulting 20%
  • Financial Services 5%

 Compensation Statistics

  • Average $ 131,800 (€ 99,400)
  • Median $ 125,900 (€ 94,500)
  • Sign on bonus $ 25,600 (€ 19,500) % that received a sign on bonus: 60%

 Top ten hiring companies at IMD

  • Amazon
  • DuPont
  • Google
  • Johnson & Johnson Services
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Nestlé
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Samsung
  • Siemens
  • The Boston Consulting Group

Global hiring at IMD

  • Europe 63%
  • Asia 22%
  • Americas 9%
  • Africa/Middle East 6%

IMD Application Essentials   

IMD looks to select the best group of 90 from around the world: a talented group of people from diverse backgrounds who represent over 40 nationalities, typically have between 4-9 years of full-time work experience,  and have an international outlook, excellent interpersonal skills and strong leadership potential. IMD’s application is rigorous and includes:

Application Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Official GMAT/GRE  scores
    • The average GMAT score at IMD is 670
    • The average GRE scores are above the 75-80th percentile for both the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE
  • A minimum of three years full-time work experience
  • A strong command of written and spoken English
  • At least one language in addition to English (certification required)
  • IMD does not require a candidate to take the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE.

Application Deadlines

  • February 1
  • April 1
  • June 1
  • August 1
  • September 1

*Please note that IMD specifically states  “If you are a citizen of a country that requires a visa process, we recommend that you apply for one of the first three deadlines. If you wish to attend one of the Assessment Days abroad, you will need to apply for the first two deadlines”. It is important for international students to attend assessment days –  at the same time I have had applicants to the June deadline get admits.

IMD Application Process  

  • Online Application
    • The online application is available on MBA Exchange
    • Original Transcripts and degree certificates of all academic courses taken after grade 12 are required. The transcripts should include:
      • A comprehensive record of completed courses
      • Grades obtained
      • Overall grade average
      • Class ranking (if available)
    • The IMD application has three essay questions viz:
      • Describe yourself in two hundred words or less [200 words]
      • Give an example of a time when you were confronted with an unrecoverable event. How did it affect you and what were your greatest learnings? [300 words]
      • On your 75th birthday someone close to you presents your laudatio (tribute). It can be a friend, colleague, family member etc. Please describe in detail what this person would say about you and your life. [300 words]
      • What is your career goal post IMD? [200 characters]
      • What are the skills you need to develop in order to achieve your goal? [200 characters]
      • Is there any additional information that is critical for the Admissions Committee to know which has not been covered elsewhere in this application? If you would like to comment on career gaps, education, GMAT/GRE, a disability or illness, please use this space. (Optional) [300 words]
      • How do you intend to finance your MBA at IMD? What would your budget be?  [300 words]
      • Why are you applying to IMD? What other programs have you considered / are you considering? [300 words]
  • IMD states that answers to these essay questions should reflect the following qualities:
  • Strong academic ability
  • Solid career progression
  • International outlook
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Business achievements
  • Real leadership capacity.
  • The IMD application requires a candidate to submit three letters of recommendation (check the attached word document).
  • GMAT Code for IMD: SKR-MM-13
  • GRE Code for IMD: 8490
  • Application Fee: CHF 350 non-refundable, payable by credit card
  • IMD Assessment Day
    • Candidates whose application passes the first assessment are invited for an on-campus assessment day. Invitations for assessment day are sent 6 weeks This is an essential part of the evaluation process as it helps IMD to put together the best group of 90 and it also allows you to evaluate us. The day incorporates:
      • Personal interview with a member of the admissions committee
      • Impromptu presentation on a business topic which we will give you when you arrive
      • Group case study discussion led by one of our professors
      • MBA class observation
      • Lunch with MBAs
    • Lasting a full day, the assessment consists of a personal interview, an impromptu presentation, and a case study discussion. IMD will have an opportunity to assess the candidate’s intellectual capabilities, integrity and ability to work with others. The candidate will have a chance to evaluate IMD, meet participants and possibly attend classes.
    • Final results will be sent two weeks after assessment day

Fees and Financing

  • Tuition: CHF 60,000. The tuition payment calendar is as follows:
Payment calendar Sum
1st installment/deposit: upon acceptance of admission CHF 15,000
2nd installment: 30 September CHF 15,000
3rd installment: 28 February CHF 40,000
4th installment: 30 April CHF 15,000


  • Additional Fees : CHF 25,000 (all teaching materials, personal coaching, travel and accommodation for International Consulting Projects and Discovery Expedition, four-course lunch at IMD five days per week, joint events with executives at IMD)
  • Approximate living expenses for a single person: CHF 36,000.
  • Financial Aid: Every year, IMD supports about half of the MBA class by granting them scholarships or loans. The total amount of scholarships available each year is around CHF500’000 and CHF 1.3 million for loans. The maximum financial aid awarded per admitted candidate is CHF 65,000.
  • Scholarships: IMD offers a variety of MBA scholarships and applicants may apply to several simultaneously, however only one scholarship can be awarded per candidate. Scholarships are granted subject to nomination by the scholarship selection committee, acceptance into the program and confirmation of a candidate’s intention to participate in the program by paying the advance deposit of CHF 15,000. Check the attached scholarship essay template word document . Scholarship essay topics include:
Scholarship Name Scholarship Amount Essay Topic Particulars
MBA Class Scholarship for Emerging Markets CHF 200’000 (to be split between the winners of the scholarship) NA For citizens of developing countries to enable young leaders who meet the following criteria to earn the IMD MBA degree.

  • Demonstrate financial need by completing our Financial Aid Application
  • Good academic results (GMAT)
  • Strong reference letters
  • Steady career progression


IMD MBA Future Leaders Scholarships 3 scholarships of CHF 30,000 each Submit a 750 word essay on:
It has been said that success in business requires flexibility to be responsive, but also commitment to a recognized set of values. Discuss using your personal and professional experience. Applicants need to demonstrate exceptional leadership ability.
Use the attached IMD-MBA-Scholarship-Template for your essay

IMD MBA Alumni Scholarships

5 scholarships of CHF 30,000 Submit a 1,000 word essay on: 
Identify one issue in your region / country which you consider a priority to address. Why would you choose this issue? How would you, as a business leader, personally address it and ensure your action has a sustainable impact?
Essays should be personal and visionary, and include a clear description of how the solution could be implemented in a sustained manner
One scholarship is awarded to a citizen, but not necessarily current resident, of each region: Asia, Africa/Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Western Europe/North America/Oceania. The financial aid form IMD-Financial-Aid-Application-Form needs to be submitted as well to

Use the attached IMD-MBA-Scholarship-Template for your essay


Nestlé Scholarship for Women 1 scholarship of CHF 25,000 Submit a 750 word essay on:

Many have argued that greater diversity in the Top Management team of an organization is good for profits and customers. What would you recommend as ways to achieve greater diversity?

The financial aid form IMD-Financial-Aid-Application-Form needs to be submitted to

Use the attached IMD-MBA-Scholarship-Template for your essay. Employees of Nestlé and its subsidiaries are not eligible


Jim Ellert Scholarship 1 scholarship of CHF 20,000 Submit a 500 word essay on:

Why I would like to do an MBA at IMD?

The quality of the admission application will also be taken into consideration

Preference is given to citizens from Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the South-Eastern Asian Peninsula. The financial aid form IMD-Financial-Aid-Application-Form needs to be submitted to

Use the attached IMD-MBA-Scholarship-Template for your essay.


Stewart Hamilton Scholarship 1 scholarship of CHF 20,000 Read the case study ‘Hollinger and the Downfall of Conrad Black’ and submit a 750 word essay on:
What failed in the Hollinger corporate governance system and what are your personal learnings from this case study?
Use the attached IMD-MBA-Scholarship-Template for your essay.

Check the pdf Hollinger-case-study for the case study

IMD MBA Merit Scholarships 5 scholarships of CHF 10,000 each NA Awarded at the discretion of IMD’s Admissions Committee at the time of offer to applicants who demonstrated exceptional qualities throughout the admissions process.


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