GMAT/GRE Waiver Policy

The MBA@UNC Admissions Team takes a holistic approach to evaluating applicants’ ability to succeed in the program and beyond. Applicants who are further along in their careers are able to show more professional achievements and their career trajectory, which can give us greater insight into their future potential.

That’s why MBA@UNC applicants who have six or more years of professional full-time work experience are exempt from the GMAT/GRE requirement. These candidates for the online MBA program will not need to fill out a waiver application.

A GMAT or GRE score report is required for MBA@UNC applicants with fewer than 6 years of professional experience to help the Admissions Team assess an applicant's quantitative readiness for the rigor of the program. However, a waiver may be considered for a candidate whose academic records and professional work experience demonstrate a high level of quantitative and analytical skill.

How to Apply for a GMAT/GRE Waiver

Applicants who have fewer than six years of experience must apply for a waiver if they believe they qualify for an exemption. Multiple factors are considered in the review of a waiver request for our online MBA program, including undergraduate and graduate course work in quantitative subjects, grades, the rigor of the college or university, previous work experience, current job responsibilities and professional certifications. All GMAT/GRE waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis, and an approved waiver request does not guarantee admission to the program.

  1. Start an MBA@UNC application here.
  2. Complete the academic background section of the application for every institution attended. Attach scanned copies of official or unofficial transcripts for each institution, including programs where you did not receive a degree, study abroad programs and college-level studies undertaken while in high school.
  3. Attach a resume in the Professional Background section of the application. You do not need to submit your completed application to be considered for a GMAT/GRE waiver.
  4. Download the MBA@UNC GMAT waiver application form as a PDF. If you do not see an option to download, save the form to your computer as a PDF file by selecting "Save Page As" or "Print as PDF," depending on your browser.
  5. Fill out all fields, making sure to call attention to quantitative skills and experience you have gained through work and education.
  6. Submit your request by e-mailing the completed PDF as an attachment to OnlineMBA@unc.edu or directly to your Admissions Counselor.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the logic underlying the GMAT/GRE waiver policy?

We compared the academic performance of MBA@UNC students who had received a GMAT/GRE waiver with the performance of similar students who had submitted test scores over a period of 18 months. We found no meaningful differences in the academic performance of the two groups. Therefore, when evaluating applicants who have a significant amount of professional experience, we rely instead on what we believe are more reliable indicators of ability—career trajectory and success, previous academic performance and quantitative experience.

How do you evaluate an applicant’s ability to succeed in the online MBA program?

Our team at UNC Kenan-Flagler takes a holistic approach in assessing each applicant for admission. We thoroughly review every application and look for prospective students who will thrive academically while positively contributing to our community. Here are a few of the indicators we’ll be looking for in a successful application for admission:

  • Academic readiness, as evidenced by performance in undergraduate and graduate course work, standardized tests and career progression
  • Effective communication skills, as demonstrated by the essays and interview
  • Recommendations from managers and professional peers
  • Career focus and fit with UNC Kenan-Flagler's core values and culture

How do you classify work experience?

It is defined as the total number of years and months of full-time work experience in a professional environment at the time the application is submitted.

Even if I qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver, may I submit a score report as additional information for my application?

Yes. We particularly encourage candidates to submit a score report if they think that it would provide additional information about their abilities that other materials do not show. For example, we would encourage an applicant with limited quantitative responsibilities in their job and/or previous coursework to submit a score report to demonstrate their analytical abilities.

Do you include MOOC course work in the review of a test waiver application?

We will consider MOOC course work with a quantitative focus (e.g., statistics, quantitative methods, financial accounting, finance) as part of the waiver evaluation only if both of the following requirements are met:

  • The course was completed from an AACSB-accredited, top-20 ranked business school
  • Along with the test waiver application, the applicant submits an official and verifiable copy of the certificate confirming successful completion of the course

If my GMAT/GRE waiver application is not approved, will I be denied admission to the program?

An unapproved waiver application does not mean that a candidate will be denied admission to the program, just as a waiver approval does not guarantee admission. What it does mean is that the Admissions Committee needs additional information to evaluate an applicant's academic readiness and quantitative ability for the online MBA program.