New admission path for graduate students excludes standardized exams on the condition of earning a B or higher in their first six semester credits.

Drake University’s College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) is modifying admission requirements to its graduate programs to attract more working professionals. Well-qualified applicants may be admitted without having to complete the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).

“Our graduate programs cater toward working professionals,” said Dianna Gray, the CBPA’s director of graduate admission and engagement. “These individuals often have professional and personal commitments that hinder them from studying or potentially paying for the traditional admission exams, so we worked toward implementing a conditional admission path to ease that transition.”

The condition, according to Gray, is that students must achieve a B or higher in their first six semester credits, after which they will be granted full graduate student standing.

Daniel Connolly, dean of the college, emphasized the benefits Drake can offer to the students. “Being located in the capital city of Des Moines, Drake is situated at the intersection of state government, economic and public policy setting, and commerce,” said Connolly. “Our deep ties to government, nonprofit, and business organizations and leaders provide unparalleled access and learning opportunities that can open doors and propel careers.”

Admission with condition is available for students interested in Drake’s Master of Accounting, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Data Analytics Leadership (MDAL), and Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs. Students on this admission path still qualify to receive financial aid.

“Our graduate programs have always focused on supporting working professionals in their efforts to meet and exceed career goals by providing quality education that enhances their knowledge and skills,” said Danette Kenne, assistant dean of graduate programs.  “The revised areas of specialization along with streamlining program entry for qualified candidates are new ways our programs can meet the needs of these professionals and their organizations.” 

The exclusion of the GMAT and GRE from its admission process for some applicants, however, does not equal a diminishing quality in those master’s programs. Gray stated that the business school still looks at several other factors when evaluating applicants, including one’s relevant career experience, letters of recommendation, and GPA.

“These rigorous requirements go well beyond a test score to ensure we are admitting outstanding students who are diverse, experienced, well-rounded thinkers and leaders,” said Gray.

In addition to the new admission option, the CBPA also recently added five new areas of emphasis/specialization within their graduate programs: Business Analytics (MBA), Executive Leadership & Collaborative Governance (MPA), Cybersecurity (MBA), Information Technology Management (MPA), and Public Service & Social Policy (MPA).        

Drake’s CBPA offers premier programs that develop future leaders with exceptional analytical and data-driven skills. With 48 full-time faculty members and 20 staff members, they focus on maintaining an applications-based teaching environment aiming to provide real-world experience. The college’s programs prepare students for immediate and enduring success in a highly technological, data-driven, and diverse society. For more information, go to