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Top 20 Business Schools that Accept the GRE

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Top 20 Business Schools that Accept the GRE

As you begin to navigate your way through the business school admissions process, you have probably heard that is it critical to submit a good GMAT score along with your applications. For many years, the GMAT was the “gold standard” in judging MBA applicants’ academic abilities against those of other candidates. Recently, however, more and more graduate business programs have changed their admissions policies to allow applicants to submit scores from the GRE exam instead of scores from the GMAT.


What is the GRE used for?

The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is one of the many exams available to people who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree. It is the test that is accepted by more types of graduate programs than any other admissions exam, including:

  • Masters of Arts Programs (MA)
  • Master of Science Programs (MS)
  • Master of Public Affairs Programs (MPA)
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • Doctorate Programs (PhD)
  • Juris Doctor Programs (JD)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
In addition to being the key admissions exam for many graduate programs, the GRE General Test is also used by many employers to field candidates for potential job positions. That’s right - in certain industries, a future potential employer may ask to see your GRE score during the interview process. This is especially true in the banking and consulting industries.

Many MBA Programs Accept the GRE

In fact, all of the top graduate business schools now allow candidates to take the GRE instead of the GMAT and submit their score along with their applications. It is always a good idea to double check with the schools you plan to apply to, though, just to make sure that they really do accept GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores. This information can usually be found right on a school’s website.

Without further ado, here are the top 20 graduate business schools that accept the GRE: 1) Harvard University - Harvard Business School 2) University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School of Business 3) University of Chicago - Booth School of Business 4) Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management 5) Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management 6) Stanford University - Stanford Graduate School of Business 7) University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business 8) Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business 9) Columbia University - Columbia Business School 10) Yale University - Yale School of Management 11) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Ross School of Business 12) Duke University - Fuqua School of Business 13) New York University - Stern School of Business 14) University of Virginia - Darden School of Business 15) University of California, Los Angeles - Anderson School of Management 16) Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management 17) University of Texas, Austin - McCombs School of Business 18) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School 19) Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business 20) Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Why do business schools accept either the GRE or the GMAT?

When MBA programs started accepting the GRE in the past decade, they explained that they wanted to expand their pool of potential applicants and make it easier for even more people to pursue an MBA. In a press release that HBS put out when it announced it would start accepting the GRE in 2009, Harvard’s admissions director was quoted as saying, “Since many HBS applicants are also considering graduate programs besides the MBA, there is now no need for them to take the GMAT if they have already taken the GRE. We believe that both the GMAT and the GRE meet our expectations of what a standardized test can tell us about a candidate’s ability to thrive in our MBA Program.”

Basically, these schools said, “Already have a GRE score? Great! No need to deal with the stress of preparing for a whole new standardized exam!” In doing this, they hoped to attract more unique prospective applicants who may have been considering other types of graduate programs instead of business school. If this sounds like you – you already have a great GRE score in hand and have been thinking about non-MBA grad programs – then you’re exactly their target applicant.

Should you take the GRE or the GMAT to get into business school?

In recent years, admissions officers at most top MBA programs have gone out of their way to emphasize that they don’t prefer one test over the other. When business schools first started accepting the GRE, some admissions officers privately admitted that they were still more comfortable with the GMAT because they had far more experience assessing candidates who submitted those scores. They simply hadn’t yet gained enough experience to know what was a great vs. a merely good GRE score. However, now that most of the top programs have been accepting the GRE for years, this GMAT/GRE difference has become less prominent.

Also, the GRE General Test was significantly overhauled in 2011, and the changes made the GRE much more like the GMAT. So, be careful that you’re not reading old advice that suggests one test over the other for the wrong reasons. And, be aware that if you do well on the GMAT, odds are that you’re going to do well on the GRE, and vice versa.

However, if you have notable strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others, then there may be a significant advantage to taking one or the other based on your abilities. Make sure you choose the exam that’s right for you before you begin your preparation.

If you are absolutely undecided and are not sure what to take, then we recommend the GMAT. It’s the one test designed to measure your ability to academically succeed in business school, so it’s the most ideal test to take. Also, it sends a stronger signal that you’re serious about pursuing an MBA. If the rest of your profile looks like that of someone who isn’t clearly on the MBA path, then signaling this commitment can be a savvy step as you build your application story. But, don’t trick yourself into thinking these are drastically different tests these days.

How can you prepare?

If you’re getting ready to prepare for the GMAT, take a look at our GMAT prep courses and our free GMAT study resources. If you like to study on your own, then take a look at Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand, our increasingly popular online self-study option.

If you have decided to take the GRE, it’s important to ensure you are as prepared as possible. Veritas Prep offers several varieties of GRE prep, including Live Online, private tutoring, and self-study options. Not quite ready to commit? Check out one of our upcoming free GRE trial classes to get a taste of what a Veritas Prep GRE class is like!

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