*February 5 2019*
"So what GPA is really needed to get into a top flight MBA program?"
This is an interesting question that requires some analysis. See, like the GMAT test score, your Undergrad GPA or academic record in general is one key predictor of success at any given MBA program's rigorous curriculum. MBA Admissions Committees need to know that a prospective candidate will both succeed and thrive at the school should he/she be admitted and not struggle throughout their years at the program. The MBA is designed to be not only academic heavy but a period of fun and introspection (personal and social development) as well. So what am I saying? Basically, a good Undergrad GPA and track record is always good and if that's what you have, great!
However, the GPA is one bullet point amongst many when the admissions review is underway on a candidate's eligibility. I have helped many students whose Undergrad GPAs were not stellar but they were able to overcome this hurdle by either displaying a strong GMAT score, taking after work quantitative classes and receiving 'A', strong letters of recommendations demonstrating superior aptitude at work, etc. Each candidate has a different story and it takes skill to craft this story so it is presentable at final submission.
As per 2018 average GPAs, the Top Schools have trended toward a GPA of 3.30 and above- this range shows the MBA Admissions Committees that you can basically cut it (thrive and strive). Stanford remains the highest average GPA with 3.73, followed by HBS/Yale at 3.71 and UC-Berkeley Haas at 3.66. Wharton/Northwestern Kellogg/Columbia closely trail with a 3.60 (data chart below).
If a candidate does not have the particular score range at the Top Schools, it becomes critical to either strengthen other aspects of the application to compensate or target certain Safety Schools where their GPA may fall within the generally accepted range.
We work tirelessly at MBA Accepted to create the most compelling MBA Brand Identity per candidate that portrays their unique stories to the MBA Admissions Committees!
*Data compiled by Poets & Quants
Thank you for reading,
Val Misra, MBA
Founder @ MBA Accepted