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MBA Without GMAT: Top Programs for 2024

MBA Without GMAT: Top Programs for 2024

We rank the top MBA programs in US that do not require the GMAT and show their admission requirements. Each MBA program has a score that is unique and carefully calculated.

An MBA is a prestigious degree that leads to exciting careers and is in high demand worldwide. In the U.S., MBA graduates can expect to start with a median salary of $125,000 as of 2023.

Getting an MBA can be tough, with challenging requirements like the GMAT. However, many business schools now accept alternative assessments or offer GMAT waivers. But, even with these waivers, you still need to show your worthiness for the program through your academic and professional achievements.

We've done a lot of research to find the best MBA programs that don't ask for the GMAT. We looked at things like global rankings, business program reputation, overall university standing, and MBA student satisfaction. In the end, we came up with this list of the best MBA programs without a GMAT requirement. See these programs below.

Details of our ranking methodology are provided at the end of this article. We also rank the best online MBA programs, no GMAT, for those interested in online business education.

Summary

  • The top 5 universities offering MBA programs without the GMAT requirement are Stanford University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, and Columbia University.
  • All universities listed accept the GRE as the preferred standardized test, with some also accepting the Executive Assessment (EA), LSAT, MCAT, and DAT scores.
  • More than 10 universities on the list offer GMAT waivers to qualified candidates who meet specific eligibility criteria, which may include possessing relevant work experience or holding a graduate degree.
  • The programs with the top overall program satisfaction scores, ranked in sequence, are Stanford University’s MBA program, followed by Cornell University and Harvard University.
*The data used in this table are sourced from various prestigious ranking bodies, including the US News Rankings, Bloomberg Business School Rankings, QS University Rankings, THE University Rankings, and the Financial Times Business School Rankings.
University Frequency in Top 15 (Five Select Ranking Bodies)* Business Score(Select Ranking Bodies) Overall University Score(Select Ranking Bodies) Overall MBA Program Satisfaction Score(Financial Times) Score
Stanford University - Stanford Graduate School of Business 5 1.13 1.13 9.98 72.44
Harvard University - Harvard Business School 5 1.16 1.15 9.69 72.42
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) 5 1.12 1.13 9.33 67.54
University of Chicago (Booth) 5 1.10 1.04 9.44 64.89
Columbia University - Columbia Business School 5 1.05 1.03 9.51 63.48
University of California, Berkeley (Haas) 5 1.10 1.08 9.02 63.16
Cornell University (Johnson) 5 0.96 1.00 9.94 62.50
Northwestern University (Kellogg) 5 1.01 0.99 9.59 61.56
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 4 1.06 1.08 N/A 60.15
Yale University - Yale School of Management 5 0.99 1.04 9.25 60.14
New York University (Stern) 5 1.02 0.99 9.19 59.40
Duke University (Fuqua) 5 0.94 0.95 9.18 55.57
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross) 4 1.00 0.99 9.21 55.13
UCLA Anderson School of Management 3 0.88 1.00 9.11 47.63
Dartmouth College (Tuck) 3 0.89 0.77 9.7 45.22
University of Virginia (Darden) 3 0.85 0.72 9.71 43.13
University of Southern California: Marshall 1 0.95 0.85 9.15 38.85
University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business 1 0.86 0.89 9.22 38.19
Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business 1 0.82 0.95 8.86 37.00

Here are the best business schools for MBA without GMAT:

1. Stanford University - Stanford Graduate School of Business

Score: 72.44

Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA applicants can apply to the program without taking the GMAT. The school considers the entirety of an applicant's profile during the admission process by assessing various elements, including the applicant's background, experiences, perspectives, aspirations, values, and achievements. No one aspect, be it academic records, essays, test scores, recommendations, professional history, or interview performance, solely influences the admission decision.

What Stanford GSB requires instead of GMAT scores is:

  • GRE.
  • Academic degrees.
  • Grade point average (GPA) with no minimum score.
  • Transcript of courses.
  • Language proficiency.
  • English Language Proficiency.
    • TOEFL (100 for the internet-based test), or
    • IELTS (7.0 overall band score), or
    • PTE (68 overall score).
  • Activities and Interests
  • Awards and Honors
  • Professional experience (if applicable, work experience is not a requirement).
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Two personal essays.
  • Application fee ($275).

> Read more about the Stanford MBA program.

2. Harvard University - Harvard Business School

Score: 72.42

The Harvard Business School MBA program is a two-year, full-time program with a general management curriculum focused on real-world practice. You can apply to this program even without a GMAT score because the school allows applicants to submit either GMAT or GRE scores. There is also no minimum score requirement for either test.

The admissions process has three stages. The initial phase involves submitting a written application, where various documents are collected to evaluate your qualifications. The second stage is the interview process, followed by a post-interview reflection (written by applicants).

What Harvard Business School requires instead of GMAT scores is:

  • GRE.
  • A four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • English language test.
    • TOEFL (lower than 109 on the IBT is discouraged).
    • IELTS (lower than 7.5 is discouraged).
    • PTE (lower than 75 is discouraged).
    • Duolingo English Test (lower than 145 is discouraged).
  • A 900-word essay.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • At least two years of full-time work experience (submit your standard business resume or CV).
  • Application fee ($250)

> Read more about the HBS MBA program.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

Score: 67.54

You don't need a GMAT score to apply; the MIT Sloan MBA program is looking for leaders who combine deep intellectual capabilities with a passion for making a significant impact in the world. Candidates should be individuals who hold dignity and respect in high regard and are committed to thoughtful leadership.

What MIT Sloan requires instead of GMAT scores is:

  • GRE (test waiver available).
  • U.S. undergraduate degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • Cover letter (300 words max.)
  • Video statement (1 minute).
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Contacts of two additional references.
  • Organizational chart of your role & organization.
  • List of relevant coursework taken & professional certifications.
  • Application fee ($250).

> Read more about the MIT Sloan MBA program.

4. University of Chicago (Booth)

Score: 64.89

Chicago Booth's Full-Time MBA Program offers GMAT-optional admission, focusing on a holistic evaluation of applicants. It values academic readiness, community engagement, and career potential. The program seeks diverse and ambitious professionals who can contribute to a collaborative community and emphasize resourcefulness and personal direction for career success.

Chicago Booth’s requirements for their full-time MBA program are:

  • GRE (test waiver available).
  • U.S. undergraduate degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Proof of English proficiency.
    • TOEFL (minimum score: Paper Test: 600, Internet-based test (iBT): 104).
    • IELTS (minimum score: 7).
    • PTE Academic (minimum score: 70).
    • Duolingo English Test (minimum score: 135).
  • Resume.
  • Two essay questions (500 words total).
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($250).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the Chicago Booth MBA program.

5. Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Score: 63.48

Columbia Business School's MBA program is a forward-looking and comprehensive program that prepares students for leadership roles in the ever-evolving business landscape. Notably, this program does not require GMAT scores for admission, providing flexibility to applicants.

Here are the application requirements for Columbia Business School’s MBA program:

  • GRE or Executive Assessment (EA).
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts with GPA.
  • Resume.
  • One short answer question (50 characters) and three essays (1,000 words total).
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Application Fee ($250).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the Columbia MBA program.

6. University of California, Berkeley (Haas)

Score: 63.16

Berkeley Haas admits MBA students without the GMAT requirement, focusing on cultivating leaders with strong business fundamentals, critical thinking, communication skills, and adaptability. They seek candidates from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate professional achievement, academic aptitude, and leadership potential.

What Berkeley Haas requires instead of GMAT scores is:

  • GRE.
  • U.S. bachelor's degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL or IELTS as proof of English language proficiency.
  • Three written essays (900 words total) & one video essay (2 min.)
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Application Fee ($200).
  • Interviews.

> Read more about the Berkeley Haas MBA program.

7. Cornell University (Johnson)

Score: 62.50

Cornell University's SC Johnson Graduate School of Management offers a GMAT-optional two-year MBA program with immersive learning, curriculum enhancements, and faculty support. Admissions take an all-inclusive approach, considering achievements, character, qualifications, and experiences.

Instead of GMAT scores, Johnson School considers the following:

  • GRE (test waiver available).
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • List of activities.
  • Goals statement (350 words) & one required essay prompt (350 words).
  • TOEFL or IELTS as proof of English proficiency.
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($200 USD).
  • Interview.

> Read more about Cornell’s Johnson School MBA program.

8. Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Score: 61.56

Kellogg's two-year full-time MBA program is GMAT-optional, focusing on diverse leadership, global outlook, and collaboration. They value unique qualities, academic readiness, experience, leadership, and interpersonal skills. The program offers a comprehensive education, co-curricular activities, and global exposure to prepare students for a dynamic business world.

The requirements for the Kellog MBA are as follows:

  • GRE.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume (two years of work experience strongly recommended).
  • TOEFL or IELTS as proof of English proficiency.
  • Two written essays (1000 words) + video essays with three questions.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($250).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the Kellogg MBA program.

9. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Score: 60.15

Wharton School of Business offers an enriching two-year MBA program that empowers students to build a strong foundation in business knowledge while fostering diversity and inclusion. This program values varied experiences, academic excellence, work history, leadership potential, and interpersonal skills in its candidates, without the GMAT requirement.

Instead of the GMAT, the admission requirements for the Wharton MBA are:

  • GRE.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • Two essays (900 words total).
  • TOEFL iBT, PTE, or IELTS as proof of English proficiency.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Application Fee ($275).

> Read more about the Wharton MBA program.

10. Yale University - Yale School of Management

Score: 60.14

Yale School of Management offers an innovative MBA program where test scores are just one piece of the puzzle. This program emphasizes academic readiness, professional achievements, and personal attributes. With a unique behavioral assessment, video questions, and interviews, Yale SOM seeks to understand applicants beyond traditional metrics.

Here are the MBA admission requirements at Yale School of Management:

  • GRE.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts from every college or university attended.
  • One essay (500 words).
  • Two professional recommendations.
  • Resume.
  • Application fee ($125 to $250 depending on income).
  • Video questions and behavioral assessment
  • Interview.

> Read more about Yale School of Management’s MBA program.

11. New York University (Stern)

Score: 59.40

NYU Stern's Full-time MBA program offers a dynamic and flexible educational experience without the GMAT requirement. Emphasizing diversity and the core values of IQ+EQ—intellectual and emotional intelligence, it employs a comprehensive admissions approach, evaluating academic profile, professional achievements, and personal characteristics.

Here is what MBA applicants at Stern need instead of the GMAT:

  • GRE, LSAT, MCAT, or DAT (test waiver available).
  • Undergraduate degree.
  • Transcripts.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency.
  • Resume (or CV).
  • One short answer to a question (150 words) + two essays.
  • One endorser, a second endorsement is optional.
  • Application fee ($250)
  • Interview.

> Read more about the NYU Stern MBA program.

12. Duke University (Fuqua)

Score: 55.57

Duke's Daytime MBA program emphasizes leadership, experiential learning, and diverse concentrations while providing global opportunities and strong career support. It values academic excellence, diversity, competence, and character in applicants and offers admission without the GMAT requirement, making it accessible to a broad range of candidates.

The Duke Fuqua MBA admission requirements are:

  • GRE or Executive Assessment (AE).
  • Undergraduate degree.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • One short answer and two longer essays (1100 words total).
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($225).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the MBA program at Duke's Fuqua School of Business.

13. University of Michigan (Ross)

Score: 55.13

The Michigan Ross full-time MBA program is unique for its hands-on approach to business education, emphasizing real-world learning through projects and investments. Ross values academic readiness, professional achievements, and diversity commitment. The program offers flexibility with alternative ways to demonstrate readiness, going beyond the GMAT requirement.

Here are the admission requirements for the MBA program at Michigan Ross:

  • GRE, MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, or DAT scores (test waiver available).
  • U.S. bachelor’s degree or international equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores as proof of English proficiency.
  • Answers to two prompts (100 words max.) + 1 short essay (150 words)
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($200).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the Michigan Ross MBA program.

14. UCLA Anderson School of Management

Score: 47.63

UCLA Anderson's full-time MBA program is a dynamic and diverse learning environment that prepares aspiring MBAs to excel in the business world. Applicants have flexibility in standardized test submission, and admissions consider work experience, recommendations, and essays. Known for hands-on learning, global reach, and a prime Los Angeles location, it provides access to diverse career opportunities.

To be considered for the UCLA Anderson MBA program, you will need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • GRE or Executive Assessment (EA) - optional.
  • Four-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL or IELTS as proof of English proficiency.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • One essay question (250 words).
  • Application fee ($200).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the UCLA Anderson MBA program.

15. Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Score: 45.22

The MBA program at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business focuses on nurturing wise, decisive leaders who drive positive change through business. Tuck values candidates who are intellectually curious, accomplished, self-aware, and collaborative. The school offers alternatives to GMAT scores and prioritizes personalization, connectivity, and transformation as core values, offering a distinctive and immersive learning environment.

What the Tuck School of Business requires instead of GMAT scores is:

  • GRE (test waiver available).
  • Undergraduate degree.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or DET as proof of English proficiency.
  • Two letters of reference.
  • Answers to three essay prompts (900 words total).
  • Application fee ($250).
  • Interview,

> Read more about the MBA program at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

16. University of Virginia (Darden)

Score: 43.13

Darden's full-time MBA program stands out for its rigorous case method and comprehensive curriculum, providing students with a strong foundation in various business domains and encouraging a global perspective. Their holistic admission process includes demographic data, transcripts, test scores or waivers, a brief resume, and thoughtful essays to assess applicants' unique qualities and career goals.

Here are the GMAT alternatives for UVA's Darden MBA program:

  • GRE, Executive Assessment (EA), MCAT, or LSAT (test waiver available).
  • U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE as proof of English proficiency.
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Answers to three essay questions (600 words total).
  • Application fee ($250).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the Darden MBA program.

17. University of Southern California: Marshall

Score: 38.85

USC Marshall's full-time MBA (FTMBA) program provides a transformative learning experience in a dynamic global economy. Emphasizing collaboration and personal growth, it equips students with vital business knowledge, critical thinking, and leadership skills. The program's inclusive admissions process offers a test waiver option, eliminates the need for recommendations, and doesn't require an application fee, ensuring accessibility for diverse candidates.

Here is what you’ll need to submit for the Marshall MBA instead of the GMAT:

  • GRE (test waiver available).
  • A four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL or IELTS as proof of English proficiency.
  • Two essays (700 words total).

> Read more about the USC Marshall MBA program.

18. University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business

Score: 38.19

The Texas McCombs MBA program is a dynamic and highly flexible educational opportunity that empowers students to shape their own learning journey. With a strong emphasis on customization, the program offers over 100 elective courses and 20+ concentrations, 14 of which are STEM-certified. Texas McCombs does not mandate GMAT scores, making it inclusive and accessible to a wide array of prospective students.

Instead of the GMAT, you will have to submit the following to qualify for the MBA program at Texas McCombs:

  • GRE or Executive Assessment (EA) (test waiver available).
  • U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume (at least two years of postgraduate work experience recommended).
  • TOEFL or IELTS as proof of English proficiency.
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Cover letter (500 words).
  • Application fee ($200).
  • Video assessment (4 question prompts).

> Read more about the Texas McCombs MBA program.

19. Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business

Score: 37.00

The Tepper MBA program offers a cutting-edge educational experience that equips students with the analytical and leadership skills needed to excel in an evolving business landscape. With a STEM-designated curriculum, Tepper emphasizes data-driven decision-making and interdisciplinary collaboration to foster innovation. The admission process is designed to value diverse backgrounds and experiences, taking into account various aspects of your profile without assigning specific weights.

Instead of the GMAT, the Tepper MBA application requirements include:

  • GRE or Executive Assessment (EA) (test waiver available).
  • U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Transcripts.
  • Resume.
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo exam as proof of English proficiency.
  • One written essay (500 words) and one video essay (2 minutes).
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • Application fee ($200).
  • Interview.

> Read more about the Tepper MBA program.

Can You Get an MBA Without GMAT?

Yes! Lately, there has been an increase in business schools worldwide that accept students without GMAT scores in their MBA programs. Business schools that do not require GMAT scores usually pay attention to your other academic or professional qualifications.

Even though business schools offer GMAT waivers, what the test determines remains essential for the admissions committee. So, you will have to prove your eligibility for an MBA program through your academic performance and professional achievements.

With a suitable profile, you can secure a place in the best MBA programs worldwide.

Do Any MBA Programs Waive the GMAT?

Yes! 10 universities on our list offer GMAT waivers to qualified candidates. These universities are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan),
  • University of Chicago (Booth),
  • Cornell University (Johnson),
  • New York University (Stern),
  • University of Michigan (Ross),
  • Dartmouth College (Tuck),
  • University of Virginia (Darden),
  • University of Southern California: Marshall,
  • University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business, and
  • Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business.

How Can I Get My GMAT Waived?

You can get your GMAT waived if you meet specific eligibility criteria, such as possessing strong elements like relevant work experience, academics, or professional certifications. For example,

  • MIT Sloan MBA program states, “If your current situation prevents you from being able to submit a test score, you may request a test waiver explaining the situation; the Admissions Committee will take your request under advisement and let you know if the waiver has been approved.”
  • Cornell University (Johnson) states that “candidates who have demonstrated analytical and/or quantitative abilities through their academics, work experience, etc.,” can receive a GMAT/GRE waiver. What applicants must do is “prepare a short statement that describes your personal circumstance and provide a clear and compelling argument for why you will flourish in our rigorous academic environment (100 words).” You must submit this statement with your admissions application.

This is usually the case with most programs that offer GMAT waivers. Business schools will direct you on what you can do to apply for a waiver during the application process.

What Top MBA Schools Don’t Require GMAT?

Many top MBA schools do not require GMAT scores, including Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, Chicago Booth, Columbia Business School, Haas School of Business, etc. You will find them all listed in this article.

How Can I Prepare for an MBA Program That Doesn’t Require GMAT?

You will have to meet other essential requirements that make you eligible for an MBA program, including:

  • Meet the minimum GPA requirement set by schools (an average GPA of 3.5 is a solid baseline).
  • Have at least a few years of professional experience.
  • Submit GRE scores or other assessments (such as EA) required by the school.
  • Provide proof of language proficiency.
  • Write a statement of purpose.
  • Submit letters of recommendation.

What’s the Minimum GMAT Score That Is Accepted?

Many business schools do not set a minimum score; however, there are schools where a score of 550 is considered acceptable. But, if you want to submit your GMAT scores to top MBA schools, you should aim for a 700+ score to be competitive. If we look at the Harvard Business School MBA Class Profile, we will find a median GMAT total score of 740 for those who decided to submit their GMAT scores. The Stanford Graduate School of Business lists a 738 GMAT average in their MBA Entering Class Profile for those who have submitted their GMAT scores.

Why Are Business Schools No Longer Requiring the GMAT/GRE?

Many business schools are allowing GMAT/GRE waivers because they are shifting towards a more comprehensive method of assessing applicants. They focus on different elements like work experience, leadership abilities, and academics rather than just standardized test scores.

Business schools understand that GMAT/GRE scores do not necessarily show the applicant’s motivation, business qualities, and other essential skills.

GRE to GMAT Score Converter

GMAT Total score:

GMAT Verbal score:

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Our Ranking Methodology

To identify the top MBA programs that do not require the GMAT in 2024, we have established a focused and streamlined methodology, prioritizing key factors that reflect the quality and prestige of these programs.

Our approach includes the following criteria:

  • Frequency in Top 15 (Five Select Ranking Bodies): This metric examines the frequency with which each school appears in the top 15 lists of five distinguished ranking bodies, including the US News Rankings, Bloomberg Business School Rankings, QS University Rankings, THE University Rankings, and the Financial Times Business School Rankings. It serves as an indicator of the program's consistent recognition and quality across diverse evaluative platforms.
  • Business Score (Select Ranking Bodies): We assess the schools based on their business-specific scores from leading ranking organizations, such as US News and Bloomberg. These scores reflect the programs' prestige and standing in the business education sector.
  • Overall University Score (Select Ranking Bodies): The global score of the universities that offer these MBA programs, as provided by QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education (THE), is considered. This factor evaluates the overall academic environment and resources available to MBA students.
  • Overall MBA Program Satisfaction Score: We incorporate the satisfaction scores from alumni, as reported by the Financial Times. This criterion evaluates the effectiveness of the MBA program from the students' perspective, offering insights into the real-world impact and value of the education provided.

Each program is rigorously assessed based on these criteria, and the scores are aggregated to form a comprehensive ranking. Our team of experienced education analysts ensures an unbiased and thorough evaluation process.

This ranking is designed to assist prospective students in making informed decisions when selecting an MBA program that aligns with their professional aspirations and personal circumstances, even without the GMAT requirement.

For further details or specific inquiries, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Updated: December 5th, 2023