How Many MBA Programs Should I Apply To?

Applying to MBA programs can be a hectic time. Many factors are involved in the application process, but doing a little research in advance can maximize the chance of getting accepted.

The best tool an applicant can utilize is an updated book or web site on MBA programs. These tools profile various programs and contain information about the number of applications received during the previous year, the number of applicants accepted, typical GMAT scores, and GPAs. This information is usually published annually, and applicants may want to follow trends over a couple of years before applying.

Once the applicant has decided on a number of programs, the list should categorized based on how similar the applicant is to others that have been accepted. Sending applications blindly to many schools is equally as detrimental as focusing on one program. Most people suggest applying to at least five programs and applying to as many as possible. This can be difficult for applicants with limited funds. Application fees can be expensive, especially combined with the price of score reports, transcripts, and mailing. Applying to schools that require interviews during the selection process should also be thoroughly considered. If money is an obstacle, it may be wise to reconsider applying to a school where attending the interview would be impossible and a telephone interview is not an option.

Most of the applications should target programs where the applicant is similar in scores and GPA to previously accepted students. Applicants may also consider applying to a couple of schools they are overqualified for, and a school where they fall below the typical accepted applicant. Investing too many resources on programs that are beyond the reach of the applicant is inevitably a waste of time and money.

GMAT scores can have a strong influence on admission decisions and applicants will want to maximize their score. The most popular and convenient option is an online prep course. They are beneficial in their ability to cover information as well as giving sample tests and test-taking tactics. If the applicant is not satisfied with their score, they will want to give themselves ample opportunity to study and retake the test.

Top 10 MBA Programs in the World

The Financial Times ranks the top MBA programs in the world each year. Many of these top schools are located in the United States, while others on the list are located in the United Kingdom, France, Singapore and China. For students looking for an international experience, there are many excellent options located all over the world.

1. The London Business School ranks as the world’s top MBA program. Tuition for the London Business School is 49,900 British pounds sterling or approximately $78,850 US dollars. This tuition is for the entire 15-21 month program and includes reading materials.

2. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School ranked second on the Financial Times list of top MBA programs. The MBA program costs $46,600 per year.

3. Harvard Business School at Harvard University in Massachusetts costs $46,150 per year.

4. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in California also ranks as one of the best MBA programs in the world and costs $51,321 per year.

5. Instead, sometimes called The Business School of the World, has one campus in Fontainebleau, France, and another campus in Singapore. The MBA program costs 52,000 euros, approximately 68,800 US dollars.

6. Columbia University’s Columbia Business School in New York costs $49,728 per year.

7. IE Business School in Spain costs 53 200 euros, approximately 70,380 US dollars.

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management costs $48,650 per year.

9. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business costs $49,020 per year.

10. Hong Kong UST Business School in China ranks as the tenth best MBA program in the world and costs $53,900.

To prepare for applying to graduate programs, check out a popular, online GMAT course.

The Top 10 MBA Programs in the United States

The top 10 MBA programs in the United States are ranked by US News and World Report each year and while the same schools often place near the top, the order does frequently change from year to year. The following are the rankings of the best programs in the United States from 2010. Each school’s tuition is listed at the 2009-2010 cost for a full-time student. Choosing the right school requires research about the program, but looking into the top universities can be a great place for potential MBA candidates to start.

1. Harvard University’s Business School tied with Stanford University for the top program in 2010. Harvard costs $46,150 per year.
2. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business tied with Harvard for the top program in 2010. Stanford costs $51,321 per year.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management costs $48,650 per year.

4. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management costs $49,074 per year.

5. University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business costs $49,020 per year.

6. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School costs $46,600 per year.

7. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business tied with the University of California Berkeley on the list of top MBA programs. Dartmouth costs $47,835 per year.

8. University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business tied with Dartmouth College on the list. In-state tuition is $36,472 per year, making it the best value on the list for California residents. Out-of-state tuition is $45,672 per year.

9. Columbia University’s Columbia Business School tied with New York University and costs $49,728 per year.

10. New York University’s Stern School of Business tied with Columbia University and costs $43,100 per year.

The Average Cost of MBA Programs in the United States

Earning a Masters in Business Administration can be an important step in your career. For professionals in business, finance or other related fields, it can be a step towards significant career advancement. Earning an advanced degree can also be a serious investment that often requires significant planning and budgeting to make it a reality.

An MBA program has its straightforward costs, such as tuition, but it has other costs as well. You will not typically be able to work full-time during an MBA program and must consider the loss of income during the time period as part of the cost.

The average cost of an MBA program in the United States is between $40,000 and $60,000 per year and the standard program is two years. Many schools help students to budget actual costs by laying out not only the cost of tuition, but the cost of supplementary materials as well. For example, Harvard Business School costs $48,600 in tuition each year along with an addition $4,650 program support fee that covers textbooks and web-based program materials.

The majority of people entering business school have some work experience. This will be helpful in guiding them towards the right program and giving them support as they make decisions to advance their career within a company or look for a new job. Some employers will be able to provide financial assistance to employees whose careers warrant the investment in an advanced degree.

Working professionals may want to consider programs that cater to people with full-time jobs that cannot afford to take the time off to complete a degree full time. Another alternative is to look into accelerated programs that focus on a heavy course load in a shorter period of time to help shorten the period of time when students must go without a full salary.

Making the decision to go to business school is an important decision and an investment in your future career and potential earnings. Depending on your projected career path, earning the degree is an investment that stands to quickly pay for itself.

2010 Business School Rankings

Choosing a good business school is an important decision for your education and career. It is important to take time to learn about various programs and review all of the information and rankings available. US News & World Report and Business Week are two reliable sources that rank the top business schools each year.

In 2010, Harvard Business School at Harvard University and Stanford University’s tied for first on the US News and World Report list. Third place went to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and fourth to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The University of Chicago’s Booth School and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School tied for fifth place on the list of top business schools.

Business Week also provides rankings of the best business schools in the United States, as well as the top international programs and part-time options. Business week ranked University of Chicago’s Booth School first, Harvard Business School second and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School third. Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania came in fourth on Business Week’s list and the University of Michigan’s Ross School placed fifth.

The Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario ranked first in Business Week’s list of top international business schools. Business Week also ranked the best part-time MBA programs with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts coming out on top. Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School placed first on this list in 2009. There are many excellent part-time programs that are designed to fit into each student’s unique situation and schedule. Through these programs, it is possible for students to continue to work or have a family while they are earning their MBA.

Admissions for the top business schools are extremely competitive. It is important to prepare an application that sets you apart from the pool of applicants. For business school applications it is important to highlight your unique experiences in work, education, and even travel. These are things that will shape how you perceive business and how your MBA will fit into your career plan.

Performing well on the GMAT is key for people who want to attend a top business school. The GMAT, in combination with the undergraduate transcript and work experience, will help to determine where you will be accepted. A solid GMAT test prep program will prepare you to excel on the GMAT. When preparing for the test, online test prep programs are a great option for people with full time jobs and hectic schedules. GMAT practice exams will help test takers to prepare for the unique format of the GMAT.

Which MBA program is right for you?

The decision to get an Masters of Business Administration requires research and preparation. It can be an important step in furthering a career and the right program will open many doors. There are various types of MBA programs available and it is possible to find an option that is suited to every type of student.

Requirements
Most MBA programs require a standardized test, most commonly the GMAT. GMAT test prep can help you to gain a better idea of what you will need to study in order to do well. Online test prep is a great option for people who want assistance that fits into a hectic schedule. It is also important to find out about any GPA or course requirements from your undergraduate degree. Some MBA programs will want you to have taken a certain level of math courses, but many make it easy to complete these requirements at the start of the MBA program if need be.

Location
Many prospective MBA students will want to stay in a certain region while others are willing to relocate for the right program. It is often worthwhile to consider schools in your area or schools in close proximity to an area where you would like to live and work after completing the program. There are also many online MBA courses that can provide a flexible option to students who would like to complete their MBA primarily from home.

Schedule
Most full time MBA programs will require two years to complete. While a part-time MBA program will take longer to complete, these programs are typically designed for working professionals who would like to continue to work throughout the program. These programs will offer a full range of evening and weekend classes to accommodate this schedule. Some schools also offer an accelerated MBA course that can offer students the opportunity to complete an MBA in as little as one year. These programs will generally require a high level of dedication and an increased time commitment for the shorter period of time.

Courses
MBA programs often offer concentrations such as finance, marketing, human resources management, or non-profit management. If you have a specific interest area, these can be a great opportunity to take additional specialized courses. Each MBA program will offer different types of courses that can be used to complete the requirements. Reading over the course descriptions from prospective universities can offer a better idea of which program offers classes that are best suited to your career goals and interests.


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