Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

TBS Rankings Team
by
Updated April 1, 2024
Edited by
Learn about the best online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement, and what it takes to get into these popular programs.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Each year, thousands of students enroll at U.S. business schools, working toward their MBAs. As access to and interest in online learning have continued to increase, more students can pursue these in-demand degrees from the comfort of their homes.

Colleges, too, have shifted their approach to recruiting MBA students. As more and more business schools shift away from requiring GMAT scores, the focus has turned to other indicators of success. Keep reading to learn about top online MBA programs with no GMAT requirements.

Best Online MBA Programs Online That Don’t Require GMAT

The school and/or program descriptions below were drafted using natural language generation technology and have been edited for clarity and accuracy.

#1 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities

  • Location-markerMinneapolis, MN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$13,318
  • Out-of-state$31,616
  • Retention Rate93%
  • Acceptance Rate70%
  • Students Enrolled52,017
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment83%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

The University of Cincinnati

  • Location-markerCincinnati, OH
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,723
  • Out-of-state$25,057
  • Retention Rate88%
  • Acceptance Rate76%
  • Students Enrolled40,826
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment90%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

  • Location-markerDurant, OK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,240
  • Out-of-state$14,880
  • Retention Rate61%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled5,607
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment91%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Southern Methodist University

  • Location-markerDallas, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$51,958
  • Out-of-state$51,958
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled12,373
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment31%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Bentley University

  • Location-markerWaltham, MA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$53,790
  • Out-of-state$53,790
  • Retention Rate92%
  • Acceptance Rate58%
  • Students Enrolled5,177
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment100%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Regent University

  • Location-markerVirginia Beach, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$17,220
  • Out-of-state$17,220
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate50%
  • Students Enrolled10,483
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment93%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Excelsior University

  • Location-markerAlbany, NY
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled21,974
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Baker College

  • Location-markerOwosso, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,960
  • Out-of-state$9,960
  • Retention Rate61%
  • Acceptance Rate54%
  • Students Enrolled6,028
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment69%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Missouri Baptist University

  • Location-markerSaint Louis, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$27,946
  • Out-of-state$27,946
  • Retention Rate69%
  • Acceptance Rate65%
  • Students Enrolled4,860
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment37%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Angelo State University

  • Location-markerSan Angelo, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,412
  • Out-of-state$14,228
  • Retention Rate71%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled10,775
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment55%
  • AccreditationYes
#11 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Parker University

  • Location-markerDallas, TX
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$21,622
  • Out-of-state$21,622
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,697
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment72%
  • AccreditationYes
#12 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

North Park University

  • Location-markerChicago, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$31,430
  • Out-of-state$31,430
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate44%
  • Students Enrolled2,831
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment87%
  • AccreditationYes
#13 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Emporia State University

  • Location-markerEmporia, KS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,278
  • Out-of-state$19,522
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate86%
  • Students Enrolled5,828
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#14 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Bushnell University

  • Location-markerEugene, OR
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$32,100
  • Out-of-state$32,100
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate68%
  • Students Enrolled717
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment73%
  • AccreditationYes
#15 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Lincoln Memorial University

  • Location-markerHarrogate, TN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$23,040
  • Out-of-state$23,040
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate69%
  • Students Enrolled4,885
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment10%
  • AccreditationYes
#16 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Blue Mountain College

  • Location-markerBlue Mountain, MS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,800
  • Out-of-state$15,800
  • Retention Rate70%
  • Acceptance Rate99%
  • Students Enrolled952
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment40%
  • AccreditationYes
#17 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Spring Hill College

  • Location-markerMobile, AL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$39,336
  • Out-of-state$39,336
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate54%
  • Students Enrolled1,191
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment77%
  • AccreditationYes
#18 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Tennessee Wesleyan University

  • Location-markerAthens, TN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$24,600
  • Out-of-state$24,600
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate61%
  • Students Enrolled1,116
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment16%
  • AccreditationYes
#19 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

The University of Saint Mary

  • Location-markerLeavenworth, KS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$29,750
  • Out-of-state$29,750
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate60%
  • Students Enrolled1,229
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment28%
  • AccreditationYes
#20 Best Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

Wichita State University

  • Location-markerWichita, KS
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,843
  • Out-of-state$16,208
  • Retention Rate71%
  • Acceptance Rate80%
  • Students Enrolled14,999
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment53%
  • AccreditationYes

Featured Online MBA Programs — No GMAT Required

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Why Are Schools Waiving or Not Requiring the GMAT?

The reasons a school may waive the GMAT are different than the reasons for eliminating the GMAT altogether. A school may waive the GMAT for two reasons. Firstly, if you apply with a stellar undergraduate GPA and exceptional work experience, you may get a waiver. Secondly, some schools created a temporary waiver following the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the case of schools no longer requiring the GMAT, you will find this more common with online MBAs. These programs recognize that applicants have a wide spectrum of experiences and educational backgrounds and allow them to decide which elements of their application best showcase their preparedness.

Even if a school doesn’t require the GMAT, you may find that taking the exam still makes sense based on other application components.

What Is the GMAT?

The GMAT — or the Graduate Management Admission Test — is a standardized, multiple-choice exam used to measure readiness for graduate-level work. Many graduate business schools and MBA programs require it.

How Much Does the GMAT Cost?

As of 2023, it costs $275 to take the GMAT at an in-person testing location in the U.S. and $300 to take it online. Pricing and regulations vary by country.

How Long Does the GMAT Take?

The current version of the GMAT takes three hours and seven minutes to complete. You can also choose to use two optional eight-minute breaks. The exam breaks into four sections, including:

  • 31 quantitative reasoning questions
  • 36 verbal reasoning questions
  • 12 integrated reasoning questions
  • One analytical writing assessment

Most test-takers spend 8-12 weeks preparing for the GMAT, but timelines can vary based on how much preparation you need to feel confident.

How Many Times Can You Take the GMAT?

  • Candidates can take the GMAT up to five times in a rolling 12-month period. Only two of those five attempts can be online.
  • Candidates can take the GMAT a lifetime maximum of eight times.

Who Cares About GMAT Scores?

Even though some schools may no longer care about GMAT scores, that doesn’t mean every employer feels the same. Consulting firms, and some investment banks, frequently require GMAT scores when hiring interns and employees.

Other types of companies you may encounter who want to know your GMAT scores include managerial recruiters, financial planning institutions, and risk management firms. These employers see GMAT scores as a helpful metric when identifying the strongest candidates, given that many receive a large number of applications for each position.

What Is the GRE?

The GRE — or Graduate Record Examination — is a more generalized graduate-level standardized test used by graduate, business, and law schools worldwide.

How Much Does the GRE Cost?

As of 2023, in most areas of the world, the GRE costs $220. Test fees in India and China are slightly higher. Some people may qualify for a fee reduction voucher.

How Long Does the GRE Take?

Overall testing time lasts about three hours and 45 minutes, plus a 10-minute break.

The test covers three subjects broken into six sections.

  • Analytical Writing
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning

Kaplan recommends 1-3 months of study time for the GRE. Top performers typically study over 100 hours before taking the exam.

How Many Times Can You Take the GRE?

You can take the GRE up to five times within any rolling 12-month period. There must be at least 21 days between each test.

Who Cares About GRE Scores?

The same type of employers who care about GMAT scores frequently still care about GRE scores, as they provide one more metric for comparing candidates and making informed decisions.

GRE scores also prove valuable for MBA graduates who may decide to attend law school later. In addition to colleges and universities wanting these metrics, many law firms also review GRE scores as part of the hiring process.

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 require GMAT scores.

  • check-circle

    Work Experience

    Work experience shows admissions offices how candidates handle themselves in professional settings and whether they have progressed in their careers. Many programs desire applicants with 2-8 years of professional work experience.
  • check-circle

    Advanced Degrees

    Students who successfully navigated the rigors of graduate school are more likely to succeed in an MBA program. You can often bypass GMAT requirements if you already have a master’s degree or doctorate.
  • check-circle

    GPA

    A high GPA demonstrates that you can handle challenging classes without letting your grades suffer. Many schools require a 3.0-3.5 GPA to waive GMAT requirements.
  • check-circle

    Professional Licensure

    Many business-related positions require licensure and/or certification (e.g., CFA, CPA, Six Sigma) to practice. Licensure demonstrates that candidates hold the skills and qualifications needed to pass industry exams. Some schools may use existing licenses and certifications to determine whether to waive GMAT scores.
  • check-circle

    Letters of Recommendation

    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.
  • check-circle

    Essay or Personal Statement

    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.

When You Need to Take the GMAT or GRE

Even though many MBA programs no longer require applicants to take the GMAT or GRE, you may want to include your scores anyway — especially if parts of your application could be stronger.

If your undergraduate GPA is low or you lack work experience, an impressive GMAT score may help bolster your admission chances.

What If the School Requires the GMAT or GRE?

Many programs continue to require standardized test scores for admission. Here’s how to prepare for them:

  • check Figure out which schools on your list require test scores.
  • check Decide which test you should take — do the schools you’re looking at accept both exams? Is preference given to one over the other?
  • check Set aside plenty of time to study and sit for your exam.
  • check Ideally, give yourself enough time to retake the exam at least once in case you want to improve your initial score.

Accreditation

Test scores might be optional — but picking an accredited school definitely isn’t. If you’re going to invest your time and money into business school, you want future employers to trust that your education is legit.

Accreditation matters for three reasons:

  1. 1 It means the school has gone through a rigorous vetting process.
  2. 2 It signals to employers that your degree is valuable.
  3. 3 It indicates that the program does a good job of supporting students and preparing them to succeed in the workforce.

Some organizations that accredit MBA programs include:

  • minus Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • minus International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
  • minus Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Graduate Success

Strong student outcomes are a good indicator of a high-quality online MBA program.

Below are a few questions you can ask and research:

  • question-mark-circle How long does it take for graduates to land a job
  • question-mark-circle What are their average earnings in the short and the long term
  • question-mark-circle How active is the alumni network when it comes to helping new graduates make important connections and get interviews
  • question-mark-circle What career resources does the program provide

Online MBA Areas of Study

Students can earn general or specialized MBA degrees. Generalist programs focus on versatile, transferable skills with broad, cross-industry applications. Specialized programs develop more specific proficiencies for particular industries or targeted areas of professional practice.

Schools vary with respect to the specializations they offer. Some business schools feature many concentration options. Others offer a limited selection or focus solely on generalist business education.

The following list describes common specializations that may interest learners with particular career goals:

Accounting

MBA concentrations in accounting combine a business core with rigorous study of advanced accounting topics. Specialized accounting-focused coursework typically covers subjects including financial reporting, financial analytics, and managerial accounting. MBA programs in accounting also usually cover auditing and business and corporate taxation. Some also delve into nonprofit and public-sector accounting principles.

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Economics

Specialized MBA programs in economics train students to apply both general and specific economics theories and principles to business management. Coursework integrates applied economics with best practices in business management, developing students’ abilities to make strategic business decisions based on macroeconomic and microeconomic factors and indicators. Graduates emerge with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in analytics-focused management roles.

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Entrepreneurship

MBA programs in entrepreneurship endeavor to build a strong combination of leadership and business management skills. They typically appeal to self-starters who plan to launch their own ventures. In these programs, students build a combination of advanced skills in areas including business financing, marketing, project management, social innovation, and product and service design. Other common topics include the venture capital landscape, business law, and entrepreneurial strategy.

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Finance

Finance specializations focus on enterprise banking, accounting, and investment management. After building a strong base of strategic business finance knowledge, students explore advanced topics, including financial statement analysis, investment management, securities, derivatives, and financial technology. This specialization prepares students for future roles in financial planning, financial analysis, and capital management.

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Management

By definition, all MBA degrees cover business management. However, management specializations delve deeper into the mechanics of business operations. Programs with management specializations teach students how to optimize efficiencies and leverage specific management techniques for strategic and competitive advantages. Students can also pursue more targeted MBA management degrees. Examples include MBAs in management consulting, human resource management, and project management.

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Marketing

Marketing specializations provide targeted education on the processes and strategies businesses use to bring successful products and services to market. Course content focuses on topics like market research, consumer analysis, product design and user experience, and product pricing. MBAs in marketing also typically place a strong emphasis on sales strategies and techniques.

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Organizational Leadership

MBAs in organizational leadership equip students with the management skills needed to succeed in high-visibility, high-profile organizational roles. In addition to standard MBA coursework in business and operations management, learners cover ethics, law, social responsibility, coaching, and leadership theory. Curricula may also cover evidence-based research in leadership and business management topics.

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Supply Chain

MBAs in supply chain management apply core concepts in accounting, finance, marketing, and competitive analysis specifically to supply chains. Students also build negotiation, inventory management, forecasting, logistics, and process analysis skills. Some programs supplement these topics with general coursework in relevant mathematical areas, including probability and statistics.

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Taxation

Taxation-focused MBA degrees combine the specialized tax topic coverage of master of science programs in taxation with business management coursework. Curricula tend to focus heavily on technical topics in enterprise and corporate taxation and tax strategy. They also train students to analyze the tax implications and potential tax consequences of business decisions and accounting strategies.

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Accreditation for Online MBA Programs With No GMAT Requirements

Enrolling in programs that lack accreditation can make it difficult or impossible for you to receive federal student aid, transfer credits, apply for licensure, 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, maintain relevant curricula, and employ 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

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial professionals made a median annual wage of $76,850 in May 2022, far higher than the median annual salary of $46,310 for all jobs. A 2023 report by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) projects that MBA graduates earn a median annual salary of $125,000.

GMAC also reported that post-pandemic, demand for MBA graduates is more robust than ever: 91% of recruiters planned to hire MBA grads in 2023.

Salary Opportunities for MBA Graduates

If you have ever wondered what you can do with a business degree, take a look at popular specializations and jobs for online MBA graduates.

5 Popular Careers for MBA Graduates
JOBMBA SPECIALIZATIONAVERAGE BASE SALARY (2023)
Medical DirectorHealthcare Administration$210,240
Chief Marketing OfficerMarketing Management$181,900
Chief Technology OfficerInformation Management$173,850
Chief Executive OfficerExecutive and Organizational Leadership$162,470
Chief Financial OfficerFinance Accounting$146,770
Sources: Payscale

Frequently Asked Questions About MBA Programs Without the GMAT

Is the GMAT being phased out?

A new GMAT, known as the GMAT Focus Edition, is set to roll out in November 2023. Registration is now open. This new test focuses on more business-specific topics and also takes nearly an hour less to complete.

Can you be exempt from taking the GMAT?

Yes. Even if the online MBA program you plan to apply to requires GMAT scores, you can still request a waiver. Reasons for exemption typically revolve around academics and professional experience, though some schools still offer waivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you qualify for a GMAT waiver?

Many schools offer waivers for applicants who achieved a high GPA during undergraduate studies, but they may also offer them for those with significant professional experience. You must contact each school and ask for a waiver to begin the process.

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