MBA Apps Rise 8.1% At Yale SOM, After A Two-Year Decline

Yale School of Management enrolled an MBA Class of 2022 with 350 new students in a hybrid format

Applications to Yale School of Management‘s full-time MBA program rose by 8.1% last year, after two consecutive years of decline. But with the pandemic making the admissions season uncertain, the school chose to admit 221 more candidates which caused SOM’s overall acceptance rate to rise to 30% from 25% a year ago (see table below).

At SOM, applications totalled 3,453, up from 3,194 a year earlier. While better than last year, the total is still well below the school’s peak of 4,098 three years ago in 2017. The application increase this year came after SOM created a Round 3 extended deadline of May 27, more than a month later than its standard R3 deadline of April 14th. Overall, the school admitted 1,027 applicants, up from 806 a year earlier, and enrolled a class of 350 MBA candidates, up by five additional students.

Yale’s MBA application uptick was much less than that reported by several other peer schools including the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Columbia Business School, at which applications soared by 21% an 18.6%, respectively, to record levels (see MBA Applications Soaring At Many Schools). But Yale outperformed Harvard Business School, which did not add or extend its application deadlines. At HBS, applications rose by less than 1% (see Harvard Business School Enrolls Smallest MBA Class In Decades).


In common with many other schools, SOM noted that enrolled students who were admitted with a GRE score hit a record level of 35% in this year’s incoming class, a 46% jump over last year’s 24% of the class. There were only negligible changes in the average standardized test scores of the class. The average class GMAT was 720, just a point below last year’s score, though the median remained exactly the same at 720. The full range of scores for enrolled students also was the same: 640 to 780.

The average class GRE score, meantime, also slipped a point to 328 from 329. The average and median verbal GRE score for the class totalled 164, down a point from 165 a year earlier. The full verbal range of verbal scores on the GRE was 152 to 170. The average and median quant GRE score was also 164, ranging from a low of 153 to a high of 170.

SOM said the undergraduate grade point average for the class came to 3.63, ranging from a low of 2.91 to 4.0. The average age of students in the entering cohort fell by a year to 27, with 4.5 years of full-time work experience. That compares to an average age of 28 last year, with five full years of work experience on their resumes.


Unlike some schools that saw a dramatic decrease in the percentage of international students in this year’s incoming classes, Yale SOM pretty much held its own. The percentage of students from outside the U.S. fell only four percentage points to 40% this year from 46 countries. That compares with 44% in last year’s entering MBA class from 47 nations.

The percentage of women in the class slipped three points to 39% from 42%, while the percentage of U.S. underrepresented minorities declined two percentage points to 11% from 13%.

There were some notable changes in the industry backgrounds of this year’s crop of MBA students. Those who entered the program from the consumer products industry doubled to 6% of the class, up from the year-earlier 3%; those from the technology industry rose by three percentage points to 10%, while students from the media and entertainment fields increased to 7% from 4% last year.


Bruce DelMonico, Yale SOM assistant dean for admissions

Meantime, Yale’s Class of 2022 has a bit less representation from the nonprofit sector, manufacturing, and energy industries. Nonprofit students fell the most, by four percentage points, to 11% from 15%. MBA candidates who had worked in manufacturing fell by more than half to 3% from 7% a year ago. And students from the energy field slipped two percentage points to 3% from 5%.

Bruce DelMonico, SOM’s assistant dean for admissions, praised the diversity and the accomplishments of the class. Among other things, roughly three-quarters of the class speaks two or more languages, and more than a quarter speaks three or more. “Students come from a range of academic institutions (172 different schools are represented) and backgrounds, from engineering to the arts,” he wrote in a blog post. “Ten percent are first-generation college graduates, while 12% have earned a previous graduate degree. Another 13% are pursuing a joint degree here at Yale, at one of nine Yale schools.

“Their professional credentials are equally diverse and impressive, covering all sectors and a range of industries and companies, from Accenture to ZS Associates. In all, 175 different employers are represented, including Bain, Blackstone, Tesla, Tencent, The Brookings Institution, Shell, Schlumberger, NBCUniversal, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Dell, Deloitte, the Girl Scouts, Unilever, Acumen Fund, BNP Paribas, CICC, Korea Exchange, Aviana Holdings, US AID, and the Walt Disney Company. The class includes a record number of veterans from all branches of the United States military, as well as a record number of Silver Scholars.”

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