Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership & Policy Studies

Committee Chair

Charisse Gulosino

Committee Member

Lou Franceschini

Committee Member

Dustin Hornbeck

Committee Member

Balaji Krishna


College and university admission testing requirements often serve as a barrier to many students seeking advanced degrees. Many graduate school admission boards/committees use the minimum testing requirement as a predictor variable to explain a student’s chance for success in a program. Before the 2020 Fall semester, many graduate schools required a minimum set score on either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as a part of admission requirements. However, during that time, standardized testing ceased, and colleges and universities had to implement new admission requirements that did not include testing. These new policies became known as test-optional, where other criteria for admission were used. This study seeks to fill that gap in the literature by examining the trends in admission and enrollment of cohorts to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at a large urban university before and following test-optional admission policies. Cohort demographics analyzed the impact of policy change on admissions by gender, ethnicity, and age. Research for this study was conducted using critical race theory and QuantCrit to identify and change specific policies that marginalize people of color. The study's first research question was about the admission of students based on their race and gender. It was found that there was a higher proportion of White male students admitted for the first two cohorts, but this was balanced out with the third cohort and nearly disappeared with the fourth cohort, which implemented a test-optional policy. Binary multiple regression was used to confirm the trends observed for the second research question, while the OLS regressions were used to predict students' GPAs over the short- and long-term. It was found that the GMAT tended to be successful in predicting GPAs, while the GRE was not. Lastly, when GPAs were compared across semesters, between-cohort differences in average GPAs, as well as differences in the pattern of the GPAs themselves, were not statistically significant before and after the change in admission policy.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access