Applications for graduate business programs around the world are rising fast, with higher rates among women and minorities, a new survey shows.

Of 445 MBA and other graduate business programs surveyed at 252 schools worldwide, two-thirds reported receiving more full-time applications in 2007 than last year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. The survey also found a rise among part-time programs, with 69 percent of schools reporting increased applications.

The survey also identified a rise in applications from women and minorities. Nearly half of all full-time programs said applications from minorities increased.

Researchers attributed the gains to a growing preference among employers to hire business school graduates. While job recruiters reported increased competition among employers for MBA students, many business school graduates said they have already received multiple offers from employers this year, the survey found.

"Business schools are delivering great economic value to their students, and value creation is creating demand for MBA graduates," Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, said in a statement.

Published on: Aug 17, 2007