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IMD Essay Topic Analysis

IMD, or the International Institute for Management Development, was formed in 1990 after the evolution and mergers of Geneva’s CEI (Centre d’Etudes Industrielles) and Lausanne’s IMEDE (Institut pour l’Etude des Méthodes). It is located on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, but in 2015, the school also expanded into Southeast Asia when it opened its Executive Learning Center in Singapore.

The school offers an MBA degree program for younger professionals, with a minimum of three years of work experience. More experienced professionals may prefer the EMBA program, which is designed for candidates with company support and at least 10 years of business experience.


What is the tuition for IMD’s MBA program?

The tuition for IMD’s MBA program is CHF 60,000 per year.

What is the average GMAT score for admission to IMD’s MBA program?

The average GMAT score for the incoming class at IMD is 680. IMD tells candidates to aim for a score above 630.

Does the IMD MBA program accept the GRE?

Yes. The IMD MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.

What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to IMD’s MBA program?

IMD requires a minimum of 3 years of work experience.

What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to IMD’s MBA program? (or, What is the average age of an IMD MBA student?)

The average number of years of work experience among students in IMD’s MBA program is 7. On average, IMD students are 31 years old.

What is the average starting salary for graduates of the IMD MBA program?

The average starting salary for IMD MBA graduates is $135,635.

How long is IMD’s full-time MBA program?

IMD offers a 1 year MBA program.

What are the application deadlines for IMD’s MBA program?

IMD’s MBA application deadlines are February 1, May 1, July 1 and September 1 for entry in 2021.

What percent of IMD MBA students are women?

The percentage of the class at IMD that are women is 28%.


June 2020 EMBA's all-virtual graduation ceremony

Leadership is letting light shine in through the constraints Breaking new ground, the June 2020 EMBA cohort attended a virtual celebration that included inspiring speeches from both faculty and graduates. “We are a special class, graduating at a special time in a special way,” said Britta Wyss Bisang, valedictorian. “But we’ll make this a building block to fulfill our dreams.” Turbulent – yet hopeful – times were on Bisang’s mind as she delivered her moving address during the graduation of the IMD June 2020 class of Executive MBAs. This first-ever IMD all-virtual graduation ceremony marked the closure of an important step in the EMBA graduates’ lives. The graduates – who attended the ceremony via Zoom – filmed short clips of themselves to share their most memorable moment of their learning journey. These were then assembled into a video compilation highlighting their appreciation. They thanked family members, friends, colleagues and faculty who helped them with their studies and supported them in completing this major step in their lives. Full article here: #IMDImpact

Reopening of the IMD campus

IMD will be reopening its Lausanne campus for face-to-face executive programs from 8th June 2020, as the authorities in Switzerland continue to ease the national COVID-19 lockdown. While travel restrictions remain in place for some countries, we are very much looking forward to welcoming participants back to campus for the first time since March, when we took the necessary decision to suspend face-to-face programs to protect the wellbeing of our community. As we reopen our campus, we will follow the guidance of the federal authorities and the World Health Organization. This careful approach will include implementing a range of precautionary measures to safeguard the welfare of our participants and the IMD team on site. More about our measures: #IMDImpact


Class Profile

IMD maintains a small class size of 90 students annually, and the Class of 2019 abides by this. Women comprise 28% of the class, and 39 different nationalities are represented. The Class of 2019 arrived on campus with an average of seven years of work experience and 31 years of age. On average, participants speak four different languages, and 80% of the group have lived or worked for six months or more outside of their home country.

In regard to educational background, engineering was the most popular undergraduate major, as 35% had pursued it. Twenty-six percent earned their undergraduate degrees in business and commerce, and another 16% had studied finance and economics. Ten percent had pursued natural sciences and another 8% have a background in social sciences. The final 5% came from an IT and computer science background. The median GMAT score for the Class of 2019 was 680.

Application Procedures

IMD gives its applicants the choice of applying in one of four admissions rounds that fall on the first day of February, May, July and September. The school’s application requirements include completing the online application form and submitting two confidential letters of recommendation, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, uploaded transcripts, 3 years of work experience and a $200 (CHF 200) application fee. Applicants must also report their GRE or GMAT scores; the school notes that candidates typically average a 680, and they recommend scoring at least a 630 on the GMAT.  TOEFL scores are also required for applicants who have not studied in English or if it is not their native language.

After the initial application, qualified candidates are invited for an on- or off-campus assessment day, during which IMD will evaluate each candidate’s English-language abilities. (Note: Phone interviews are not an option.) In its applicants, IMD seeks individuals with leadership potential, international perspective, strong interpersonal skills, steady career growth, academic ability, and strong values and integrity.

IMD has designed a special pre-application form called “Assess Your Chances” to assess potential candidates’ general fit with its program, which requires a new myIMD account login.

Application Checklist

Online Application Form

Minimum Three Years Work Experience

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution

Official GRE or GMAT

Two letters of recommendation

Uploaded transcripts

$200 (CHF 200) Application Fee

Essay Topic Analysis

Need help with your essays? Get our experts' advice.

IMD Essay Topic Analysis

The following essay topic analysis examines IMD’s MBA admissions essays for the 2019-2020 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. IMD Essay Topic Analysis 2019-2020 Let’s take a closer look at each prompt. What […]

Recommendation Questions

Not available

Interview Reports

Sorry, there is no news for this school.

Imd Q&As

Admissions Director Q&A: Anna Farrus of IMD

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, IMD maintains a small class size of about 90 MBA students each year. To talk more about the leading MBA program, Anna Farrus, the Director of MBA Recruitment and Admissions, joins us for this edition of our Admissions Director Q&A series. Farrus has worked in business […]

Admissions Director Q&A: Anna Farrus of IMD

We continue our series of Admissions Director Q&As with the leading business school in Switzerland.  Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, the IMD MBA does not just prepare you for your immediate post-MBA job, but looks at your long-term career.  Two key streams that run throughout the program are leadership and career development. During […]


Class Size90
Mean GMAT680
Mean GPAn/a
% Female28%


Mailing Address
Ch. de Bellerive 23
P.O. Box 915
CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: 41-0-21-618-0111
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @IMD_Bschool

Imd LiveWire and DecisionWire

MBA LiveWire for IMD

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
August 17, 2020 3:42pm
Waitlisted via email.
GPA: 3. GMAT: 710. Dubai.
June 27, 2019 3:00am
Accepted from Waitlist via phone.
GMAT: 720.
April 26, 2019 6:04am
Waitlisted via email.
GMAT: 720. Italy.
June 17, 2018 4:17pm
Rejected via email.
GPA: 4.0. GMAT: 680. Germany.
February 22, 2018 2:42am
Interview Invite via phone.
GMAT: 680.

MBA DecisionWire for IMD

Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: HEC Paris, IMD
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: IMD
GMAT: 740
Post-MBA Career: Undecided
Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: IMD
GMAT: 750 GPA: 3.5
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: HEC Paris, IMD, INSEAD
GMAT: 720 GPA: 3.4
Post-MBA Career: Marketing



IMD’s 47 faculty members and dean balance teaching, research, and collaboration with international firms to keep current with the latest business trends. The faculty represent 25 different nationalities and teach across 13 disciplines, including strategy (the largest represented field), finance, innovation, interpersonal leadership, marketing, operations and more.  


The IMD full-time MBA is a one-year program broken into three sections as well as a pre-program. The latter, called My MBA, runs from October to December and includes assessments and an immersion course. Business fundamentals are taught during the first section from January to June, covering business and society, operations, and strategy. Subsequently, from August to November, candidates study company engagement projects, join discovery expeditions, and build experience with international consulting projects (ICPs). The third and final section provides students with an opportunity to refine their career knowledge with electives.

MBA candidates are tasked with analyzing industries, marketing, and building business plans as well as conducting organization audits and considering new venture financing proposals. Throughout the year, assignments include group projects, integrative exercises, and individual exams. Meanwhile, the school’s corporate projects ensure direct client contact to understand current business issues and provide opportunities to network.

Students have a choice of five areas of electives to choose from: digital, finance, strategy, sustainability, and leadership & communications. Each group of electives are selected according to individualized interests, with courses designed for specific skill and knowledge development that fit each student’s immediate career targets. Through IMD’s personal and leadership building, MBA candidates will undergo peer reviews, classroom and off-campus interactions; meet with a psychoanalyst; and have time for individual reflection. These elements help shed light on issues such as group performance, navigating organizational scenarios, and how an individual’s own moral compass impacts decisions.

Other MBA Degree Options

In addition to the one-year full-time MBA, IMD offers an Executive MBA over 15 months, or over a longer period of time depending on the student’s work commitments. No matter the course timeline, students will only be away from his or her office for nine weeks total. For the EMBA program, core business themes run across the entire program, including company assignments, leadership stream, discovery expeditions, and crisis management practice.

Degree Offerings

Full-Time MBA

Executive MBA

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences and Competitions

With its spectacular view of the Swiss mountains, Lausanne is both scenic and home to rich cultural and sports activities. IMD’s extracurricular opportunities span a variety of interests—professional, social, and educational. From there, student clusters can explore niche topics, and a social committee coordinates class outings like ski trips and summer barbecues. Group sporting events see students and spectators joining the annual MBA Regatta, weekly soccer matches, and marathons.

On campus, students can hear distinguished guest speakers’ latest insights and case studies as well as personal challenges they faced and strategically addressed. During the year, there are specific course-related projects to pursue, including startup projects that invite MBA candidates to help a new high-tech venture develop its business model or move to its next stage. Similarly, students can join company engagement projects at partner companies for up to five weeks during the summer, offering potential employers the opportunity to review candidates’ fit with their firms. For international consulting projects, students complete a strategy assessment and form recommendations for corporate clients and NGOs.

Moreover, several large-scale events bring together IMD students, top-ranking executives and speakers, faculty, and other global business leaders. For example, Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWD) is IMD’s five-day flagship program that’s comprised of at least 20 plenary sessions and topical streams that invite MBA candidates to explore business issues and present findings to a wider audience. Additionally, Discovery Expeditions invite students to take a 10-day trip to such destinations as Dubai, Singapore, China, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, where they can visit companies, join research projects, and engage in discussions on a range of topics.

With only a one-year program, the IMD alumni network grows stronger annually with new members who interact online every day, whether for networking, global collaborations, peer learning, or forums on business topics like entrepreneurship, leadership, healthcare, digital evolution, and more. Alumni clubs also host guest speakers and panel discussions across Switzerland and around the world.

Campus Spaces

Just blocks from Lake Geneva, IMD’s scenic campus is situated in one of the most picturesque urban areas in Europe. This region of Switzerland has swiftly become one of the world’s top science and technology hubs, and is home to blue-chip companies that interact on a global scale. The city and school offer unique access to executive networking and leadership building opportunities.

The campus includes six main buildings in Lausanne’s Ouchy district, including the landmark historic building La Résidence that serves as IMD’s reception hall and the president’s office. Since 2002, IMD has inaugurated the sleek Executive Learning Center building, the research-oriented Nestlé Building, and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center, the main conference hall with a 350-seat auditorium. There is no housing available on campus, but the IMD team is available to assist with lodging for the school year.

MBA Careers

Career Services

In recent years, the school has placed specific emphasis on its Career Stream process. In working with recruiters, the dedicated career services team builds close, long-term relationships by understanding each company’s unique culture. For MBA students, the IMD team starts with career audit methodology that helps clarify an individual’s professional profile and transferable skills for switching to another industry, job function, or location. The Career Stream involves personal coaching, refining each student’s development goals, and shaping career plans and strategies. These career services include collaborations with IMD-affiliated internal and external career counselors; practice interviewing and negotiation; job search seminars; panels with global human-resources executives; MBA mentoring partnerships; career fairs; and year-round, off-campus networking events. IMD’s MBA program is regularly ranked among the world’s best, in part due to successful recruiting by companies who appreciate the school’s rigor with candidates, and relevance in the current global business climate.

Career Statistics

Manufacturing was the most popular industry for the Class of 2018, as 24% entered the field. Consulting was close behind, claiming 23% of the graduates. These fields were followed by consumer goods at 16% and technology/media at 12%.  Five percent pursued financial services and another 7% joined the chemicals/energy industry.

Seventy-four percent of IMD students took job opportunities in Europe, by far the most popular destination. The Americas were a distant second, taking in 12% of the Class of 2018. Another 7% headed to Asia, 5% to Africa/MENA and the final 2% landed in Australia/Oceania.


The cost of tuition for the 2018 academic year is $60,000 (CHF 60,000). IMD estimates total cost of $124,165 for students full-time, one-year MBA, which includes housing and living costs of $36,000 (CHF 36,000). IMD structures its tuition and fees to include program and project-related expenses for the MBA year. This includes books; teaching materials; professional coaching and a partner advisor; weekday lunches at IMD; accommodation and travel expenses for IMD-organized projects; costs for executive-program, OWP participation, and off-campus teambuilding.

IMD grants scholarships or loans to about half of its MBA students, and the maximum financial aid amount awarded per student is $85,000 (CHF 85,000). Approximately $1,000,000 (CHF 1,000,000) was awarded in scholarships in 2019. The school strongly advises all candidates to seek external financial-aid support.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

  • Tuition: $60,000 (CHF 60,000)
  • Fees: $30,000 (CHF 30,000)
  • Estimated Room and Board: $36,000/year (CHF 36,000)
  • Total $126,000

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