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Selection Criteria

We seek students with strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills and a desire to create value for business and society

We evaluate each candidate holistically across three dimensions: academic profile, professional achievements & aspirations and personal characteristics.

1. Academic Profile

We seek students who will flourish in our academic program. Your academic profile is assessed through:
  • Quality of and performance in your prior academic program(s), as evidenced in your transcripts
  • General aptitude as measured by the GMAT or GRE
Notes about Academic Profile:
  • Stern has no minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirement and accounts for variances in grading systems around the world.
  • Stern students have a variety of academic backgrounds, including liberal arts, engineering, social sciences and business.
  • Stern has no minimum standardized test score requirements. We consider only your highest overall GMAT score, highest GRE scores (from the same exam) and highest overall TOEFL or IELTS score (if required). Therefore, feel free to re-take a test if you believe you can improve your performance.
Admissions Tips:
  • Listen to our podcast:
    Academic Profile
  • Each school has its own policy regarding the impact of re-taking standardized tests. Be certain to research these policies.

2. Professional Achievements and Aspirations

We seek students with a proven track record of success, a high potential for future leadership and a well-articulated plan to achieve their career aspirations. We also look for students who can think broadly about how to reach their goals in a business environment of increased ambiguity. Professional achievements and aspirations are primarily assessed by:

  • Résumé/Work history
  • Recommendations
  • Essays
  • Interview (by invitation only)
Notes about Professional Achievements & Aspirations:
  • Applicants have a wide range of work experience, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds, such as consulting, financial services, entertainment, consumer products, nonprofit and technology. Because we value the diversity of our applicants' backgrounds, no industry is favored over another.
  • Our Admissions Committee evaluates work experience not only in terms of years, but also in regard to depth and breadth of an individual's experience, responsibilities and progression.
  • Although academic work and internships do not count toward professional work experience, we review all work experience as part of the admission decision.
  • Post-college work experience is not required to apply.
Admissions Tips:
  • Listen to our podcast:
    Work Experience
  • To help clarify your goals, take the time to conduct informational interviews in your desired field. Your undergraduate alumni network is a good place to begin.
  • To feel confident in your career aspirations, use the resources provided by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), such as the CareerLeader self-assessment program.

3. Personal Characteristics

We value students with both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. We seek students who embody Stern's values of mutual support and collaboration and who will be passionate, engaged participants in the Stern community. These personal characteristics are often evidenced in:
  • Essays
  • Recommendations
  • Activities and achievements
  • Interview (by invitation only)