What is the average GPA of graduating MBA students?

Anyone know roughly what GPA most MBA students typically graduate with?

Also, how important is your MBA GPA even after graduation?

MBA graduate GPA

We're going to assume that we are talking about top business schools. We assume this because of competitive nature of high finance. However, many of these top schools have varied grading practices. Unfortunately, this makes it nearly impossible to put an exact figure on grades for post-MBA associates. The average undergraduate admit GPA is around 3.5. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that most students would have an A or AB average (or alternate grading equivalent).
from certified user @John-Doe8

For schools that have grades (like mine), I'd say 3.4-3.6 range will cover 80% of students. The curves for the median are pretty generous

from certified user @Hillary2016

If I had to guess at Kellogg, I'd say 3.4 Mean, 3.5 Median. Our curve is generally: 35-40% A's, 50% B's, 10% C's

Next, we'll consider the argument that business school GPA is not entirely relevant to the "real world".

How Important is MBA GPA?

The MBA is or should be a means to an end. That end is usually the development of a career and landing a job.
Opinion varies on the importance of GPA to that end. However, there is a consensus that you should focus on getting good marks. On the other hand, these marks are not necessarily a determining factor of future employment.
From Poets & Quants

Grades also are less critical in the next step of one's career: landing a job. "Your GPA carries less importance to employers at the MBA level than one's undergraduate grades," says Anjani Jain, senior associate dean of SOM's MBA program. "Employers of MBAs are often looking for a number of attributes, and they are keen to look for soft skills like leadership and an ability to communicate. They're most focused on well-rounded people who fit with the culture of the firm."

So what are some other factors for landing a job after business school?

Networking and Credibility

We'll be continuing under the assumption that you are at a top 15 or ideally M7 business schools. Quotations are from To Anyone Considering an MBA by @CompBanker. Going forward, consider all facets of a business school as tools for obtaining employment. Think of them in the same way you think of your grades. They are tools that can be used and improved upon to demonstrate your fitness for employment.

Arguably, the real value of the MBA is the network that comes with it. Consider your peer's job placement post MBA. If you are at a top tier institution then your alma matter will undoubtedly be represented in many top firms. Create connections with alumni through phone calls or coffee chats. Foster a relationship and leverage said relationship during the recruitment cycle. Meaningful connections with potential co-workers and employers are arguably more impactful than any marginal shift in GPA.

This is the one intangible benefit of an MBA program that people latch onto, and rightfully so. I can't begin to count how many times I've seen senior professionals tap into their alumni network to learn more about a particular industry, transaction, or opportunity. Furthermore, if you're looking to change jobs, having a network of people that are willing to take your call and assist you is invaluable.

The overall reputation of the business school is another factor. Since we've weighed the importance of the Alma Matter we'll consider the brand name as an extension of that. This is valuable if you use it to demonstrate a higher level of credibility. Your business school represents a certain level quantifiable academic achievement. A strong brand name allows you to make a strong impression without providing a long list of achievements. For example, you identify yourself as a current student at HBS when contacting a potential employer. You immediately inherit all of the positive things associated with the school. This can be particularly useful when incorporated into your story.

The combination of attending undergrad at a university few on Wall Street have heard of and working at small institutions, there is nothing in my bio that gives me credibility. Sure, I can eventually earn respect through performance and results, but often times a lack of credibility can prevent my ever being given that shot. I'm constantly meeting with people that judge my credibility. Current and prospective executives of investments, bankers, lenders, and down the line when I am more senior, limited partners. For me and many others, attending a top-tier MBA will enable me to gain this credibility.

In summary, if your GPA is in line with the median GPA of your graduating class then you are in good shape. In addition to good grades, you should consider using other aspects that make you a more attractive job canidate.

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Comments (23)

May 20, 2015

If I had to guess at Kellogg, I'd say 3.4 Mean, 3.5 Median. Our curve is generally: 35-40% A's, 50% B's, 10% C's....you can pass/fail three classes, with the option to take the letter grade if you get an A, which pushes it up some more. 10-15% of students get phenomenally low GPA's, which is why the median is higher than the mean in my guesstimate.

No one cares about GPA after graduation.

May 20, 2015
opsdude1:

If I had to guess at Kellogg, I'd say 3.4 Mean, 3.5 Median. Our curve is generally: 35-40% A's, 50% B's, 10% C's....you can pass/fail three classes, with the option to take the letter grade if you get an A, which pushes it up some more. 10-15% of students get phenomenally low GPA's, which is why the median is higher than the mean in my guesstimate.

No one cares about GPA after graduation.

Does anyone care before graduation...?

Half of the top programs have GND policies, so how much does your GPA even matter (apart from being in the top 5-10% or whatever and eligible for an XXX Scholar suffix)?

May 20, 2015

I have heard instances where folks were asked accounting grades during IB internship interviews at the mba level... not sure how they confirm the veracity of the answer though..
that said, even with GND people will write on their resume if they make the dean's list or something ... so its not like there is total opacity..

May 20, 2015

IB will filter you for an interview (for MBA internship or FT) based on your GMAT - generally they won't look at you with less than a 720+. During the interview they may ask you for specific grades as well. If the school has a GND policy you might be well served to just offer up that information yourself (since the employer can't ask you for it).

Leah Derus
Independent MBA Admissions Consultant
MIT Sloan Class of 2010
[email protected]
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCacB1ueqfkRVW5pcM...

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May 20, 2015

Can someone confirm this, that banks won't look at you if you have a GMAT less than 720? I'm applying T10 schools this fall hoping to break into IB but my GMAT is 700. I've been told that getting an interview has more to due with networking and background rather than GMAT (as opposed to consulting?).

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May 20, 2015
CalRipken:

Can someone confirm this, that banks won't look at you if you have a GMAT less than 720? I'm applying T10 schools this fall hoping to break into IB but my GMAT is 700. I've been told that getting an interview has more to due with networking and background rather than GMAT (as opposed to consulting?).

I'm afraid GS will never hire you if you had a 710, even if you went to Harvard and have good work experience. I have worked for BB and MM banks (albeit as an analyst) and have never heard of this magical 720 cut off. Seems like some pretty bad advice from a supposed admissions consultant.

May 20, 2015
fxmbaconsulting:

IB will filter you for an interview (for MBA internship or FT) based on your GMAT - generally they won't look at you with less than a 720+. During the interview they may ask you for specific grades as well. If the school has a GND policy you might be well served to just offer up that information yourself (since the employer can't ask you for it).

Someone find the poor souls that took this guys advice and buy them a drink.

May 20, 2015
fxmbaconsulting:

IB will filter you for an interview (for MBA internship or FT) based on your GMAT - generally they won't look at you with less than a 720+. During the interview they may ask you for specific grades as well. If the school has a GND policy you might be well served to just offer up that information yourself (since the employer can't ask you for it).

Quoted for terrible advice.

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May 20, 2015

I can't speak for everyone, but I helped quite of few of my classmates with IB recruiting and most did not have their GMAT listed on their resume (a lot had their undergrad GPA though) and they all landed at BBs. From their feedback, it seemed that pre-MBA experience and the effort they put in networking (ie. how many people they met over coffee chats) was valued way more than test scores. Interest in banking at the MBA level is nowhere near what was it was historically so the banks can't be that difficult with hiring.

May 20, 2015

@mtnmmnn sorry if you already mentioned this, but what school are you at?

and yes, I am hearing the same thing about IB recruiters having a hard time filling their schedules

Anyway, to answer the OP's question -- Poets & Quants wrote about this last year
http://poetsandquants.com/2014/02/27/how-mbas-are-...
Money quote:

" Getting straight A's for most MBA students seems far less important than flexing one's leadership muscles in a key on-campus organization or engaging with fellow classmates who may be able to help you once you're an alum. "

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-... Ask away!

May 20, 2015

I have a buddy who went through mba recruiting at a semi-target this year. His GMAT was a 680. He landed 4/4 BB offers and 1/1 EB offer. He is going to work for GS/MS. I wanna call bull shit. But who knows maybe he is a one off case.

May 20, 2015

There is no official GMAT cutoff for recruiters - whether it's banking or consulting. They may ask for your GMATs (not all do), but whether they invite you for an interview depends on:

  1. Which school you go to. If you go to a top 8 school, the banks and consulting firms typically interview just about any student that submits a resume to them. And regardless of your GMAT, once you're in the interview room, it comes down to your interview performance.
  2. Your overall resume if you go to a top 16 school. At these schools, they may not interview every single person who submits a resume to them, but they will still interview most if they do any form of on-campus recruiting. In this case, the GMAT can be factor as to whether they invite you for an interview, but again it's the total package. In other words, an ex-Jefferies analyst at NYU is probably going to get an interview at Goldman Sachs for their IBD summer/full-time jobs in spite of a 680 GMAT, whereas a non-profit person with the same score at NYU may not. Or some ex-Microsoft engineer at Ross with a 680 GMAT should have no real issues getting a McKinsey interview.
  3. The state of the job market. Banks/consulting firms aren't counter cyclical exactly, but in hot job markets, MBAs typically look beyond banking/consulting (it trickles down from the H/S/W and pre-MBA bankers/consultants who are looking for non-IB/MC jobs). This makes it harder for banks and consulting firms to hire their armies of MBAs and as such how selective they are (especially at the top 16 and beyond) goes down. For example, at the height of the dot-com boom, firms like McKinsey were recruiting more aggressively at top 30 schools because they couldn't find enough folks at the top 16.

Finally, recruiters for the most part aren't going to reject you just because of the GMAT. If you don't quite cut the mustard (i.e. your English is poor, your pre-MBA background is a bit haphazard, etc) then a low GMAT is an easy way for them to filter you out.

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May 20, 2015

Absolute horse shit information. Someone I know as well in a 10-15 ranked school and 660 GMAT got offers in4 BBS (including a top GS group) and interviewed in all 6 applied to.

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May 20, 2015

For schools that have grades (like mine), I'd say 3.4-3.6 range will cover 80% of students. The curves for the median are pretty generous, and I doubt my GPA will matter after graduation. At least I hope not, since I got my offer back in the fall and GAF in class dropped to 5%........ I've dropped a few tenths since then.

During recruiting, the F500s I talked to only cared that you were above 3.0. MBB and IB obviously different.

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May 20, 2015

IB and Google were the only cases I've heard of GPA mattering.

May 21, 2015

At my MBB office, there's not a magic number for GMAT and GPA and every screener has a different criteria but for schools where we have closed lists, we typically look for 700+ and top 25% GPA. Obviously, if a person has a really interesting resume that stands out or made a strong impression during networking sessions, then exceptions will and have been made.

May 20, 2015

Hi Guys,
Sorry to see that my advice was so off the mark. From the comments I see here it sounds like interest in IB has really gone down if they can't even fill their interview schedules. Back in 2010 when I was at Sloan it was definitely the case that 720 was a benchmark for top IB and Consulting firms. That doesn't mean that nobody with less than a 720 ever got a job or an interview. I'm seeing a lot of different perspectives here and I'm not sure what schools are represented and what types of roles/locations are being referenced. The 720 I was speaking about would have been for a top IB or Consulting position in NYC/London (rather than a satellite office which would have had slightly less stringent criteria perhaps).

Leah Derus
Independent MBA Admissions Consultant
MIT Sloan Class of 2010
[email protected]
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCacB1ueqfkRVW5pcM...

May 20, 2015
fxmbaconsulting:

Hi Guys,
Sorry to see that my advice was so off the mark. From the comments I see here it sounds like interest in IB has really gone down if they can't even fill their interview schedules. Back in 2010 when I was at Sloan it was definitely the case that 720 was a benchmark for top IB and Consulting firms. That doesn't mean that nobody with less than a 720 ever got a job or an interview. I'm seeing a lot of different perspectives here and I'm not sure what schools are represented and what types of roles/locations are being referenced. The 720 I was speaking about would have been for a top IB or Consulting position in NYC/London (rather than a satellite office which would have had slightly less stringent criteria perhaps).

Bar is much lower than 5 year ago, and you really need to re calibrate before giving advice to candidates. For example, last year at Kellogg 88% of people who applied for IB internships recieved them (and Kellogg is the least finance-y school out there). Of the 12% who didn't get offers, it was almost all language barrier issues (I think every American got an offer). These were almost all in NYC too, not satellite offices.

May 20, 2015

Thanks for the follow up. This has been very informative for me!

Leah Derus
Independent MBA Admissions Consultant
MIT Sloan Class of 2010
[email protected]
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCacB1ueqfkRVW5pcM...

May 25, 2015

For my school/bank we just collect these as data points and look for red flags. Low GMAT + Low grades in accounting/finance is generally not a good combination, even for the best networking / interesting background person.

Jun 2, 2015

Sorry for my ignorance but do grades and gpa depend on the ranking of a student in the classroom ? I mean : will a student who got an A in a classroom of many A+ will have the same gpa as the student who got an A in a classroom of many B grades ?
I'm a bit lost..

thank you very much for your answer.

May 20, 2015
Jun 3, 2015

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