Why Our Online MBA Doesn't Require the GMAT

Though standardized test scores can play a role in evaluating an MBA student’s potential, extensive professional experience is an even better indicator of workplace success. At the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, we waive the GMAT and GRE requirement for Whitman online MBA program applicants who have five or more years of professional experience.

Because Whitman’s online MBA program is designed for working professionals, we focus on past experience as the prime indicator of program fit and predictor of future success. Whitman students bring their unique experiences and perspectives to the online classroom, facilitating a rich, collaborative learning environment.

Who Qualifies for the GMAT Waiver?

When evaluating potential MBA candidates, we look at their application as a whole. The résumé and essay help us determine what they want to do with the degree and how they have handled situations in the workplace. When determining whether an applicant qualifies for a GMAT waiver, we consider:

  • Professional and/or military experience
  • Leadership ability and potential
  • Accomplishments and coursework that demonstrate problem-solving and quantitative ability
  • Logic and critical-thinking skills
  • People skills

GMAT Waiver Eligibility at a Glance

GMAT Waiver Eligibility at a Glance
Applicant’s Background Applicant’s Experience May Qualify for Waiver?
Corporate professional 5+ years of work experience Yes
Corporate professional 1–4 years of work experience Test scores required
Recent college graduate 1 year of work experience Test scores required
Military service member 5+ years of work experience Yes
Military service member 2 years of service Test scores required

Start the Process Today

To learn more about MBA@Syracuse and speak to an admissions counselor about our GMAT waiver policy, request information today.

GMAT Waiver for Military Service

Military training develops many of the skills and traits that translate to success as a professional or entrepreneur, including comfort with autonomy and uncertainty, self-efficiency, ambition, a desire for achievement, and effective decision-making. For this reason, we allow military service members and veterans with five or more years of leadership experience to apply to our programs without submitting GMAT/GRE scores.


“Military service is one of the leading indicators of [business] success… They’ve got discipline. They’ve got a mission focus. They know how to operate and even thrive in chaos.”

—John Torrens, assistant professor of entrepreneurial practice at Whitman


GMAT Waiver FAQs

What is the GMAT for?

Whitman reviews standardized test scores as part of a holistic application to business school. GMAT and GRE scores help us evaluate a candidate’s potential to succeed in quantitative courses such as finance and accounting. GMAT and GRE scores are a way to predict an applicant’s MBA readiness and potential for business success.

Why take the GMAT?

Scores from either the GMAT or GRE are required as part of Whitman’s online MBA application for candidates who do not have a lot of experience in their professional work history. The scores help us evaluate quantitative skills.

What does professional experience mean?

Whitman defines professional experience as time spent working in a business environment with significant individual responsibilities. Employers can be corporate or nonprofit, but we are looking for applicants whose work experience demonstrates skills in independent problem solving, teamwork, personal accountability for results, critical thinking, some authority for decision making, time management, and management of individuals or teams.

When should I take the GMAT?

For candidates who do not qualify for a waiver, we recommend taking the GMAT or GRE several months before applying to a graduate program in order to prepare and, if necessary, retake the test.

Which test should I take — the GMAT or the GRE?

Many business schools, including Whitman, will accept scores from either test. The GMAT may be better for people with strong quantitative and analytical skills who excel at interpreting data to solve complex problems. The GRE math section tends to be more straightforward and includes a calculator for all quantitative problems. Test-takers with strong vocabularies may prefer the GRE.

How many times can I take the GMAT?

According to the official GMAT website, applicants can take the GMAT exam once every 16 calendar days and no more than 5 times in a 12-month period. The test cannot be taken more than 8 times total.

Securing a GMAT/GRE Waiver

To qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver when applying to Whitman’s online MBA program, contact an admissions counselor to walk through the process of applying without submitting test scores. Contact us by phone at 844-797-4622 or email us.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to request a standardized test score (GMAT or GRE) from any applicant. In rare cases during the review process, the Committee may not be able to make an informed decision solely on the information provided. In these cases, an admissions counselor will request a test score on the Committee’s behalf.