New Standards To Improve Information Consistency For Prospective MBA Students

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has released a new set of standards to ensure admissions data for Graduate Management Education (GME) programs, including MBA programs, is reliable, accurate, useful and comparable for prospective students.

The revision of the Graduate Management Education (GME) Admissions Reporting Standards is designed to standardise the terms used in the admissions process and reflect thechanging landscape of graduate business education.

There are 227 GMAC member schools including four in Australia – Bond University, The University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and AGSM@UNSW.

According to GMAC’s annual survey on prospective students worldwide, candidates rely heavily on school websites and rankings in their program selection process.

The 2023 survey of thousands of business school aspirants – to be published this month – shows that school websites and published program rankings were the top two factors in the decision-making of individuals considering applying for graduate business degrees.

Informed by this finding, GMAC believes it is vitally important that the information presented to prospective students is anchored in a common definition of the terms used by schools and various publications in collecting the data for reporting.

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) CEO Joy Jones

GMAC CEO Joy Jones  the work the work was initiated in response to a strong desire for consistency and transparency from the business school community and was being done to create trust with and among business school admissions professionals, especially those who are new to the field.

“Without a doubt, adopting the standardised reporting criteria at a large scale would allow prospective students and rankings organisations alike to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges across the wide spectrum of program options available in the market today,” she said.

In 2019, GMAC formed a task force to revise the MBA Reporting Criteria – first published by GMAC in 2000 and adopted by approximately 200 business schools – into Graduate Management Education Admissions Reporting Standards.

The standards, subsequently endorsed by GMAC members in the summer of 2020, were meant to be revisited every two years to ensure they continue to guide business schools in distributing reliable, accurate, useful, and comparable admissions data for prospective students and rankings organizations.

A new task force was organised at the beginning of 2022 to tackle the review and revision of the standards in three sections – school and program information, application process, and admissions reporting and class profile, supplemented by region and areas of study classifications.

“In the past three years – particularly in response to the global pandemic – our industry has innovated and grown tremendously. A prime example is the delivery of online programs,” said Nita Swinsick, associate dean of graduate & executive degree programs admissions at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and co-chair of the task force.

“While the traditional on-campus, two-year MBA remains the most sought-after graduate management degree, there are a great number of programs offering a wide range of flexibility and length and still lead to successful business careers.”

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (