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, marketing
Schools University of Chicago and Harvard were 2015 top full-time MBA programs*

Source: *Bloomberg Business

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 2015, Harvard University's Business School was 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. Below is a short list of programs:

  • Harvard Business School (Boston, Massachusetts): A unique program, the Program for Leadership Development (PLD) is for business professionals with years of experience looking for an alternative to an MBA. The MBA program was ranked #1 in 2015 by Bloomberg.
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois) offers three options: traditional MBA, weekend MBA, and evening MBA programs.
  • Fordham University (Bronx, New York) has flexible MBA programs geared towards traditional students and busy professionals.
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois): The Kellogg School of Management prides itself on diversity in its MBA programs.
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia): A traditional MBA program as well as an executive option are offered.

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 national and world economies.

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. According to the Princeton Review, there are several different MBA programs available to students:

  • Traditional full-time MBA
  • Part-time MBA
  • Online MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Early Career MBA
  • Global MBA
  • Certificate programs

What Prerequisites Do I Need for Graduate School?

Most schools require GMAT or GRE test scores. A compelling resume and admission essay are also helpful. Most people applying for an MBA program have either a business undergraduate degree or a number of years working in business and finance.

The U.S. Department of Education reported in 2015 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.

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.

Popular Schools

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