Berkeley Haas | Mr. Analyst To Family Business Owner
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Chicago Booth | Mr. Overrepresented Indian Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 8.78/10
Harvard | Mr. FBI To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Two Job
GRE 330 GRE, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Infantry Officer To MBA
GRE 314, GPA 3.4
Darden | Mr. Program Manager
GRE 324, GPA 3.74
Tuck | Mr. Smart Cities
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Biz Human Rights
GRE 710, GPA 8/10
Harvard | Mr. Food Tech Start Ups
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. The Builder
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. International Oil
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Emerging Markets Banking
GRE 130, GPA 3.6 equivalent
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Greek Taverna
GMAT 730, GPA 7.03/10
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Ops
GMAT 770, GPA 3.53
NYU Stern | Mr. Development
GMAT 690, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Energy Operations
GRE 330, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Wharton | Mr. Steelmaker To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.04/4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Indian Quant
GMAT 745, GPA 9.6 out of 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Food & Education Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Gay Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Rice Business | Mr. Future Energy Consultant
GRE Received a GRE Waiver, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Campaigns To Business
GMAT 750, GPA 3.19
MIT Sloan | Mr. Special Forces
GMAT 720, GPA 3.82

What B-School Culture Do You Want?

How Candidates Describe Their Ideal Business School Curriculum

Source: GMAC 2014 Prospective Student Survey

Source: GMAC 2014 Prospective Student Survey

In the new study, GMAC also asked prospects to describe their ideal business school curriculum. “Leadership” and “Finance” were mentioned 2,784 and 1,797 times, respectively, while “Build” appeared only 19 times in comments (see above).

GMAC also found that interest in specialized business master’s (non-MBA) programs has increased since researchers first began monitoring them five years ago in this study. Nevertheless, MBA programs remain the dominant program type that prospective students consider when they think about pursuing graduate management education. Only a quarter of prospective students (26%) consider both MBA and non-MBA degree programs, which represents a decrease since 2009 (33%).

The percentage of prospective students who consider only MBA programs is slightly stronger in 2013 than it was in 2009 among citizens of Canada, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and the United States. There is also growing interest in specialized business master’s (non-MBA) programs notably among citizens of Asia-Pacific Islands and Europe, with a slight increase in interest among US citizens as well.


The reputation of an educational system is the most important reason that prospective students give for choosing a preferred study destination. The top 10 study destinations prospective students prefer include (in rank order): the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Australia, and the Netherlands. The majority (70%) of prospective students worldwide indicate a preference to study in the United States, consistent with previous survey year findings.

The most common reservation prospective students have about pursuing a graduate management degree revolves around the cost of the education. MBA candidates expect to finance nearly half of their education through personal earnings or savings (25%) and loans (24%). Specialized master’s candidates expect to rely on parental support (29%) and personal earnings or savings (21%) to finance half the cost of their education. GMAC said the primary motivations of today’s prospective business school students to pursue a graduate management education are consistent with the past: to increase job opportunities, develop knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), and increase salary potential.

Quality and reputation of the program continue to be of primary importance to many prospective students when choosing a school (see chart below). That’s followed by expected career potential and specific program aspects, such as length and location of the program. Although school class profile and school culture are important to some prospective students, when asked to rank order these items, they are the least important characteristics students consider when determining which graduate business school to attend .

Finance (37%), consulting (34%), and products and services (33%) continue to be prospective students’ most sought-after industries. Although only four percent of prospective students in 2013 self-identified as entrepreneurs, 26 percent of all prospective students expect to pursue entrepreneurial activities after graduation, up from 20 percent in 2009.

Prospective Student Criteria for School Selection

Source: GMAC 2014 Prospective Student Survey

Source: GMAC 2014 Prospective Student Survey