Graduate Program Closing Dates (Part 2)

Posted by Murad Mekhtiev

Graduate Program Closing Dates (Part 2)


A few months back, we blogged about some of the peak weeks that we had in March and April – and from there, we determined what the best weeks were for closing dates.

We have now pulled all the actual opening and closing dates data from our system and we can definitely say when the most popular dates were to close.

Here are some of the high level stats:

  • 57 employers opened their applications in February, 70 employers opened their applications in March, 24 employers opened their applications in April, and there were 14 employers that opened their applications in May 
  • February saw only 2 employers close their applications and both were early campaigns that went out later as well
  • 47 employers closed in March, 84 closed in April and only 15 closed in May
  • The most popular date to open applications was the 5th March with 16 employers opening, and the most popular date to close was the 1st April with 15 employers closing
  • Other popular opening and closing dates included 27th Feb (13 employers opening), 1st March (13 employers opening), 15th April (10 employers closing), 30th April (8 employers closing), 8th April (7 employers closing), and 29th March (7 employers closing) 
  • Most days in March had at least one employer opening applications and most days in April had at least one employer closing applications.

Analysing the dates, we see the following:

  • One of the popular dates, the 8th April fell smack bang on Easter Weekend. In fact, there were 17 employers that had their closing dates from 6 – 10th April! 
  • 6 -15th April was the mid-semester break for most universities and employers took advantage of that by choosing 15th April as one of the most popular closing dates 
  • Most closing dates seem to fall on a Sunday, Friday or Monday – in that order. These are also, in that order, the worst days in terms of traffic.


 Here is all the raw data charted out by day. Notice both the high peaks and high spread

Most employers stick to the obvious dates – those that fall at the beginning, middle or end of a month and week. However, this doesn’t match the user search patterns. Most candidates search during the week, with the peak days being Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Some closing dates, such as those during Easter Weekend, definitely look like they may have lost out on some traffic, since we did see a drop in traffic during that time.

It’s natural for employers to think that because applying for graduate programs is a sizeable investment of a student’s time, they will probably do it when they have free time – such as on the weekend or on their breaks. It’s natural for employers to assume this, especially since most graduate employers work full-time hours and would only have time to do anything extracurricular outside of work hours – including the weekend. However, our site traffic shows the exact opposite for our users. Most people search and apply throughout the week, during day time hours or in the early evening. This suggests that students are doing so at university or right after they get home. This makes sense – most students have plenty of free time at university with multiple hour-long breaks. Even those studying subjects like engineering that have considerably more contact hours still have nowhere near the hours approximating a full-time week.

Thus, we strongly encourage more employers to consider setting opening and closing dates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and to avoid semester breaks to get the most outreach. In terms of the weeks, it’s generally better to stick to weeks when other employers are closing too, since there will be more traffic due to our email alerts.

Thus, we’ve created a list of the most recommended opening and closing dates for next year’s campaigns:

Opening Dates:

For very early openers:5th or 6th Feb
For early openers:26th, 27th or 28th Feb
For first week of uni openers:5th, 6th or 7th March

Closing Dates:

For end of March closers:28th March
For beginning of April closers:10th or 11th April
For end of April closers:24th, 25th or 30th April

We’re going to turn the raw data into a presentation with comparison graphs for any employer that is interested. In the meantime, you can download the raw data here. Please note that this is raw data - so things like multiple closing dates in different cities, reopening applications etc. may all make an employer show up as opening or closing.

Wishing everyone all the best in your planning for next year’s campaign! If you would like to enquire about a profile on our website, please feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected]


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