In the past, many students who were applying to master of business administration (MBA) degree programs had to take the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, in order to be accepted.A majority of top business schools in the United States now allow applicants to submit GRE scores as an alternative to the GMAT, a survey found.

A majority of the schools have accepted the GRE, which traditionally has been used only for admission to non-MBA graduate programs.

The motivation behind business schools accepting the GRE, generally, is to broaden the playing field of who’s applying to programs.

it’s a common pattern for students who don’t consider business school during their undergraduate years to end up there a few years later. For someone who is thinking of pursuing a master’s degree but who isn’t sure about his or her particular course of study, the GRE now is a more flexible option.

Everyone who applies to UF’s traditional full-time MBA program still must submit a GMAT score.

Applicants to the part-time working professional MBA program could submit a GRE score instead of a GMAT score only if they have completed a medical doctor degree, a doctor of pharmacy degree, a doctorate degree or a master’s degree for which the applicant took the GRE in the last five years. This option has been in effect for the last two admission cycles.

A recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, which has been tracking the pattern starting from 2009, found that this has been changed. This year, 52% of top business schools say they accept GRE scores instead of GMAT results, according to a press release. About 34% of these institutions said they believe other schools will most likely begin to accept GRE scores by the 2012-2013 academic year.

Australian MBAs

Now almost every university — and many private colleges — offers an MBA in one way or another. Even the Australian Catholic University has one.

There are online MBAs, executive MBAs and MBAs done in conjunction with a juris doctor. There are MBAs that specialize in technology, although Third Degree wonders how these can be classed as MBAs. Isn’t an MBA supposed to be a generalist management degree?

MBAs also bring in money. They range in price from $27,000 at the Australian Catholic University to $64,000 at the Melbourne Business School.

There is no guarantee for quality in most of the courses.

If you read about MBAs offered in this country, you’ll find that some are marketed as ‘‘short’’. The ACU MBA can be done in one year. Students study in ‘‘intensive’’ mode, meaning that each of the 12 units is taught over two weekends. That’s two days for each subject over 24 weekends.

The Melbourne Business School’s MBA requires that students do 20 subjects over 16 to 20 months.

Some MBAs — such as those at Southern Cross and Deakin universities — can be done online. Yet doing an MBA over the internet doesn’t make sense, given that a large component of the course is supposed to get students to network.
Most Australian MBAs do not require students to do the GMAT.

Then there is the question of accreditation. The Association of MBAs, a US professional association, accredits MBA programs in almost 70 countries. Three Australian universities have the accreditation for their MBAs – Monash, Curtin and Queensland University of Technology.

Most Australian MBAs do not require students to do the GMAT.

Business schools also have different work requirements for prospective students. Some require that students have at least two years’ work experience and good marks in their undergraduate degree.

Some MBAs, however, are geared to new graduates, who have ‘‘limited work experience’’. That’s why RMIT divides its MBA into standard and executive options.

English requirements for international students also vary. Monash University’s new MBA requires a minimum score of 7 in the International English Language Testing System. At other universities, such as Victoria and New England, it is 6.5.

Third Degree has previously pointed out that the IELTS guide suggests that a score of 7.5 is acceptable for a linguistically demanding academic course. Surely an MBA falls into this category.