How to Study MBA in the USA Without GMAT

How to Study MBA in the USA Without GMAT

How to Study MBA in the USA Without GMAT
Sailesh Sitaula

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has long been a benchmark in MBA admissions. Originating in 1953, the GMAT became a vital criterion for business school applications globally. However, a shift has occurred, with several esteemed institutions no longer tethering their admissions solely to GMAT scores. If you're eyeing an MBA in the USA but haven't taken the GMAT, fret not. This article unveils the diverse options for pursuing an MBA without GMAT requirements.

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Top-notch MBA Programs in the USA Without GMAT

For individuals aspiring to pursue an MBA without the constraint of GMAT scores, a variety of reputable institutions in the USA offer enticing opportunities. Here, we delve into five distinguished universities that stand out for their MBA programs and, notably, their waiver of the GMAT requirement.

Colorado State University

Nestled in the picturesque city of Fort Collins, Colorado State University offers a unique MBA experience without the GMAT prerequisite. With a focus on innovation and sustainability, the university provides a flexible program catering to diverse professionals' needs. Aspiring MBA candidates can explore a dynamic curriculum while enjoying the natural beauty and collaborative atmosphere that define Colorado State University.

Kellogg School of Management

Renowned globally for its excellence in business education, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, located in Evanston, Illinois, is a powerhouse for MBA aspirants. Emphasizing leadership and strategic thinking, Kellogg's Full-time MBA program welcomes applicants without the GMAT requirement. With its high global ranking and influential alumni network, Kellogg offers a transformative educational experience that prepares students for leadership roles in the dynamic world of business.

Hult International Business School

Hult International Business School, with Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai campuses, provides a truly global MBA experience. Offering a curriculum that reflects the international nature of modern business, Hult does not mandate GMAT scores for admission to its MBA programs. Aspiring business leaders looking for a culturally diverse and experiential learning environment can explore the innovative offerings at Hult.

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)

With campuses in Manhattan, Long Island, and globally, NYIT is a dynamic institution offering MBA programs without the GMAT hurdle. Recognizing the importance of practical skills and real-world application, NYIT provides a hands-on approach to business education. Aspiring entrepreneurs and business professionals can benefit from NYIT's emphasis on experiential learning and industry-relevant knowledge.

DePaul University

Located in the heart of Chicago, DePaul University stands out for its diverse and inclusive MBA programs. The university's commitment to real-world application and ethical business practices is reflected in its Full-time MBA, which does not require the GMAT. DePaul's emphasis on experiential learning and the vibrant urban setting of Chicago create an enriching environment for MBA candidates seeking a dynamic and socially responsible education.

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Popular GMAT Waivers Universities

Breaking new ground, many top-ranking MBA programs in the USA now offer exemptions to the GMAT and GRE. Check out this table for universities granting test waivers and their criteria:


Admission Requirements

Criteria for GMAT Waivers

Colorado State University

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field

8+ years of professional experience

Kellogg School of Management

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field

GRE Scores: Verbal 162, Quant 163

Hult International Business School

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field

3+ years of professional experience

New York Institute of Technology

B.S Degree with minimum GPA of 3.0

Resume explaining work experience (GMAT Optional)

DePaul University

Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field

GMAT Optional, Resume explaining work experience

MBA in the USA Without GMAT

In the USA's MBA admissions landscape, the traditional reliance on GMAT scores is gradually giving way to a more nuanced and holistic approach. Recognizing that the GMAT assesses verbal, analytical, and quantitative skills, universities increasingly embrace alternative criteria to evaluate prospective candidates. Here, we explore the diverse avenues available for pursuing an MBA in the USA without the GMAT requirement:

Work Experience and Professional Skills

Many universities recognize the value of practical, hands-on experience in the professional realm. Instead of solely relying on standardized test scores, candidates are evaluated based on a minimum of four years of professional exposure. Attributes such as management proficiency, leadership capabilities, creativity, and critical thinking skills are assessed through Statements of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LORs). This shift underscores real-world competencies' importance in business education's dynamic landscape.

Volunteering Experience

Beyond professional roles, some USA universities acknowledge the significance of volunteering and community service experiences. In addition to personal development, involvement in community duties is a testament to a candidate's commitment and adaptability. These experiences are valuable contributors to the cultivation of critical skills essential for success in MBA programs and future leadership roles.

Research Exposure

Aspiring MBA candidates can showcase their expertise and passion for a specific field by submitting previous research projects. This alternative criterion allows applicants to demonstrate dedication to advancing knowledge in a particular domain. Letters of Recommendation from project supervisors further emphasize the candidate's commitment and proficiency in research, providing a comprehensive picture of their academic capabilities.

Strong Academic Record

A robust academic history, particularly with a high Grade Point Average (GPA) in undergraduate studies, is a substitute criterion for the GMAT. This recognition underscores the importance of academic excellence as an indicator of a candidate's ability to excel in a rigorous MBA program.

GRE Scores

Given the structural similarities between the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and GMAT, several universities accept GRE scores as an alternative to GMAT. This flexibility allows candidates to showcase their academic readiness through a different standardized testing format, providing prospective MBA students a broader range of options.

The evolving landscape of MBA admissions in the USA reflects a shift towards a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates.

Unlocking Executive MBA Opportunities Without GMAT

While the GMAT holds sway over many business schools, numerous executive MBA programs in the USA don't require GMAT scores. Consider the following reputable executive MBA programs:

  • Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University
  • Lubin School of Business, Pace University
  • College of Business, Florida International University
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

1-Year MBA Without GMAT

For those seeking a swift MBA experience, several institutions offer 1-year MBA programs without GMAT. These programs provide a competitive edge, swiftly propelling graduates into the corporate arena. Explore options like:

  • Bryant University
  • The University of Findlay
  • Goizueta Business School
  • Babson College
  • University of the People
  • University of Vermont
  • Clarkson University Graduate School
  • Mercy College
  • Hult International Business School

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Online MBA Without GMAT

Embracing flexibility, online MBA programs cater to those unable to commit to on-campus studies. Discover top-tier universities in the USA offering online MBA programs without the GMAT:

  • Northwestern University
  • George Washington University
  • Babson College
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Indiana University Bloomington


Is GMAT Compulsory for an MBA in the USA?

Yes, for most MBA programs, GMAT is a compulsory requirement. Business schools heavily weigh GMAT scores in the admissions process.

Can I Pursue an MBA Without a GMAT?

While a GMAT score is expected, some institutions may consider exceptional talent and experience. Certain executive MBA programs, like MIT Sloan's 20-month program, require substantial work experience instead of GMAT.

Is 400 a Bad GMAT Score?

GMAT scores rarely dip below 400 or exceed 600. Two-thirds of test-takers typically score between 400 and 600, according to the GMAC.

Is 40 Too Old for an MBA?

While traditional full-time MBA programs see enrollees around 28 years old, executive MBA classes often include individuals aged 40 or older.

Does an MBA Increase Salary?

Individuals staying with their current employer post-MBA can expect a substantial 39% salary increase, according to the GMAC's 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey.

How Many Billionaires Have an MBA?

Approximately 21% of the world's billionaires with tertiary education hold an MBA, nearly half graduating from the top ten schools.

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