How To Get Into Harvard Business School With Low GPA

Last Updated on August 4, 2022

Ever wondered if you had what it takes to get into Harvard Business School? Do you have a low GPA, but think that your work experience makes up for it? If so, then this is the book for you. This article will not only help you realize the potential that is available to you, but show you how to go after it! It provides insights from successful applicants on what they did to show their fit at HBS. Not everybody passes those HBS courses so getting an “honors” from HBS is another way to show that your undergraduate performance is not the whole story. Look at a Part-Time Program. Some applicants simply won’t be able to make up for a low GPA.

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How To Get Into a Top MBA Program With a Low GPA - North Star Admissions  Consulting

How To Get Into Harvard Business School With Low GPA

How to overcome a low GPA

  1. Score very well on the GMAT or GRE. Here are some GMAT score guidelines for those of you with low GPAs.
  2. Have an excellent work record.
  3. Take supplemental coursework.
  4. Write outstanding essays.
  5. Write the optional essay.
  6. Apply in Round 1 or Round 2.

Harvard Business School Average GPA

The Hallmarks of Harvard Business School are Leadership, Excellence, Diversity, Collaboration, Innovation. Over the past century, thousands of thought leaders have passed through Harvard’s classrooms on the way to making their mark on the world. The purpose of this article is to make sure that you are able to join their ranks. To this end, once you have read these notes and completed the Harvard Business School application process you will be positioned for success with a natural advantage – knowing how to get into Harvard Business School by maximizing your impact.

The average admit to Harvard Business School’s full-time MBA program had a GPA of 3.6 and had been working for three years. In short, most successful applicants earned good grades in school, then spent a few years achieving success before applying. In this book, you’ll learn how to get into Harvard Business School with low GPA using this strategy.

Now that we know why GPA matters, let’s focus on what a low GPA for business school means.

7 Steps - How to get into Harvard Business School (HBS) MBA Program | e-GMAT

If you’ve been stressed out about not having a perfect 4.0 for your undergraduate coursework, you’ll be happy to know that MBA programs do not expect you to have a flawless transcript. In fact, business programs don’t have cutoff scores for GPAs, so you don’t have to worry about specifically looking for MBA programs with low GPA requirements. While the average GPA of admitted applicants varies greatly depending on the program, there are some general trends that I’ll talk about.

Unsurprisingly, the M7 (the unofficial group of the top seven business schools in the United States) have the highest average GPAs amongst admitted applicants. All M7 schools have an average GPA of 3.50 or higher for their admitted applicants.

The rest of the top 25 business schools range between 3.30 and 3.60 GPAs for admitted applicants. Business schools ranked 26 – 50 have an admitted applicant GPA range of 3.16 – 3.52.

How can an average person get into Harvard Business School despite the low  grades in his undergraduate? - Quora

What does this all mean? Well, you’ll notice that all of the top 50 business schools have average GPAs of 3.16 or higher amongst their admitted applicants. Ultimately, you’ll need to do research on the MBA program of your choice to see exactly what its admitted applicant average GPA is so you can see how you stack up. You can generally find this information in one of three ways: by checking out the program’s ranking on US News & World Report, by visiting the program’s website, or by calling the program’s admissions office. Finding out how your GPA relates to the average GPA of admitted applicants at the MBA programs you’re applying to will tell you whether or not your GPA is in an acceptable range, or if you’ll have to do some extra work for getting into business school with a low GPA.

Having a GPA up to .50 away from the average GPA of admitted applicants at a particular program isn’t the end of the world. You’ll be able to try to make up for your GPA with a strong overall application, which I’ll talk about more in the next section. If your GPA is more than .50 away from the average GPA of admitted applicants at your program, you may have a more difficult time getting accepted. If your GPA is more than .50 away, I’d suggest using a number of the application tips I outline in the next section and considering applying to some MBA programs with lower average GPAs.

How to get into Harvard Business School from India | MBA Crystal Ball

MBA Without GPA Requirement

The MBA applicant is evaluated not only on grades but also on strength of application essay. Good grades are considered as an important proof of your ability, but are are not the only proof. Applications essays are where you really need to shine. Below are some tips that will help you improve your admissions essay to increase your chances getting into Harvard Business School.

Grasp your MBA dream by getting a top business school education without the requirement of a 3.0+ GPA. With the help from The Economist Group’s Education division, you can create an outstanding application that stands out from other applicants.

Are you looking for a top-tier business school without the need for a high GPA? Whether your management, work experience, and/or graduate program background is impressive but not achieved with high grades, we invite you to learn more about our ‘no GMAT/no GPA’ degree option. Take advantage of our holistic admissions approach and get yourself into the MBA program of your choice with the information provided below.

1. Score very well on the GMAT or GRE.

Here are some GMAT score guidelines for those of you with low GPAs. 700+: excellent. Great job! You are ready to move on to a different part of improving your candidacy. 650 – 690: strong. Consider retaking the test to get in the 700 score range. However, do not prioritize getting an even higher score on the GMAT over your essays, which are extremely important. 600 – 640: fine. This is the range in which I scored. (I received a 620 on the GMAT and was admitted to HBS and waitlisted at Stanford GSB.) This is not a strong score for applying to Top 10 MBA programs, especially if you have a low GPA. However, you could still have a fighting chance at Top 25 business school programs if you take action on recommendations made in this post. If you have a low GPA and a GMAT score in this range,

I recommend you apply to at least 7 schools, and make sure you take all the other actions in this blog post. 500 – 590: poor. I do not recommend that you apply to a Top 25 business school if your score is in this range and you have a low GPA. I’ve had clients get into Top 25 business schools with either a low GMAT score or low grades, but I rarely have seen people get admitted to a Top 25 school with low scores in both areas. under 500: If you are scoring under 500 on the GMAT, you probably need to wait at least a year to apply to business school and focus on the fundamentals of mathematics, grammar, and reading comprehension. I think that many people who score in this range would be well served to start at the material one learns in a U.S. public school in 6th grade and master those concepts before moving on to more advanced concepts. Without a strong foundation, it is very difficult to perform well on standardized tests.

2. Have an excellent work record.

I recommend applying to business school with 2-5 years of work experience with increasing responsibility. You should have a professional, salaried job where you are regularly working in teams, working on projects with measurable, quantifiable results, and hopefully, interacting with clients. Promotions, awards, and being selected for special training programs are all signs of strong work performance.

3. Take supplemental coursework.

You should take the following courses and earn a B+ or better in each course:

  • Calculus
  • Microeconomics
  • Statistics
  • Accounting
  • Finance / Corporate Finance

You should take a college-level version of the course. You can take the course at a community college, junior college, or 4-year college or university. Coursera is an option but a less desirable one in my opinion. An excellent way to get your supplemental coursework achieved is through HBX CORe, which is a selective pre-MBA coursework program offered by Harvard Business School. I’ve had several clients successfully complete HBX CORe, and I think it will only become increasingly expensive and challenging to get into, so go ahead and take it while you can!

4. Write outstanding essays.

Many applicants underestimate the importance of strong essays when applying to business school. In my opinion, once you’ve gotten over the hurdle of a “good enough” GPA and GMAT score, they are the most important part of the application.

Your MBA admission essays should be:

  • within the word limit. If you’re having trouble getting your essay into the word limit, consider using our essay editing service so we can help you get it down while still maintaining your voice and keeping your message intact. Do not submit an essay that is even one word over the word limit.
  • specific and detailed. When you are as specific as possible about your goals, experiences, and reasons for applying, you make your essay more memorable and more persuasive. Make sure that when telling stories, you use my Juicy Story Framework.

5. Write the optional essay

In your optional essay, you should succinctly discuss your poor grades, why they occurred, what you learned from the experience, and what specific resources and strategies you will use to make sure you maintain strong academic performance. I bet you’re thinking this: But I don’t want to draw attention to my bad grades! Well, guess what! You aren’t tricking anyone by ignoring your bad grades; all you are doing by not addressing them is making it look like you don’t think they are that big of a deal. You show self-awareness and a sense of being proactive when you address your bad grades in your optional essay and give a specific action plan for making sure you don’t repeat that poor performance in graduate school.

Harvard Business School publishes case study "Wladimir Klitschko: F.A.C.E  your Challenges" – Klitschko Official

6. Apply in Round 1 or Round 2.

Most MBA programs have three rounds of admission: Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. There are far fewer spots left in the MBA class in Round 3, and I rarely suggest that people apply in Round 3. If you have a low GPA, your chances of being admitted during Round 3 are that much lower. If you find yourself tempted to apply in Round 3 with a low GPA, consider how ahead of the game you will be if you switch your focus now to applying Round 1 for the subsequent admission year. Rather than having a few weeks to submit your application, you now have 6+ months to make sure you put together the strongest application possible. A low GPA doesn’t have to ruin your goal of attending a top MBA program. However, there are specific action steps you need to make sure you take.

Consider why you want the degree

The HBS process requires applicants to be forward-thinking. Consider not only why you’re looking to earn your MBA, but also what you’re going to do with it once you have it.

“If you know you want to go to HBS, you need to know what you will do at HBS,” says John Okemah, who was admitted in 2020. 

Harvard employs the case study method, using scenarios from real business leaders. Students debate approaches for protagonists to take in a variety of situations and challenges across multiple industries. Students tackle a whopping 500 cases during their two years at Harvard.

“As an admissions team, we’re thinking about the pedagogy and who’s going to lean into that kind of environment,” says Chad Losee, managing director of HBS MBA admissions. Cold-calling and fast-paced debates are an essential component of an HBS education. Consider whether that’s an environment where you would sink or swim.

“It can be easy to fall into the trap of applying to Harvard solely based on the name recognition,” says Ayo Ekhator, another member of HBS’s MBA class of 2023. “But I think the most successful process is had by those who take the time to both research what Harvard offers on an academic, social, and professional level and to next understand how that fits with the applicant’s goals.”

Can test scores and GPA carry my application

Students admitted to Harvard Business School in 2020 on average had a 3.7 undergrad GPA, 4.7 years of work experience, and a 730 median GMAT score. While these numbers can indicate success, they don’t guarantee admission. HBS students come from engineering, economics, social sciences, business/commerce, and math and physical science backgrounds, with no one undergrad program representing a majority of admitted students.

Focus on your letters of recommendation, essay, interview, and post-interview reflection. These will differentiate your candidacy.

“We’re not doing anything in an algorithmic way,” HBS admissions director Losee says. “We also see our application process as a two-way street. Those who are applying to HBS want to learn more about the school as they go through the process. And we want to learn more about the applicants.”

The best recommenders

Accompanying your application are two letters of recommendation, which should illustrate HBS pillars: a habit of leadership (stepping up for yourself and others), analytical aptitude and appetite (strong academic performance), and engaged community citizenship (what you’re giving back as your success grows). Someone who’s been close enough to your work to provide constructive feedback makes the best recommender, Losee says. 

Although a good recommender could be an HBS alum, it’s more important to have someone who knows you well to speak on your behalf. 

“Don’t undervalue how important selecting the right composition of recommendation writers is,” says Tess Michaels, HBS class of 2020 and founder and CEO of Stride Funding, a platform that offers income share agreements, an alternative to traditional student loans. Having multiple letters of recommendation from one job is “less interesting to HBS than them getting to see different dimensions of you,” she adds.

Recommenders should articulate how you’ve shown leadership in an academic, professional, or extracurricular setting—or a mix of these, says Michaels, who applied under HBS’s 2+2 Program during her time in undergrad at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The deferred program requires two years of work experience followed by two years in the regular HBS MBA Program. Its application process is identical to the traditional HBS; it’s just under a different timeline.

Poets&Quants - Harvard Business School 2019-2020 MBA Deadlines

Tell your story

Admissions officers don’t ask, “Why Harvard?” 

Harvard (not so simply) asks, “As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?”

This isn’t something you can respond to quickly or in one sitting, Harvard students, officials, and MBA experts agree. It takes time to reflect on your past and plan your future—and to illustrate it through a well-crafted story.

“While HBS is of course looking for certain qualities, it’s really in the context of your own experiences, your perspectives, your values,” MBA consultant Aggarwal says. “It’s really important to tell your story.” And HBS values people who are not purely bookish, she adds.

“So much of what I wrote about was the power of learning by doing, which had helped me propel my career,” HBS alum Michaels says of the essay.

Critical points to hit in your essay: Why now is the right time to pursue your MBA, what your goals are, what you’re hoping to get from the program to get you where you want to be, and (in a non-generic way) why you want to earn your MBA.

Life can be very busy and fast-paced for those applying to an MBA program. Take a cue from Ferris Bueller: It’s important during the essay process to stop, take a step back, and look within to tell your story through your essay instead of approaching it as a longer version of your résumé.

“That reflection, I think, can really help you hit the ground running when you get to business school, and it can help us get to know you and what you would bring to HBS,” Losee says.

The hot seat

HBS typically invites one in five applicants to an on-campus interview, Losee says, and of those interviewees, about half are eventually admitted. 

Unlike other programs, only HBS admissions board members conduct interviews. And believe it or not, these officials likely spend more time preparing than you. 

Your interviewer will know your application to a T. They’ll know the classes you took your freshman year of college, where you had your first internship, in which clubs you were involved—and even where you went to high school. They know your story from your essay. 

To nail the interview is to know yourself and to justify your decisions.

“A lot of the prep was asking myself all these ‘why’ questions that I hadn’t really considered before,” Okemah says. These questions included why he worked for the company he did after graduating from Williams College and why he left that company to go to another one. Looking at his decisions from a high level and forming responses for an admissions officer made it “really tough,” he says.

Googling HBS interview questions won’t be very helpful, as every interview is tailored to the applicant. To prepare for the hot seat, memorize your application and practice explaining your “whys.”

“That’s about you and not about what was asked to someone else who submitted a different application,” Losee says.

Reflecting on your interview

Within 24 hours of the interview, applicants must submit a follow-up letter—the last piece of the puzzle.

The post-interview reflection takes the traditional thank-you note a step further and allows applicants to have the last word, Losee says. Applicants can expand on topics addressed during their interview and bridge any gaps in their application. It’s also another opportunity for HBS to understand how applicants synthesize conversations, says Aggarwal, who counsels prospects for top MBA programs.

There’s no prescription for the structure or length of the letter, but it should be concise and reflective. It’s not something that you can prepare for since no two HBS interviews are alike.

“It’s not meant to be intimidating or prescriptive,” Losee says. “It’s not something to be overthought or overwrought.”

File:Inside a Harvard Business School classroom.jpeg - Wikimedia Commons

FAQ – Harvard Business School

When is the application deadline for Harvard Business School?

Harvard Business School application deadline for Round 1 is Sep 8, 2021 and for Round 2 is Jan 4, 2022What is a good GMAT score for Harvard Business School?

A GMAT score for 750 and above is considered to be a good score. Know more in detail.How many applications does Harvard Business School receive in a year?

Harvard Business School receives around 9,000 to 10,000 applications in a year. For 2021 admissions it received 9,304 applications and enrolled a class of 732 students.What are the admissions requirements for Harvard Business School?

You need to prepare the following to successfully apply to Harvard Business School:
College Transcripts
TOEFL/ IELTS/ Pearson Test of English (PTE) –  Make sure you get a TOEFL score higher than 109 on the iBT, an IELTS score higher than 7.5, or a PTE score higher than 75.
Application Fee of US $250

How To Get Into NYU Stern School Of Business


The New York University Stern School of Business is renowned for its diversity, technology, and overall intellect. With such an impressive background and commitment to business, NYU Stern has built themselves a rapport that would make any business applicant fawn at the idea of attending.

But with relatively competitive acceptance rates and intricate application requirements, some students may be at a loss on the best way to get accepted. This article will include all of the information you need to increase your chances of being accepted into NYU Stern School of Business, along with everything you will need to complete your application. 

About NYU Stern School of Business 

The New York University Stern School of Business prides itself on having a vibrant and diverse community like the city in which it resides. The university strives to create leaders who embrace uncertainty and drive change in both society and the business world. They have an unequivocal belief in business’s power to improve the community. 

The belief in this power has been built into the culture and curriculum of NYU Stern School of Business. The goal is to make connections with industries worldwide, yielding experiential learning projects and jobs.

Stern values excellence that may not be traditional, both IQ and EQ, and consider themselves radically responsible. The school is known for being bold, nimble, fearless, hip, edgy, and innovative, and they have emphasized their revere for diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging for all people and ideas.

With many accolades under the schools’ belt, Stern’s research productivity and high job placement rate are best known, with 94 percent of 2-year full-time MBA alumni receiving job offers three months after graduation.

The NYU Stern School of Business offers various programs, including the full-time MBA program, Tech MBA, a part-time MBA, Dual Degrees, Fashion and Luxury MBAs, an EMBA in New York City or Washington D.C, and the Trium Global EMBA. The school prides itself on providing a well-rounded curriculum that is customizable to cater to various students.

The institution’s objective is to provide an education that students can actively apply to the workplace, with student testimonies saying this is true and utilizing their lessons in their employment after graduating. The customizable curriculum allows students to select up to three specializations from more than twenty options.

Students can also take up to 25 percent of their courses at other NYU graduate schools or partner institutions. There are over 200 electives to choose from, taught by various top researchers and industry leaders. These varied program offerings and flexible curriculum tailor your education to your learning style. 

The NYU Stern School of Business has also implemented the LAUNCH Curriculum for full-time MBA students. This teaching method is an introduction to the NYU Stern MBA experience.

It aims to transform MBA students’ mindsets, allowing them to view challenges as opportunities for growth and creation and push students to think broadly about how business can be an asset to society. The LAUNCH Curriculum is requirement-heavy in the first year but is significantly more customizable and flexible in the second.

Two CAS Students Sneak Into A Stern Class And Live Blog It | by NYU Local |  NYU Local

A financial accounting and reporting course and a statistics and data analysis course are the required core classes in the first year. Students can choose five classes from the eight menu core classes:

  • Business Analytics
  • Firms, Markets
  • Foundations of Finance
  • The Global Economy
  • Leadership in Organizations
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Strategy

Five core classes are required in this degree plan, and students must establish proficiency in courses through prior degrees, a proficiency exam, or GPA to pass these core classes and move forward in the plan. The curriculum also includes students participating in a campus recruiting program, offering internships around the world.

Additionally, NYU Stern offers a study abroad semester exchange program with 53 exchange partners in 29 countries. Students can travel the globe through one of the DBI programs at NYU Stern School of Business available in over ten worldwide locations.

Students are permitted to select up to three specializations in their second year and choose from over 200 electives. Courses are offered during both the day and evening. Some students choose to take advantage of Stern Solutions experiential learning, which encourages immersion, service, and reflection, teaching students to tackle real-world issues in real-time. 

As mentioned before, NYU Stern School of Business prides itself on the inclusion, diversity, and belonging of all students and ideas, believing these factors are vital for advancing knowledge, sparking innovation, and creating sustainable communities.

This emphasis on diversity guarantees a higher quality of debate with students operating from diverse backgrounds, ensuring a complex academic enterprise. The culture at NYU Stern is welcoming and supports creation and free-thinking.

There are various professional and special interest clubs, along with a student blog and a variety of student profiles posted on the school’s website with the ability to speak directly to Stern alumni. The professional clubs include the business analytics club, emerging markets association, entrepreneurship and startup association, and FinTech Association.

The special interest clubs are diverse, with clubs such as arts, cruising and culture, stern adventures club, stern golf club, and a softball club.

Competition and Class Profile 

While NYU Stern School of Business is not a highly competitive school in comparison to other MBA programs, there is still a large applicant pool that may seem intimidating when researching how to be accepted. With a 29 percent admission rate, Stern usually has over 3,000 applicants and about 1,000 admits.

Those admitted usually have an average GMAT score of 723 and an average GPA of 3.6. While there is no minimum requirement for your GPA or GMAT score in the application process, meeting these averages when applying is encouraged.

About 97 percent of students enrolled had previous work experience when they submitted their application, with 5.2 years being the average amount. The highest percentage of work experience was in the financial service field at 27 percent.

It is essential to know that there is also no work experience minimum requirement. There have been applicants from various professional backgrounds such as consulting, financial services, entertainment, consumer products, non-profit, and technology. 

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Requirements and How to Apply to NYU Stern

Basic Requirements 

There are four application deadlines for the NYU Stern School of Business set mid-month in October, November, January, and March. The deadlines are set this way to ensure applicants know the latest date they will receive a notification from Stern. Deadlines can be nerve-racking, but it is still encouraged to send in your application when it is at its utmost potential.

Never compromise the quality of your application. Applicants must select a program of interest and can only apply to one program.

Every entering student must hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or an international equivalent along with proof of English mastery. Mastery can be proven by English being your native language, acquiring a degree from a university instructed in English, or taking a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English test. 


The notification process of admission begins with an interview invitation. Following the interview would be a waitlist offer, denial, or acceptance. The post-interview decision can take up to three weeks. Knowing this, we can get into the details of the actual application.

The application requires a resume or CV, work history, essays, and EQ endorsements. The EQ endorsements are essentially letters of recommendation. As for standardized tests, there are no minimum standardized test score requirements.

NYU Stern School of Business accepts GMAT, GRE, EA, LSAT, and DAT exams as long as the test scores are valid upon application submission. No specific test is preferred over the other, and which one you decide to submit with your application is ultimately your decision. There is also no minimum GPA requirement.

The school accounts for variances in grading systems around the world. Applicants must include transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions they previously attended, which can be uploaded with your application or entered manually. There will be a section for personal and professional information on the application.

Applicants for NYU Stern School of Business come from various professional backgrounds, and no industry is favored over another. The admissions committee values work experience in longevity, depth, and breadth. They will be surveying your responsibilities and progression in your roleb to glean some of your character and work ethic. 

In regards to the essay requirements mentioned earlier, there are two required essays and one optional essay. The essays are meant to allow you to present yourself to the admissions committee and provide insights into your goals, experiences, and thought processes. Essay one focuses on your professional aspirations.

As far as structure, this should be 500 words max, double spaced in 12 point font. This essay asks about your career goals and how an NYU Stern MBA will help you achieve them. The first essay is your chance to expand on your professional accomplishments and combine your desire for an MBA with your goals and aspirations.

The second essay focuses on personal expression. The admissions committee calls it the “Pick Six” essay. In this essay, you should pick six images illustrating who you are with a one-sentence caption for each image that explains why you selected them and their significance to you.

This essay should include a brief introduction that is no more than three sentences. The third essay is an optional additional information essay. This essay would be an opportunity to explain any personal, educational or professional discrepancies that may have made your application appear incomplete. 

Along with the essays, your application requires two EQ Endorsements. One of these endorsements must come from a current supervisor, and if you can not provide this, you must explain why.

The second may come from someone who knows you professionally or personally, but because this endorsement should be objective, it can not come from immediate family. These endorsements should objectively judge your potential for success in NYU Stern’s MBA program and your future career while advocating for your strengths as an applicant.

Submitting more than two endorsements is not encouraged but allowed. These endorsements should be concise yet thorough, being an honest reflection of your character. Applicants should submit both EQ endorsements online by uploading a Word or PDF document.

International students must complete the international student supplement with their application. There are two sections to this supplemental document, your visa status, and permanent foreign address. The information provided in this section does not affect your chances of admission.

Under the admissions policies for the NYU Stern School of Business, there is a $250 non-refundable application fee. There are fee waivers available for US military members, veterans, Teach for American/India alumni, and Forte MBA LAUNCH alumnae.

There is also an Application Fee Waiver Request Form that applicants can submit for approval if they want to be considered for fee removal due to economic challenges.

HOW I GOT INTO NYU????? a 3.0?? SAT Scores and more!!! - YouTube

Tips for Success 

The NYU Stern School of Business is transparent about what they want to see in an applicant, and their requirements are remarkably attainable. Like most business schools, it is best to begin the application process early, starting with researching and collecting essential documents.

The following tips will raise your chances of admittance by making your application stand out in the sea of applicants vying for a seat at NYU Stern. 

1. Apply Early 

With four application deadlines throughout the application process, the best method is to apply as early as possible. The first two rounds are the best times to apply, with the other rounds being significantly more competitive.

By the last two rounds, the admissions committee has had the chance to evaluate various applicants and have decided more specifically what they seek in applicants moving forward in the process.

Admissions will most likely be looking for underrepresented applicants and those who display different professional backgrounds and personal experiences than they’ve seen thus far. Applying in the last two rounds will require you to possess something that significantly sets you apart from other applicants.

For example, an impressive professional background or outstanding standardized test scores. Even then, the chances of being admitted are still less than they would be if you were to submit your application in the first two rounds. By applying early, you have more of a chance to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants and establish your place in the applicant pool.

If you start the application process early by researching what the admissions committee is looking for and the application requirements, applying in the first two rounds will be merely a stepping stone on your journey to being admitted to the NYU Stern School of Business.

2. Emphasize Personal and Professional Achievement

The admissions committee is looking for students exhibiting stellar interpersonal skills, outstanding intellectual ability, and dedication to creating value in both the business arena and society. They want to see “intellectual curiosity, motivation to explore ideas, and impactful engagement with the world.” according to Jonathan Williams, the vice president of undergraduate admissions at NYU.

The admissions committee has a holistic review process, with each section being equally significant. Still, your overall academic profile could be considered most important when compared to other applicants. This profile represents how you challenged yourself academically and provides insight into how academically advanced you are.

If you have an above-average test score or a class you excelled in that would be considered challenging, this would be a significant component in your application. Williams believes that students must demonstrate an understanding of the balance between choosing challenging coursework and the ability to excel.

He also says that extra-curricular activities, community engagement, and volunteering are equally crucial to the admissions committee. Highlighting these points in your application would be easiest to do in your essays and EQ endorsements. Essay one is meant to highlight your professional aspirations.

In this essay, sell yourself to the admissions committee. Discuss your drive and consistent work ethic along with anything else that would allow you to be perceived as an extraordinary applicant. Leaning on your achievements such as volunteering and community work would be most appropriate in essay two, where personal expression is praised.

Your EQ endorsements could showcase both of these subjects, honoring your accomplishments from a personal and professional standpoint. By focusing on your unique personal achievements, you set yourself apart from other applicants and show the admissions committee you have precisely what they are looking for in an applicant.

3. Thoroughly Research the NYU Stern School of Business 

Multiple times throughout the application process, the admissions committee asks what you want from the NYU Stern School of Business. They want to know why you want an MBA and why you want it from their school specifically. This questioning makes researching and personal reflection imperative to the application process.

You have to know what drew you to the school besides NYU Stern being considered a ‘good school.’ You can ask yourself, “What programs do they offer that suit me? Are there esteemed professors whose classes I’d be excited to take in the school year? What is it about the culture that intrigues me?”

This introspection will make the application much easier to complete and make your arguments on why you deserve admittance more persuasive. This reflection can also be incorporated into your essays with ease.

Forming thoughtful responses demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of the school’s educational offerings and a desire to participate in the change the school strives for as part of its mission. 

Tuesday Tips: NYU Stern Essays and Tips for 2021-2022 - Stacy Blackman  Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting


1. Does Stern have a preference between which standardized tests are submitted?

No, Stern does not have a preference on which tests you submit. They accept GMAT, GRE, EA, MCAT, LSAT, and DAT. 

2. What is Stern looking for in its applicants?

NYU Stern School of Business evaluates each candidate’s academic profile, professional achievements, aspiration, and personal characteristics. They are looking for someone with strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills, and a desire to create value for business and society. 

3. Are admissions officers available for appointments?

No, but tours and information sessions are offered during the week. These tours are 60-90 minutes and include a campus tour led by an MBA student or a member of the admissions committee. You must register for these sessions at least one day in advance. 

Press Release | New DDS/MBA Dual Degree Option - NYU Stern

4. Can I speak to an Alum?

You are encouraged to contact a second-year MBA graduate ambassador. You can do so at [email protected] to learn more about the Stern experience. 

5. Does NYU Stern School of Business accept transfer credit?

Unfortunately, Stern does not accept transfer credit. 

6. What are the requirements of the EQ Endorsements?

In the EQ endorsements, the writer will be asked to rate you on many abilities and qualities and provide a brief description of their interaction with you and your role in their organization. 

7. What information should be in essay three?

If you needed to explain gaps in employment, undergrad records, transcripts, plans to retake exams, or any other information you feel would influence how the admissions committee perceives your application, you may benefit from using essay three. 

8. What if I was denied admission and want to reapply?

Reapplicants may submit an abbreviated application that consists of an application data form, resume and employment history, one essay, an EQ endorsement from a current supervisor, and an international student supplement if needed. You can apply to the Full-time MBA program, Andre Koo Tech MBA program, or the Fashion and Luxury MBA program. 


It can feel like you are at a complete loss when applying to the NYU Stern School of Business. But by doing thorough research on the university, the application process can be more manageable than you might think.

The NYU Stern School of Business application is all about being familiar with your personal and career aspirations and knowing what you want from receiving an MBA. You can ensure an easy application process by applying in the first two rounds, emphasizing your achievements, and knowing how you plan to utilize Stern’s MBA program in your career.

Doing this will make your application stand out, elevate your MBA essay and make your request for admission more persuasive. By following the tips provided in this article, you can guarantee a smooth application process and improve your chance of admission to the NYU Stern School of Business.

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