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MBA Degree Requirements

MBA Degree Requirements

The classic MBA program requires two school years of intensive study. That's the model for standard MBA programs, although there are some executive MBA degrees that require less time to complete and some accelerated versions, online and on campus, that can be completed in a year to eighteen months' study. Today most MBA programs offer an area of specialization, sometimes called a "major." Those classes are usually in the second year of a MBA program or at any rate, completed during the final semester of the course of study. One of the most important components for MBA programs at the schools is the use of teamwork as a teaching tool. The online programs emulate this concept by using technology that allows for classes to be taught in cohorts. Students are encouraged to communicate with one another and in many cases, assigned projects to work on together.

MBA Core Courses

Every MBA program today has a substantial mathematical component. Most have entry prerequisites for undergraduate courses in economics and statistics and sometimes in accounting and finance. Regardless of the entry requirements, a basic MBA core curriculum will include courses in accounting or accounting for business, and classes in finance. Many programs include a course in international finance or global business finance; all of them have a class in international business. Additional math oriented classes may include a course in quantitative business tools or analysis which is database oriented, and a course in the research methods used in business analysis which also relies heavily on database usage - thus requiring an understanding of the software involved.

Other core courses in a MBA curriculum focus on management and administrative functions. There is usually a course in human resources management, referred to in recent years as "human capital." You'll encounter courses in strategic management, in operations management, and in marketing - a key component of any business operation and a field that is changing rapidly at the moment. There may also be courses in organizational behavior or organizational development, both of which are valuable if you land in a business that is in a transformative stage because of recent market developments.

The Advance MBA Learning Experience

MBA students in their second year or in the second half of a program focus on their area of specialization although usually the classes devoted to specialization comprise no more than a third of the entire curriculum and usually it's closer to twenty five percent. But these areas of concentration are deemed important by the schools; Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania offers eighteen options. In recognition of the rapidly growing complexity in the financial markets, New York University offers five different finance specializations in the MBA program. Other common options include Marketing, Project Management, Accounting, Global Business, Healthcare Management, and Risk Management.

Most MBA programs also have some sort of capstone project to complete the degree. Generally this is not a thesis, but rather a project that requires addressing a business challenge of some sort and devising a solution. Sometimes these projects take the form of an internship with a corporation or business. Sometimes they are a team project. In all cases you are expected to prepare and submit a report on your experience.

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