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)

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