Why Get an Online MBA Without a GMAT?

This article will explain what an MBA without a GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is, and why you may want to go back to school to earn one. It also will describe what the GMAT is and how you may be able to enter MBA school without taking this standardized exam. We also will include thorough reviews of dozens online MBA programs that do not have a GMAT requirement.

In This Section

  1. Why Get an Online MBA without a GMAT
  2. No GMAT for Experienced Professionals
  3. Career Choices with an Online MBA
  4. What Makes a Great Online MBA?
  5. How Important are Rankings?
  6. Top 5 Recommended Online MBA’s
  7. All Online MBA without GMAT

Why Get an Online MBA Without a GMAT?

Many experienced business professionals who want to move up the career and salary ladder choose to get their MBA. It has been this way for many decades, but these day, millions of Americans have chosen to earn an MBA online.

Getting an MBA online offers you many advantages, which are detailed below. Many online MBA programs are now available without taking the GMAT examination. This standardized test has long been a requirement to be considered for admission to most MBA programs.

However, recent research has indicated that performance in graduate school is not necessarily predicted accurately according to GMAT score. It is for that reason that some online MBA programs no longer require the GMAT for admission. Or, the university may waive the GMAT requirement if your undergraduate GPA is above a certain level, such as 3.25 or 3.4.

Some of the advantages of earning an online MBA without a GMAT requirement include:

  • Flexibility: Most professionals who are considering an MBA have a full time job and may also have a family. Traditional, full time MBA programs can be very challenging for some professionals to complete. However, most online MBA programs offer a great amount of convenience and flexibility. Some programs offer a combination of synchronous (live) classes, and asynchronous (recorded) classes that you can take on your own schedule.
  • Affordability: Some online MBA programs without a GMAT requirement can be more affordable than you might think. There are accredited, online MBA programs from major, non-profit universities that may cost less than $10,000 per year. There also are programs that cost $40,000 or $50,000 per year. In any case, it is possible to get through MBA school online with a quality degree at a reasonable price, if you shop carefully.
  • Technology: Modern online MBA programs typically feature cutting edge business technology. This makes learning online an immersive and effective experience for most learners. Many universities feature innovative online platforms such as ANGEL and Adobe that are very dynamic and interactive.
  • Diversity: A major plus of online MBA programs is that the student body often comes from around the country and the world. For example, Arizona State University has a solid online MBA program that often has a very diverse class, from managers at Fortune 500 companies to Air Force pilots and law school students. You will be able to connect and network with students with very different perspectives.
  • International Opportunities: Many online MBA programs have gained a high level of success and prestige. They often attract international students, and may also feature overseas immersion activities, such as the MBA program at the University of North Carolina. These immersive experiences can be extremely beneficial for your career progression.

No GMAT For Experienced Professionals

More online universities – both non-profit and for-profit – are admitting students into their MBA programs without taking the GMAT. The number of universities across the US that do not require this exam is growing.

Research indicates that a high GMAT score does not necessarily mean the student has the skills that are critical to succeed in MBA school: personal drive, strong self-discipline, and excellent business and communication skills.

Having the option of skipping the GMAT is great for experienced professionals; it saves you weeks or months of prep time, as well as the expense of classes and the exam cost itself.

Many universities today may still have a GMAT requirement, but may waive it if you have, for example, more than five or seven years of related business experience.

Career Choices With an Online MBA Without GMAT

An online MBA provides you with many lucrative and rewarding career opportunities. The MBA has been shown over the decades to lead to a higher salary, better jobs, more promotions and additional job security.

Poets & Quants, for example, reported in 2021 that MBA graduates from top b-schools who entered the job market in 2020 received starting offers over $136,000, more than 3 percent higher than the previous year.

Some of the best job opportunities for MBA graduates today are in these professions:

  • Management Analyst: Propose innovative ways to improve the efficiency and profitability of a company or other organization. They offer advice to executives and managers about how to make the organization more profitable by reducing its costs and boosting revenues. Some management analysts are employed by the company that they are analyzing; others work for large consulting companies on a contract for a certain time period. Job demand will rise by a strong 11% by 2029, as greater competition makes companies seek ways to improve efficiency. Median salary is $85,260 as of May 2019.
  • Operations Research Analyst: Use complex mathematical and analytical methods to assist organizations to solve their business problems and to make better business decisions that increase profits. Help executives to better decide how to allocate scarce resources, devise production schedules, effectively manage the supply chain, and establish competitive but profitable prices. For instance, they may help the company determine how to best organize items in grocery stores to increase profits. Job demand is outstanding with 25% growth anticipated by 2029. Median salary is $84,810.
  • Top Executive: Executives for companies create strategies and policies to increase profits and efficiency, and generally to meet company targets. They also are involved in planning, directing and coordinating various operational activities of the company. Top executives include CEOs, CIOs, COOs, general and operations managers. For non-profits, executives include city managers and county administrators. Job demand will rise by 4% by 2029, although it could be faster in certain business sectors. Median pay for executives was $104,690 in May 2019.

May 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics data for Financial ManagersOperations Managers, and Top Executives.  Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2021.

What Is a Great Online MBA Program?

If you think you want an online MBA without a GMAT requirement, what should you look for? How do you sort through all of the different programs? What features should you look for and which ones do you avoid? Below are some good tips to help you to choose a good MBA program:

Is an Online MBA Right for You?

Are you able to work productively on your own? Can you finish school and job assignments without someone breathing down your neck? Are you strongly self-motivated? Is your work and personal schedule such that you cannot go to a campus-based program? If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, an online MBA is probably a good fit for you. It is very important that you are a strongly self-motivated and self-disciplined person so that you get the most out of your online MBA classes.

Is the MBA Program Accredited?

It is very important that the MBA program has been accredited by a respected accreditation body. We will provide more details about accreditation bodies below. Suffice it to say that the most well-known business school accreditation body at this time is AACSB International, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Accreditation is critical for MBA programs so that you and your possible employers know that you have earned a high quality business degree.

How Is the Loan Default Rate? 

Many experts contend that the loan default rate for an MBA program is a good indicator of the ability of graduates to obtain a job that pays well enough to service their loan debt. A high default rate suggests that graduate have struggled to get a job, or the price of the education was higher than the salary level of the job could support. Students should know that some of the best-known, highly rated MBA programs may not always be the ‘best’ in terms of debt load vs. potential salary. According to Poets & Quants, average starting offers for MBA grads from top business schools looked like this in 2020:

  • Stanford: $159,544
  • UC-Berkeley: $139,122
  • Dartmouth: $143,867
  • Cornell: $138,767
  • Duke: $135,935
  • University of Southern California: $132,844
  • University of North Carolina: $126,957
  • Georgetown: $128,162
  • Georgia Tech: $121,045

Does MBA Program Have Strong Student Engagement?

Taking a distance MBA program means that you will not be on campus most of the time. But this does not mean that you should accept not being engaged in the program and the various student support options on campus.

The best online MBA programs are successful in getting students engaged and active in their classes. Being engaged in active learning is critical to really learning the MBA material. Good online MBA programs offer excellent opportunities for interacting with students and professors.

A good MBA program will feature strong student engagement, such as professors who are easy to contact and respond quickly to inquiries. These programs also give online students the same access to student and career support services as campus based students.

How Are the Networking Opportunities?

One of the major benefits of attending MBA school is networking with students, professors and alumni to enhance career options. Top online MBA programs typically have a large, engaged alumni organization that is a good resource for current students. Alumni groups that are engaged can help you to find a job or to connect you with others who can further your career and educational development.

Top programs make strong, regular efforts to provide online MBA students with ample networking opportunities; these can be both online and at campus-based intensive sessions that occur over the two year program.

AACSB or ACBSP Accreditation?

As we noted earlier on this page, program accreditation is a vital issue to consider in your online MBA program. Students should know for certain that they are earning a high quality MBA degree so that they can get the most career benefit.

The most well-known business program accreditation agency today is AACSB International. If the program has been accredited by this organization, it means that it has withstood a very tough and rigorous, two year process of accreditation. You know that the program you are taking is high quality business education.

Another business accreditation body is the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or ACBSP. Each body has different standards when it comes to evaluating business programs.

The AACSB stresses faculty research as it evaluates the program. The ACBSP focuses more on what it terms ‘teaching excellence and educational outcomes’

Business education authorities report that both AACSB and ACBSP accreditation have a place in the field. They also note that professionals whose career is more research-focused may be better suited to an AACSB-accredited program. Professionals interested more on teaching business principles may look for an ACSBP-accredited program.

So, which accreditation is ‘better’? It is worth remembering that in terms of recognition, AACSB accreditation wins hands down; it has been around for many decades. The AACSB has only been in existence for 30 years.

How Selective is the MBA Program?

Many online MBA programs no longer require GMAT scores, but they still are often quite selective; they simply look at factors other than the GMAT score:

  • GPA: A 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work is often the minimum standard.
  • Writing sample: Your writing level should be very high, especially in the more selective MBA programs.
  • Letters of recommendation: Two or three are usually needed, from both academic and employment sources.
  • Personal interview: More prestigious programs may want to do a telephone or Skype interview
  • Number of years of work experience: Selective programs often want only experienced business professionals. In its ranked schools, US News and World Report typically notes the average years of experience of students admitted into the program; more is typically better.
  • Resume: Your work experience noted on your resume should show at least three years of business related experience on a full time basis.

How Important Are Rankings?

Anyone looking at online MBA programs will notice programs that are highly ranked in surveys by US News and World Report and other major national publications.

Those rankings are worth considering, but there are other important factors to consider; we earlier mentioned the importance of starting salary vs. debt load. US News and World Report also reports results on these areas:

  • Professor training and credentials: This indicates how well teachers are trained to educate online MBA students.
  • Technology and student services: How much career, academic and financial support online students receive. Some schools short change online students, while the best online programs do not.
  • Student engagement: How pleased students are with how responsive professors are to their questions and concerns.
  • Selectivity: The more selective the program may suggest that the program is better quality.
  • Peer assessment: Indicates if other colleges hold that program in high regard or not.

Yes, rankings are worth considering. But it is more important to dig deeper into the data to determine if the school will serve your particular needs well.

List of Online MBA Programs without GMAT

The following list of universities offer an accredited Online MBA program without the GRE or a waiver if certain criteria such as GPA and work experience requirements are met:

Cost legend:
$ = up to $30,000, $$ = $30,001 to $60,000, $$$ = $60,001 to $90,000, $$$$ = over $90,001

1North Greenville University88.72Yes$
2Kettering University86.25Yes$$
3Ohio University82.75Yes$$
4Florida Atlantic University80.18Yes$$
5University of Nebraska — Lincoln79.31Yes$
6Boise State University79.23Yes$$
7Texas Southern University (Jones)79.22Yes$$
8West Texas A&M University78.65Yes$
9American University (Kogod)78.63Yes$$
10Florida International University78.56Yes$$
11Ball State University78.37Yes$
12Missouri State University77.46Yes$
13Tennessee Technological University77.43Yes$
14University of South Florida — St. Petersburg (Tiedemann)77.27Yes$
15Longwood University76.43Yes$
16Georgia College & State University (Bunting)76.33Yes$
17Lamar University76.02Yes$
18Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (Grove)75.68Yes$
19Morehead State University75.62Yes$
20East Carolina University75.48Yes$
21University of Wyoming74.8Yes$
22University of North Texas74.75Yes$
23Xavier University74.59Yes$$
24Ottawa University — Online74.53Yes$
25Clarion University of Pennsylvania74.49Yes$
26Western Kentucky University (Ford)74.43Yes$
27Washington State University74.25Yes$
28Sam Houston State University74.22Yes$
29University of Wisconsin — Oshkosh74Yes$
30Lehigh University73.68Yes$$
31Northeastern University73.66Yes$$$
32Baldwin Wallace University73.58Yes$$
33University of Colorado — Colorado Springs73.21Yes$
34University of Delaware (Lerner)72.55Yes$$
35University of Baltimore72.52Yes$
36Rowan University (Rohrer)72.12Yes$$
37Colorado State University71.91Yes$$
38Widener University71.66Yes$$
39California State University — San Bernardino71.63Yes$$
40University of Massachusetts — Amherst (Isenberg)70.96Yes$$
41Quinnipiac University70.44Yes$$
42University of Arizona (Eller)70.34Yes$$
43University of Texas — Dallas70.12Yes$$
44Southern Illinois University — Carbondale67.97Yes$$
45Portland State University65.31Yes$$
46Drexel University64.66Yes$$$
47Temple University (Fox)64.49Yes$$
48George Mason University63.59Yes$$$
49Suffolk University63.21Yes$$$
50St. Joseph’s University (Haub)62.78Yes$$$
51George Washington University57.58Yes$$$
52University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill56.3Yes$$$$
53McKendree University53.36No$
54Belhaven University52.77No$
55Columbia College51.73No$
56Northwest Nazarene University51.36No$
57Bethel University51.3No$
58College of St. Scholastica50.77No$
59Tabor College49.69No$
60City University of Seattle49.55No$$
61William Woods University47.39No$
62John Brown University43.29No$

Top 5 Recommended Online MBA Programs

The following schools are featured recommended partners who offer a fully accredited ACBSP or AACSB online MBA programs without a GMAT requirement:

#1 Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University’s AACSP-accredited program provides experienced business professionals with the chance to attain the business management knowledge and expertise they need to become real business leaders.

This two year, online, no GMAT MBA provides students with proven strategies to plan, organize and control work in businesses. You also will learn to direct, coach and motivate workers to boost performance.

CTU’s MBA program was named as one of the best online programs by US News and World Report.

The core education consists of courses in managerial accounting; leadership and ethics; and human capital management. Common concentration courses include financial reporting; marketing in the digital age; IT management and entrepreneurial strategy.


  • University Type: Non-Profit
  • Campus Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado; online
  • Accreditation: ACBSP
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: Online MBA
  • Concentrations: Project management, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, technology management, marketing, finance
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No
  • Work Experience: 4 years
  • Financial Aid Offered: Grants, scholarships, tuition reimbursement, military discount, corporate alliances grants
  • Request Free Enrollment Info: Colorado Technical University

#2 Southern New Hampshire University

Earn an affordable online, no GMAT MBA that provides you with the freedom and specialized business skills to move into various industries, departments and locations. Graduates have developed the skills to revitalize corporations, created more sustainability in small and large businesses, and taken their deserved place in the global marketplace as an experienced and educated MBA professional.

The modern business world requires skilled business management professionals to be flexible and able to adapt to a quickly changing world, and to handle limited resources and fierce competition.

The Southern New Hampshire University online MBA program offers 20 concentrations so that you can customize your education to match your career goals. Each concentration usually is three courses. The entire MBA program can be completed full-time in a year for some students.


  • University Type: Non-Profit
  • Campus Location: Manchester, New Hampshire online
  • Accreditation: ACBSP
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: Online MBA
  • Concentrations: Accounting, Athletic Administration, Business Intelligence, Community Economic Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Forensic Accounting, Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, Information Technology Management, Internet Marketing, Justice Studies, Leadership, Marketing, Music Business, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Public Administration, Quantitative Analysis, Six Sigma, Social Media, Sport Management Online, Sustainability & Environmental Compliance, Workplace & Conflict Management
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No
  • Work Experience: None
  • Financial Aid Offered: Federal Pell grants, Iraq and Afghanistan service grants, Federal supplemental educational opportunity grant, state grants.
  • Request Free Enrollment Info: Southern New Hampshire University

#3 University of Dayton

The University of Dayton offers both a one year and two year online MBA program, depending upon your undergraduate and business background. Both programs will prepare you to become a highly skilled, well rounded business professional with the abilities to solve difficult business changes holistically and strategically.

Each online MBA course is taught by experienced professors in finance, economics, marketing, business intelligence and integrated business strategy.

The core of the program features 45 credits that may be completed in only a year and a half for some students. If you have several years of related work experience, you may be able to waive some of the foundation courses. Or, if you have a recent undergraduate degree in business, you may qualify to waive all foundation courses.

Each online business student must attend a minimum of two in-person immersions on the Dayton, Ohio campus.


  • University Type: Non-Profit
  • Campus Location: Dayton, Ohio; online
  • Accreditation: AACSB
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: one year and two year Online MBA (depending on undergraduate major)
  • Concentrations: Cyber security, finance, marketing
  • GMAT/GRE Required: Yes; waiver available for 3+ years of related business experience
  • Work Experience: None
  • Financial Aid Offered: Federal student loans, PLUS loans, military discounts, scholarships
  • Request Free Enrollment Info: University of Dayton

#4 Liberty University

The online MBA program at Liberty University will ready you to excel as a professional business leader. Students quickly enhance their career and salary potential in business management and in more than 10 concentrations.

Students find that they graduate with stronger management skills, and are able to stretch their knowledge base in corporate responsibility, entrepreneurship, legal issues, accounting, finance and more.

This online MBA program features regular group projects, where you will hone your managerial and teamwork skills, as you devise solutions to complicated business problems. Students also become intimately familiar with modern business research tools and scholarship that affect business administration.

The highly experienced staff strongly believes that maintaining high ethical standards in business is of great importance. This belief is infused throughout the 45 total credit hours of the program.

Students with a background and education in business find this program attractive because they can transfer up to 50% of the MBA’s program hours, if approved.


  • University Type: Non-Profit
  • Campus Location: Lynchburg, Virginia; online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, ACBSP
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: Online MBA
  • Concentrations: Marketing, leadership, accounting, criminal justice, healthcare management, HR, international business, project management, public administration, PR, international legal studies, American legal studies
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No
  • Work Experience: None
  • Financial Aid Offered: Military tuition assistance, military grants and scholarships, federal work study, grants, federal loans, book vouchers
  • Request Free Enrollment Info: Liberty University

#5 California University of Pennsylvania

For students who are interested in completing an online MBA in just a year, California University of Pennsylvania may be a good selection. This university offers an accelerated MBA program that can be completed full time in one year, for some students.

This program will provide you with the advanced skills you need to succeed in business in accounting, strategic management, corporate finance, business and marketing, business law, investment management, international business management, and quantitative methods.

Graduates of this program are currently working for such business and government-leading entities such as Bank of New York Mellon; PNC; US Department of Energy; Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, National City Bank, 84 Lumber and more.


  • University Type: Non-Profit
  • Campus Location: California, Pennsylvania; online
  • Accreditation: ACBSP (pending)
  • Tuition: Inquire
  • Degrees Offered: Online MBA
  • Concentrations: Entrepreneurship, business analytics, healthcare management
  • GMAT/GRE Required: No
  • Work Experience: None
  • Financial Aid Offered: Grants, scholarships, federal loans, federal work study.
  • Request Free Enrollment Info: California University of Pennsylvania