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Best No-GMAT MBA Programs 2020
Top Consensus Ranked Online MBA Programs Not Requiring GMAT or GRE

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Best No GMAT MBA Programs

Are you looking for top-ranked No-GMAT MBA programs? Our ranking includes the top MBA programs that are either currently waiving their GMAT requirement or do not typically use the GMAT as a part of their selection process. These No-GMAT MBA programs were ranked based on our unique aggregate ranking system.

No-GMAT/GRE MBA Programs

Many on-campus Master’s of Business Administration programs require GMAT and GRE scores as a vital part of their admittance process. As more and more schools are trying to provide more accessible programs and trying to find more well-rounded students, some have started lifting or waiving the GMAT/GRE score requirement. Also, because of the current global health crisis, testing has become difficult due to safety regulations.

This is an ideal time for students to apply who may have difficulty with stress related to tests or have an excellent GPA. Some of the schools listed are asking for additional information on their application, such as an additional reference, personal essays, high-grade point averages, or years of proven work experience. As always, the application process looks different for each school, but for this ranking, the GMAT/GRE is not a part of the equation.

Ranking Methodology

For our consensus ranking of the best No-GMAT MBA programs, we first narrowed down a comprehensive list of all the top campus-based MBA degree programs that do not require a GMAT or GRE score during their MBA application process, or are waiving it for the foreseeable future. We then ranked them by combining scores from the five most respected MBA ranking systems: Bloomberg Businessweek, The EconomistU.S. News and World ReportForbes, and The Financial Times. The ranks from each list were converted to scores on a 100-point scale, weighted equally, and then averaged. The scores were placed on a 100-point scale for the Consensus Score.

1

Cornell University
SC Johnson College of Business

Cornell University students can earn an AACSB accredited Master’s of Business Administration degree without taking the GMAT, GRE, or EA. The on-campus Cornell MBA is recognized among the top 15 programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, The Economist, and Businessweek. The SC Johnson College of Business is also placed at #9 on Forbes list of best business schools. Program options include two-year, one-year, Johnson Cornell Tech MBA, Cornell-Tsinghua Finance MBA, and Executive MBA. There are also many dual degree options such as MBA/JD, MBA/MD, MBA/MHA, or MBA/MEng. The Executive MBA also has three unique options. The Cornell Executive MBA America’s takes students to learn in business epicenters in both North and South America. Cornell Executive MBA Metro New York allows busy working professionals to complete their degree on Saturdays and Sundays right outside of NYC. And the Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership gives students an opportunity to complete a dual degree from Johnson and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Consensus Score
100.00

2

Carnegie Mellon University
Tepper School of Business

The Tepper School of Business offers a STEM-designated No-GMAT MBA with three distinct formats. On-campus students can earn their degree in 21 months through the full-time program or in 32 months through the part-time Flex option. Full-time students are on campus for the entirety of their program while Flex students complete a majority of their coursework online but meet six times a year in Pittsburgh for on-campus weekends. CMU’s Master’s of Business Administration focuses on a unique blend of leadership development and strategic analytics. Concentrations are available in high-interest areas such as Operations Research, Sustainability, Communications, Business Technologies, and more. Tracks take learning to an even deeper level on topics like Energy Business, Management of Innovation and Product Development, Entrepreneurship, or Business Analytics. Under typical circumstances, GMAT/GRE scores are a requirement for admissions. However, due to current circumstances, the Tepper School is temporarily allowing students with exemplary qualitative backgrounds to apply without the requirement of this component.

Consensus Score
91.50

3

Hult International Business School

The one-year Global MBA offered through the Hult International Business School gives students an opportunity to study in top locations around the world with no GMAT required for admissions! There are six campuses to choose from, including Boston, London, San Francisco, Dubai, New York, and Shanghai. The core curriculum is comprehensive with courses like Global Strategy, Organizational Behavior, Financial Management, and Project Planning & Execution. Real-world experience plays an important role in the Hult Global Master’s of Business Administration. Students participate in hands-on challenges regularly throughout their degree experience. Hult students also have access to career advisors who specialize in helping students place themselves within the global market. Services such as group workshops, one-on-one appointments, guest speakers, mock interviews, and networking events all take learning outside of the classroom and prepare students for their future careers. Recent data showed that 96% of Hult graduates were employed within three months of graduation, with an average of 149% salary increase after completing their degree.

Consensus Score
30.42

4

University of Connecticut
School of Business

The MBA program at the University of Connecticut generally requires GMAT/GRE scores for admission. However, due to the current health crisis, this section of the application is now optional. The UConn MBA is prestigiously accredited by the AACSB. It is also recognized as the top MBA program in New England by both Bloomberg BusinessWeek and TFE Times. The Financial Times also recently ranked this MBA the #16 Public MBA in the U.S. Average graduate salaries are above $100,000 per year. Graduates also benefit from extensive alumni of more than 45,000 Husky’s who work with top companies such as Amazon, Google, Cigna, Microsoft, ESPN, and Dell. Experiential Learning milestones are one of the unique aspects of this degree. Students expand on their academic knowledge through Accelerator Projects, Internships, Co-ops, Group Projects, and individual projects. Elective concentrations are available in Financial Analysis and Investments, Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy.

Consensus Score
18.21

5

University of Denver
Daniels College of Business

DU’s Daniels College of Business offers an AACSB accredited Master’s of Business Administration program. Their Executive MBA has no GMAT requirement and is completed on a part-time basis. Their full-time, professional, and online programs do include GMAT on as a part of the application. However, there are several conditions that may allow students to waive this component. One step towards waiving the GMAT is having at least ten years of professional work experience-with eight of those being in a management role. Undergraduate GPA, prior completion of graduate-level courses, or advanced management roles are also taken into account. Due to current COVID restrictions interfering with testing access, this component is being waived altogether for some programs. The Daniels full-time MBA is 21 months long and is completed in 10 week quarters. Class sizes are kept small, with team coaching built into the curriculum. Over 80% of students receive scholarships, and tuition includes a trip abroad to experience global business first-hand.

Consensus Score
15.05

6

Rochester Institute of Technology
Saunders College of Business

The EMBA at Rochester Institute of Technology is an ideal fit for established professionals who are looking to raise their performance, leadership skills, and efficiency within the workplace. The RIT Executive Master’s of Business Administration carries esteemed AACSB accreditation. Students work through their degree with a cohort of peers in four semesters over a span of 15 months. Classes are held on-campus from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on alternate Fridays and Saturdays with snacks and meals are provided. All EMBA participants must take part in an International Seminar. This eight to ten-day trip is taken towards the end of the program and gives students the opportunity to experience various cultures and business practices. Airfare and lodging costs are included within tuition. Applicants are not required to submit GMAT test scores, but they should be prepared with a current resume, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Consensus Score
11.47

7

University of Cincinnati
Carl H. Lindner College of Business

GMAT requirements and application fees are currently being waived for MBA applicants at the University of Cincinnati. Those applying should still be prepared to submit two letters of recommendation, goals statement, current resume, and transcripts. During normal semesters students may also qualify for GMAT waivers based on years of professional work experience, having previously completed a graduate degree in a relevant field, or having an active CPA or terminal degree. Once admitted into the program, students will appreciate the unique blend of hands-on experience, academics, and research-based learning. The curriculum is made up of 10 credit hours of foundation work, 26 credit hours of core classes, and 12 hours of elective credits. All full-time MBA students also participate in an immersive study abroad trip. Recent locations have included Bordeaux, France, and Santiago, Chile. Joint degrees are also available in Law, Arts Administration, or Medicine.

Consensus Score
10.62

8

American University
Kogod School of Business

The full-time MBA program at American University is a 49-credit hour program that follows a 21-month timeline. Courses are offered during flexible time slots throughout the day on both weekdays and the weekend. Private talks with top executives are also held during the week as a part of the Business Leadership Luncheons program. Past speakers have included executives from companies such as Paypal, Marriott International, United Way Worldwide, and IBM. The University’s campus in Washington, DC, places students in a prime location for networking, internships, and job opportunities. A Global Consulting Project takes place towards the end of the program. Teams of students travel internationally to help clients find solutions to challenges within their companies and organizations. Previous trips have taken students to China, India, Poland, and New Zealand. This program strongly suggests submitting GMAT scores. However, they do offer an option to submit an essay in lieu of the GMAT or GRE

Consensus Score
9.64

9

University of Louisville
College of Business

Those applying to the full-time MBA at the University of Louisville do not have to submit GMAT scores. There are no required prerequisite courses, and all students pay the same tuition regardless of state residency. This 13-month program includes capstone projects, professional development modules, and professional career coaching. Classes meet three evenings per week in order to accommodate busy professionals. Participants move through the program with cohorts of 50 to 60 students. This class size allows for networking but also keeps the setting intimate. Students can extend their studies through 11-month paid internships or optional ten-day international study trips. UofL has many graduate organizations that help students create lasting relationships outside of their specific programs. A few of these include the Association of Women’s MBA, MBA Finance Club, MBA Sports & Outdoor Fitness Club, MBA Global Business Club, and MBA Wine & Cuisine Club. The College of Business offers a unique lifetime career support promise which pledges to support UofL students in all professional endeavors, even after graduation.

Consensus Score
7.47

10

Clarkson University
David D. Reh School of Business

The Reh School of Business at Clarkson University includes a full-time Master’s of Business Administration that can be completed in only nine months or up to two years. The MBA boasts elite accreditation with the AACSB, and the Reh School of Business was recently listed among the Top 90 Business Schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Students begin this residential program with ten foundations courses that cover key areas such as ethics, organizational behavior, information technology, corporate finance, and more. A comprehensive core is then followed by elective courses and an experiential learning course. The experiential learning course includes the Global Business Program, which can include a two or three week trip to international destinations across the globe. Standardized test scores for all applicants seeking to start the accelerated MBA program in the fall 2020 or spring 2021 semester are currently waived. During traditional school years, other standardized tests such as the LSAT or years of professional work experience may qualify applicants for a GMAT waiver.

Consensus Score
6.75

11

University of California, Riverside
School of Business

UC Riverside’s on-campus Master’s of Business Administration is both STEM certified and AACSB accredited. Under normal circumstances, this program does require GMAT for admittance, but due to the global health crisis, applicants for all Winter and Fall 2021 can choose to be considered without exam scores. A personal history essay, statement of purpose, resume, transcripts, and letter of recommendation are still required. This MBA is 21 months in length and offers evening and weekend classes. Concentrations are available in Information Systems, Management, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, or Operations & Supply Chain Management. Students also complete professional workshops, internships, and a comprehensive capstone project. The business core covers relevant topics for today’s business world like Financial Accounting, Strategic Management, Managerial Economics, and Organizational Behavior & Theory. Graduate students can connect outside of the classroom through a variety of professional organizations, student associations, being a student ambassador, participating in the career advisory council, or taking an immersion trip through Global Programs.

Consensus Score
5.66

12

University of New Orleans
College of Business Administration

The University of New Orleans delivers an AACSB accredited Master’s of Business Administration with no GMAT requirements. On-campus students can pursue their degree on a part-time or full-time basis. There are seven unique concentrations available in areas like Hotel-Restaurant-Tourism, Healthcare Management, Technology Management, or International Business. As they work through the programs, students can expect to improve their academic knowledge, as well as interpersonal skills, problem-solving, analytical skills, oral communication, and writing skills. Outside of the program, there are also several certificate options that expand on important subjects like human capital management, international trade, design & operation of high performing organizations for leaders. The Performance for Excellence Conference also helps students connect with others who are committed to creating high-performance habits. The Executive MBA meets on alternating weekends for 15 months. This program is ideal for those with professional work experience and does not have a GMAT requirement either.

Consensus Score
4.53

13

Black Hills State University
School of Business

Black Hills State business students benefit from an AACSB accredited program that includes small class sizes, connections with local employers, a well-rounded curriculum, and more. The Master’s of Business Administration in Applied Management is taught on-campus at the University Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. Courses cover various subjects such as Law and Ethics, Management & Organizational Behavior, Managerial Finance, and Information Technology. All courses work to include experiential learning. Students can also participate in internships, study abroad trips, and service-learning throughout the program. To apply, potential students must have either a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration or Management with at least a 3.0 GPA or a Bachelor’s of Science in a non-business field with 18 hours of prerequisite business credits. Some of the prerequisite course requirements are Principles of Accounting, Organization Management, Marketing, and Business Finance. The GMAT is recommended but not required, along with official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal essay.

Consensus Score
4.53

14

Midwestern State University
Dillard College of Business Administration

The Dillard College of Business Administration at Midwestern State University has carried AACSB International accreditation for the past decade. Under normal circumstances, their competitive Master’s of Business Administration program requires GMAT or GRE scores. However, due to challenges with standardized testing, MSU has temporarily approved the suspension of their GMAT/GRE requirement. The application still includes official transcripts and proof of completed undergraduate degree. Along with their entrance application, students can also apply for scholarships through the College. Each year there are more than $150,000 in scholarships granted specifically to business students. The Dillard Graduate Assistantship also helps qualified participants earn up to $4,000 per semester by working 19 hours a week as they complete their studies. The core of this MBA consists of a Common Body of Knowledge, Business Core, and electives/concentration coursework. Concentration options are Energy Management or Accounting. Many students also choose to take their learning abroad through a global study trip to London, England.

Consensus Score
4.53

15

Western Illinois University
College of Business and Technology

The Master’s of Business Administration at Western Illinois University follows one comprehensive AACSB accredited curriculum but is offered in three convenient formats. Students can choose to learn fully on-campus, 100% online, or in a flexible hybrid option. On-campus, students have many options with classes available in both daytime and evening hours. All areas of expertise are welcome to apply to this program. But those without a certain business background may be required to complete background courses to refresh the knowledge of subjects like Financial Management, General Elementary Statistics, Introduction to Information Systems, and Financial Accounting. Once admitted into the program, students will dive into courses like Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis, Economics for Managers, and Corporate Information Systems. Specializations take topics even further and are available in high need areas like Finance, Agricultural Business, Information Systems, Corporate Security, Supply Chain Management, and more. Because of the current health crisis, WIU is currently waiving the GMAT requirement for MBA applicants.

Consensus Score
4.53

16

University of South Alabama
Mitchell College of Business

The No-GMAT MBA offered through the Mitchell College of Business at USA is a flexible on-campus program that can be completed on a 12 or 24-month timeline. Cohorts begin each fall, and for 2020 applicants, the GMAT requirement is currently being waived. Additional admissions requirements are three letters of recommendation, a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a personal statement describing career aspirations after completing your Master’s of Business Administration. This degree is 30 credit hours in length and covers interesting topics such as Managing Customers, Managing Accounting Information, Quantitative Analysis using Information Systems, and Managing Finance & Capitol. Admissions are open to students of all educational backgrounds. Because of this, the Mitchell CoB has partnered with Peregrine Academic Services to offer prerequisite course materials for those who may need additional background knowledge. These courses are less than $50 and offer an introduction to Business Finance, Accounting, Microeconomics, and Statistics.

Consensus Score
4.53

17

Brooklyn College
Murray Koppelman School of Business

Brooklyn College CUNY gives students the opportunity to earn their Master’s in Business Administration with a specialization in Economic Analysis, Global Business, Accounting, Business Intelligence & Data Analysis, or General Business. Those planning to complete the Accounting track are required to complete the GMAT. General program requirements include transcripts, two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and a current professional resume. Students can apply for the spring or fall semester through a rolling admission deadline. Brooklyn College offers on-campus students will fall in love with the quaint campus and the fact that it is just a short train ride from downtown New York City. There are many facilities on-campus that make learning convenient, including a large up to date library, many computer labs, a library cafe, and study spots across campus. There are many clubs available for those who are looking to network outside of the MBA program. These clubs commune based on special interest, profession, cultural identity, spirituality, volunteer causes, and more.

Consensus Score
4.53

18

Georgia Southern University
Parker College of Business

Georgia Southern students can apply to an AACSB accredited Master’s of Business Administration without taking the GMAT. The Parker College of Business’ Professional MBA is an on-campus program that focuses on practical skills like leadership, analytical thinking, ethics, professionalism, integrity, and business-specific technical skills. Students learn through a unique blend of academic coursework and experiential learning activities. This is known as the Parker-PEP. Through this program, the College partners with local civic and business leaders to develop learning activities that help MBA students extend their knowledge in the areas of career planning, professional development, community service, and self-care. These activities take place on-campus, during regularly scheduled class times, as an integral part of the curriculum versus an additional item to tackle on already busy schedules. The framework for this well-rounded degree is built on four skills-sets in digital and analytical studies, business and environmental awareness, leadership skills, and people skills.

Consensus Score
4.53

19

Marshall University
Lewis College of Business

The on-campus Master’s of Business Administration program offered through the Lewis College of Business is completed in the evenings in Huntington, West Virginia. The application process is simple. Prospective students who have completed an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher will submit their transcripts along with a current resume. Those who had an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher will need a resume and two letters of recommendation. In this case, GMAT/GRE scores can be submitted but are not required. Once admitted, students will complete foundations courses in relevant topics such as Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Finance, and Principles of Marketing. The business core then takes students through Managerial Economics, Organizational Behavior, Advanced Marketing Strategy, Quantitative Methods for Business, and more. Concentrations allow students to dive deeper into the fields of Accounting, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, or Supply Chain Management.

Consensus Score
4.53

20

Kutztown University
College of Business

The Kutztown University MBA is a competitive program that normally requires GMAT or GRE scores. Due to the impact of the Coronavirus, these scores are not required for the 2020/2021 academic school year. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA may be asked to submit these scores for a more thorough evaluation of program requirements. This AACSB accredited program is also recognized as a Best Value in the Region. These acknowledgments show students that this program is offered at a fair price and upholds the highest standards among business schools today. This flexible MBA can be completed in as few as 16 months through a combination of online and on-campus course components. Small class sizes mean that each MBA student receives 1:1 interactions with faculty and staff as they work towards their degree. The curriculum includes many group projects, as well as interactions with successful KU alumni and local business leaders.

Consensus Score
4.53

21

Northern Arizona University
W. A. Franke College of Business

Northern Arizona MBA students work with a small cohort over a period of 10 months to earn their degrees. Consideration for this program is accepted on a rolling basis. GMAT or GRE scores are generally a requirement. However, students applying for 2020-2021 admittance have the option to waive this part of the application. Recent graduates will appreciate that there is also no work experience necessary to apply. In fact, the W.A. Franke College of Business’s MBA is designed with those who are early in their career in mind. Students can expect to improve their academic knowledge, as well as their leadership skills, communication, and ability to work in teams. Networking events, mock interviews, career fairs, and executive shadows all give students an opportunity to practice their skills and gain real-world experience. The College of Business features a dedicated MBA space with advanced technology, and small class sizes mean that students receive a personalized educational experience.

Consensus Score
4.53

22

University of Houston-Downtown
Marilyn Davies College of Business

The University of Houston-Downtown gives students first-hand access to the bustling city of Houston, Texas. Their top-notch MBA curriculum was created with input from industry leaders, specialists, and executives from many top corporations. Classes are generally completed in a hybrid format with evening classes on campus. But starting in the fall of 2020, students can choose whether to participate online or in-person on a class by class basis. The program’s unique “flipped classroom” method gives students access to lectures before class meetings in order to facilitate a higher level of discussion and interaction during class times. Ten concentrations make personalizing this degree easy. Choices include high-interest subjects like Investment Management, Leadership, International Business, Supply Chain Management, or Finance. Those who hold an undergraduate degree in business can finish their degree in just one year. Students from outside the business field are welcome, but they are required to complete several leveling courses such as Financial Information, Accounting, Foundations of Management Theory, and Marketing Information. No GMAT score is required for applicants at this time.

Consensus Score
4.53

23

Bowling Green State University
College of Business

Bowling Green State University is temporarily suspending GMAT and GRE requirements for any applicants to the master’s or graduate certificate programs in the summer and fall 2020 semesters. Application fees are also being waived, making applying to their well recognized on-campus MBA program easy and inexpensive. The full-time Master’s of Business Administration at BGSU carries esteemed AACSB accreditation. Students can complete this fast-paced degree in only one year with a cohort of 40 peers. Cohorts begin each August and help foster a sense of community throughout the program. Corporate visits and discussions are held to encourage involvement with the local business community. Foundations courses set the tone as students learn about Behavior of the Firm in the Global Environment, Managerial Accounting, and Financial Accounting & Analysis. The business core then dives into topics like Supply Chain Management, Leading for Organizational Success, Statistics for Managerial Decisions, and Information Technology for Managers.

Consensus Score
4.53

24

Washburn University
School of Business

The Washburn MBA program is allowing students ultimate flexibility by allowing them to choose from online or on-campus courses on a case by case basis. Students can also watch live classes through Zoom if they are unable to attend in-person classes. A fast-track option is available for those who wish to complete their degree in 12 short months. But students can also take their time to finish the program if needed. Rolling admission is available for fall, winter, and summer semesters, so there is always a time to get started. GMAT scores are not a required part of the application, but applicants should be prepared to submit official transcripts and two recommendation letters. All MBA students complete a set of required courses that cover subjects like Management Accounting Analysis, Strategic Analysis, Managerial Economics, and Financial Strategies. Two electives are then chosen from a variety of topics such as Investments, Venture Creation, Product Systems, Commercial Transactions, or International Business.

Consensus Score
4.53

25

University of Southern Mississippi
College of Business and Economic Development

The GMAT requirement is currently waived for all MBA applicants through the Fall of 2021 at USM. Working professionals are the focus of this program. Because of this, they offer fully online and hybrid options. The hybrid program completes two courses per semester by meeting once a night weekly in addition to online assignments. Students complete 33 credit hours on a one or two-year timeline based on their schedule. Twenty four credits are assigned to the business core while nine are reserved for elective courses. Students can choose a general MBA plan or the unique Sports Event Security Management Emphasis. While this program does not currently require GMAT scores, applicants will need to submit a current resume, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants are welcome from all educational backgrounds but must take prerequisite courses in Statistics, Accounting, and Finance before they will be considered for admission

Consensus Score
4.53

Is it safe to start an on-campus MBA program?

There may be concerns about attending an on-campus MBA program due to the global pandemic. The CDC is providing many resources and up to date information specifically for colleges as they return to normal functions. Because of the CoronaVirus, many programs that are typically 100% on campus are now offering hybrid options or the ability to live-stream classes if you are not comfortable attending class in person. Several of the programs within this ranking are even allowing online or on-campus choices per course to accommodate students’ health concerns.

Study abroad experiences are often the highlight of MBA programs. Accommodations are being made in this area as well, so that on-campus students can still gain vital cultural experiences. Some of these adjustments include speaking with participants from other countries through Skype or other methods of online communication, keeping trips local, postponing trips for further notice, or scheduling trips specifically to countries that are currently considered safe.

Admissions offices are even making accommodations because of our current health crisis. Most testing centers have been closed. And while the GMAT test is trying to adjust by allowing an online proctored test, students have a stringent limit on how many times they can take it. Because of this, many schools that once required the GMAT for admissions are now waiving the requirement. This is just one way business schools accommodate new students for healthy admittance during a pandemic.

Is now a good time to start an on-campus MBA?

Because of the effects of the CoronaVirus, many top on-campus MBA programs are waiving their GMAT requirement. This actually makes it an ideal time to apply for students who either don’t have the time to prepare for the test or have difficulty with test-taking. It is a common misconception that high GMAT scores will result in automatic admission into prestigious business programs. However, according to U.S. News, this is just one piece of the application puzzle.

The fact that GMAT scores are being waived at this time levels the playing field for those who may be intimidated by the idea of needing to make a 700 score or higher. Studying for the GMAT is a good way to prepare yourself for the workload of an MBA program, and some schools are requesting these scores if the applicant’s GPA does not meet certain criteria. So while the GMAT is not currently required for some of the programs on our list, it may not be a bad idea to take the test to have your scores ready.

Will other admissions requirements be adjusted if I don’t have to take the GMAT?

The answer to this question depends on the program. For the most part, in our research, we found that when the GMAT is being waived, aside from a possible extra reference or personal essay, the admission requirements do not seem to be increasingly difficult. Several of the programs on our ranking do not require GMAT scores on a regular basis.

U.S. News suggests that outside of GMAT scores, MBA programs are looking for students with self-awareness, non-academic accomplishments, and non-technical skills. Self-awareness includes a variety of attributes such as a willingness to work with others, communication skills, and a growth mindset. Non-academic accomplishments can be things such as a professional resume that reflects growth over time or a passion for volunteer work. Non-technical skills are difficult to put on paper. These skills are things like creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and critical thinking skills.

Should I take the GMAT even if it is waived?

As mentioned above, there are some benefits to taking the GMAT even though many schools may not require it at this time. Prepscholar.com reports that average students study at least 50 hours for the GMAT exam and that those who score 700 or higher study significantly more than that. Putting longer hours in doesn’t necessarily determine a higher score.

But taking the time to study out of your already busy schedule will not only hopefully yield higher results but also build study skills, knowledge of essential math objectives, and prepare you for the time constraints of school work. This may not seem like fun, but taking the time to stretch yourself before entering into an MBA program could potentially yield high benefits.

Taking the GMAT now can also allow you to see where your score falls in relation to the schools that you are interested in attending. If your undergraduate GPA is not ideal, or you do not have many years of professional work experience under your belt, some programs are allowing GMAT scores to voluntarily be entered for consideration. Because most applications are holistic, a good test score, while not required, may just be the nudge that your application needs.

Are No-GMAT MBA programs as good as MBA programs that do?

During this time period, applicants are lucky because many high-quality programs are waiving the GMAT requirement simply because of the difficulty that the global pandemic has placed on testing centers. These MBAs have not changed in quality or academic rigor. They are simply adjusting to the needs of prospective students.

In addition to these types of programs, there are also many highly-regarded on-campus MBA degrees that do not require GMAT scores as part of their application as a general practice. Many of these programs are still just as selective; however, they choose to place more emphasis on work experience, GPA, interviews, personal essays, and more. The GMAT can be an important component to an MBA application, but 2020-2021 applicants are lucky to have the option of whether or not they want to submit these scores for many schools.

I am not ready to apply to a graduate program yet. Will I be able to skip the GMAT later?

Unfortunately, the majority of the programs that are waiving the GMAT requirement are doing so because of the global health crisis. However, there are many excellent options that do not generally require GMAT. This ranking includes several, but if you are researching on your own, it is important to remember to also look for business accreditation as a sign of a high quality and up to date program. Some schools do offer waivers for students who meet certain criteria such as years of work experience, experience in managerial roles, GPA, or a combination. Just remember that if the GMAT is a hurdle for you, there are still many options available, even if you aren’t ready to get started on your degree just yet.