The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a commonly required standardized exam used as a determining factor for your admission into most business administrations schools and graduate programs. The computerized test consists of three sections: mathematical, verbal and analytical writing assessment (AWA). Although most colleges require GMAT scores as part of the application process, other colleges and institutions don't require it, waive it or make it an optional item.

Waived GMAT

Many accredited distance-learning universities in the United States provide the option of waiving the GMAT when applying for a graduate business administration programs. The criteria for determining who gets these waivers depends on the type of MBA program being pursued, the student's professional experience in the field, bachelor's degree GPA scores or possession of another graduate degree.


A legitimate concern when considering an online MBA program is the accreditation provided by such institutions in contrast with those colleges that make the GMAT an obligatory item. Fortunately, many of the online graduate business programs are accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), an international association founded in 1916 that accredits more than 600 schools of business around the world, including Columbia University, Harvard University and Yale.

Not Required

According to the National Ranking Survey of Online MBAs, conducted from 1989 to 2008 by, over 90 accredited institutions provide graduate programs that do not require the GMAT test. Some of the distance-learning institutions include Columbia Southern University, California National University for Advanced Studies and the University of Management and Technology in Virginia.


The U.S. Department of Education recognizes a small group of national accreditation agencies. Many online business schools offering graduate programs within the United States are currently accredited by them and don't require GMAT scores for admission. The agencies include the Distance Education and Training Council, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology.