Business Administration Graduate Programs
What are Business Administration Graduate Programs?
Business Administration Graduate Programs include the MBA and DBA. They also include certificate levels of study. They cover topics that managers and leaders need to know to make informed decisions. Master of Business Administration programs may build skills in key areas. They touch on topics that help managers oversee staff, projects, sales and operations. You can also tailor an MBA degree program to line up with career interests through a concentration.
Doctor of Business Administration Programs help managers grow in executive roles. They often touch on policy and problem solving. The goal? To foster a strategic and global mindset. Research into a focal area can align a DBA program with your career path.
What can you do with an MBA or DBA?
An MBA degree program may help you pursue a management path. Earning a DBA may help you step into top executive leadership. There are a wide range of such corporate jobs in both private and public sectors.
You could pursue goals in a wide range of career areas, like:
- International business
- Financial management
- Supply chain management
- Operations management
- Project management
These grad programs are often aimed at working business professionals. Especially those with big career goals. Earning your MBA or DBA could help you solve real world problems in your current industry. Or, you could pursue a new direction in your career. You could even consider entrepreneurship.
What type of business administration concentrations are there?
There are two types of concentrations in business administration. One type covers areas of management. The other covers area from outside business.
Business focused concentrations help you gain expertise in one area from your core program. You can go deeper into marketing, finance, or organizational behavior.
Non business specializations are areas like information technology or cyber security. These concentrations are not part of an MBA or DBA core. But they can help you apply business skills to this industry. Here are 10 popular concentrations. Don’t see one you like? Choose to design your own.
- Strategic Management
- Business Analytics
- Insurance and Risk Management
- Human Resource Management
- Project Management
- Healthcare Management
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business
- Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations
written by Rana Waxman
What is the difference between business management and business administration?
Both programs often cover many of the same core courses. Yet they are distinct in the type of role they prepare you for.
A grad degree in business management often preps you to manage people and projects. You may learn how to set goals, plan resources and motivate teams. In short, how to plan, supervise teamwork and make data driven decisions.
A grad degree in business administration covers how to run a business. Sure, this includes management. But it’s also so much more. Like how businesses are structured. And how they operate. Not to mention, how they scale up. And compete in a global business marketplace.
Can I earn a Masters in Business Administration degree online?
You can pursue an Masters in Business Administration online. Online masters programs are still offered through a school of business. And they may feature the same MBA curriculum as a traditional program. But they may be more flexible, letting you study on your schedule. That could be perfect if you’re already in the workforce.
An online MBA program may even be more affordable. Why? Because you don’t have to commute, move or leave your job. The trade off is that you’ll study in the virtual space. If you feel you need more in person attention, there are programs in available to you as well.
Salaries for Jobs with Business Administration Graduate Degrees
|Occupation||2021 Annual Media Salary||2021 Employment|
|Marketing Manager||$153,440 per BLS||278,690|
|Chief Executive||$213,020 per BLS||200,480|
|General and Operations Managers||$115,250 per BLS||2,984,920|
|Human Resources Managers||126,230 per BLS||174,200|
Top Business Administration Graduate Programs
Business Administration degrees are reported by the National Center for Education Statistics under the category of Business, management, marketing, and personal and culinary services.
In fact, in the most recent update of the data (2017), across the U.S, there were 108,003 Business Admin degrees awarded to graduate students. The majority, 98% of these, were at the master’s level.
Popular Schools with MBA programs
Types of Business Graduate Programs
There are business grad programs for different levels of education and experience. The most well known is the Masters in Business Administration. There are also paths like the pre-MBA and EMBA. And you could even consider terminal degrees. Like the DBA and PhD.
Interested in taking a few focused classes? There are graduate certificates that enroll you with a bachelor’s degree. These usually cover one specialization.
A pre-MBA program is like a study guide for the Master of Business Administration. It sets out to prepare you to succeed in an MBA. Some will focus more on GMAT and TOEFL exam prep. Or even the MBA application process. Others may help you with areas like making presentations, writing or using technology. Most take a few weeks to a year.
A traditional full time MBA program may take two years to earn. Masters in Business Administration courses offer a broad understanding of how to start or lead a business. At the same time, you can focus on a single aspect of business or strategic management. There are online and part-time options too.
An executive MBA is often a part-time, after-work program. It’s aimed at experienced business people. This program may take from 15 to 24 months to complete. That depends on how many courses you take at once. Many programs forgo electives. That’s because EMBAs target those with 5 to 8 years of work experience. (Check to see if this is a prerequisite for your program.)
Business Graduate Certificates
A graduate certificate in business administration is often equal to an MBA concentration. Usually it consists of a single topic and 3 to 4 courses. So you may be able to earn the cert in one year or less. While this is not a degree, it could help hone your skills and knowledge. So it may be a good way to build on your undergraduate degree. Sometimes students transfer credits to an MBA program when they are ready.
A Doctor of Business Administration is a practice doctorate. Often it’s a 3-year program. It may take less time if you have transfer credits. The format covers a cross section of business topics, strategy and global markets. You’ll also be able to concentrate in an area. Expect to research, analyze and problem solve.
MBA vs DBA
What is the difference between earning an MBA vs DBA? For one, the MBA is a professional master’s degree. The DBA is a terminal degree for business practitioners.
You may enroll in an MBA from college, or after you have been at work for some time. It is often useful if your goal is to step into a managerial role where you might earn more money. There may be an internship to help you gain practical skills. And there’s often a capstone.
Many DBA programs are for students who have their MBA and want to hone executive skills. They may want to focus on setting policy for an organization and are there to learn how. There’s also a component of research which builds critical thinking and thought leadership.
Business Administration or Business Management?
Management is a sub-section of business administration. As such, schools may interchange the terms even though there are some differences.
Both management and administration degrees integrate the same core subjects. Topics like marketing, accounting, economics and finance and statistics, to name a few.
These topics give students a background in how businesses operate. From sourcing and manufacturing a product selling it, making a profit and cash flows.
- Management degrees tend to emphasize planning and organization. Students then might take extra courses in related areas. For instance, communications, logistics, decision-making, information systems and human resources
- Business administration degrees tend to focus on a broad understanding of related topics. Then allow a student to concentrate on a single aspect of business. This may be finance, accounting, marketing, human resources etc.
Take away? Let’s say you want a well-rounded business degree and want to focus on leadership. One option is to search for an accredited business school with an MBA in Management.
Accredited Business Schools
An accredited college of business meets criteria set by professional agencies. Because a school has to apply for this status, they need to show that their curriculum:
- Follows ethical norms for business practices
- Leaves students with skills they may apply in the industry
- Has up-to-date information
So, choosing an accredited institution is often wise. There are a few agencies who accredit business administration grad programs. Each of them has a database of schools they accredit. About every 7 years, a school must renew its status, so the agency website is a good place to check.
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- International Assembly for Collegiate Education (IACBE)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- EFMD Global Network (EQUIS)
- Association Member Benefits Advisors (AMBA)
- Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)
How long does it take to earn a Business Administration Graduate Degree?
Master’s programs like MBAs generally take a full time student from one to two years. Graduate certificates in business administration often take one year or less.
For doctoral programs, one usually needs to complete a final dissertation beyond courses. A DBA degree program may take three to six years to complete beyond the masters. While PhD programs in business administration may take four to five years.
Some students may need more time if they choose to pursue their degree part time. Taking on a fuller course load or using transfer credits may speed up the time to completion.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$141,460||150,300|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$138,000||16,890|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$132,980||41,010|
GradSchools.com offers 998 Graduate Schools with Business Administration and Business Management Graduate Programs
Western Governors University
Grand Canyon University
Colorado State University Global
University of Maryland Global Campus
Northern Illinois University
George Mason University
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Liberty University Online