Low GPA MBA Programs (And What Business Schools May Look for Besides Grades)

MBA Programs that Accept Low GPA

written by Shannon Fandler

Finding low GPA MBA programs may not be as hard as you think. Plenty of MBA programs take a holistic approach to evaluating applicants, meaning that even if you aren’t proud of your undergraduate GPA, your other good qualities – like work experience or GMAT scores – may have a chance to shine.

Getting Into MBA Programs With Low GPA

Many prospective MBA students wonder, “Can I get into an MBA program with a low GPA?” While the answer varies by program, your grades don’t necessarily have to prevent you from achieving your dreams. That may be good news for candidates who wish they’d done better as undergraduates but have since proven their potential and are ready to pursue a graduate education in business.

For some business schools, the applications process focuses on the whole student…not just your GPA or test scores. That may mean your work experience, letters of recommendation, essay responses, and other elements of your application could balance out or even totally outweigh your low grades during the MBA admissions process.

DID YOU KNOW? 26% of Chief Executives said they needed to earn a master’s degree for their current role. [i]

Three Things You Need to Know About Applying for an MBA with a Low GPA

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Some Schools May Offer Alternatives to a High GPA

Believe it or not, some MBA programs may offer a way around a low GPA. Keep an eye out for low GPA high GMAT MBA programs, which may accept students with a lower GPA as long as they prove they are ready for business school by earning high test scores. For example, Saint Leo University may waive a GPA that falls below the 3.0 minimum if candidates score at least 500 on the GMAT.

2. It May Help to Explain Your Low Undergraduate GPA

If you are given a chance to explain your academic background in an essay question or interview, use this opportunity to the fullest. Perhaps you experienced unique challenges as an undergraduate, like illness or a death in the family. Or maybe your focus wasn’t what it should have been, but you’ve since matured and learned better time management skills. Be honest about what went wrong when you speak to the admissions office, and express your commitment to performing to your full potential in graduate school.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

3. Some MBA Programs Have No Minimum GPA

While we’ve listed some low GPA MBA programs, many of the programs above don’t actually state a minimum GPA. Schools without a strict lower limit on grades may be more open to considering the whole you. Of course, seeking easy admission MBA programs doesn’t mean you’re automatically in; some programs that aren’t as concerned about your GPA may simply be more interested in other factors, like your work history. So, be sure your application is as strong as possible in those areas to ensure you’re a competitive candidate.

Find partner MBA programs that accept students with low GPA scores below.

List of MBA Programs that Accept LOW GPA

Below we have compiled a list of schools that have MBA programs and the schools listed minimum gpa requirements. To help you further, we’ve included admission rates from College Scorecard to help you with your search.

Minimum GPAAcceptance Rate
University of South Carolina-Aiken2.2551%
Wright State University-Main Campus2.595%
University of Southern Indiana2.595%
Marshall University2.591%
Northern Kentucky University2.589%
Longwood University2.589%
Louisiana State University-Shreveport2.587%
East Tennessee State University2.587%
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville2.587%
Emporia State University2.585%
University of North Carolina at Pembroke2.581%
Sam Houston State University2.579%
Morehead State University Morehead, KY2.579%
Prairie View A & M University2.574%
Rowan University2.573%
Kent State University at Kent2.572%
University of Louisiana at Monroe2.571%
McNeese State University2.570%
University of Central Arkansas2.791%
Jacksonville State University2.754%
Wichita State University2.7597%
Western Kentucky University2.7597%
University of Nebraska at Kearney2.7594%
University of Nevada-Reno2.7588%
Saint Cloud State University2.7586%
Lamar University2.7584%
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire2.7578%
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater2.7576%
Radford University2.7575%
South Carolina State University2.7553%
University of Wyoming3.096%
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin3.091%
Black Hills State University3.088%
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi3.087%
Niagara University3.087%
Northern Arizona University3.083%
Samford University3.082%
Arkansas State University-Main Campus3.077%
University of Alaska Fairbanks3.076%
Southeastern Oklahoma State University3.075%
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus3.073%
Georgia Southwestern State University3.069%
Drury University Springfield, MO3.068%
Eastern Washington University3.063%
Yeshiva University3.060%
Minnesota State University3.060%
Mississippi College3.038%
Clarion University of Pennsylvania3.394%

We’ve partnered with ten business schools that may accept candidates with less-than-ideal grades. Simply check out the sponsored listings for traditional or online MBA low GPA programs, below.

These ten business schools offer MBA programs with low or no GPA requirements.* You’ll find both traditional and online MBA programs on the list. Click to learn more about each one, or fill out our form to get matched for free to MBA programs with low gpa requirements!

*All listed GPAs are on a 4.0 scale; GPA requirements are subject to change.

Minimum GPA Requirements: None listed; students are admitted by comprehensive review

Canisius is a private, Jesuit college based in Buffalo, NY. Founded in 1870, the college is named after St. Peter Canisius, a Dutch educator who was one of the original members of the Society of Jesus. Canisius College serves over 3,000 students across three schools with over 100 majors, minors, and special programs.

The Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College offers MBA programs designed to meet diverse goals, including an evening MBA program that may be perfect for working students. While having a strong GPA or high GMAT score is ideal, Canisius considers a student’s whole application – including essays and optional letters of recommendation that may help show an applicant’s potential beyond grades.

Minimum GPA Requirements: None listed

Northcentral University is a regionally accredited virtual institution of higher education offering online undergraduate and graduate programs. They serve students from around the world in areas of study like business, education, technology, and more.

The School of Business at Northcentral offer a 30-credit online MBA program with many career-focused tracks, including International Business, Management, Computer & Information Security, and more. Applicants may seek admission if they have earned a bachelor’s degree in business from a regionally or nationally accredited school. Applicants who don’t meet that requirement have to take an additional foundation course.

Minimum GPA Requirements: None listed

Syracuse University is a private research university founded in 1870. They serve about 15,000 undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students across 200 majors and 100 minors. Study on campus in the heart of New York State, or choose to pursue select degree programs online.

The MBA @ Syracuse is an innovative online MBA program offered by the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. The program offers six specialization areas, including finance, business analytics, and entrepreneurship. No minimum GPA is listed. However, MBA @ Syracuse students are required to have at least one year of work experience, and GMAT or GRE scores are required.

MBA Program at Syracuse:

Minimum GPA Requirements: None listed

Lynn University is a private university located in Boca Raton, Florida. Serving students since 1962, the university takes pride in its innovation – like iPad-powered learning and accelerated degree programs. Lynn is home to six schools and 37 majors, which serve over 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Lynn is home to MBA programs in areas like marketing, media management, human resource management, web development management, and more. Many programs may be pursued online. And in addition to no listed GPA requirements, the MBA at Lynn does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

Minimum GPA Requirements: 2.75

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private, nonprofit university founded in the Lasallian Catholic tradition. Saint Mary’s has campuses in Twin Cities and Winona, in addition to regional locations and online learning. About 5,900 students are enrolled across diverse undergraduate, bachelor’s completion, master’s, and doctoral programs.

Saint Mary’s is home to a unique online MBA program with an accelerated format. Candidates may earn the degree in as few as 18 months, while pursuing one of three specialization tracks: Data Analytics, Social Media Management and Marketing, and Sustainability and Environmental Management. While the program states a minimum GPA requirement of 2.75, those not meeting the requirement may be eligible for provisional acceptance at the MBA director’s discretion.

MBA Program at Saint Mary’s:

Minimum GPA Requirements: None listed

Winthrop University is a public, comprehensive university located near Charlotte, North Carolina. Winthrop serves about 6,109 undergraduate and graduate students across diverse programs both online and on campus. The university has been helping students pursue their goals since 1886.

Winthrop is home to an online, AACSB-accredited MBA program focused on globalization, analytics, technology, and communication. Students may also choose from three concentrations: Marketing, Sports Marketing & Revenue Generation, and Strategic Leadership. No minimum GPA is listed. However, students must submit a minimum GMAT score of 400 or a minimum GRE score of 292.

Minimum GPA Requirements: 2.8

Grand Canyon University is a private, nonprofit university with the goal of preparing students to lead and serve in the Christian tradition. Based in Phoenix, GCU has several locations in Arizona and New Mexico. They also offer online degree programs.

The Colangelo School of Business at GCU offers an MBA program that may be pursued online or in the evenings. While graduate students must generally have a minimum GPA of 2.8, those who don’t meet the requirements may be admitted with a graduate degree from an approved, accredited college or program, as well as passing GRE or GMAT scores.

Minimum GPA Requirements: 2.5

Notre Dame de Namur University is a private, Catholic university based in the Bay Area. NDNU was founded over 165 years ago, making it the third oldest college in the state of California. They serve around 1,700 students from around the world, across diverse academic areas.

NDNU’s School of Business and Management offers an MBA program focused on innovation, leadership competencies, and global business skills. The program may be pursued at the main campus in Belmont, as well as on the Tracy campus and online. Students may apply for fall, spring, or summer starts.

MBA Programs at Notre Dame de Namur:

Minimum GPA Requirements: 3.0 in the last 60 credits of bachelor’s (lower GPA may meet requirements with a GMAT score of at least 500)

Saint Leo University is a private, Roman Catholic university established in 1889. The university serves around 16,000 students across the Central Florida main campus, over 40 regional locations, and online programs. Over 50 academic programs are offered.

Saint Leo is home to MBA programs in a variety of exciting concentrations, including accounting, cybersecurity, sport business, marketing, and more. Among other requirements, Saint Leo does consider grades. However, they focus on the last 60 credits of your bachelor’s degree, so if you had a rocky start as an undergraduate, you may still meet the 3.0 requirement. Otherwise, earning a minimum GMAT score of 500 may make up for a less-than-stellar GPA.

Minimum GPA Requirements: None listed

Lasell College is a private Massachusetts college located not far from Boston. They offer undergraduate, graduate, and online programs. Nearly 1700 undergraduate students and over 300 graduate students call Lasell home.

Lasell offers a 100% online, ACBSP-accredited MBA program, among other programs of interest. Designed to be pursued over a twelve to 24-month timeframe, the program may be perfect for busy, working students striving for new goals in business. Test scores are not required to apply, and no minimum GPA is specified. However, students must complete prerequisites in microeconomics and statistics.

All Partner Schools with MBA (or Related) Programs

 

[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1011.00