top MBA programmes
Some MBA programmes do not require the GMAT, but others do if candidates do not meet certain criteria. Source: Ben Stansall/AFP

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is used to apply to business schools. It has three sections: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning. Traditionally, top MBA programmes require the GMAT. However, many business schools have also been making them test-optional in response to the pandemic. 

Top MBA programmes that don’t require the GMAT can be highly alluring for aspiring business students. For starters, students can easily save US$250, as well as their time and effort in taking the exam and sending in their results. 

Despite this, it’s worth noting that some business schools are relying on other methods of evaluating students, including their experience and relevant scholarly research.

In Europe, many institutions encourage students to take the GMAT, but not all of them require it. Meanwhile, in Australia (one of the top five study abroad destinations for their MBA programmes), some popular unis don’t require the GMAT as they may also emphasise one’s work experience.

Below, we take a look at some of the top MBA programmes in the UK, US, and Australia that don’t require the GMAT, unless candidates do not meet certain criteria:

The US

Some of the top MBA programmes in the US that don’t require the GMAT or GRE can be found in the following schools: 

Suffolk University: Suffolk’s MBA programme focuses on collaboration and innovation alongside immersive learning. While the GMAT is not a requirement, your application should include your resume, goal statement, a two-minute video essay (answering a prompt provided), a letter of recommendation, official TOEFL or IELTS and details of your professional experience.

University of Virginia Darden School of Business: Its website that a test score may not be needed for our Admissions Committee to assess their preparedness for UVA’s Darden School of Business. Waiver applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Particular regard will be given for indicators of academic and professional accomplishment, it said.

Northwestern University: The admission committee at the Kellogg School of Management would only require the GMAT if they see problem areas in your application. They would also need to see a bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university. The admission committee would then evaluate your scholastic ability, personal character, motivation, leadership ability, interpersonal skills, career performance and management potential. 

The UK

Some of the top MBA programmes you can enrol for in the UK without GMAT scores include:

University of Reading: The Henley Business School offers an Executive MBA that requires three years of management experience, a good first degree, proof of English language proficiency, and access to company data for assignment purposes. 

Birmingham City University: To get an MBA from this university under a two-year programme, a good honours degree, demonstrated numeracy and adequate preparation in economics and accounting is needed. Along with that, three years of full-time work experience at a managerial position and IELTS is also required. Although the GMAT is not a necessity, it’s welcomed in the application process. 

Middlesex University: To apply for an MBA at Middlesex, you typically need a second-class honours degree along with two or more years of relevant business experience. If you don’t have an honours degree or professional qualifications, you’ll be required to have a GMAT score of a minimum of 550 points. The university notes that candidates who do not meet any of these requirements may, in exceptional cases, be considered for admission where there is strong supporting education or experience. It will be at the discretion of the MBA Programme Leader.


Monash University: At Monash Business School, the on-campus MBA requires applicants to provide a bachelor’s degree, three years of work experience (one of them needs to be managerial) and high English language proficiency.

RMIT University: An MBA here requires a bachelor’s in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 1.0 for the two-year programme. For the one-and-a-half-year programme, students’ bachelor’s must be in a business-related discipline.

University of Technology Sydney: The requirements for UTS’ MBA includes a with credit average; or a degree plus work experience, or a degree plus GMAT with an overall minimum score of 550. For an Executive MBA, a degree with six years of managerial experience is required along with a successful interview with the course director.