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MBA Requirements: Prerequisites for Admission

Image: online MBA student - Should I Get an MBA? How to Decide.

Applying for any college degree program is about more than simply filling out a few forms, answering some questions, and signing an application. At every stage of education there are requirements that individuals must have before being accepted into a program of higher learning.

Those considering a return to school from the workplace are going to have to meet some requirements in order to gain admission to Master’s and Doctoral programs. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, for example, isn’t going to accept the average Joe from off the street. In order to earn a spot in one of these programs an individual will need to meet certain prerequisites first.

Bachelor’s Degree in Business

There are very few, if any, Master’s programs available that accept applicants into their programs without having earned a Bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling in the program. There is no specific degree that MBA programs will be looking for, but a Bachelor’s in the field of business is a great start.

Those without an undergraduate business degree shouldn’t rule themselves out as some programs will be looking for diversity in the educational background of their applicants. Degrees in areas such as finance, marketing, and even sociology are acceptable. The important thing for applicants to do is research programs they are considering to learn if that program seeks out students with specific undergrad degrees.

GMAT Scores

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and is a computer based test used to assess verbal, quantitative, analytical writing, and integrated reasoning skills. According to GMAC, there are some 5,400 programs that use GMAT scores to assess potential students regardless of their age, gender, and prior education. Not all MBA programs require GMAT scores, so research the business school you are applying to in order to determine if this is one of their requirements.

Work Experience for MBA Programs

While some Master’s degree programs will accept students who meet simple previous education requirements and have earned the required grades, many MBA programs are looking for potential students who have a real-world education as well. According to, MBA programs sometimes look for a combination of factors and prior work experience may be one of the more important factors.

Those who have already worked in the field of business and can show a basic understanding of business and how it functions are going to have a leg up in MBA programs. Providing a resume and even a reference letter are good ideas for an MBA program application.

Aside from the requirements listed above, there are other requirements that individuals might need to have lined up before applying for an MBA program. notes that MBA program also tend to look at campus involvement among applicants and answers to essay questions.

It is important for all professionals considering enrollment in an MBA program to realize that no two schools are going to hold the same factors in the same standing. Some schools will look for specific undergrad degrees and work experience among applicants, while other schools might have a more varied approach. There is no proven formula among all MBA schools which means it is important for the individual to research the programs and institutions they are looking to enroll in to find out specific requirements.