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?
quote
I didn't think that was possible. I will look into that!
I didn't think that was possible. I will look into that!
quote
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.
quote
Sorry I'm a little late to this thread but there have been exceptions regarding the bachelor's degree requirement. One example is Kat Cole https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kat_Cole. She was able to do the Executive MBA program at Georgia State University without a previous bachelor's degree.

University of Chicago's Booth School may make exceptions for applicants with impressive professional or personal track records. Here's the FAQ https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/exec-mba/faq

Hope this helps.

- GP
Sorry I'm a little late to this thread but there have been exceptions regarding the bachelor's degree requirement. One example is Kat Cole https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kat_Cole. She was able to do the Executive MBA program at Georgia State University without a previous bachelor's degree.

University of Chicago's Booth School may make exceptions for applicants with impressive professional or personal track records. Here's the FAQ https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/exec-mba/faq

Hope this helps.

- GP
quote
Razors Edg...
That Booth policy is a way for them to recruit exceptional candidates who may, for whatever reason, have not completed their undergraduate studies.

I'd argue that this is fundamentally different that what the original poster was talking about, since the Booth EMBA recruits candidates with substantially more experience (13 years+) at higher management levels, than a full-time MBA would. If you're an exceptional candidate compared to those kinds of qualifications (but don't have a bachelor's degree), all the more power to you.
That Booth policy is a way for them to recruit exceptional candidates who may, for whatever reason, have not completed their undergraduate studies.

I'd argue that this is fundamentally different that what the original poster was talking about, since the Booth EMBA recruits candidates with substantially more experience (13 years+) at higher management levels, than a full-time MBA would. If you're an exceptional candidate compared to those kinds of qualifications (but don't have a bachelor's degree), all the more power to you.
quote
Dehunt
Hi! I have been following this post and have actually been inspired to apply for an online MBA programme. I have just been accepted into the University of Liverpool MBA programme online but I have also applied to university of London, Oxford Brookes and University of Strathclyde. I have yet to hear from the others about my application.

Has anyone had experience with the University of Liverpool online MBA?

Thank you.


Dehunt
Hi! I have been following this post and have actually been inspired to apply for an online MBA programme. I have just been accepted into the University of Liverpool MBA programme online but I have also applied to university of London, Oxford Brookes and University of Strathclyde. I have yet to hear from the others about my application.

Has anyone had experience with the University of Liverpool online MBA?

Thank you.


Dehunt
quote
mba hipste...
What are your goals? For most students, the Strathclyde program would be the best of this selection, by a long shot.
What are your goals? For most students, the Strathclyde program would be the best of this selection, by a long shot.
quote
Dehunt
Thank you for your advice mba hipster. My goals are for self improvement / be more qualified as an entrepreneur. It is also for a possible career change, to be more marketable as a leader and manager.

I own a few businesses and I am now wanting to fill in the gaps in my knowledge - perhaps to give me more confidence to take on bigger challenges as an entrepreneur.

I’ve just been invited for an interview at Oxford Brookes and I am also expecting to hear from Strathclyde next week. It’s a long shot for me for Strathclyde I think but I thought there was no harm in applying. If I don’t get in to Strathclyde and I am left with the choice of University of Liverpool or Oxford Brookes, would you or anyone be able to advice on the better university?

Thank you

Dehunt
Thank you for your advice mba hipster. My goals are for self improvement / be more qualified as an entrepreneur. It is also for a possible career change, to be more marketable as a leader and manager.

I own a few businesses and I am now wanting to fill in the gaps in my knowledge - perhaps to give me more confidence to take on bigger challenges as an entrepreneur.

I’ve just been invited for an interview at Oxford Brookes and I am also expecting to hear from Strathclyde next week. It’s a long shot for me for Strathclyde I think but I thought there was no harm in applying. If I don’t get in to Strathclyde and I am left with the choice of University of Liverpool or Oxford Brookes, would you or anyone be able to advice on the better university?

Thank you

Dehunt
quote
laurie
I would think that if you aren't interested in transitioning from elsewhere to the UK, then the Liverpool program would be ok, if that and Brookes are your only options. I'd give the slight edge to Liverpool, but at this level there wouldn't be *that* much difference.

The things you'd be missing out on by not getting into a school like Strathclyde would be (a) the recruiting funnel into good firms, and (b) the stronger network. The network would be important if you're looking to connect with VCs, or with big firms in your country.

I do agree with hipster that the Strathclyde program would be much better in the long run.
I would think that if you aren't interested in transitioning from elsewhere to the UK, then the Liverpool program would be ok, if that and Brookes are your only options. I'd give the slight edge to Liverpool, but at this level there wouldn't be *that* much difference.

The things you'd be missing out on by not getting into a school like Strathclyde would be (a) the recruiting funnel into good firms, and (b) the stronger network. The network would be important if you're looking to connect with VCs, or with big firms in your country.

I do agree with hipster that the Strathclyde program would be much better in the long run.
quote
Dehunt
Thank you for your reply Laurie. I am actually based in the U.K. with a few small businesses that I manage myself. I’ve heard from Strathclyde who has given me a conditional offer which, unfortunately, I can’t meet. Though I have stated in my application that I have a bachelor’s degree that I did not complete, they have made an offer on the condition that I submit my bachelor’s degree certificate. I have sent them a reply explaining my situation and have yet to hear. I think that offer may be withdrawn because of this?

I will certainly consider your advice about Liverpool and Oxford Brookes. Thank you all for your sage advice.

Kind regards.
Thank you for your reply Laurie. I am actually based in the U.K. with a few small businesses that I manage myself. I’ve heard from Strathclyde who has given me a conditional offer which, unfortunately, I can’t meet. Though I have stated in my application that I have a bachelor’s degree that I did not complete, they have made an offer on the condition that I submit my bachelor’s degree certificate. I have sent them a reply explaining my situation and have yet to hear. I think that offer may be withdrawn because of this?

I will certainly consider your advice about Liverpool and Oxford Brookes. Thank you all for your sage advice.

Kind regards.
quote
mba hipste...
It's possible the offer will be withdrawn. On their application requirements webpage, they say that they do require an undergraduate degree. However, it does say "Professional qualifications will also be considered," which makes me think that if you have enough (quality) work experience, this requirement could be waived. This is typical for many b-schools in the UK. Hopefully they get back to you with positive news!
It's possible the offer will be withdrawn. On their application requirements webpage, they say that they do require an undergraduate degree. However, it does say "Professional qualifications will also be considered," which makes me think that if you have enough (quality) work experience, this requirement could be waived. This is typical for many b-schools in the UK. Hopefully they get back to you with positive news!
quote
Dehunt
Thank you mba hipster. Strathclyde have not withdrawn the offer but have scheduled an interview instead. I’ve had an offer from Oxford Brookes as well but will wait for the outcome of the Strathclyde interview before confirming with the other schools. Thank you again for the invaluable advice.
Thank you mba hipster. Strathclyde have not withdrawn the offer but have scheduled an interview instead. I’ve had an offer from Oxford Brookes as well but will wait for the outcome of the Strathclyde interview before confirming with the other schools. Thank you again for the invaluable advice.
quote
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]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]
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
[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 [/quote]
quote

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