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A Guide to Study MBA in the US [Updated]

Jun 19, 2021

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The United States of America is home to the top global universities across the world. With top-ranking universities, cosmopolitan urban areas, and multi-social grounds, the USA is a dream study destination for international students aiming to pursue higher education abroad. 

Among the various Master’s Courses available in the US, the Master of Business Administration is the most sought-after study program among study abroad aspirants as it offers a vast variety of specializations. An MBA program is for those who are looking forward to taking up a management position, developing a strong professional network, or even establishing their own company. It is one of the top pursued programs worldwide. An MBA not only provides a strong foundation in business fundamentals but also opens the avenues for some of the highest-paying jobs. 

Home to some of the world-class MBA universities in the world, the USA is globally renowned for its business schools as well. As per the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings Report of the year 2023, 46 out of the top 100 MBA programs in the world are from business schools in the USA. 

Benefits of Pursuing an MBA in the US 

An MBA program is equivalent to success for many students as it offers various benefits. But what difference does it create in pursuing the MBA in the USA, let us know: 

  • An Opportunity to Study at the Top Business Schools of the World: The business schools in the USA are of top class and they provide the best return on investment. 
  • Choice of a Diverse Range of Specializations: The US Universities offer specializations in almost all the fields relating to MBA. Students get to choose from hundreds of courses as per their eligibility and interests. 
  • Access to a Global Business Network: An MBA in the USA gives access to a global business network that allows the students to gain knowledge from the business tycoons and build global connections for a lifetime. 
  • Scope to get Lucrative Jobs: Master of Business Administration is the most lucrative degree and when it is pursued from the top study abroad destinations like the USA, it opens doors for global opportunities for the students. Students have the scope to get highly-paid jobs after the successful completion of the MBA program from the USA Business School. 

MBA Specializations

  • Business Management Degree
  • Finance Degree
  • Marketing Degree
  • Entrepreneurship Degree
  • International Business Degree
  • Human Resource Management Degree
  • Operations Management Degree
  • Project Management Degree
  • Business Analytics Degree
  • Information Technology Degree 

Duration of an MBA Program in the US 

The standard duration of an extensive MBA program in the USA is of two-years. However, there are certain exceptions. Some MBA programs are of one year with accelerated programs that are anywhere between 12-18 months. 

Top Universities to Study MBA in the US 

Here is a list of top-ranked MBA Universities in USA:

  • W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona - STEM 
  • A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management - University of California, Riverside, California - STEM 
  • George Mason University, Fairfax County, Virginia 
  • Carl H. Lindner College of Business - University of Cincinnati
  • CSU College of Business - Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado – MBA - Impact Specialization – STEM 
  • Oregon State University College of Business - Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 
  • Drucker School of Management - Claremont Graduate University
  • Liautaud Graduate School of Business - University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois 
  • Culverhouse College of Business - The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 

Students who opt for a STEM-designated MBA program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) will be eligible for 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). This will allow them to work in the USA after the successful completion of their master’s degree in MBA. 

Eligibility Criteria 

The eligibility criteria for pursuing MBA in the USA might differ from one university to another. However, the common admission requirements for an MBA degree in American Business Schools are as follows: 

  • A three or four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or its international equivalent 
  • A minimum of two to three years of work experience in the relevant field 
  • An updated CV 
  • Essay for the chosen field 
  • A customized personal statement for the chosen university 
  • Two/three letters of recommendation 
  • Eligible scores in language proficiency like TOEFL or IELTS,  and standardized tests like GMAT or GRE. 

Exams for MBA in the US 

To secure an admission for MBA at any US university, aspirants are required to appear for standardized tests like GRE or GMAT and English language proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS. Read on to know about these tests in brief. 

GRE: GRE is a standardized test that assesses the student’s ability in the areas of verbal reasoning, critical thinking, analytical writing skills and quantitative reasoning. It is accepted by all the US universities for admission to MBA programs. 

GMAT: GMAT is a computer-based adaptive standardized test which aims at measuring the student’s knowledge on sections like Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning. 

TOEFL: TOEFL is an English Language Proficiency Test to measure the English Language ability of international students, consisting of four sections i.e., reading, listening, speaking, and writing. 

IELTS: IELTS is an English Language Proficiency Test that assesses students’ command over the language through sections like listening, speaking, writing, and reading. 

Applications Process 

International students should begin their application process at least 1.5 years prior to the academic year as the Universities in the USA expect students to appear for several standardized tests. Applying well in advance allows applicants sufficient time for the processing of visas upon acceptance. The process of application is divided into three stages as follows: 

Pre-Application: At this stage, aspirants are required to appear for standardized tests like GMAT or GRE, and English Language Proficiency Tests like TOEFL or IELTS. 

Application Stage: Here, students are required to submit the completed application, upload the documents, and fulfil admission prerequisites. 

Post-Application: This stage comes after the acceptance of the student’s application by the university. It involves the submission of other necessary documents and an enrolment deposit. 

Most of the business universities in the USA ask international applicants to appear for an interview as it becomes easier for the application review committee to distinguish the applicants based on their personal competencies. 

The MBA application process, usually have multiple rounds of application deadlines. Generally, there are 3-4 rounds for each intake. However, it is recommended that one should apply early and try to complete the application in rounds one or two. Typically, it requires two to three weeks for application review, this duration might extend during peak periods. Hence, early applications are a good choice to apply in a timely manner. 

Application Deadlines 

The US universities offer four to five deadlines (rounds) for an MBA application. For merit-based financial aid and scholarships, students must submit their application by the first two deadlines, but if he/she misses those for any unavoidable reasons then our US admission experts recommend students to submit the application by the third deadline as it increases the chances of admission. However, further deadlines can also be available for submitting an MBA application for international students. 


US Universities in general have three major intakes throughout the year i.e., Fall, Spring and Summer. The majority of the universities offer admission for MBA programs in the fall session. However, few universities offer admission in the spring session as well. 

Cost to Study 

The tuition fees of an MBA degree in the USA can cost somewhere between $22,500 to $60,000 per year This will be excluding living expenses, travel fare, and other miscellaneous charges. 

Scholarships for MBA in the US 

The majority of the universities in the USA offer scholarships for international students to study in USA. These can be partially, or fully paid scholarships based on the overall academic score of the students. For specific details regarding the scholarships, students are advised to check the website of the respective university. 

Career Prospects Post MBA in the US 

After the successful completion of an MBA program, there are humongous opportunities in every field. Right from a multi-national organization to small companies, to setting up one’s own business, students can work across various verticals. However, some of the most in-demand career titles after the completion of an MBA program in the USA are as follows: 

  • Financial Advisor
  • Management Analyst 
  • Investment Banker 
  • Finance Manager 
  • Information Technology Manager 
  • Marketing Manager 
  • HR Manager 
  • Business Consultant 

If you are an MBA aspirant aiming to pursue an international degree from the USA, contact KC Overseas Education, one of the leading Overseas Education Consultants across Asia. Our US Admission Experts will give you complete details and assist you right from the application to the visa process.



Q1 – What is the course duration of MBA programs in the US? 

Answer – The standard duration of an extensive MBA program in the USA is of two-years. However, some MBA programs are of one year and some between 12-18 months.

Q2 – What are the popular MBA Specializations in the US? 

Answer – Some of the popular MBA Specializations in the US are Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, International Business, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Project Management, Business Analytics, and Information Technology.

Q3 – Are there any standardized tests required for MBA admissions?

Answer - To secure admission for MBA at any US university, aspirants are required to appear for standardized tests like GRE or GMAT. 

Q4 – Which test is better to take for an MBA in the US: GMAT or GRE?

For pursuing an MBA in the US, students can take either of these two tests. Usually, business schools readily accept the GMAT as well as the GRE scores. So, depending on your level of expertise, you can give either GMAT or GRE. 

Q5 – How much will an MBA in the US cost? 

Answer - The tuition fees for an MBA degree in the USA can cost somewhere between $22,500 to $60,000 per year. 

Q6 – Are there any scholarships available for MBA students?

Answer – Yes there are numerous partially, or fully paid scholarships available for international students studying MBA in the US. 

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