Most MBA students are able to double their income within three years of graduation compared to their pre-MBA salaries. That’s a pretty powerful incentive to enroll in an MBA program ASAP. However, going to grad school when you’re already working full-time can present significant challenges.
That’s why many professionals are turning to online MBA programs—and these days, there are a host of excellent programs to choose from. Even better, there are a good number of programs that will allow you to get a waiver on graduate admission testing, removing at least one significant barrier to earning your MBA.
Best online programs with GMAT waivers
In this article, we’re going to present 18 online MBA programs with GMAT/GRE waivers that we believe are the best value for working professionals who would like to earn an advanced degree online while retaining their day jobs.
How our rankings work
Our data scientists took an in-depth look at 35 of the leading online MBA programs currently offered. Each program was evaluated based on hard numbers, including:
- Credentials of incoming students, including average GPAs, standardized test scores, and work experience.
- Program acceptance rate compared to other schools.
- Student career outcomes, including promotions and raises earned post-degree .
- Student finances relative to their education investment, including average student loan debt and average debt-to-income ratios after graduation.
- Quality of instruction based on ratios of full-time to part-time faculty and full-time to part-time faculty with terminal degrees.
- Student satisfaction, based on how many students said they achieved their primary and secondary reasons for attending the program, as well as how satisfied they were with career services.
- Consideration for students’ professional experience in granting GMAT and GRE waivers.
Each data point was assigned an individual numeric value between 1 and 30. After all the values were tabulated, we ranked each program based on its total score. Here are the schools that came out on top.
1. Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas (UT) at Dallas
This school grants a GMAT waiver for applicants who have:
- Earned a bachelor's from UT Dallas with a GPA above 3.5, or
- Earned a bachelor's from a school other than UT Dallas with a GPA above 3.6, or
- Earned a graduate degree with GPA above 3.6.
2. Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University (AU)
Applicants with a terminal degree may granted a GMAT waiver.
Learn more about this program.
3. Kelley School of Business at Indiana University (IU)
Applicant may be granted a GMAT waiver if they have:
- 5 years work experience, or
- An advanced degree, or
- An undergraduate or graduate degree from Kelley School of Business
4. Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California (USC)
Waiver requests are considered on an individual basis. Applicants can use this online form to outline their professional and academic achievements for USC before applying.
5. Lehigh University
Applicants with an academic doctorate, juris doctorate, or medical doctorate are automatically exempt from the GMAT/GRE.
Applicants without a terminal degree may apply for a waiver review if they meet at least one of the following conditions:
- They have 10 years of full-time professional experience, OR
- They have a master’s degree AND six years of full-time professional experience
6. Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at University of Delaware
Waivers are granted for applicants on a case-by-case basis.
7. University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Applicants may be eligible for a waiver if they have a terminal degree or seven years of related professional experience.
8. Hofstra University
Waivers are granted for applicants on a case-by-case basis based on relevant work experience.
9. D'Amore-McKim School of Business Northeastern University
Applicants who are approaching at least five years’ work experience may request a waiver review.
10. Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina
Applicants with six years of work experience are automatically exempt from the GMAT. Applicants with fewer than six years of work experience may request a waiver review based on an evaluation of:
- Prior degrees and certifications earned
- Prior coursework, grades, and rigor of programs completed
- Previous and current work experience
You can read the waiver policy here.
11. Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University
Applicants with four years of supervisory, leadership, or project management experience, may qualify for a waiver. Read the waiver policy here.
12. Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
Waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
13. University of Cincinnati Online
Applicants may be eligible for a waiver under the following conditions:
- Have at least three years of relevant professional experience and graduated from an accredited bachelor’s program with at least a 3.0 GPA
- Have seven or more years of relevant professional experience
- Graduated from a University of Cincinnati degree program within the last three years with a 3.5 GPA or better
- Have an active CPA certification or a terminal degree (such as a PhD, MD or JD)
- Have successfully completed a graduate degree in a relevant field
14. University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium
Eligible applicants may apply for a waiver review. Minimal requirements for consideration include:
- Holding a master’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution, or
- Having 15 years of work experience, including 10 in upper management, or
- Holding relevant professional certification
15. Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University
Terminal-degree holders may be eligible for a waiver. Other interested applicants may email their resume and transcripts to inquire about potential waivers.
16. Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Waivers may be offered to applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Hold a doctoral degree
- Hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.5 or above AND have at least five years’ work experience
- Have a minimum of 10+ years post-undergraduate professional work experience, overall undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher, and leadership and supervisory experience.
Read about GMAT requirements here.
17. George Washington University
Applicants with seven years of relevant work experience may apply for a waiver.
18. Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
Applicants with at least five years of professional work experience may be eligible for a GMAT waiver.