Listening, Learning, Responding: Announcing 2020-21 Standardized Test Policy Change at Michigan Ross


In response to hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Ross is offering candidates to the Full-Time MBA 2020-2021 application cycle the ability to request a waiver for the standardized test requirement.

In March 2020, when “life as usual” effectively stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had no idea our lives would still be filled with so much uncertainty eight months later. As we enter  mid-November, COVID-19 cases are increasing worldwide. Some populations continue to be impacted more than others, particularly the Black and other minority communities. Globally, people’s mental health has taken a toll from prolonged restrictions, business shutdowns, and other added stressors of living and working with the pandemic. 

As we’ve been reading Round 1 applications, it’s become apparent how much COVID-19 is impacting applicants. Health concerns remain top of mind. Testing centers are open, but access is not equal to all. And, though online testing exists, it presents another set of challenges.  As one candidate said, “It’s hard to nail the GMAT when you’re concerned your internet might go out at any minute.” In another one-on-one conversation during our weekly admissions office hours, a candidate shared that his house fire alarm went off when he was taking the online test.

We hear you and we’re making changes to support you.

Learning of the many hardships that candidates are facing because of the pandemic, we have decided to modify our standardized test policy. We will be offering candidates of the Full-Time MBA 2020-2021 application cycle the ability to request a waiver of our standardized test requirement (GMAT, GRE) and English proficiency tests (TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE). 

We will look for candidates to demonstrate their academic proficiency and quantitative ability through other data points (e.g., undergraduate or graduate coursework, full-time work experience, professional certifications, etc.). See our Waiver Request page for a detailed listing of qualifying experiences.

Should all candidates apply for a waiver?

For some candidates, a strong test score can strengthen their overall application. However, standardized tests are not the only way in which a candidate can demonstrate capability and readiness for tackling the challenges of, and thriving in, the Ross Full-Time MBA program. Our FAQ page has more information about considerations regarding recruiting and scholarship. We encourage all candidates to carefully reflect upon their particular situation and contact us with any questions ([email protected]).

Will this change impact admissions standards?

No. We are not waiving the requirement that an applicant has demonstrated analytical and quantitative skills. We want to see students succeed and thrive in our program. As such, we will continue to look for evidence that an applicant can handle the rigor of our MBA program.

Will Round 1 applicants be eligible for a waiver? 

Because this policy change is being made in the middle of Round 1, all Round 1 applicants will be admitted or waitlisted; no applicants will be denied on December 4. Any waitlisted applicant may request a test waiver after decisions are released. Waitlisted applicants will be sent more details at that time.

Answers to additional questions can be found on our FAQ page. We will also be discussing this change at the following upcoming events:

Admissions Office Hours (every Wednesday from 8am-10am ET)

Dec 7: Get Ready for Ross Round 2 Admissions Chat

To access our FTMBA Standardized Test Waiver Form - click here. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at [email protected]

As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, we promise to continue listening, learning, and responding, while staying true to our values. Stay safe!