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Question: Are There Online Master's in Taxation Programs That Do Not Require the GMAT or That Offer GMAT Waivers?

Answer: Yes, there are online master’s in taxation programs that either do not require applicants to submit GMAT scores or that will waive their GMAT requirement for qualified applicants. However, some online master’s in taxation programs use the GMAT to evaluate applicants and require all candidates for admission to submit official GMAT scores. There are also programs that will accept GRE test scores in lieu of the GMAT. Finally, there are online master’s in taxation program that offer admissions test waivers to applicants who meet certain eligibility requirements, such as several years of professional experience in an accounting field, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure, a graduate degree in another field, and/or a high cumulative undergraduate GPA (3.0, 3.25, or higher on a four-point scale).

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a standardized admissions test administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and used primarily by schools of business and management to assess the analytical reasoning, writing, verbal, and mathematical proficiencies of applicants to graduate programs. However, GMAT scores are just one of a number of factors admissions departments may use to assess applicants, and there are a number of schools that do not require the GMAT for applicants to online master’s in taxation programs. Also, some online master’s in taxation programs will accept scores from the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, or GRE, in lieu of the GMAT, while other programs do not require applicants to submit scores from either test.

A subset of online master’s in taxation programs that require the GMAT or GRE will waive their admissions test requirement in cases where an applicant meets certain eligibility requirements, as noted above. Waivers may not be automatically granted, which means that applicants who believe they qualify for a waiver may nonetheless have to apply for a waiver. If a waiver is not granted, applicants would then need to submit GMAT or GRE scores if they still wish to apply to the program.

Online Master’s in Taxation Program Admissions Policies and Requirements

The basic eligibility requirement for admission to an online master’s in taxation program is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Additional requirements and specific admissions policies vary by program. Applicants are typically required to submit academic transcripts from their bachelor’s program and any other post-secondary degree programs they have attended, as well as an up-to-date résumé or CV. In addition, programs may request that applicants supply two or more letters of recommendation, a short personal goals statement, answers to one or more essay questions, and/or standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE).

While some online master’s in taxation programs will accept applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, other programs are designed for students who have completed undergraduate coursework in accounting and business and may require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, or a related field. Programs that require prior college coursework in specific areas generally publish a list of prerequisites, such as an introductory economics course, a financial or managerial accounting course, and/or a taxation course. There are also programs that require applicants to have several years of professional experience in accounting and/or a professional credential, such as a CPA license or Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, and programs that require or prefer applicants to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5, 2.75, or 3.0 or higher on a four-point scale.

Prior to submitting an application to an online master’s in taxation program, applicants should review the program’s admissions requirements, procedures, and deadlines carefully to ensure they file their application properly. It is also important to note that meeting a program’s minimum admissions requirements does not guarantee admission to most programs. Programs with selective admissions may not accept all applicants who meet their minimum eligibility requirements.

Examples of Online Master’s in Taxation Program Admissions Requirements

No GMAT Required

  • DePaul University offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Taxation program that does not require applicants to submit scores from the GMAT or the GRE. Application requirements include: a professional goals essay; an academic/professional résumé; and official college transcripts. The program does not require applicants to supply letters of recommendation, although applicants have the option of submitting one or more recommendation letters.
  • Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an online MS in Accounting program with a Taxation concentration that does not require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants are also not required to supply letters of recommendation or an admissions essay. Instead, SNHU evaluates applicants based on their undergraduate transcripts. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 for full acceptance. Applicants may receive provisional acceptance provided their GPA is 2.0 or higher.

GMAT Waiver Available

  • Northeastern University has an online MS in Taxation program that requires applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.25 to submit GMAT test scores; applicants with GPA of 3.25 or higher can seek a GMAT waiver. In addition, applicants must have passed a college-level taxation course with a grade of 3.0 (A) or higher and have at least two years of tax preparation experience or one of the following credentials: CFA, CPA, JD, or Enrolled Agent. Applicants are asked to supply two letters of professional recommendation and current résumé.
  • St. John’s University offers an online MS in Taxation program that requires applicants to have a baccalaureate degree and some relevant work experience. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher are given admissions preference to the program, which requires either the GMAT (minimum score of 550) or GRE (minimum score of 310). Conditional acceptance may be extended to applicants with test scores below those minimums or a GPA below 3.25. Applicants are asked to furnish two letters of recommendation and a personal goals statement. St. John’s will waive the GMAT/GRE requirement for applicants who have relevant managerial experience and for military veterans, as well as for applicants who have passed the CPA exam or attained CFA certification.

GMAT or GRE Required

  • Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has an online Master of Taxation program that requires applicants to submit scores from the GMAT or the GRE. Applicants who hold a master’s degree in accounting are preferred, although applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline may be considered for admissions. FAU also prefers candidates who have a minimum score of 500 on the GMAT or 300 on the GRE and a GPA of 3.0 or higher from their last 60 credits of undergraduate coursework.

For more information about online master’s in taxation programs, including admissions requirements, curricula, and format options, refer to our Online Master’s in Taxation Degree Programs page.


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