How Important Is My College GPA in EMBA Admissions?

Posted By SWatts on Mar 11, 2016 | 0 comments

How Important Is My College GPA in EMBA Admissions?

Some EMBA applicants simply never “gained their footing” in their undergraduate years. Perhaps moving far from home to attend college was difficult for them and they did not achieve high grades. Perhaps they chose the wrong major and never applied themselves to courses in which they had only lackluster interest. Perhaps they made poor choices in balancing “work” with “fun”. Yet, following their undergraduate years, those same applicants blossomed in their business careers. Some such MBA applicants might have already enjoyed 6-9 years of work experience and 2-3 promotions before applying to an EMBA program, which speaks of their professional success. Some may have made their way to a high position in a Fortune company. Some may have started their own businesses and met with outstanding success. Some may be thriving in a start-up that has received venture funding and is experiencing exponential growth and inroads in the market. Yet, their undergraduate GPA tells a different story.

The less-than-ideal college GPA could be a 2.8, a 3.0, or a 2.5. Perhaps a tad bit lower. A question that looms large in the minds of such applicants is, “After years of outstanding work experience, will my weak undergraduate GPA close the door to the very top EMBA programs?”

This is a situation that we at MBA deal with very frequently, and we have great expertise in helping candidates override less-than-ideal GPAs in order to access the top EMBA programs. The good news is that if you put together a business school application skillfully, it is possible in many cases to overcome a low GPA to gain admission to a top EMBA program at schools such as Wharton, Chicago, Columbia, MIT, Haas, NYU and Kellogg.

Certainly, your undergraduate performance will represent a weak spot in your candidacy, but you can address this through the application. Addressing it does not mean simply writing a paragraph about it in the “optional” section of the application (which may or may not be a good idea, depending on the candidate and the circumstances). Rather, addressing the matter can also mean drawing attention – through the MBA essays and recommendations – to the notable achievements that convey to the admissions committee that after years of professional success, your defining and relevant achievements are found in your professional record, not in your college performance. At MBA, we have helped candidates with GPAs such as 2.3 and 2.7 to gain admission to the EMBA programs of Wharton, Chicago, Haas, Columbia, MIT, Kellogg, NYU and Cornell, among others. It’s all about the strategy implemented through the application.


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