Each individual school has its own prerequisite requirements that students must meet for an MBA degree. It has the distinction of being one of the most preferred programs among students across the globe. MBA programs teach you about all aspects of marketing, finance, and economics, etc. in order to give you a well-rounded view of business management across the globe.

If you are a prospective MBA applicant, you will want to review the requirement below which vary based on the individual school. There are also different requirements for MBA applicants in the United States versus applicants in Europe. These usually include previous college degree requirements along with necessary coursework, test scores, and work experience.

MBA Admission Requirements for American Universities

1. Undergraduate Degree

A bachelor’s degree (four-year) from an institution accredited in the United States or the equivalent internationally is vital for any MBA program. You will have an advantage going in if you already have a bachelor’s degree in a major such as business, accounting, economics, or another related field. Business schools often have a minimum grade requirement as well, requiring that you receive you to have a ‘C’ or better in certain business-related subjects. You should make sure that you complete all of these business courses before enrolling in an MBA program.

2. Work Experience – Minimum of 2-3 Years

Executive MBA programs are designed for business professionals. They may require a certain level of business experience, and they often request an interview for admission, as well as GMAT scores. While these MBA requirements vary, some schools were looking for 5-10 years of professional experience. Many of these schools also wanted to see evidence of career advancement or decision-making responsibilities. Some schools might let you take the GMAT in place of a couple of years of experience.

3. Personal Statement

A personal statement should be truthful and well-written. It should be a genuine portrayal of yourself along with your goals. However, this is not an essay that is focused on answering a specific question asked on an application. A personal statement gives the reader more insight into you in a more direct way. The personal statement should show why you would be an excellent candidate for their MBA program and give you the freedom to write openly in order to do so. You should prepare the statement with a great deal of thought so that it is a well-crafted document to increase your chances of getting admitted.

4. Professional Recommendation Letters

MBA recommendations should serve as supporting documents that reinforce the rest of your business school application. These letters should give specific details about your work experience and personal qualities. If powerful enough, they can even serve as the deciding factor in whether a borderline candidate gets admitted. Poor recommendation letters that give negative information will certainly give pause and cast doubt, so you should not include these with your application. They can be potentially harmful. So, be careful when getting this MBA admissions requirement ready!

5. Test Scores and GPA

  • GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test – scores of 600 or over. The GMAT standardized testing, originally developed by GMAC, tests the applicant’s aptitude for success. GMAC is a nonprofit council comprised of global business schools. Developed originally to test the quantitative, verbal, analytical, and reasoning skills you have, the GMAT will allow you the ability to show how ready you are for MBA studies.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) – a test that is standardized for candidates of graduate schools. Also, like the SAT or ACT available in high schools, this will test your verbal and writing skills and your quantitative reasoning skills as well. Since the GRE has been created to analyze general understanding and knowledge, it is a better way for candidates to showcase their distinctly better skills in verbal reasoning and writing as opposed to math. Several institutions will take applicants with a GRE rating (in addition to, or instead of, the GMAT). There are others that only want to consider the students that are submitting their GMAT scores to the schools.
  • English proficiency proof (the most common is TOEFL with scores of 550 to 600 (paper) and 213 to 250 (computer). (For International Students)
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Then you plan on applying for entry into any program for an MBA, the GPA you have can be the difference in getting accepted or not.
  • If currently in college, your aim should be to have a B+ grade average (at least) when you graduate, giving you a GPA average of 3.6 (or higher). If the GPA is on the lower end, do not panic because the scores you have on graduate exam admissions (more below on those) will be possibly a huge help

Check Also: Available Business Programs for International Students

MBA Admission Requirements for European Universities

The most general admission requirements for entry into an MBA program in business schools throughout European nations include the following:

  • Minimum of 3 years – work experience (international study or work experience)
  • Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree
  • Test scores – GMAT, GRE, or another type of admissions testing
  • Certification in the English language – bilingual fluency in English is preferred

The minimum accepted scores for exams testing English:

  • TOEFL-IBT should be 89 to 94 and 577 to 587 for Paper-based
  • IELTS should be 6.5 or 6.0
  • Cambridge Advanced should be 142 to 210
  • Pearson Test ranges from 59 to 63

This is only required if English is not your first language or if you haven’t studied in an English-based curriculum for a bachelor’s degree.

European Work Experience

For some European business schools, your accomplishments that are professional and successful are going to be viewed as having a higher value than the amount of time of your working experience. Therefore, if you are confident in your career achievements so far, this should not deter you away from applying to be an MBA student if you have a couple of years working.

You can tell that business schools in Europe are more likely to be flexible regarding entry requirements. You will find that the process for admissions is not as clear. Although some business schools may accept candidates without any work experience, they will give priority to those candidates who have a professional background.

MBA programs are so different and vary widely, but they are a sure bet for ensuring career success. They are widely preferred among international companies looking for high-level managers. There are a variety of types of MBAs you can choose, including full-time or part-time, an executive MBA, will be a life-changing decision.


We hope that this article on MBA admissions requirements was helpful. Make sure to also check out our Business Programs for International Students for some of the currently open data science courses around the world!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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