Berkeley Welcomes Record Number of MBAs in for Class of 2020

Berkeley Class

Last week, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business unveiled stats for the incoming students that comprise its full-time MBA Class of 2020.

With 291 full-time MBA students (along with 276 evening and weekend students), the Berkeley Class of 2020 is larger than any before.

The new class one of the most academically accomplished in school history. Average GPA for this year’s first-year class is 3.66, off just .05 from last year’s. But an increase in average GMAT offset the tiny backslide in GPA. At 726, it moved up one point higher than last year’s incoming class.

In terms of professional experience, Haas students come from various backgrounds. About a quarter of the students come from the consulting industry, and another 20 percent come from banking/financial services backgrounds. The industries drawing the third-, fourth-, and fifth-most Haas grads are high tech (10 percent), nonprofit (9 percent), and healthcare/pharmaceutical/bio (7 percent). In addition, 5 percent of the incoming class has military experience.

The percentage of women in Haas’s incoming class is also up over the previous year, something we’ve also seen this year at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Duke’s Fuqua School, and USC Marshall, among others.

About 43 percent of the incoming Berkeley Class of full-time MBAs are women—a 3 percent increase. International students from 30 countries make up around 34 percent of the class, down from 39 percent last year. Here, too, Haas is not alone. Many U.S. schools have shared, in both in published class profiles and informal conversations, that international application volume was down, or at best, flat year over year.

Former Haas Dean Richard Lyons stepped down in June after 11 years with the school, a role in which he raised more money than any prior dean and oversaw the construction of Connie & Kevin Chou Hall. The addition of the new building helped make it possible to expand the Haas class, an effort Lyons championed. He and other supporters viewed it as a way to help ensure that Haas has enough graduates to command attention from the world’s top recruiters without compromising the intimacy and culture.

“Part of the reputation of the school is a function of its scale, and there are times where you are just not at the right reputational scale. You’re too small,” he explained in a 2017 interview with Clear Admit.

“It’s a super intimate experience—there’s no question about that—but target companies want to go to a place where there are enough people graduating that they can send a team of recruiters, for example. If you are too small you are below the threshold.”

Ann Harrison, a renowned economist and member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will serve as Haas’s next dean. Harrison begins her term on January 1, 2019. Professor Laura Tyson, the current interim dean since Lyons left, returns to her prior faculty positions next year.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from Clear Admit.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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