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MBA Without GMAT: Top MBA Programs That Don't Require GMAT

Here are the advantages of GMAT-free programs, as well as our list of the top MBA programs that don't require GMAT.

Dec 7, 2023
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Business student preparing for GMAT

✨ 5-second summary

  • Schools that don't require GMAT will mostly evaluate your work experience, recommendation letters and your past grades.
  • GMAT-free MBAs reduce financial and test-related burdens, which attracts candidates with more professional experience.
  • While GMATs are prominent in North America, other parts of the world are more flexible with standardized tests.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test designed primarily to assess the analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills of candidates seeking admission to graduate management programs, such as an MBA.

While over 2,400 universities across 110+ countries use GMAT as a part of their candidate selection criteria, there are still many more universities and programs that don't require you to take this standardized test in order to apply.

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The shift to GMAT-free MBA programs

This shift towards MBA without GMAT is fueled by a recognition that professional success and leadership qualities can't always be measured by a standardized test. Institutions offering MBA in USA without GMAT are focusing on a more holistic review of candidates’ profiles.

This includes evaluating their:

  • Professional experience
  • Leadership roles
  • Undergraduate academic performance

The COVID-19 pandemic further catalyzed this shift, as many traditional testing centers were inaccessible, prompting even the most prestigious MBA programs to reconsider their admission criteria.

Advantages of MBA programs that don't require GMAT

  • No GMAT means less energy and financial burden, which bridges the financial gap between prospective students.
  • Some candidates may excel in real-world business situations but not in standardized tests.
  • GMAT-free programs often attract individuals with rich professional experiences, creating a learning environment filled with diverse perspectives and practical insights.

Top MBA programs that don't require GMAT

🎓 Traditional MBA - University of California (Los Angeles)

Highlight: Average post-MBA salary increase is 85%


  • Two letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL or IELTS test score, unless the applicant completed their Bachelor's in an English-speaking country

Tuition fee: $78,350 per year (2024/25)

Acceptance rate: 38%

🎓 Online MBA - Pepperdine University

Highlight: Live classes after regular business hours so that you can work while studying


  • TOEFL score for international students

Tuition fee: $109,980 for the entire program (2022/23)

Acceptance rate: 83%

🎓 Traditional MBA - Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller)

Highlight: 96% employment rate 3 months after graduation


  • Two letters of recommendation

Tuition fee: $42,258 per year (2023/24)

Acceptance rate: 32%

🎓 Traditional MBA - Michigan State University (Broad)

Highlight: 238% increase on pre-MBA income


  • At least one letter of recommendation
  • TOEFL score for international students

Tuition fee: $54,930 per year (2023/24)

Acceptance rate: 28%

🎓 Full-Time MBA - The University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Highlight: 89% of graduates receive job offers within 3 months


  • TOEFL score for international students
  • Three references (one from a supervisor)
  • Around 15 years of work experience

Tuition fee: $55,920 per year (2023/24)

Acceptance rate: 30%

Which countries and regions use GMAT?

United States and Canada

The GMAT is widely used in North America. Most top-tier business schools in the U.S. and Canada consider GMAT scores as a significant part of the admissions process.


While leading business schools in the UK, France, and Spain often ask for GMAT scores, a significant number of institutions within and outside of those countries offer MBA programs that don't require GMAT. Some may accept alternative tests like the GRE, or evaluate candidates based on other criteria.

Asia and Australia

Asian countries like India, China, and Singapore often require GMAT scores for top business schools. That said, there's a growing list of institutions offering MBA without GMAT, too.

Australian institutions also show a mixed approach, with some not mandating GMAT scores for their MBA programs.

Latin America and Africa

The scenario in Latin America and Africa is distinct, with less emphasis on the GMAT compared to North America and Europe. Many schools in these regions offer MBA programs that don't require GMAT - instead, they have different criteria for admissions, like recommendation letters and past GPA scores.

You can read the full list of schools and countries that use GMAT on the corresponding GMAC page.

Sara Evans


Sara is the Content Designer at Keystone Academic Solutions, in charge of creating and curating content for students across the globe. Due to her background in UX and teaching, she's always in pursuit of new ways of presenting information more clearly.