Masters in Business Administration Programs

Masters in Business Administration programs, sometimes abbreviated as MBA or M.B.A.,provide core courses in areas of business such as accounting, business research, business law, finance, marketing, human resources, operations, and statistics.

As an internationally-recognized degree, the MBA is a potential asset that may lead to earning better wages, enhancing your career, or climbing the corporate ladder. I

Masters in Business Administration

What is a Master's in Business Administration?

The Master's in Business Administration is a professional business degree in Business Administration. MBA programs highlight all the elements that make a business operate efficiently and profitably. Topics of study span analytics, finance, negotiations and strategy.

Develop the Ability to Manage and Lead

Masters in Business Administration programs help students develop vital managerial skills. For instance, they could develop the ability to think critically. MBA students also study how to lead people, teams and organizations. A plus in any industry! As a sought-after degree, the MBA may appeal to the entrepreneur, the executive and the scholar.

FACT: The MBA degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. i

What Topics are Studied in MBA Programs?

Business administration majors are grounded in management theory and its application in a variety of fields. Most MBA programs include a "core" curriculum of business topics.

  • Finance (e.g. budgeting, cash flow)
  • Business research
  • Business law
  • Marketing and branding
  • Human resources
  • Managerial economics
  • Management theory
  • Accounting (e.g. business taxes)

Some schools require that MBA candidates also complete an internship at a company or organization. This may lead to concrete job opportunities after the program. Schools vary.

What are MBA Concentrations?

In addition to core courses, participants take elective courses that allow them to follow their own personal or professional interests. These are called concentration areas. Choosing to spotlight an area within a Masters in Business Administration program may provide the leadership techniques needed to pursue a career in management within a specific setting (e.g. marketing, finance, nursing, technology).

How Many Credits are MBA Programs?

Masters in Business Administration programs require the completion of anywhere from 33 to 45 to 60 credits. Why the variance? Students without a prior business degree may have more credits. Students with a prior business degree and work experience may have fewer credits. Check with each school on your list to see how the credits stack up. 

How Long is an MBA Program?

It takes the average, full-time student, about two years to complete a ‘standard’ Masters in Business Administration program. There are a variety of other MBA programs for students who have a full-time job, busy schedule, need flexibility, or would like to graduate early.

What Types of MBA Programs Are There?

Masters in Business Administration programs come in several formats that target different student bodies. In fact, it is now possible to find an MBA program that suits not only your time-table but also, your experience level. Here is a brief overview of some types of MBA programs other than the classic full-time model.

Part-time MBA Programs

Part-Time MBA Programs may take from three to six years to complete depending on the graduate school. Part-time programs are structured for working students and those who cannot attend school full-time. These may also be referred to as ‘Flexible’ MBA programs and may meet in the evenings.

Accelerated MBA Programs

One-Year Full Time MBA Programs are condensed, accelerated and intensive. Because of the time constraints, students take more classes than they would in most other full-time programs.

Pre-MBA Programs

Pre-MBA programs are often used as a way for undergraduates to prepare for the challenges of an MBA. Some are short and others could take a year or so. You might find a program that is geared to GMAT or TOEFL preparation, whereas others may emphasize writing, communication or technical skills. Pre-MBA programs may prepare students with a distinct idea of where their interests lie (e.g. finance vs. health administration).

Executive Masters of Business Administration | EMBA Programs

An Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is an MBA intended for working executives, managers, business leaders and current entrepreneurs. Some EMBA programs are full-time, 1-year programs for professionals with about 5 years of work experience.

Graduate Certificates in Business Administration

Graduate certificates in business administration tend to be shorter term than full business degrees. These might offer a preparatory academic step towards an MBA, where students take the core MBA courses. Credits might then be transferred if a student opts to pursue their Masters in Business Administration later (though this is subject to each business school’s requirements). Others graduate certificates in business might be offered to experienced candidates as add-on credentials.

Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs may deliver all or most of the curriculum via web-based platforms. Distance-learning appeals to students who need the extra convenience of self-pacing. Plus, with no commute time, distance learning may be more convenient. Not quite ready to give up interaction? Look for a blended online MBA program. These combine online and on-campus learning.

MBA vs Masters of Science in Management

Students specifically interested in management might opt for a Masters of Science in Management program. This degree emphasizes planning, leading, and applying research to a business setting. Though students can choose an Masters degree in Business Administration with a management concentration, the MS in Management focuses on the science of this one topic. Coursework may include the following subjects.

  • Communication
  • Logistics
  • Decision-making
  • Business information systems
  • Forecasting

How Do I Earn a Masters in Business Administration?

Are you interested in pursuing a Masters in Business Administration? The first step is to earn a Bachelors degree from an accredited college. Some students may have earned a Bachelors in Business Administration, however, the undergraduate degree does not have to be business. For many schools, any major is accepted. Aside from that, keep the following possible next steps in mind.

  • Take the GMAT: GMAT is a rigorous, standardized test. Some business schools not only require these test scores for entrance, but use to differentiate applicants.
  • Log some work experience: Some MBA programs look at your resume and real-world career history.
  • Research MBA programs: Each university has unique courses, faculty and teaching style. Keep your own career goals in mind. Make sure you understand what is required to enroll and to graduate.

Find Accredited MBA Programs

Whichever Masters in Business Administration programs you are considering, business school accreditation should be on your priority checklist. Many schools that offer MBA programs are regionally accredited by one of six agencies. Each of these is recognized by the Department of Education. This means (if you are eligible), Federal Student Aid may be available. It is also a sign that the institution adheres to quality standards. Plus, only regionally or nationally accredited schools may have accredited MBA programs. To find out if a business school is accredited, check the accreditation agency’s website to see if their status is current.

This next tier of accreditation for MBA programs is awarded by another type of accreditor. Program-specific accreditation is a stamp of approval for the actual program content. It speaks to course relevancy, and follows guidelines set forth by the accrediting agency. Plus, it shows that the quality of programming is continually monitored to maintain the ‘accredited’ status. There are several agencies that might accredit individual MBA programs.

  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
  • Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Beyond the MBA

Students leaning toward advanced research and cultivating expertise might consider a doctoral degree. Post-MBA, these degrees include PhD in Management and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs.

Potential MBA Careers

While many management occupations require a Bachelor’s degree as the entry-level education requirement, iii earning an MBA or DBA degree might prepare graduates for positions of seniority or higher wages. i In fact, per the BLS, many top executives have a Master’s degree in Business Administration. iv

  • Chief Executives (e.g. CEO, CFO)
  • Business Administration Professor, Researcher
  • Business Analyst
  • Management Consultant

Take the Next Step

Are you are drawn to commodities, consulting, market research or management? Do you want to learn how to apply strategic thinking to a specific field? Masters in Business Administration programs can be tailored to your interests and schedule.

Using our site is easy. Look for MBA Schools by location (city, state, country). Or refine by ‘online’ or ‘hybrid’ formats. Then, browse our extensive directory of paid listings. Use the on-page form to request the information you need directly from prospective business graduate schools. Take the next step today!

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Learn More About Business

The Welch MBA program at Sacred Heart University offers an emphasis on applied and experiential learning with real-world examples of concepts/skills
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