Grade Point Average (GPA)

What role does GPA play in an MBA application?

Most MBA applicants have work experience that might tell a lot more about their current qualifications than their undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA). That said, undergraduate GPA is component of the application and it does count in the application process.

MBA applicants routinely post questions on message boards asking if there is a minimum undergraduate GPA requirement below which business school would rule them out. Unlike law school and medical school where undergrads were pre-law or pre-med and knew they would need a second degree to pursue their career, not all MBA applicants were targeting business school when they were undergraduates. Because of this, and because of the work experience that many applicants bring to the MBA application process, there is a bit more flexibility with undergraduate GPAs when applying to business school.

While an undergraduate GPA can't be changed, a low GPA shouldn't stop someone from applying to business school. People with low undergraduate GPAs have gotten into top schools. The best way to prevent a low GPA from hurting your chances is by taking steps to compensate for it.

Boost Your Record in Math

MBA programs will take into consideration the level of difficulty of coursework and the college attended, but the admission office will devote most attention to the quantitative courses on a college transcript. If these grades are weak, applicants should consider taking courses at a nearby college or a community college to show aptitude in these subjects.

Similarly, for applicants with high undergraduate GPAs who were liberal arts majors and didn't take much math, or never took statistics or accounting, now would be a good time to take those classes. By supplementing your undergraduate transcript with quantitative courses you will demonstrate that you can handle the math. You will also be demonstrating your commitment to pursing an MBA degree.

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