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San Diego MBA Programs that Waive the GMAT and GRE Requirement

San Diego - home to many MBA programs that do not require GMAT and GRE scores

When prospective business school students plot out their path to an MBA, there’s often one obstacle that looms large in the distance, causing stomach knots to fasten and throats to dry: the standardized admissions test.

The GMAT and GRE, much like its little cousin the SAT, are often described in the press as woefully inaccurate predictors of success. The Atlantic recently published an article in which the GRE was compared to “a cancer test from the 1940s” and whose scores “tend to correlate with a student’s socioeconomic status, race, and gender.”

Acutely aware of its shortsightedness, there’s a growing trend of business schools to waive or do away with the GRE/GMAT requirement altogether. Let’s take a look at a few of these MBA programs in the San Diego area:

San Diego MBA Programs without GMAT and GRE Requirements

Alliant School of Management at Alliant International University

Alliant’s MBA program offers “advanced business, management and analytical skills,” designed for students “who have completed prior business courses.” In lieu of submitting a GMAT score, the Alliant MBA program requires the following from applicants: An overall Bachelor’s GPA between 2.60 and 2.75; minimum 5 years professional work experience; and a 1-2 page personal essay with a brief autobiographical statement, professional organizations to which you belong, and honors, activities, and other creative accomplishments.

California International Business University

CIBU MBA courses focus on “promoting critical thinking skills, and the blending of hands-on experiences with in-class instruction” in order to prepare students for careers in “business management, and the necessary skills and global orientation to succeed in the international marketplace.” CIBU does not require GMAT scores for the Hospitality and Management MBA or Full-Time MBA program.

Fermanian School of Business @ Point Loma Nazarene

The Online, Daytime, and Evening MBA programs at PLNU helps students “further develop the ability to think analytically and strategically, as well as improve their quantitative, communicative, and problem-solving skills…to better prepare new graduates for the challenges and complexities of the modern business world.” PLNU promises to waive the GMAT and GRE requirement if the applicant has certain professional certificate programs or graduate-level experience on his/her C.V. Admissions requirements include: online application, $50 application fee (fee waived if applicant is PLNU alumnus, military, or PLNU employee), undergraduate transcript, personal essay, CV/resume, and two professional recommendations.

Rady School of Management @ UCSD

Rady offers an MBA program that “delivers knowledge and skills needed to address the challenges innovative companies face now and in the future.” Applicants to Rady’s FlexMBA or Full-Time MBA programs who have graduate-level degrees in engineering or natural science fields or an M.D. from a U.S. medical school do not have to submit a GMAT/GRE score. Application requirements include: a completed application form, undergraduate transcript, resume/CV, two letters of recommendation, two personal essays, TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores (for international applicants), and an application fee.

San Diego State University College of Business Administration

SDSU is a hidden gem for business that is slowly but surely receiving its due as a fantastic value for prospective MBAs, with its renowned Part-Time MBA, Full-Time MBA, or Executive MBA programs. SDSU’s EMBA program was ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek among the top 66 in the world, and its standard MBA program was rated by US News & World Report as one of the “10 MBAs with the most Financial Value at Graduation.” If applicants have a JD, MD, or PhD degrees, there is no need to submit GMAT or GRE scores with their applications. Application requirements include: a completed application form, undergraduate transcript, resume/CV, two letters of recommendation, two personal essays, TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores (for international applicants), and an application fee.

University of San Diego School of Business Administration

The University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration believes in “developing responsible business leaders with a global mindset” through experiential learning and “coursework developed in partnership with corporate partners.” Applicants with MDs or PhDs in the fields of science or technology—or those with 5+ years of work experience in science, tech, or business—do not have to submit GMAT or GRE test scores. Application requirements are as follows: three supplemental essays, academic transcript (minimum GPA of 3.0), resume/CV, two professional recommendations, and an $80 application fee.


For more information on the GMAT and GRE in San Diego and other Metros see MetroMBA’s No GMAT and GRE Guide and San Diego MBA Programs that Don’t Require the GMAT or GRE.

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About the Author

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Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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