Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Stanford GSB | Mr. Lost Trader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.93
Said Business School | Ms. Ordinary Applicant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.37
Stanford GSB | Mr. Start-Up To F500
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Harvard | Mr. M&A Post-Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Consulting Escapist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Banking To Startup
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Master’s To MBA
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
USC Marshall | Mr. Versatile Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
INSEAD | Mr. Aerospace Manufacturer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Education Non-profit
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Real Estate Developer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.12
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Immigrant Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Fintech Entrepreneur
GMAT 710, GPA 3.04
Yale | Ms. Business Start-Up
GRE 312, GPA 3.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Cornell Hopeful
GMAT Targeting 700+, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Big Fish, Small Pond
GMAT 790, GPA 3.88
Tuck | Mr. Crisis Line Counselor
GMAT 700, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Engineer
GMAT 700, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. IB/PE To Fintech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.14
USC Marshall | Mr. Supply Chain Guru
GMAT GMAT Waiver, GPA 2.6
McCombs School of Business | Mr. First-Time MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.3
HEC Paris | Ms. Public Health
Chicago Booth | Mr. Music Into Numbers
GMAT 730, GPA 3.8
Wharton | Mr. Top Salesman
GMAT 610, GPA 4.0

SMU Cox Extends Test-Optional Admissions For All Graduate Programs

The Quad at the SMU Cox School of Business

SMU’s Cox School of Business yesterday (Sept. 3) announced it would extend its GMAT/GRE test-optional policy for applicants to all of its graduate programs, including the MBA, for another year. When the pandemic closed test centers in the spring, Cox was one of the first business schools to allow candidates to apply without a standardized test score.

In explaining the newest decision, an associate dean at Cox says the school’s interviews of applicants are “more predictive of success than a standardized test score.” The optional policy applies to all of the school’s graduate programs, including its two-year and one-year full-time MBA options, its part-time MBA program, an Executive MBA option, and the school’s relatively new online MBA. It also applies to the school’s specialty master’s programs in accounting, business analytics, finance and management. Cox’s full-time MBA program is ranked 40th best in the U.S. by Poets&Quants.

Cox joins a growing number of business schools that have adopted similar admissions policies this year, including the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, the Wisconsin School of Business, Rutgers Business School, and Northeastern University (see Should MBA Programs Make The GMAT & GRE Optional?). Emory University’s Goizueta Business School has called the GMAT and GRE tests “unnecessary barriers” when it made the exams optional this year for applicants to its evening MBA and Executive MBA programs.


Matthew B. Myers, dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University

Matthew B. Myers, dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University

Cox, the business school at Southern Methodist University, said it extended its test-optional policy to give applicants more flexibility. “The last few months have been among the most challenging our students and prospective students have ever faced,” says  Cox Dean Matthew B. Myers in a statement announcing the decision. “Our goal is to give our graduate school applicants as much flexibility as possible in the face of test center closures. Streamlining the experience during this time period makes sense, and it’s the right thing to do,”

The school will continue its policy through August of 2021. Shane Goodwin, associate dean of Graduate Programs and Executive Education. said the decision “allows the Cox School to eliminate barriers to help alleviate anxiety and provide flexibility” for applicants.  “Moreover, our admissions team devotes significant time during the interview process to evaluating each candidate’s leadership ability and potential, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. In addition to technical and interpersonal skills, we have found that assessing a candidate’s meta-skills (intellectual curiosity, self-awareness, resilience, adaptability, etc.) are more predictive of success than a standardized test score.”

The test waivers extend to TOEFL and other language exam requirements on Cox graduate school applications, as well as the Executive Assessment option for Professional MBA and Online MBA applicants. Students applying to spring 2021, summer 2021 and fall 2021 entry terms may choose whether to submit a GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment or TOEFL/IELTS score as a part of their application. Application fees for all Cox graduate programs will also continue to be waived for spring, summer and fall 2021 entry.



About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.