What GPA is too low for MBA?

Karen Marks, President and Founder of North Star Admissions Consulting

Despite what you may have heard, he is quite makes it possible to get into a top MBA program with a low GPA. I have helped many North Star clients succeed despite their shaky academic records.

Can you get into an MBA with a low GPA?

There are many universities that accept students with a low GPA. In general, colleges are very clear about their needs and preferences; however, many colleges are now more flexible. So the answer to the question, if I can get an MBA with only a 2.0 GPA score, is YES!

Most of these programs require a GPA starting at 2.5.

Best MBA Programs Accepting Low GPAs

You can find average GPA data for MBA programs online over the past few years and see where you stand. Here’s an idea:

HBS is proud to admit that MBAs in 2020 averaged undergraduate GPAs of 3.7.

Show that you are ready.

If your college GPA was low, the MBA admissions committee wants to make sure you don’t repeat those grades in business school. Show that you are a different student today than you were in college. Enroll in a business course online or at a local community college and get an “A” on your transcript. Write down any certifications or licenses (eg, CPA, CFA, Six Sigma) you have earned that demonstrate your ability to excel in career-related courses. Ask your respondents to highlight your work ethic and your commitment to delivering results beyond their expectations.

The last thing the admissions committee wants to do is admit a candidate who cannot take the courses into their MBA program.

Undergraduate GPA is ONLY ONE data point used to assess your application. Just as Stanford would have to admit six students with 4.0s to make up for your 2.7, you have to make up for your poor GPA by earning high marks elsewhere in your application. Score 20-30 points above your average GMAT score. Ask referees to define you as a “career best” candidate. Highlight work experiences where you developed valuable skills and knowledge, which has a measurable impact. Write strong essays that connect your background and goals to the resources offered by each program.

Why do business schools care about undergraduate GPA?

Although trade school differs from college, it is still an academic program to award a professional degree. Your performance at university reflects your commitment as a student, your academic abilities, and your ability to manage your time effectively. If you do very well in college, chances are you are well prepared to do well in college. If you don’t do well in college, it’s a red flag for the admissions committee that you won’t cut it for the rigors of the MBA class.

700+: excellent. Very good post! You are ready to move on to another section to improve your application.

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