Yale School of Management, also known as YSOM, is a prestigious school located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is difficult to gain admission to Yale’s MBA program, similar to their undergraduate school. The YSOM class of 2016 has impressive statistics, with a median GMAT of 720 and median GPA of 3.56. Only 22% of applicants who apply to Yale will be accepted. Continue reading
With the current semester just about over, next years application essay questions will be posted in the coming weeks for many schools. Round one applicants should start figuring out their story and crafting their essays. The most important essay for most schools is the question: Why get an MBA and why is [insert school name here] the right choice for you? In order to answer this question you need to have a plan for how an MBA is going to help you achieve your goals. The vast majority of MBA students are looking to switch careers. Why else pay $120,000 in tuition and give up two years of salary? If you wanted to stay in the same industry, you would probably just go for a promotion or switch companies. Continue reading
A more up-to-date analysis of MBA waitlist acceptance rate has been completed which include admissions data for the class of 2019.
At this point in the year many applicants have been placed on the waitlist for the school of their dreams. It is a frustrating experience that I personally have experienced. This articles shows the MBA waitlist acceptance rates for the top US MBA programs. The data for this analysis comes from GMATClub. These acceptance rates are meant to give a rough idea of the waitlist acceptance rate and should be taken with a grain of salt. The sample sizes vary by school; Olin, Emory and Stanford have the lowest sample sizes.
MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate by School Rank
|US News Rank||School||Waitlist Acceptance Rate|
MBA waitlist acceptance rates ranges widely from 46% to 2% depending on the school. It tends to vary quite a bit from year to year, so these acceptance rates should only be used as a guide. For example Dartmouth’s average waitlist acceptance rate is 10%, however for the class of 2016 it was only 2%. The top ten schools on average have a slightly lower waitlist acceptance rate coming in at 8% while the next ten schools average a noticeably higher acceptance rate of 14%.
MBA Waitlist Acceptance Rate Rank
|Acceptance Rank||School||Waitlist Acceptance Rate|
The schools with the highest MBA waitlist acceptance rates are Kenan-Flagler, Olin, and Anderson. At the other end are Harvard, NYU and Yale with the lowest waitlist acceptance rates. Although NYU has the highest interview acceptance rate, it rarely accepts anyone off the waitlist.
Darden, UVA’s business school, is the business school ranked 11th in the US. Darden is a prestigious school and only 25% of applicants are accepted. I built a predictive model to see which factors are most and least important for Darden admission, the results may surprise you.
Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
It is not shocking that increasing your GMAT will raise your Darden admission chance. The average GMAT score for accepted students at UVA’s business school is 706. If you were to increase your GMAT by 100 points from 650 to 750 when applying to Darden, you would raise your acceptance rate by an impressive 62%. Even at a GMAT score of 650, chance of acceptance is still over 20%.
Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
Shockingly, GPA has little to no impact on your chance of admission to Darden. The average GPA of accepted students is 3.52. When I ran a regression model on factors that predict the chance of acceptance at Darden, GPA was one of the first variable eliminated. The graph above confirms my conclusion, a person with a 4.0 GPA has only a slightly higher chance of admission than a person with a 3.0. If you have a low GPA and a high GMAT, then Darden is a great school for you.
Darden MBA Acceptance Rate by Round
Recently I performed an analysis of MBA acceptance rates by application round. The Darden MBA acceptance rate was noticeably lower during round 3. When building the Darden predictive model I confirmed that the low round 3 acceptance rate was in fact statistically significant. Although round 3 applicants still have a fairly reasonable 19% acceptance rate, it is still significantly lower than the round 1 and 2 Darden admission rates. If you are on the fence about applying round 3 to Darden, you might as well wait for next year.
Other Darden MBA Acceptance Rate Factors
Similar to Wharton, Darden MBA applicants from India have roughly a 75% lower chance of admission. Computer science majors also have a similarly low chance of being accepted, coming in at 11%.
Some business schools have roughly the same acceptance rate during all rounds while others see a significant drop off in later rounds. With applications for round 3 due in the next month or two, this analysis may help you decide which schools to focus on and which to avoid. Here is a list of the top 20 schools’ MBA acceptance rates by application round. The data for this analysis came from GMAT Club, which may be a biased sample. People on GMAT Club tend to have higher GMAT scores than the general applicant pool, so the acceptance rate can be significantly higher for some schools. The acceptance rates are meant to give you an idea of the relationship between rounds, not the absolute acceptance rate. These numbers are raw and not adjusted for other variables such as GMAT and GPA.
MBA Acceptance Rate by Round
The first table is MBA acceptance rates by round ordered by school ranking. The acceptance rates that have a star next to them means that the sample size is very small and might not be very accurate.
|US News Rank||School||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
Schools with Significantly Lower Round 3 Acceptance Rate
Many of the top 20 MBA programs have significantly lower acceptance rates in round 3 to the point where it is better to wait until next year to apply. Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, the number one ranked schools, have a large decrease in acceptance rate for round 3. Only 2% to 3% of applications for these schools are in round 3 because everyone knows that acceptance rates are so low. Haas, Yale, Duke, UVA and UCLA also see a significant drops in round 3 admissions compared to earlier rounds. Dartmouth has a respectable round 3 acceptance rate of 22%, but a very low 9% chance of admission for round 4.
Schools with Similar or Higher Round 3 Acceptance Rate
While many schools have a lower acceptance rate for round 3, there are several schools that don’t have a drop off in response. Ross, Cornell, and Emory all have similar admission odds for the third round, while Tepper and UNC actually have a higher acceptance rate for round 3.
Round 3 MBA Acceptance Rate Ranking
This is the the same table as the first one but ranked by round 3 acceptance rate from highest to lowest. Some schools have a round 4 that I did not include, because the sample size was too small. I combined round 4 applications with round 3 except for Tuck because Dartmouth actually had a large number of round 4 applicants.
|Round 3 Rank||School||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4|
The most surprising number is UNC Kenan-Flagler’s round 3 acceptance rate of 60%, which is significantly higher than that of round 1 and 2. I looked at the GMAT and GPA for each round to see if they would explain the high admissions in round 3, however they were both slightly lower than other rounds. I can’t explain why UNC round 3 acceptance rate is so high, but it is a great school to apply to in the third round.
By request, below is the GMAT, GPA and age for Harvard and Booth by round. Round 3 data does not have a ton of data, so take this with a grain of salt.
* Sample size is 30 or fewer applications.
Tuck School of Business is a top MBA program with a competitive admissions process. The Tuck acceptance rate is low, at 20%. Unlike most other top MBA programs, Tuck is a self initiated interview. Anyone who visits campus can schedule an interview. In this article I will discuss which factors impact Tuck acceptance rate.
Tuck Acceptance Rate by GMAT
GMAT score has a large influence on Tuck acceptance rate. The average Tuck GMAT score is fairly high at 716. Adding a hundred points to your GMAT more than doubles your chance of admission. Even with a low GMAT of 650, acceptance rate at Dartmouth is still more than 10%, unlike Harvard where you need a 740 to have a 10% chance of admission.
Tuck Acceptance Rate by GPA
The average Tuck GPA is a solid 3.5. It is clear that applicants with a higher GPA have a better chance of being accepted. Once graduated, GPA is set in stone, so you might as well focus on increasing your GMAT which can still be increased.
Tuck GMAT vs. GPA
Next we look at whether Tuck prefers a high GMAT or a high GPA. The graph above shows that applicants with a high GMAT have a slightly better chance of being admitted than an applicant with a high GPA. The difference is so small that it is not very important.
Tuck Acceptance Rate by Application Round
As you can see in the graph above, the round you apply to Tuck does influence acceptance rate significantly. Round 1 and 2 have a similar admission rates of around 24%. Round 3 acceptance rate starts to drop off noticeably to 18% but not much below the 20% average acceptance rate. The Tuck acceptance rate for round 4 is extremely low, at 8%. Unless you have an incredible application or are desperate to leave your current job for business school, I recommend avoiding round 4 and waiting for the next year.
Tuck Acceptance Rate by Years of Work Experience
Tuck Acceptance Rate by Age
Similar to other schools such as Columbia, Duke, Cornell and Booth, Tuck prefers applicants who are around 28 years old. I believe that this is because they have enough work experience to draw on during school but are not too old to be placed at companies during recruiting. In the above graphs I look at age and years of work experience separately, however in reality they are closely related.
In the graph above I adjusted the original acceptance rate by age graph and added in the impact of work experience. For simplicity I assume that everyone graduates at 22 and works full time from graduation until they apply for business school. When these two factors are combined, you see that older applicants have a large advantage compared to younger applicants.
Other Tuck Admissions Factors
There are a few other factors that affect your chance of admission to Tuck. International applicants (excluding India) have a significantly higher chance of admission, at 28% acceptance rate. Applicants that worked in Venture Capital are especially prized at Tuck, with an impressive 47% chance of admission.
Stern Interviewed me back in December 2013. I am happy to say that I was accepted. I used Clear Admit to prepare, and it was very helpful. I felt ready and don’t remember being caught off guard by any questions. I have created a list of the most common questions you can expect during a Stern interview because I want to help all of my potential future classmates. Most Stern interviews are around 30 minutes and conducted by an admissions staff member who has read your full application. My first question was about a unique activity that I participate in that I mentioned in the application. When you arrive, you will receive a folder with information about clubs/programs you mentioned you would be interested in. You will also be given a Stern shirt so you can show your pride if you are admitted. My Stern interview was right before winter break so I didn’t hear back for almost 3 weeks, but often candidates get their decision in as little as a few days. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your transcripts, your application cannot proceed without them. I forgot mine and had to overnight them when I got back home.
The Most Common Stern Interview Questions
- (63%) Why do you want to attend Stern?
- (63%) How did you come to work for XYZ company? Or why did you transition for XYZ company to ABC company?
- (53%) What is your back up plan if you don’t get a job in your desired post-MBA role?
- (42%) What programs would you get involved with at Stern?
- (37%) Describe a conflict you had at work (or challenging situation or time you failed) and how you overcame it.
- (37%) What is your proudest professional achievement?
- (37%) What companies do you want to work at post MBA? (Have a list of 5 companies and reasons for each one)
- (37%) How is your post MBA goal different from your current role?
- (32%) Where would you like to intern between your first and second year?
- (26%) How would your (friends, manager or colleague) describe you?
- (21%) What is the weakest aspect of your resume?
- (21%) If you are admitted to all of the schools you applied to, how will you decide which school to attend?
- (21%) Why do you want to get an MBA?
- (16%) How do you plan to market yourself to your target industry?
- (16%) Tell me about yourself or walk me through your resume.
- (16%) If 25 years from now you were asked to return to Stern to speak, how would you want to be introduced?
- (11%) What is your role within a team?
- (11%) What will you contribute to the class?
- What other schools are you applying to?
- What other schools did you apply to? How would you decide where to attend?
- What frustrates me the most at my current role?
- What role would I prefer to take (if any) in a student organization?
- Tell me about what you’ve learned working at your current company?
- What’s the best constructive criticism your boss has given you?
- What do you hope to learn from your future classmates?
- How did you choose to attend ABC for undergrad? What is your best memory of your time there?
- How did you first hear about Stern and in what ways did you learn about the school?
- What most surprises you about Stern?
- Is international experience important to me in my business school experience? Why?
- Tell me what you like to do in your free time.
- What do you like about New York? What neighborhoods would you consider living in?
- What would you change/enhance on the Stern website?
- What makes Stern’s culture different from other schools?
- During the first few weeks at Stern, how will you distinguish yourself from the other students?
- Why do your MBA in New York City? (about the city.. not the school)
- What do you bring to the class?
Any question that doesn’t have a percentage next to it I only saw once in interview reports. The one Stern interview question that rubs me the wrong way is the question about your back up plan. As a member of the class of 2016, I wonder is it so common that Stern students fail to get the job they want post MBA that Stern need to ask almost every student this question?
If you are invited for a Stern interview, please let me know if this guide was helpful for you. Also, check out my guide on how to prepare for an MBA interview.
Other interview preparation articles:
Wharton is tied for the number one business school in the world. If you are fortunate to be invited to interview for a spot in Wharton’s MBA program then you are very lucky. Unfortunately, only 47% of applicants interviewed for the Wharton MBA program will be accepted into the school. Given the lower than 50-50 chance of acceptance, you should prepare as much as possible for your Wharton interview. This guide will walk you what to expect during your team based discussion (TBD), your individual Wharton MBA interview as well as what are the most common questions asked during the interview.
What to Expect in Wharton MBA Interview
There are two components to a Wharton interview. First you will participate in the TBD, then you will have a one on one interview, typically with a second year MBA student who watched you during the TBD. I recommend showing up to your interview at least 30 minutes early. This will give you a chance to meet as many of the applicants as possible. Hopefully you will meet several of the applicants who will be in your team based discussion, which will make working with them easier.
The TBD will last roughly 35 minutes and there will be 4 or 5 other applicants in the interview with you. There will also be 2 second year MBA students observing you. One of the two observers will be your one on one interviewer. Each prospective student will be given 1 minute to introduce them-self and their idea for the prompt. Take notes during the prompt and probably throughout the entire discussion. Make sure you know everyone’s name or you will look like an idiot, so write everyone’s name down. After the introductions are over you have another 30 minutes to solve the problem.
If your idea is selected then great, if not then don’t worry, just play along with the group. This isn’t an idea contest, it is an opportunity to see how your interact in a group. You need to show that you can work well in a group. If you act like a jerk and try to force your idea down everyone’s throat then you will not get into Wharton.
If possible try to show leadership traits. This can be by proposing an agenda for the discussion. This could be assigning roles such as time keeper and note taker. Be sure to talk but not too much. And do not interrupt other applicants.
Wharton MBA Interview Questions
The personal interview will last 10 to 15 minutes and will be conducted by one of the two MBA2’s who observed your TBD. You will typically be asked 4 questions, but it can range from 2 to 6. Here is a list of Wharton interview questions as well as the probability that you will be asked it during the one on one interview. The Wharton MBA interview questions were collected from Clear Admit.
- (83%) How do you think the discussion went?
- (42%) Walk me through your resume / tell me about yourself.
- (42%) Did your behavior in the TBD reflect how you normally are?
- (25%) Why Wharton?
- (25%) Do you have any updates to your application?
- (25%) What clubs would you participate in here at Wharton?
- (17%) What is something that your group could have done better?
- (17%) Who I would want and NOT want on my team?
I found the the who you would not want on your team question especially difficult because I wasn’t expecting it. Even though it is a rare question, make sure you have an answer. Good luck in your Wharton MBA interview and be sure to check out my guide to preparing for MBA interviews.
You have just received your HBS interview invitation and now you realize that you need to prepare for one of the most important interviews of your life. After all the Harvard acceptance rate for those interviewed is still only 50%. This guide will tell you what to expect during the interview and what are the most frequently asked questions during a Harvard MBA interview. Be sure to spend ample time preparing, because you know that everyone else invited by Harvard to interview will be also.
What to Expect in the HBS Interview
The interview will be 30 minutes long and will be conducted by two admissions committee members. It can take place on-campus, off-campus hub, or even sometimes over skype. There are many Harvard MBA interview questions that pop up pretty frequently, but Harvard has a lot more variation in the questions they ask than other schools. Harvard is going to dig deeper and ask follow up questions, similar to a McKinsey behavioral interview. You can expect anywhere from 5 to 18 questions during the interview. On average Harvard will ask you 11 interview questions.
Harvard will ask a lot of detailed questions about your resume and essays. Expect the adcoms to have read your full application. They seem to ask a lot of questions about choices and transitions that you have made. They will ask not only why you made that transition but how you made the transition.
List of HBS Interview Questions
Here is a list of the most common Harvard MBA interview questions. It is compiled from Clear Admit interview reports. I calculated the probability of a person receiving each question in an interview so you know which questions to prepare for most. Sometimes they will ask a slight variation to the questions below.
- (70%) What are your weaknesses? What is negative feedback you have received? What do you struggle with?
- (60%) Why did you choose ABC employer or transition to ABC employer? How did you get XYZ job?
- (55%) Is there anything you wish we had asked?
- (50%) What are your long term goals / plans? What do you want to do post MBA?
- (45%) Tell me about yourself.
- (45%) Why did you pick your college?
- (45%) What are your strengths?
- (35%) Why get an MBA?
- (30%) Describe your industry and role? What do you make of XYZ new competitor in your industry?
- (30%) What do you do in your job? What does a typical day at your current job look like?
- (25%) What is your dream job (or internship)?
- (20%) Tell me about a challenge you have faced.
- (20%) Tell about a company outside of your area of interest that you appreciate?
- (15%) What do you like to do for fun? What do you do outside work?
- (15%) Was moving to the United States (or other country) hard? Did you experience a cultural shock?
- (15%) Why Harvard? How have you gotten to know us?
- (10%) Why did you pick your major? What was the process?
- (10%) How did you get these promotions?
- (10%) Tell me some more about your siblings or family.
- (10%) What would you do differently if you were CEO of your company?
- (10%) What’s an issue in the news you always follow?
- (10%) Did you visit an HBS class? What did you think?
Interestingly they don’t frequently ask why Harvard as much as other schools. Perhaps because Harvard is one of the most prestigious and hard to get into school in the world. You should prepare for at least the first 9 HBS interview questions on the list because you have a very high chance of being asked one of these questions. Be sure to read my guide on how to prepare for an MBA interview.
For students applying to Harvard undergrad, check out the Harvard acceptance rate analysis at College Admit Me.
So you have just been invited to interview at the MBA school of your dreams. Obviously this raises your chance of getting in, but by how much? In general, top ten schools have lower MBA interview acceptance rates while schools ranked 11 to 20 have a higher acceptance rate for applicants who were interviewed.
MBA Interview Acceptance Rate by Rank
The acceptance rate ranges from 34% to 75% for schools in the top 20. The average MBA interview acceptance rate for the top 10 is 50% and it is 62% for schools ranked 11 to 20.
MBA Interview Acceptance Rate Rankings from Highest to Lowest
NYU jumps out as the highest acceptance rate by a wide margin. If you have been selected to interview at Stern then you can prepare to open a bottle of champagne because you are probably going to business school. No other school in the top 10 has an interview acceptance rate above 60%.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kellogg and Tuck with the lowest acceptance rates. These two schools will allow anyone who visits campus to interview, so it is not surprising that they admit significantly fewer applicants who are interviewed. Most of the top 10 schools have an acceptance rate clustered between 46% and 51%.
Duke has the lowest acceptance rate for a school not in the top 10 at 52%. The rest of the schools range from 57% to 68%,
Good luck and don’t forget to prepare for your MBA interviews!
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.
The MBA admissions process is long and difficult. It is no wonder that many people pay a lot of money to hire admissions consultants to help them with the process. This article will help you to understand the critical parts of the application process.
MBA Admissions Process Components
This list of components for an MBA application is ranked from most important to least important as far as I’m concerned. Every school worth going to will have all of these components, if not more
- GMAT – All top MBA programs require the GMAT (or GRE). It is extremely important for admissions. If you want to be admitted to a top ten school then shoot for 700+. Preferably 720+ given that GMAT scores at top schools have been on the rise in recent years due to more international applications.
- Resume – The resume is made up of your work experience, leadership experience, undergraduate school and interests. The truth of the matter is that business schools care a lot about name brand for the companies you have worked at as well as the undergraduate school you attended. If possible try to work at a desirable company such as Google, Goldman Sachs or McKinsey but at the very least, try to have at least one company on your resume that a normal person will have heard of. For additional advice, check out my article on improving your resume.
- Recommendations – Your recommendations are critical! If any of your recommenders give you even lukewarm recommendations then you can kiss your acceptance goodbye. Everyone gets good recommendations because we all pick people that like us. It is helpful to pick alumni of the school if possible or at least people that have an MBA. Recommenders who don’t have an MBA probably won’t understand the process and what the admissions committee is looking for. If your recommender did not go to a top MBA school, spend some time explaining to them what schools are looking for in a recommendation.
- Essay – The essay is your chance to explain to the admissions committee why you are a good fit and why you need an MBA. You should do as much research as possible for each school before writing the essay so that you can tailor it to the school. In researching a school you should use their website, visit the school and network with currents students/alumni. I can’t stress enough networking with current students. They recently went through the same process that you will be going through and they know what the culture of the school is. If you really befriend a student they may even help you by editing your resume and essays, but don’t expect it. If I were you I’d avoid asking too much of the tour guide who shows your around because they meet hundreds of prospective students a month and don’t have enough time to spend helping every one. Instead I would ask the tour guide to connect you with a student who is in the area in which you are interested. For example, if I were applying again then I would email the tour guide and ask them to connect me with someone who knows about financial services consulting or maybe someone who did an internship at XYZ consulting company. This gives the guide the option of passing you off to a friend of theirs who doesn’t get as many emails from prospective students. That person will probably be willing to spend more time talking to you.
- Even after you have done all the other components of the application you will still have to fill out the actual application. It typically takes two or three hours and will require you to have all the information about each job you worked and degree you received. If you have ever gotten into trouble, most schools ask if you were ever on probation or arrested, so have an answer ready.
MIT is one of the most selective business schools in the top ten after Stanford and Harvard. The MIT MBA acceptance rate is only 13%, however several factors can influence your chance of admission at Sloan. Now that I have finished my consulting interviews and secured some summer internship offers I have been able to turn my focus back to this website. I built a statistic model to predict the chance of admissions based on a few pieces of data. I plan to build an admissions calculator, but until then I’ll share with you some of the insights I learned about MIT MBA acceptance rate.
MIT MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT
As you would expect, a higher GMAT increases your chance of acceptance at MIT. The average GMAT score at MIT is 713, which results in a 13% acceptance rate. Increasing your GMAT by 100 points from 650 to 750 would roughly double your chance of admission. Even with an 800, the acceptance rate is only 20%.
MIT MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA
GPA is also critical for admission into the Sloan School of Management. The average GPA is very high at 3.6. For each .10 change in GPA, the acceptance rate changes by roughly 1%. Obviously your GPA is likely already written in stone, so you should focus on increasing your GMAT instead.
MIT MBA Acceptance Rate: GMAT vs. GPA
Most schools prefer a high GMAT score* to a high GPA, however MIT is not one of them. The only other school that prefers a high GPA is Harvard Business School. Although GPA matters slightly more than GMAT, GPA can’t be changed once you graduate. If you have a low GPA then make sure you have a solid GMAT and focus on other factors like leadership and volunteer work. I started a networking group that grew to 900 people, which went over well with the admissions committee. It wasn’t even hard, I just started a meetup group in my area.
MIT MBA Acceptance Rate by Round
At Sloan, the round you apply in is very important. As you can see in the graph above, acceptance rate at MIT is 50% higher for round 1 applicants compared to round 2. If you have no other choice, you might as well apply round 2, but absolutely try to apply round 1 if possible.
GMAT, GPA and application round were the only factors that had a noticeable affect on admissions rate. Surprisingly, industry, major and years or work experience had no impact on acceptance rate.
*A high GMAT or high GPA is defined as one standard deviation above average.
I haven’t posted anything in the past month because I have been busy interviewing for my summer internship. I interviewed with 14 different consulting companies and am happy to say that I have already received 3 offers and am waiting to hear back from a few others. Getting your first offer is the greatest feeling in the world. I can feel my stress melting away.
If you think it is stressful waiting to hear back from business school just you wait for internship interviews. At least with business school you have only invested a thousand or so on applications and a bunch of time studying for the GMAT and filling out applications. For career switchers who need an internship in their industry, we gave up our high paying jobs and $200K in tuition and expenses to gamble in getting our dream job.
The good news is that business school does a good job of preparing you for interviews. I wish I could go back to undergrad and teach myself how to interview.
I will start posting regularly again now that I have more free time.
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!
Although the original predictive model I built for Stanford suggested that GPA didn’t matter, I updated the model using different data cleaning techniques and I now believe that GPA is important to Stanford. Although GPA does matter, GMAT is still much more important. The new Stanford MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis can be found here.
Stanford business school has the lowest acceptance rate of 6% out of all MBA programs in the US. I am sure everyone wants to know the secret to increase their Stanford business school acceptance rate. Shockingly Stanford GBS does not care about your GPA. I built a statistical model to predict Stanford business school acceptance rate, and there was no evidence that a high GPA increases your chance of admission at Stanford.
Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by GMAT
The graph above shows how Stanford business school acceptance rate changes based on GMAT. There is a strong relationship between GMAT and Stanford MBA acceptance rate. Surprisingly, even with an 800 GMAT your chance of admission is still only 11%. Since there are over 7,000 applicants for only 400 spots it is difficult to be accepted.
Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by GPA
Although GMAT is important to GBS, there is no relationship between GPA and acceptance rate. This is completely the opposite of Harvard where GPA is more important than GMAT. Surprisingly the highest admission rare is for applicants with a 3.0 GPA. Don’t worry too much about the high acceptance rate for low GPAs, there were only 28 applicants with a 3.0, which is not enough of a sample size to be confident. There is however enough data to confirm that there is no strong relationship between GPA and admissions. For those stats nerds out there, the P-value for the GPA variable was 33%, so clearly it had to be eliminated.
Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by Round
Although GPA doesn’t affect Stanford MBA admission rate, the round you apply in does have a large impact on your chances. The acceptance rate for round one is already below 8% and only drops even lower after that. This is similar to Harvard where application round has a strong impact on acceptance rate. If you are not a perfect candidate with great GMAT and work experience, don’t even bother with round 2 or 3. Might as well wait until next year’s round one unless you enjoy throwing away $250 on your application.
The only other factor that impacts acceptance rate is your pre-MBA industry. Consultants have a 9% acceptance rate compared to other candidates’ 6% chance of admission to GBS. Undergraduate major, years of work experience, and age have no affect on your chances at Stanford business school.
The data used to do this analysis came from GMAT Club website.
A few months back I interviewed several summer intern candidates at work. While reviewing these candidates’ resumes I saw a lot mistakes that you should never make on a resume, whether you are applying for a summer internship or a top ten MBA program. They did not do very well in the interviews and I was not surprised. Here are three easy steps you can take to quickly improve your resume before you apply for business school or your next job.
Do Not Use Too Much Jargon in your Resume
These candidates dropped terms such as electroencephalographic signal and fast Fourier transformation in the resume. Using complex jargon at best won’t help you and at worst will confuse the person reading your resume. If they can’t understand what you are saying then they won’t be impressed. You are an expert in your field, but not everyone is as knowledgeable about the topic. Try to make your resume as approachable as possible so you don’t alienate your interviewer. If your interviewer is not familiar with a term, it may make them feel stupid, and that isn’t going to help your chances of getting an offer.
Do Not Focus on the Process, Focus on the Result
Often when candidates describe their work experience, they focus on what they did, not the “so what?”. Business schools and hiring managers don’t care about the process you went through or the computer language you programmed in. Instead they want to find out what the impact of your project was. What would a hiring manager or business school rather see on a resume?
- Expert VBA programmer
- Automated data collection process using VBA, which reduced team workload by 100 hours per month
The second description not only shows that you know VBA, but it also demonstrates that you know how to use that skill to drive real value for your company. Whenever possible, try to quantify how much of an impact your project had for your company. Mention how many more customers your company will attract or how much you were able to increase profits or revenues.
Highlight your Ability to Work in a Team
Employers and business schools want to see that you can work in a team environment and interact well with others. Don’t just state that you are a team player, demonstrate that you know how to collaborate while discussing your accomplishments. Discuss a project where you collaborated with other departments and succeeded in accomplishing a goal. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you don’t have the people skills required to interact in a work environment.
Check out my MBA Interview Preparation Guide to learn how to get ready for MBA interviews.
I know that the final decisions for applicants who were interviewed for New York University’s business school are expected soon. I decided to perform a Stern interview acceptance rate analysis to see if I could predict the chance of acceptance for applicants who were invited to interview. From my data sample 74% of applicants who were invited to interview were ultimately accepted.
Stern Interview Acceptance Rate by GMAT
Not only is the slope of the regression line very flat, but also the the R-squared is only 3%. These two pieces of information suggest that once a candidate is invited to interview, their GMAT has no impact on acceptance rate.
Stern Interview Acceptance Rate by GPA
The slope of the GPA graph is a little steeper than the GMAT graph slope. The R-squared is also higher, coming in at 10%. Once again, this indicates that GPA has a little more impact on your chance of admission after being invited to interview compared to GMAT.
The low R-squared of the GPA and GMAT compared to admissions for interviewed applicants suggest that NYU treats all applicants as equal once they are invited to interview. If interviewed you are on equal footing compared to all other candidates invited to interview. This is different compared to Ross, which has a much higher correlation between GMAT / GPA and acceptance rate. The GMAT & GPA acceptance rate R-squared ranged from 30% to 75% for Ross, which is much higher than the 3% to 10% for Stern.
The data used for this post comes from GMAT Club.