MBA without Undergraduate degree?


Hello everybody, this is my first post here!

I want to do my MBA, but the problem is I never finished my undergraduate degree. I left school when I was 20 to pursue a business opportunity in sales. I'm turning 30 next year and have been working in the same firm for my whole career, moving from sales associate to senior sales associate, and then two years ago I became manager of regional sales.

The problem is I feel like I have plateaued for the time being- I report to the head of sales, who is just two years older than me and will most likely be in that position for at least 5-6 years. I don't want to wait that long.

I've saved up enough money to take two years off to study and advance my career. But I've spoken with several people who have done their MBAs at various schools and they have said that the baseline requirement is a bachelor's degree and that it is essential that I have one. I don't have the time or the motivation to complete a bachelor's degree.

So I guess my question is does anybody know how strict this rule is? Are there ever any exceptions? First hand stories of people who have gotten into MBA programs without a previous degree would be much appreciated.
Hello everybody, this is my first post here!

I want to do my MBA, but the problem is I never finished my undergraduate degree. I left school when I was 20 to pursue a business opportunity in sales. I'm turning 30 next year and have been working in the same firm for my whole career, moving from sales associate to senior sales associate, and then two years ago I became manager of regional sales.

The problem is I feel like I have plateaued for the time being- I report to the head of sales, who is just two years older than me and will most likely be in that position for at least 5-6 years. I don't want to wait that long.

I've saved up enough money to take two years off to study and advance my career. But I've spoken with several people who have done their MBAs at various schools and they have said that the baseline requirement is a bachelor's degree and that it is essential that I have one. I don't have the time or the motivation to complete a bachelor's degree.

So I guess my question is does anybody know how strict this rule is? Are there ever any exceptions? First hand stories of people who have gotten into MBA programs without a previous degree would be much appreciated.
quote
George Pat...
In the UK (only in the UK) an undergraduate degree is not needed in the majority of universities. In all other countries, it is needed. Visit the websites of the UK universities that interest you and see, they usually have something like "candidates without formal education but with significant work experience, showing career progression, can apply"

A good start are those that are well ranked by the Financial times ranking http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2018

Just email them to know for sure

P.S. You will probably need a good GMAT score for the good ones (worth it)

[Edited by George Patsoulis on Feb 23, 2018]

In the UK (only in the UK) an undergraduate degree is not needed in the majority of universities. In all other countries, it is needed. Visit the websites of the UK universities that interest you and see, they usually have something like "candidates without formal education but with significant work experience, showing career progression, can apply"

A good start are those that are well ranked by the Financial times ranking http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2018

Just email them to know for sure

P.S. You will probably need a good GMAT score for the good ones (worth it)
quote
mba hipste...
Yes, indeed - for UK schools ask about enrolling through an "open entry" or "work experience" route, and if you have decent and adequate work experience, plus, most likely, a good GMAT score, they may consider you.

For instance, from the University of Edinburgh website:

If you do not meet the minimum academic requirement, you may still be considered if:

- you have professional qualifications with substantial work experience; or
- you do not hold a degree or professional qualifications but you have a very strong employment record demonstrating a high degree of responsibility.


And from the Durham website:
Lack of formal qualifications is not necessarily a barrier to admission; managerial experience is also a key consideration for entry to our Full-time MBA programme. In such cases, we may ask you to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating capability in areas such as your management experience, including critical thinking skills and communication skills. Alternatively you may be required to provide a well-balanced GMAT score of a minimum of 600
Yes, indeed - for UK schools ask about enrolling through an "open entry" or "work experience" route, and if you have decent and adequate work experience, plus, most likely, a good GMAT score, they may consider you.

For instance, from the University of Edinburgh website:

[quote]If you do not meet the minimum academic requirement, you may still be considered if:

- you have professional qualifications with substantial work experience; or
- you do not hold a degree or professional qualifications but you have a very strong employment record demonstrating a high degree of responsibility.[/quote]

And from the Durham website:
[quote]Lack of formal qualifications is not necessarily a barrier to admission; managerial experience is also a key consideration for entry to our Full-time MBA programme. In such cases, we may ask you to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating capability in areas such as your management experience, including critical thinking skills and communication skills. Alternatively you may be required to provide a well-balanced GMAT score of a minimum of 600[/quote]
quote
I really appreciate the information, thanks to the both of you.

I suppose I am out of luck in the US? I hadn't considered leaving the country for my MBA. Honestly, that would be a big shift for me, and I need to think about it a bit.

I did take a practice GMAT and although I surprised myself (I didn't think I would do so well), there is still room to improve. In the meantime, I will look more closely at schools in the UK. Thanks again!
I really appreciate the information, thanks to the both of you.

I suppose I am out of luck in the US? I hadn't considered leaving the country for my MBA. Honestly, that would be a big shift for me, and I need to think about it a bit.

I did take a practice GMAT and although I surprised myself (I didn't think I would do so well), there is still room to improve. In the meantime, I will look more closely at schools in the UK. Thanks again!
quote
Duncan
Why not use the credits from your earlier studies and get a BBA?
Why not use the credits from your earlier studies and get a BBA?
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I didn't think that was possible. I will look into that!
I didn't think that was possible. I will look into that!
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Duncan
At the very least somewhere like Thomas Edison State..
At the very least somewhere like Thomas Edison State..
quote
Hey duncan i believe you re pretty much expert in this and i need your advise. Sorry jenner for crashing your post. Basicaly i have a diploma in hotel management, is theres a way i can go for MBA or masters in hotel management after 8 years of experience? without doing a bashelor in hotel management . Any university you would recommend

[Edited by Martin Taka'ongo on Mar 02, 2018]

Hey duncan i believe you re pretty much expert in this and i need your advise. Sorry jenner for crashing your post. Basicaly i have a diploma in hotel management, is theres a way i can go for MBA or masters in hotel management after 8 years of experience? without doing a bashelor in hotel management . Any university you would recommend
quote
Duncan
I think you have the same options as Jenner: top up your diploma to a full degree, or take an MBA at a UK school that would accept you.

I used this approach https://find-mba.com/board/general-forum/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-the-best-school-28559 to see which schools have the most hotel management alumni in the UK (since that is where we have seen the most flexible admissions). I get these options, in descending order:
Edinburgh Napier University

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Manchester

University of Westminster

Nottingham Trent University

With the exception of Napier, all of these have accredited MBAs. The University of Edinburgh is one, and perhaps that is a top target for you since that is a well-ranked MBA? MBS will not be so flexible about your diploma, I think.

I re-ran the search adding in 'MBA' as a keyword. The top five are;
The Open University

University of Wales, Cardiff

London Business School

Oxford Brookes University

Anglia Ruskin University

The OU, LBS and Brookes are accredited. The Brookes and OU MBAs are certainly open to people with diplomas, and also have online options which could be very useful for you. At LBS, I think they might consider you for the EMBA if you have a very strong GMAT, but for the MBA maybe not.

PS I would recommend a top-up degree first, to get more suitable choices and to get a more recent GPA: UCB stands out to me because it awards a degree from a top-tier 'Russell Group' UK university: http://www.ucb.ac.uk/our-courses/top-up/hospitality-tourism-and-events/hospitality-business-management-ba-(hons)-top-up.aspx Personally, I think these top-up degrees provide some or all the core content of an MBA, just at a lower price point and focussed more on functional management rather than general management roles. There are also some specialised online top-up options for example: https://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course/international-hospitality-business-management-ba-top-up-degree-online-course Either way, a degree with additional accreditation from the Institute of Hospitality is worth looking for if you don't go for an accredited MBA.

[Edited by Duncan on Mar 02, 2018]

I think you have the same options as Jenner: top up your diploma to a full degree, or take an MBA at a UK school that would accept you.

I used this approach https://find-mba.com/board/general-forum/how-to-use-linkedin-to-find-the-best-school-28559 to see which schools have the most hotel management alumni in the UK (since that is where we have seen the most flexible admissions). I get these options, in descending order:
Edinburgh Napier University

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Manchester

University of Westminster

Nottingham Trent University

With the exception of Napier, all of these have accredited MBAs. The University of Edinburgh is one, and perhaps that is a top target for you since that is a well-ranked MBA? MBS will not be so flexible about your diploma, I think.

I re-ran the search adding in 'MBA' as a keyword. The top five are;
The Open University

University of Wales, Cardiff

London Business School

Oxford Brookes University

Anglia Ruskin University

The OU, LBS and Brookes are accredited. The Brookes and OU MBAs are certainly open to people with diplomas, and also have online options which could be very useful for you. At LBS, I think they might consider you for the EMBA if you have a very strong GMAT, but for the MBA maybe not.

PS I would recommend a top-up degree first, to get more suitable choices and to get a more recent GPA: UCB stands out to me because it awards a degree from a top-tier 'Russell Group' UK university: http://www.ucb.ac.uk/our-courses/top-up/hospitality-tourism-and-events/hospitality-business-management-ba-(hons)-top-up.aspx Personally, I think these top-up degrees provide some or all the core content of an MBA, just at a lower price point and focussed more on functional management rather than general management roles. There are also some specialised online top-up options for example: https://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course/international-hospitality-business-management-ba-top-up-degree-online-course Either way, a degree with additional accreditation from the Institute of Hospitality is worth looking for if you don't go for an accredited MBA.
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