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MBA in USA – Programmes, Cost, Benefits and Careers

by Anup chowdhury

The US has a high number of globally prestigious business schools. 51 of the top 100 MBA programmes ranked by the Financial Times come from the US. The trend of MBA is known to be deeply rooted in the US. After all,  it was in the late 1800s, when University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School started training students in aspects of managing a successful business including accounting, finance, legal, marketing, operations, and more. 

The US is the world’s largest economy with the most GDP per capita. It houses huge corporations with the largest market capital. 42% of the Financial Times Global 500 rankings, in the year 2018, mostly constituted US based companies. These corporate players are also some of the largest employers in the country who have created large demand for MBA trained management. Therefore, pursuing an MBA programme in the US is considered a direct pass to the big American dream. 

In this article, we will guide you with the knowledge of management studies in the US, courses and universities, application and deadlines, and much more.Study Abroad

MBA in USA – Key benefits of studying MBA in US

  1. Making fruitful connections – The top US business schools have the best networks and connections with international and domestic businesses around the world. The schools host networking events where you get a lot of opportunities to meet local companies and make connections. Internships during the MBA programmes can lead to full-time jobs post studies.
  2. Networking with future and present business leaders – 13 of the top 25 MBA schools in the world are in the US which shows the strength of American management education. While deciding on their institution, students should consider researching the business school on the basis of employment rate after graduation and most importantly, the ROI  the graduates will get, based on their starting salaries. According to 2018 Jobs & Salary Trends Reports, USD 98,900 is the average salary of an MBA graduate in the US.

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MBA in USA – Course Programmes & Universities

5 most popular and top-ranked business institutions in USA are:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Northwestern University
  4. University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  5. University of Virginia

Below you can find out brief details on the top 2 business/management schools in the US:

1. Harvard University

The management programs at Harvard are ranked at the top in the US. According to QS 2020 rankings, the MBA course taught at Harvard ranks at 5th position globally. The business school at the University consists of these faculties – 

  • Consulting
  • Accounting
  • E-commerce
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resources Management
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Manufacturing and Technology Management
  • Marketing
  • Not-for-profit Management
  • Production/Operations Management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Portfolio Management
  • Public Administration
  • Public Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Sports Business
  • Supply Chain Management/logistics
  • Quantitative Analysis/Statistics and Operations Research
  • Tax
  • Technology

MBA at Harvard University is taught via case method courses, field projects, multimedia simulations etc. Students exercise the leadership skills they gather during the MBA programme in business and beyond. During the second year, students choose from a range of elective courses to integrate the functional skills learned in the first year into an understanding of the firm as a total enterprise. Out of the total percentage of MBA students in the US, 35% are international students from 70 countries and 156 undergraduate institutions. 

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2. Stanford University 

Stanford admits candidates who bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the MBA class. Stanfords collaborative educational process leverages the breadth of students backgrounds to deliver a range of perspectives and approaches to real-world problems. According to 2019 Employment Reports, 447 organizations around the world chose to hire Stanford graduates for internships and jobs.

At Stanford Graduate School of Business, there are 3 application rounds every year in the months of September, January and April . Students can apply only once per application year. 


201920 Deadlines Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Submit Application 12 Sep 2019 09 Jan 2020 08 Apr 2020
Notification 12 Dec 2019 02 Apr 2020 21 May 2020
Applicants reply and fees due 11 Feb 2020 29 Apr 2020 10 Jun 2020

In the following sections, you will get to know about the general MBA/management application process in the US, documents required, deadlines for admission and other information.


MBA in USA – Application Process, Deadlines & Documents

Application process for MBA in the US comprises of the following basic steps:

  1. You need to do research on the MBA/management courses in the universities you wish to apply for. Check out the details on specialisations/streams in MBA and make sure that aligns with your future career goals.
  2. Visit university-specific application pages and make an online application following the predetermined criteria at every step.

Generic entry requirements for MBA admission in USA:

  1. A four-year bachelors degree recognised as an accredited international institution in the US. 
  2. Two to three years of work experience
  3. Resume
  4. Personal statement
  5. Two letters of professional recommendation
  6. Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL scores are most commonly required; paper-based: 550 600 and computer-based 213 250)
  7. GMAT score over 600 is recommended


Top US Business Schools Round Deadline Decision
Harvard Business School Round 1 Sep 4, 2019 Dec 10, 2019
Round 2 Jan 6, 2020 Mar 31, 2020
Stanford Graduate School of Business Round 1 Sep 12, 2019 Dec 12, 2019
Round 2 Jan 9, 2020 Apr 2, 2020
Round 3 Apr 8, 2020 May 21, 2020
Kellogg School of Management Round 1 Sep 18, 2019 Dec 11, 2019
Round 2 Jan 8, 2020 Mar 25, 2020
Round 3 Apr 8, 2020 May 13, 2020
The Wharton School Round 1 Sep 17, 2019 Dec 18, 2019
Round 2 Jan 7, 2020 March 26, 2020
Round 3 Apr 1, 2020 May 8, 2020
Sloan School of Management, MIT Round 1 Oct 1, 2019 Dec 18, 2019
Round 2 Jan 21, 2020 Mar 31, 2020
Round 3 Apr 9, 2020 May 7, 2020
Booth School, University of Chicago Round 1 Sep 26, 2019 Dec 5, 2019
Round 2 Jan 7, 2020 Mar 19, 2020
Round 3 Apr 2, 2020 May 21, 2020
Haas School of Business Round 1 Sep 26, 2019 Dec 12, 2019
Round 2 Jan 9, 2020 Mar 26, 2020
Round 3 Apr 2, 2020 May 7, 2020
Tuck School of Business Round 1 Oct 7, 2019 Dec 12, 2019
Round 2 Jan 6, 2020 Mar 12, 2020
Round 3 Mar 30, 2020 May 7, 2020
Yale School of Management Round 1 Sep 10, 2019 Dec 4, 2019
Round 2 Jan 7, 2020 Mar 24, 2020
Round 3 April 14, 2020 May 19, 2020
Stern School of Business, NYU Round 1 Oct 15, 2019 Jan 1, 2020
Round 2 Nov 15, 2019 Feb 1, 2020
Round 3 Jan 15, 2020 Apr 1, 2020
Round 4 Mar 15, 2020 Jun 1, 2020


Schools Average GMAT Score Criteria
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 732
Stanford University (CA) 733
Yale University (CT) 721
Harvard University (MA) 725
Columbia University (NY) 715
University of California – Berkeley (Haas) 717
University of Chicago (Booth) 726
Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL) 728
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) 724
Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH) 717


TOEFL Scores US Universities
MIT IBT: 90 minimum; 100 recommended MIT Sloan School of Management
TOEFL iBT 100 Stanford Graduate School of Business
TOEFL iBT 109 Harvard Business School
Average score = 110; no specified minimum score University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
Average score = 109; no specified minimum score Kellogg School of Management

MBA in USA – MBA Course Fees

The average cost of attending a top  MBA college in the USA has increased faster than the rate of inflation. Tuition fees at the top MBA schools in the US is listed in the table below:


Popular MBA programmes  Duration Tuition Fees
2 year Stanford MBA Programme 2 years $73,000/year
Harvard University MBA,

2+2 MBA

2 years $73,400/year
The Wharton MBA Programme 2 years $81,400/first year
University of Chicago – Booth, Full Time MBA 2 years $72,000/9 months
University of Chicago Booth, Evening/Weekend MBA 2.5 3 years $7,200/course
MIT MBA Program 2 years $77,200/year
Columbia University Full time MBA 2 years $77,400/year
University of California – Berkeley Haas Full time MBA 2 years $64,700/year
Yale School of Management (SOM) MBA Programme 2 years $72,400/year
Northwestern University – Kellogg 

One Year MBA

Two Year MBA

2 years  $101,288 for 1 year MBA

$73,400/year for 2 year MBA

Study AbroadMBA in USA – FAQs

Q. What exam is crucial for MBA admission in the United States?

A. GMAT is the most crucial exam for MBA admission in the US. You need to have a great GMAT score to qualify for admission to top B-schools in the US.

Q. How much does it cost to pursue an MBA in the USA?

A. The average tuition for a two-year full-time MBA program exceeds USD 60,000. An executive MBA from Wharton can cost up to USD 2,05,200.

Q. What is the salary of an MBA graduate in the USA?

A. An average starting MBA salary is up to USD 1,23,900 annually in North America. 

Q. Where can I do an MBA in the USA?

A. Top MBA schools in the US are:

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
  • Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Wharton, University of Pennsylvania
  • MIT Sloan School of Management

Q. What are the top study abroad destinations in the world?

A. Based on latest QS World University Ranking review, the top 5 countries to study MBA abroad are:

  • USA
  • Singapore
  • France
  • UK
  • Canada
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