Get Your MBA -- No GMAT Required |

Get Your MBA -- No GMAT Required

By Nicole Willson

Updated July 8, 2015 Updated July 8, 2015

According to Bloomberg Business Week, the GMAT is the "gatekeeper to MBA education in the U.S.", which is why a low GMAT score can be a barrier to business school admission. Low GMAT scores have hurt several older GMAT applicants, even those with high-profile job titles such as Senior VP of Marketing. In addition, at $250, the GMAT is the most expensive graduate school entry test out there. That's why so many people are seeking ways to get their MBA without the GMAT.

EMBA without GMAT

An increasing number of Executive MBA programs are offering ways to get in without the GMAT. Since the average EMBA candidate is between the ages of 30 and 40 and can have up to 18 years of work experience, some universities feel that the GMAT is not a good indicator of an applicant's ability. NYU's Stern School of Business, University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, Cornell's Johnson School of Business and USC Marshall have all decided to do away with the GMAT requirement for their EMBA programs. While the Kellogg School of Management doesnt' require the GMAT, some applicants are required to take a refresher course to brush up on their quantitative skills. Other EMBA programs waive the GMAT requirement on a case by case basis. UNC Kenan-Flagler, for example, does not require the GMAT for people with advanced degrees or people who work technical jobs.

Online MBA without GMAT

Many reputable online MBA programs do not require the GMAT. As with EMBA programs, there are also online schools that make exceptions on a case to case basis. Colorado State University accepts waiver petitions from students with a GPA of at least 3.0 for the last half of their Bachelor's degree and 8 years of documented professional experience. There are also specialized MBA programs, like Auburn University's Physician's MBA program for doctors, which do not require the GMAT. There are 14 AACSB schools that do not require the GRE or GMAT, such as Northeastern University which has a 100% online program which recommends, but does not require, the GMAT.

MBA Programs Accepting GRE Scores

Besides searching for schools that do not require the GMAT, you can also look for schools that require the GRE instead of the GMAT. Harvard Business School, MIT's Sloan School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business all accept either the GRE or the GMAT. Many business schools are expected to follow Harvard's lead in giving MBA applicants a choice of what test they want to take.

This article was originally published in April 2012 . It was last updated in July 2015

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Nicole is the SEO manager of, as well as a contributing author. She holds a BA in history and sociology, and a master's in library science. Aside from her work for QS, Nicole is a long-time contributing editor and administrator for WikiHow.