What GMAT Scores Do You Need To Get Admitted to the Best MBA Programs in the US?

Submitted By:
Posting Date:


Study advice


Study advice

Are you thinking about doing an MBA? With so many courses and options to choose from, it can seem a bit overwhelming. To help you break down your application process into more manageable chunks, we're looking at some of the key requirements of MBA programs both in the US and in Europe.


One common requirement for applying for an MBA is a GMAT score. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test to assess the skills that will be useful for studying management: analytical skills, writing skills, quantitative skills,  verbal skills, and reading skills. You will need to take a GMAT test and have your scores ready before you start applying for MBAs. But what is a good GMAT score? What should you be aiming for? To help you judge this, we've compiled a list of the GMAT requirements for some of the top MBA programs in the US.


MBA, Harvard Business School


“There is no minimum GMAT or GRE to apply and we do not have a bias toward one test or the other. If you look at our class profile, you can see that we have a wide range of GMAT scores in the current first year class. If you do test multiple times, you may report your best score, and we will only look at the scores from the single test sitting you report in your application.”


The current class composition of HBS achieved a median GMAT score of 730. The middle 80% of the class scored between 690 and 760 on the GMAT.



MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)


The average GMAT score of the MBA class of 2018 was 724, with the middle 80% of the class scoring between 690 and 760 on the GMAT.



MBA, Graduate School of Business at Stanford University


“While there is no minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement for graduate study at Stanford, admitted candidates typically perform well.”


In the class of 2016, average GMAT scores with 737, with a range of 590 – 790.



MBA, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)


The MBA students at Wharton for the class of 2018 achieved an average GMAT score of 730, with the average scores falling between 570 and 780.



MBA, Columbia


The typical profile of a Columbia MBA student can be seen in the 2016 class profile. In this class, GMAT scores were as follows:


“GMAT Scores (average): 717

GMAT Scores (range): 550–780

GMAT Scores (middle 80%): 680–760”


Chicago Booth

MBA, University of Chicago (Booth)


“The Admissions Committee evaluates each application in a holistic manner, as we value the diverse experiences and accomplishments each student brings to the Chicago Booth community. Hence, we do not have a minimum requirement for GPA or GMAT/GRE scores.”


The average GMAT score of Chicago students is 726.3, with a range of 590-790.



MBA, Duke University (Fuqua)


The typical GMAT score range for Fuqua students is a GMAT Range (middle 80%) of 640-750.

Notably, average GMAT scores went up by six points for the class of 2017 compared to 2016. The average GMAT score for the latest cohort was 696.



MBA, University of California - Berkeley (Haas)


“While there is no minimum acceptable GMAT or GRE score, see last year's class profile for average test scores. We are especially interested in your performance on the quantitative section as an indication of your mathematics proficiency. Please note that the Analytical Writing component is required for both the GMAT and GRE.”


The class profile for the accepted class of 2016 at Haas had an average GMAT score of 717.


So there is a fairly consistent picture here: most of the students at the best MBA programs in the US have a GMAT score in the area of around 600 to 780. None of the selected schools had a firm GMAT score requirement, so you may be able to apply with a lower GMAT score if your other materials are very purposive. However, the GMAT is still considered to be indicative of potential success, so a good score will be a strong asset to your MBA application.


For lots more information for economics students and others, see these articles:

>> 10 Most Useful Apps for Economics Students 

>> Top 10 Economics Journals

>> Top Finance Podcasts

>> Top Economics Podcasts

>> 30 Top Twitter Feeds in Economics and Finance