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MBA Acceptance Rates at the Top 20 US Business Schools

MBA Acceptance Rates at the Top 20 US Business Schools main image

Choosing a business school isn’t an easy job. There are many aspects of the application process to take into consideration, such as GMAT and GRE scores, essays, references and interviews, and of course, whether the business school is a good fit for you and your career progression.

But there’s another key component to think about when applying to business school: acceptance rates.

Acceptance rates represent how many applicants are admitted into a school’s MBA program, and they’re a great indicator of how competitive it really is to land a spot on your MBA of choice.

Some schools and their MBA programs are more difficult to land a spot than others. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve compiled a list focusing on the acceptance rates at the top 20 US business schools.

MBA Acceptance Rates – Top 20 US Business Schools

QS Rank

Business School

Location

Acceptance Rate (%)

1=

Philadelphia (PA)

23.1

1=

Stanford (CA)

6.9

3=

Cambridge (MA)

14.6

5

Boston (MA)

11.5

8

Chicago (IL)

24.2

9

Berkeley (CA)

17.7

10

Evanston (IL)

27

11

New York (NY)

16.4

13

Los Angeles (CA)

30.5

18

New Haven (CT)

25.2

19=

Durham (NC)

22.9

19=

Ann Arbor (MI)

30.9

22

New York (NY)

26.1

28

Los Angeles (CA)

29.9

31

Boston (MA)

49.6

33

Bloomington (IN)

49.9

35

Ithaca (NY)

38.3

37

Austin (TX)

38.1

39

Pittsburgh (PA)

42.8

45

Hanover (NH)

34.5

 

The most competitive top schools

Stanford Graduate School of Business is the most competitive school on the list, overtaking its Ivy League rivals with an acceptance rate of 6.9 percent. During the two-year full-time MBA program, students follow a core general management curriculum that includes the basics of business administration as well as a customizable curriculum with elective courses. The average GMAT acceptance score is the highest on the list at 734.

Harvard Business School follows Stanford as the second most competitive school in the US, with an acceptance rate of 11.5 percent and a GMAT score of 728. HBS’ MBA is a full-time, two-year residential program with different teaching activities and a busy social calendar.

MIT Sloan School of Management, ranked third best in the world according to the QS Global MBA Rankings 2020, is the third most competitive school on the list with an acceptance rate of 14.6 percent. Columbia Business School, Haas School of Business and The Wharton School follow closely, with 16.4, 17.7 and 23.1 percent respectively.

The least competitive top schools

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon is the third least competitive school on the list, with an acceptance rate of 42.8 percent and an average GMAT score of 687. The school’s MBA program is known as having among the fastest ROI among the schools in our global ranking.

Questrom School of Business follows as the second least competitive school, with an acceptance rate of 49.6. Its full-time MBA offers a mix of traditional b-school courses with unique electives that help students expand their skillset.

However, Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is the least competitive program in our top 20, with nearly half (49.9) of applicants securing a spot on the MBA program. The school also has the lowest average GMAT score at 666.

Other top schools you may want to consider applying to because their acceptance rates are slightly more forgiving are Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, McCombs School of Business and Tuck School of Business.

How to ace your application

The application process to get into a top MBA program is rigorous, but don’t let the amount of work involved discourage you – it’ll be worth it once you get in and start your MBA journey.

Here at TopMBA, we have compiled a comprehensive step-by-step to-do list on how to earn a spot at these prestigious business schools – click here to access it.

Written by Linda Mohamed

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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