Harvard business school is ranked first and it is incredibly difficult for applicants to get admitted. If you are applying, then you might wonder what is the minimum Harvard GPA requires in order to have a decent chance of acceptance. I analyzed the data from GMAT Club application data to discover the relationship between Harvard GPA and acceptance rate.
Update: I have posted a more up to date analysis of Harvard Business School acceptance rate which looks at how GPA, GMAT and application round impacts your chance of admission.
At Harvard GPA is Not Important Unless it is Very High or Very Low
As you can see, the acceptance rate between 3.0 and 3.79 is relatively flat. GPA only seems to have any impact if you are above 3.8 or below 3.0. The acceptance rate for Harvard is higher in the 3.0 to 3.39 range than 3.4 to 3.79. This is likely due to low sample size in the lower GPA range. Although the acceptance rate is 0% below 3.0 in my dataset, I don’t think there is no chance of getting in, it is just very challenging.
At Harvard GPA only starts to help you when your GPA is 3.8 or higher. The average acceptance rate at Harvard is 12%, but it is 20% for applicants with a 3.8 or higher. I could not find any data published by Harvard on average GPA or GPA range. In my dataset, the average GPA of an applicant was 3.55, but the average GPA for someone who was accepted was 3.66. The middle 80% for Harvard GPA was 3.2 to 3.98, which means that 10% of those applicants that Harvard accepts have a GPA of 3.98 or higher.
In summary, if you are applying to Harvard, don’t stress out too much about your GPA as long as it is at least 3.0. Having a somewhat low GPA isn’t going to hurt your chances very much. Harvard only seems to care about how high your GPA is if you have a low GMAT score.
For this analysis, I used data from September 2011 through February 2014. There were 774 applicants in my data set.