B-School Applications from Women Continue Upward Trend

Female representation in graduate business school applicant pools has made significant progress in the last five years.

May 5, 2016

Application Trends

Woman business school student The share of women pursuing a graduate level business education continued to grow in 2015, according to GMAC’s latest survey of graduate school admissions professionals.

The proportion of women represented in the applicant pools for all programs has grown since 2011, with the lone exception of Master of Accounting programs, which maintained its female majority of 57 percent. Regionally, most full-time two-year MBA programs in the United States (52%) and the Asia-Pacific region (60%) reported growing application volume for women.

 B-school applications from women on the rise

These increases may in part be due to business school’s targeted outreach efforts aimed at attracting talented women candidates. In 2015, 67 percent of full-time two-year MBA programs, 51 percent of executive MBA programs, and 41 percent of part-time MBA programs had such initiatives.

Alumnae’s overall high satisfaction with their business school experience is likely also contributing to this trend. Our latest study of graduate business school alumni found that the vast majority of women (96%) rate their degree as a good to outstanding value, and they say the degree was personally, professionally, and financially rewarding. In addition, women tend to receive an initial boost between pre-degree and post-degree salary that is similar to men, for a median of USD$20,000 overall. 

For more information about trends in female applications to graduate business programs and business schools’ targeted outreach efforts, download the 2015 Application Trends Survey Report. For more information about alumnae satisfaction with their business school experience and the return on investment of their degree, read the 2016 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report