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A common concern for current students and graduates alike is whether their undergraduate degree matters when applying to MBA programs.
The short answer is no – the type of undergraduate degree you have doesn’t matter, as long you have achieved a bachelor’s degree. Despite the competitive nature of MBA programs, you don’t need to study business or even have a background in business to apply.
That said, there are a few factors relating to your undergrad degree concerning your application that should be taken into account. These factors can help make your application stand out and make you a more desirable candidate to prospective business schools.
The grade point average (GPA) of your bachelor’s degree is an important part of your application. Most graduate business programs will require a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply, but every school has different admissions requirements that are subject to change depending on the cohort of applicants each year.
For example, you will need a GPA of at least 3.0 when applying to both the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. However, your GPA is only one part of your application and even a perfect GPA may not guarantee acceptance.
While the courses you decide to take in your undergrad won’t matter on paper, taking the time to learn about business and economics in general will make you a more well-rounded MBA candidate.
Taking these classes and finding them of interest will also help you decide if achieving an MBA is something you want to pursue once you have completed your undergrad degree.
If you’ve graduated from university and didn’t take any relevant classes – don’t worry. If you take the time to learn the basics and put in the necessary hours to study for the GMAT, you’ll be well-equipped to apply to an MBA program.
Your extracurricular activities
Similarity, your extracurricular activities play a role in your acceptance eligibility. Most business schools will have an entrance interview and the admissions committee is looking for more than just book smarts.
Sports teams, student committees, and various hobbies are all great examples of extracurriculars that will give you a competitive edge. Also, they can give you material to talk about in your admissions interview without discussing school itself.
It’s a good idea for you to have a diverse range of experiences from inside and outside your undergraduate degree to demonstrate your abilities.
Although your area of study may not matter…
Your undergrad degree won’t necessarily affect your chances of being accepted to an MBA program, but what you score on the GMAT certainly will.
The GMAT is specifically designed to predict how test takers will preform academically in the program. The competitiveness of getting into business school is what makes your GMAT score a critical factor in your application package.
For example, Rotman’s average GMAT score for the class entering in 2015 was 672 – a highly ambitious test score. A test prep course can help you stick to a study schedule and achieve the score you need to get into your top choice.
While your undergraduate degree shouldn’t impact your chances of being accepted to an MBA program, there are many other factors to consider when preparing your application – such as scoring well on the GMAT. The best of luck to all the candidates this coming fall!
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