In 2022, entrance exams continued to be secondary — and sometime tertiary — considerations for admission to the premier online MBA programs in the United States.
In Poets&Quants‘ sixth annual ranking of the best OMBAs, none of the 50 ranked programs accepted Graduate Management Admission Test or Graduate Record Exam scores from as many as 50% of their enrolled students. In last year’s ranking, five schools did.
In fact, in the 2023 P&Q ranking, only 14 of 50 schools had at least 10% of students who reported a GMAT score, and only seven had that many report a GRE score. That’s a 28% reporting rate for GMAT and a 14% rate for GRE — in line with last year’s rates of 25% (13 of 52 schools) and 15% (eight of 52), respectively. For comparison: In our 2021 ranking, for which data was collected in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, 17 of 47 schools had 10% GMAT reporting and 18 of 47 had the same amount in GRE reporting.
TOP GMAT AVERAGE & MOST REPORTING: MICHIGAN ROSS
Last year, the University of Washington Foster School of Business had what now seems like an astronomical number of its online MBA students submit either GMAT (33%) or GRE (42%) scores. In this year’s ranking, a school making its first appearance wins the “most tested” prize: No, 4-ranked University of Michigan Ross School of Business, which reports 46.9% students submitted a GMAT score and 38.5% submitted GRE. The next closest school is the University of Texas-Dallas Jindal School of Management, at 25% GMAT and 27% GRE, followed by NO. 8 Washington Foster at 22% and 20%, respectively.
Among the 37 ranked programs that collected GMAT scores this year (down from 39 last year), the average score was 586.9, a slight uptick from last year’s average or 584.2, but still down massively from the 2021 ranking when the average score among 42 schools was 649.4. The average score for schools that had 10% or more reporting was 614.2, up from 599.4 last year and 589.6 two rankings ago.
Newcomer Michigan Ross claimed the honor of top GMAT average at 681, six points better than the 675 of No,. 1-ranked Indiana Kelley School of Business. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School was third at 674, followed by Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business (668) and Rice Jones Graduate Business School (658). The top GMAT scores largely comport with the programs that are costliest to attend. Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, which for the last two years boasted the highest overall average GMAT score of the P&Q ranking. this year sank to 16th-best with a 620 average — down 70 points in a year.
FEWER SUBMIT GRE SCORES, TOO
Only 35 of 50 schools reported that some percentage of OMBA students submitted GRE scores, compared to 37 of 52 schools last year. The average submission percentage was 7.14%, down from 7.64% last year and 11.6% two years ago. The average score was 300.6, down from last year's 304.2.
Ohio University claimed the top GRE average at 340, 15 points better than the next school, Santa Clara Leavey School of Business (325). However, only 1% of Ohio OMBA students submitted GRE scores. Rounding out the top five were CMU Tepper at 324, exactly the same score it has reported each of the last three years, Maryland Smith School of Business (324), and Indiana Kelley (319). Among this group, Tepper had the highest GRE submission rate at 11%.
Michigan Ross had the highest GRE submission rate at 38.5%, with Texas-Dallas Jindal next at 27%. Washington Foster was third at 20%, down from 42% last year.
UNDERGRAD GPAs DIP BUT STILL BETTER THAN 2 YEARS AGO
Undergraduate grade point averages also appear to have slipped this year, with the top school, South Florida Muma College of Business, reporting a 3.6, down from last year's top score of 3.8 at Ohio University. However, the top average two years ago was 3.54 (at Worcester Polytechnic Institute). Ohio saw its GPA sink to 3.2 this year.
Rounding out the top five this year, after Muma, are Cincinnati Lindner College of Business (3.53), Michigan Ross (3.46), University of Michigan-Dearborn (3.45), and two schools at 3.44: the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and Washington State University.
See page 2 for a comparison for all 50 schools in the 2023 P&Q ranking on GMAT and GRE scores, percentages of students reporting test scores, and average GPA.
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