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Business Administration Master’s Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Sandro Glonti - July 13, 2022


Thinking about pursuing one of the best business administration master’s degrees? You’ve come to the right place. This guide has all the information you need about business administration master’s degree programs, jobs, and average salaries.

Business administration professionals are a vital part of any company’s workforce. Their skills in project management and business analytics help businesses operate efficiently. A Master’s Degree in Business Administration is a great way to advance your career in this field. We’ve compiled a list of the best Master’s Degrees in Business Administration to help you get started.

What Is Business Administration?

Business administration is the organizing of personnel and resources to accomplish business objectives. It includes the management of human resources, operations, finances, and marketing processes. From healthcare management to sports management, business administrators are hired for their managerial skills and can work across a variety of industries.

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Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

The best colleges where you can get a Master’s Degree in Business Administration are located all over the country. Many of these schools even offer online programs which can be completed from anywhere in the world. The best colleges will typically offer options for prospective students to enroll in both full-time and part-time programs.

What Schools Offer the Best Business Administration Master’s Degrees?

  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • New York University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of Chicago

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

The admission requirements for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration include having an undergraduate degree in business or a related field, such as financial accounting or marketing management. The cumulative GPA of this undergraduate degree will play a role in your admission decision, and it typically needs to be 3.0 or higher.

Most schools also require letters of recommendation and a personal statement before making an admission decision. You will likely also need to provide your current academic and professional resume. The application process differs between educational institutions, so be sure to work closely with an admissions counselor if you have any questions, especially as you await your admission decision.

Business Administration Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in business or similar field
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Two to three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement describing achievements and goals
  • Copy of current academic and professional resume

How to Get a Master’s Degree in Business Administration

You can get a business administration master’s degree by first earning an undergraduate degree in business or a similar field. For cost-effectiveness, we suggest looking into public schools, though private institutions work just as well. Once you enroll in an in-person or online master’s program, you’ll have to complete all of the core courses with good grades.

The best way to get a business administration master’s degree is to study hard and learn as much as possible about the business world, even outside of class. Whether you enroll in onsite or online courses, you will have to maintain a certain GPA to graduate. Taking time to study business outside of class gives you a competitive advantage in your program.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

You need 50 to 60 credits for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. These credits are earned through a combination of core courses and elective courses. These credits and courses are essential for learning business and management skills.

Business Administration Degree Requirements

  • 30 core course credits
  • 20 to 30 elective course credits
  • Management and leadership courses
  • Finance and accounting courses
  • Capstone project or thesis paper

Best Business Administration Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
Cornell University Master of Business Administration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dartmouth College Master of Business Administration New England Commission of Higher Education
Drexel University Master of Business Administration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Duke University Master of Business Administration, Global Executive Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Emory University Master of Business Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
New York University Master of Business Administration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Northwestern University Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
Ohio State University Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
Oregon State University Master of Business Administration Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Penn State World Campus Master of Business Administration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Rice University Master of Business Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges
Southern New Hampshire University Master of Business Administration New England Commission of Higher Education
University of Chicago Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
University of Virginia Master of Business Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Schools for Business Administration: Top Business Administration Master’s Degree Programs

The best schools for business administration master’s degrees are located all over the country and even online. In fact, some of the best business administration master’s programs are available online.

Whatever your preferred learning style is, there is a program on this list for you. Below, we dive into the top business administration master’s degree programs, what they entail, how to get in, and how much tuition costs.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

One of the most innovative public schools in the country, likely due to its variety of online programs and learning styles, is Arizona State University . This university is based in Tempe, Arizona, and is well-known for its unique approach to online learning.

Master of Business Administration

At this public school, you will complete online courses for your degree. In fact, this full-time or part-time MBA program is offered completely online. Course topics include ethics for managers, human resource management, and financial management for businesses.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,522/semester
  • Required Credits: 49 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 or higher
  • Standardized Tests: No tests required
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Personal statement, resume

Applying to Arizona State University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $70 application fee.
  3. Submit official transcripts.
  4. Write a personal statement.
  5. Submit your current resume.
2

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Based in Ithaca, New York is Cornell University , a private Ivy League university. It is a research university committed to providing outstanding education to both undergraduate and graduate students, though its focus is on professional students.

Master of Business Administration

There are two tracks offered in the MBA program at Cornell University. The two-year MBA program is designed for candidates hoping to transition into management roles or change industries. It gives students the chance to participate in student organizations and develop their leadership skills.

The one-year program is an accelerated version of the MBA. Students must already have an advanced degree or certification, or they must apply as part of a dual-degree program, in order to qualify for this intensive track.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $76,690/year
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 1 to 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 94%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $200
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, statement of goals, personal essay, letter of recommendation

Applying to Cornell University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $200 application fee.
  3. Submit your GRE or GMAT scores.
  4. Submit a current resume and at least one letter of recommendation.
  5. Write and submit a statement of goals and a personal essay.
3

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Dartmouth College was founded in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1769. It is an esteemed Ivy League university, one of the most prestigious schools in the country. It is made up of many schools, including the Tuck School of Business, where you can complete this university’s MBA.

Master of Business Administration

This program at Dartmouth includes team-based projects, experiential learning opportunities, and global learning opportunities. Research-to-Practice Seminars allow students to develop their creativity and leadership skills. In addition to instruction and peer coaching, students receive feedback from coworkers and fellow students.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $77,520/year
  • Required Credits: 76 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 94%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $250
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, letters of reference, interview

Applying to Dartmouth College

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $250 application fee
  3. Submit transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
  4. Submit a current resume and two to three letters of reference.
  5. Complete the admissions interview.
4

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University is a private research university. It currently operates from three different campuses around Pennsylvania, and also offers completely online programs.

Master of Business Administration

In Drexel University’s Master of Business Administration program, students are taught the ins and outs of the business world. The curriculum is focused on teaching a broad range of business concepts. Students learn via experiential learning and career coaching opportunities.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,235/credit
  • Required Credits: 49 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 to 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 78%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 or higher
  • Standardized Tests: No tests required
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in same or similar field
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, personal essay, resume

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $65 application fee.
  3. Submit at least one letter of recommendation (two are recommended).
  4. Write and submit a personal essay.
  5. Submit a copy of your current resume.
5

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina and is well-known for offering prestigious online and in-person degree programs. It currently enrolls over 16,500 students per year from various states and countries.

Master of Business Administration, Global Executive

This 21-month program brings together working professionals from around the world. It offers residency opportunities in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America, giving students the chance to learn about how culture and institutions influence business in different regions and build a global network.

Master of Business Administration, Global Executive Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $31,448/term
  • Required Credits: 48 credits
  • Program Length: 21 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 96%

Master of Business Administration, Global Executive Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $225
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Professional resume, personal essay, letter of recommendation

Applying to Duke University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $225 application fee
  3. Submit test scores and transcripts.
  4. Provide a copy of your professional resume and submit a personal essay.
  5. Provide contact information for one person who can write a letter of recommendation.
6

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Emory University is a Methodist university founded in 1836 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is now well-known for its exemplary business school, the Goizueta Business School, which has regularly ranked among the top schools in the United States for business-related degrees.

Master of Business Administration

This degree is granted by the Goizueta Business School. This program has a strong focus on leadership and offers a Certificate of Advanced Leadership that requires you to complete a capstone project. There are options to complete the program on a full-time or part-time schedule.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $70,200/academic year
  • Required Credits: 50 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 90%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  1. GPA: No minimum GPA
  2. Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  3. Application Fee: $175
  4. Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  5. Other Requirements: Essays, letters of recommendation, resume, interviews

Applying to Emory University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $175 application fee.
  3. Submit official transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
  4. Provide four essays on the following topics:
    • Post-MBA Career Goals (300 words)
    • Leadership in Business (300 words)
    • Why Goizueta? (200 words)
    • Video Essay
  5. Submit two letters of recommendation and pass admissions interviews.
7

New York University

New York, NY

New York University , more commonly known as NYU, is a private university in New York City, New York. It is known as one of the best universities in the country, offering fantastic education in tech and business. This university is made up of 19 colleges and schools.

Master of Business Administration

New York University's Stern School of Business has consistently been ranked as one of the country’s top business schools. Depending on your availability, you can choose from a full-time MBA program, an executive MBA program, and a part-time MBA program. MBA programs that follow part-time formats cater to students who need to work while completing their degrees.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $78,700/academic year
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $110
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to New York University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $110 application fee.
  3. Submit official transcripts.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation and a current resume.
  5. Submit GRE scores.
8

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Located in Evanston, Illinois is Northwestern University . This is a private university made up of 12 different colleges and schools. Over 20,000 students enroll in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs here every year.

Master of Business Administration

Northwestern University offers several tracks for you to obtain your MBA through the Kellogg School of Business. These include a one-year track, a traditional two-year MBA, a combined track where you obtain both an MBA and a Master of Science in Design Innovation, a combined track in conjunction with the School of Engineering, and a JD-MBA that combines an MBA with a law degree.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $78,276/academic year (1-year program); $108,016/academic year (2-year program)
  • Required Credits: 31 credits
  • Program Length: 1 to 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 95%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: No required tests
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: 300-to-550-word statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to Northwestern University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $75 application fee.
  3. Submit official transcripts.
  4. Submit a statement of purpose of 300 to 550 words.
  5. Submit two letters of recommendation and your current resume.
9

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

The Ohio State University , based in Columbus, Ohio, is made up of six different campuses. Thousands of students enroll in this school’s variety of programs each year, with many international students joining the fully online degree options.

Master of Business Administration

The Fisher College of Business offers a full-time MBA program as well as a part-time MBA program, an Executive MBA, and a PhD program. The curriculum focuses on hands-on experiences and a multifaceted approach to business solutions. The curriculum is also flexible and allows students to personalize their schedules with elective courses.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $1,859/credit
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE (waived through fall 2022)
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, application essays, interviews, optional letters of recommendation

Applying to Ohio State University

  1. Complete the online application, then submit test scores and transcripts.
  2. Pay the $60 application fee.
  3. Submit your current resume and (optional) letters of recommendation.
  4. Write and submit answers to two essay prompts.
  5. Complete an online interview and then a live interview.
10

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University is based in Corvallis, Oregon, but has campuses and learning centers in a few cities across Oregon. It proudly serves over 34,000 students each year, who come from all 50 states and over 100 different countries to enroll in this school’s degree programs.

Master of Business Administration

Oregon State University’s Master of Business Administration program offers two tracks, full-time and part-time. The full-time track can be completed in as little as nine months, while the full-time track takes closer to two years. Both can be completed totally online or as hybrid in-person programs.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition: $868/credit
  • Required Credits: 48-60 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Learning Format: Online, hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 68%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, references, essay questions, interview

Applying to Oregon State University

  1. Complete the online application with answers to essay questions.
  2. Pay the $75 application fee.
  3. Submit your transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
  4. Submit a current resume and contact information for two professional references.
  5. Complete an informational interview.
11

Penn State World Campus

University Park, PA

Penn State World Campus is based in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State has been a leader in distance education for over 100 years, and opened its World Campus in 1998 to begin offering more programs. It now offers 175 completely online degree programs.

Master of Business Administration

This MBA program offered by Penn State’s World Campus is completely online, offering working professionals an easier way to get their education. Even the program’s mandatory residency can be completed virtually.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,236/credit
  • Required Credits: 48 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 72%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 or higher
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, essay question answers, portfolio, interview

Applying to Penn State World Campus

  1. Complete the online application with answers to six essay questions.
  2. Pay the $65 application fee.
  3. Submit transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
  4. Provide a current resume and portfolio.
  5. Complete a virtual admission interview.
12

Rice University

Houston, TX

Rice University is a private research university founded in 1912 and located in Houston, Texas. While this university’s focus is on undergraduate degrees, it also focuses on business degrees, making it a great place to earn a Master of Business Administration.

Master of Business Administration

Rice University’s MBA is an ideal program for individuals interested in the energy industry because of its proximity to Houston. In addition to corporate real estate and risk management courses, there are a variety of electives students can take.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $66,000/academic year
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person, hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 92%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT, GRE, or EA
  • Application Fee: $200
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Essay answers, letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to Rice University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $200 application fee.
  3. Submit transcripts and GMAT, GRE, and/or EA scores.
  4. Complete all essay questions with 100 words or less.
  5. Submit a copy of your current resume and one to two letters of recommendation.
13

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

In Manchester, New Hampshire is Southern New Hampshire University , a well-known private university offering online degree programs. It is a leader in online education, currently offering 200 different career-centered educational programs totally online.

Master of Business Administration

Southern New Hampshire University offers this Master of Business Administration degree completely online. It takes 36 credits to finish and can be completed in as little as one year. You will learn in a career-centered environment, meaning all faculty have experience working in the field and the curriculum will focus on popular and modern business practices.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $627/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1-1.5 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 37%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: No tests required
  • Application Fee: No fee
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: No other requirements

Applying to Southern New Hampshire University

  1. Meet with an admissions advisor.
  2. Complete the free online application.
  3. Submit all official transcripts.
  4. Determine if you have any transfer credits.
  5. Apply for financial aid, if desired.
14

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago is a private research university located in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1890 and has grown significantly since. Today, it enrolls nearly 20,000 students in its wide variety of degree programs each year.

Master of Business Administration

This MBA by the University of Chicago offers skill assessments, individualized coaching, the chance to personalize your curriculum, and opportunities to gain practical experience. Students learn to make decisions with the frameworks provided and learn a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $77,841/academic year
  • Required Credits: 54 credits
  • Program Length: 21 months
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 96%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: No other requirements

Applying to University of Chicago

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $100 application fee.
  3. Submit your transcripts.
  4. Submit GMAT or GRE scores.
  5. Apply for financial aid, if desired.
15

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

The University of Virginia is in Charlottesville, Virginia and was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. It is both the flagship university of Virginia and the location of a UNESCO World Heritage site. It enrolls over 2,000 students each year.

Master of Business Administration

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia offers students in the final year of their undergraduate degree a chance to apply to this full-time MBA. Students enjoy an educational experience based on consulting projects and live-action case studies, which help them develop critical thinking skills.

Master of Business Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $72,200/academic year (in state); $75,200/academic year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 94%

Master of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA
  • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE
  • Application Fee: $250
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, letter of recommendation, short essay questions

Applying to University of Virginia

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Pay the $250 application fee.
  3. Submit transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
  4. Provide a copy of your current resume and contact information for one recommender.
  5. Answer the short essay prompts.

What Is a Business Administration Master’s Degree?

A Master’s Degree in Business Administration, or MBA, is a two-year graduate degree offered at most colleges. This degree gives students a theoretical and practical understanding of business management and investment.

An MBA program can have a general focus or a specific focus in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, and project management. This degree allows you to access better job opportunities and can increase your earning potential.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

It is very important to have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration because it provides the education and professional experience necessary for most business leadership positions. For career paths in human resource management, supply chain management, or even healthcare management, this degree is essential.

Having an MBA also prepares you for working in a business environment. Even if your desired job position does not require a graduate degree, earning one will impress both business leaders and employers, as well as open the door to many jobs in the business industry.

What Types of Master’s Degree Can You Get in Business Administration?

You can get the following types of master’s degrees for business administration:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master in Management (MiM)
  • Master of Accounting (MAcc)
  • Master of Supply Chain Management (MSCM)
  • Master of Business Analytics (MBAn)
  • Master of Business Information Technology (MBIT)
  • Master of Marketing (MMkt)

Is It Better to Get a Master of Business Administration or Master in Management in Business Administration?

It is better to get a Master of Business Administration (MBA) because it is a bit more versatile than other master’s degrees for business administration. An MBA offers more job opportunities in various fields. You can even specialize in multiple areas, such as human resource management, supply chain management, or healthcare management.

The difference between a Master of Business Administration and a Master in Management is the type of skills learned. A Master in Management, or MiM, focuses on training and education specifically for those seeking out managerial roles. An MBA, on the other hand, teaches a more thorough and versatile range of skills for those seeking out leadership and higher-ranking positions in the business field.

What Is the Difference Between a Business Administration Master’s Degree and a Business Administration Certificate?

The main difference between a business administration master’s degree and a certificate in business administration is how long each takes to earn. Where an MBA will take roughly two to three years to complete, a certificate in business administration can be completed in just a few weeks or months.

You should get a business administration master’s degree instead of a certificate because it will greatly improve your employability. Business leaders in fields like supply chain management and healthcare management expect candidates to hold graduate degrees. Having one instead of, or even alongside, a certificate gives you a competitive advantage when job hunting.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

A business administration master’s degree costs an average of $19,314 in tuition and fees , according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Private schools charge an average of $25,929. Tuition rates will vary depending on the school, location, and type of program.

Postgraduate business administration programs can be quite expensive, but colleges and universities usually provide students with a variety of funding options. These include grants, scholarships, loans, teaching positions, and financial aid. Make sure to reach out to your school of choice to find out about the different financing options they offer.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Administration Master’s Degree?

It takes two years to get a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. The time it takes to complete varies by school, program, and your personal study choices. Some can finish an MBA in as little as one year, while others take three years or more.

Master’s programs are typically completed in two years of full-time study. It is possible to finish the program sooner by taking more courses and credit hours, but this depends on your specific program and school.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

A Master’s Degree in Business Administration is typically not very hard to get. Most of the required courses revolve around business practices and ethics, and do not tend to include challenging technical content. However, if you choose a specialization in healthcare management, the degree becomes a bit more challenging because you have to learn healthcare practices and terminology as well.

Why Should You Get a Business Administration Master’s Degree?

The benefits of getting a master’s degree in business administration are:

  • Improved employability
  • Increased starting salary
  • A competitive advantage over job competition
  • Preparation for work in any business environment
  • Preparation for a doctoral degree

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Business Administration?

The required courses for a business administration master’s degree tend to remain mostly the same from program to program. While you may see some variation, especially in concentrations and specializations, we can almost guarantee you will encounter these five courses.

Business Ethics

A very common mid-level business administration course for a master’s degree is Business Ethics. This course covers common business policies, practices, and strategies, and how and why they are considered ethical or unethical. The goal is to teach students how to run a business as ethically as they can.

Ethical Decision-Making

In Ethical Decision-Making, an important course for a business administration master’s degree, students take their knowledge of business ethics and apply it to making decisions. This covers every type of decision that someone in the field may be faced with, and how to determine what the most ethical choice is.

Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance is another business administration master’s degree program course. In this course, students look at financial practices and how to apply them to a corporate setting. Courses like this often build off of or lead to topics covered in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Operations, Information, and Decisions

Another important course required for a business administration master’s degree is Operations, Information, and Decisions. This class focuses on the operation chain, how to best collect information and data about an organization, and how to use this new information to make informed decisions about business practices.

Financial Planning

The last class in a business administration master’s degree that you are likely to take is Financial Planning. This course is self-explanatory, and essentially teaches students how to plan and manage a business’s finances.

Continuing Education Paths for Business Administration Master’s Degree Graduates

The best path to take with a business administration master’s degree is directly into the workforce. Most business leaders only have MBAs, and many only hold undergraduate degrees. This means that after earning your MBA, you will be qualified to work in business. Gaining experience is important in this field, and should come before pursuing a doctorate.

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What to Look For in the Best Business Administration Master’s Degree Programs

The best business administration master’s degree programs have accreditation, good faculty, and multiple program options. When you are trying to decide which program to choose, keep the following five points in mind.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a credential that schools can be given by certain agencies. It signifies that the school and its programs meet predetermined criteria set forth by these agencies. This is important to look for because it ensures the education you receive meets or exceeds the national expectations.

Cost

Cost is not always just tuition. It also includes various fees, textbooks and materials, and housing. It is important to take into account the entire cost of a program before deciding if it’s the one for you. Determine if you will have to move out of town or state, what housing is like where you would live, and then work with an advisor to determine any other potential costs.

Faculty Credentials

Faculty credentials are proof of a faculty member’s expertise and experience in the subject they teach. We recommend finding a program with good faculty credentials, as it ensures that the education you receive is relevant to the actual industry.

Accelerated Options

Accelerated options allow you to adopt a different schedule than the typical program schedule in order to graduate faster. Many accelerated programs allow you to complete what is usually a two-to-three-year degree in as little as one year. This is great for working professionals hoping to quickly advance their careers.

Career Services

Career services are an awesome aspect of many university programs that assist graduates in finding a job after college. These are especially useful for MBA grads, as many schools often partner with big companies such as Google, and can help graduates make it onto the payroll of these esteemed businesses.

What Is the Most Affordable Business Administration Master’s Degree?

The most affordable Master’s Degrees in Business Administration are:

  • Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA
  • Oregon State University’s MBA
  • Arizona State University’s MBA
  • Penn State World Campus’s MBA
  • Drexel University’s MBA

Salary and Job Outlook for Business Administration Master’s Degree Graduates

Man in a striped shirt sitting down looking at graphs on an iPad mini
Core courses in a master’s degree program will prepare you to thrive in any business environment.

Now that you know all about different MBA programs, you’re probably wondering about the business administration jobs you can get with a master’s degree. In this section of our guide, we dive into business administration master’s degree jobs, important information about the best jobs, and the average Master’s in Business Administration salary.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Business Administration Master’s Degree?

It can be difficult to get a job with a business administration master’s degree, but only because the market is so saturated. An MBA is one of the most popular graduate degrees to earn, so there will be a lot of competition for most jobs. However, adding a concentration or specialization to your degree can make getting a job much easier.

What’s the Average Business Administration Master’s Degree Salary?

The average salary for someone with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration is $85,000 per year, according to PayScale. Your master’s degree will equip you with the practical skills needed to succeed in a variety of industries. An MBA will greatly improve your management skills and equip you with a broad range of analytical skills.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Business Administration Master’s Degree?

The jobs you can get with a business administration master’s degree are in high demand and in a variety of industries. These jobs tend to pay very well too, often earning graduates six-figure salaries.

Business Administration Degree Jobs

  • Financial Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Business Development Director
  • Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Investment Banker

Potential Careers With a Business Administration Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

You can make between $70,000 and $135,000 with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. The exact amount of money you make is dependent on a few things, including job title, experience, and location.

If you want to maximize your salary upon graduating, you can apply for job titles that pay more on average. You can also opt for as many internships and jobs related to your degree while studying, and even consider moving to one of the highest-paying states for that job.

Highest-Paying Business Administration Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Business Administration Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Financial Manager $131,170
Senior Product Manager $128,503
Sales Manager $127,490
Marketing Manager $127,150
Business Development Director $109,374
Medical and Health Services Manager $101,340
Investment Banker $101,295
Management Consultant $90,495
Information Technology Manager $89,299
Business Operations Manager $79,655

Best Jobs for Business Administration Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for business administration master’s degree grads are high-paying and in high demand. The following list of jobs breaks down the top ten jobs for a Master’s in Business Administration holder, including the average salaries, job outlooks, number of jobs, and best states.

1

Financial Manager

Average Salary: $131,170

Financial managers monitor the health of an organization's finances. They analyze data and offer advice on profit maximization to senior managers. Their responsibilities include creating financial reports, conducting investment activities, and developing long-term plans for an organization's finances.

2

Senior Product Manager

Average Salary: $128,503

Senior product managers oversee the entire flow of a product from the conceptual stage to production, as well as anticipate customer and market needs to maximize production efficiency. According to common practice, senior product managers must ensure that best practices are followed, goals are met, and projects and related operations are appropriately conducted.

3

Sales Manager

Average Salary: $127,490

Sales managers oversee sales activities and sales representatives on a day-to-day basis. In order to meet or exceed established sales goals, they implement the company's sales programs and sales activities.

4

Marketing Manager

Average Salary: $127,150

Marketing managers are responsible for building awareness about a brand, product, or service. Marketing managers aim to attract more customers to buy from the business and to raise brand awareness by running marketing campaigns. Nearly every industry has a product or service it wants to sell, which makes marketing managers essential.

5

Business Development Director

Average Salary: $109,374

Business development directors are responsible for boosting the overall efficiency and development of a company. Directors of business development typically report directly to the owner of a company, the board of directors, or shareholders.

6

Medical and Health Services Manager

Average Salary: $101,340

Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the delivery of medical and health services. These healthcare executives may manage a large healthcare facility, medical practice for a group of physicians, or a specific clinical area.

7

Investment Banker

Average Salary: $101,295

Investment bankers are highly qualified professionals at a financial institution who examine a company's financial health, its capital requirements, and its goals. Based on the analysis, an investment banker proposes a course of action to realize these goals. Investors and the organization trying to raise funds can use an investment banker as a middleman.

8

Management Consultant

Average Salary: $90,495

Management consultants help companies who are either at a critical junction of their development or facing significant obstacles. These organizations may be experiencing problems and desire an outsider's perspective. Management consultants are in the business of assessing situations and providing solutions. They can be employed by a firm or work independently.

9

Information Technology Manager

Average Salary: $89,299

In addition to overseeing data storage infrastructure, IT managers establish access protocols and rules within a company. IT managers may be asked to oversee the timely operation and security of a company's website. As a general rule, IT managers’ jobs include overseeing how the company's employees access data, use it, and communicate with one another via the internal computer network.

10

Business Operations Manager

Average Salary: $79,655

Business operations managers help an organization run smoothly by aligning teams, setting goals, executing initiatives, and improving processes. Employing people, negotiating contracts, dealing with budgets, understanding the general operation of the company, and guiding teams of workers are all part of their responsibilities.

*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Marketing Managers

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Is a Master’s Degree in Business Administration Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration is worth it if you want to work in the business sector and earn a high salary. The most important benefits of an MBA are job security and a high salary. The average income for MBA graduates is significantly more than the average for a regular master’s degree holder.

An MBA from a reputable business school can help people break into certain highly competitive industries like Silicon Valley tech companies and Wall Street banks.

Additional Reading About Business Administration

This article covers the best on-campus and online master's degree programs in business administration, and more.

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This article covers the best on-campus and online master's degree programs in business administration, and more.

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Business Administration Master’s Degree FAQ

What does a Master’s Degree in Business Administration teach you?

A Master’s Degree in Business Administration teaches graduates a deeper understanding of business management functions. There are two types of MBA degrees, those with a general focus and those with a more specific focus. Specific areas of focus include accounting, finance, business strategy, and marketing.

How long does it take to complete a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

It takes at least two years to complete a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and a part-time program can take closer to three years. However, some schools offer fast tracks, which means you can complete your MBA in as little as one year.

What are the most common specializations available with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration?

The most common specializations available with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration include finance, supply chain management, international business, data analysis, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

Can you start your master’s before you finish your bachelor’s?

No, you usually cannot start your master’s before you finish your bachelor’s. A bachelor’s degree is generally the first step toward a master’s degree. However, students can earn credit towards a relevant master’s degree alongside their current bachelor’s degree with dual credit programs from certain schools.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Sandro Glonti

About the author: Sandro, from Georgia, joined Career Karma in September 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Econometrics. His previous published work has also appeared on Resume Example. He is fascinated by SEO and has professional experience in data analysis and SQL from his previous professions before becoming a content writer.

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