MBA in USA - Top Universities, Fees, Intake, Eligibility & Scholarship

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MBA in USA, considered the highest standard of business education, can help launch students’ careers with some of the world’s top companies. US business schools, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, are consistently ranked in the top MBA global rankings. In 2022, the Financial Times MBA Rankings featured 14 US B-schools in the top 20.

From helping MBA graduates stand out on their resumes to establishing links with top companies around the world, MBA from the US pays off years after graduation. The duration of an MBA program in the US is two years, which enables students to explore different industries while engaging in internships.

MBA in USA continues to be competitive in terms of keeping up with the fast-paced business world which demands a blend of theoretical knowledge and real-life experiences. An MBA from US exposes students to the latest industry insight from a broad faculty base.

According to US News & World Report, the top jobs for MBA graduates in the USA include business operations manager, financial manager, human resources manager, IT manager, to name a few. The median base starting salary for US MBA grads at American companies is USD 115,000, as per GMAC.

Quick Glance: MBA in USA

The MBA programs in the USA are highly popular and globally acknowledged. Let us have a look at the key highlights of studying MBA in USA for Indian students:

Components

Details

Course Duration

1 to 2 years

Number of MBA Universities in USA

500+

Standardised Tests for MBA in US

GMAT, GRE

English Proficiency Tests

IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo

Admission Intakes

Fall, Spring, Summer

Average Tuition Fees

USD 67,031 per year

Eligibility

Valid bachelor’s degree

GRE or GMAT scores

Language proficiency test scores

Work experience of 2-5 years is preferred

Documents Required

SOPs, LORs, Essays, Test Scores, Transcripts, Resume

Types of MBA Courses

Executive MBA, Online MBA, Part-time MBA, One year MBA

Top MBA Specialisations

MBA in Marketing, MBA in finance, MBA in Consulting

Top Business Schools

Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, Columbia University

Top Recruiters

Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Tesla, Mckinsey, etc.

Average Salary

USD 1,00,000

Top 5 MBA Specialisations in USA

The top MBA specialisations in USA universities according to the US News and World Report that play a pivotal role in the MBA students’ careers are:

  • Marketing: The MBA in marketing teaches all the facets of marketing tactics including sales, advertising, promotion, consumer behaviour, big data analysis, web-based marketing and social media marketing. Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University are the top universities for studying MBA in marketing.

  • Finance: The curriculum of MBA in finance includes business statistics, management information systems, financial management, decision making and others. The top universities where MBA in finance is taught are University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago and New York University.

  • Supply Chain: Supply chain management deals with the coordination and integration of goods and services and  the flow of information and finances in and among organisations. Michigan State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Arizona State University are best for MBA in supply chain.

  • Entrepreneurship: MBA in entrepreneurship provides skills, tools. Experiences and perspectives to entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs. The course combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills. Babson College, Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)rank top at MBA in entrepreneurship. 

  • Business Analytics: This course teaches how to apply analytics to real world business problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University and Georgia Institute of Technology fare best in MBA business analytics.

Types of MBA in USA

There are several types of MBA in USA that international students can pursue according to their needs, current profile, career goals and the duration of time one is willing to spend on the course. The different types of MBA in USA have been listed below:

  • Full-time MBA Programs: Full-time MBA programs last for one to two years when the general and core skills are taught. In the second year of a two-year MBA program, students get to delve deep into the course of their choice. They also get internship opportunities that strengthen their experiential learning. A one-year MBA in USA is suited for those who want to gain quick knowledge and utilise it in the advancement of their career.

  • Executive MBA: An executive MBA is generally suited for professionals and executives who want to take a leap in their careers. In order to strengthen the management and leadership skills of executives, this MBA is designed for a duration that is less than the traditional full-time MBA. 

  • Part-time MBA: Those who do not want to put a break in their career and like flexible learning can opt for a part-time MBA. The classes are held outside business hours, giving students the right to choose the number of classes they wish to attend in a semester.

  • Online MBA: Online MBA programs are effective for those who cannot step out for educational purposes due to time and commitment constraints. They are cost-effective and can be juggled without compromising on the job.

Top 10 MBA Colleges in USA

The top 10 MBA colleges in USA according to the QS Rankings and THE are given below:

Rankings

QS  MBA in USA Ranking 2022

THE MBA in USA Ranking 2022

1

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2

Harvard Business School

Stanford University

3

Penn (Wharton)

Harvard University

4

MIT (Sloan)

University of California, Berkeley

5

Columbia Business School

The University of Chicago

6

UC Berkeley (Haas)

Yale University

7

Chicago (Booth)

Duke University

8

UCLA (Anderson)

University of Pennsylvania

9

Northwestern (Kellogg)

Northwestern University

10

Yale School of Management

Columbia University

Cost of MBA in USA

The cost of MBA in USA not only includes tuition fees charged by the business school but also living expenses and pre-arrival and post-arrival expenses. Let us see the various costs that students have to bear to study MBA in USA:

Average Tuition Fees for MBA in USA

The tuition fees for MBA in US business schools are given below:

Universities

Average Annual Fees (in USD)

Harvard Business School

USD 73,440

Sloan School of Management

USD 78,954

Stanford Graduate School of Business

USD 74,706

Yale School of Management

USD 75,500

Booth School of Business

USD 74,919

Pre-arrival Expenses for MBA in USA

International students have specific expenses before they start studying MBA in USA. The cost includes visa expenses, the cost of standardised tests and application fees. Given below is a break-up of expected pre-arrival costs:

Expenses

Cost

Cost of Application for MBA Programs 

USD 70-275 ( per business school)

Cost of Standardised Tests

GMAT: USD 275 , GRE: USD 213

Cost of English Language Proficiency Tests

IELTS: USD 200, TOEFL: USD 190, PTE: 189, Duolingo: USD 49

Cost of Visa Application

USD 160

Cost of Living for MBA in USA

USA is an expensive country to live in. However, proper budgeting can help students meet their expenses in the country. The cost of living in USA includes daily costs, rent, necessities and other bills for facilities. Here are the costs that international students need to bear while studying MBA in US:

Expenses

Average Cost (in USD)

Room and Board

9,000-11,000 annual

Utility Costs

250-500 monthly

Food costs

500-600 monthly

Transportation

45-50 per month for public transport

Additional Costs

2,000 annual

Note: The costs may vary depending upon the lifestyle of the student.

Eligibility for MBA in USA

The eligibility for MBA in USA varies from one college to another. However, some of the common eligibility criteria that should be met to get into most of the US business schools for MBA admissions are:

  • Must have completed 15 to 16 years of education.

  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree in any relevant or equivalent discipline

 from a recognised university

  • Must have a good GPA in the previously acquired degree.

  • Must have standardised test scores of GMAT or GRE. 

  • Must qualify in one of the accepted English proficiency tests such as IELTS/ TOEFL/PTE/Duolingo.

  • Should have work experience, if applicable.

Admission Process for MBA in USA

The admission process for MBA in USA universities may differ slightly for each university but the common steps are given below:

  • Step 1: Fill up the application form.

  • Step 2: Submit the supporting documents.

  • Step 3: Submit the test scores.

  • Step 4: Provide Information about activities and awards.

  • Step 5: Give Information about professional experience. 

  • Step 6: Pay the application fees using your credit card/ debit card/ net banking.

  • Step 7: Wait for the offer letter.

Documents Required for MBA in USA

International students have to submit some supporting documents for getting admitted to MBA in USA universities. These are some common documents required for MBA in USA:

  • All academic transcripts

  • 2-3 letters of recommendation (LORs)

  • MBA Essays/SOPs

  • Academic Resume

  • Cover letter

  • Visa documents

  • Photographs

  • Test scores of GMAT or GRE and English language proficiency test

  • Proof of Work Experience (if required)

Scholarships for MBA in USA

The high educational expenses for MBA in USA can be combatted with the help of scholarships. International students should not shy away from their dream to study at a reputed US university for the fear of expenses. MBA scholarships in USA for Indian students are mostly sponsored by the universities. Here are some of the international scholarships for MBA in USA:

University

Scholarship

Amount (in USD)

Arizona State University

Arizona State University W. P. Carey Forward Focus MBA Scholarship

NA

Northwestern University

David Himmelblau Scholarship

NA

Tuck School of Business

Tuck Scholarship

10,000 to 30,000 per year

University of Florida

University of Florida Warrington College of Business

NA

Sloan School of Management

McKinsey Award

10,000 in first year

University of Chicago

Global Innovator Fellowships

NA

University of Houston

The MBA Bauer Excellence Initiative

Upto 10,000

Tuck School of Business

Tuck Scholarship

10,000 to 30,000 per year

Job Opportunities after MBA in USA

After studying MBA in USA, graduates have a high chance of getting good job roles with high packages. There is a great demand for MBA graduates from USA. According to records, MBA salary is quite high and students get offers from top companies like Apple, Facebook, Mckinsey, Oracle, Dell, Tesla and other multinational companies.

Some of the popular job roles and their average salary are given below:

Job Role

Annual Average Salary (in USD)

Top Paying Companies 

Project Manager

76,703

Worley, Apple, Cisco

Operations Manager

67,015

Tesla, Kindra, Hulu

Financial Analyst

70,900

Apple, EY, DC Water

Senior Accountant

73,801

Buckeye Partners, Exelon, Baker Tilly

HR Manager

70,201

USAA, AbbVie, Amazon 

Marketing Manager

63,216

PwC, Google, Wells Fargo

Product Manager

89,908

Meta, Oracle, Accenture

HR Director

88,308

Citizens, Career Group Companies, Cheetah Technologies

Business Development Director

97,425

Liedos, Northrop Grumman, Inmar

Data Analyst

65,471

USAA, Meta, Intel Corporation

Source: Indeed.com

Salaries After MBA in USA

According to the recently published news by US News and World Report, MBA graduates from top US universities have 190% return on investment (ROI). The top US business schools and the average salary and signing bonus are given below:

University

Average Annual Salary and Signing Bonus (in USD)

University of California—Berkeley

168,041

University of California—Irvine

122,823

University of Connecticut

108,095

Vanderbilt University

149,261

Ohio State University

131,409

Source: US News and World Report

Work Permit and Stay Back Period after MBA in USA

International students willing to study MBA in USA need to apply for an F1 visa. With this visa, students can stay up to 2 months after their graduation. They can extend their stay back period after MBA in USA by applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Students will have to apply for OPT within 60 days of their course completion. OPT allows MBA graduates to stay for 1 year after the completion of their degree and engage in part-time or full-time employment.

If an employer sponsors the student, they can transfer their F1 student visa to an H-1B visa and live and work in the USA for up to six years.

MBA in USA FAQs

Q. Is doing MBA in USA worth it?

A. Yes, doing MBA in USA is worth it if you wish to pursue a career in the field of business and management. Doing  MBA in USA can enhance and better your career goals, receive a high salary and help you get promotions. It gives you an edge over the other candidates if you have an MBA degree from the top business schools in the USA.

Q. Should I take GMAT or GRE to study MBA in USA?

A. You can take either take GMAT or GRE to study MBA in USA. The GMAT exam is specially designed for MBA programs, whereas, the GRE can be taken for any graduate program including MBA. Numerous US universities have started accepting GRE scores for MBA admissions. Notably, both the exams equally evaluate the compatibility of students for MBA degrees. You can take the one that you find easier or the one that the university accepts and prefers. 

Q. Which US universities give GMAT/GRE waiver for MBA?

A. There are US universities that give GMAT/GRE waivers for MBA. These universities are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kelley School of Business, Owen Graduate School of Management, Boston University and others. Here, the applicants are judged on the basis of other criteria such as GPA, work experience, MBA essays and extracurricular activities.

Q. Is work experience mandatory for MBA in USA?

A. No, work experience is not mandatory for MBA in USA. You can study MBA based on other criteria that determine your eligibility. Most US MBA programs do require a work experience of at least two years as MBA is done to refine the understanding and skills required in the business world. Though most candidates applying for MBA have a work experience of three to five years, that should not deter you from applying for MBA without work experience.

Q. Can I get a scholarship to study MBA in USA?

A. Yes, scholarships are available to study MBA in USA. Students can get various governmental and private scholarships that can help them to study MBA in USA. Apart from that, US universities also provide scholarships for MBA that cater to some portion of the tuition fees. Check the universities that give scholarships and apply to them.

Q. Can MBA graduates get jobs in USA?

A. Yes, MBA graduates can get jobs in USA. It is an attractive career prospect for them. Through Optional Practical Training, students can stay back in USA for 12 months and get engaged in competitive jobs. Later, they can also apply for an H-1B visa. Graduates from STEM-certified MBA programs can stay and work in the US for a total of 36 months.

Q. What are the English proficiency tests accepted for MBA in USA?

A. The English proficiency tests that are accepted for MBA in USA are IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, CPE PTE, ECCE, Trinity’s ISE and Duolingo. All the US universities require some proof of English proficiency which is an important eligibility criterion for selection for an MBA program. Sometimes, good scores on GMAT can also be considered proof of English knowledge.

Q. Can I study MBA for free in USA?

A. It is very difficult to find an opportunity to study MBA for free in USA. An MBA is a professional course and universities do not offer tuition fee waivers. Still, international students can get financial grants and scholarships to study MBA in USA that can cover some portion of the huge cost of MBA in USA.

Q. What GPA is needed for MBA in USA?

A. There is no minimum GPA requirement for MBA in USA. Most of the top business schools do not mention any GPA requirement but on average, the GPA score is between 3.2 to 3.73. Other universities can accept students with lower GPAs. One way to compensate for a low GPA is a good GMAT/GRE score.

Q. What are the most affordable MBA universities in the USA?

A. The most affordable MBA universities in USA are the University of South Dakota, Central Michigan University, University of Tampa, Cameroon University and Southeast Missouri State University. The MBA tuition fees in these universities are between USD 10,000 and USD 25,000 per year.

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