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Minimum Qualifications for an MBA

by Maria OCadiz

A substantial number of students choose to pursue an MBA due to career opportunities available in the market. Many universities and colleges across America offer various types of MBA programs to meet the demands and needs of students. Some of the most common include online MBA, full- and part-time MBA and executive MBA. Full-time MBA takes two years to complete and targets fresh non-working graduates. Most working people opt for a part-time MBA, while those with a busy schedule enroll for an online-MBA. Admission requirements for an MBA differ across schools, but there are some are common prerequisites.

Bachelor’s Degree

Just like other master's degree programs, you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to enroll for an MBA. In most school, you do not need a specific undergraduate major to qualify for an MBA. However, you must have a four-year bachelor’s degree from the U.S. or its equivalent. Some universities, such as Michigan State University only accept a four-year bachelor’s degree, while others like Stanford University accepts 3-year international degrees from certain countries, such as Russia, Germany and France. It is best to check the undergraduate degree requirement for the university before applying for an MBA. Some universities also have a minimum GPA for admission while others do not. For example, Michigan State University requires an average 3.3 GPA in the last two years of the undergraduate program, while Stanford University has no minimum GPA.

Admissions Test

Most universities require students to pass an admissions test before enrolling for an MBA. Two of the most common exams are the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). You must prepare well for either the GMAT or the GRE exam to get a competitive score. Most universities do not have a minimum GMAT score, but you should ensure you are within the school's median 80 percent range. For example, the average GMAT score for Michigan State University is 640, while California State University accepts a score between 560 and 630. According to California State University, a score of 146 in quantitative reasoning and 156 in verbal reasoning for the GRE test is acceptable.

Work Experience

To qualify for an MBA, most universities in the US recommend a minimum work experience after completing the undergraduate degree. Some programs specify the number of years a candidate must have and usually give priority to those candidates with experience. For example, Michigan State University requires a minimum of two years work experience and closely examines its quality. Although some schools, such as Stanford University, do not require any prior work experience, a candidate competes with others on this aspect.

English Proficiency for International Students

An MBA program requires students to communicate, write and read well in English. Most candidates with an undergraduate degree from non-native English speaking countries need to take an English competency test. Students can either take the Pearson Test of English (PTE), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to prove their competency. Most campuses have a minimum acceptable score that students must obtain before admission. For example, Michigan State University admits students with a score of 70 on PTE and 7 on IELTS while those hoping to join California State University require a minimum of 213 for the CBT, 80 IBT and 6.5 IELTS.

About the Author

Maria OCadiz has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education. She is a former university professor, curriculum facilitator and teacher.

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