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How do I get a Master's Degree in Business?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 May 2018
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A master’s degree in business actually refers to many different degrees, so students will need to first define what type of degree they wish to earn before applying to schools. The various types of business degrees can have diverse prerequisites, and people preparing applications should get a sense from each program whether or not they meet any and all requirements of the school. Once applicants decide on what type of major to pursue and check to be certain they fulfill the necessary prerequisites, they can begin their work earning a master’s degree in business. Full-time programs usually take two to three years to complete.

As mentioned, people desirous of a master’s degree in business can choose from many types of degrees. Undoubtedly, one of the most popular is the master’s degree in business administration (MBA), which is offered at numerous brick and mortar universities, business schools, and accredited online schools. Some non-accredited schools, particularly online, also offer this degree, but students wanting recognition for earning an MBA or any master’s degree should avoid these. Other masters’ degrees possible include the master’s in business and management (MBM), master’s of accountancy (MAcc), master’s of science in taxation (MST), master’s of science in management (MSc or MSM), master’s of Finance (MSF), and master's of management (MM). This list is not exhaustive and there are other potential degrees to earn that are business-related.

Certain types of degrees may mean having specific background experience and education. Degrees in finance and accounting typically require people to have a bachelor’s degree in these areas. With a master’s degree in business like the MM, MBM, or MBA, some programs don’t require that students majored in business at the undergraduate level, but they often look for work experience in business that typically takes place after any undergraduate degree has been earned. Many schools want to see that a student has at least a couple of years’ work experience in business. A minority of schools may not make this requirement and students could progress immediately from undergraduate studies to master level studies.

Other requirements for application include transcripts showing strong grades, though each school sets its own standards on minimum grade point average. Applicants also need letters of recommendation that may be from academic or professional sources. Some schools require students take standardized tests like the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or tests to prove language competency if this is at issue.

Once students have been accepted to a master’s degree in business program, it usually takes about two to three years to earn the degree, and may take longer if the program is undertaken part-time. Students will participate in a variety of required and elective courses. They then need to complete a thesis or research project before they’re granted their degree. The thesis is usually read and approved by faculty. Some schools also have examinations that students must pass prior to being awarded the master’s degree in business.

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