Can You Apply for an MBA With No GMAT Score?
While the general rule of thumb is that you should take the GMAT exam in order to be considered by admissions officials at reputable business schools, the reality is that there are exceptions to the rule since some business schools will consider applicants whether or not they take the test.
The GMAT exam is a three-and-a-half-hour test that focuses on verbal reasoning, analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and integrated reasoning, and 2,000+ business schools around the world consider the exam results to determine if candidates are ready for an intense MBA program. Since many business schools require that applicants take the GMAT exam, it makes sense for you to do just that — if only because it will allow you to apply to a broader range of business schools.
However, there are valid reasons to account for why you may decide to skip it, if you have the option, as you try to get into an MBA program.
What follows is a look at reasons why the GMAT exam is not for everyone, a list of some of the business schools that do not make the GMAT exam a requirement, a look at how some of these schools rank, and some food for thought on determining whether or not to take the GMAT exam.
Reasons to Skip GMAT
One of the reasons some business schools don’t require applicants to take the GMAT exam is that there are some questions about whether or not the test results represent an accurate barometer of the applicants’ skills and fitness for business leadership. For instance, if you don’t typically do all that well at standardized tests, you might not achieve a high test score, and that score does not take into account intangibles that you may have such as determination and drive.
Due to some of the perceived shortcomings of the GMAT exam, some business schools will, rather than requiring GMAT exam results, instead consider your undergraduate GPA, your actual business experience, or your attainment of advanced degrees in lieu of the exam score. In such cases, the MBA no GMAT route is very much a live option worth considering..
Schools that Don’t Require GMAT
There are plenty of business schools that will accept applicants who have not taken the GMAT exam. They include the following:
- Ashford University (Forbes)
- Baruch College (Zicklin)
- Boston University
- Brandman University
- Capella University
- DePaul University (Kellstadt)
- DeVry University (Keller Graduate School of Management)
- Florida Institute of Technology
- Grand Canyon University
- Hofstra University (Zarb)
- Lake Forest College
- La Salle University
- Loyola University (Quinlan)
- Loyola University, Maryland (Sellinger)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
- New York University (Stern)
- Northeastern University (Damore-McKim)
- Northwestern University (Kellogg)
- Seton Hall University (Stillman)
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Suffolk University (Sawyer)
- Temple University (Fox)
- University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)
- University of Chicago (Booth)
- University of Delaware (Lerner)
- University of Maryland, College Park (Robert H. Smith)
- University of Phoenix
- University of Southern California (Marshall)
- Villanova University
- Western Governors University
How They Rank
As can be seen from the list above, there are plenty of reputable business schools that do not require the GMAT exam.
In fact, Forbes’ top-65 list of the best business schools includes a fair number of institutions that do not make the GMAT exam a make-or-break requirement. They include the following:
- Baruch College (Zicklin) – #55
- Boston University – #48
- Hofstra University (Zarb) – #58
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) – #9
- New York University (Stern) – #18
- Northeastern University (Damore-McKim) – #56
- Northwestern University (Kellogg) – #3
- Temple University (Fox) – #64
- University of Chicago (Booth) – #6
- University of Maryland, College Park (Robert H. Smith) – #46
As can be seen, quite a few of these business schools made the list — and three even cracked the top 10. This goes to show that the MBA no GMAT option doesn’t mean having to go to a second-rate business school.
Pros & Cons
It’s interesting to note that one source shows that the GMAT exam does not actually identify who will be best suited to occupy managerial positions post-graduation from business school.
So if you’re wondering if there are pros and cons to going to a business school that does not require the GMAT exam, you should remember that there are top schools that will use other criteria to determine eligibility to enrol into an MBA program.
However, if you wish to enroll into a particular program at a specific school, then whether or not you have to take the GMAT test may depend on the institution’s requirements.
So, yes, it is possible to go the MBA no GMAT route. If you are weighing your options, do yourself a favor by researching the schools that you’d like to attend to ascertain whether or not the enrollment requirements necessitate that you take the GMAT exam.