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Tepper MBA Class Profile: Carnegie Mellon Takes an Empathetic Approach

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Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper MBA Class of 2022 profile reveals a resilient community of students who are navigating uncertain terrain together through mutual support and determination.

For a school where the full-time MBA class size is usually over 200, the 141 enrolled students represent a concerted effort on the part of admissions to adjust their approach in such a way that future classes would benefit from choices made to navigate the current challenges of the pandemic.

“We wanted to take an empathetic approach, but an approach that would take us to where we needed to be as a school,” says Kelly Wilson, Executive Director of Masters Admissions. To that end, though the school saw a large increase in applications to the program, they offered a flexible deferral program that included returning deposits and maintaining scholarship awards for those who chose to defer enrollment. “I think our approach really reflects the type of community we have. We weren’t just looking at how many students we needed in our class. People of all walks of life were living through challenges they had never really lived through before.”

Here are some key elements of the profile:

CMU Tepper MBA Class Profile: Undergraduate Background

Average Undergraduate GPA 3.32
Percent majoring in arts, humanities, social sciences 12%
Percent majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math 42%
Percent majoring in business 21%

Tepper MBA Class of 2022 GMAT Statistics

Average GMAT Score 680
GMAT Score Middle 80% Range 626 – 730

CMU Tepper MBA Class Profile: Student Characteristics

Women 25%
Countries Represented (by citizenship) 17
International Students 28%
Average Work Experience 5.4 years

International Students, Women, and Minority Representation 

This year, international students from 17 countries make up 28 percent of the incoming class. Twenty-five percent are women.

Forty-eight percent of the class are U.S. minorities, identified as U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are Native American and Alaska Native, Asian, African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, or multiethnic. Underrepresented U.S. minority students—Native American and Alaska Native, African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and multiethnic—make up 19 percent of the class.

CMU Tepper reports that 6 percent of the incoming students identity as LGBTQ+. Tepper boasts a very strong LGBTQ+ community and an active student organization, Out & Allied. “This is a cohort of students that really care about one another, and want to make sure that experiences that they come to the MBA program with are valued,” says Wilson. “It’s one way in which the culture of Tepper is demonstrated through the student community.”

Undergraduate and Professional Backgrounds

The Pittsburgh-based university included reporting on U.S. students’ pre-MBA locations. Twenty-five percent of the class are from the Mid-Atlantic states and another 25 percent come from the West. Twenty-three percent come from the Northeast. Sixteen percent are from the Midwestern U.S. while just 7 and 4 percent are from the South and Southwest, respectively.

Undergraduate degree-holders in engineering comprise 31 percent of the class, while 21 percent did their undergrad work in business. Eleven percent had majored in economics, and another 11 percent in math and the physical sciences.

The MBA students’ previous work experience is highly diverse. Sixteen percent worked in the financial services industry; the same number worked in tech and new media and also in consulting. Ten percent were in manufacturing, 7 percent in government, and 7 percent in healthcare. Eighteen percent fell into the “other” category, which includes real estate, hospitality, and tourism.

Wilson points to the determination of the Tepper MBA Class of 2022 as a distinguishing characteristic. “This incoming class knew the landscape had changed by virtue of the pandemic, but also knew they had a goal that they set for themselves and they want to achieve it. The students are super creative in the way that they are connecting with one another and the way they are working to build community. They know it is different, but that it’s also temporary. This is a community and a network that they are going to be a part of the rest of their lives, and they take it seriously.”

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.