What Do I Really Need For MBA In 2024?

You can’t just wake up and start applying for an MBA without prior knowledge of the application requirements. If you choose to, that might be ludicrous. A Knowledge of MBA prerequisites is essential.

To stand out from the herd and win yourself a great shot at the master of business administration program, you need to get familiar with the MBA prerequisites.

So, in this article put together by kiiky.com, we’ll highlight the requirements for an MBA program and guide you through the whole process.

An MBA is one of the most versatile degrees that cover a variety of business principles, such as accounting, economics, finance, and marketing. Throughout your program, you’ll connect ideas from the classroom during real-world consulting projects and gain exposure to an array of business functions.

Whether you choose a two-year full-time or part-time MBA, an executive MBA, or an online MBA, this article on MBA prerequisites answers the question, what do I need for an MBA program. Let’s get in!

See the table of contents below for a quick overview of this article.

Is MBA Difficult For Average Students?

Most aspiring MBA students fancy the question is MBA too difficult for an average student. Well-well, an MBA is as easy as you make it to be and inversely. What do I mean? If you put in the right attitude and seriousness towards the program, it will most likely not be difficult.

Therefore, to make the best out of the business program, you have to be the best you can be. This is done by developing familiar ways to tackle the course as it unfolds.

In an MBA program, expect courses like marketing, finance, and human relations for all in the first 2 semesters as it will be common subjects.

Moving on to the succeeding 2 semesters,  with most of your core coursework completed, you will then have to choose elective courses.

Most schools will give you a list of electives that you can choose from that will be centered around your specialization.

To sum it up, an MBA course is an investment is the right direction as it places you on a higher level not only in terms of knowledge base but also in earnings. In other words, an MBA program is value-laden.

Must I Have A Bachelors Degree To Pursue An MBA?

Most MBA programs expect aspirants to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, this is further emphasized in the application/admission requirements where you’ll be asked to submit your official academic transcript. However, there are some instances where individuals with exceptional capabilities earn an MBA without an undergraduate degree.

Having a bachelor’s degree demonstrates an aspirant’s academic abilities, regardless of the discipline. Therefore, bachelor’s degree holders have higher chances of getting admitted into an MBA program than non-bachelor degree holders.

Completing a four-year degree also shows schools that a prospective student is conversant with the academic model of higher institutions at the bachelor’s level and has better chances of succeeding at the graduate level.

Being a master in business administration, does it mean one must have an undergraduate degree in business? Let’s find out.

Check this out: 10 MBA Scholarships In The Netherlands 2024

Can I Get an MBA Without a Business Degree?

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, in 2017 more than half of all MBA candidates had non-business undergraduate degrees. This indicates that most people with non-business degrees seek to pursue an MBA in order to advance their careers and increase their value.

Nevertheless, prospective MBA students without a background in business need to keenly consider whether an MBA would help them attain their professional goals. Therefore, you need to research whether an MBA equips you to move into upper management positions in your area of specialization.

Succinctly put, before deciding to take up a master’s in Business program, ensure that it serves your career goals.

How Do I Choose The Right MBA Program?

Before arriving at the choice of a master of Business program or specialization, you need to put some factors into consideration. Furthermore, your choice should suit your skills, academic talents, and career goals. 

Now, what are those factors to consider when choosing an MBA program?

Here are the factors to consider when choosing an MBA program;


You need to ensure that your intended MBA program is accredited. The accreditation ensures that the institution or program is trustworthy and adheres to the standards set by learning commissions.


You need to find out the acceptance rate and general admissions requirements of prospective institutions to aid your choice in an MBA program. While schools like Stanford and Harvard accept less than 10% of all candidates, many schools accept 35-50% of students who apply.

Duration of the program

Each MBA program has its own program duration. While some take 20 months, some take as few as 10 months to complete.

In most cases, the duration of the program is influenced by the type of program, be it full-time or part-time program. Another factor that determines program length is whether or not a student chooses to complete an accelerated track or a traditional program.

Cost of an MBA program

Cost is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an MBA program; intending students should find that matches their earnings. MBA programs appear to be costlier. Nonetheless, you can take advantage of available MBA scholarship opportunities or available loans.

See also: Fully Funded MBA Scholarship for International Students in China 2024

What Do I Need For MBA? Prerequisites For MBA Programs

The common MBA prerequisites are:

  • A four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or its international equivalent
  • A minimum of two to three years of work experience, depending on your responsibilities
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of professional recommendation
  • Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL is most commonly required)
  • GMAT score

Whether you choose a full-time or part-time MBA, an executive MBA, or an online MBBA, the first thing to consider as a prospective applicant is their prerequisites. These requirements differ per business school.

Knowing the basic requirements for an MBA is a nice way to go, however, it will be better if you find out the required test scores.

SEE ALSO: Masters Of Business Administration MBA | 11 Facts You Need To Know

What GMAT Score Do I Need For MBA?

The GMAT score is one prerequisite for the MBA program. This score is normally determined by the school. Nonetheless, a score above 650 is a way to start.

Generally, the top 20 business schools demand a GMAT score above 700 to make you a competitive applicant. That doesn’t mean that a score between 650 and 700 can’t secure your admission into any business school. Just be aware that the higher the rank of the business school the more competitive it becomes.

To be on a safe side, you need to check the website of your preferred MBA program for the average GMAT score requirement. Click here to see the best GMAT Prep courses.

Must I Take GMAT To Get Admission Into MBA School?

If you feel you can’t take the GMAT, you can afford to sit for the GRE or be on the lookout for MBA programs without GMAT requirements.

The GRE is a graduate exam that some MBA programs accept in place of the GMAT. Unlike the GMAT, the GRE quantitative section is more straightforward.

Some of the schools that accept the GRE instead of the GMAT are Harvard Business School, Stanford University, M.I.T, and the University of Pennsylvania.

However, before you decide on the particular test to take, do well to visit the MBA program website for details.

Furthermore, if you don’t feel like taking tests, you can afford to checkout for schools that don’t require any GMAT or GRE. Endeavor the confirm that the program is accredited before applying.

Do I Need A GPA Score To Apply For MBA?

There are no minimum GPA requirements for MBA admissions as most MBA programs don’t emphasize a minimum GPA score. However, the average GPA hangs around 3.5 and 3.7 respectively.

Does it mean MBA programs have nothing to do with an applicant’s GPA? Of course not, the GPA is also a factor used to weigh the candidate’s intellectual capacity to check if he or she is a good fit for the MBA program.

Nonetheless, your GPA score is just one out of the numerous application criteria: much attention will be paid to the whole application and not necessarily the GPA score.

To ascertain the average GPAs of students at your prospective MBA programs, check out schools’ class profile pages.

What Can I Do If I Have A Low GPA For Business School?

As we pointed out earlier, having a low GPA doesn’t mean you can’t secure an MBA admission. So, if you happen to have a low GPA, you can always leverage on other application requirements like GMAT or GRE score, personal statement, personal experience, and professional experience.

An outstanding GMAT or GRE score will always outshine a low GPA in MBA program application. This is so because a high score in any of the tests reflects your intellectual abilities. Therefore, endeavor to prepare effectively.

In addition to the high GMAT or GRE score, it will be nice if you can demonstrate high achievement in the workplace in terms of work experience and strong leadership roles. Having work and leadership experience can make for a low GPA on an MBA application.

Can I Apply For MBA Without Work Experience?

Certainly, you can! MBA programs are evolving and are intended to meet distinct goals. Students with little or no professional work experience can now choose an MBA program specially designed to equip them for their first professional position and beyond.

These programs are called “early-career” MBA programs because they afford early-career students the full range of professional experience, education, network, and career management tools needed for a bolster one’s career.

To be on the front foot, endeavor to have a resume with notable internship experiences. And while making the choice of an MBA program, choose a full-time MBA program with multiple opportunities for experiential learning and professional career development. 

SEE ALSO: Easiest MBA Schools To Get Into In 2024 | Best Guide

What Is The Required TOEFL Score For An MBA Program?

The TOEFL requirement for the MBA program mostly relates to international applicants who did not finish their undergraduate degree in Anglophone countries. That is to say, international applicants with a bachelor’s degree from any of the universities in the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are exempted.

What this entails is that the TOEFL exam is for business applicants without advanced knowledge of English.

Here’s a list of the TOEFL iBT score for some of the top business schools.

Minimum / Average TOEFL scores for top MBA programs

  Business school Minimum TOEFL iBT Test Score
1. Harvard Business School 109
2. Stanford Graduate School of Business 100
3. The Wharton School 110 (average score)
4. Chicago Booth 104
5. Columbia Business School 100
6. NYU Stern No minimum score requirement
7. Berkeley Haas 90
8. Darden School of Business 106(average score)
9. UCLA Anderson 87
10. MIT Sloan Not required
11 Georgetown university – McDonough 100
12. Emory – Goizueta Business School 100
13. Indiana university – Kelley 100
14. University of Toronto – Rotman 100
15. University of Cambridge – Judge 110
16. University of Oxford – Said 110
17. University College Dublin: Smurfit 100
18. London Business School 100
19. HEC Paris 100
20. INSEAD 105
21. IESE Business School 100
22. ESADE Business School 100
23. Erasmus – Rotterdam Optional
24. Mannheim Business School 95
25. IMD TOFEL not required
26. IE Business School 100
27. NUS 100
28. Nanyang Business School 100
29. The University of Hong Kong 80
30. HKUST 100

How Long Does It Take To Get An MBA?

The duration of an MBA program is solely dependent on the type of program you choose. This implies that the question, how long does it take to get an MBA is one with multi answers.

Aspiring MBA students come from all walks of life, and their needs are different. In a bid to suit their varying needs, schools offer MBA programs in a range of formats and delivery options. See the duration of different full-time and part-time MBA programs below.

  • The traditional MBA is a full-time, two-year program with classes on campus.
  • An accelerated MBA takes 11-16 months to complete on a full-time basis. It can be completed online or in-person.
  • Part-time MBA programs usually take four to six years to complete. It can be completed online, in person, or a combination of the two.
  • Executive MBA programs take 18-24 months to complete. It can be completed online, in person, or a combination of the two and is mostly part-time.
  • Dual MBA programs permits students to earn an MBA while they work toward another related degree. Students can ideally complete dual degree programs in three-five years.

When you’re looking into options, bear in mind that the biggest factor affecting the duration of an MBA program is the choice to study on a part-time or full-time basis.

Check this out: 16 Best Online MBA Without Undergraduate Degree in 2024


Just like Gold will never lose its value as currency, an MBA comes top in the scorecard of high ranking qualifications.

Before applying, you need to be informed of the MBA prerequisites. Therefore, do well to make the best out of the available MBA programs if you wish to advance in your career.

FAQs On What Do I Really Need For MBA

What is the prerequisite of MBA?

MBA Full-Time
An undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and at least 2 years’ work experience. Candidates are required to demonstrate academic excellence. This can be achieved through either previous tertiary academic qualifications or strong GMAT / GRE test score.


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