At its core, Marketing is the process of understanding your customers. In today’s innovative and tech-savvy marketplace, employers want marketers who can thrive and adapt. Thus, you must be aware of the best marketing MBA programs that are keeping pace with the volatile marketing environment.
Learn Why MBA in Marketing? Job and Career prospect with salary statistics for 2021
In this article, we explore the Top Marketing MBA Programs and the unique offerings provided by them. We have taken the top 10 marketing programs ranked by US News and rearranged it by the percentage of MBA graduates hired in the Marketing/sales function.
Click on the link or scroll down to check out in detail about each MBA program.
The below table represents the best Marketing MBA programs with its placement statistics 2020 and average GMAT score for the incoming class of 2022:
|Best Marketing MBA Programs||%age of students placed in Marketing Function||Median Salary||Average Bonus||GMAT Score||US News Ranking|
|University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson)||25.50%||$122,500||$25,000||706||10|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||24%||$147, 500||$30,000||733||5|
|Michigan Ross School of business||22.90%||$125,000||$35,000||710||3|
|Duke Fuqua School of Business||17%||$121,235||NA||700||4|
|Harvard Business School||13%||$140,000||$35,000||730||8|
|Columbia Business School||11.10%||$143,750||$31,000||726||7|
|Kellogg School of Management||10%||$123,398||$30,000||727||1|
|Chicago Booth School of Business||4.80%||$122,000||$30,000||724||6|
|Wharton School of Business||3%||$140,000||NA||732||2|
Aspiring to pursue MBA in Marketing?
10 Best Marketing MBA Programs in 2021
University of California – Los Angeles Anderson
With 25.50% of its MBA class of 2020 placed in the Marketing function, UCLA Anderson ranks #1 for the Best Marketing MBA programs list. The Mean salary for its MBA in Marketing graduates is $122,500, with a signing bonus of $25,000.
The average GMAT score for the incoming class of 2022 is 706.
MBA specialization in Marketing: Curriculum
The courses under marketing functions provide an understanding of the consumer and offer training in marketing fundamentals, quantitative research, and financial modeling.
The specific marketing functions UCLA Anderson MBA students enter include – Brand management, Product Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Sales/Account Management, Marketing consulting, and Product management.
According to the UCLA Anderson website, “The UCLA Anderson’s students and faculty are redefining contemporary marketing practice by asking – and answering questions that help organizations decide which consumer segments to target and which product and services to produce.”
The marketing curriculum involves a comprehensive study of concepts that can prepare students to set appropriate levels of promotion, branding, pricing, and other tactical elements that generate sales.
There are 12 MBA elective courses in marketing that includes Customer assessment and analytics, marketing strategy and planning, global marketing management, price policies, brand management, and many more. In fact, the Marketing Management course is one of the core MBA courses offered at UCLA Anderson.
Applied Management Research Program
The UCLA Anderson launched its first MBA field study program 52 years ago. Here the students work in a team on a two-quarter project that will solve an organization’s key business problem.
The AMR program takes place during the winter and fall quarters of the second year. The Applied Management Research program has worked with over 5,000 + clients.
The Morrison Center of Marketing and Data Analytics and Marketing Association
The center provides resources to UCLA Anderson students, faculty, and business professionals. They help in building connections between these groups through custom events and programs. The center hosts various seminars and events to gain a deeper understanding of marketing function.
The marketing association enables students to successfully pursue careers in marketing across industries through networking, educational programming, and robust interview preparation.
Some of the top recruiters for the class of 2019 were Amazon, Deloitte, Google, EY, BCG, McKinsey & Company, PwC, and many more.
Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)
With 24% of its 2020 MBA batch placed in the marketing function, Stanford GSB is ranked number #2 for the best MBA Marketing programs. The mean salary and bonus for GSB 2020 batch are $147,500 and $30,000, respectively.
The school’s marketing department hosts weekly marketing seminars where scholars from across the country present research on various topics related to the field.
Also, the marketing faculty hired at Stanford are professors who engage in cutting-edge marketing research to increase students’ exposure to theory and research. They employ a diverse set of teaching methodologies – using both lecture and the case method, where frequently the faculty develops their cases.
Students learn by participating in group projects, simulations, and role-playing scenarios.
MBA in Marketing Curriculum
In the first -year, marketing is one of the general management foundation courses where the students get introduced to the procedural and substantive aspects of marketing management. The course helps in analyzing the needs and wants of potential customers, according to Stanford’s website.
In the second-year students who are interested in marketing can choose marketing electives such as digital marketing, the travel and airline industry, marketing research, rethinking the purpose, consumer behavior, product launch, and more. Stanford offers approximately 20 electives for marketing.
The Value – Chain Innovation Initiative
As stated on Stanford’s website, the value – chain initiative brings together staff, faculty, practitioners, and students to advance the theory and practice of global value chain innovation through knowledge and research.
It focuses on understanding the social and economic impacts of the global dynamics and digital communications that are reshaping industries, businesses, and ecosystems.
The initiative sponsors meetings, workshops, conferences, and symposia throughout the year and sends members to participate in events hosted by its international partners – the European Supply Chain Forum (ESCF) in the Netherlands and the Centre for Marketing and Supply chain management in Hong Kong.
Here are few more articles related to the Stanford MBA program: How to get into Stanford MBA Program, Stanford MBA Essay – Analysis and Tips 2021 intake, What is a good GMAT score for Stanford GSB?, and Stanford Dhirubhai Fellowship.
Michigan Ross School of Business
With 22.90% of its 2020 batch placed in the marketing function, the Michigan Ross School of Business ranks #3 for the best Marketing MBA programs. The average salary for the batch was $ 125,000, with an average signing bonus of $35,000.
The average GMAT score for the incoming class of 2022 is 710.
MBA Faculty and Curriculum
The faculty of marketing at Michigan Ross uses concepts from economics, statistics, psychology, neuroscience, and engineering to tackle the crucial issues of the market.
The marketing faculty consists of 32 members who are world-class professors and who know how to put their ideas into action. Michigan Ross faculty are among the top researchers in the world, and Ross focuses on melding these experts’ research with classroom stimulations.
The marketing curriculum at Ross combines a strong research base with the school’s hands-on approach to learning. It offers 18 courses, the majority of which require work outside the classroom.
Marketing Club and Research Center
The Michigan Ross marketing club is one of the largest student organizations on campus with 300 members. The club offers students tools and coaching to excel in interviewing and networking. The club is also responsible for organizing mock interviews, case study preparations, and industrial visits for the students.
The club also hosts the two–day Marketing Symposium, which includes panel discussions led by industry experts, mock interviews, networking, and a career fair. Some of the well–known companies that have participated in the symposium include Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Nestle, and American Express.
Apart from the marketing club, two other clubs might interest students who want to pursue a career in marketing, i.e., the Retail and Luxury Goods Club and the Entertainment and Media Club.
The “retail and luxury goods club” hosts events by companies that interview on campus and organizes the ‘New York retail trek’ where the students visit organizations such as Saks and L’Oréal.
Similarly, the Entertainment and media club offers networking opportunities and career treks to New York and Los Angeles with professional development workshops on media-related topics.
The Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication focuses on education and research in the field of persuasive communication. The establishment helps to educate and prepare students for marketing careers and sponsors specific marketing courses towards the same.
It also organizes case studies, industry speaker events, and occasionally hosts industrial conferences that attract marketing practitioners from around the world.
The major recruiters at Ross include multinational packaged companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, and PepsiCo.
Duke Fuqua School of Business
With 17% of its 2020 MBA batch placed in the marketing function, the Duke Fuqua School of Business ranks #4 for the best marketing MBA programs.
The average GMAT score for the incoming class of 2022 is 700.
The Fuqua Marketing department consists of 22 professors, who are world-renowned leaders in the field of marketing. For Instance, one of the alumni described Professor Devavrat Debu Purohit’s class as “a real favorite and incredibly applicable to the first job” – An Alumni.
MBA in Marketing Major Curriculum
Students who wish to pursue Marketing as a major have two options – Product Management and Market Analysis and Strategy.
Product management is for students who are interested in the topics related to consumer durables, packaged goods, high–tech markets, pharmaceuticals, and services.
Whereas marketing analysis and strategy are for students who want to pursue consulting, corporate strategy, marketing strategy, sales, and general management.
Besides, the students are required to opt for market research for both the above courses. And that’s not all. Students opting for product management must also take a strategic brand management course with four other electives from the list of 16.
Similarly, students opting for market strategy, and analysis must also consider the marketing strategy and choose four other electives from the list of 18.
Marketing Research Centre
In 2011, Fuqua school of business announced a partnership with Synovate, a global marketing research firm, to create the Duke/Synovate Center for Shopper Insights.
The center brings together research leaders from the FMCG market such as ABInBev, Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, etc. to determine what we know and what we don’t know about the science of shopper marketing.
The key mission of the center is to identify and fund key research initiatives related to the consumer’s store experience.
The Duke Fuqua MBA marketing club
The club helps the students to prepare for a post-MBA marketing career through various offerings and events. Every year it organizes the ‘Marketing Symposium event’ where the panels and presentations are about the role of brand manager, interview and internship preparation, case study presentations by recruiting companies, and mock interviews with alumni.
The marketing club also hosts conferences where they invite other MBA programs students and faculty members. The conference held in 2006 attracted many industry leaders from across the country and involved networking opportunities, case study presentations, and a keynote speech by Johnson & Johnson.
Apart from the above, the club is also responsible for organizing industrial trips to companies such as Google, American Express, and Pepperidge Farm.
Marketing Integrated Learning Experience (MILE)
The MILE initiative helps the students to prepare for different types of marketing interviews. The program consists of four sessions that focus on what kind of interview questions to expect and provides a framework to answer them.
The sessions are held twice a week for six weeks and cover various topics such as – Crafting your story, New Product Launch, and Innovation.
The top employers for the class of 2019 are Amazon, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, Accenture LLP, Google, Nike, PepsiCo, BCG, and many more.
With 13.10 % of its MBA batch 2020 placed in the marketing function, the NYU STERN ranks number #5 for the best marketing MBA programs.
The average salary for students working in marketing is $120,000.
As per Stern’s marketing department website, more than 80 professors in the marketing field are working towards integrating their research efforts into the school’s curriculum and focus on teaching about the managerial tasks – such as pricing, distribution, and promotion.
The department also hosts events, conferences, and lectures throughout the year. For example, last year, the department hosted a conference called the Four School Conference, which brings together students, faculty, and researchers from Columbia, Stern, Yale, and Wharton.
Also, the CBS Media Analytics Initiatives by Stern’s marketing department launched in 2016 combines the analytical skills of NYU faculty with data access from CBS to advance cross-media research with academic and industry contributions.
The first year of the MBA program focuses on establishing proficiency in core courses. There are two required core courses, i.e., Financial Accounting and Statistics and Data Analysis. In addition to the required core, the students need to choose at least five more core courses from – Firms and markets, Foundations of Finance, The Global Economy, Leadership in Organizations, Marketing, Operations Management, and Strategy.
In the second year of the MBA program, the students get the opportunity to specialize in up to 3 areas from a list of 20 specializations. The electives targeted towards a marketing student are “Digital Marketing,” “Entertainment & Media,” “Luxury Marketing,” “Marketing,” “Product Management,” and “strategy.”
Over time new specializations are introduced based on students’ interests and the changing business environment. For instance, Luxury Marketing Specialization got introduced in 2009.
The Graduate Marketing Association (GMA)
NYU Stern’s Graduate marketing association (GMA) consists of more than 500 students who are interested in exploring the marketing of products and services across a wide variety of industries and businesses. The main goal of the GMA is to help NYU Stern students enhance their marketing skillset and provides networking opportunities.
They host programs and events that include knowledge management programs, alumni networking events, case competitions, and conferences.
For instance, the 2018 conference theme was “Unravelling Big Data: How marketers use big data and AI to connect with customers,” where the school welcomed the chief marketing officer of Boxed and the co-founder of eMarketer as keynote speakers.
Companies that are known to recruit Stern students for marketing positions include Bayer Healthcare, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, American Express, and L’Oréal.
The first step towards your NYU MBA application is a good GMAT score. Read about The GMAT score required for NYU STERN?
Aspiring to pursue MBA in Marketing?
Harvard Business School (HBS)
With 13% of its MBA 2020 batch placed in the marketing function, Harvard Business School is ranked number #6 for the best marketing MBA programs.
The mean salary of Harvard MBA students placed in marketing function is $140,000 with a signing bonus of $35,000.
MBA Faculty and Case-Based Learning Method
Pioneered by HBS faculty, the Case-based learning method requires the students to read and provide solutions to the cases (a hypothetical or real problem) related to the managerial dilemma.
This method helps the students to access various quantitative and qualitative data points meant to facilitate further analysis. After which, students need to provide their views on how will they react if they were in the decision-making position?
As per the Harvard website, “over 80% of cases sold throughout the world are written by HBS faculty, and they produce approximately 350 new cases per year.”
The first-year curriculum at Harvard requires all the students to study marketing courses to get a grasp of the fundamentals and allows the students to acquire specific analytical and quantitative skills.
As stated on Harvard’s website, the objective of the course is to demonstrate the role of marketing in the company, understand buyer behavior, and explore the relationship of marketing to other functions.
The students who are interested in a marketing career can pick marketing as their elective for the second – year. The Marketing elective curriculum includes courses such as E-commerce, business at the base of the pyramid, creating brand value, retailing, sales management and strategy, and the business of entertainment, media, and sports.
Based on students’ career interests, Harvard offers courses in the field of marketing.
For instance, the course on the Business of entertainment, media, and sports is for students who want to pursue their careers in television, films, performing arts, or other sectors that supply goods that are associated with cultural, artistic, or entertainment.
The marketing club at Harvard has over 200+ diverse groups of students who organize various events to meet other members, professionals working in successful companies, and graduate students.
They also host annual conferences and marketing case competitions to bring together faculty, members of the marketing clubs at other top business schools, and industry speakers.
The marking club is also responsible for creating career opportunities for marketing and provides a weekly newsletter with the best job postings, current marketing news, and events.
Another club that caters to students interested in marketing is the retail and luxury goods club. It offers potential career opportunities across the industry by hosting events and competitions.
It also has an alumni mentorship program to connect current students to the present alumni in the industry.
Some of the Harvard Business School recruiting partners are Nike, Inc., Netflix, PepsiCo, Levi Strauss & Co, and many more.
Here are few articles on HBS: Class Profile, employment Report, and Notable Alumni., 7 Steps to get into Harvard Business School MBA Program; What is a good GMAT score for HBS?; Harvard HBS MBA Essay Tips 2021 intake.
Columbia Business School
With 11.10% of its 2019 MBA batch placed in the marketing function, the Columbia Business School ranks #7 for the best marketing MBA programs.
The average salary for the students who are working in marketing roles is $143,750, with a signing bonus of $ 31,000.
The average GMAT score for its incoming class of 2022 is 726.
Marketing Faculty and Curriculum
The marketing department includes 25 faculty members with 32 adjunct members. The first half of the semester consists of a marketing course that helps in developing a basic understanding of marketing theories.
In the second half of the semester, students can choose from 30 – 45 electives that range from product branding to retail, technology, and financial services.
Marketing is a broadly defines department at Columbia University, and the students who are interested in marketing can choose the classes that fit best to their needs.
The Columbia business school offers traditional courses such as digital marketing and pricing strategy and several courses related to retail, in addition to less traditional classes such as the psychology and economics of consumer finance, behavioral economics and decision making, strategic consumer insights, and many more.
Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC)
Columbia business school has an active professional organization on campus known as MAC. The organization sponsors speakers and organizes the MAC conference every year.
The topics for each year vary, and various companies present their views. For instance, the 2018 MAC conference theme was “Fueling brand growth through disruption,” where representatives from companies such as Facebook and Nielsen represented.
Some of the major recruiters for the Columbia MBA batch are IBM, Google, Facebook, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, Citi, Samsung, and many more.
Kellogg School of Management
With 10% of its 2020 MBA batch placed in the marketing function, Kellogg school of management is ranked number #8 for the best marketing MBA programs.
The average salary of its graduates is between $62,507-$170,000, with an average signing bonus of $30,000 in the marketing function.
Kellogg is known for its outstanding innovators in the field of marketing – in particular, marketing guru Philip Kotler, who wrote the book Marketing management.
Kotler’s work has attracted even more outstanding marketing faculty to the school and has increased the industry interest. The marketing department at Kellogg is made up of 50 tenure, affiliated, clinical, and emeritus faculty members with diverse perspectives and backgrounds – ranging from data analytics to neuroscience to psychology and cultural anthropology.
With a world-class faculty and a significant dedication to the marketing field, many people tend to refer to Kellogg as a “marketing school.”
Marketing Major Curriculum at Kellogg
Kellogg’s Marketing major – helps the students to understand customer behavior with the help of marketing analytics tools needed to create lasting customer advantage.
As stated on Kellogg’s website, “Students who complete the marketing major understand how to deliver superior customer experiences to gain competitive advantage and drive sustainable growth.”
The marketing students at Kellogg’s need to choose one course from a list of four:
- Retail analytics
- Marketing research and analytics
- Digital marketing analytics
- Customer analytics.
Apart from this, the students choose one-course credit from the list of six courses, which includes advertising strategy, strategic brand management, and many more. In addition, two-course credit from the list of eleven more modules (which includes service marketing and management, customer loyalty, etc.) needs to be selected.
Kellogg’s offers various pathways to students who are interested in building expertise in evolving industries and emerging areas of marketing.
For instance, a Kellogg MBA student with a marketing major can choose the data analytics pathway, which offers courses such as customer analytics and digital marketing analytics.
Marketing Club and Kellogg Super Bowl Ad Review
The Kellogg marketing club’s mission is to prepare the Kellogg community to be the best marketers across the industry by offering resources and opportunities. The marketing club conference is a marketing extravaganza that attracts more than 600 students, marketing professionals, and alumni.
The conference focuses on offering keynote speeches from the marketing industry leaders and hosts various events. For Instance, the 2015 conference featured a creative lab session, where a team of students solve a marketing challenge presented by Google, while representatives of Google served as session judges and leaders.
Apart from the conferences, the marketing club also hosts competitions and events such as job shadow day, Lunch and Learn a mentorship program, and career treks.
The annual Kelloggs super bowl Ad review is a unique event where the students watch and evaluate the ads following Kellogg ADPLAN (Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification, and Net equity) after which the students release grades for each advertiser.
These evaluations tend to generate more and more press each year. For instance, in 2019, Kellogg’s Super Bowl, the students ranked Microsoft’s “We All Win” as a Winner, whereas Ads from companies like Amazon, Google, and Pepsi earned an ‘A’ rating.
Some of the major recruiters of Kellogg’s are 3M, Accenture Strategy, Agoda, Amazon, Citi, EY, Google, H&M, KPMG Strategy, McDonald’s, and many more.
Chicago Booth School of Business
With 4.80% of its students accepting positions in marketing function (Batch 2020), the Booth School of Business ranks number #9 for the best marketing MBA programs.
The mean salary and bonus were $122,000 and $30,000, respectively.
The marketing curriculum at Booth School of Business is innovative, cross-disciplinary, and data-driven. It helps in understanding the fundamental principles of economics, statistics, and psychology.
The marketing students get equipped with the scientific tools and analytical frameworks that go beyond traditional marketing. And with the help of experiential learning courses, students can apply what they’ve learned to real business situations.
Booth offers a wide variety of courses under marketing concentration, such as marketing strategy, pricing strategy, data-driven marketing, consumer behavior, and many more.
Co-curricular Activities at Chicago Booth
Booth School of Business organizes various activities related to marketing management. The co-curricular activities allow the students to build new skills, networks, and relationships. Some of the marketing activities are listed below:
- Marketing Group: they help in educating members on career opportunities and trends n marketing and provide a network for social interaction with faculty, peer, administration, and recruiters. The group also prepares students for the job search process.
- Dean’s Marketing Advisory Committee: The members of this committee are responsible for executing and generating a set of internal marketing efforts, annually.
- Case Competitions: The Kilts Center of Marketing offers students an opportunity to tackle a marketing business problem, using consumer data to shape strategy and drive the decision.
- Marketing conferences help in exposing students to current issues in marketing and provides a forum for networking.
Kilts Center for Marketing
The James M. Kilts Center for Marketing promotes the development and recognition of marketing at Chicago Booth. Throughout the year, the Kilts center hosts marketing events and conferences that enhance the career of students, faculty, and alumni.
For Instance, the Kilts speaker’s series and marketing forum allow Booth students to interact with industry experts and CEOs of leading companies such as Google, Facebook, and more.
The Kilts center also hosts a marketing summit annual, where they invite the elite alumni working as senior executives in innovations, general management, marketing, and digital to discuss pressing marketing topics. The center also organizes weekly marketing workshops where top scholars from leading universities present their research to the Booth community.
At last, to attract the best MBA talent, the center provides financial support through scholarships. Besides, a marketing fellowship provides not only financial support but -year mentorship with a member of the center. They also provide career guide and support by paring students with alumni that are working in the marketing field.
Some of the companies that recruit students in marketing functions are Amazon, PepsiCo, Samsung Group, Apple, and many more.
Here are some more articles related to Booth School of Business: Required GMAT score for Chicago Booth?, Chicago Booth MBA Essays 2021 intake, and class profile, employment report, and notable alumni.
Wharton School of Business
With 3% of its 2020 batch placed in the marketing function, the Wharton School of Business ranks #10 for the best marketing MBA programs. The average salary for a Wharton MBA 2020 graduate is $140,000 in product/brand marketing.
The average GMAT score for its incoming class of 2022 is 732.
Marketing Faculty and Curriculum
According to the university website, the Wharton department of marketing is the largest, most published, and cited department in the world.
Wharton is the first business school to offer conjoint analysis – a tool that has helped shape 20th-century marketing practices – developed by a Wharton professor. The marketing department has 28 professors who teach approximately 35 courses, including popular classes on pricing policy and consumer behavior that attracts students across majors.
Wharton offers a joint major in marketing and operations, which is a cross-functional approach that incorporates information and operations management. Besides, the students may choose between two formats for their marketing management course: traditional lecture and case version or a marketing strategy computer stimulation.
The marketing electives include subjects like consumer behavior, new product management, consumer neuroscience, and many more.
Marketing Club and Center
The marketing club at Wharton offers learning and networking opportunities outside the classroom. The club hosts seminars and interview preparation classes to help students learn more about the industry.
The annual marketing conference held by the club brings together 300 students, faculty members, and alumni to explore and discuss various issues related to the marketing industry.
Apart from the above, the club organizes industry trek, mock interviews, buddy program ( in which first-year students interact with second-year students for mentoring), produces an annual Battle of the Bands shows, and external case competitions.
The students who are interested in retail and luxury goods can join Wharton’s Graduate Retail Club. The club hosts career treks, annual conferences, and speakers’ panels.
The keynote speaker for the Retail Conference held in February 2019, where the co-founder and co-CEO of Harry’s. There was a panel discussion were various topics such as Partnership and strategic alliance, health and wellness, and retail brand – building.
Wharton has a variety of research centers and programs to help faculty and students understand the latest trends in the marketing field. Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative and the Jay H.Baker Retailing Center offers initiatives in different marketing subfields.
Some of the major recruiters for the Wharton MBA batch are Lilly Pulitzer, Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, and many more.
All the above-mentioned Business Schools require a GMAT score. A 740+ GMAT score will help you to stand out and make your MBA application more competitive as compared to other applicants.
Aspiring to pursue MBA in Marketing?
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MBA in Marketing: FAQs
An MBA in marketing helps you get a complete picture of the changing trends and helps in developing skills to keep pace with it. Some of the job profiles that a candidate can expect after an MBA in marketing are – Brand manager, digital marketing manager, media planning manager, sales manager, and market research analyst.
There are mainly five types of MBA specialization:
3. Operations Management
4. Human Resource Management
Yes. An MBA in marketing is worth it. After an MBA in marketing, you can work in many sectors ranging from banking, tourism, hospitality, consultancy, market research, etc. According to the GMAC corporate recruiters survey 2019, 21% of the employers plan to hire MBA in marketing graduate.
The importance of GMAT goes far beyond MBA admissions. They extend to the stage of job application too. Business school use and trust the GMAT exam to make admissions decisions, and 9 out of 10 MBA admission decisions are made using the GMAT score.
Check out this article that talks about the importance of GMAT in detail.