The University of Notre Dame MBA is introducing a test waiver option for the current enrollment cycle. Applicants to the one-year and two-year residential MBA programs may request a GMAT or GRE test score waiver as part of their application.
The program’s decision to adjust its admissions policies regarding test scores was prompted by the global pandemic and its continuing impact on many of MBA applicants. The policy reflects a larger trend in graduate business school admissions as a majority of the top 100 MBA programs have also instituted similar policies. Notre Dame also just announced that the University is continuing its test-optional policy for undergraduate admissions through the 2022-2023 application cycle.
“We are confident that we can evaluate candidates’ future academic and career success and maintain the high admissions standards that the Notre Dame MBA program has always upheld,” said Tim Bohling, chief marketing and graduate enrollment officer at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. “We have always taken a holistic view of assessing a candidate’s ability to succeed in our MBA programs, which includes a demonstrated track record of academic success, intellectual curiosity, career evolution and leadership potential, and alignment with Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business' larger mission. Standardized test scores are just one factor in this assessment.”
Candidates may request a test waiver once they open an application by submitting a brief statement of explanation. Those who have already submitted their application can still request a waiver by submitting a statement to the admissions team via email. International students whose native language is not English still must demonstrate proficiency through a Kira assessment and TOEFL or IELTS test.
Bohling emphasized that requesting a waiver will not reduce an applicant’s potential for admission, nor will it limit eligibility for a program fellowship.
In lieu of test scores, the admissions decision will place greater weight on a candidate's academic transcripts, personal interviews, writing samples, letters of recommendation and past experiences with the goal of holistically assessing a candidate's ability to succeed in the program. Three main areas of consideration include academic readiness, career progression and leadership potential, and alignment with the Mendoza College of Business' mission to grow the good in business by shaping future leaders who are dedicated to personal growth, social responsibility and a moral purpose that benefits society.
While circumstances related to the pandemic were the primary driver of the decision, there may be additional benefits for the program.
“We do consider this as an opportunity to further extend our recruitment efforts for a more diverse student body, which is a priority across all of Notre Dame,” said Mike Mannor, associate dean of the Notre Dame MBA. “As we evaluate candidates holistically, we can recruit students who strongly align with the program and the college’s mission as evidenced in their talents, experience and many other strengths that they bring to the table.”
The test waiver option is in effect for the 2020-2021 MBA admissions cycle, which has its next application deadlines on Feb. 23 and April 6 and starts classes in fall 2021.
Visit the Notre Dame MBA website for more information about the admissions process.
Originally posted on Mendoza News.