Many applicants may wonder if their undergraduate major impacts their chance of getting into business school. Admissions data suggests that your college major can significantly impact your probability of getting into business school. The general trend seems to be that majors that are more dominated by women have a higher acceptance rate while industries that dominated by men had lower acceptance rates. This could be because my data does not have gender as a variable, so I could not account for it. Many people believe that women’s acceptance rate is higher than it is for men with similar credentials, but I have not found any data that proves it. Another explanation is that the female dominated majors are generally underrepresented in business school application pools, so when schools aim to diversify the class, the acceptance rates are higher for those majors. Continue reading
McCombs School of Business is a top MBA program and part of University of Texas Austin. The full-time program is small; the class of 2017 is 267 students. McCombs average GMAT is 694 and average GPA 3.40. The acceptance rate is at the higher end of the spectrum at 35%. UT Austin also has an evening business school with more relaxed admissions criteria. For the evening MBA, GMAT is 640 and GPA is 3.34. Continue reading
The Columbia MBA acceptance rate is on the higher side for a top 10 school, at around 18%. Despite the deceptively high acceptance rate, Columbia is still a tough school to gain admission. I built a predictive model which can give you some insight into what the Columbia Business School admissions committee is looking for in applicants.
Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
As expected, Columbia MBA acceptance rate increases as GMAT rises. The average GMAT score is an impressive 719. Increasing GMAT score by 100 points from 650 to 750 increases odds of acceptance by 140%, which is a bigger benefit than MIT.
Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
Surprisingly GPA has little to no affect on acceptance rate at Columbia. The average GPA of Columbia applicants is 3.49 while the GPA for those admitted is almost unchanged at 3.51. Stanford is the only other school where GPA doesn’t matter. For those of you out there with a low GPA and high GMAT, Columbia is a great school to apply.
Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Round
The round you apply in impacts Columbia MBA acceptance rate. At CBS, if you apply during Early Decision then you are forced to enroll if accepted. Columbia seems to be worried about yield for accepted students if they are forcing applicants to choose them. If you are serious about Columbia then consider applying Early Decision because you have a slight edge otherwise you might as well wait for regular decision. Columbia is actually rolling admissions, so the sooner you submit your app the faster you get your decision.
Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Age
The age at which you apply has a strong impact on your chance of admission. The best time to apply is when you are 27 or 28. The further a candidate is from the average age, the lower their chance of acceptance is. I believe that this is because candidates with around 5 years of work experience have worked long enough to impress potential employers and contribute to classroom discussion while not being over qualified for on campus recruiting positions. Duke, Cornell and Booth all have a similar age effect.
Other Admissions Factors
Liberal arts majors have roughly twice the acceptance rate as others. I don’t have gender in my data set but my hypothesis is that Columbia is trying to attract women which is why the acceptance rate is so high for liberal arts majors. Acceptance rate is higher for economics majors but lower for finance majors. Consultants also have a major advantage, with an impressive 30% acceptance rate.
Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
I updated this article by request to show how Columbia acceptance rate changes by GPA. In the chart below you can see that from 3.0 to 4.0 the acceptance rate stays fairly stable, slightly above 20% for all GPAs other than 3.2 and 3.9. Shockingly the acceptance rate at 3.0 is actually higher than 4.0.
CBS Interview Invite Rate and Acceptance Rate by Round
A reader asked me how applying early vs. regular affected an applicants chance of being invited to interview and accepted after interview. It looks like applying early does not improve an applicant’s chance of being interviewed but does raise the acceptance rate if invited to interview. Approximately 40% of applicants apply through early decision.
The data for this post comes from GMAT Club.
University of Chicago is a fairly selective business school with an acceptance rate of 22%. Similar to Kellogg, Booth has one of the higher acceptance rates for a top 10 school. While building an MBA admission calculator, I uncovered some insights on how Booth evaluates MBA applicants.
Booth Admissions Rate by GMAT
The graph above demonstrates that GMAT has a high impact on Booth admissions. Increasing your GMAT from 650 to 750 more than doubles your chance of admission. The average GMAT score for an applicant is 718, but the admitted applicants have a slightly higher GMAT of 724.
Booth Admissions Rate by GPA
A high GPA will give you a slightly higher acceptance rate at University of Chicago, but it is easy to see that GPA doesn’t have a very large impact on admission rate. Even with a 3.0 GPA the Booth acceptance rate is 18% which is higher than the acceptance rate at Harvard for an applicant with a 4.0.
Booth Acceptance Rate GMAT vs. GPA
The graph above compares the importance of GMAT vs. GPA to Booth admissions. Candidates with a high GMAT score had a significantly higher acceptance rate than those who had a high GPA.* If you have a high GMAT and a low GPA, University of Chicago is an ideal school at which to apply. For example an applicant with 3.0 GPA and a 760 GMAT has a 25% chance of being admitted.
Booth Admission Rate by Age
Similar to Duke and Cornell, the Booth admission committee prefers applicants who are around 27. The further a candidate is from the average age, the lower their chance of acceptance is. I believe that this is because candidates with around 5 years of work experience have worked long enough to impress potential employers and contribute to classroom discussion while not being over qualified for on campus recruiting positions.
Booth Admissions Rate by Round
Other Factors that Impact Booth Acceptance Rate
Applicants who are living in India have only a 7% chance of being accepted at Booth. Science and Math majors have a slightly higher chance of admission. Liberal Arts and Humanities majors have an exceptionally high chance of being accepted, at 56%, while Engineering majors have lower odds at 17%. I think that it is not that Booth is specifically trying to attract Liberal Arts majors, but that they are trying to bring in more women, who happen to be more likely to major in Liberal Arts. Finally investment bankers have only a 14% acceptance rate at Booth.
*A high GMAT or high GPA is defined as one standard deviation above average.
Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is one of the top 20 MBA programs in the US. The Duke MBA acceptance rate is 25%, which makes being admitted a big accomplishment. The next question is obviously what characteristics does the Duke admissions committee look for in Fuqua applicants? Not only are GMAT and GPA important factors that will impact your admissions, but also your age and the round you apply in affect your chance of acceptance.
Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
The average Duke applicant has a GMAT of 690, several points lower than the 697 for accepted candidates. As expected the acceptance rate increases as an applicants GMAT rises. The graph above shows Duke MBA acceptance rate by GMAT for the average applicant with a GPA of 3.35.
Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
Unlike schools such as Stanford and Cornell, GPA does affect Duke MBA acceptance rate. The average applicant has a GPA of 3.35, however accepted applicant’s GPA is slightly higher. Above you can see the admission rate by GPA at Fuqua.
Duke MBA Acceptance Rate GMAT vs. GPA
Now that you know that GMAT and GPA both matter to Duke, the next question is which is more important. My admissions analysis shows that Duke prefers GMAT over GPA*. A high score on the GMAT will increase Duke MBA acceptance rate from 25% to 30%. However, a high GPA only increases your chance of admission at Duke to 28%. For applicants with a high GMAT and low GPA, Duke is a good school at which to apply. For example an applicant with a 750 GMAT and 3.0 GPA has a 29% chance of getting into Duke.
Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by Age
Similar to other schools such as Stern, age impacts acceptance rate. Applicants who are around 27 to 28 have the highest chance of being accepted at Duke, while older and younger candidates have lower odds of being admitted. My hypothesis is that younger applicants don’t bring as much work experience to the class room discussion while older applicants are hard to place at top companies during on campus recruiting.
Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by Round
I looked into how application round affected your chance of admission at Duke, and it was not statistically significant. Even the low round 3 acceptance rate cannot be confirmed as accurate because of low volume. Don’t worry too much about applying first or second round, but you may want to avoid round 3 just to be safe.
Other Factors Affecting Acceptance Rate
People applying from India had a significantly lower chance of admissions, while applicants from the US had a higher acceptance rate at Duke. Applicants who majored in business had a slightly lower admission rate. Military applicants had an astonishingly high acceptance rate of 50%. So all you veterans out there should strongly consider applying to Duke.
The data used for this analysis comes from GMAT Club.
*For GMAT vs. GPA comparison a high score is defined by one standard deviation above the average GMAT or GPA.
Many MBA applicants wonder what their chances of getting into a top school is. This analysis looks at Cornell MBA acceptance rate based on data such as GMAT, GPA, undergraduate major, and age at application. The average acceptance rate at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is 22%, which is higher than all of the schools in the top 10 but lower than many of the schools ranked 11 to 20.
Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
As you would expect, GMAT has a high impact on Cornell MBA acceptance rate. The average GMAT for the Cornell MBA class of 2016 is 700. Although GMAT does affect Cornell MBA acceptance rate, GMAT has a smaller importance than other schools such as Kellogg. Increasing your GMAT score by 30 points raises your chance of admission by 5% at Kellogg but only by 2% at Cornell.
Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
Strangely enough it appears that GPA has little to no impact on your acceptance rate at Johnson. When I ran the logistic regression, GPA was the first variable I eliminated. Even at Stanford, GPA wasn’t eliminated until almost at the end. This suggests to me that Cornell really doesn’t care about GPA. If you have a low GPA and a high GMAT, then you should be applying to Cornell for the highest chance of admission. The average GPA from my data set, which came from GMAT Club, was 3.40 for both accepted and for declined applicants.
Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by Age
Although your GPA doesn’t matter to Cornell, the age at which you apply does matter. Similar to other schools, such as NYU, the age at which you apply does impact your chance of admission. Cornell prefers candidates who are close to the average age of around 27 or 28. The further you deviate from this average age, the lower your chances of admission are. I believe that the schools do this for two reasons. The first is that young people don’t have as much work experience, so they tend to have less to contribute to the conversation in class. At the other end, candidates that are too old are harder to place in recruiting because companies wonder why someone who is so old is getting an MBA. I have noticed that the women in my program tend to be younger on average than the men. I imagine that the admissions department will give women a little more leeway on applying younger because some women want to finish their MBA before they start a family.
Other Factors that Impact Acceptance Rate
Candidates who apply while living in India have a lower acceptance rate, while those applying while in the US have a higher admission rate. Applicants who majored in engineering during their undergraduate program have a lower acceptance rate. The admission rate for applicants who are currently working in manufacturing is significantly lower than anyone else.
Good luck with your applications!
Kellogg’s acceptance rate is on the higher side for a top 10 MBA program at over 20%. But don’t be fooled, getting into Kellogg is still very difficult. In addition to high expectations for GMAT and GPA, Kellogg allows all applicants to interview. This allows Kellogg to find candidates with the best interpersonal skills even if they don’t have high scores. Since I don’t have information on candidates’ interpersonal skills, I’ll stick to GMAT and GPA. I built a model that can estimate an applicants chance of admissions to Kellogg based on a few key pieces of data . I am posting the insights I found in the model here until I am able to build the admissions calculator over winter break.
Kellogg Acceptance Rate by GMAT
The average GMAT score for Kellogg’s 2 year MBA program is 717, however the average GMAT for applicants is lower, coming in at 709. The graph above shows the relationship between GMAT and Kellogg acceptance rate for the average applicant, who has a GPA of 3.38. You can see there is a strong relationship between GMAT and Kellogg acceptance rate. An applicant to Northwestern has twice the chance of getting in with a 750 compared to a 650.
Kellogg Acceptance Rate by GPA
Similar to GMAT, having a higher GPA increases your chance of admission at Kellogg. Even with a low GPA of 3.0, the admission rate is still over 20%. The graph above shows Kellogg acceptance rate by GPA for the average candidate, who has a GMAT of 709 (yes I know that it is not a possible score).
Kellogg prefers GMAT over GPA
By comparing admissions for candidates with a high GMAT score vs high GPA, I found that Kellogg prefers a high GMAT over a high GPA.* This is good news for candidates who are willing to put in the hard work to get a high GMAT score. Having a high GPA only increases your chance of admission by 2% to 25%. On the other hand, having a high GMAT increases the Kellogg acceptance rate to 29%. On the flip side, if you have a low GMAT then it will harm your chance of admission more than a low GPA.
Kellogg Acceptance Rate by Round
Round 1 applicants had the highest acceptance rate, with round 3 acceptance rate the lowest. These numbers are a little misleading because they don’t take into account difference in the average candidate quality for the different rounds.
The lower acceptance rate for Kellogg applicants in later rounds is explained by lower GMAT and GPA. This is why application round is not a factor in my admission model. Applying in a later round does not appear to harm your chance of admission at Kellogg significantly, especially if you can use that time to raise your GMAT or improve your essay.
Other Admissions Factors
The last two factors that had an impact on admission rate were country and industry. Applicants who were living in India had a roughly 6% chance of admission. Candidates who worked in computer software while applying had a 5% chance of admission. Both of these factors were statistically significant, meaning that there was enough data to verify the effect.
Good luck with your applications! Let me know if you have any questions.
*A high score on GMAT or GPA is defined by one standard deviation above average.
I plan to post the Ross admission calculator online as soon as I have time to build that portion of the website, probably over Christmas break. In the mean time I will share some of the insights I got from building the predictive model.
Ross Acceptance Rate by GMAT
Obviously your chance of admission to Ross School of Business increases if you score higher on the GMAT. The good news is that Ross’s acceptance rate of 34% is significantly higher than almost all other business schools in the top 20. The Ross class of 2016 profile shows that the average GMAT and GPA are 702 and 3.4 respectively. The data used to create this analysis comes from GMAT Club. Of the applicants in my data set, 84% had GMAT of 700 or higher, which means that I am fairly confident about the relationship between GMAT and admissions in the 700’s but not as confident in the 600’s.
To create the graph above, I used the average GPA from my data set which is 3.42 and then shifted the GMAT score in my model. The model takes into account the interaction of GMAT, GPA, years of work experience, undergraduate major and the industry you worked in.
Ross Acceptance Rate by GPA
Ross Acceptance Rate: GMAT vs. GPA
The real question is which is more important for raising your Ross acceptance rate, GPA or GMAT? In the graph below I compare how much the admissions rate changes if I alter the GMAT or GPA by a standard deviation. A standard deviation is a measure of variance in a population or sample. Since I can’t compare the absolute variance because GMAT and GPA are on different scales, I compare how the shift of one standard deviation impacts the Ross MBA acceptance rate.
As you can see the slope is steeper for the GMAT line. This means that Ross prefers applicants with a high GMAT over applicants with a high GPA. One standard deviation higher in GMAT increases acceptance rate by 22% while a standard deviation in GPA only increases chances of admission by 14%.
Other Ross Acceptance Rate Insights
similar to Harvard and Wharton, at Michigan the acceptance rate is noticeably lower for Indian applicants vs. non-Indian applicants, 17% vs. 41% respectively. Engineering majors have a lower chance of admission while liberal arts majors have a higher chance. Many schools are trying to increase the number of women in their program. The higher acceptance rate for liberal arts majors may reflect Ross trying to attract more women, however my data set is missing gender information. More years of work experience increases the chance of admission by around 2.5% per year. Also military applicants have a higher chance of admissions.
For those of you who have already been invited to interview at Ross, your acceptance rate is higher at around 62%. Check out my Ross Interview Acceptance Rate Analysis to see what your chance of getting admitted is.
Good luck with your applications!
How can anyone ensure that they will be accepted to Harvard Business School? Unfortunately there are no assurances at the number one ranked business school which has an acceptance rate of 12%. This analysis will show you what factors impact Harvard Business school acceptance rate, such as GMAT and GPA.
Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate by GMAT
Similar to all other business schools, Harvard does care about your GMAT score. As you can see in the graph below, a higher GMAT results in a better chance of admission. If you want a double digit chance of admission you had better score a 740 or higher. Even at 800 the HBS acceptance rate is surprisingly only predicted to be 16%.
Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate by GPA
Next we look at how GPA affects Harvard Business School acceptance rate. Obviously a higher GPA results in a better chance of admission at HBS. Acceptance rate doesn’t break into the double digits until you hit 3.7. This reminds me of why I didn’t even bother applying to Harvard with my 3.33 GPA. Damn you engineering, why did you ruin my grades?
Harvard Business School Acceptance: GMAT vs. GPA
The real question is which is more important for raising your chance of admission to HBS, GPA or GMAT? In the graph below I compare how much the admissions rate changes if I alter the GMAT or GPA by one standard deviation. A standard deviation is a measure of variance in a population or sample. Since I can’t compare the absolute variance because GMAT and GPA are on different scales, I compare how the shift of one standard deviation impacts the Harvard MBA acceptance rate.
Unlike at Stern and Wharton, Harvard values GPA over GMAT. Harvard acceptance rate increases by 30% when GPA increases by one standard deviation but only by 25% when GMAT increases by a standard deviation. This indicates that GPA is more important than GMAT at HBS, and they are willing to roll the dice on a candidate with low GMAT like the guy who was accepted last year with a 550.
Other HBS Acceptance Rate Insights
The round you apply in does have an impact on your chance of being accepted at HBS. Applying in a later round significantly reduces your chance of admission at Harvard. The data for round 3 is not statistically significant due to low sample size, but I wouldn’t risk applying in round 3 unless you have a godly application. Perhaps after this recruiting year is over I’ll have enough data to confirm and update the model.
If you want to maximize your chances of getting into Harvard, then be sure to apply during round 1. Additional work experience does increase your odds of getting into Harvard by a small amount, roughly .5% per year. I’m sure a lot of peoples’ next question is what about the 2+2 program? I do know about the 2+2 program Harvard has but I can’t tell which candidates are applying through the 2+2 program vs. not. However I can tell you that of the 59 people in my sample who are 24 years old or younger , none were admitted. So although it is possible to get in if you are younger, it certainly is more challenging.
Next I’ll mention a few factors that are out of your control in the short term but should be known so you can plan accordingly. Similar to Wharton, applicants who are applying from India have a lower chance of admissions, only 1.5% of applicants from India are accepted. Applicants who majored in finance also have a significantly lower chance of being admitted, only 2%. And finally applicants who have worked in venture capital or the military have a much higher admissions rate, 16% and 17% respectively.
Update: I took a quick look if I could predict acceptance rate accurately for people who were already selected for an interview. They only factors that had any predictive power were round, age and major. Average acceptance rate is 49%, with older candidates doing a little better about 7% higher acceptance rate for someone a year older than average. Round 2 applicants had a 37% acceptance rate, while round one had a 57% chance. And finally, applicants who majored in finance had a 16% chance of admittance. In the end, it is very difficult to predict admissions for candidates once they have been invited to interview, which suggests that to Harvard the interview actually matters.
Good luck with your Harvard applications!
For undergrads, check out the Harvard acceptance rate analysis at College Admit Me.
I just finished building the Stern acceptance rate prediction model. I will post the admissions calculator as soon as I have time to finish learning PHP and then build that portion of the website. I’ll probably have time to work on it over Christmas break, but right now I am too busy applying for interviews for summer internships. In the mean time I will share some of the insights I got from building the model.
Stern Acceptance Rate by GMAT
The first thing that jumped out at me was that the acceptance rates I came up with are noticeably higher than the published acceptance rate of 15%. I believe that this is because the average candidate who applies and posts their data on GMAT Club, where I get my data, is more competitive than the average candidate. The average GMAT Club applicant to Stern has a GPA or 3.45 and GMAT of 709, which is not too far from the scores listed on the class profile for Sterns class of 2016 of 3.52 and 721.
If you are applying to Stern, it is pretty obvious that having a higher GMAT is important and will significantly raise your chances of being admitted. To create the graph above, I used my model with the average GPA of 3.45.
Stern Acceptance Rate by GPA
Next I looked at how GPA affects Stern acceptance rate. Once again there is a clear relationship between GPA and admission rate for NYU. In the graph below I used the average GPA score of 709 in my admissions model.
Stern Acceptance Rate by Round
Many candidates want to know if it matters in which round you apply. I took a look at the raw acceptance rate by round for NYU. As you can see the acceptance rate for round 2 is slightly lower and for round 3 it is noticeably lower.
The acceptance rates above are raw numbers, not the predicted values from my admissions model. Why you ask? Because when I took into account all of the other factors, the round you apply in is not statistically significant. The reason the acceptance rate is lower in round 2 and 3 is not because the schools are more selective but because on average lower quality candidates apply in those rounds. If you are a qualified candidate, do not worry about applying to Stern in round 3, you still have a good chance of getting in.
Stern Prefers GMAT over GPA
In the past I tried to figure out if Stern prefers a high GMAT or GPA and didn’t come up with anything conclusive. Now that I have built the Stern admissions model I can see how a similar change in GMAT or GPA impact acceptance rate at Stern. In the graph below I compare how much the admissions rate changes if I alter the GMAT or GPA by a standard deviation. If you are applying to business school then you should probably know what a standard deviation is, however if you don’t it is a standard measure of variance in a population or sample. Since I can’t compare an absolute variance because GMAT and GPA are on different scales, I compare how the shift of one standard deviation impacts the Stern acceptance rate.
In the graph above, you can see that increasing the GPA by one standard deviation (.28) increase acceptance rate by 29%, but raising the GMAT score by one standard deviation (39) leads to a 45% higher chance of admissions. It is clear that Stern prefers candidates with high GMAT score over ones with a high GPA. This is good news for candidates with a low GPA because with enough hard work, you can increase your odds significantly by raising your GMAT.
Other NYU Admissions Insights
I also found that NYU prefers candidates with an average age of 27 to 28, the further you are from this average age, the lower your chance of getting in. Stern really likes candidates that come from consulting. Applicants from consulting had a acceptance rate of 42% vs. 21% for non-consultants. Having more work experience also increased your odds of admissions. Acceptance rate increased by about 2% for each year of work experience. However, once you pass 28, the age deviation factor is significantly stronger than the work experience factor so you shouldn’t wait until after 28 to apply.
I noticed that candidates that majored in business or engineering had a lower chance of admission. Business majors with average scores had a 8% chance of admission compared to 24% for non-business majors. Engineers had a 13% chance of getting in compared to a 26% chance for non-engineers. These differences are statistically significant even after taking into account all other factors. That being said, I majored in engineering and I got into Stern. I also know many other business and engineering majors who are currently attending Stern with me.