What Is an MBA Degree?


A masters of business administration, commonly known as an MBA, is a post-graduate degree offered at many universities around the world. Available in universities both small and prestigious, MBAs are often achieved in around five to seven total years of college and have been offered since the degree was first introduced at Dartmouth in 1900. The degree puts a student in the position to achieve a job managing business in many different arenas.

Types of MBAs

  • An MBA can be earned in several different disciplines, leading to a number of career paths. The most popular MBAs available in the United States and around the world can be found in the following fields: accounting, human resources, operations management and marketing. These degrees can be focused into many different sub-studies, including such specialties as international marketing and digital marketing.

History of the MBA

  • The first MBA certification was offered in the United States, at Dartmouth College's Turk School of Business. It was offered as a master of science and had its first incarnation in the subject of commerce. The first MBA program was developed eight years later at Harvard's Graduate School of Business Administration, which housed an impressive faculty of 33, with nearly 80 students.


  • The MBA can be achieved in many ways at different schools around the world. The most common type of MBA is the two-year program, which requires around 18 months of school time and around 45 credits at most places. An accelerated MBA can be achieved in around one year, a part-time MBA can be achieved through night classes in around three years, and an executive MBA is available to executives and managers.

Admission and Accreditation

  • There are three major bodies in the United States that have the authority to give accreditation to business schools and colleges around the country. Foremost among these is the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. Most accredited business schools require that undergraduate majors are in a business-related field, and that students pass the standardized Graduate Management Admission Test, commonly known as the GMAT.

Top MBA Programs

  • The top MBA programs around the world include the University of Western Ontario in Canada, the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan and the University of Pretoria in Pakistan. Popular programs in the United States include the ones found at Dartmouth, the University of Michigan, the Carnegie Mellon Institute, Northwestern University, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.


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