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In today’s competitive business world, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can provide individuals with valuable skills and knowledge to advance their careers and stand out to employers.

While many MBA programs require applicants to submit their Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, there are online MBA programs available that do not have this requirement. Opting for one of these one-year programs allows you to complete your degree quickly and take advantage of new professional opportunities.

If you’re having trouble finding the right MBA program, here are the best one-year online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement, alongside some tips for getting into an MBA program without taking the GMAT.

What Is the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam measuring an individual’s analytical, quantitative, verbal, and writing skills.

The test covers various skills such as Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. Business schools often use the GMAT as part of their admissions process to evaluate a candidate’s aptitude for the MBA program.

The GMAT cost can vary depending on the testing location, but it typically costs between $250 and $300.

If you did poorly on the GMAT or haven’t been able to take it, there are plenty of programs that accept applications without test scores. You can still get into a high-quality MBA program by ensuring the rest of your application materials stand out.

How To Get Into an MBA Program Without Taking the GMAT

While many MBA programs require the GMAT, some online programs offer flexibility by not making it mandatory. However, it’s important to note that even without the GMAT, admissions to these programs can still be highly selective.

Here are a few things that can help improve your odds of getting into an MBA program without taking the GMAT.

Attend an undergraduate program that has been accredited by the AACSB or IACBE

One way to strengthen your MBA application is by attending an undergraduate program accredited by respected organizations such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). These accrediting organizations hold business programs to a high standard, ensuring the curriculum and faculty meet rigorous quality criteria. Attending an accredited institution demonstrates your commitment to academic excellence and readiness for an MBA program.

Studying in an accredited undergraduate program can provide you with a strong foundation in business fundamentals, equipping you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in an MBA program. Researching and selecting an undergraduate program that aligns with your interests and goals is important, as it will significantly impact your prospects for pursuing an MBA.

Get good grades in your undergraduate program

Admissions committees for MBA programs often consider academic performance a key factor in evaluating applicants. While the GMAT score is not required, maintaining a high GPA (3.5+) in your undergraduate program can significantly enhance your chances of getting accepted into an MBA program.

Prioritizing your coursework and developing effective study habits is essential to achieve good grades. Actively engage in class discussions and dedicate sufficient time to prepare for exams and assignments. Building relationships with professors and attending office hours can also be very beneficial.

Get experience in the field

Relevant work experience can also be a valuable asset in strengthening your application. Many online MBA programs without the GMAT requirement consider professional experience to assess an applicant’s readiness and practical understanding of the business world. By gaining work experience, you enhance your skills and demonstrate your commitment and dedication to your chosen field.

Seek internships and part-time positions related to business or your desired specialization. These opportunities can provide hands-on experience, allowing you to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations. Participating in extracurricular activities, business clubs, or professional organizations to further develop your skills can also help improve your chances of admission. Documenting and highlighting your accomplishments and responsibilities in your application can provide evidence of your practical skills and make you a more attractive candidate.

Write a compelling MBA admissions essay

Without a GMAT score, the admissions essay becomes even more critical in showcasing your motivation, goals, and unique qualities. Your essay provides an opportunity to communicate your story, aspirations, and the value you will bring to the MBA program. To write a compelling essay, consider the following tips:

  1. Reflect on your personal and professional experiences: Take time to introspect and identify the defining moments that have shaped your career path and goals. Talk about your challenges and how they have contributed to your desire to pursue an MBA.
  2. Articulate your career aspirations: Clearly articulate your short-term and long-term goals. Discuss how an MBA aligns with these goals and how the program will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge, and network to achieve them.
  3. Research the program: Familiarize yourself with the specific MBA program you are applying to. Understand its unique features, values, and strengths. Tailor your essay to demonstrate why you believe the program is a perfect fit for your aspirations and how you can contribute to the program’s community.
  4. Showcase your strengths and achievements: Highlight your achievements, leadership experiences, and skills that set you apart from other applicants. Provide specific examples and quantify your impact where possible. Doing so helps admissions committees understand your potential contributions to the MBA program and beyond.
  5. Seek feedback and revise: After drafting your essay, ask for feedback from mentors, professors, or others you can trust to provide constructive criticism.

By focusing on attending an accredited undergraduate program, maintaining a high GPA, gaining relevant work experience, and crafting a compelling admissions essay, you can increase your chances of getting accepted into a one-year online MBA program without the GMAT requirement.

The 50 Best One-Year Online MBA Programs (No GMAT)

Best One Year Online MBA Programs No GMAT Badge 2024

Pepperdine University

University of Arkansas Grantham

Purdue University Global

Northcentral University

Benedictine University

Excelsior College

Southern New Hampshire University

Aurora University

Saint Leo University

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Keiser University

Boise State University

Colorado Christian University

How we rank schools

This list features some of the best one-year online MBA (no GMAT) programs in the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of the best one-year online MBA (no GMAT) programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.