USC/Pepperdine MBA - low GPA

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USC/Pepperdine MBA - low GPA

by ls0303 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:51 pm
Hi there,

I am planning on applying to both USC and Pepperdine for their part-time MBA programs. I'm really hoping to get into USC. Do I have a chance?

GPA: 2.3
GMAT: studying/aiming to get at least 700
Work Experience: 10 years in a financial institution

I have worked full time at a bank corporate office throughout my undergrad degree which explains the low GPA (along with caring for ill family member). I started as base customer service and have worked my way up through the years. I have 6 years of leadership experience, project management, risk mitigation and sales. I have a solid resume ready to go. I can provide very strong recommendation letters from my SVP and Executive with whom I work closely. I am about to graduate with my undergrad degree in Business Management in May 2015. I will be applying to both USC and Pepperdine as soon as my unofficial transcripts are in which will put me in waive 3.

Do I have a chance in getting into USC and/or Pepperdine or am I dreaming too big? Any feedback would be appreciated.

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USC/Pepperdine MBA - low GPA

by Kaneisha Grayson » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:37 am
Hey Is0303!

You're definitely going to want to take some supplementary coursework in order to improve your chances of admission. I often work with candidates with low GPAs, but 2.3 would probably be the lowest I've seen yet. That doesn't mean your case is hopeless.

I have a post here that discusses which supplementary courses you should take and where you should take them: ... 63263.html

In short, I recommend you take: Microeconomics, Accounting, Finance, and Statistics and earn a B+ or better in each. You can take these courses online or at a community college.

HBS also has an awesome new program that offers most of these courses. It's called HBX CoRe and you can find out more about it here:

Remember that it's not all just about the numbers. You're going to want to also have really strong essays that are compelling, concise, persuasive, and memorable. One of the best ways to achieve that is to make sure that when you tell a story, you share what the main characters thought, felt, said, and did. That's what makes stories juicy and memorable.

Best of luck in your GMAT prep and make sure you give yourself enough time to write outstanding essays and take some supplementary coursework to show your preparedness for the MBA classroom.

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