Many of the top MBA programs require the GMAT. But the test can be daunting, requiring months of study and discipline. So what are the non-GMAT options? The good news is that there are great programs, particularly online MBAs, with no GMAT or GRE requirement.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at Business Schools. Almost overnight, the world’s top institutions have had to adapt to online learning. One of the effects of this shift is the enhanced credibility of online programs. There are also top in-person and online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement. As applicants struggled to take standardized tests, and with the stress of the pandemic during the already stressful application period, schools adapted. Many more MBA programs have now gone test-optional.
The Best Online MBA Programs, No GMAT Required
These are the best online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement, according to US News. Note that some programs are test-blind, meaning GMAT or GRE scores won’t be considered in admissions at all, while others are test-optional, meaning that scores can be submitted for consideration (but they’re not required). Also, know that even MBA programs with GMAT requirements will usually waive the requirement if your work experience is impressive enough.
|Online MBA Program||US News Ranking (2021)||GRE/GMAT Test Policy||Acceptance Rate (2019-2020)|
|North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management||16||Test Optional||55%|
|Rochester Institute of Technology's Saunders College of Business||20 (tied)||Test Optional||64%|
|Pepperdine University's Graziadio Business School||26 (tied)||Test Optional||59%|
|Babson College's F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business||32 (tied)||Test Optional||88%|
|American University's Kogod School of Business||40 (tied)||Test Optional||79%|
|University of New Hampshire's Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics||40 (tied)||Test Optional||70%|
|Colorado State University||51 (tied)||Test Optional||86%|
|Florida International University||59 (tied)||Test Optional||73%|
|Georgia Southern University's Parker College of Business||67 (tied)||Test Blind||81%|
|West Texas A&M University||67 (tied)||Test Optional||98%|
GMAT Requirements in the Test-Optional Admissions Landscape
Even before COVID-19 changed the MBA admissions landscape, and brought on a test-optional revolution, the use of Standardized tests has been long debated. On the one hand, test scores are a great way to compare applicants from completely different backgrounds and parts of the world. They also offer reassurance to admissions officers that applicants are going to cope academically with the program. On the other hand, these tests have a reputation for favoring those who have had better education and resources. For many people, they are not a true reflection of ability. Waiving test requirements tends to create more diverse classrooms.
That being said, a good GMAT score can only help your application so if you have one, submit it!
What do online MBA programs require in place of GMAT scores?
For you as an applicant, the move towards test-optional admissions means you have to put more effort into the other aspects of your application. Tests like the GMAT are a great way to prove your quantitative skill, reasoning ability, and critical thinking. Without your test scores, you’ll need to demonstrate these qualities in the rest of your application – in personal statements and essays, your GPA or degree transcripts, and your work experience and professional licenses. Letters of recommendation will also carry more weight in the absence of test scores.
Online MBA vs. Traditional MBA
There are pros and cons of an online MBA vs a traditional one. One of the key differences is that an online program is usually easier to fit into your life. Flexible part-time options mean that you can continue to work and apply your knowledge straight away. Online courses are also substantially more affordable.
Traditional MBAs obviously have many more chances for in-person networking. Traditional programs will normally also have more opportunities for internships if that is important to you.
Since the pandemic forced top-ranked MBA programs to shift to online learning, online MBA programs are taken much more seriously. Like any MBA program, make sure the program you choose has a good reputation in your industry. The right MBA programs, even those without the GMAT requirement- can lead to a career boost and better job prospects after graduation.
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