GMAC launches business school prep courses

BY Sydney LakeJune 15, 2022, 1:05 PM
Students during a class at the North Carolina State University Jenkins Graduate College of Management in Raleigh, North Carolina, as seen in September 2021. (Photographer: Logan Cyrus—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Students who majored in business as undergrads are much more likely to consider earning an MBA than those who didn’t major in business, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s 2022 Prospective Students Survey. And yet, business schools also receive thousands of applications each year from students who majored in the humanities and STEM, data from Earnest shows.

To prepare future MBA students who didn’t major in business or who are looking to revisit certain topics ahead of graduate school, GMAC announced in May the launch of its Business Fundamentals program, which includes “micro” courses in statistics, accounting, and finance. 

“The program and course series are valuable for those who may not be utilizing this type of knowledge in their current role and are seeking a career change by pursuing an MBA or business master’s degree,” Joy Jones, GMAC’s chief product officer, tells Fortune. “The course series is helpful for candidates to gauge their readiness and build their confidence before they apply for business school and all the way up to the time they begin their program, so they are ready for success from the start.”

GMAC administers the GMAT, a standardized test that gauges analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. The GMAT is often a requirement when applying to MBA programs, although some schools did away with that in light of COVID-19-related complications.

How the program works

Education company Kaplan offers the course series, which was developed by content specialists at top business schools including the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Georgetown University (McDonough), George Mason University School of Business, and Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim). 

Students can complete all three courses in 40 hours to 60 hours, or individually at 12 hours to 20 hours apiece, Jones says. Rutgers University and the University of Texas–Austin (McCombs), both of which Fortune ranks as having top full-time MBA programs, are among business schools that are even using these courses to prepare their admitted students, she adds.

“For those who are switching from a non-business undergraduate background or seeking a career change by pursuing an MBA or business master’s degree, the course series is especially beneficial earlier in their process, allowing them to speak to upgrading their skills in their application,” Jones says.

This bootcamp-like program prepares—or brushes up—future MBA students for some of the core courses they’ll take in business school. Each course—statistics, accounting, and finance—costs $99, or a package of all three costs $199. Interested students aren’t required to apply, but registration is required. By comparison, Harvard Business School, which Fortune ranks as having the No. 1 full-time MBA program in the country, offers a similar business fundamentals course for $2,250. Harvard’s curriculum, however, includes business analytics, economics for managers, and financial accounting.

GMAC courses are available 24/7, and content includes videos, quizzes, and exercises to practice the subject matter. GMAC will even send your final exam scores to the schools to which you’re applying. While the GMAC courses will help you prepare for business school, you’ll still likely need to complete core courses in similar subject areas as part of your MBA program.

See how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in public health programsbusiness analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.