Average GMAT Scores for the Top 30 MBA Programs

Top 30 MBA Programs by GMAT Score There are a number of criteria by which you can rank MBA programs: Average starting salary after graduation, average undergrad GPA of incoming students, acceptance rate, student satisfaction, and academic reputation among peer schools are all measures that publications use to try to sort the schools and create a definitive ranking.

Beyond those measures, a very telling one is the average GMAT score of each business school’s incoming class. If you’re a business school applicant (or are just starting to think about applying) and are wondering “What are my chances at the top MBA programs?” a good first check is to look at the top schools’ average GMAT scores and to see how close you are. MBA admissions officers will be quick to tell you that they have no hard cut-offs for GMAT scores and that they look at the whole application when looking at an applicant, and this is true. If, however, you’re not even close to a school’s average GMAT score, then that’s a signal that your odds of getting in may be lower than you would like.

Here are the 30 American business schools with the highest average GMAT scores. Each school’s 2014 U.S. News rankings (published in 2013) follows in brackets:

30 U.S. MBA Programs with the Highest Average GMAT Scores
1. Stanford – 730 [1]
2. Harvard – 724 [1]
3. Chicago (Booth) – 719 [6]
4. NYU (Stern) – 719 [10]
5. Yale – 719 [13]
6. Pennsylvania (Wharton) – 718 [3]
7. Dartmouth (Tuck) – 718 [9]
8. Columbia – 716 [8]
9. UC Berkeley (Haas) – 715 [7]
10. Northwestern (Kellogg) – 712 [4]
11. MIT (Sloan) – 710 [4]
12. UCLA (Anderson) – 704 [14]
13. Michigan (Ross) – 703 [14]
14. Virginia (Darden) – 701 [12]
15. Wash U. (Olin) – 696 [21]
16. Vanderbilt (Owen) – 695 [30]
17. U. of Texas – Austin (McCombs) – 692 [17]
18. Notre Dame (Mendoza) – 692 [27]
19. Cornell (Johnson) – 691 [16]
20. UC Davis – 690 [40]
21. Duke (Fuqua) – 689 [11]
22. UNC (Kenan-Flagler) – 689 [20]
23. USC (Marshall) – 687 [26]
24. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) – 686 [19]
25. Georgetown (McDonough) – 686 [25]
26. Minnesota (Carlson) – 686 [23]
27. Boston University – 684 [40]
28. Emory (Goizueta) – 681 [18]
29. U. of Wisconsin – Madison – 680 [34]
30. U. of Florida (Hough) – 678 [36]

On this blog we tend to spend a lot of time writing about the very top-ranked business schools (largely, of course, because those are the schools that our clients want to hear about), but some interesting schools show up when you rank programs by average GMAT score. MBA programs such as Vanderbilt, UC Davis, Boston University, and U. of Florida all draw a pretty impressive pool of GMAT test takers. Perhaps these schools don’t get enough love in the national rankings.

Again, don’t talk yourself out of applying to any of these business schools if you have a GMAT score that’s not close to these averages. And, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re Stanford material simply because you have a 760 GMAT score; everything in your application really does matter, and while a strong GMAT score can keep you out of a top business school, it’s never enough alone to get you into a great school. Use this list as a gut check to see where you stand, and to see if you need to take another shot at the GMAT before crafting your business school application strategy.

How do you compare to students at the top MBA programs? Find out by taking a free computer-adaptive GMAT practice test. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum.