If you did not make high grades in your undergraduate studies, you may be nervous about applying to a traditional or online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. MBA admissions requirements vary, but in general, students with at least a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate studies are encouraged to apply to graduate business programs. These are not hard-and-fast rules, as MBA admissions counselors sometimes consider other factors.

Different Tactics to Get Admitted

Colleges will often meet with a student to discuss their undergraduate grades and conduct an interview to see if the student is prepared for graduate school. Students with extenuating circumstances, such as medical, financial and familial issues, should discuss this with the admissions team when applying for an online MBA program. Some MBA admissions offices also look for students with exemplary personal characteristics or strong work experience, not just high GPAs.

Will I Have to Take the GRE or GMAT?

Students with a lower GPA may need to take a GRE or GMAT test for admittance into an online MBA program. For instance, admission to the AACSB-accredited online MBA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) requires a GPA of 2.5 in the applicant’s last 60 credit hours plus GMAT or GRE scores. However, TAMU-CC online MBA applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE test scores if they maintained a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 hours.

Preparing for the GMAT or the GRE can help students perform better on the tests, increasing students’ odds of getting into their preferred MBA program. Students can also take the test multiple times and are encouraged to try again if they do not do well the first time.

Letters of Recommendation

Another way to increase your odds of getting admitted is to have recommendation letters from faculty that support your choice to go to graduate school. A good relationship with your undergraduate professors will help students get a solid recommendation that might counteract a low GPA. Consider discussing graduate school with your professors and seek their recommendations.

You should also consider asking your supervisors or other higher-ranking professionals at your company for recommendations. Showing the admissions officers that your professional cohorts recommend you can bolster your application for an online MBA program.

Resume and Statement of Purpose Essay

Schools may also require applicants to submit a resume and/or an essay (often called a statement of purpose) detailing their professional and educational goals. For example, TAMU-CC requires online MBA applicants to submit both a resume and an essay to fully understand a student’s professional background and future aspirations. This knowledge can give admissions personnel a more holistic understanding of an applicant’s prior experience, goals and motivation to succeed in school.

A good MBA admissions package can help students with lower GPAs get admitted to an MBA program. Many things, like high test scores and solid recommendation letters, can help offset a low GPA. Carefully look at schools that consider more than just the numbers when determining who will likely succeed in an MBA program, and go in prepared to make your case. For some schools, it is not always all about grades.

Learn more about the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi online MBA program.