EMBA Programs That Don’t Require GMAT: Part 1

by on March 30th, 2014

Executive MBA programs differ from your traditional MBA programs in that they are geared toward professionals who are generally mid-career and are looking to further their position or company. For some EMBA applicants, the GMAT may be an additional time-consuming hurdle; or for other applicants, they may have received a score that was not quite as high as they had anticipated. But for EMBA applicants, there is good news: because the age and experience demographic of EMBA applicants differs from the traditional MBA applicant pool, several EMBA programs have eliminated the use of GMAT as part of the application. Below we highlight some of most competitive EMBA programs that, as an added plus, do not require GMAT.

Stern School of Business at New York University

Back in 2011, Stern School of Business joined the ranks of business schools to drop GMAT or GRE as a requirement for EMBA applicants. This move added Stern to the list of top 10 MBA programs to drop the requirement, along with Northwestern’s Kellogg, Chicago’s Booth, Michigan’s Ross, and USC’s Marshall. However, the decision to eliminate the GMAT was not taken lightly and was only done after a study showed that enrolled Stern EMBA test-takers did no better academically than enrolled Stern EMBA non-test-takers. Previously, Stern granted admission to EMBA students without GMAT due to a waiver policy in place. The study, however, proved to the admissions committee that GMAT was not an accurate display of a candidate’s ability and potential to excel in academia, and the GMAT requirement was eliminated altogether.

The Stern EMBA program is a rigorous 22-month program that challenges approximately 60 executives and professionals each term through courses in finance, leadership and strategy. Needless to say, the school’s location in the heart of New York City provides endless advantages to executives looking to broaden their professional network or remain close the their company hub. The average enrollee, who has approximately 14 years of work experience, will leave with a degree from one of the world’s most renowned universities, as well as an enhanced perspective and a much wider network of contacts. Because the program allows executives to complete their course of study only two classes at a time, graduates walk out of the program with expanded horizons, without having sacrificed company time.

Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Sloan School of Management more recently dropped their requirement for the GMAT. Similar to Stern, Sloan agreed that the requirement to take the GMAT put an undue stress on executive applicants, and that scores did not correlate with performance once accepted to the program. This news drew the excitement of many top executives looking to pursue an MBA, particularly those focused in any of Sloan’s specialized Action Learning Labs, such as the Global Entrepreneurship Lab or Sustainable Business Lab. However, it should be noted that applicants might want to take the GMAT if they feel their transcripts do not accurately represent their profile.

The MIT executive program is geared toward mid-level professionals who are either looking to make a pivotal change in their career or who are looking to increase their impactor both. MIT fosters and encourages innovation, creativity and leadership. Sloan’s EMBA students possess not only these key qualities, but also self-discipline and dedication to the betterment of oneself and the betterment of the world around them. Although the Sloan curriculum is intense and time-consuming, it is flexible enough to allow students to craft their classes around their work schedule. Classes typically meet every three weeks on Fridays and Saturdays, meaning that students will be able to directly apply their critical thinking to their work.

Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

Located near the business hub of metropolitan New York City, Cornell University is excellently situated to offers its students real-world applicability and a fantastic alumni network. With two top EMBA programthe Cornell Executive MBA and the Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBAJohnson provides classes not only through different locations and times to better suit students’ needs, but also through different delivery mediums, such as multi-point videoconferencing.

Several years ago, Johnson forfeited the GMAT requirement as well, citing the inability to accurately test an executive’s ability to perform based on a standardized test. The Johnson admissions committee instead looks at a myriad of qualities from applicants, including organizational experience, academic readiness, motivation, and the ability to contribute to the learning of others. This is great news for executives who may not have the time to brush up on basic skills required for the GMAT. That said, Johnson has noted that they “may” require some applicants to take the GMAT as additional evidence to support a candidate’s academic preparedness for the programmeaning, they may ask for a GMAT score if your current academic record is fairly sketchy.


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