The MBA is one of the most popular professional degree programs in the world. The MBA is internationally-recognized that develops skills essential to run or manage a business, a government enterprise, or a non-profit organization. Currently there are over 2500 MBA programs worldwide, with over 900 in America alone. One can earn a general MBA or specialize in a certain area within the MBA. A few areas of specialization include:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technologies
  • Business
  • Marketing


Types of MBA Programs:

Today MBA programs are customized to meet the changing needs of working and non-working students. These programs have been customized to make it easy for anyone to earn an MBA and also to meet the different learning needs and priorities of individuals.

Full-time MBA programs remain very popular. These programs take four to six semesters and are offered at many universities throughout the world. Students have the choice to take more courses and to complete the degree in a shorter period of time, say 18 months, if they wish. In other words, a student has the choice to complete the degree in a shorter duration. Some universities require students to have work experience, while many do not require prior work experience. Good universities often have partnerships with corporations in their backyard, thus allowing students to gain practical, real-world experience while taking regular courses.

Part-time MBA is also very popular. These programs are developed to help working adults earn an MBA. These classes are offered in the evenings, and sometimes in the weekends, to help students both work and study. Students can take courses at their convenience and plan their course schedule according to what works best for them. Full-time and part-time students can enroll in the same course and hence, full-time students can benefit from the work experience of part-time students who may be their classmates. A part-time MBA is no less valuable than a full-time MBA and the diploma or degree will read the same.

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are designed for senior executives. Highly case-oriented and rather exclusive, the admission criteria to these programs emphasize several years of mid to senior level work experience. In other words, the breadth of work experience and the level within an organization influence acceptance into an executive MBA program. Often these programs are set up as cohorts – in other words, a group of students will start the program at the same time and graduate at the same time. This allows mid-level managers and executives to form networks and to learn from each others. Renowned faculty, with heavy consulting experience, or who have a business background teach these courses. There is less theory and more focus on solving real-world problems. These programs are often priced higher than regular MBA programs.

Online MBA programs: Online MBA programs are growing in popularity. These courses are delivered entirely on the Net and there is no face-to-face meeting or classes. Some programs may offer video conferencing, while other’s may only allow for email facilities. Regardless of the format, the degree or diploma does not make a distinction between online and face-to-face. In other words, a student who earns a classroom MBA and an online MBA will earn the same degree. Online MBA programs are ideal for working adults. However, online students may not always have the benefit of classroom discussions and peer interactions.

Dual MBA programs: The dual degree has evolved over the years to meet the unique needs of different industries where in-depth knowledge about the industry along with strong business acumen is essential to succeed in high-level jobs. Health care is a good example. The individual may need to have a strong background in health care or medicine or pharmacy, along with good business knowledge as to how to run a health care company or pharmacy. In such cases, the dual degree is a winning combination. Instead of taking four years to earn two graduate degrees, a student can earn a dual degree which is of a shorter duration, costs less, and integrates two fields of study seamlessly.  Popular dual degree MBA programs include engineering, health care, pharmacy, nursing, and law.

What are the Admission Criterias?

As is the case with other degrees, admission criteria vary from one institution to the next. However, most good universities have some variation of the following criteria:

Strong academic profile: The MBA is a difficult and challenging program. Hence, universities look for    students with a strong academic profile (good grades) who can meet the rigorous standards of the program.

Good communication skills: Reading, writing, and speaking skills are sought after in non-profit, corporate, and government. Since MBA prepares students for leadership positions, universities seek students with strong communication skills. Work experience: While not all MBA programs require work experience, many prefer to see students who have some work experience.  This is because students with work experience can add more to the classroom environment as well and are better positioned to put their degree to good user.

Test scores: The GMAT is an important measure of a student’s ability to thrive in an MBA program. While not all universities require the GMAT, many schools do. Some schools accept the GRE score in lie of the GMAT. The higher the GMAT score, the better are your chances of gaining admission to a good university.

Application portfolio: Your application must be well-thought out, complete, and timely.  Your essay and letters of reference must be strong and well-written. While many students dislike writing the essay, and sometimes hire someone to write their essay, this is a terrible idea. Universities are eager to get to know you and why you are interested in their program. Hence, pay attention to your application and your letters of reference.