Students who want to study business in graduate school have many options. One of the more popular options is the Master of Business Administration. The MBA is a professional degree in business and management that offers applied courses, such as accounting, finance, real estate and marketing. MBA programs do not require prospective applicants to major in business or a related discipline like economics. On the other hand, most programs want their enrolled students to come from varied undergraduate backgrounds.
MBA programs are graduate level, so they all require prospective applicants to either hold a bachelor's degree or finish their bachelor's degree prior to enrollment. Because prospective applicants come from a variety of universities, states and countries, MBA programs do not limit their applicants to a particular kind of degree. Instead, they aim to create an interesting and diverse graduating class and are open to accepting applicants with all sorts of degrees including, but not limited to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Business Administration.
Just as MBA programs do not specify preferences for particular types of bachelor's degrees, they also do not specify preferences for undergraduate majors or concentrations. Accepted students come from a variety of fields and have many different majors. For example, 39 percent of students entering Harvard Business School’s class of 2015 majored in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, while 43 percent majored in economics or business and 18 percent majored in humanities or social sciences.
Grade Point Average
While a particular major does not matter for the MBA, what does matter is the prospective applicant’s grade point average. Different MBA programs have different requirements, but most expect their applicants to have relatively high grade point averages. For example, the average undergraduate GPA of a Harvard MBA student is 3.78 out of 4.0. Some universities also require their applicants to meet minimum GPA requirements, usually a 2.75. Therefore, students interested in pursuing an MBA in the future should choose majors in which they can succeed and graduate with high grade point averages.
While MBA programs do not require prospective applicants to have a particular major, some require certain courses or a thorough knowledge of the material covered in certain courses. Examples of possible required courses are calculus, statistics and microeconomics. Prospective applicants who are interested in MBA programs should take these courses as electives during their undergraduate careers if they are not required of their major.
Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. She has a BA and MS in Mathematics, MA in English/Writing, and is completing a PhD in Education.