The process of earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) typically involves several stages. There are often a few requirements that must be completed before a person even applies to an MBA program, plus additional requirements upon acceptance to actually earn the degree. Depending on the program a person chooses, a master’s degree in business administration could take as little as a year and a half or up to several years complete.
In most cases, the first step toward earning a master’s degree in business administration is to earn a bachelor’s degree. Many individuals who plan to pursue an MBA major in business-related subjects, such as finance, accounting or marketing, during undergraduate studies. Some MBA programs, however, do not require specific undergraduate degrees, so some people come to the programs with undergraduate educational backgrounds in seemingly unrelated subjects, such as literature or history.
Once a person completes his or her undergraduate degree, he or she must still generally complete at least a couple of prerequisites before applying to a master’s of business administration program. These prerequisites often vary from program to program, but may include, for example, completion of graduate school entry exams and/or a certain amount of business-related work experience. After completing any such requirements, individuals often then move on to the formal application process, which typically involves filling out application forms, obtaining recommendations from former employers or professors and/or completing interviews with administrators of MBA programs.
Upon acceptance into an MBA program, a person must generally then complete a set number of courses toward the final graduate degree. The exact courses vary by program, but often cover a variety of subjects considered key to business operations, such as accounting, project management and marketing. If the individual has chosen a specific area of study, such as an MBA in marketing, the courses may be more heavily concentrated on that specific subject.
Many MBA programs take about two years of coursework to complete. Courses may be offered online, in a traditional classroom setting or as a combination of both. Some graduate schools offer accelerated programs that allow individuals to earn a master’s degree in business administration in just about a year and a half. Other schools may offer part-time programs that allow students to work while earning their MBA and spread classes out over several years. Once all the required classes and any final projects are successfully completed, a person is usually then presented with his or her master’s degree in business administration.