As you’re preparing to enrol in an MBA programme in the U.S., there is a lot of information that you’ll need to find before you decide to apply, and what you need to do. Test scores are a big part of every application, especially for schools in the U.S.
If you’re applying for an MBA programme in 2017, and are hoping to attend one of the best business schools in the U.S., you will likely have to take the GMAT exam before you enrol in any MBA programme.
Most schools in the U.S. don’t officially set a minimum GMAT score for their programmes. However, many schools will tell you which scores, on average, students had to receive in order to be admitted to their program in previous years.
From this information, we have developed a list of the top-ranking business schools in the U.S., and the scores you should aim for to be admitted to their programmes. These scores come directly from the business school websites and are based on the class profiles from previous years.
GMAT Requirements for top 10 Business Schools in the U.S.
- Harvard Business School – Harvard University (Cambridge, MA): 730 GMAT (median score)
- Stanford Graduate School of Business – Stanford University (Stanford, CA): 737 GMAT (average)
- The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA): 710 GMAT (average)
- Sloan School of Management – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA): 724 GMAT (average)
- Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University (Evanston, IL): 724 GMAT (average)
- Haas School of Business – UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA): 717 GMAT (average)
- Tuck School of Business – Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH): 717 GMAT (average)
- Yale School of Management – Yale University (New Haven, CT): 730 GMAT (median)
- Columbia Business School – Columbia University (New York, NY): 717 GMAT (average)
- The Fuqua School of Business – Duke University (Durham, NC): 695 GMAT (median)
American Business schools accepting students with lower GMAT scores
If you don't meet the requirements of America's top MBAs you can still find many good options from other universities in the United States:
- University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) – applicants with 5 or more years of managerial experience may request a GMAT/GRE waiver
- Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GE)
- Hult International Business School (San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA; New York City, NY) – Accepts Hult Business Assessment Test instead of GMAT
- Harvard Extension School (Cambridge, MA)
- Kogod School of Business (Washington, DC) – possible GMAT waiver
Preparing for your GMAT exam
So, now that you know what scores you need, are you ready to take the test? There are plenty of resources available for students to prepare and study for the GMAT exam. The GMAT exam is designed to test how prepared MBA students are for business schools and, eventually, careers in business management. Students who are getting ready to take the GMAT exam ought to allow themselves several months before their application deadlines.
Because you are allowed to take the GMAT more than once, and you can keep taking it until you get the score you want, you should allow yourself extra time to sign up, study for, and take the test more than once.
Furthermore, reporting and sending GMAT scores to business schools can take a few weeks. Be sure to allow yourself somewhere between 5 - 6 months leading up to your applications to get your GMAT exams finished. Look into the various test preparation resources and books that will help you get the best GMAT score!
Applying to an American MBA programme
The GMAT is not the only thing you need to apply for an MBA programme. Students also need to make sure that they gather recommendations, records/transcripts, and their CV (resume) to send to every business schools.
Universities do not want to judge you solely on your testing scores, they want to see other materials so that they can make a fair evaluation or judgement. So, you will want to look on every programme's website to be sure what they ask for.
Often, MBA programmes ask that students have a certain amount of work experience before enrolling in their programme. In order to admit students who are well-familiar with real-life management skills and issues, they want to ensure that you not only have the scholarly and academic background; but, also, that you have applied your knowledge in a professional way. If the MBA programme requires work experience, be sure to know how much they require and whether you are eligible to apply.