Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: December 19, 2018.

School Data

Annual Tuition: $66,000

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Full-Time Enrollment: 457

Average GPA: 3.36

International: 35%

Minority: 12%

Average Age: 28

Annual Tuition Non-Resident: $66,000

Median GMAT: 700

GMAT Range (mid-80%): 560-770

Median GRE: 320

Female: 28%

GPA Range (mid-80%): 2.9 - 3.8

Male: 72%

Application Deadlines: Round 1: October 3rd, 2018 Round 2: January 5th, 2019 Round 3: March 7th, 2019 Round 4: April 18th, 2019

When exploring and choosing any MBA program, the question every applicant will inevitably ask themselves is this: “What’s going to differentiate me in the market?” At Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, everything starts and ends with a dual focus on analytics and leadership.


The business school says leadership and analytics in the core curriculum is what differentiates it from other institutions and what will differentiate graduates who complete the program. While analytics is far from new and, in fact, has created a wave that’s sweeping across many of the top business schools, Tepper says its two-year curriculum is less about gathering big data and more about making big decisions. In other words, providing MBAs the wherewithal to take mounds of data and use it to drive a business forward.

“We do believe that data is important and that analytics is important, but it is important in order to make better decisions,” says Mike Trick, an associate dean at Tepper. “If all you can do is manage by the seat of your pants, you will make some good decisions, you will make some bad decisions. By looking at data and doing analysis, you can more consistently make better decisions and run better organizations.”

While “Don’t manage by the seat of your pants” is one Tepper mantra, “Most leaders are taught, not born” is another. At the core of its focus on leadership development are effective communication and interpersonal skills. MBAs at Tepper receive a customized leadership development assessment, one-to-one coaching, and their very own leadership roadmap. The roadmap is so personal, in fact, that leadership development doesn’t start with an MBA course at all. It starts with the student and a simulation tool — Manager Ready — that puts them inside real-world scenarios to test their leadership. Strengths and opportunities for improvement are identified for each student to cultivate while chasing their MBA degree.


With the exception of the Economist, you can usually expect to find Tepper amongst the top 20 in MBA program rankings. In 2017, the school jumped two spots from 19 to 17 in the Poets&Quants ranking, the highest it’s been since 2013 when P&Q placed it at 16th. For the most recent U.S. News ranking, Tepper comes in at 17, but it’s not alone. It shares the 17th spot with the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business. Back in 2014, Tepper did at one point crack the top 10 when BusinessWeek crowned it the 10th best MBA program for that year.

Out of the top six most-looked to rankings, the Economist has been the most difficult for Tepper to overcome. Not totally surprising given that the publication is known for its large year-over-year swings in school placements as well as ranking criteria that tends to favor schools outside of the U.S. From 2013 to 2016, the school experienced a steady decline, dropping from 14 to 22 — only last year moving in a positive direction by moving up one spot to 21.

By and large, Tepper’s change in standing amongst the top publications remains fairly minimal. For all six — other than the Economist — changes in status were mostly in small increments of one or two.


With this backing of analytics and leadership, Tepper MBAs fare well in the job market, and are known to do particularly well in the tech industry. Katie Glass, a first year student, can attest. Glass, who spent time as a marketing manager prior to Tepper, says she wanted an MBA to help her switch careers. In her transitional pursuit from marketing to product management — and her sights set on the tech industry — she narrowed her focus on Tepper.

“I explored several top 20 MBA programs and ultimately applied to four programs,” says Glass, who had six years of professional experience when she arrived at Tepper. “I chose Tepper because of the tight-knit community, deep connections within the tech industry, and entrepreneurial focus.”

Much of the deep connections are found right on the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania campus of Carnegie Mellon where Tepper is housed. The university has a long-standing reputation for science and tech and Tepper provides open-door access for students to engage in campus-wide programs, courses, clubs, and professors.

What’s more, Fall 2018 will bring the opening of Tepper’s new home, the Tepper Quad. This innovation hub will serve to connect all seven campus colleges and enable business students to learn, engage, and collaborate with other creative minds in computer science, architecture, robotics, entrepreneurship, and more. In addition to being a state-of-the-art learning and research facility, the school says the quad will amplify the connection between technology and business education to prepare students for leadership roles within a world that’s driven by technology, big data, and analytics.

When it comes to the deep tech connections mentioned by student Katie Glass, the proof is also in the placements. In the past several years, tech has led the way as the top industry for Tepper MBA grads. From 2013 to 2017, tech has been the top industry four out of five times with repeat recruiting partners including the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Contact Information

4765 Forbes Avenue,
Suite 2300,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Admissions Office:
School Social Media:

From The School:

The Tepper School MBA program’s data-driven and innovative curriculum is rooted in academic rigor with high standards of excellence to prepare students for the complexity of today’s marketplace. Today, more than ever, the world of business is transformed by technological innovation, the ubiquity of data and the application of advanced analytics. The Tepper School and Carnegie Mellon have long been renowned in these key areas and are uniquely positioned to change the way organizations compete and lead.

As a Tepper MBA, you will be taught the analytical skills required to understand the complexities of business and the leadership skills needed to lead people and organizations at a higher, more advanced level of performance. Key concentrationstracks and our unique mini-semester system enable students to study, in-depth, in the career field of their choosing. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, not only will you have access to world-class researchers who are solving today’s business problems, but they will know you by name.

With the opening of our new building in the Tepper Quad in fall 2018, MBA students will have even greater access to Carnegie Mellon’s community of talented engineers, entrepreneurs, researchers, computer scientists and artists, providing ample opportunities for real-world problem-solving and application.

Our strategy: Be the business school of the future.

A Collaborative Campus & the Tepper Quad

Our interconnected model is a transformative leap forward within management education. Located at the center of Carnegie Mellon’s campus, the Tepper Quad reflects today’s innovative business models, embedding multifunctional, interconnected collaboration among the key disciplines that drive progress and innovation.

Technology That Leads the World

Carnegie Mellon is world-renowned for pioneering artificial intelligence and advancing numerous technology fields such as robotics, big data, cybersecurity, autonomous motion and software engineering. The Tepper School prepares students for 21st century technological changes by emphasizing the application of technology within business contexts.

Analytics Pioneered Here

Our business school challenged conventional problem-solving approaches with the introduction of management science, and our reputation continues to build as business and society confront a marketplace with information overload and rapid change. We remain the global leader for complex, creative problem-solving that features a mastery of advanced analytical approaches.

Intellectual Capital

Our faculty have long been pacesetters in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and ultimately the practice of business. Ours is a discovery-oriented culture where research is integrated into the classroom in order to ensure that our students and faculty are studying concepts long before they appear in textbooks.

Entrepreneurship at Tepper

At the Tepper School, we view entrepreneurship as a campus-wide collaborative opportunity, and the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship is an interconnected destination for entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and startups, and our students and faculty have constant access to a global network that spans industries, business models and continents.

Personalized Leadership Development

We know leaders are made, not just born, and we leverage our small size and tight-knit community for personalized, one-on-one leadership development. Leadership is an ongoing curricular and co-curricular opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students via the Business Leadership Endeavor initiative and the Accelerate Leadership Center, respectively.