The Best Online MBAs — No GMAT Required

Online MBAs with no GMAT are becoming increasingly popular. This guide explores the features of top no-GMAT MBA programs and business schools.
By
portrait of James M. Tobin
James M. Tobin
Read Full Bio

Contributing Writer

James M. Tobin is a writer, researcher, and editor specializing in student reference and academic research materials related to business, finance, law, technology, and the humanities. He began his professional career in editorial services in 2001 and...
Updated on April 24, 2024
Edited by
portrait of Valerie Black
Valerie Black
Read Full Bio

Editor, Business Education

Valerie Black has over 12 years of experience as a professor and 10 years in journalism. She empowers students to leverage the resources that are available but not easily accessible. Her focus is in online education, rich content, and digital storyte...
Reviewed by
portrait of Angélica S. Gutiérrez, Ph.D.
Angélica S. Gutiérrez, Ph.D.
Read Full Bio

Reviewer & Writer

Dr. Angélica S. Gutiérrez is an associate professor of management at Loyola Marymount University who has been recognized as one of the "World's Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors" by Poets&Quants. Her research explores the impact of imposter...
Learn more about our editorial process

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

Online MBA programs with no GMAT requirements increasingly appeal to business students. In a post-pandemic economy marked by instability, uncertainty, and soaring consumer costs, saving money is a top priority. Aspiring MBA students can save hundreds of dollars by not taking the exam.

Savings also extend to time, which is in short supply for many working professionals. Most top-scoring test-takers spend more than 120 hours preparing for the GMAT. That represents about three full working weeks. Many MBA candidates simply do not have that kind of time to spare.

According to Franklin University, the number of online MBA programs in the United States doubled from 2014-2018. This highlights the growing popularity of earning an advanced business degree online.

This program guide focuses specifically on online MBAs with no GMAT requirement. Find highly regarded online MBA programs that don't require test scores, and learn more about MBA program features.

Qualities of a Great Online MBA Program


High-quality online MBA programs share multiple critical features. These include:

  • Check Circle

    Institutional Accreditation

    You should only consider programs at schools accredited by organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • Check Circle

    Programmatic Accreditation

    Unlike institutional accreditation, programmatic accreditation is optional. Some online MBAs hold specialized accreditation credentials that indicate elevated program quality or deep coverage of academic concentrations. Agencies like the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredit MBA programs.
  • Check Circle

    Professor Credentialing

    In quality MBA programs, accomplished and experienced professionals with advanced academic credentials teach courses. Reputable business schools often recruit faculty members with extensive and relevant experience.
  • Check Circle

    Resource Availability

    Ideally, online MBA programs should support career development through networking and recruitment opportunities. Good programs also link students with academic advisors and faculty mentors, who can help guide them through the school-to-job pipeline.

When assessing your program options, evaluate these factors alongside other key considerations. These include school and program reputation, tuition and other costs, program length, and available specializations.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Should I Skip the GMAT?

Business schools increasingly offer online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement. However, this does not necessarily mean that you can or should skip taking the GMAT if you can afford to do so. Instead, weigh the pros and cons of bypassing the GMAT with a full understanding of how it could impact your MBA journey.

The GMAT assesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to succeed as an MBA student, and in your future business career. However, the exam is not a definitive standalone indicator of whether you have what it takes to earn an MBA or succeed professionally.

By foregoing the GMAT, you will save:

  • Hundreds of dollars in exam fees
  • Hundreds or thousands of dollars in prep courses and study materials
  • Dozens of hours of time that you would otherwise have spent studying and preparing

However, many top MBA programs continue to prefer or require that applicants submit GMAT scores. Also, some scholarships and internships may require GMAT scores. If you elect not to take the GMAT, you may not qualify for these opportunities. In test-optional situations, you could face a competitive disadvantage relative to candidates who did take the exam.

Top Colleges With Online MBAs and No GMAT Requirement

According to Franklin University, the number of online MBA programs in the United States doubled from 2014-2018. We have compiled a list of nonprofit and for-profit institutions that offer this degree program with no GMAT requirement. Use the table below to compare the average net price and program length at each school.

Online MBA Programs – No GMAT
School Location Average Net Price Program Length
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC $125,589 18-36 months
University of Florida Gainesville, FL $48,000 (one-year program); $58,000 (two-year program) 1-2 years
William & Mary Williamsburg, VA $67,000 two years or more
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL $23,000 24-60 months

Top Schools With the Best Online MBAs and No GMAT Requirement

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill's online MBA program is hosted at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, which has name recognition nationwide. This AACSB-accredited online MBA with no GMAT requirement offers six concentrations: data analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, leadership and management, marketing, and strategy.

The rigorous curriculum includes two immersive experiences branded as "summits." These take place at the UNC campus and at major international cities. The summits — outstanding networking and professional development opportunities — are the program's only in-person requirements.

UNC promotes some impressive student outcome statistics. According to the program website, graduates receive average salary increases of 24%. Within five months of completing the degree, alumni typically earn compensation packages valued at more than $159,000 per year.

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers two online MBA options designed for busy people and working professionals. For learners seeking a fast track to graduation, the school offers a one-year (16-month) accelerated online MBA. Students who need more scheduling flexibility or prefer a slower pace can choose the two-year (24-month) option.

Both programs feature deep, rigorous curricula that develop sharp, relevant, and versatile business management skills with cross-industry transferability. The University of Florida limits class sizes to 65 students, giving learners plenty of opportunities to benefit firsthand from their instructors' expertise.

This online MBA has no GMAT requirements. However, applicants need at least two years of relevant, full-time professional experience to qualify for admission.

William & Mary

Virginia-based William & Mary hosts an acclaimed online MBA program through its Raymond A. Mason School of Business. In addition to a strong core business curriculum, the program offers students built-in opportunities to enhance their data analytics skills.

Learners can register for course sequences covering advanced approaches to probability, statistics, and the Python and R programming languages. Alternatively, students can add an optional 12-credit certificate in business analytics.

Graduates have great things to say about the program: 96% rate their satisfaction as "high" or "very high." And 99% would recommend this online MBA program with no GMAT requirement to others.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Offered through the Gies College of Business, this highly regarded online MBA program sports an unusually affordable price tag. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign makes it possible to earn an online MBA with no GMAT requirements for less than $24,000.

Students in the program enjoy enhanced control over their learning through customizable curriculum options. Thanks to self-pacing, learners can take anywhere from 24-60 months to complete their credit requirements.

According to the school, 61% of program participants earned a promotion, job offer, or a new professional position while they were enrolled. These career advancements carried an average salary increase of 22%.

Learning at the Gies College of Business follows a synchronous online format, but there are multiple start times for live lectures for added flexibility. Degree-seekers can choose from four start dates throughout the year: January, March, August, or October.

Common Questions About the Best Online MBAs With No GMAT Requirement

Can you get an MBA without taking the GMAT?

Yes. A growing number of reputable and prestigious business schools offer online MBAs with no GMAT requirement. Test-optional policies make MBAs more accessible and less expensive while helping students save hundreds of hours of test-prep time.

Many nationally ranked business schools offer MBA programs with test-optional admission policies. The ongoing shift toward exam-free admissions reflects an increased sensitivity to equity and educational accessibility concerns.

Applying to MBA programs with test-optional policies is the most efficient way to bypass exam requirements. Some business schools also offer GMAT waivers to eligible applicants. These waivers typically extend to candidates with particularly strong profiles or extensive experience.

Each school maintains its own waiver policies. Consult school-specific information to learn more.

The GMAT itself is not being phased out, but the exam changed in November 2023 to better assess critical reasoning skills and data literacy. The adjusted exam is a reflection of the ongoing institutional shift toward relaxed standardized testing requirements.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed April 16, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.