Most Selective MBA Programs

Apr 23, 2019

Some Master of Business Administration programs are highly selective and require students to have top GPAs and standardized test scores, as well as meeting other criteria for admissions.

For students who wish to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a range of options exist, including traditional MBA programs, online studies, and executive programs. For those students who have outstanding undergraduate grades, one option to consider is enrollment at a competitive, traditional two-year MBA program. Here, you can learn more about some common admissions requirements for these top programs and read more about five highly competitive MBA programs.

Admission Requirements

Those who are applying to selective programs will be required to provide a range of materials. Candidates should expect to submit transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, references, and essays. Resumes should be submitted as well, in order to demonstrate professional experience. Some schools require video essays or interviews. In addition to these criteria, students' personal qualities and capacity for future leadership will be considered.

Highly Selective MBA Programs

Stanford University

Stanford University, in California, has a highly selective admissions process. The class profile of the MBA class of 2020 reflects an average GMAT score of 732 and undergraduate GPA of 3.73. Fourteen percent of students have advanced degrees in other fields. Students average four years of work experience, with the highest percentage working in investment management. Once enrolled, Stanford students will be able to focus their MBA program on their academic interests, such as global experiences or focused coursework in entrepreneurship or other areas of concentration. In addition, a wide range of extracurricular activities, from the health care club to the leadership perspectives committee, engage students in campus life.

Northwestern University

At Northwestern University's Kellogg School, in Evanston, Illinois, students require top credentials to be admitted. The class of 2020 boasts an average GMAT score of 732, a 3.6 undergraduate GPA, and five years of professional work experience. The educational experience is highlighted by multiple experiential courses and labs, such as the analytical consulting lab and the risk lab. A popular program called KWEST allows incoming students to travel with a group from their cohort to a foreign location to engage in community service and sightseeing opportunities.

University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School of Business at Penn is a competitive program requiring high grades and GMAT scores. The class of 2020 records a mean GMAT of 732 and undergraduate GPA of a 3.6. The highest percentage of applicants majored in humanities-related areas as undergraduates. Once admitted, students pursue a core of business classes and then select one or two majors, such as actuarial science, finance, or health care management. Students can achieve a global business perspective by participating in study abroad or a global modular course.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT's Sloan School of Business provides a top MBA education. Statistics for the class of 2020 show that students had a 728 mean GMAT and undergraduate GPA of 3.48. More than 30% of the class pursued an undergraduate major in engineering. Academically, students begin the program with a core semester and then practice management skills through experiences such as the innovation period and action learning labs. Students have the opportunity to network at multiple conferences, including the MIT India conference and the Sports Analytics conference.

University of Virginia

The Darden School at UVA requires top credentials for admissions. The class profile of 2020 demonstrates that incoming students had an average GMAT score of 718 and undergraduate GPA of 3.5. The class is comprised of 31% international students. Once accepted, students learn using a case study method, working with small learning teams to analyze real-world business cases. International and domestic field experiences can provide additional opportunities for learning.

Students who wish to attend a highly competitive MBA program should have top-notch GMAT scores, a high undergraduate GPA, and a demonstrable capacity for leadership. The programs we've profiled can provide outstanding learning opportunities.

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