Graduate Schools for Business Students

Discover tips for choosing a graduate business school. Learn about business programs and how a master's or doctoral degree can help your career prospects. Check the prerequisites for enrolling in a graduate business program. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Most graduate business schools offer degree programs that you can attend part-time or at an accelerated pace. You may opt for a generalized management syllabus or focus your area of study in a specific discipline, such as economics, finance or marketing.

Online Many programs offered fully online
Courses Economics, Finance or Marketing
Schools University of Chicago and Harvard, 2014 Top Graduate programs

Source: Bloomberg Business

How Would Graduate School Help My Business Career?

Competition is typically high among business school graduates, so many companies are often selective about new hires. A business graduate degree may not be enough to give you a leading edge on the competition. Graduate schools offer advanced training in many areas of business to assist students in understanding events that can affect the nation and world's economy.

In some instances, you may be able to receive tuition assistance from your employer to help cover the cost. Specialized studies in business, such as accounting, entrepreneurship and technology, may move your career to a management or executive level. If you've always wanted to start your own business, a well-rounded business leadership graduate program could give you the training you need.

What Kind of Degree Can I Earn?

The U.S. Department of Education reported in 2009 that the Master of Business Administration (MBA) was one of the most common graduate degrees in business ( The flexibility of most MBA programs allows you to study at your own pace with distance learning.

Several other graduate degree programs exist for business students. If you're ready to step into an upper management position or branch out with your own business, you may find an executive MBA program provides more appropriate education and training. Many graduate schools include international studies within a business program and may include a short-term study abroad opportunity.

If you're interested in moving from the private sector to academia or research, a doctorate in business administration may help get you the credentials to start an applicable career. The coursework and possible area of specialization may help you develop a curriculum from your business expertise. Additionally, many doctoral programs require a dissertation to test knowledge of the field.

How Could I Prepare?

Most graduate business programs require an undergraduate degree. Although a specific undergraduate major might not be requested, classes in finance, business and accounting may be required. Depending on the program, you might fare better with previous exposure to business.

According to a 2014 Application Trends Survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), ( there is a wide range of experience levels among applicants. Thirty-four percent of applicants pursuing an MBA part time have 3 to 6 years of experience. Thirty-one percent of applicants pursuing a one-year MBA full time program lack work experience completely. Applicants with the most experience, 10 years or more, are online MBA students.

How Do I Select a School?

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a graduate school. National ranking is one of those considerations. Each year, Bloomberg Business ( ranks the top MBA programs in the United States. In 2014, the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business ranked number one. While a program's credentials and reputation are significant, make sure the program suits your needs regarding its format (online or hybrid), proximity and cost.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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