What is the meaning of MBA? That is the first question of many MBA graduates. There’s no doubt that the MBA is the most popular graduate management degree in the world. Students can’t get enough of it and employers love it. Every year, thousands of ambitious professionals apply to different MBA programmes.

A generalist MBA programme gives you a comprehensive view of the business across marketing, finance, accounting, and soft skills, as well as leadership skills. To learn more about the meaning of an MBA and how you can benefit, look no further.

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What Does MBA Really Mean?

An MBA is short for a Master of Business Administration. MBA programmes are modern and effective master’s programmes for those that want to learn more about business management. A variety of students such as professionals or university graduates attend this programme. They want to refresh and update their knowledge or are trying to develop their careers and want to gain managerial qualifications.

Coursework of an MBA

You must complete core coursework as part of your general business degree to lay a foundation for business school. After you have laid the foundation, you may need to take additional coursework related to the specialization you are seeking. After you are accepted into a programme and enrol for your first semester, you should expect to take core courses all year long. 

MBA programmes usually include courses related to topics such as finance, marketing, organization, human resources, and e-commerce. Students who have successfully graduated from the programme are considered to be experts in these subjects. In addition to a standard curriculum on business and business management, each university can also offer additional courses. 

Here are the Top Courses After MBA Finance:

  1. Quantitative Finance Course 
  2. Financial Risk Management 
  3. Financial Planning And Services 
  4. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  5. Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  6. NCFM Certifications
  7. Company Secretary (CS)
  8. FLIP Certification
  9. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
  10. Executive Programme in Algorithmic Trading
  11. Actuary
  12. Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

 What Are the Requirements?

To apply and get into an MBA programme, you’ll probably need to meet a few general requirements.

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  2. A B+ average or greater
  3. GMAT or GRE
  4. Relevant work experience
  5. Short personal statement
  6. References

Each university has a separate application and admission procedure, and students must have the appropriate qualifications. The desired qualifications may vary depending on the undergraduate field. Often, a separate process screening process is offered for students who come from engineering fields than those who have studied business administration, for example.

MBA Degree Candidate Profiles

Every MBA programme will have different requirements. More prestigious programmes or schools will have more competition for acceptance. Its not that these prestigious schools say, “we must have all these thousands of applications before we determine who we accept”. But rather, they are so prestigious that there’s just so many applicants for a limited number of spots.

Though, in general, candidates should expect to have a certain background. The following list is taken from the University of Washington (Bothell)’s MBA programme admission requirements:

  • Two or more years of full-time, professional-level work experience.
  • Two (or more) short application essays.
  • Two professional referees.
  • Official 4-year Bachelor’s degree transcript.
  • Demonstration of English Language Proficiency (programme and candidate dependent)
  • Minimum 3.0-grade point average for the past 90 quarter credits or 60 semester credits.
  • Interview with the admissions committee before acceptance or decision.

Some programmes may require submission of a GMAT/GRE score. 

Considering the knowledge and values that the Master of Business Administration programme has, you will likely get a very strong education in academic and business life. All successful companies on a global scale receive the MBA diploma, which is one of the main criteria for job applications.

How a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Works

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a level up from an undergraduate business degree and generally places the graduate well above those with only undergraduate degrees. Most major universities and colleges provide MBA programmes, which usually last two years. To get into an MBA programme, an applicant needs to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and be accepted by the programme based on its selection criteria.

MBA programmes typically include main classes in accounting, management, finance, marketing, and business law. An MBA curriculum focuses on leadership, planning, business strategy, organizational behavior, and the more human side of running a business.

The MBA degree is seen as essential to enter certain fields, including strategic planning, hedge funds, and private equity firms. Other financial services fields, however, may no longer consider an MBA an entry-level degree to get started.

Types of MBA Programmes

MBA programmes will vary between disciplines, specialities, and schools. Because of this, we can say the meaning of an MBA is all encompassing as it’s highly likely that candidates can find a solution that works for their schedule, interests, and time commitment restraints.

Two-Year Full-Time

One of the most common types of MBA programmes is a two-year commitment, in which candidates attend school full-time. During the first year of the programme, MBA candidates may learn more fundamental business skills such as strategy or communication. It’s more common for candidates to choose more specific electives during their second year.

One-Year Full-Time

Accelerated programmes crunch a two-year programme into a single year. This type of MBA programme is more intensive, faster paced, and often sacrifices quantity of content for candidates who don’t want to spend too much time away from work.


Students not looking to leave work and willing to attend school for a longer time may pursue a part-time MBA programme. This type of programme often has greater flexibility on how many courses can be taken at once and how quickly a student moves through the MBA programme.


One type of MBA programme that overlaps with the options above is an online MBA. Often a two-year, one-year, or part-time option, an online MBA allows students to attend school remotely.


Some MBA programmes focus on global operations. Candidates interested in a wider focus wanting to branch out from just domestic companies or segments of a company can help candidates build an international network and foster opportunities around the world.


MBA programmes are also available for students whose lives and careers do not permit them to attend school full time. For example, executive MBA programmes are designed for working professionals hoping to add to their credentials and qualifications. 


While MBA candidates can focus on one of the core disciplines of the degree, such as management or finance, many MBA programmes allow students to develop concentrations in specific industries. For example, an MBA student might specialise in sports management, entrepreneurship, the entertainment business, or healthcare management.

So, the True Meaning of an MBA?

An MBA is good for two primary purposes. First, business professionals that acquire an MBA undergo a rigorous set of classes to improve their skill set. At the end of an MBA programme, the MBA candidate should have learned new skills, expanded their network, better understand how to approach problems, and be a more competent professional.

The second primary benefit of an MBA is a higher degree of desirability with one’s employer. Armed with a greater skill set, MBA candidates often have an advantage during job searches and may command higher pay. In short, possessing an MBA often makes an employee more desirable for a company to hire and keep, so we can say the real meaning of an MBA is synonymous to “how to get ahead.”

About the author

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