How to Meet Business School Requirements

Common Requirements for Graduate Business Programs

University admissions office
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What Are Business School Requirements?

Business school requirements, or admissions requirements, are basic prerequisites that applicants must meet before being enrolled in a business program. These requirements can vary depending on the school and the education level (i.e. bachelor's or master's).

Not every business school has an undergraduate program, but those that do typically ask candidates to first apply for general admission.

Once accepted, these students usually apply or transfer to the business program in their sophomore year. General admission requirements vary from school to school. Some schools have high school course requirements and may even require a minimum GPA or SAT score, but others have less stringent requirements.

At the master's level, things are a little different. This is especially true for Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Although there are some schools (mostly for-profit online schools) that will admit any student with tuition money, most business schools have strict admission requirements that help weed out applicants who might not be able to keep up with a rigorous master's level curriculum.

In this article, we're going to take a closer look at some of the business school requirements that must be met for most master's degree programs, especially MBA programs.

Education Requirements

Having a bachelor's degree or its equivalent is an essential component of nearly every business school application.

Most schools will not admit you if you have not completed your undergraduate education. However, there are a few schools that will make exceptions; this is more common with online schools or overseas schools than it is with brick-and-mortar schools in the United States. Other exceptions to the rule include schools that have a dual degree program that results in a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.

Your undergraduate transcript demonstrates that you meet minimum education requirements. You'll need to request your transcripts from the school that awarded your degree as well as any other school you might have attended. In addition to proving that you have an accredited degree, transcripts also show the admissions committee what kind of grades you are capable of. If the school has a minimum GPA requirement, you will need to be above it to be considered for admission.

Work Experience Requirements

Most MBA programs require that applicants have two to five years of work experience. Executive MBA programs, which are designed for upper-level managers and executives, may require even more (six to eight years). Work experience helps students keep up with the curriculum. It also lends perspective and ensures that students have something to bring to the program.

There are a few MBA programs that do not consider the number of years the applicant has worked, but waiving work experience is much more common in specialized master's degree programs, such as a Master of Accountancy program.

Test Requirements

Standardized tests are common in the business school application process. Most business schools require MBA applicants to take the GMAT or the GRE, which test critical thinking and analytical skills among other things.

International students might also need to take one or more tests that demonstrate English language proficiency, such as the TOEFL. Read more about standardized tests for MBA applicants

Other Business School Requirements

As stated earlier, every business school has different admissions requirements. Some of the other most common requirements include recommendation letters, application essays, and in some cases, in-person interviews. The largest business schools have seminars that can help you gain an understanding of requirements and complete all of the hoops associated with application.