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MBA Without GMAT In Top Business Schools

The GMAT score forms an essential and significant component for admission in high ranked MBA programs worldwide. However in USA, UK/Europe and other locations, there are certain programs of Business Schools which do not require GMAT score as mandatory. There are some programs also which accept the GRE score instead of the GMAT and for some other programs both are not mandatory.

In the entire MBA application, aspirants focus more on preparing for GMAT exam in compare to other admission elements like the MBA essays, recommendations, interview preparation. So with good GMAT score, it improves the chances to apply the top business schools but to get admitted became tougher as admission committee focus on each elements of application. While a GMAT score is mandatory for many business school programmes, not all require the candidate to prove his strength only on the basis of the GMAT score.


Business Schools offering courses that don’t need a GMAT or GRE as mandatory, can be categorised into three groups:

1. Executive MBA programs
2. Full-time MBA programs
3. Online MBA programs

It is usually the executive programmes which offer an MBA without GMAT. However, these schools give high weightage to work experience of the candidate. Most of the business schools offering MBA without GMAT score do require the aspirants to have the following:

  1. Work experience: Work experience is considered the foremost element for admission to business schools which offer MBA without a GMAT score. Generally, different business schools have different work experience as their eligibility criteria for the program. However, students who want to go for an executive MBA have to support their application with 8-12 years or more of work experience which could also include a managerial position.
  2. A CV enlisting his professional details of having the experience essential to complete the course.
  3. Recommendation Letters: At least 2-3 reference letters from previous employers are required by the business schools to assess your potential in a managerial position. Recommendation letters are especially important for business school, as they offer peek into the aspirant’s potential.

READ ALSO: GMAT Gives Applicants A Competitive Edge Over GRE

Some of the Business Schools Best Programmes which offer MBA without GMAT

Duke Fuqua Global Executive MBA: This is a fifteen month duration program and comprises of five terms, two of which include a two-week residency on the main campus at Durham, NC, USA. The remaining three terms can be taken from a list of regions across the world and this residency would be divided between two cities. A minimum of ten years of work experience is required, the average being fifteen years.

Durham University Business School UK offers a 12 and 15 month MBA program with no GMAT requirement. A minimum of three years of management experience and IELTS score is needed to apply.

Global EMBA for Asia Pacific: This is a fifteen month long dual degree program developed by UCLA Anderson School of Management in collaboration with the National University of Singapore Business School (NUS). The curriculum comprises six two-week sessions held across four different countries: NUS in Singapore, UCLA in Los Angeles, as well as in Shanghai, China, and Bangalore, India. Candidates earn two MBA degrees, one from UCLA and the second from NUS.

HEC Paris executive MBA: One of the best executive programmes in the world, HEC Paris offers an 18 month long programme in Doha, Paris, Beijing and Shanghai. While HEC does accept GMAT score, it is not a mandatory element for admission to the programme. In fact, HEC has its own aptitude test – HEC Paris General Management Test which includes a case study preparation followed by a presentation. While it is not mandatory but the average years of experience for most candidates joining the course is 9 years.

Imperial College Business School, London offers a global MBA program that requires five years of work experience and English language test results but no GMAT.

ISB Post Graduate Programme in Management for Senior Executives: The Indian School of Business offers the PGPMAX which is an executive MBA level program for those with 10-25 years work experience. This is a classroom based program held at both Hyderabad and Mohali campus. The GMAT score is not a requirement for this program.

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Johnson Cornell Executive MBA: The Cornell Executive MBA is a 22 month-long program and requires candidates with a minimum of 5-7 years of work experience, the average being 12 years. There are four residence sessions on the university campus in addition to classes being held on every other Saturday and Sunday.

Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA Program: The Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA Program or KHEMBA is a combined degree by Kellogg school and the Hong Kong University of Science Technology’s school of business and management. The degree has been repeatedly ranked the top EMBA programmes in the world by major ranking platforms. The programme has over 800 participants from across the world. Candidates need to have around 14 years of experience to qualify for the programme.

Middlesex University Dubai: requires applicants to have a minimum of three years experience and a relevant undergraduate degree to be able to apply.

MIT Executive MBA: The MIT Sloan School of management’s EMBA program is a 20 month long general management program. Classes are held once in three weeks with 26 such sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. Applicants need to have a minimum of ten years of work experience.

Northwestern University Kellogg Executive MBA: This program requires you to have at least eight years of work experience with an average of 12-15 years. It spans over two years and covers all aspects of general management.

Norwich University online MBA: program can be completed in around 18 months time. An undergraduate degree with a TOEFL/IELTS score is required to apply.

NYU Stern executive MBA: The New York University Stern executive MBA is a 22-month long programme. One of the USPs of the programme is that Stern has a strong network of alumni across the world. Besides, the programme also offers a global management curriculum with two international study tours. Its usual classes have students with average 14 years of work experience including 9 years of managerial experience.

READ Too: Student Loan Options To Fund MBA In US

Oxford Executive MBA: The Said Business School offers the EMBA program running in a week-long module throughout the entire duration of 21 months. The GMAT score may be waived for candidates with more than ten years of management experience at the discretion of the admissions committee, but those with lesser experience are required to submit the GMAT score.

Ohio University Online MBA: program requires a bachelor’s degree with 2 to 5 years of work experience, 3 letters of recommendation and no GMAT.

Tsinghua-INSEAD Dual Degree Executive MBA (TIEMBA): A collaboration between two of the top business schools in the world- Tsinghua University School of Economics & Management and INSEAD, gave shape to one of the best EMBA degrees in the world- TIEMBA. TIEMBA allows the candidate to graduate with two degrees after 18 months of the course of which 12 weeks are on the campus. While GMAT is accepted for admission, it is not necessary. Aspirants can also take the TIEMBA Entrance Exam which is held at centers across the world. Aspirants need a minimum of 8 years of experience to qualify for admission.

UCLA – NUS Executive MBA: The UCLA – NUS MBA provides two MBA degrees from both UCLA, USA and NUS, Singapore. A typical UCLA – NUS class consists of 45 students; 59% of whom are from Asia. The school has a very intense interview round and require at least 12 -19 years of experience to be offered a place.

University of Central Lancashire: offers a 12-month full-time MBA program. An IELTS or TOEFL score is required however taking the GMAT is not necessary.

University of Canberra: offers an MBA to candidates having a bachelor’s degree in a related field without work experience or in an unrelated field with three years experience.

University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business offers a flexible 21 month online MBA program. A minimum of 2 years work experience is needed. GMAT waiver is offered to those with a good career record and excellent analytical and quantitative skills.

University of Liverpool Online MBA requires a bachelor’s degree with a three year relevant work experience and TOEFL/IELTS score.

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