Diversity Insights: African Americans

May 2021


This brief compiles data and analysis from the mba.com Prospective Students Survey, plus GMAT test taker data and external sources to illustrate what makes African American candidates distinct- from where they live, to when they being the school search, to their motivations and their career goals- all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Understanding the data landscape will help schools plan their recruitment efforts and create measure of success for their institutions.

Quick Facts

  • The motivation compelling a majority of African Americans to pursue GME is primarily to “build upon existing education and experience” (70%). A third of African Americans are aiming to “learn a new field.”
  • Rather than abandon plans to pursue GME due to COVID-19, slightly more African Americans indicated a willingness to consider the adjustment of online learning than non-underrepresented candidates (32% African Americans vs. 26% non-URP).
  • More than half of unique African American GMAT examinees were business majors as undergraduates (53%), consistent with non-URP U.S. examinees (51%).
  • Nearly 4 in 5 unique African American GMAT examinees (79%) have more than one year of work experience. Most have either one to three years’ experience (37%) or four to nine years’ experience (30).
  • By U.S. region, the South has the largest percentage of unique African American GMAT examinees (31%). By U.S. metropolitan area, the largest market of unique African American GMAT examinees is New York (30%).