Yale SOM: Strongest Class In 12 Years

A class at Yale School of Management

A class at Yale School of Management

Yale University’s School of Management, on something of a roll since the arrival of Dean Edward “Ted” Snyder five years ago, has upped the ante again. SOM’s incoming Class of 2018 has a new record average GMAT score of 725, up 4 points from a year earlier, along with a record-low acceptance rate of 19.0%, down from 20.7% last year. In the past two years, booming application volume has allowed SOM to take nearly 4 percentage points off its acceptance rate.

The school’s average GMAT score places its MBA program among the most elite in the world. The new record at SOM now matches Harvard Business School and puts SOM behind only four other schools: Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (733), the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (731), Northwestern Kellogg School of Management (728), and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (727).

The class’ average GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores also climbed a point in both the verbal and quant sections of the exam. The average verbal is now 165, while the average quant score is 163. More than 20% of SOM’s incoming students submit GRE scores, the highest percentage of any of the elite MBA programs.


Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean of admissions at Yale SOM

Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean of admissions at Yale SOM

SOM also said the undergraduate grade-point average for its new students is 3.63, up a tick from 3.60 a year earlier. Against its elite peer rivals, the slightly better GPA would put the school behind only three other players: Stanford (3.75), Harvard, and UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (3.66). The top five feeder colleges into Yale’s MBA program this year were Brown University (14 students), the University of Pennsylvania (9), Harvard (9), Yale (8), and Vassar College (7).

The improved numbers for the 334 students in the Class of 2018 bodes well for SOM’s position in future MBA rankings, several of which weigh such metrics in their methodologies. Yale’s steady progress in the quality of its incoming students, among other things, helped to lift the school solidly into the top 10 in last year’s Poets&Quants‘ composite ranking for the very first time. Only three years ago, Yale’s MBA program ranked 17th best.


“I can say that it’s as strong and diverse a class as I have seen in my 12 years at Yale SOM,” enthuses Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean of admissions. “I’ve also been impressed with how well the class has gelled even in their short time here at Yale. I have already had a number of faculty and staff comment on this fact — as well as the overall quality of the class — so I think it’s going to be a special group.”

Not only was Yale able to boost its selectivity again this year, but the school also increased the diversity of its incoming class. The percentage of women in SOM’s Class of 2018 rose 3 percentage points to a record 43% from 40% a year earlier, while the percentage of international passport holders increased to an unprecedented 46%, up 6 percentage points from last year. The incoming students hail from 46 different countries.

The mix of work experience for new MBA students also changed slightly. Students who had worked as consultants jumped to 16% of the class, up from 12% a year earlier. Finance fell to 18% from 20%, while students with nonprofit backgrounds slipped a percentage point to 16% of the class from 17% last year. Technology (7%) and government (6%) saw no year-over-year change. The class also includes 10 military veterans, versus 11 the previous year, and 18 Silver Scholars (students admitted directly from an undergraduate program), up from 17 a year earlier.

Experience-wise, 33% of first-years earned undergraduate degrees in the humanities, up just a percent from last year. Another 22% held business degrees (down from 25%), followed by engineering and information sciences at 17% (up from 16%), economics at 17% (versus 16%), and math and sciences at 11% (down from 12%).

SOM said that 16% of the class completed graduate degrees, while another 14% of the class are pursuing joint degrees at Yale.

(See following page for the full statistical profile of the latest class)

  • somsquared

    wrong, SOM on a per capita basis sends the most to MBB NY offices. nice try though

  • HBSwarrior

    in what? students that go to deloittes atlanta office?

    harvard sends 4x more students to MBB than any school on here.

  • BlueDevil88

    except Duke is ranked higher than SOM..

  • WizK

    Front office jobs are reserved for HWS. Yale and the other fill the operation, equity research, etc..

  • somsquared

    Johnson has higher avg GMAT and GPA if you take out the scores of our part time students. The rankings are rigged, Johnson should be ranked behind H/S/W but ahead of Kellogg and CBS

  • somsquared

    I already admitted I’m a Cornell alum but everyone from Yale is obnoxious. You are right I also used USNewsFan as a name because everyone is siiiiick of all the Yale articles.

    P&Q need more articles on Cornell which is one of the top Ivy League institutions and is expanding and will soon be a top 10 program

  • somsquared

    Fine. I’ll admit. I graduated from Cornell Johnson and I’m proud of my school and degree. I’m just sick of people ragging on Cornell because we aren’t a top 25 school. I’ve been acting like a jerk SOM student because that’s how they act IN THE REAL WORLD.

    Obviously no one thinks Yale will be number 1. They aren’t even top 15 according to my friend who RECRUITS for Goldman!!

  • Hhsg

    Noreason: first off he/she pumps SOM with fake compliments like “YSOM #1, and HBS will be 3-4”

    It’s clearly a Cornell troll. Anytime you mentioned Cornell he gets pissed

  • CornellLOL

    Ya wealth management ….you proved our point exactly. If you want to work in WM or operations Cornell is a good choice. But if you want front office jobs like banking no way Cornell is on par. I’m sorry it’s just a fact.

  • CornellFTmba

    “…you jumped on mind”

    Clearly whatever b-school spit you out didn’t teach/screen for grammar. Your poor usuage of grammar screams foreign student from Cornell.

  • CornellmbaParttime

    Haha this is clearly not an SOM student. I bet you are a sour little loser that goes to Duke or Cornell and pretend to be an SOM student on comment boards because you are a loser with no life and you want to bring others down. What a pathetic loser hahahaha

  • somsquared

    Agree. Many would choose SOM over Harvard. SOM more innovative and skyrocketing to #1.

  • Noreason

    Clearly we disagree with one other but I appreciate and respect your humor! Cheers!

  • GEM

    I am proud to have chosen Cornell over Yale for my MBA. Did the intern in BAML and joined GS for WM.

  • CornellCriesMommy

    Happy to help! It’s great you were able to follow the thought process, most people usually have to speak slowly when addressing Cornell MBAs. Best of luck with your interviews at M&T bank!

  • somsquared

    don’t forget CBS and Booth too. Both are second class next to YSOM. YSOM will be #1 in USNEWS very soon. CBS already out of top 10.

  • Noreason

    Thank you. BExcellent feedback and very insightful! Everyone can relax now, as this topic has been officially weighed in upon by a clear expert and should now be considered closed. Cheers!

  • CornellCriesMommy

    Cornell is a fine second class program, don’t get your big red boxers in a twist. Cornell was just used as an example as an inferior program with low pedigree and very sensitive alums / students when criticized.

  • somsquared

    Yes but things like average salary and recruiter scores are. Yale will soon be #1 in starting salary and #1 in recruiter scores, the data hasn’t been baked in yet.

  • WekWak

    MBB or PE are not counted into ranking data,

  • somsquared

    Not when 97% of class go to MBB, BB firms, and Tier 1 PE firms

  • dergo

    I do believe so. From pure ranking side, you can do it. Duke did it in BusinessWeek ranking. INSEAD did it in FT ranking. If those schools did it why not Yale?! You just need to understand the ranking mechanism and play with it. Yale staff know this very well. But reality is that although ranking has put INSEAD number one, it is very hard to imagine it better than Chicago, Columbia or MIT , let alone Harvard or Stanford. My worry is that Yale SOM focus on ranking will damage its picture on the long run.

  • somsquared

    I doubt Orange is a SOMer. Anyone from SOM knows SOM will be #1 or #2 in USNEWS very very soon.

  • Noreason

    I hear your point but i have never seen evidence to suggest that somsquared is a Cornell student or alum? If he or she is indeed from another school, it certainly seems an odd strategy to be pumping continous compliments to another school? Not sure how that would help another school…
    Anyway, cheers!

  • Orange

    Cornell is a great school. However, they have at least one alum (somsquared) who trolls these boards pretending to be an SOM student. My comment was directed at him. No offense meant to others.

  • Noreason

    Why the unwarranted slap on Cornell? Cornell is a strong business school with strong upside potential imo. It was not so long ago that Yale was very similarly viewed. Lots can happen in a few years. No need to blast a school that is not even connected with this article or discussion. Cheers to the progress of Yale SOM!

  • Jack

    Yale is already higher than CBS in the rankings FYI.

    And really? Dissing Cornell for no reason? He makes Yale alums looks delusional, but you make Yale alums look petty.

  • Orange

    Leadership and strategy? Really? More than 10% of the Class of 2016 at Yale SOM is headed to McKinsey, Bain, or BCG.

    You may have a point with entrepreneurship (at least vs. HBS and MIT), though YEI (Yale Entrepreneurship Institute) has been doing some pretty cool things in that domain recently, too.

  • Orange

    Yale has made great strides, but is likely a long way from catching Wharton, CBS, or Booth in the rankings. Moving from #15 to #10 in the rankings is a lot easier than moving from #10 to #5 or better. GMAT and GPA stats are great, but the Whartons and Booths of the world have much larger and wealthier alumni bases that help with things like fundraising and recruiting. There are some signs that Yale is making waves beyond admissions stats- for example 18 full-time hires heading to McKinsey in the Class of 2016 vs. just 3 in the Class of 2012. However, I think moving much further up in the rankings is going to be a challenge in the short term. I could see SOM passing Haas / Tuck in the next couple of years, but they are no slouches either.

    Also, the fact that you use the term “YSOM” makes it pretty clear you have no affiliation with the school (It’s “SOM” or “Yale SOM”, by the way). As I said in my other reply to you below, I think you really need a hobby. Pretending to be a Yale SOM alum and trying to make us all look delusional by saying stupid things like SOM is going to be #1 in USNews isn’t going to make your Cornell MBA degree shine any brighter.

    -A REAL Yale SOM alum

  • Orange

    Dude, just stop. I’ve got to admire your dedication to keeping up this routine with multiple usernames (USNewsFan being the other off the top of my head), but nobody is buying your act. You are clearly not a supporter of SOM. Trolling the rest of this board with comments like these to try to make the alums and students of the school look delusional seems to be your primary goal. I’m going to guess you’re a Cornell MBA, since they are the most butt-hurt when it comes to positive press about SOM. Whoever you are, you need to find a hobby.

    A REAL SOM alum

  • somsquared

    Sounds like a comment from a bitter YSOM rejected applicant. I know several that chose YSOM sticker price over Wharton, CBS & Booth (all with scholarship $).

  • I have been pushing Yale for years. It is exciting to see it continue to rise as they are doing some great things on campus. It is no surprise to see the % of consultants rise this year. SOM is a nice program to target if you are looking to go into consulting as well.

  • William

    Good Yale SOM. Keep competing on GMAT, this is your strength. When I need a desk analyst who can deal with excel and calculators, you jumped on mind. Other normal jobs of leadership, strategy, entrepreneurship, leave it to the desperate HBS, Wharton, and MIT.

  • somsquared

    Like I’ve said all along, Yale SOM will be #1 or #2 in USNEWS this year. Yale SOM is SKYROCKETING.

  • GoodThanks

    Strongest class in 12 years given that the school has no history and was basically born yesterday (1976), no track record from Yale SOM. Come on John everyone is telling you not to write to many articles on Yale

  • Cam

    Crud, I was so happy with my 740 score given my low GPA but by this time next year that’s going to be damn near the average. This race to higher GMAT scores is turning into law schools with the LSAT

  • SoundsGoodBut

    Great and thanks for the response. I look forward!

  • Not at all. We have really interesting pieces coming out soon on Cornell, Duke, UNC, and more, including INSEAD and other European schools. Stay tuned.

  • SoundsGoodBut

    Great news for Yale SOM! Would love it if P&Q would do more positive pieces on other schools besides HBS, Yale, Tuck, and Haas. Yale certainly deserves praise but there a lot of other top 20 schools doing great things that people are certainly also interested in. I worry that one of my favorite websites is getting somewhat repetitive with certain obvious perennial favorites.