Ask Kate: Will an F keep me out of Bschool?


Can I be accepted into a prestigious school for an MBA if I failed a course in grad school?

Did my masters in CS from an average university in Virginia. I have mostly A’s and A+’s except for the course on algorithms – which i failed. This makes my transcripts look bad. Have 3 years solid work experience with big brand and want to pursue an MBA from a good university now but i fear that the F grade in my masters course will affect my admission.

A: Masters degree with one failed course – explain in your optional essay if your GPA is below 3.4. If you’re above 3.4, let it go. Most programs collect transcripts but do not pour over them unless you give them a reason to….

Make sure you focus your mba personal statement and letters of recommendation on what your plans are moving forward. Emphasizing your excellent (?) work experience. I would not discuss the failed course unless it is material to your future plans – and if it is, you should have proof that the F was a rare exception to your otherwise strong performance within your field: you’ve retaken the class, performed better at a harder class, or can demonstrate the skills you would’ve/should’ve learned in that course.

Also, make sure your GMAT score is above the school’s average. That will take some pressure off.
Good luck!


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