Is GMAT mandatory for MBA in the USA?

is GMAT mandatory for MBA in USA?

Is GMAT mandatory for MBA in the USA?

The USA has always remained on the top of every MBA aspirant’s wish list while considering it as a hub for entrepreneurs, which makes it mandatory for every aspirant to appear for the GMAT test. Every year, more than half of the students wishing to pursue management studies abroad send their GMAT Scores to US Universities.

One of the biggest challenges aspirants face is “how to apply for an MBA in the USA?”. This article will answer all your queries covering all aspects of the application process and also the eligibility criteria for different business schools.

As per the 2017 Open Doors Report by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Institute of International Education (IIE), the number of Indian students studying in the US has risen to a record of 1,86,000. Clearly, When it comes to Indian students looking for postgraduate programmes, the US is the first choice of destination for higher studies in business and in the last decade, the number of Indian students going to the US has also doubled.

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The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is mandatory for those who wish to pursue an MBA in the USA. The aspirants need an impressive GMAT score to secure admission in the MBA program in the USA.

Know more about how much GMAT score is required to obtain a scholarship.

GMAT scores required by the top US universities

Institute Average GMAT Score
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 732
Stanford University (CA) 733
Yale University (CT) 721
Harvard University (MA) 727
Columbia University (NY) 732
University of California—Berkeley (Haas) 727
University of Chicago (Booth) 724
Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL) 728
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) 724
Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH) 720



English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a trendy English proficiency exam accepted at American universities. This exam tests the international students’ usage and understanding of North American English as it is spoken, written, and heard in an academic setting.

Top US Business School Round Deadline Decision
Harvard Business School Round 1 Sep 08, 2021 Dec 09, 2021
Round 2 Jan 04, 2022 Mar 30, 2022
Stanford University Round 1 Sep 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021
Round 2 Jan 05, 2022 Mar 31, 2022
Round 3 Apr 12, 2022 May 26, 2022
Kellogg School of Mgmnt Round 1 Sep 15, 2021 Dec 08, 2021
Round 2 Jan 05, 2022 Mar 23, 2022
Round 3 Apr 06, 2022 May 11, 2022
The Wharton School Round 1 Sep 08, 2021 Dec 15, 2021
Round 2 Jan 05, 2022 Mar 23, 2022
Round 3 Mar 30, 2022 May 10, 2022
Deferred Apr 27, 2022 Jun 28, 2022
Sloan School of Mgmnt., MIT Round 1 Sep 28, 2021 Dec 15, 2021
Round 2 Jan 19, 2022 Apr 04, 2022
Round 3 Apr 22, 2022 Jun 01, 2022
Booth School, Univ. of Chicago Round 1 Sep 23, 2021 Dec 02, 2021
Round 2 Jan 06, 2022 Mar 24, 2022
Round 3 Apr 07, 2022 May 26, 2022
Haas, Univ. of Calif., Berkeley Round 1 Sep 23, 2021 Dec 16, 2021
Round 2 Jan 06, 2022 Mar 24, 2022
Round 3 Apr 07, 2022 May 12, 2022
Tuck, Dartmouth Round 1 Sep 27, 2021 Dec 09, 2021
Round 2 Jan 03, 2022 Mar 17, 2022
Round 3 Mar 28, 2022 May 05, 2022
Columbia Business School Early Oct 06, 2021 Not Announced
Merit Jan 05, 2022 Not Announced
Regular Apr 08, 2022 Not Announced
Yale University Round 1 Sep 14, 2021 Dec 03, 2021
Round 2 Jan 06, 2022 Mar 25, 2022
Round 3 Apr 12, 2022 May 18, 2022


Eligibility criteria for pursuing MBA in the USA

A majority of the institutes in the USA require the applicants to have a minimum of 16 years of education. Therefore, students must have completed a graduate degree after completing their school (10 +2). Those students who have already pursued a master’s degree are also eligible to apply for MBA in the USA.

Basic requirements for pursuing MBA in the USA:

  • A Four years bachelor degree
  • A GMAT score over 600
  • Proof of English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)
  • Most of the universities recommend a minimum of 2 to 3 years of work experience.

However, universities also give admission to candidates having no work experience. The one who has work experience will always have an edge over other applicants.


Visa Requirements

As an international student intending to study in the U.S., you need to acquire a valid USA student Visa. There is a complete process for applying for U.S. Student Visa. For this, you need to contact the U.S. Embassy office nearest to your location. There are different types of visas granted, so it is very important to understand which type of Visa is required to make the process smooth and hassle-free. For academic purposes, aspirants are granted an F1 student visa. It allows students to pursue degree programs at both graduate and undergraduate levels. F1 visa holders can stay back for up to one year after completing their graduate studies. After that, they need to apply for a work visa to stay for a more extended period and work there only.

Always complete Form DS-160 before the interview for the student visa. Then pay the visa application fee. Make sure to carry the print of the DS-160 Form along with you. Apart from this, you also need to fill the I-20 Form issued by the university. Also, pay the I-901 fee online through the website of U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement.

Candidates need to pay a visa fee for booking the visa interview slot. Then spend the visa application fee. If you are paying the application fee through NEFT, you can pay the fee through any bank. Also, if the applicant wants to pay the visa fee physically, they can pay the fee through Axis bank or selected branches of Citi bank.

After completing these basic procedures, you can book an appointment for a student visa interview through the VFS website. You need the visa fee receipt and DS-160 barcode number for this.


List of essentials to carry for the student visa interview:

  • A valid passport and previously issued passports.
  • A recent passport-sized photograph with a white background (50mm x 50mm).
  • DS-160 confirmation page with barcode.
  • HDFC visa application fee receipts.
  • VFS appointment letter.
  • SEVIS receipt and I-120.


Popular Scholarships for MBA

Arranging a considerable amount of funds for studies can prove to be a daunting task. Most of the universities in the USA do not offer tuition fee waivers or financial assistance for a professional degree like MBA. Therefore, students often lookout for scholarships to fund their education. Various governments, organizations, and specific universities offer international students so they can complete their professional degrees. It is also essential that students should always take care of the eligibility criteria and different types of costs covered in the scholarship they are awarded.

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Some of the popular scholarships available are: 

  • Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship

This scholarship is awarded to Indian students who require financial assistance for pursuing MBA at Stanford. Within two years of completing the MBA programme, students who availed of this scholarship need to come to India and work for an Indian organization.

  • JN Tata Endowment for the higher education of Indians

This is not actually a scholarship but rather it is a loan which student needs to repay within seven years of completing the graduation programme. However, the rate of interest charged is merely 2% and this is also waived if the applicant repays it within the specified time period. The amount of this endowment programme varies from INR 1.5 to 6 lacs.

  • Columbia Business School – The Board of Overseers China & India Fellowships

This fellowship is awarded every year to students from India and China and the funds can be renewable for the second year as well. These are awarded to students who have excelled in academics and professional careers.

  •  University of Pennsylvania, Wharton – Emerging Economy Fellowships

This fellowship is awarded to students who have shown exceptional work in academics. Also, it can be availed by students from developing economies.

  •  Chicago Booth – The India Trust Fellowship

It is a merit-based scholarship given to students who at the time of securing admission in the full-time MBA programme are living and working in India. It aims to promote the interests of women in business. This fellowship is awarded to students who have showcased excellent skills in academics, leadership, and extracurricular. 

  •  Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellowship

This fellowship is given to students who reside in India at the time of getting admission to Chicago Booth. All the students who got admitted and meet the eligibility criteria are automatically considered for this fellowship. Students who are awarded it are designated as Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellows in memory of the 1952 graduate of Chicago Booth.

  •  Harvard University – Need-Based Fellowships

The need-based fellowships are awarded to students who wish to pursue MBA programmes from Harvard University. These are given to students who secure admission but have limited financial resources.

Program Structure – curriculum

The real-world case studies and the actual business scenario develop the skills to devise a sound business strategy for various businesses. MBA students also learn how to survive and thrive even in a complex business environment. Apart from this, the internship programs have now become an integral part of the MBA. This allows students to learn in a practical setting. Moreover, this is also a crucial aspect of networking, as this is a powerful tool to give an edge to your career. Pursuing a management course from an international destination also helps the students understand the business from a global perspective.


Diversity of MBA Programs/Specialisations

Pursuing an MBA degree does not guarantee success, but holding a specialization can. As the requirements vary from one industry to another, one requires a specific skill set to tackle the challenges faced by one industry. So, it would be best if you were focused and clear while selecting the industry you want to work in. There are various factors that determine the decision of an aspirant, the growth of the industry, job opportunities, and remuneration package.


The most popular MBA specializations are:

  • Consulting: This field is considered the dream field for a majority of MBA aspirants. Everyone aspires to work with some of the biggest companies in this field and to gain corporate experience at a global level. People opting to work in this field needs to gain expertise in different domains, as one gets the chance to work with various sectors.
  • Finance: Considered as one of the most exciting careers to opt for, this field absorbs a large section of MBA graduates. While working in this sector you will get the chance to meet some of the most renowned faces of the corporate world. Apart from this, one also gets a responsibility to manage a large sum of finances and manage funds of some of the biggest names in the industry.
  • Entrepreneurship: Many MBA graduates wish to change the world with their acquired knowledge and determination. Entrepreneurs are tasked to develop a successful business model with knowledge, innovation, and a limited number of resources. 
  • Operations Management: Nowadays there is a surge in demand for people having expertise in managing the line of operations in the manufacturing or services industry. These new methodologies and skills taught in MBA programmes help companies adopt new technologies and formulate strategies that maximize profits.
  • Information Systems/Information Technology: It’s a booming field that will stay relevant for the industries in the future as well. Having technical expertise with business knowledge will always give MBA graduates an edge over others. With the introduction of technologies like automation and cloud computing demand for people having both technical and management skills has also risen. Areas like business and data analytics help companies in developing innovative strategies for their businesses.


Top careers after completing MBA

No matter how many ups and downs are there in the economy, demand for MBAs will still be there. People with exemplary business skills will always get a chance to prove their talent. The MBA salary for these top jobs is relatively high in comparison to other jobs.

  • Management Jobs: Demand for MBA graduates with specialization in General Management or any specific area remains at the top in any industry. Managing people, resources and businesses are amongst the highest paying jobs everywhere and in the US too. Their pay can range anywhere between $85,000 to $1,46,000.
  • Corporate Finance: One of the most sought-after careers includes working in corporate finance. One can work as a Financial Consultant, Financial Analyst, Finance Manager, or Finance Director. One can earn anywhere between $55,000 to $78,000 at an early stage of their career.
  • Finance and Economics: Considered as the hub of financial activities, the US offers enormous opportunities in Finance and Economics. Here, one can work as a Portfolio Manager, Financial Consultants, and Director of Operations. The salary ranges from $51,000 to $60,000 in the starting stage.

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