Meet Notre Dame’s MBA Class of 2017

Members of the Class of 2017 at Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business

Members of the Class of 2017 at Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business

There’s a certain aura that comes with the Notre Dame brand. Step onto campus and you’ll quickly be awed by landmarks like the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, and the Basilica. Here, you can lose yourself in traditions like the Trumpets Under the Dome — or imagine legendary figures like Knute Rockne strolling across the quad. From “Win one for the Gipper” to “Play like a champion today,” Notre Dame reminds us of a world where a code of faith and fair play is the fabric that binds, the spirit that empowers, the example that inspires, and the promise that redeems.

When it comes to Notre Dame, Coach Lou Holtz once observed, “If you’ve been there, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t, none is adequate.” You could easily say the same about the Mendoza College of Business. It is a school founded on intangibles, where business is a social mission. Like any full-time MBA program, Mendoza rigorously teaches subjects like modeling and analytics. The difference, however, is how it challenges students to “ask more of business” every day. Ultimately, the program’s success is based on producing value-driven leaders who live authentically, practice transparency, and build community.


Beyond its vocation, Mendoza offers several advantages for potential applicants. For starters, the school is just a 90 minute drive from Chicago – home to over 30 Fortune 500 companies. The full-time MBA cohort is rather small – deliberately so – with the 2017 Class consisting of just 122 students. As a result, students develop close ties to classmates and faculty, giving them a close look at the principles that guide them and the practices that make them successful. Such close quarters also foster a supportive atmosphere, where classmates and faculty cheer as students carry on the tradition of ringing a bell when they land a job or internship. What’s more, Mendoza graduates are bound by shared values as much shared experience. That’s one reason why Mendoza MBAs are so welcome in any of Notre Dame’s 276 alumni clubs (and why the program ranks 5th in the Financial Times’ latest poll of b-school alumni effectiveness). Translation: Mendoza grads can tap the Notre Dame network to open doors in most industries, companies, or countries.

The vocational nature of Mendoza’s curriculum also beckons students to act far outside the confines of South Bend. For example, one popular course is “Business on the Frontlines,” where students head to war-torn lands like Rwanda or Lebanon to research the problems on the ground and identify potential opportunities and solutions for NGOs and business leaders. Some students also use the school’s “Interterm Intensives” – a week where students take short courses – to work with nonprofits overseas. The school also sponsors international immersion trips, as well as a summer internship to work with entrepreneurs in nations ranging from Haiti to Kenya.

Mary Goss

Mary Goss

The global view dovetails perfectly with Mendoza’s admissions philosophy, which targets team players who are involved in their communities and willing to get their hands dirty. And this description could easily apply to Mendoza’s Class of 2017, which includes the CEO of a three year-old marketing firm, a major and helicopter pilot from the U.S. Marines, and a research associate for the Office of Condoleezza Rice (another Notre Dame alum). “It’s cliché to use the phrase ‘the whole package,’ but it really describes our students both as the Class of 2017 and as individuals,” writes Mary Goss, senior director of Notre Dame Graduate Business Programs. “They’re bright, they’re ambitious, they represent diverse backgrounds and interests.  But they’ve also chosen Notre Dame because they are looking for that deeper element in a program of meaning and values. They want to have a larger impact on the world.”


In 2014-2015, Mendoza received 692 applications, down from the 735 apps submitted for the 2016 Class. Overall, the program accepted 280 applicants and enrolled 122, good for a 40.4% acceptance rate – up from 34.8% in 2013-2014.

Academically, the new class arrives with a 682 average GMAT and a 690 median, with scores ranging from 620 to 740 at the middle 80%. In terms of undergraduate GPA, the 2017 Class brings a 3.31 average and 3.29 median, with GPAs starting at 2.79 and going to 3.83 in the mid-80% range. Undergraduate humanities majors represent the largest percentage of the class at 27%, followed closely by engineering at 26% and business at 20%. The class is rounded out by math and science (12%) and economics (9%) majors.

As a whole, the class is 27 years old on average and possesses 5 years of work experience, with experience stretching from 27 to 100 in the mid-80% range. Women and international students each comprise 30% of the class, with American minority students accounting for another 22% of the class. The highest percentage of the class – 15% — comes from financial services. The class is also includes large blocs of students who previously worked in consulting (11%), information technology (10%), education (7%), manufacturing (7%), and manufacturing (7%).

Go to next page to access student profiles of this year’s incoming class.

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