How to Earn a Syracuse Online MBA without GMAT or GRE Scores

The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the AACSB-accredited Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University has high standards for the students we admit. Although 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 Whitman School of Management, there is no GMAT requirement and no GRE requirement for online MBA program applicants who have five or more years of relevant professional experience.

Because Whitman’s online MBA program is designed for working professionals, the value of professional experience is quite high. We focus on professional 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.

“We look at your resume, your essay, what you want to do with the degree, and hear about a challenging situation you’ve faced in the workplace. We can look at how we feel you’re going to be successful in the program based on something other than just your standardized tests.”

—Amy McHale, assistant dean for master’s programs at Whitman

Who Qualifies for an MBA GMAT/GRE Waiver?

When evaluating potential MBA candidates, we look at their application as a whole. The resume and essay help us determine what our applicants want to do with their degree and how they have responded to situations in the workplace. When determining whether an applicant qualifies for a GMAT/GRE 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

No GMAT/GRE Required for Experienced Professionals

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

GMAT/GRE Waiver for Active Military or Veterans

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 GMAT or 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/GRE Waiver Eligibility Checklist

To apply for the online MBA program without GRE or GMAT scores, you must have a certain level of professional or military experience. The chart below breaks down the eligibility requirements for recent college graduates, corporate professionals, and military service members.

GMAT/GRE Waiver Eligibility Checklist
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

If your experience does not currently qualify you to apply without GMAT scores, be assured that your application will be reviewed holistically by the admissions committee from the AACSB-accredited Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

Determining GMAT/GRE Waiver Qualifications

Before submitting your application for the online business programs at Syracuse, please upload your professional or military resume to the program application or e-mail it directly to your admissions counselor. From there, the admissions committee will review the resume to determine if you meet the requirements for a GMAT/GRE waiver. Please ensure that your resume is up to date and accurately reflects at least five years of professional experience. For each item on your resume, provide your employer, position title, start and end dates, and a list of responsibilities. If there are gaps in your employment, please provide an explanation.

Note that while the admissions committee may approve a GMAT/GRE waiver, the application review board reserves the right to request exam scores from any applicant.

Apply for a GMAT/GRE Waiver Today

If you believe you are eligible for the GMAT/GRE waiver because you have five or more years of professional or military leadership experience, contact an admissions counselor today. You must have the waiver processed before finalizing your application so that you can submit your materials without GRE or GMAT scores.

Before you contact an admissions counselor, ensure that your resume is current and clearly shows at least five years of relevant experience.

GMAT Waiver FAQs

What is the GMAT for?
The GMAT is the Graduate Management Admission Test, and the GRE is the Graduate Record Examination. Whitman reviews standardized test scores, such as GMAT scores, as part of a holistic application to the 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 to ensure that applicants will be successful in the program and in the business world.

What does professional experience mean?
Whitman defines professional experience as time spent working in a business environment with significant individual and managerial responsibilities. Employers can be corporate or nonprofit.

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 GMAT waiver through the Whitman School of Management, we recommend taking the GMAT or GRE several months before applying to a graduate program to prepare and, if necessary, retake the test.

Which test should I take—the GMAT or the GRE?
Many business schools, including the AACSB-accredited Martin J. Whitman School of Management, 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 web site, applicants can take the GMAT once every 16 calendar days and no more than five times in a 12-month period. The test cannot be taken more than eight 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 you through the process of applying without submitting test scores. 

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.

A Flexible Admissions Process and Student Experience

The Whitman School seeks to provide maximum flexibility at all stages of earning your MBA online. In addition to providing GMAT and GRE waivers for eligible applicants during the admissions process, we provide a flexible student experience from your first day of classes through graduation. 

Students in the online program can choose from classes offered six days a week, including weekends, as well as class times in the mornings and evenings. The program also provides each student with a complimentary WeWork Global Access membership, which offers access to hundreds of quiet study spaces worldwide.

“The flexibility of the MBA@Syracuse program coupled with the reputation of a solid program with several prestigious alumni is the ideal program for me for a valuable graduate program.

The biggest selling point was the format of the program. The unique distance-learning environment will add to the feel of actually being inside a classroom while still affording me the opportunity to fit graduate studies into my busy professional and personal life.”

—Dave Bauer, Senior Program Manager, SRC
MBA@Syracuse adjunct professor and graduate (’16)