Three Notable Takeaways from the Wharton MBA Class of 2023 Profile

by Personal MBA Coach, Sep 7, 2021

The Wharton class profile for the class of 2023 was recently released. While these facts and figures get a lot of attention each year, this year there were some particularly significant changes, signaling three trends Personal MBA Coach expects to continue.

1. The number of female students is on the rise.

For the first time in Wharton’s history, women make up the majority of the incoming class, 52% to be exact! This is a major jump from the class of 2022, where women accounted for 41% of the fall cohort.

2. Diversity continues to be top of mind for MBA Admissions Directors and international representation is increasing.

The new Wharton MBA class also reports an uptick in country representation and the % of international students. Those enrolled in Wharton’s class of 2023 represent 83 different countries, whereas the class of 2022 represented only 70 countries. Similarly, the % of international students rose from 19% to 36%. 36% reflects a number closer to the average as the previous year saw fewer international students due to COVID deferrals.

Wharton also shared percentages of LGBTQ+ students, and race/ethnicity information from U.S. passport holders, asserting that these diverse backgrounds lead to “innovative ideas and solutions for the world’s next problem in business.” Notably, 7% of the class identifies as LGBTQ+ and 72% are from minority backgrounds.

3. Average GMAT/GRE scores are increasing.

Last year, the average GMAT score for the incoming Wharton class was 722, with the median at 730. This year, these scores have jumped several points: the average GMAT is now 733 and the median is 740. This represents the highest median GMAT that we have seen at Wharton.

Similarly, the average GRE score also increased. Wharton’s average quant and verbal scores both shifted slightly from 161 to 162.

This rise in average GMAT/GRE score is not a surprise to Personal MBA Coach. The 2020-2021 application cycle was particularly competitive as the weak economy prompted an increase in applicants. While Personal MBA Coach does not expect such a significant jump in 2021-2022 applications, we would not be surprised to see scores continue to rise, particularly as MBA hopefuls benchmark themselves against these new numbers.

As Personal MBA Coach has noted in our blog on exam FAQs, the rise in average GMAT scores is due in part to test takers’ ability to sit for the exam up to 5 times within a 12-month period. The option to cancel scores has also contributed to the rise in average GMAT scores, as more candidates withdraw low attempts. As with the GMAT, GRE test takers can take the exam up to 5 times within any 12-month period and cancel their score if they are not happy with the result.

If you have yet to take the GMAT/GRE or are planning to retake either test, researching average scores is a good place to start when determining your target score. Though candidates with unique backgrounds, exceptionally strong profiles, and from underrepresented applicant pools occasionally get in with lower scores, it is uncommon for most folks with scores more than 20 to 30 points below average to gain admission.

While the rest of the M7s and other top MBA programs have yet to release class profile information on the incoming class of 2023, we expect to see many of these trends continue across other top MBA programs.

MBA hopefuls who are building their target school lists can use this newly reported information as benchmarking data. Remember, however, that these numbers should serve only as an initial guide, as the entire applicant package matters more.

If you are seeking additional guidance in the school selection process, take a look at Personal MBA Coach’s Decision Making Guide!

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 14 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources including Poets&Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last year, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!