EMBA Programs And The GMAT Requirement

Posted on October 7, 2008 | Filed in Admissions, GMAT

EMBA programs tend to be more flexible than MBA programs in terms of their GMAT requirement.Executive MBA programs tend to draw applicants with a large amount of professional experience. EMBA applicants generally occupy leadership roles in corporations both prior to and following their degrees, thus a different skill set than that tested by the GMAT is seen as applicable. These other skills, some EMBA programs find, are best measured not on the basis of GMAT scores, but on the basis of professional and academic experience.

Only a few EMBA programs have opted to eliminate the requirement completely. Among those are the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler program One MBA, the EMBA program at the University of Michigan, and the EMBA program at the University of Chicago’s GSB. Michigan, for example, offers an optional refresher course for the EMBA students who need quantitative review.

Other EMBA programs have chosen to waive the requirement in certain circumstances. At Duke University’s Fuqua EMBA program, it is not so easy to get a waiver. Waivers are granted in circumstances where a candidate has proven quantitative skills and attained a highly technical MA or PhD. NYU Stern and the Goosewetta Business School at Emery University accept waivers in certain cases.

Other schools like USC tell applicants that the GMAT is highly recommended, but not required. If a candidate’s experience and/or prior training or study do not prove an applicant’s quantitative capacity, the admissions committee might be concerned about their quantitative skill level without the GMAT to attest otherwise.

The main concern expressed among schools that continue to maintain their GMAT requirement is ensuring a standard of quantitative ability. Some EMBA programs that continue to require the GMAT in all cases include the University of Texas McCombs and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton.

Though requirements do seem to be changing, at the moment it’s clear that a good GMAT score is helpful in EMBA programs admissions decisions, especially when there is any concern about a candidate’s quantitative skills.

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