US MBA Programs with No GMAT and GRE Requirements 2021 |

US MBA Programs with No GMAT and GRE Requirements 2021

By Linda M

Updated March 2, 2021 Updated March 2, 2021

In 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic forced workplaces and HE institutions to interrupt all in-person activities, many US b-schools decided to ease GMAT and GRE requirements for upcoming MBA admissions. Some MBA programs allowed candidates to submit at-home test scores, while others waived test submissions entirely.

When TopMBA spoke to admission representatives in October 2020, several believed a test-free application process would be beneficial for MBA programs and schools alike, as they found it increased diversity and inclusion rates in their cohorts and encouraged a higher number of qualified candidates to apply.

Now that MBA application rounds are firmly underway at b-schools across the globe, it seems that the test-optional trend is here to stay throughout 2021, and perhaps even beyond.

Here are the top US schools that are now accepting applications from candidates without standardized test results.

Georgia Tech (Scheller): Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business was one of the first schools to go test-optional in 2020. Instead of test scores, the school says applicants can now secure a spot on the program by submitting a great admissions essay.

Maryland (R.H. Smith): The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is another school that waived standardized test requirements early. Instead, it allows candidates to submit industry-specific specifications (such as the CPA) and scores from other HE tests, including the LSAT. 

Virginia (Darden)MBA recruiters at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business will offer test-score waivers to selected candidates, including those with high SAT and ACT scores.

UT (McCombs): The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business is waiving GMAT and GRE requirements only to candidates who were not able to take these due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes not being able to take the tests at-home.

Michigan Ross: Michigan Ross waived GRE/GMAT test requirements at the end of 2020, in the middle of Round 1 applications. For this reason, the school has ensured that all applicants who applied in Round 1 will either be admitted or waitlisted. For the following admission Rounds, applicants can request a test waiver which will have to be approved depending on individual circumstances.

Vanderbilt (Owen): The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University is offering test waivers on a case-to-case basis. The school has specified that candidates who want to be considered without standardized scores should possess strong academic and professional accomplishments, including great quantitative and analytical skills and industry-specific certifications such as the CPA and CFA.

Indiana (Kelley): The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is offering test waivers on a case-to-case basis. Those who wish to apply must provide a statement to summarize why they’d be eligible.

Carnegie Mellon (Tepper): Tepper School of Business has made its application process test-optional. Instead of test scores, candidates must now submit evidence of advanced math skills, including results from classes such as calculus and statistics.

Penn State (Smeal): Applicants who wish to apply to the Smeal MBA without submitting test scores must possess a) a PhD, MD or DO degree; or b) five or more years of military service; or c) another master’s degree; or d) “extraordinary” work or leadership experience.

NC State (Poole): If candidates want to apply for a test waiver, Poole College of Management at NC State University requires a) a 3.6 GPA; or b) a graduate degree; or c) 10 or more years of professional experience; or d) previous military service; or e) nine or more credit hours in an AACSB MBA.

Schools entirely test-optional

Schools who have completely waived GMAT and GRE requirements without introducing new specifications or required skills and experience include:

When can I apply?

Here’s a comprehensive list of Round 2 and 3 deadlines at top US b-schools.

This article was originally published in January 2021 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 


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