McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tough Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68

Average GMAT Scores For The Top 50 Business Schools

student studying

GMAT scores at the top business schools keep inching higher.

The average score on the Graduate Management Admission Test rose at 10 of the Top 25 MBA programs in the U.S. last year and some of the largest increases were at public universities. The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flager Business School led all Top 25 in posting a 14-point rise in GMATs to 697 for its latest entering MBA class. The University of Washington’s Foster School reported a 12-point jump to 682 last year, while UCLA’s Anderson School of Management saw an equally impressive nine-point increase to 715.

The average GMAT scores of entering MBA classes at the top business schools often tell you more about the institutions than the applicants. That’s because schools with stable or increasing GMATs are generally re-investing in their MBA programs, while schools with declining GMAT scores are more often than not milking the cow.


A new Poets&Quants study of average GMAT scores shows that the competition at the top is more severe than ever, especially when you examine the numbers over a five-year span. Some 16 of the top 25 U.S. schools are reporting higher GMATs since 2010,  with just eight programs reporting a decline in average scores.

Call it grade inflation or just plain GMAT creep. But most of the truly elite full-time MBA programs have seen ever-increasing scores for their latest entering classes. In the last five years, for example, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has boosted average GMAT scores by 10 full points to a record 728 last year from 718 in 2010. In fact, the average GMAT score for Wharton’s latest entering class exceeds Harvard Business School for the first time ever. Wharton is now two points higher than Harvard’s 726.

Hot on Wharton’s heels for one of the largest increases among the elite schools is the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business which is up nine points to a record 724 in the past five years.


Yet, several schools managed to post even more sizable gains in the past five years. Vanderbilt University’s Owen School has increased its average GMAT score by 15 points to 688 since 2010. Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business had the highest single gain of 30 points to 666 last year from 636 five years earlier.

Gains like these don’t happen by accident. They occur because of a concerted effort by leadership to boost the school’s standing. Sadly, the reverse is true when GMAT scores go the other way. Double-digit declines, in particular, are a bright red sign that a school is losing the competitive fight for the best and the brightest. It’s also a sure bet that a school is not investing in its MBA program, but rather milking it for revenue to fund other parts of the university.

Top 50 Schools With Biggest Five-Year Increases In GMAT Scores


SchoolFive-Year ChangeAverage 2014 GMATAverage 2010 GMAT
Michigan State (Broad)+30666636
Vanderbilt (Owen)+15688673
Iowa (Tippie)+12669657
North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)+11697686
Pennsylvania (Wharton)+10728718
Chicago (Booth)+9724715
Virginia (Darden)+7706699
Georgetown (McDonough)+7691684
Rochester (Simon)+7684677

Source: Poets&Quants analysis from available GMAT data

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.