Which College Scores Best on the GMAT?

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on July 12, 2011

A few weeks ago we were discussing the correlation between undergraduate institution and GMAT scores. We knew which B-schools boast the highest scoring MBA students (Stanford, Yale). What we didn’t know is which undergraduate institutions produce grads who fare the best on the test. It was a statistic none of us had seen before.

Thanks to the mountain of data we collect in our various ranking projects—specifically the graduate surveys from the MBA Class of 2010—we had the information necessary to find the answer. So here it is: By and large, the elite, private institutions fare the best, with Harvard (738.0 GMAT average), Yale (732.0), and MIT (731.7) leading the way.

In fact, of the 30 universities whose grads average a 700 or higher on the test, only three—UC Berkeley (711.1), University of Washington (707.5), and UCLA (707.2)—are public schools.

We started with about 200 schools then removed those with fewer than 12 grads in the sample. This left a total of 107 universities, with scores ranging from 738 at Harvard to 633 at Louisiana State. The average score, overall, was 686. The average number of respondents for each school was 39.

Obviously, for MBA applicants who have already earned their undergraduate degree, this information isn't of much value, but for high school juniors and seniors who see an MBA in their futures, this list might be something to take into consideration.

(Note: Scores are not limited to students who graduated with an undergraduate degree in business.)

Here's the top 30:

1. Harvard 738.0
2. Yale 732.0
3. MIT 731.7
4. Rice University 731.3
5. Brandeis University 729.4
6. Princeton 727.7
7. Stanford University 724.0
8. Brown University 722.2
9. Williams College 721.6
10. Carnegie Mellon 720.9
11. Duke University 720.2
12. Dartmouth 716.7
13. Wesleyan University 716.2
14. Amherst College 714.4
15. Carleton College 714.2
16. University of Chicago 712.9
17. Columbia University 712.2
18. University of Pennsylvania 712.2
19. Northwestern 712.0
20. UC Berkeley 711.1
21. Claremont McKenna 708.6
22. Middlebury College 707.6
23. University of Washington 707.5
24. UCLA 707.2
25. University of Notre Dame 702.5
26. Cornell University 702.0
27. Davidson College 701.5
28. Southern California 701.0
29. Johns Hopkins 700.8
30. Bowdoin College 700.5

Reader Comments


July 12, 2011 4:45 PM

Not too surprising that students who did well on the SAT would also perform well on the vaguely similar GMAT, especially since as a rule colleges don't teach the material on the GMAT.


July 12, 2011 6:43 PM

An interesting statistic would be the absolute number of students scoring above certain thresholds. I believe you would see many more large public universities on that list.

If the data are available, the correlation between SAT/ACT and GMAT would also be interesting.


July 13, 2011 11:50 AM

Where is the full list? Thanks.

Leo cruz

July 13, 2011 12:19 PM

An average is the statistical center of gravity of a populatin or sample. It would be rather interesting to know how many Berkeley grads scored over 700 in the GMAT compared to that of Harvard or Stanford. I suspect it will be a reflection of the of the SAT profile of the entering freshman classes at Berkeley compard to Harvard and Stanford.In 2010, there were over 2200 freshman at Berkeley who scored above 700 in the Math portion of the SAT compared to only 1200 at Harvard and Stanford. Certainly neither Harvard or Stanford would ever want a freshman class the size of Berkeley, it will be a form of financial or economic suicide.


July 13, 2011 8:32 PM

This is an interesting study, although it raises a lot of questions about correlation and causation. We decided to turn this into a Critical Reasoning GMAT question on the Veritas Prep Blog today!


July 14, 2011 8:28 AM

who cares???

Louis Lavelle

July 14, 2011 8:39 AM

Check out Veritas Prep's take on this question: http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2011/07/critical-reasoning-in-real-life/

Louis Lavelle
Associate Editor
Bloomberg Businessweek


July 21, 2011 3:46 PM

Indian IIT grads....u should have a global view.
I have never seen anybody below 730 in GMAT, 50% are definitively above 760

Theresa kidd

July 24, 2011 2:11 AM

Hey Theresa,

I don't know if folks at research picked this up, but according to this source, the average WES student gets 716+ on their GMAT. Defly not a bad place to start for hippie-at-heart business tycoons!



December 10, 2011 2:57 PM

brandeis student here. 740 gmat, guess im only an average student then....

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