Sometimes people want to apply to bschool without taking the GMAT — and a few programs will definitely consider you. Those are mostly the Executive MBA tracks.
But applying for an MBA without a bachelor’s degree?
That seems like a non-starter. After all, the MBA is a graduate degree. The way you get into graduate school is to first complete undergraduate.
Like, one is a pre-requisite to the other.
Turns out, maybe not, at least not if Tuck’s latest move signals a possible trend.
We’ve heard before that London Business School would accept candidates into their full-time MBA program who have sufficient work experience to truly impress them, even if they didn’t have a bachelor’s degree — or at least, they’d take your application and consider it. We’ve not had firsthand experience working with candidates who applied through this route. Presumably LBS has indeed accepted some along the way.
For all top U.S. business schools, a four-year bachelor’s degree was a requirement to apply, or an equivalent education since in some countries a three-year bachelor’s is the standard. Schools like UC-Berkeley Haas would say they’d consider your app with a three-year bachelor’s but they made it clear you’d be at a disadvantage. They prefer to see a prior master’s on top of the three-year bachelor’s in order to be properly qualified for their MBA program.
But starting this season, Tuck has apparently lifted even the three-year bachelor’s requirement. Their new website says that they’ll consider a candidate with the appropriate leadership and presumably business experience that shows they are qualified, even if that candidate does not hold an undergraduate already.
We’re guessing that this may have been sparked by their new-ish certificate program called Next Step which is designed for transitioning military and retiring elite athletes who are looking for a way to move into business. Many people in those cohorts don’t have the traditional undergrad experience. So in order to make the MBA accessible to those on the fringes who may still be super impressive in their own realms, then this new more lenient no-bachelor’s-required policy has been adopted.
Depending on how someone ends up applying there, we can even see that perhaps a high percentage of candidates in this category could potentially make it in. After all, if you’re motivated enough in your life to date to have come across the need for an MBA from such a seriously non-traditional path, then that sort of right there says that maybe you’d be qualified and capable of success in most any endeavor you try. After all, training for the Olympics requires a certain level of commitment and drive — right? If you were at the top of your category in such an incredibly demanding and competitive field such as that, then we can see why Tuck would be interested in considering you for more.