Admission to a top-tier business school in the United States is a coveted achievement for many aspiring professionals. These institutions are renowned for their rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, and unmatched networking opportunities.
For years, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has been the gold standard for evaluating applicants. However, the landscape of graduate business education in the United States has been undergoing a significant transformation in recent years with an increasing number of top-tier business schools now embracing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) opening doors for candidates from diverse academic backgrounds.
In this article, we delve into the data surrounding the average GRE scores of some of the most prestigious business schools in the United States.
We explore the trends over a four-year period, from 2019 to 2022, shedding light on how these institutions have embraced the GRE as part of their admissions process. We not only analyze the average total GRE scores but also dissect the data to understand the nuances of GRE Quantitative and GRE Verbal scores for the years 2021 and 2022.
Additionally, we investigate the percentage of students who applied to these esteemed business schools using GRE scores during the same period.
Average GRE scores of top US MBA Programs
|#||Business School||2022 Total GRE Score||2021 Total GRE Score||2020 Total GRE Score||2019 Total GRE Score||2-Year Trend (‘21 vs ‘22)||4-Year Trend|
|4||Harvard Business School||326||326||326||326||even||0|
|14||Ohio State Fisher||323||311||311||309||12||14|
|15||Columbia Business School||322||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|17||Michigan State Broad||321||316||308||306||5||15|
|19||Georgia Tech Scheller||320||319||318||317||1||3|
|21||UT Austin McCombs||319||319||318||318||even||1|
|28||Arizona State Carey||317||312||314||310||5||7|
|32||Rutgers Business School||316||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|37||Notre Dame Mendoza||314||317||313||315||-3||-1|
|38||Boston University Questrom||314||315||312||313||-1||1|
|39||Texas A&M Mays||314||308||307||308||6||6|
|46||Penn State Smeal||309||313||311||310||-4||-1|
|48||William & Mary Mason||304||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
The data on GRE scores for US business schools over the past few years reveals several interesting trends and observations.
Firstly, it’s evident that GRE scores play a significant role in the admissions process for these schools, as most top-ranked programs maintain consistently high average scores.
Yale SOM, for example, consistently ranks at the top with an average GRE score of 329 in 2022, showing remarkable consistency over the past four years.
Here are a few more observations:
- Stability at the Top: Yale SOM, Stanford GSB, and Harvard Business School consistently maintain high GRE scores, with only slight fluctuations over the years. This indicates the consistency in the caliber of students they admit.
- Mixed Trends at Other Elite Schools: Chicago Booth, MIT Sloan, and Wharton show relatively stable GRE scores over the years. However, schools like UCLA Anderson have seen an increase in scores from 2020 to 2022, potentially reflecting a more competitive applicant pool.
- Rising Competitiveness: Schools like NYU Stern and UC Berkeley Haas have witnessed an increase in GRE scores over the years, suggesting a rise in the competitiveness of their admissions.
- Improvement at Some Schools: Cornell Johnson and CMU Tepper have consistently improved their GRE scores over the four-year period, indicating a strategic effort to attract high-scoring applicants.
- Significant Variations: Some schools, such as Ohio State Fisher and Arizona State Carey, have seen substantial increases in GRE scores, possibly due to changes in their admissions policies or marketing efforts.
- Missing Data: Columbia Business School, Rutgers Business School, George Washington, and William & Mary Mason have missing data, making it difficult to assess their trends accurately.
- Diverse Trends in Lower-Ranked Schools: Schools like Minnesota Carlson, Maryland Smith, and Texas A&M Mays have seen fluctuations in their GRE scores, possibly reflecting changes in their applicant pools or admissions strategies.
Average GRE Quant and GRE Verbal Scores
Let’s take a look at the Quant and Verbal distribution of the average GRE scores at the top US business schools.
|#||Business School||2022 Average GRE Quant Score||2022 Average GRE Verbal Score||2022 Total GRE Score||2021 Average GRE Quant Score||2021 Average GRE Verbal Score||2021 Total GRE Score|
|4||Harvard Business School||163||163||326||163||163||326|
|14||Ohio State Fisher||164||159||323||155||156||311|
|15||Columbia Business School||161||161||322||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|17||Michigan State Broad||160||161||321||158||158||316|
|21||UT Austin McCombs||159||160||319||160||159||319|
|28||Arizona State Carey||160||157||317||156||156||312|
|32||Rutgers Business School||159||157||316||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|37||Notre Dame Mendoza||156||158||314||158||159||317|
|38||Boston University Questrom||159||155||314||159||156||315|
|39||Texas A&M Mays||158||156||314||155||153||308|
|46||Penn State Smeal||154||155||309||158||155||313|
|48||William & Mary Mason||152||152||304||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Let’s analyze the data on average GRE scores of MBA programs and draw some observations and inferences:
- The average GRE total scores for MBA programs in 2022 range from 304 to 330.
- The most competitive schools, such as Yale SOM, Chicago Booth, and Stanford GSB, have total scores in the high 320s.
- There are some schools with lower average scores, such as Pittsburgh Katz and George Washington, in the 310s and 309s, respectively.
- Two schools, William & Mary Mason and Emory (Goizueta), have no data available for 2022.
Quantitative and Verbal Scores:
- Quantitative scores generally have a slightly wider range compared to verbal scores.
- The highest average quant score is 165 at Yale SOM and CMU Tepper, while the lowest is 152 at William & Mary Mason.
- Verbal scores range from 153 to 164, with most schools falling within the 158 to 162 range.
- Some schools, like Stanford GSB, have higher verbal scores (164), indicating strong verbal aptitude among their applicants.
Comparing 2022 to 2021
- Most schools have maintained their total scores between 2021 and 2022. This suggests stability in applicant quality and the admission process.
- Notable exceptions include Ohio State Fisher, which saw a significant increase in its total score from 311 to 323, and Columbia Business School, where data for 2021 is not available.
- In general, quant and verbal scores have remained stable from 2021 to 2022 for most schools, with minor fluctuations.
- Yale SOM consistently has one of the highest total scores (329) and quant scores (165), making it one of the most competitive programs.
- Harvard Business School and UCLA Anderson have identical total scores of 326, indicating different priorities in their admissions criteria (perhaps favoring different combinations of quant and verbal scores).
- Chicago Booth, despite having a slightly lower total score (327), has strong quant (164) and verbal (163) scores, making it highly competitive.
- Schools like Pittsburgh Katz and George Washington have lower scores, which may suggest a less competitive applicant pool or different admissions criteria.
Some schools, such as Rutgers Business School and Emory’s Goizueta Business School, do not have data available for 2022. This could be due to various reasons, including changes in reporting or a lack of applicants submitting GRE scores.
Let’s take a look at the percentage of the total admitted class which submitted a GRE score as part of their MBA application.
Percent Class Submitting GRE Scores for MBA Admissions
This dataset provides insights into the percentage of MBA program applicants who submitted GRE scores across several prominent business schools for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
It offers valuable information about the trends in GRE submissions, shedding light on how the admission landscape may have evolved in recent years.
The data reveals not only the current state of GRE submission rates but also the changes over a two-year and four-year period, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of applicant preferences and program competitiveness.
Let’s delve into the data to draw observations and inferences about the trends and variations in GRE submission percentages among these MBA programs.
|#||Business School||% GRE 2022||% GRE 2021||% GRE 2020||% GRE 2019||2-Year Trend||4-Year Trend|
|4||Harvard Business School||30%||29%||22%||20%||1%||10%|
|6||Columbia Business School||26%||23%||24%||16%||3%||10%|
|17||UT Austin McCombs||40%||42%||38%||33%||-2%||7%|
|24||Georgia Tech Scheller||26%||20%||26%||29%||6%||-3%|
|26||Notre Dame Mendoza||16%||17%||37%||24%||-1%||-8%|
|29||Arizona State Carey||37%||46%||48%||43%||-9%||-6%|
|31||Penn State Smeal||22%||33%||19%||35%||-11%||-13%|
|33||Ohio State Fisher||23%||44%||53%||35%||-21%||-12%|
|35||Boston University Questrom||18%||29%||49%||52%||-11%||-34%|
|36||Texas A&M Mays||39%||38%||29%||39%||1%||0%|
|43||Michigan State Broad||5%||14%||23%||14%||-9%||-9%|
|47||William & Mary Mason||15%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|48||Rutgers Business School||6%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
The data provided represents the percentage of students who submitted GRE scores for admission to various U.S. business schools over the years 2019 to 2022. Let’s analyze the trends and observations from this data:
Increasing Acceptance of GRE Scores
Generally, there is a trend of increasing acceptance of GRE scores across business schools. Many schools have witnessed a rise in the percentage of students submitting GRE scores over the years, indicating a broader acceptance of this alternative to the GMAT.
Stable or Decreasing Trends
Some schools have stable or decreasing trends in the percentage of students submitting GRE scores. For instance, schools like Washington Foster, Wisconsin, Ohio State Fisher, and Texas-Dallas Jindal have experienced significant drops in the percentage of GRE submissions, indicating a potential shift in their admissions policies.
- Wharton, Stanford GSB, and Yale SOM: These schools have consistently seen a significant percentage of students submitting GRE scores, indicating the acceptance and popularity of GRE in these highly competitive institutions.
- MIT Sloan and Chicago Booth: These schools have also shown a steady increase in the acceptance of GRE scores, reflecting a broader trend among top-tier business schools.
- UC-Berkeley Haas: While already accepting a relatively high percentage of GRE submissions, Haas has shown a significant increase in recent years, possibly reflecting a strategic move to diversify their applicant pool.
- Columbia Business School: Although the percentage of GRE submissions has increased, it remains relatively stable, indicating consistent policies over the years.
- Vanderbilt Owen, Duke Fuqua, and Notre Dame Mendoza: These schools have a moderate but consistent percentage of GRE submissions, suggesting a balanced approach in accepting both GRE and GMAT scores.
Some schools like Northwestern Kellogg, Emory Goizueta, William & Mary Mason, and Rutgers Business School do not have available data, making it challenging to assess their GRE acceptance trends.
Schools like Indiana Kelley and Penn State Smeal have witnessed fluctuations in GRE submissions, indicating potential shifts in their admissions strategies or applicant preferences.
The data on average GRE scores at top U.S. business schools from 2019 to 2022 presents a compelling narrative of change and adaptation within the realm of higher education. As we conclude our exploration, several key takeaways emerge:
- GRE’s Growing Acceptance: The rising acceptance of GRE scores by prestigious business schools signifies an evolving admissions landscape. Schools are increasingly recognizing the value of assessing candidates based on broader skill sets, allowing individuals from diverse academic backgrounds to pursue their MBA aspirations.
- Diverse Applicant Pool: The percentage of students applying to business schools using GRE scores demonstrates a shift toward inclusivity. This trend indicates that candidates from various educational backgrounds are being welcomed into MBA programs, enriching the classroom experience with diverse perspectives.
- Strategic Shifts: Schools with significant increases might be strategically trying to attract a broader range of applicants, considering GRE’s popularity among non-business undergraduate majors.
- Admissions Policy Changes: Schools with decreasing percentages might be refining their admissions policies, potentially focusing on GMAT scores or other application criteria.
- Adaptation to Changing Times: The trends reflect how business schools are adapting to changing educational landscapes and applicant preferences, making their admissions processes more inclusive and accommodating diverse talents.
In the coming years, we can expect further evolution in admissions policies as schools continue to refine their selection criteria to identify the most promising candidates. The data presented here serves as a testament to the dynamic nature of graduate business education and the commitment of these institutions to fostering a diverse and innovative community of business leaders.
Ultimately, the top business schools in the U.S. are not just educating future leaders; they are leading the way in shaping the future of business education itself.