The Best Online MBA Programs (No GMAT Required)

by TBS Staff
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Online MBA with No GMAT

Enrolling in an online MBA program with no GMAT requirement makes sense for students seeking employment at companies that do not hire based on GMAT scores. The GMAT — or Graduate Management Admission Test — is a standardized, multiple-choice exam that many MBA programs use.

Some schools also accept the GRE — or the Graduate Record Examination. The biggest difference between these two tests is that the GRE is a general aptitude test for all disciplines, whereas the GMAT applies specifically to graduate-level business schools. The GRE includes analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and analytical reasoning components, while the GMAT includes sections in analytical writing and integrated, quantitative, and verbal reasoning.

Many reputable colleges and universities offering online MBA programs and executive MBA programs have recently dispensed with the GMAT/GRE requirement, preferring instead to focus on other indicators of success. Read on to learn more about top programs that do not require GMAT or GRE scores.

Interesting MBA No-GMAT Programs

Why Are Schools Waiving or Not Requiring the GMAT?

Given that colleges and universities have used GMAT and GRE scores for decades to evaluate applicants, the fact that so many schools have eliminated testing in recent years may come as a surprise.

Scoring well on the GMAT shows that you can successfully learn how to ace an exam, but it does not necessarily predict how well you can perform in classes or whether you can become an effective business manager after graduation. It cannot gauge your interpersonal and networking skills or many other important abilities required to succeed in the business world. As such, it makes sense for MBA programs to consider other indicators to evaluate applicants.

Admission Requirements in Place of GMAT Scores

In the absence of GMAT scores, what do online MBA program administrators look for in potential candidates? Below, we examine some of the top requirements for online MBA programs that do not ask for GMAT scores.

Work experience shows admissions offices how a candidate handles themselves in professional settings and whether they have progressed in their careers. Most programs require 2-8 years of professional work experience. Students who already successfully navigated the rigors of graduate school are more likely to succeed in an MBA program. If you already have a master's degree or doctorate, you can often bypass GMAT requirements. A high GPA demonstrates that you can handle tough classes without letting your grades suffer. Many schools require a 3.0-3.5 GPA to waive GMAT requirements. Many business-related positions require licensure and/or certification (e.g., CFA, CPA, Six Sigma) to practice. Licensure demonstrates that candidates possess the skills and qualifications needed to pass industry exams. Some schools may use existing licenses/certifications to determine whether to waive GMAT scores. Letters of recommendation can help an admissions office decide whether or not to admit a student without GMAT scores. Choose recommenders who can speak well about your abilities and your potential. The essay or personal statement provides you with a chance to demonstrate — in your own words — why you deserve a place in the program and how you plan to ensure your success. Use this document to highlight academic and professional accomplishments and clearly outline how you hope to use your MBA in meaningful ways.

Interesting MBA No-GMAT Programs

Choosing a Quality Online MBA Program

When evaluating an online MBA program with no GMAT requirement, consider several degree components before making your final choice.

Curriculum

The curricula of online MBA programs with no GMAT requirements can vary substantially, so research your top schools carefully before committing. Students entering straight from undergraduate studies may prefer programs with an internship component to gain practical experience, while students with work experience may want a program without this requirement.

Concentration Availability

Many online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement allow students to pursue a concentration to develop specialized knowledge. Find the program that offers the best options for your career aspirations. Common concentrations include entrepreneurship, healthcare management, management, and international business.

Graduation Rates and Job Placement Rates

If a program suffers from a low graduation rate, many learners may transfer out of that program to a different school. If job placement rates are low, employers may believe that program graduates are not prepared for the workforce.

Accreditation

Accreditation demonstrates that a school and/or program went through a rigorous vetting process. Accreditation also indicates that the school and/or program adequately supports learners while they are enrolled, preparing graduates to enter the workforce.

Type of Program

MBA programs with no GMAT required are available in many different formats. Some learners may prefer a degree taught entirely online, while others may be attracted to a hybrid or blended learning format. Still others may enjoy taking part in weekend intensives several times over the course of the degree.

Affordability

Student loan debt totaled nearly $1.8 trillion as of February 2020, making affordability an important component to consider. Speak with each program's admissions department about institutional and departmental scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.

Faculty

Make sure that your chosen program's faculty includes professors who specialize in your area of interest.

Accreditation for Online MBA Programs With No GMAT Requirements

Enrolling in programs that lack accreditation can make it difficult/impossible for you to receive federal student aid, transfer credits, apply for licensure, and/or find a job. Schools can receive accreditation from one of several regional bodies. These bodies assess colleges and universities to ensure they provide meaningful support services, relevant curricula, and qualified faculty. Use the U.S. Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to make sure your chosen school is accredited.

Programmatic accreditation matters because it ensures MBA programs meet industry expectations and teach students about relevant topics. Important organizations that accredit online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

MBA Employment Outlook

Earning an online MBA can help you command a high salary, even right after graduation. According to the Business School Hiring Report compiled by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the median annual starting salary of MBA-holders was $115,000 in 2019. This number should increase for 2020, as approximately 56% of hiring companies stated they planned to increase starting salaries for MBA graduates.

While many international companies now gravitate toward master's in management graduates (69% of Asian companies and 67% of European companies), the MBA remains popular for U.S.-based hiring managers. This holds true for candidates who complete an MBA outside of North America, with approximately 48% of U.S.-based employers stating a willingness to hire international candidates.

Salary Opportunities for MBA Graduates

If you have ever wondered what you can do with a business degree, the table below describes some of the most popular jobs and industries for online MBA graduates.

Median Salary of MBA Graduates by Job Function
Job Function Median Base Salary
Consulting $135,000
Financial/Accounting $125,000
Health Care $115,000
Technology $115,000
Manufacturing $105,000
Nonprofit/Government $65,000
Products/Services $105,000

Interesting MBA No-GMAT Programs

If You Need to Take the GMAT or GRE

Even though many MBA programs no longer require applicants to take the GMAT or GRE, some students may feel that top grades on these exams can help bolster their chances of being admitted in the absence of other strong indicators. If your undergraduate GPA was low or if you lack work experience, an impressive GMAT score can help you earn admission.

Preparing for the GMAT and GRE exams can feel overwhelming, but plenty of GMAT and GRE prep resources can help you excel.

The Best Online MBA Programs, No GMAT Required

#1 Online College in Minnesota

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

School Information
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Admission Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Entrepreneurship, finance, food and agribusiness, information systems, management, marketing, medical industry, supply chain

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities offers a no GMAT online MBA program through the Carlson School of Management. Online students can access a career coach, faculty advisors, and technology support.  

Learners can customize their degree with a concentration. The curriculum focuses on business principles and includes a variety of electives. Classes accommodate students who work full time. Enrollees can complete the 52-credit program in two years.  

Available Scholarships: U of M Alumnus Fellowships

#2 Online College in Florida

University of Miami

School Information
Location Coral Gables, Florida
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Corporate finance, financial decision-making, accounting practice

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The University of Miami offers an MBA through the Miami Herbert Business School. This no GMAT online MBA program prepares students to work in the global business environment. 

The 42-credit program covers topics like economics, finance, and technology. Students complete classes online. However, they must also complete an on-campus immersion that lasts 3-5 days. Another immersion runs virtually. Enrollees can complete the degree in about 20 months. 

Available Scholarships: National Black MBA Association Scholarship

#3 Online College in Tennessee

Johnson University

School Information
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Leadership, management, nonprofit management

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Johnson University offers online MBA programs with flexibility for working students. Classes run 100% online and feature a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.  

The curriculum focuses on global society, government, education, business, and nonprofit business. Enrollees complete a capstone project in their chosen area of study. Learners attending this no GMAT online MBA program can choose from three concentrations.

Available Scholarships: Graduate Intercultural Studies Scholarship

#4 Online College in Oklahoma

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

School Information
Location Durant, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Accounting, aerospace logistics, data analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare information systems, human resources, management, marketing, Native American leadership 

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers an MBA program online through the John Massey School of Business. The no GMAT online MBA program runs fully online and emphasizes real-world applications. The curriculum covers topics like economics, research, and data analysis. 

Applicants need a 2.5 minimum GPA. The 36-credit program includes 24 credits of core courses and 12 credits that apply to specialty courses. Enrollees can complete the degree in 12 months. 

Available Scholarships: Bryan County Bar Association Scholarship Fund

#5 Online College in Texas

Southern Methodist University

School Information
Location Dallas, Texas
Admission Rate 47%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: MBA direct for early-career professionals

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Southern Methodist University offers an MBA program online through the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. Like many online MBA programs, the program appeals to working students. Coursework covers analytics and collaboration. Enrollees complete online classes synchronously. Immersion opportunities involve real-life case studies and a team approach to solving real-world business problems. 

SMU designs its program for early-career professionals for students without required work experience. The program follows a hybrid format. Learners complete online classes and attend in-person networking events. 

Available Scholarships: United Methodist Scholarships

#6 Online College in Missouri

Missouri Baptist University

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 45%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Accountancy, project management 

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

Missouri Baptist University offers an MBA program online that focuses on ethical business concepts from a Christian perspective.

Like other online MBA programs, MBU's program accommodates working students. The program offers three tracks. Learners choose from a general MBA or an MBA with a project management concentration, which provides the credits required for the Professional Project Management (PMP) certification. Students can also choose an MBA with an accounting concentration. This option prepares enrollees for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. 

Degree-seekers can complete the 36-credit MBA in 24 months.   

Available Scholarships: The Jera Foundation Endowment

#7 Online College in Tennessee

Lincoln Memorial University

School Information
Location Harrogate, Tennessee
Admission Rate 50%
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Business analytics, digital marketing, general business, healthcare administration, operations, sport, technology, strategic management

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Harrogate, Tennessee-based Lincoln Memorial University offers a no GMAT online MBA program through its School of Business. The MBA requires 30 credits. By adding a concentration, learners complete 36 credits. 

Students seeking a juris doctor, doctor of veterinary medicine, or doctor of osteopathic medicine can choose the MBA dual-degree track. The program begins with an intensive face-to-face 10-week summer course. Learners then complete online coursework.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a 2.75 cumulative GPA.

Available Scholarships: The O.O. Howard Minority Teacher Scholarship

#8 Online College in Massachusetts

Bentley University

School Information
Location Waltham, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 47%
Graduation Rate 90%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Accounting, business analytics, finance, information systems and technology, law and taxation, leadership, marketing

Accredited By: New England Commission on Higher Education; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Bentley University offers a no GMAT online MBA program. Learners can complete the degree in 18 months. Students complete online classes asynchronously. However, the program requires some in-person engagement during four-week intensives.

Students pursuing an MBA and a specialized master of science dual degree can share up to four classes between the programs. They must complete these courses within five years of beginning the MBA program.  

Available Scholarships: Women's Leadership Award and Program

#9 Online College in Ohio

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Healthcare administration, healthcare finance, healthcare operations, healthcare policy and regulation, marketing, corporate taxation, individual taxation

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The University of Cincinnati offers online MBA programs through its Lindner College of Business. The programs blend research-driven curriculum with practical experience. Coursework emphasizes leadership, problem-solving, and essential competencies in one of eight concentrations. 

The program runs 100% online. Students complete assignments on their own schedule. This no GMAT online MBA program requires 35-48 credits, including 12 elective credits. Enrollees can complete the program in 12 months. 

Applicants need at least a "B" average in undergraduate coursework.

Available Scholarships: Graduate Incentive Award/Graduate Assistant Scholarship

#10 Online College in Georgia

Point University

School Information
Location West Point, Georgia
Admission Rate 29%
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: No

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Point University offers a no GMAT online MBA program that integrates Christian principles with leadership and professional ethics. The program focuses on core business concepts for nonprofits and for-profit organizations. 

Students complete online classes asynchronously. Enrollees must meet weekly deadlines. However, degree-seekers do not need to meet with faculty to verify their coursework. Learners can transfer up to 10 credits and finish the program in 12 months. 

Available Scholarships: The Sure Oak Be Awesome Scholarship

Online MBA Programs Without GMAT Ranking Guidelines

We selected these programs based on their quality and the variety of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:

The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.

To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):

1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]

  • Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
  • Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
  • Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
  • Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
  • Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
  • Considers range of electives within that discipline
  • Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline

2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]

  • Considers education background of the faculty
  • Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
  • Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
  • Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
  • Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources

3. Reputation [weight = 20%]

  • Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
    • Faculty
    • Curriculum
    • “Freshness” of academic knowledge
    • Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
    • Suitability of graduates for the workplace

4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]

  • Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
  • Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants

5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]

  • Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
  • Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business

6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]

  • Considers the following of the online classes:
    • Types of online technology used to deliver content
    • Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
    • Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
    • Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
  • Considers the following of instructors:
    • Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
    • Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
    • Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
    • Ratio to number of students in a class
  • Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees

Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.

To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:

  • Accreditation
  • Public or private status
  • Acceptance rate
  • Retention rate
  • Graduation rate
  • ACT/SAT requirements
  • Cost in-state / out of state
  • Undergrad, grad, or both offered
  • Region
  • State
  • City

Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!

If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.

Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!

Questions About MBA Programs Without the GMAT

Do You Need GMAT Scores to Pursue an Online MBA?

Sometimes. It depends on the program. Some schools now allow learners to forego taking the GMAT.

Can You Get an MBA Without Taking the GMAT?

If you attend a school that does not require GMAT scores, then yes.

What MBA Programs Do Not Require the GMAT?

Many universities dropped GMAT requirements in the last few years, including some of the top-ranked programs in the nation.

Do All MBA Programs Require the GMAT?

No. While many schools still require this component, more and more schools no longer require applicants to submit GMAT scores.

What Is the Best Online MBA Program?

The best online MBA program is the one that matches with your academic abilities, professional goals, lifestyle, and financial needs.

How Much Does an Online MBA cost?

The cost of earning an online MBA can vary substantially. For example, in-state learners at Tarleton State University pay around $700/credit, while students at George Washington University pay almost $1,900/credit.

Interesting MBA No-GMAT Programs

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