What is an MBA?

What is an MBA?

Basic information about the Master of Business Administration degree

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally-recognized degree designed to develop the skills required for careers in business and management. The value of the MBA, however, is not limited strictly to the business world. An MBA can also be useful for those pursuing a managerial career in the public sector, government, private industry, and other areas.


Most MBA programs include a "core" curriculum of subjects, such as accounting, economics, marketing, and operations, as well as elective courses that allow participants to follow their own personal or professional interests. Some schools require that MBA candidates complete an internship at a company or organization, which can lead to concrete job opportunities after the program.

Quality business schools generally require that candidates have at least a few years of professional work experience before starting an MBA program. Applicants are also asked to submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores, academic transcripts, letters of reference, and an essay or statement of purpose that reflects why they want to pursue an MBA. Non-native English speakers usually have to prove adequate English skills with TOEFL or IELTS scores, or through previous academic experience.

The MBA is currently the most popular professional degree program in the world. Today there are over 2,500 MBA programs offered worldwide; most are offered in English. First introduced at universities in the United States around the turn of the 20th century, MBA programs have evolved to keep up with the demands of the times.

While traditional two-year MBA programs are still common, especially in the United States, one-year programs have become increasingly popular. Part-time and online programs are also widely available for professionals not willing or unable to take a year or two off to do a full-time program. Executive MBA (EMBA) programs are part-time programs targeted at professionals with more years of managerial experience than traditional MBA candidates.

MBA FAQs

Am I a Good MBA Candidate?
Am I a Good MBA Candidate?

What business schools are looking for

Do I Need an MBA?
Do I Need an MBA?

Thinking about applying for an MBA? Find out if an MBA might be the right step for your career now

FAQ: Funding Your MBA
FAQ: Funding Your MBA

From tracking down MBA scholarships to loans and employer sponsorships, some tips about how to pay for an MBA

How do I Apply for an MBA?
How do I Apply for an MBA?

Check to see if you have all your application materials you'll need to apply for an MBA

How do I Pay for my MBA?
How do I Pay for my MBA?

One of the biggest challenges facing many prospective MBA students is finding a way to afford the high costs of attending business school for one or two years.

MBA Accreditation: Why is it Important?
MBA Accreditation: Why is it Important?

Three quality standards that can help you pick a business school with more confidence

What is an MBA Concentration?
What is an MBA Concentration?

Should you specialize your MBA by choosing a concentration? What are some of the most popular concentrations?

What is the GMAT?
What is the GMAT?

The GMAT is required to apply for many MBA programs. Here's more about the test and how it works

Where Should I do my MBA?
Where Should I do my MBA?

For some, it makes sense to stay local, while others might find better opportunities and adventure elsewhere

Which Kind of MBA Program is Right for Me?
Which Kind of MBA Program is Right for Me?

A variety of MBA programs, from full-time cohort options to EMBAs and online MBAs, cater to a range of needs

Why Should I do an MBA?
Why Should I do an MBA?

From career advancement to moving to a new country, there are many reasons why an MBA makes sense