For MBA: Grad School GPA > Undergrad GPA?

Jose.Rey's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 161

If you already have a Masters and you're applying for an MBA, which GPA is more important to admissions? Let's say your undergrad was a 3.1 (from non-target) and your grad was a 3.5 (from semi-target), would they average or would they weight the masters GPA?

Also, are these GPAs too low for a top program and are there any programs that favor applicants who already have a masters?

Financial Modeling Course

  • Get An Edge For Your Interviews & Finance Career
  • The Best (and Most Affordable) Financial Modeling Self-study Courses.
  • WSO Members receive a 15% discount

Comments (11)

Jun 17, 2011

It depends on the degrees. Nobody averages GPAs. Your undergrad GPA is the one used for profile stats. No, the GPA is not too low unless the the undergrad degree is crap.

Dec 28, 2015

What degrees would be considered crap? Econ?

Jun 17, 2011

Talk to one of the admissions consultants but the general view is that the UG GPA matters more (there is less grade inflation than in grad school, where a 3.5 is fairly normal) and because it's universal across applicants.
With the exception of HBS and Stanford (which are more GPA-focused), the GMAT outweighs both UG and Masters level GPAs. 3.1 is on the low-end of the acceptable range, but there are probably 1000+ students right now in the top 15 schools that had roughly your UG GPA. With your numbers, if you break 700 on the GMAT, you will most likely have reassured the admissions committee that you can handle the work. As a result, the question is whether or not they consider your GPA an eyesore, and if you other aspects of your candidacy are attractive enough to wipe it out. But to sum it up, no, your UG GPA is not a red flag outside HBS and Stanford.

Jun 17, 2011
Jose.Rey:

are there any programs that favor applicants who already have a masters?

You may have a leg up on some of the accelerated (1 year) MBA programs if you hold a Msc already.

I had an UG GPA similar to yours and a Master's degree with a 4.0. I honestly think my undergrad gpa is what kept me out of some of my top choices. I thought that my 4.0 GPA in a technical field from a reputable school would give me an advantage, but it didn't seem to work out that way. I think the top schools do care more about UG GPA as another poster mentioned above because it evens the playing field for everyone. For me, I think the Master's helped me offset some low scores in undergrad classes but didn't make me stand out too much more than that. It's really hard to get feedback from admissions though at these top schools.

Jun 17, 2011
SDBall22:
Jose.Rey:

are there any programs that favor applicants who already have a masters?

You may have a leg up on some of the accelerated (1 year) MBA programs if you hold a Msc already.

I had an UG GPA similar to yours and a Master's degree with a 4.0. I honestly think my undergrad gpa is what kept me out of some of my top choices. I thought that my 4.0 GPA in a technical field from a reputable school would give me an advantage, but it didn't seem to work out that way. I think the top schools do care more about UG GPA as another poster mentioned above because it evens the playing field for everyone. For me, I think the Master's helped me offset some low scores in undergrad classes but didn't make me stand out too much more than that. It's really hard to get feedback from admissions though at these top schools.

What range school did you end up going to? 5-10? 10-15? 15-25? Does it rhyme with pornell, sharden, or mern?

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from MBA Vantage Point team. Learn more.

Jun 17, 2011
Jose.Rey:
SDBall22:
Jose.Rey:

are there any programs that favor applicants who already have a masters?

You may have a leg up on some of the accelerated (1 year) MBA programs if you hold a Msc already.

I had an UG GPA similar to yours and a Master's degree with a 4.0. I honestly think my undergrad gpa is what kept me out of some of my top choices. I thought that my 4.0 GPA in a technical field from a reputable school would give me an advantage, but it didn't seem to work out that way. I think the top schools do care more about UG GPA as another poster mentioned above because it evens the playing field for everyone. For me, I think the Master's helped me offset some low scores in undergrad classes but didn't make me stand out too much more than that. It's really hard to get feedback from admissions though at these top schools.

What range school did you end up going to? 5-10? 10-15? 15-25? Does it rhyme with pornell, sharden, or mern?

Haha, will be attending Pornell, starting in about 6 weeks. They are in the 13 - 16 range by most rankings, I think (stopped caring and stopped paying attention recently). I think they did like the fact that I had a Msc, although, again, I never received concrete feedback on my strengths and weaknesses from any of the schools that I applied to.

Jun 17, 2011

What range school did you end up going to? 5-10? 10-15? 15-25? Does it rhyme with pornell, sharden, or mern?[/quote]

Haha, will be attending Pornell, starting in about 6 weeks. They are in the 13 - 16 range by most rankings, I think (stopped caring and stopped paying attention recently). I think they did like the fact that I had a Msc, although, again, I never received concrete feedback on my strengths and weaknesses from any of the schools that I applied to.[/quote]

Congrats and thank you for your feedback. I would be very happy to attend pornell.

Jun 20, 2011

Thank you. I appreciate it.

Dec 29, 2015

Econ is very not crap. "XYZ studies" would be crap.

Jan 2, 2016

Thanks for the reply. I am new to the site I was just wondering since the school I went to there was a stigma on being an Econ major which is quite odd if you ask me.

Jan 2, 2016