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.