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Earning a master of business administration (MBA) can help professionals advance into management roles and increase their earning potential. Online MBA programs offer flexibility to help learners balance school with personal and professional responsibilities. GMAT requirements can create a barrier for working students, but many schools offer programs that confer an MBA with no GMAT requirement for applicants.
Learners without GMAT scores can apply to many reputable business schools. Some programs waive GMAT requirements for applicants with work experience or high GPAs. Other online MBA programs do not require standardized test scores, instead evaluating applicants on their academic and professional records.
Students in online MBA programs typically graduate in 1-2 years, depending on their enrollment status. MBA degree-seekers study organizational behavior, strategic management, and decision-making. This article introduces the most affordable online MBA programs that do not require GMAT scores. Prospective students can use our ranking to find a program that fits their schedule and budget.
What Can I Do With an MBA Degree?
An MBA trains graduates to analyze business data, create strategic plans, and implement improvements in a variety of industries. MBA graduates work in tech, marketing, healthcare, and manufacturing. In these fields, they help hospitals improve patient outcomes, speed up supply chains, and increase business profits.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many management occupations prefer to hire candidates with a master's degree. For example, human resources managers, who earn a median annual salary of over $116,000, need a graduate degree for the most competitive positions. Similarly, many employers prefer to hire financial managers, who earn a median annual salary of nearly $130,000, who hold a master's degree.
Earning an MBA can help professionals advance in their current career or begin a new one. In many fields, an MBA can speed up career advancement, since employers often treat the degree as the equivalent of several years of work experience.
Accreditation for an MBA Degree
Before applying to an online MBA program, students should research each prospective school's accreditation status. Accredited schools and programs meet the highest standards for educating students and granting degrees. To earn accreditation, institutions and programs undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency. During this review, the accrediting agency examines student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and graduation requirements.
Accreditation benefits students in important ways. Credits earned from accredited institutions are more likely to transfer to other schools, and most graduate programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Additionally, only students at accredited institutions can qualify for federal financial aid.
Business students should look for an accredited business school at a regionally accredited institution. Business schools can receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Students can check any school's accreditation status using the U.S. Department of Education's searchable database.
|Is an MBA a master's?||Yes, an MBA is a master of business administration. MBA programs offer advanced training in business and management.|
|What does someone with an MBA do?||Professionals with an MBA can work as managers, directors, and CEOs. The degree meets the educational requirement for positions as marketing managers, financial managers, and human resources managers.|
|How many years does it take to get an MBA?||Full-time students typically earn their MBA in two years. Some schools offer an online MBA program in an accelerated format, which learners often complete in about one year.|
|Can I do an MBA without the GMAT?||Yes, many schools offer an MBA with no GMAT requirement for applicants. Additionally, several prominent business schools offer GMAT waivers for applicants who meet certain requirements.|
What Are the Requirements for an MBA Degree?
Prospective MBA students typically need a bachelor's degree to gain admission. Learners can apply with a non-business undergraduate degree, but they may need prerequisite coursework in statistics, business, and economics. While some business schools require applicants to submit GMAT scores, others offer GMAT waivers or do not require standardized test scores.
Admission committees typically prefer applicants with both academic and professional experience. The applicant's statement of purpose and recommendation letters can help demonstrate experience. Some MBA programs require several years of work experience, and online MBA programs may conduct interviews as part of the admissions process.
Courses in an MBA Program
MBA coursework helps students strengthen their research and analytical skills. Degree-seekers take core business classes and electives in their focus area. Many programs offer concentration options in areas such as marketing, finance, human resources, and entrepreneurship. MBA students often complete a capstone project and an internship to gain hands-on experience. While each business school sets its own curriculum, MBA programs often include the following courses.
Most MBA programs include a core course in marketing, which examines the marketing process. Learners study strategic marketing planning, pricing strategies, and the role of surveys and data in determining customer demand. Students may use case studies to develop a strategic marketing plan. This course prepares learners for managerial roles in marketing and related fields.
Statistics for Management
Managers and executives increasingly rely on data analysis and statistics to make business decisions. This class covers topics including data collection, statistical interpretation, and the evaluation of statistical results. Students learn how to create statistical studies, conduct exploratory surveys, and assess confidence intervals and the quality of data analysis. The course prepares degree-seekers for supervisory and management roles.
This class examines the process of overseeing complex projects, including setting strategic goals, managing a team, and meeting deadlines. Coursework also explores various work structures, client expectations, and resource allocation issues. Learners may examine case studies, participate in team projects, and complete analytical assignments. Studies in project management prepare MBA students to pursue leadership roles and project management certification.
This course covers business principles and the best practices for making management decisions. Students learn how to analyze management problems, apply solutions, and evaluate strategic choices. Coursework also explores ethical challenges in management and the balance between social responsibility and meeting strategic goals. Some programs use the strategic management class as a capstone course. Graduates often apply strategic management knowledge to careers managing businesses and teams.
Certifications and Licensure for MBA Students
Professional certifications demonstrate advanced experience in specific areas. Earning a professional certification can help graduates stand out in the job market. Professionals can earn certifications to demonstrate mastery in areas including financial analysis, human resources, and project management. While many credentials require several years of work experience, a graduate degree in business typically meets educational requirements.
Chartered Financial Analyst
The CFA Institute offers this credential for experienced financial analysts. Candidates need a bachelor's degree and at least four years of full-time work experience. Candidates must pass three exams, which test knowledge in accounting, portfolio management, and financial analysis.
Human resources professionals can earn the SHRM-CP credential, which requires an MBA and human resources experience. Candidates take a computer-based, 160-question exam. Candidates with an MBA and several years of experience can qualify for the SHRM-senior certified professional credential.
Project Management Professional
The Project Management Institute offers the PMP credential for experienced project managers. Candidates need a bachelor's degree and must have completed at least 35 hours of project management education and three years of relevant professional experience. Candidates must also pass the PMP exam. According to the PMI, certified PMPs earn up to 25% more than non-certified professionals in the field.
Professional Organizations for MBA Students
Professional organizations can help MBA students build a network and prepare for the workforce. Many of these organizations offer career resources, including job boards and planning tools. Professional organizations often host local and national events, confer professional certifications, and distribute field-related publications.
AMA helps students and early-career professionals strengthen their skills and advance their careers. The association offers virtual training opportunities, certificate programs, and a Women's Leadership Center. Members can validate their qualifications by earning a management certification from AMA.
This professional association comprises marketing specialists. AMA provides resources including scholarly journals, new magazines, and networking opportunities. Members can participate in virtual trainings and conferences to develop skills and connect with colleagues. AMA also offers certifications, webinars, and chapter events for members.
SHRM advocates for human resources managers and provides professional certifications and resources to help HR managers advance professionally. The society offers information on benefits and compensation, labor relations, and talent acquisition. Members can also access career preparation and planning resources, career expert insights, and personalized professional development support.
EO represents business leaders and offers collaborative learning and networking opportunities. Founded in 1987, the organization hosts a forum through which business owners can share their experiences. EO also hosts local chapter events and organizes global events with learning programs. The organization's mentorship and executive education program helps young entrepreneurs build their careers.
MBA students can explore many scholarships to help cover the cost of their degree. Professional organizations, private foundations, and universities offer financial support for graduate business students. In addition to the following opportunities, applicants can search for scholarships based on their career plans and state.
Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports graduate students attending an accredited business program. Applicants must take at least six credits per term and must aspire to a career in fraud examination or a related field. Applicants submit official transcripts and two recommendation forms.
Who Can Apply: This fellowship program supports minority students who are pursuing an MBA and have an interest in finance. The foundation pairs scholars with finance firms to provide summer internship and career opportunities. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited MBA program full time.
Who Can Apply: The Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals awards this scholarship to graduate students considering careers in regulatory compliance. Applicants must be enrolled in a business-related program and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants submit a description of their academic achievements, leadership roles, and career goals.
Who Can Apply: The Government Finance Officers Association awards multiple scholarships each year to graduate students who plan to work in government finance. Applicants need a strong academic record and must provide recommendation letters. The scholarship committee prefers candidates who demonstrate interest in state and local government finance.
Who Can Apply: The Daughters of the American Revolution offers this scholarship to students attending an accredited school. Applicants need a minimum 3.25 GPA. They must also be enrolled full time in an MBA program and must submit official transcripts. Recipients can reapply for the scholarship annually.