University of Tennessee

Haslam MBA Tops Nation in GMAT Score Rise

February 4, 2021

Many business schools saw sharp GMAT score drops in 2020, after waiving it as an admission requirement because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the challenging environment, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business led the country’s business schools with its GMAT score improvement for the second year. Haslam went from an average score of 657 in 2019 to 668 in 2020. The increase was reported in a story by Poets&Quants, which recently ranked Haslam 24th among public institutions in its top 100 U.S. MBA programs ranking and 48th overall.

Haslam has seen a notable increase in its GMAT scores over the past five years. As Marc Ethier, Poets&Quants’ managing editor, put it, “No. 48 Tennessee-Knoxville, has grown its GMAT average 41 points since the 2016 MBA intake, best of any school. The Haslam College of Business also is the top school for GMAT gains in 2020, with an 11-point increase – the only ranked school to see a double-digit increase last year.”

Haslam rose from an average score of 627 in 2016 to last year’s 668. That five-year average score growth is the best among U.S. business schools.

Bruce Behn, associate dean for graduate and executive education, credits the five-year GMAT growth to the Haslam graduate team’s ongoing commitment to bringing in top-notch MBA candidates and the generosity of alumni in making increased numbers of graduate student scholarships possible.

“Over the long term, our program directors, faculty and staff’s dedication to personal connections and continuous contact with high-quality students helped fuel this significant improvement in GMAT scores,” Behn says. “We also applaud our current MBA students, who took the test in the face of difficult circumstances in 2020, and we especially thank our donors for their support of graduate student scholarships, which make it possible to recruit some of the world’s top academic performers to UT.”

About the Haslam MBA

The Haslam MBA is a 16-month, residential, full-time MBA program targeted to high-potential professionals who want to acquire a full range of technical skills in a hands-on, applied learning environment. The program offers concentrations in business analytics, consulting, entrepreneurship and innovation, finance and supply chain management. MBA/MS Business Analytics, MBA/MS Engineering, JD/MBA and MBA/MS Agricultural Economics dual degree programs also are available. Learn more at the Haslam full-time MBA program page


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist,