FIND THE BEST MBA FOR YOU

HowToMBA.com walks you through the three major components of choosing your MBA degree program by explaining how to:

  • Find the right MBA program
  • Get Accepted
  • Pay for your MBA degree

Get objective, expert advice in all of these areas here at HowToMBA.com.

 

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First step to getting your MBA:
Find the right MBA for you

With so many different kinds of MBA degree programs available and so many specialties, concentrations, and great schools around the world, choosing the right place for you can be difficult. Find out where to start.


What is an MBA?

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is a graduate school degree program that provides students with the core knowledge necessary to take on an executive or managerial role at an enterprise. The MBA is one of the most multi-disciplinary graduate degrees and includes elements of organizational behavior, economics, strategy, communications, and much more.

Most MBA programs require students to take a variety of classes in core business areas such as finance and marketing, particularly during the first year, but later allow for specialization in elective fields, like entrepreneurship, health management and real estate.

Types of MBA Programs

Deciding you want to pursue an MBA degree is only the first step to getting an MBA. Part of that step is selecting which MBA program works best for you. The following is a breakdown of the most common kinds of MBA programs:

  • Part-Time MBA Programs: Part-time MBA programs typically offer classes on nights or weekends to allow students to continue working throughout the program. Students may graduate in two years, but some programs allow a student to take five or six years to graduate if they choose to work at a slower pace.
  • Online MBA Programs: Online MBA, or distance learning programs, have evolved rapidly in recent years and now provide greater flexibility and accessibility to MBA education through a variety of technologies, including video-conferencing, social networking, message boards and email.
  • Executive MBA Programs: Executive MBA programs are designed for professionals who have more years of professionals experience than those in other types of MBA programs. They are administered as part-time two-year degrees, allowing students to keep their jobs while they complete the degree.
  • Accelerated MBA Programs: Accelerated MBA programs provide many of the benefits of full-time programs while allowing students with working experience to spend approximately 10 to 15 months out of the workforce.
  • Blended MBA Programs: Blended, or Hybrid, MBA programs include elements of both brick-and-mortar and online programs. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into business and education, more blended MBA programs are appearing.

There are also three primary teaching methodologies employed in a typical MBA program, including case study, lecture and discussion, and experiential learning. At most business schools, the goal is to optimally combine these methods so as to best prepare students for the variety of challenges they will encounter in the business world.

MBA Rankings are one source of information that you can consult as you decide which MBA programs to which you will apply, and it is a good idea to review all of the major rankings as they all have different focuses. Forbes, for instance, ranks business schools solely using its own ROI measurements. Bloomberg Businessweek provides MBA rankings based on the experience of recent graduates and corporate recruiters.

Check out our helpful guide on how to find your MBA!


Second step to getting your MBA:
Get accepted into your MBA program

The MBA Application is another key part of the admissions process. The information in the application will form and shape the school’s overall impression of you. The tips below will assist you in developing a more competitive application.


Academic Transcript

Undergraduate students from many different disciplines go on to earn MBA degrees. Business schools do not require or give strong preference to students from any particular academic background. Instead, they look for dynamic individuals with a history of professional accomplishments and a proven ability to succeed in a rigorous academic program.

A strong transcript with some basic mathematics’ courses will certainly help your application, but rather than trying to focus the admissions committee’s attention on a particular area of your transcript, frame your undergraduate studies as a formative experience that contributed to your professional development and your current goal of earning an MBA.

Admissions Essays

MBA application essays are the part of your application where you have the most freedom in expressing yourself, in telling the admissions committee what really makes your life experience, professional vision and unique skill-set the right match for their business school.

Resume / Work Experience

Work experience is one of the most significant aspects of an MBA application. GMAT scores, academic success and well-written essays can go a long way toward getting you into business school, but there is no substitute for life experience or professional achievements.

MBA programs look for meaningful life and work experience rather than achievement in a specific field. While a typical applicant might have a few years of experience in investment banking or corporate marketing, admissions committees also keep their eyes open for outliers who will bring diversity to their school.

The GMAT

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is a standardized test developed by the Graduate Management Admissions Council specifically to help evaluate business school applicants. It is one of the standard criteria for admission to MBA programs, although some business schools have recently begun to accept the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as an alternative.

However, since the GMAT generally has a more difficult math section and less vocabulary-intensive Verbal section than the GRE, many schools prefer the GMAT as an indicator of business acumen.


Third step to getting your MBA:
Finance your MBA

Figuring out exactly how to finance your MBA degree can be difficult. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there such as scholarships, grants and loans. Learn about different MBA financing options and decide what will work best for you.


Return on Investment (ROI)

Earning an MBA is one of the most rewarding investments you are likely to make. There are many quantifiable and qualitative factors you should consider when making this investment and once you have a sense of these, you’ll be better able to perform a realistic return-on-investment calculation regarding pursuing your MBA.

Here are the most important factors when calculating ROI for an MBA: Cost of Degree, Opportunity Costs, MBA Salary, Networking, Skills and Knowledge, and Credibility.

MBA Salary

One of the most popular reasons for pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration is the prospect of a lucrative career. Professionals who hold advanced business degrees are highly marketable, and the skills derived from a solid educational foundation in business will prove useful in any career path.

Companies are always looking for talented dedicated business experts, and one of the best indications of this is an MBA. Professionals with an MBA are not only more appealing to potential employers, but will advance in their current careers, gaining access to higher level positions and earning better compensation.

Sources of MBA Funding

Business education is one of the safest investments you can make. While an MBA comes with a significant price tag, anxiety about financing your education should not prevent you from investing in your future. Numerous sources of financial aid exist for every student, from seasoned professionals to combat veterans to international students.

Some of the most crucial resources for financial aid include: Federal Student Loans, Private Student Loans, MBA Scholarships (see Tip #1 below for more information), Military Funding, and asking your company to sponsor your MBA.


Have you decided which top MBA program you’ll be applying to?
Learn more about some of our recommended online programs!
Sponsored Programs


MBA@American

Master of Business Administration

American University’s Kogod School of Business offers MBA@American, an online Master of Business Administration, to students looking to gain experience and advance their management careers. Students can deepen their expertise with concentrations in marketing, finance, international business, business analytics or consulting.

Learn More About MBA@American

Master of Business Administration

American University’s Kogod School of Business offers MBA@American, an online Master of Business Administration, to students looking to gain experience and advance their management careers. Students can deepen their expertise with concentrations in marketing, finance, international business, business analytics or consulting.

Learn More About MBA@American

MBA@Simmons
MBA@Simmons

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Simmons, the online Master of Business Administration program from Simmons College School of Business, is uniquely designed to prepare students for management roles in today’s competitive business landscape with a particular emphasis on women’s leadership.

Learn More About MBA@Simmons

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Simmons, the online Master of Business Administration program from Simmons College School of Business, is uniquely designed to prepare students for management roles in today’s competitive business landscape with a particular emphasis on women’s leadership.

Learn More About MBA@Simmons

MBA@UNC

Master of Business Administration

MBA@UNC, the online MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, blends the flexibility of online learning with the rigor and quality of a world-class business education. Students develop the strategic insights to lead top organizations, network face-to-face with accomplished business leaders and earn the same degree as students who attend on campus.

Learn More About MBA@UNC

Master of Business Administration

MBA@UNC, the online MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, blends the flexibility of online learning with the rigor and quality of a world-class business education. Students develop the strategic insights to lead top organizations, network face-to-face with accomplished business leaders and earn the same degree as students who attend on campus.

Learn More About MBA@UNC

MBA@Syracuse

Master of Business Administration

The online MBA from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, MBA@Syracuse, offers students a foundation in core business principles and hands-on residency experiences. Specializations are available in accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing management and supply chain management.

Learn More About MBA@Syracuse

Master of Business Administration

The online MBA from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, MBA@Syracuse, offers students a foundation in core business principles and hands-on residency experiences. Specializations are available in accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing management and supply chain management.

Learn More About MBA@Syracuse

HealthCareMBA@Simmons
HealthCareMBA@Simmons

Master of Business Administration in Health Care

HealthCareMBA@Simmons, the online Master of Business Administration in Health Care program from Simmons College School of Business, provides students with the best of both worlds: greater depth in health care management than a traditional MBA, and sharper analytical and critical thinking skills than other types of health management advanced degrees.

Learn More About HealthCareMBA@Simmons

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Denver, the University of Denver’s online MBA, prepares purpose-driven professionals for leadership in just 21 months. Students attend live online classes and complete self-paced coursework.

Learn More About HealthCareMBA@Simmons

MBA@Denver
MBA@Denver

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Denver, the University of Denver’s online MBA, prepares purpose-driven professionals for leadership in just 21 months. Students attend live online classes and complete self-paced coursework.

Learn More About MBA@Denver

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Denver, the University of Denver’s online MBA, prepares purpose-driven professionals for leadership in just 21 months. Students attend live online classes and complete self-paced coursework.

Learn More About MBA@Denver

MBA@Dayton
MBA@Dayton

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Dayton, the AACSB-accredited online MBA from the University of Dayton, prepares students to lead ethically. Students with business experience may qualify for the one-year MBA.

Learn More About MBA@Dayton

Master of Business Administration

MBA@Dayton, the AACSB-accredited online MBA from the University of Dayton, prepares students to lead ethically. Students with business experience may qualify for the one-year MBA.

Learn More About MBA@Dayton



Helpful Tips for Current and Future MBA Students

Enjoy helpful tips, suggestions, and advice from experts as you pursue your Master’s in Business Administration.


Tip #1: Scholarships for MBA Students

There is an MBA scholarship for every type of MBA student! Refer to the list below when looking for the right MBA scholarship opportunity for you!

  • MBA Scholarships For Hispanic and Latino Candidates:
    • General College Scholarship, ALFPA, NSHMBA
  • MBA Scholarships For Black Candidates
    • NBMBAA Graduate Scholarship Program, NBMBAA Collegiate Chapter Scholarship, NABA Scholarship
  • MBA Scholarships For Minority Candidates
    • Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship, Toigo MBA Fellowship
  • MBA Scholarships For Women Candidates
    • Career Development Grant, NAWMBA Board of Directors Scholarship, NAWMBA Wal-Mart Scholarship
  • MBA Scholarships For Green Card-holders and First Generation Americans
    • The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
  • MBA Scholarships For LGBT Candidates
    • Point Foundation
  • MBA Scholarships For Candidates with a History of Community Involvement
    • AKAEAF Merit Scholarship, AKAEAF Financial Need Scholarship

Tip #2: Asking Your Company to Sponsor your MBA

Asking your company to pay for your graduate business education sounds like a great idea, but making the request can be a delicate proposition. How can you raise the subject in a professional and persuasive manner? What do you need to know beforehand? What will your boss ask in exchange? Part-time and online MBA options are usually more realistic for corporate sponsorship as they allow most candidates to continue on in a full-time job while earning their MBA. These five steps will help you learn how to ask your company to sponsor your MBA:

  1. Finding out the basics
  2. Framing your request for corporate sponsorship
  3. Learning how to prepare a formal proposal
  4. Understanding how to evaluate an offer
  5. Uncovering any tax implications

Tip #3: Accreditation: ACBSP vs AACSB

Along with rank and course offerings, accreditation is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting which business school to attend. Accreditation is the process by which schools are certified on the level of competency or credibility of their programs. Therefore, accreditation can be thought of as quality assurance for educational programs, which is meant to improve and maintain the standard of collegiate business education.

AACSB

AACSB accreditation places a strong emphasis on business schools with a focus on research. According to the organization’s website, AACSB Accreditation Standards are used as the basis to evaluate a business school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, and programs. In order to obtain AACSB accreditation, business schools must meet the qualifications of all standards, which are divided into three areas: strategic management, participants standards and assurance of learning standards, among other guidelines.

ACBSP

The ACBSP is considered a specialized accreditation for business schools and programs, and places an emphasis on teaching and learning rather than research. In order to obtain ACBSP accreditation, business schools must have an overall satisfactory score from the organization’s Board of Commissioners and peer-review evaluators in the following categories: Leadership, Strategic planning, Student and stakeholder focus, Student learning and performance, Faculty and staff focus, Educational and business process management.


Recommended Online MBA Programs
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