Students who aspire to work in human resources leadership positions often as the same question, “Do Master’s in Human Resources programs require the GMAT?” The answer to this question can vary depending on the school, the student and the type and amount of work experience the applicant possesses. Here is some valuable information about the GMAT exam, its role in the college admissions process and its requirements for the master’s in human resources programs.

What is the GMAT?

The GMAT™ (Graduate Management Admission Test) is known as the industry standard for admissions test because it is considered the most effective method to assess a student’s skills and determine the student’s readiness for college and chance of success in a graduate program like the master’s in human resources. The admissions committee is able to look at all scores from every student and determine which students stand the best chance for success in an MBA or master’s degree program.

Every year, more than 200,000 business school applicants take the GMAT exam. Additionally, more than 4,800 universities worldwide use the results of the GMAT to rank MBA program applicants and determine how the student will do in that particular MBA program. Students have three hours and seven minutes to complete the four-part GMAT.

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Is it Required for Master’s in Human Resources Programs?

Although the GMAT is the industry standard test for admission into MBA programs, including human resources master’s degree programs, it is not always required. There are several colleges and universities throughout the nation that offer MBA programs without requiring the GMAT as a prerequisite. Most of these programs can be completed in two years by full-time students. Online or accelerated MBA programs can often be completed in 18 months or even one year.

The requirements for the GMAT vary by school. Some schools will waive the requirement on a student-to-student basis or may request GMAT scores but not require them as a condition for admissions. Some schools only require it for international students. Every graduate school has different requirements. While the GMAT is always valued highly, it’s not always a requirement.

Alternatives to the GMAT

Some students prefer to not take the GMAT because preparation for the test can become time-consuming and expensive. Although many graduate schools do require the GMAT as a prerequisite for MBA programs, some of them offer students alternatives to the GMAT. Some schools will waive the GMAT if the student can provide proof he or she has equivalent educational background or relevant work experience.

A student may have the option to take a remedial math class in lieu of the GMAT. The GRE® (Graduate Record Examination) exam is another admissions exam that many students choose to take in place of the GMAT, and many schools accept the GRE.

Some colleges require the student to have at least one of a half dozen other requirements. While the GMAT is one of them, it’s not required if the student has at least one or more of the other, such as a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0, at least three years of relevant work experience and GRE scores of at least 285.

With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting the career outlook for human resources professionals is steering in a positive direction, it’s a field chosen by many. When choosing a school, students may find it advantageous to learn if their particular master’s in human resources program requires the GMAT.