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Types of Masters Degrees in Business

Types of Masters Degrees in Business

There are a handful of master's degrees in business, but the small collection of titles can be deceiving. By far the most popular and most diverse option is the Master of Business Administration, or MBA. This is the most popular graduate program in the nation, holding the number one ranking for many years. The full time MBA is usually a two year program although there are variations for executive programs and part time flex schedules.

All university schools of business are built around this degree but the educational diversity under the MBA umbrella can be overwhelming, as virtually every MBA program offers a set of "majors," or areas of concentration. These specializations vary in number and name from school to school; a detailed collection is listed below. By way of example we cite the oldest business school in the nation, Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. The MBA at Wharton offers eighteen areas of specialization. There are other graduate degrees in business short of the doctorate: we have listed them below as well.

MBA Areas of Concentration: this list is compiled from the top tier business schools in the United States. There may be MBA specializations with other titles at some universities, but this list covers the academic options for the MBA thoroughly. There are also a number of dual degrees available with many MBA programs.

  • Accounting
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Banking
  • Business and Public Policy
  • Corporate Finance
  • Data, Models and Decisions
  • Economics
  • Entertainment, Media and Technology
  • Entrepreneurial Management
  • Environmental and Risk Management
  • Finance
  • Financial Instruments and Markets
  • Financial Systems and Analytics
  • Global Business
  • Health Care Management
  • Information: Strategy and Economics
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • International Finance
  • Law and Business
  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Luxury Marketing
  • Management
  • Management of Technology and Operations
  • Marketing
  • Multinational Management
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Operations and Information Management
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Product Management
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Social Innovation and Impact
  • Statistics
  • Strategic Management
  • Supply Chain Management and Global Sourcing

Other Business Degrees:

  • Masters in Management is a two year degree that focuses on the theory of management and the techniques used for personnel development, organizational leadership and team work skills. It can be an academic step to a doctoral program or a terminal degree leading to a business or public administration career. This degree is usually offered with a limited number of specializations
  • Masters in Organizational Development is a degree in a field that has become important in today's business world due to the sometimes turbulent transitions caused by globalization and economic challenges. Many businesses are streamlining by cutting costs and personnel; many are also developing multinational structures that require professional development.
  • Masters in Organizational Leadership offers training in team building, team management and to an increasing degree, change management. Businesses that are passing through an ongoing organizational transaction require professional leadership at the divisional or departmental level to create more effective business units while aligning them with new corporate structure.
  • Masters in Finance is offered by a few schools as a degree that is separate from the MBA program. While the curriculum may be taught by business school faculty the degree is in finance as opposed to business. It may also be a step towards the PhD in Finance program offered by most universities as a stand-alone doctoral option.
  • Masters in Accounting is usually a degree offered at least partially as the academic requirement for taking the Certified Public Accountant exam. Most states require 150 credit hours of academic study in order to sit for the CPA exam; this degree provides the additional hours for students with a Bachelor's in Accounting along with the additional course work required.
  • Masters in Financial Engineering is a relatively recent academic creation that exists at the intersection of technology and finance. It requires substantial IT background and provides training in the programs used to create and analyze sophisticated investment trades on Wall Street and throughout the investment industry.
  • Masters in Financial Mathematics is something of a cross between statistics, accounting and finance. It's not found on every campus but can be a valuable addition to the resume for certain types of finance industry positions; most graduates find work as quantitative modelers or traders in the investment sector.
  • Masters in Quantitative Finance is another recent introduction to graduate business studies, similar in scope to the Masters in Financial Engineering but with a closer focus on the mathematics of quantitative analysis. This degree is generally taught in a university's school of mathematics but often includes participation from the school of business.
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