Online MBA Admissions Requirements by Program

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An MBA takes hard work and dedication, starting with the application process. While each school’s admissions requirements differ, commonalities exist, and knowing what to expect is the first step in making a proper first impression.

All MBA programs require a completed application and processing fee. Prospective students will also need to prepare official transcripts from previous education, preferably with a competitive GPA and a bachelor’s degree in business, management, or another related field. Professional or executive work experience is always encouraged, and many programs ask applicants to submit a current resume along with their application.

Many programs ask for GMAT scores but may waive this requirement under certain conditions, usually based on relevant work experience. International students typically need to provide strong TOEFL scores in their application. A personal statement of one’s goals for study, one or more essays, and letters of recommendation are all standard requirements. In addition to the above, prospective students may need to have an interview with program faculty as part of the application process.

Outside of the standard requirements, there are other factors to consider. Executive MBA programs may ask for several more years of professional experience than traditional programs. Advanced standing MBAs or dual degree programs may necessitate additional prerequisites. However, concentration tracks like marketing, finance, or healthcare will not necessarily have different admissions criteria, but they may include course prerequisites in the concentration area.

Featured MBA Programs
Maryville University Master of Business Administration View Full Profile
Washington State University Master of Business Administration View Full Profile
Purdue University Global Online MBA View Full Profile
Rice University MBA@Rice Online MBA View Full Profile
University of California, Davis Online MBA (MBA@UCDavis) View Full Profile
University of Miami Online Master of Business Administration View Full Profile
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Admissions requirements vary from program to program and can even change from year to year, so official websites may not be entirely up-to-date. In all cases, it is best to get in touch with a program representative to ascertain what is required.

The following is a list of 30 MBA programs in the United States and their respective GPA, GMAT, work experience, and other requirements.

School GPA minimum GMAT Required? Work experience Other Requirements
American University None No No Resume, transcripts, two essays, and two letters of recommendation
Arizona State University 3.0 No No Resume, program-specific admission essay, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
Benedictine University 2.75 No No Resume, a letter of intent, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts
Calvin University 3.0 Required if GPA is below 3.0 No official transcripts and a 500-word response to the application question “Why have you chosen to pursue graduate studies, and to do so at Calvin University?”
George Mason University 3.0 No No Resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement
Johns Hopkins University (Flexible MBA) 3.0 Waiver available Not required. However, it may be required for a GRE or GMAT exam waiver Resume, official transcripts, two essays, and one letter of recommendation
Maryville University 3.0 No No Resume, official transcripts, and a personal letter explaining qualifications for graduate work
New Jersey Institute of Technology 3.0 Waiver available No Resume, personal statement, and one letter of recommendation
Northeastern University 3.0 No At least five years Resume, official transcripts, two letters of professional recommendation, and one essay
Norwich University 2.75 No No Resume, official transcript, statement of purpose, and one to two letters of recommendation
Ohio University 3.0 No Two to five years Resume, official transcripts, statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation
Pepperdine University None No At least two years Resume, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, and one letter of recommendation
Queens University None No Three years of work experience is preffered Resume, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation and a personal statement
Seton Hall University 3.0 Waiver available No, but more than five years of related work experience is required for GMAT/GRE waiver Resume, official transcripts, statement of purpose, and one letter of recommendation
Southern New Hampshire University 2.75 No No Contact school rep for more information
Syracuse University 3.0 No Three or more years Resume, interview, official transcripts, two personal essays, and two letters of recommendation
The George Washington University (Healthcare MBA) None Waiver available At least three years Statement of purpose, official transcripts, resume, and two letters of recommendation
The University of Scranton 3.0 No At least three years Resume, official transcripts, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation
University of Alabama Birmingham None Waiver available No, but two to four years is preferred Two reference letters or evaluation forms, plus resume and official transcripts
University of Dayton None No No Essay, personal statement, official transcripts, and one letter of recommendation
University of Dayton (Accelerated) None Waiver available No Essay, personal statement, and one letter of recommendation
University of Denver None Optional At least two years Resume, transcripts, interview, two to three essays, three letters of recommendation
University of Maryland 3.0 Optional No, but two to four years is preferred Resume, essay, plus letter of recommendation
University of North Carolina None Waiver available At least two years Resume, transcripts, three essays, personal interview, and two letters of recommendation
Villanova University None Yes No Multiple essays, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation
Washington State University 3.0 Waiver available No Statement of purpose, resume, three letters of recommendation, and official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
Washington State University (Executive) 3.0 Waiver available At least five years of management, senior management, or executive experience Letter of organizational support, resume, statement of purpose, organizational summary, organizational chart, interview, three letters of recommendation
Widener University 2.7 Waiver available No Statement of purpose, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
Winthrop University None Waiver available At least five years Contact school rep for more information

Impact of Covid-19 on GMAT Test Waivers

When Covid-19 started spreading out across the globe in 2020, business schools were forced to readjust their admissions requirements. Several countries closed down their standardized testing centers where aspiring MBA applicants would otherwise visit to take GRE or GMAT exams. Candidates could not visit campuses for face-to-face interviews and were forced to submit applications without their testing scores.

In response to this, business schools started adding unprecedented flexibility to their admission requirements. This flexibility included transitioning to online admission, waiving GMAT or GRE test scores, moving program start dates, and shifting application deadlines. Schools also started to conduct virtual admission interviews and held orientation events online.

As a result, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the administrator and owner of the GMAT, started the GMAT Online Exam, allowing business school candidates to complete their applications during this pandemic. Applicants can register to take this exam at home with around-the-clock testing appointments available through 2022.

As mentioned in the table above, several schools such as Winthrop University, Widener University, University of North Carolina, and Seton Hall University are now offering GMAT waivers to candidates who request them. However, it is important to note that some schools may return to accepting GMAT or GRE scores after the disruption of this pandemic is nearly over.

Matt Zbrog
Matt Zbrog
Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and freelancer who has been living abroad since 2016. His nonfiction has been published by Euromaidan Press, Cirrus Gallery, and Our Thursday. Both his writing and his experience abroad are shaped by seeking out alternative lifestyles and counterculture movements, especially in developing nations. You can follow his travels through Eastern Europe and Central Asia on Instagram at @weirdviewmirror. He’s recently finished his second novel, and is in no hurry to publish it.

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