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

Sandro Glonti - November 13, 2021


Business administration professionals are a vital part of any company’s workforce, as they help businesses operate efficiently thanks to their skills in project management and business analytics. 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 graduate degrees to help you get started.

What Is Business Administration?

Business administration involves organizing 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.

What Is a Business Administration Master’s Degree?

A business administration master’s degree, or MBA, 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.

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Business Administration Master’s Degree Requirements

Most master’s programs in business administration require undergraduate degrees in business or a related field, such as financial accounting or marketing management. The application process differs between educational institutions.

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 Much Does a Business Administration Master’s Degree Cost?

In the US, a master’s degree costs an average of $19,314 in tuition and fees at public universities . Private schools charge an average of $25,929. Tuition rates will vary depending on the school, location, and type of program.

Business Administration Master’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Business Administration Degree

Post-graduate 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.

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

School Program Accreditation
Cornell University Master of Business Administration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dartmouth College Master of Business Administration New England Commission of 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
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
Rice University Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
University of Chicago Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
University of Virginia Masters of Business Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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

Master of Business Administration | Cornell University

There are two courses 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 | Dartmouth College

This program at Dartmouth includes team-based projects, experiential, 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, Global Executive | Duke University

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 | Emory University

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, this degree is granted by the Goizueta Business School. This program has a strong focus on leadership and offers a Certificate of Advanced Leadership which 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 | New York University

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, the school offers 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 | Northwestern University

Northwestern 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 which combines an MBA with a law degree.

Master of Business Administration | Ohio State University

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 multifaceted approach to business solutions. The curriculum is also flexible and allows students to personalize their schedule with elective courses.

Master of Business Administration | Rice University

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

Master of Business Administration | University of Chicago

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 | University of Virginia

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, live-action case studies, and global immersions to help them develop critical thinking skills.

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

School Program Accreditation
Grand Canyon University Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
James Madison University Master of Business Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Quinnipiac University Master of Business Administration in Business Analytics New England Commission of Higher Education
Southern New Hampshire University Master of Business Administration New England Commission of Higher Education
Texas A&M University Master of Business Administration in Management Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Cincinnati Master of Business Administration Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
University of Illinois Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
University of Kansas Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission
Villanova University Master of Business Administration Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Walden University Master of Business Administration Higher Learning Commission

Best Colleges for Business Administration: Top Online Business Administration Master’s Degree Programs

Master of Business Administration | Grand Canyon University

This online master’s program offered by the Colangelo College of Business prepares students for leadership positions in the business field. The curriculum gives comprehensive knowledge management systems. Students learn how to achieve organizational and personal goals by using marketing, management, and finance skills.

Master of Business Administration | James Madison University

The MBA program at JMU offers three specializations, which include executive leadership, information security, and innovation. The coursework is taken online, and students also participate in in-person residencies to encourage networking and provide students with practical experience.

Master of Business Administration in Business Analytics | Quinnipiac University

This online master’s program focuses on business analysis, innovation, leadership, and strategic integration. Classes are taught by the same faculty in charge of the on-campus program. This program is designed to teach students how to make effective decisions for their organization and encourage them to act as innovative, data-driven leaders.

Master of Business Administration | Southern New Hampshire University

This program teaches students to analyze and interpret data for decision-making, develop adaptable strategies, and evaluate and implement various processes. It also focuses on cultivating globally aware and culturally responsible teams and organizations. Students learn to create and implement plans around culture, ethical and legal standards, and sustainable practices.

Master of Business Administration in Management | Texas A&M University

This MBA program teaches students about business research methods, strategic management, financial statements, managerial economics, and financial management. The online courses include supply chain management, marketing management, theoretical management perspectives, organizational behavior and theory, leadership and ethics, and project management.

Faculty members are all business professionals with extensive experience working in a range of corporate environments. This 30-credit program can be completed in as few as 15 months. Students gain the business acumen needed to pursue doctoral programs and management careers.

Master of Business Administration | University of Cincinnati

This online MBA combines academic and research-based learning with real-world experience to provide students with the necessary skills to thrive in various industries. Students take core courses in accounting, economics, finance, leadership, operations management, business analytics, information technology, and marketing.

According to US News & World Report, the program is ranked as the best online program in Ohio , the fifth-best Midwest program, 26th in the nation, and 47th worldwide.

Master of Business Administration | University of Illinois

This online MBA offers students the chance to work closely with senior professors and special practitioner faculty from companies like Google. Courses are grouped into specializations structured around each student’s career goals. The program has a strong focus on leadership skills and includes special pathways and team projects on digitalization, globalization, and innovation.

Master of Business Administration | University of Kansas

This online MBA has the same curriculum and faculty as the on-campus equivalent. This program prepares students to work in a variety of roles, including accountant, senior data analyst, investment banking associate, healthcare operations manager, financial analyst, and marketing manager. Students take a total of 13 courses.

Master of Business Administration | Villanova University

Villanova University offers this online MBA with the same curriculum and faculty as the on-campus program. Students can opt for one of five specializations in analytics, finance, international business, marketing, and strategic management. They also have a chance to opt for an international immersion into an emerging economy to gain practical experience.

Master of Business Administration | Walden University

Walden University offers two tracks for this MBA. The standard track takes two years to complete, and the fast track allows you to double up on courses and finish in one year. The program teaches essential soft skills, on top of providing students with opportunities for practical experience. The curriculum focuses on negotiation capabilities, systems thinking, and mentoring skills.

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

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

According to Payscale, the average salary for someone with a Master of Business Administration is $83,000 per year . 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.

Top Business Administration Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Business Administration Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Marketing Manager $141,490
Financial Manager $134,180
Sales Manager $132,290
Senior Product Manager $126,487
Business Development Director $106,028
Medical and Health Services Manager $104,280
Business Operations Manager $103,650
Investment Banker $101,187
Information Technology Manager $88,797
Management Consultant $88,707

Best Business Administration Master’s Degree Jobs Explained

Marketing Manager

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.

Financial Manager

Financial managers monitor the health of the 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.

Sales Manager

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.

Senior Product Manager

  • Average Salary: $126,487
  • Job Outlook: 10%*
  • Number of Jobs: 316,800*
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, California*

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.

Business Development Director

  • Average Salary: $106,028
  • Job Outlook: 10%*
  • Number of Jobs: 316,800*
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, California*

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.

Medical and Health Services Manager

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.

Investment Banker

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 engage an investment banker as a middleman.

Business Operations Manager

  • Average Salary: $100,930
  • Job Outlook: 10%*
  • Number of Jobs: 316,800*
  • Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Connecticut, New York

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 work teams are all part of their responsibilities.

Information Technology Manager

In addition to overseeing data storage infrastructure, IT managers establish access protocols and rules within the 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 computer.

Management Consultant

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.

*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Marketing Managers

Business Administration Bootcamp vs Business Administration Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?

There are pros and cons to both of these options, so choosing between them may seem confusing at first. Although business bootcamps are not common, there are a few schools that offer business administration and leadership courses. Find out about them below.

Benefits of a Business Administration Master’s Degree

  • Increased employability . An MBA will teach you the fundamentals of business and will increase your employability. It will be possible for you to choose from several possible career roles, including financial management, healthcare management, and marketing manager positions.
  • Networking . You’ll learn the most recent practices and tools from experts in their fields. In addition, you will have the opportunity to work in real companies and gain experience. Companies are always seeking new managers who are skilled in using modern technology and can guide their teams more effectively.
  • Learning about multiple fields and industries . As a student, you will learn about every aspect of business, such as operations management, finance, marketing, and human resources. You will gain communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills. In today’s competitive job market, these leadership skills could propel you to the top.

Benefits of a Business Administration Bootcamp

  • Flexibility . Online bootcamps provide convenience and flexibility for busy individuals. Students often struggle to attend classes every week due to family obligations, a full-time job, or both. The flexibility of online programs means students can take classes when it works best for them.
  • Affordable . University tuition comes with many additional costs like housing, books, and transportation. Students can get a better deal with bootcamps by eliminating these costs. The tuition for some online bootcamps is fixed and, typically, it is possible to defer payments.
  • Specialization . Most bootcamps are designed to make sure that students are ready to land a job and can apply what they learn in the real world when they graduate. You’ll become an expert in business administration and management and have specialized knowledge in the field.

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

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 of a regular master’s degree holder. With a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, you can earn twice as much as you would with a regular university degree.

According to the US News & World Report , an MBA from a reputable business school can help people break into certain highly competitive business sectors like Silicon Valley tech companies and Wall Street banks.

Business Administration Master’s Degree FAQ


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

Graduates of an MBA program have 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 in fields such as accounting, finance, business strategy, or marketing.


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

In general, a full-time MBA program takes at least two years to complete, 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?

Some of the usual specializations for an MBA include finance, supply chain management, international business, data analysis, entrepreneurship, and marketing.


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

A bachelor’s degree is generally the first step towards 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.

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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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