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High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering

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Intern
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Joined: 24 Nov 2017
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High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2017, 08:36
Hello folks,

I majored in chemical engineering at a top 15 university. The courses were very tough, and I achieved a (relatively mediocre) GPA of 2.98. I've had almost 7 years of solid, first-rate work experience in the private engineering sector (I'm 30, FYI). I also scored a 730 on my GMAT (in 2016).

I'm applying to a variety of top 20 business schools: UCLA, Georgetown, Northwestern, Chicago, etc. Should I be concerned that my poor GPA will nix my chances? Also, many top schools have AVERAGE GMAT scores close to, or even above, a 730. Is a 730 not an impressive score for such schools, especially given my mediocre undergrad GPA?
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Joined: 15 May 2017
Posts: 180
Concentration: Operations
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3
WE: Supply Chain Management (Energy and Utilities)
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Re: High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2017, 12:01
RSGmoney wrote:
Hello folks,

I majored in chemical engineering at a top 15 university. The courses were very tough, and I achieved a (relatively mediocre) GPA of 2.98. I've had almost 7 years of solid, first-rate work experience in the private engineering sector (I'm 30, FYI). I also scored a 730 on my GMAT (in 2016).

I'm applying to a variety of top 20 business schools: UCLA, Georgetown, Northwestern, Chicago, etc. Should I be concerned that my poor GPA will nix my chances? Also, many top schools have AVERAGE GMAT scores close to, or even above, a 730. Is a 730 not an impressive score for such schools, especially given my mediocre undergrad GPA?


Unfortunately, a 730 is not going to make you stand out at the top schools, and isn't really considered exceptional at that level. Northwestern and chicago have a ~730 average. A 730 will stand out slightly as you go into the teens, but not by a huge margin, and you will need that above median gmat to offset your gpa.

Basically, a 2.98 is not a huge barrier outside of the top 10, but inside the top 10 you'll likely need to improve your gmat to have a good chance. You don't want to be a the median gmat and below average on gpa as an engineer. Yes it is a tough major, but plenty of engineers are able to get good gpas and a ton of engineers apply to b school with better stats than you are bringing.
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Re: High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2017, 13:00
cxa0897 wrote:
Unfortunately, a 730 is not going to make you stand out at the top schools, and isn't really considered exceptional at that level. Northwestern and chicago have a ~730 average. A 730 will stand out slightly as you go into the teens, but not by a huge margin, and you will need that above median gmat to offset your gpa.

Basically, a 2.98 is not a huge barrier outside of the top 10, but inside the top 10 you'll likely need to improve your gmat to have a good chance. You don't want to be a the median gmat and below average on gpa as an engineer. Yes it is a tough major, but plenty of engineers are able to get good gpas and a ton of engineers apply to b school with better stats than you are bringing.

Hey cxa0897, thanks for the reply/help, I deeply appreciate it :) !

Can you clarify what you mean by 'stand out'? Does this mean that my chances would be poor at a top school such as Northwestern or Columbia, and that I probably shouldn't bother applying? Would my chances be so below average, that there's little chance I would get in?

Would my chances be increased by other things? For example, I have a Professional Engineering certification, went to a top 15 undergraduate school, worked in the nuclear industry, and have lived/traveled abroad extensively? Would these things weigh in my favor, or are they just 'extras' that don't matter too much?

Thanks!
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Re: High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2017, 13:02
Also, to clarify: a 730 is a good score (96th %), but, as you mention, it's still average at many top 10 schools. Would retaking the GMAT to crank out, say, a 760 be worth it, or would it increase my chances only marginally?
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Joined: 15 May 2017
Posts: 180
Concentration: Operations
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GPA: 3
WE: Supply Chain Management (Energy and Utilities)
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Re: High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2017, 17:53
RSGmoney wrote:
cxa0897 wrote:
Unfortunately, a 730 is not going to make you stand out at the top schools, and isn't really considered exceptional at that level. Northwestern and chicago have a ~730 average. A 730 will stand out slightly as you go into the teens, but not by a huge margin, and you will need that above median gmat to offset your gpa.

Basically, a 2.98 is not a huge barrier outside of the top 10, but inside the top 10 you'll likely need to improve your gmat to have a good chance. You don't want to be a the median gmat and below average on gpa as an engineer. Yes it is a tough major, but plenty of engineers are able to get good gpas and a ton of engineers apply to b school with better stats than you are bringing.

Hey cxa0897, thanks for the reply/help, I deeply appreciate it :) !

Can you clarify what you mean by 'stand out'? Does this mean that my chances would be poor at a top school such as Northwestern or Columbia, and that I probably shouldn't bother applying? Would my chances be so below average, that there's little chance I would get in?

Would my chances be increased by other things? For example, I have a Professional Engineering certification, went to a top 15 undergraduate school, worked in the nuclear industry, and have lived/traveled abroad extensively? Would these things weigh in my favor, or are they just 'extras' that don't matter too much?

Thanks!


These are all positives, but it needs to be expressed properly in your application to make the right impact, and this will need to be catered to each and every school.

Your current 730 puts you in contention at any of them, but isn't doing you any favors at the elites since it is "only average" compared to the other applicants. If you want to apply, by all means do so. If you want to retake, and could bump up to a 750/760, it would help, but how much is something only an adcom can weigh. If the rest of your profile makes a compelling case, a 730/760 probably isn't going to matter.
Re: High GMAT (730), Mediocre GPA in Chemical Engineering   [#permalink] 25 Nov 2017, 17:53
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