Are you MBA material? Here’s a breakdown of the entry requirements for an MBA. When you start your MBA journey, the application process can feel like a maze. What are the MBA admission requirements at your target schools? What does the MBA admissions process look like?
Luckily, whether you’re applying for a full-time MBA, an online or part-time MBA, or an Executive MBA program, the requirements are similar.
The main difference is you’ll likely need a lot more career experience to successfully apply for an Executive MBA, and one-year MBA programs in the US might require you to already have a business background.
Entry Requirements For An MBA:
- Work experience (MBA: 2-3 years; EMBA: 5+ years)
- Bachelor’s degree
- Recommendation letters
- Proof of English proficiency (e.g. TOEFL)
In our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2021-22, we guide you through the key components of a successful MBA application, with exclusive insights and application tips from leading business school admissions experts.
We also list the latest full-time MBA application deadlines for the world’s top business schools.
Here’s an overview of the key MBA requirements from our guide:
Work experience is one of the MBA entry requirements that varies across program types. There are some MBA programs that are applicable to candidates with little or no work experience, but most will ask you for at least a few years of experience to meet their MBA eligibility criteria.
Full-time MBA programs typically require 2-3 years of work experience.
If you’re applying for an Executive MBA program, you’ll be required by most schools to have a strong level of work experience, usually more than 5 years. Students in the London Business School Executive MBA classroom have an average of 12 years’ work experience.
Online MBA programs vary, with some programs requiring students to have only one year work experience, and others up to six, according to the BusinessBecause Online MBA Guide 2021.
Business schools require you to submit a copy of your undergraduate degree transcripts. Most schools look for a bachelor’s degree, or international equivalent, from a recognized university.
However, this does not have to be specifically focused in business. Many schools are open to and actively encourage applicants from non-traditional MBA backgrounds.
While there is rarely a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement for MBA admissions, you should look at the average GPA and GPA range for the MBA class you’re applying to and assess your chances.
The GMAT is the leading standardized admission test for business schools. It tests your verbal and quantitative skills and measures your suitability for an MBA.
The GMAT test is a computer-adaptive test—it gets easier or harder as you answer the questions, depending on whether you get an answer right or wrong. Scores range from 200 to 800.
When you’re trying to figure out what is a good GMAT score, the best thing to do is research the average GMAT score at your target schools. The GMAT score range will also give you an indicator of whether you fall within the score range of the typical candidate at the school.
Your GMAT score is valid for five years, but if you’re not happy with your first score you can always take the test again. You can take either the test center version of the GMAT or the equivalent GMAT Online exam.
Alternatively, you can take the GRE or another admission test if offered or accepted by your target schools. For Executive MBA programs, you can also sit the Executive Assessment.
You’ll also need to upload your CV. But just like a job application, to stand out you’ll need to craft a winning MBA resume.
Your starting point should be figuring out what qualities your target schools look for. Then, build your resume around your chosen school’s values and culture.
Your MBA resume should:
→Avoid industry jargon. You’re resume audience is admissions officers, not industry-specific experts.
→Explain gaps in your work experience.
→Talk about extracurricular activities. You’ll want to focus on things that demonstrate leadership and teamwork and/or highlight individuality and diversity.
→Be concise. Most schools prefer one page.
→Focus on the bigger picture. For each role highlight how you grew in each position, additional projects you took on, promotions or awards you received, and impressive milestones you reached.