What are the Entry Requirements for an MBA?

If you’re considering pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), you need to ensure you meet the entry requirements for a program.
Online student using computer

If you’re considering pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), you need to ensure you meet the entry requirements for a program. Though MBA programs can vary by size, teaching style, curriculum, frequency (full or part-time), and other factors, there are specific requirements you must meet to qualify.

If you are looking to invest in an MBA program, let’s take a look at the different types of program options and the requirements.

Full-Time, Part-Time, Executive or Online MBA Programs: Which Is Right for You?

With so many MBA programs available, it takes time to determine which one is right for you. To help you decide which program option is best, let’s review the four main types: full-time, part-time, executive, and online.

Full-Time MBA Programs

Full-time MBA programs are usually a two-year, immersive experience that requires students to attend classes daily. This MBA program offers a comprehensive curriculum with a range of courses, such as marketing, finance, operations, organizational behavior, strategy, and entrepreneurship.

Full-time MBA programs allow students to build a strong network of peers and alumni, which can be invaluable for career growth. Additionally, full-time MBA programs offer students access to various on-campus recruitment events and resources, such as career fairs, networking events, and interview coaching, which can help to jumpstart their post-MBA careers.

One of the drawbacks of full-time MBA programs is the cost, and the fact that they require a significant time commitment. In addition, tuition fees, living expenses, and room and board costs can add up quickly, so account for these costs when considering a full-time option. Another consideration to make is that while full-time MBA programs are immersive, they leave less time for work or other commitments. So, for students who are managing a family or full-time job, a part-time option may be a better fit for students managing a family or full-time job.

Part-Time MBA Programs

A part-time MBA program requires students to attend classes several nights a week or on the weekend. For students who want to continue working while pursuing their MBA degree, this program is ideal.

Part-time MBA programs are typically more affordable than full-time programs because students don’t have to cover living expenses. A part-time MBA program is an excellent choice for students who don’t want to quit their jobs because it allows them to continue working while pursuing a higher education degree.

The downside is that the part-time MBA program usually takes 3-5 years to complete, which can be a long time to juggle work and school commitments. Additionally, part-time MBA programs may not provide the same networking and career resources as the full-time program, though this depends on the institution you attend.

Executive MBA Programs

Working professionals with considerable experience are well-suited for an executive MBA program. This program typically requires students to attend classes on weekends or weekdays, once a month, or several times a year. Usually, an executive MBA program lasts 18 months to two years.

An executive MBA program is ideal for students who don’t want to disrupt their careers because they can continue to work full-time while attending classes. Additionally, an executive MBA program provides students with a high level of networking experience, as students are usually accomplished business professionals.

The downside is that executive MBA programs are typically more expensive, and employers may not cover the cost. Additionally, because of the advanced level of work experience required for acceptance into an executive program, this option is not viable for younger professionals.  

Online MBA Programs

Online MBA programs are a popular option that offers students flexibility in timing, schedule, and location. These programs allow students to attend classes remotely and on their agenda, providing great flexibility to manage work and academic commitments.

Online MBA programs are great for students who want to pursue MBA degrees while continuing to work. They’re also suitable for those who need easy access to a university or have family or work commitments that prevent them from attending classes in person.

The downside of online MBA programs is that they require strong self-discipline, time management, and technical skills, making it sometimes challenging for students who need structure and face-to-face interactions.

Which MBA Program is Right for Me?

To choose the right MBA program, evaluate your priorities, goals, budget, and work and family commitments. Think about your free time and consider where an MBA course would fit into your schedule.  Each MBA program option offers advantages, so depending on your requirements and personal needs, you can explore a program that’s right for you.

Whatever you choose, rest assured that pursuing an MBA degree is an excellent choice that can open up a world of career advancement opportunities.

What are MBA Requirements?

Now that we reviewed the different models of MBA programs, it’s time to look at the MBA requirements.

Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or institution is one of the primary requirements for an MBA program. Most programs prefer a degree in a business-related field, but it is not a necessary condition. Students can have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline; however, business or economics degrees are given priority over other fields. Some programs also accept applicants with degrees in STEM fields.

A candidate must provide transcripts from their undergraduate program, and GPA is an essential parameter that most MBA programs consider. The minimum required GPA is usually around 3.0, but top-tier schools prefer GPAs of 3.5 or higher.

Work Experience

Another essential factor in getting into an MBA program is work experience. MBA programs usually prefer candidates with 2-3 years of relevant work experience. However, this experience does not always have to be in a business or management role but can be in technical, creative, or other fields. Work experience helps students add value to the program by contributing to classroom discussions and providing a nuanced perspective.

The work experience must be documented in the form of a resume detailing the job responsibilities and achievements. The resume should highlight the candidate’s career growth and demonstrate leadership, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.


The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an exam that assesses a candidate’s analytical, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. Most MBA programs require GMAT scores as part of their application process. 

There are four sections in the GMAT exam:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Integrated Reasoning
  4. Quantitative Reasoning

The total exam time is three and a half hours. Most MBA programs have a minimum score requirement; the range varies from 550 to 700, depending on the institution.


Having a polished, professional resume is essential for the MBA application. It provides an overview of the candidate’s academic and professional background, accomplishments, and skills. The resume should showcase the candidate’s leadership, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. A well-crafted resume can help the admission committee understand the candidate’s potential to thrive in the MBA program and contribute to the learning environment.

Your resume should be concise and include bullet points highlighting achievements and responsibilities. The use of action-oriented verbs and quantitative data adds credibility to the accomplishments. The resume should be at most two pages and should be tailored for each school based on their requirements.

Recommendation Letters

MBA programs typically require two to three recommendation letters from professional or academic references. The letters provide insights into the candidate’s work ethic, leadership abilities, teamwork, and communication. The recommendations should come from someone other than family or friends but from individuals who have worked closely with the candidate and can provide a detailed evaluation.

The recommenders should know the candidate’s goals, strengths, and achievements. It is recommended to provide the recommenders with a summary of the MBA program and the candidate’s aspirations. A well-crafted recommendation letter can significantly increase the candidate’s chances of acceptance into the MBA program.


MBA programs often require candidates to write one or more essays for their application. The essays allow the candidates to demonstrate their writing skills, critical thinking, and communication abilities. The essays may vary in length and topic, but the common themes include why the candidate wants to pursue an MBA, career goals, leadership experiences, and how the MBA program will help achieve those goals.

The essays should be well-structured and demonstrate a clear understanding of the topics. Using examples, anecdotes, and personal experiences adds depth and authenticity to the essays. It is recommended to proofread the essays multiple times and seek feedback from peers or mentors.

Proof of English Proficiency

If you are an international student and your native language is not English, you may be required to demonstrate proof of English proficiency. The most commonly accepted English language tests are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or. The minimum score requirement for MBA programs may vary, but most schools prefer a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL or 7.0 or higher on the IELTS.


Completing a successful interview is essential in the MBA application process. The interview allows the admission committee to evaluate the candidate’s personality, communication skills, and fit for the MBA program. Depending on the school’s preference, the interview may be conducted in person, via Zoom, or over the phone.

The candidate should prepare for the interview by researching the school, understanding the program, and practicing responses to common interview questions. The candidate should dress professionally, arrive on time, and demonstrate a positive attitude. The interview also lets candidates ask questions and learn more about the program or institution.

Find an MBA Program That Works for You at Xavier University

If you are seeking to grow personally and professionally through an MBA program, Xavier University offers exceptional programs. Students can choose from our executive, online, part-time, and X-ccelerated MBA programs that let them complete coursework at a pace that works best.

Xavier University is a top-ranked university for its excellent academic reputation and commitment to giving students experiential learning opportunities. Whether you want to obtain a Master’s or undergraduate degree, explore our vast network of resources today and start your Xavier journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an MBA hard to get?

Obtaining an MBA can be a challenging and rewarding process. Admissions requirements typically include a minimum undergraduate GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, work experience, essays, and recommendations. Additionally, top MBA programs often receive thousands of applications yearly, making it a highly selective process. However, with dedication and preparation, students will find getting an MBA rewarding and enjoy the career opportunities it gives them.

What undergraduate degree is best for an MBA?

There is no one specific undergraduate degree that is best for an MBA. MBA programs accept applicants from all undergraduate backgrounds, including engineering, humanities, science, and business. However, students must have strong analytical, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills to succeed in an MBA program. It is recommended that students pursue an undergraduate degree that aligns with their career interests and goals and allows them to develop these skills.

How long does it take to get an MBA?

The length of an MBA program can vary depending on the type of program and the student’s schedule. Full-time MBA programs typically take about two years to complete, while part-time programs can take up to three or four years. Executive MBA programs for working professionals may take 18 months to three years. Online MBA programs also vary in length but typically take two to three years to complete. Some schools offer accelerated MBA programs that can be completed in as little as one year.

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