Best MBA Programs That Don’t Require GMAT In 2024

An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is one of the most popular graduate degrees pursued by students around the world. MBA gives opportunity in management and leadership positions in many industries.

Online MBA programs have grown hugely in popularity due to their flexibility and accessibility. A significant advantage of many online MBA programs is not requiring the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam for admission.

This makes online MBA programs more accessible to working professionals or those who don’t want to spend time prepping and taking the GMAT before applying to business school.

What is the GMAT?

GMAT is a standardized test used by over 7,000 graduate management programs worldwide to make admission decisions. This exam have four sections, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing assessment. Test-takers have up to 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam.

GMAT is scored between 200 to 800 points, with most top-tier business schools looking for scores above 700. Preparing for and performing well on the GMAT requires a significant time commitment of up to 3 months. Finding time for self-study and practice exams amidst professional and personal commitments can be challenging.

Scheduling an in-person exam date at a test center also requires coordination and can limit options depending on location availability. Thus, the option to apply without a GMAT score makes online MBA programs much more manageable for working professionals who are focused on their careers while managing other responsibilities.

Benefits of Online MBA Programs Without GMAT

Save Time & Money: Preparing properly for the GMAT can take up to 100-200 hours. Applicants must study verbal, quantitative, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning concepts in-depth over at least 2 to 3 months.

High quality prep-materials, courses, tutors, and practice exams can cost from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000 based on one’s preparation needs. Applicants can dedicate this precious time and money directly to succeeding in their online MBA program instead.

  • Flexibility: Online MBA programs built for working professionals are inherently flexible with asynchronous course delivery allowing students to balance their education with ongoing work and life demands. Not requiring the GMAT increases flexibility exponentially by removing the need to separately prepare for and schedule an in-person standardized exam before starting the MBA application process.
  • Accessibility: Applicants who struggled with academics years ago as undergraduates or standardized testing formats can access quality business education without needing to intensely prepare and test well on the GMAT today.

Top Online MBA Programs Without GMAT Requirement

Many famous schools and programs do not require GMAT scores for online MBA applicants. Here are some top options:

University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg – Online MBA

  • No GMAT required if applicant has 8+ years of professional experience
  • $66,000 average salary post-MBA
  • Ranked #1 for online MBA return on investment
  • Waived application fee for GMAT waiver applicants

Arizona State University – W.P. Carey Online MBA

  • Waives GMAT for applicants with 6+ years of work experience
  • #11 in U.S. News online MBA rankings
  • $80,000+ average starting salary
  • 80% of students receive career placement services

Florida Atlantic University – College of Business Online MBA

  • Waived GMAT option for domestic applicants based on their credentials
  • Specialized MBA concentrations offered in accounting, finance, marketing and more
  • Credentialed faculty with extensive real-world experience
  • Scholarships available specifically for out-of-state online MBA students

University of Iowa – Tippie College of Business Online MBA

  • GMAT waiver for those with 5+ years professional experience
  • Ranked #28 Best Online MBA Program by U.S. News
  • $100,000 average post-MBA salary
  • World-renowned faculty including Nobel Prize recipient

How Online MBA Programs Evaluate Applicants Without GMAT Scores

GMAT waivers are not given out freely – online MBA programs have holistic admissions processes to thoroughly evaluate applicants who don’t submit test scores. Common aspects assessed include:

Work Experience: Applicants work history, increasing responsibility over the years, accomplishments and impact made, and professional growth potential indicated by past performance and current role scope.

Undergraduate Performance: Strong academic performance in quantitative courses, proper application of business concepts in previous course projects, and overall undergraduate GPA indicates preparedness for online MBA academic rigor without relying on GMAT scores.

Essays & Interviews: Well-written essays and conversational interviews allow applicants to directly showcase critical thinking, communication competency, motivation and vision, leadership skills, and other attributes indicating aptitude to excel in the targeted program.

Letters of Recommendation: External validation of an applicant’s abilities from managers, professors, or other references provides credibility alongside the applicant’s credentials.

How To Select the Best Online MBA Without GMAT

With an increasing number of reputable online MBA programs not requiring GMAT scores, it’s important to select the one that best fits your needs and career goals. Beyond waiver eligibility, compare program curriculum, concentrations offered, faculty experience, career resources, and other aspects.

Evaluate costs and your budget, while being mindful of scholarships, financial aid options, or tuition reimbursement your company may offer. This will allow you to maximize returns from your online MBA investment.

Research the school’s reputation, accreditation, and feedback from current students and graduates to assess overall value and experience delivered. For most mid-career professionals, part-time online MBA programs centered around real-world applicability and networking opportunities will prove most worthwhile for taking their career to the next level.


An increasing number of online MBA programs are removing barriers to advanced business education by not requiring GMAT scores for working professionals. High-quality online MBA options from well-ranked business schools are accessible without needing to intensively prepare and test well on the GMAT.

Programs evaluate professional experience, prior academics, essays, recommendations and other aspects to admit candidates able to excel in a graduate management education context. The growing set of reputable online MBA programs not requiring the GMAT makes achieving an MBA credential more convenient to align with busy lifestyles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do any on-campus MBA programs not require a GMAT score?

While the GMAT waiver option is most common in online MBA programs oriented towards working professionals, some non-binding on-campus MBA programs provide GMAT waivers as well based on number of years of work experience or satisfactory performance in preparatory courses.

How can I strengthen my online MBA application if I’m not submitting a GMAT score?

Applicants can highlight tangible professional and leadership achievements, submit strong letters of recommendations from company leaders, clearly convey their motivation and career goals in essays, and ensure their undergraduate transcript and any other available credentials showcase academic preparedness for the program’s rigor.

What are the best ways to finance my online MBA without relying on savings?

Beyond savings and income, applicants should thoroughly research all company and external scholarship opportunities related to their background, experience, ethnicity, gender, military service etc. Federal student loans and payment plans offered by academic institutions also facilitate breaking up the investment over time.

Can I complete an online MBA without the GMAT in 1 year?

While 1-year online MBA programs may appear attractive for faster career progression, they cover substantial ground in limited time. Working professionals should carefully evaluate if they can devote 25-30 hours per week for coursework without burning out for accelerated learning.

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