The 25 Best Master’s in Business (MBA) Grad School Programs in 2021

Every year, business news sites such as Forbes, Bloomberg, or the mother of it all – U.S. News, releases their rankings of the top b-schools in the country. Each ranking has spawned its spinoffs – best part-time MBA programs, best EMBA programs, best MBA for networking, best MBA for STEM, and the most recent addition, the best online MBAs.

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But what do all these rankings tell us?

Aside from the obvious that there is no one way to measure a school’s performance, it tells us that applicants no longer look for just school prestige. Times have changed. A traditional MBA with a finance or marketing core just won’t do anymore. It’s this downward trend that compelled many B-schools to discontinue its MBA programs and to just focus on specialized areas like data analytics, which the Wall Street Journal reported to have demonstrated a gradual but steady increase in enrollees since 2015.

Several schools do not see this dilemma as the death of the MBA program; instead, it is perceived as the chance to reinvent their programs. Affected institutions are seeing it as a way to bridge the gap between business management, data analytics, and technology, a strategy that would hopefully translate to increased applications.

Another valuable resource: A Complete MBA Glossary of Terms for New Students

Speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, Stanford GSB Professor Paul Oyer points out how business leaders and data scientists complement each other:

“Managers have a ton of institutional knowledge and know how a business works, but they’re sitting on troves of data that they don’t know what to do with. And data people don’t know what questions need to be answered through the data. The person who can go in the middle is becoming more and more valuable.”

As a result, more and more business schools are redesigning their offerings to include STEM concentrations like manufacturing technologies, management information systems (MIS), e-commerce, and data science or data analytics. M7 schools like the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business are also following suit.

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Non-M7 schools blaze the trail in online MBAs. Distance learning is slowly becoming the norm, especially in 2020 when people are forced to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic.  But no matter how many new criteria we add to the rankings, the decision to choose a business school, or any school for that matter, actually boils down to two things – prestige and money. It’s about going to the best school that checks all the boxes without breaking the bank.

Check this out: 8 Things Only A Grad Student Would Understand


In developing our list of The 25 Best Master’s in Business (MBA) Grad School Programs, we built a set of criteria that are all met by the higher education institutions on our list:

  • School Reputation: We consider the rankings published by major ranking sites, and official data published by academic resources.
  • Quality of Learning Experience: This factor combines the competence of MBA faculty as well as the quality of experiential learning and the depth of course concentrations. The availability of STEM courses, ethics, social impact subjects like public policy, not-for-profit management, and behavioral management was given more weight. This is to reflect the growing paradigm of applicants leaning towards not only STEM-infused MBA programs but also sustainability-driven MBA programs.
  • Tuition: We gathered data directly from the schools’ websites for accuracy. We distinctly categorized program costs according to program offerings, including traditional two-year, full-time residency programs (we excluded the one-year full-time program), evening or weekend part-time MBA, Executive MBA or EMBA, and hybrid online MBA programs. Tuition fees mentioned below are based on out-of-state, two-year, full-time MBA program costs.
  • Program Flexibility: This criterion reflects a school’s adaptability to meet the stringent time schedules of its applicants were also assessed.
  • Full accreditation: Recognizing the value of accreditation, All 25 schools listed are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Booth School of Business

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Booth graces our rankings as the best and arguably the most relevant business school in the country. Offering all program types except for an online MBA, Booth also has STEM course offerings such as Management Information Systems (MIS), Quantitative Analysis, Statistics, and Research. It is home to a well-funded research parent university, receiving almost half a billion dollars for research projects.

Types of Aid: Merit-based scholarships, Civic Scholars Program, Yellow Ribbon Program, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, private student loans.

Admission Requirements: Secure the following documents to start your application process: a completed undergraduate degree, GMAT/EA/GRE report, transcript, academic recognitions, professional certifications, resume, essays, and references. The application fee is $175.

Tuition Fee: $73,440

Post-MBA Prospects: You stand at a greater advantage to be employed in any industry and can command a high starting salary with a Booth diploma, which is a proven credential. Its vast network of successful alumni is also highly rated because of its responsiveness and impact.

Discover MBA Programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Haas School of Business

University of California – Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

UCB Haas is not part of the M7, so it might be surprising for some to see this school rank highly on our list. Though it doesn’t have an online MBA yet in its offerings, it has an extensive list of course concentrations at 24. It has produced five economists who all won the Nobel Prize for Economics and are currently part of the school’s faculty.

Types of Aid: Shapansky Grant, federal loans, private loans, international student loans, MBA employer assistance, Veterans Benefits

Admission Requirements: Applications are done online and require the submission of all transcripts, resume, GMAT, GRE, or E.A. reports, among others. A video interview is also required. The application fee is $200.

Tuition Fee: $64,652

Post-MBA Prospects: Haas graduates find substantial careers in the fields of consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, marketing, real estate, technology, social impact or public policy, and in the renewable energy industry or sustainability management.

Explore the MBA programs at the University of California Berkeley Haas School Business.


Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Renowned for its marketing forte, Kellogg also offers core specialties in technology, public policy, and not-for-profit management for those interested in sustainability, analysis and statistics, and healthcare. Its MBA programs come in full-time, part-time, and EMBA options. This school is also renowned for its teamwork-centric teachings, particularly in the areas of management and corporate strategy and leadership.

Types of Aid: Merit scholarships, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, G.I. and Veterans Benefits

Admission Requirements: The Kellogg evaluation committee requires the submission of an application form, an essay – both written and in the video, transcripts, GMAT or GRE score, resume, letters of recommendation, and an interview report. The application fee is $250.

Tuition Fee: $73,404

Post-MBA Prospects: Kellogg has produced MBA graduates who have pursued careers in various industries such as technology, consulting, retail, and finance. Among its top employers are Apple and Microsoft, Accenture and Deloitte, Nike, PepsiCo, Proctor and Gamble, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays.

Explore the MBA catalog at the Northwestern University’s Kellogg SOM.


Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Palo Alto, CA

Stanford GSB is one of the best examples of why prestige still works. Currently, it only offers the traditional full-time MBA but boasts of a wide array of concentrations from technology to ethics. Its ethics department is so strong, 18% of its 2019 class now hold socially impactful positions in sustainability-focused firms. Stanford is also known to be a start-up haven being located in Silicon Valley, with 40% of its female alumni being involved in start-ups.

Types of Aid: Full-Tuition Fellowships, Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, Summer Stipends (exclusive to students who’ll be spending their summers interning in socially responsible companies, public office or in entrepreneurship), Yellow Ribbon Program, Employer Sponsorship, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, Refinancing Student Loans

Admission Requirements: As with any b-school, there are three rounds of applications. You can simultaneously apply to both the MBA and the one-year MSx program if you’re still undecided at the time of application. You only need to pay $275 for the application fee, which will apply for both applications. If you’re eligible for both programs, you can only choose one track.

Tuition Fee: $74,706

Post-MBA Prospects: Aside from being a renowned start-up hub, it has also produced successful investment bankers and is the top school to produce future private equity professionals, surpassing Wharton, Booth, Columbia, and Harvard.

See what MBA life is like at this academic hub in Silicon Valley: Stanford GSB.


Darden School of Business

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Darden is one of the surprises in this list. Usually a top 20 school, it shot up to the ranks thanks to its high scores for quality of learning experience. It has an extensive list of experiential education opportunities, both global and domestic, as well as area and industry-focused electives to harness an industry specialization. It’s also highly rated by students themselves.

Types of Aid: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Graduate Plus Loan, Prodigy Finance Loan

Admission Requirements: Aside from the 3-round application process, an early action application is also available, where several interview slots are up for grabs, unlike in the invitation-only 3-round application. A transcript, GMAT or GRE score, resume, letter of recommendation, and the $250 application fee are required.

Tuition Fee: $73,600

Post-MBA Prospects: A Darden diploma can take you in any industry. From consulting companies like Ernst & Young to consumer goods and services, to retail giants like Amazon and Walmart, tech companies like Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, and so on. Darden graduates have even landed positions in a long line of financial companies both domestically and abroad (i.e., Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, etc.).

Explore career diversity at the University of Virginia – Darden School of Business.


Tuck School of Business

Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH

Tuck is one of the three colleges in this list that only offers full-time MBA, and yet still ranks high thanks to its long-standing pedigree as an Ivy School. Not only that, its breadth of alumni connections, which is one of the few remaining advantages traditional MBAs have, is renowned for being tight-knit, supportive, responsive, and impactful.

Types of Aid: Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Graduate Plus Loan, Tuck 5 Percent Loans and Tuck Educational Loan Fund (TELF), Dartmouth Educational Loan Corporation (DELC) Loans

Admission Requirements: All the information regarding documentary requirements can be found here. These include the usual forms and requirements like the application form, transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, essay, letters of recommendation, and resume. The application fee is $250.

Tuition Fee: $77,520

Post-MBA Prospects: With its long list of MBA concentrations, it is no surprise that a Tuck diploma will open the gate to various industries, even the media industry. Top employers include vaccine maker Sanofi, Dell Technologies, Warner Brothers, IBM, WWE, NBC Universal, etc.

Ready to be “tucked-in?” Explore Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA programs.


Harvard Business School

Boston, MA

HBS tops our list for the MBA program with the most number of concentrations at 26. It’s lack of program flexibility, though, as it only offers the traditional, full-time program puts it at a significant disadvantage against other b-schools. Still, our list shows that despite this, applicants would still choose to wear crimson and grace its halls because of the school’s robust entrepreneurial-focused curriculum, its extensive specialization offerings, and the span of its alumni network.

Types of Aid: John C. Phelan Forward Fellowship, George Leadership Fellowship, Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship, Junior Achievement Fellowship, The Robert S. Kaplan Life Sciences Fellowship

Admissions Requirements: Requirements are to be submitted online and should include the following: transcripts, GMAT or GRE results, an essay, two letters of recommendation, resume, and the $250 application fee which can be paid via credit card only.

Tuition Fee: $73,440

Post-MBA Prospects: HBS has recruiting partnerships with 600 companies from various industries, which every alumnus can take advantage of. Records show that most of its graduates find themselves in financial services or consulting industries, with the technology industry coming at third.

Are you Crimson enough? Learn more about Harvard Business School’s vast on-campus MBA opportunities.


Sloan School of Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

Sloan places a high premium on a student’s ability to innovate, analyze, and be globally immersed. It only offers full-time MBA and EMBA programs with a moderately extensive list of course concentrations, which includes in-demand areas like technology, MIS, and quantitative analysis. It prides itself on having launched several companies or microeconomies in developing countries.

Types of Aid: Federal Student Aid, Aker Scholarship, Kennedy Memorial Trust Scholarships, McKinsey Award, Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program

Admissions Requirements: Documentary requirements for application include a cover letter, a one-page resume, a video statement, one letter of recommendation, organizational structure of the company you’re working for, a list of references, transcripts, GMAT or GRE results, and the $250 application fee.

Tuition Fee: $77,168

Post-MBA Prospects: Career opportunities locally and abroad are abundant for Sloan MBA graduates, thanks to the school’s local and global reach and partnerships with companies like Boeing, Pfizer, Facebook, Google, etc. Its alumni have successfully launched various companies like Pillpack, Teradyne, Gartner, etc. The substantial number of Venture Capitalist (VC) firms in Cambridge makes Sloan also a good breeding ground for start-ups.

Learn more about Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MBA programs at the Sloan School of Management.


Foster School of Business

University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Foster School of Business is primarily lauded for its program flexibility, which includes an online MBA offering. Its partnerships with global companies in Seattle, such as Bain and McKinsey, results in quality experiential education for its students and high employability of its graduates. Its Applied Strategy Project, a small group of MBA freshmen, tackles a real business challenge within a company.

Types of Aid: Forté Fellowship, The Consortium Fellowship, Ernest I.J. Aguilar Endowed MBA Fellowship, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (GPLUS)

Admission Requirements: Application is done online and will require the following documents: the online profile, two essays, a resume, letters of recommendation, a GMAT or GRE report, transcripts, video interview, and the $85 application fee.

Tuition Fee: $51,531

Post-MBA Prospects: The 2019 class of Foster was employed at a rate of 99%, three months after graduation with an median salary of $122K initially, and an average signing bonus of $28K. Most of the 2019 class went on to be hired by marketing, consulting, and finance firms.

Learn more about the MBA programs at the University of Washington – Foster School of Business.


Yale School of Management

New Haven, CT

Yale has a solid reputation for producing graduates with a strong sense of social awareness, corporate responsibility, and ethics. Ethics is a course offered by its MBA programs. This strong foundation in ethics and business sense were embodied by two of its alumni from the 2016 class who founded a start-up that oversees the safe handling and transport of organs for transplant purposes, particularly intestines.

Types of Aid: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

Admissions Requirements: The following documents are required for application: completed application form, GMAT or GRE test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, resume, and a video interview. The standard application fee is $250. Applicants whose annual income falls below $20,000 need only to pay $175.

Tuition Fee: $74,560

Post-MBA Prospects: About 90% of its 2019 class received and accepted job offers three months after graduation. The majority of the 2019 alumni are employed by consultancy firms, followed by the finance and technology sectors.

Reach the business career of your dreams with Yale School of Management’s MBA programs.


Johnson Graduate School of Management

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

While it only offers full-time MBA and EMBA programs, JGSM’s newly-rolled out STEM MBA program has started to gain traction. Its quaint location is also one of the main draws of the school. As b-school site Poets and Quants puts it, “there aren’t many b-schools where you cross a bridge over a waterfall on your way to class.”

Types of Aid: Johnson Endowed and Annual Scholarships, Forté Fellows Program, ROMBA Fellowship, Lester B. Knight M.Eng./MBA Scholarship, Peter and Stephanie Nolan Veterans Scholarship, GI Bill® Assistance

Admission Requirements: The following are the application requirements: transcripts, resume, essays, GMAT, or GRE scores. Prior or current work experience is not required. The application fee is $200.

Tuition Fee: $71,940

Post-MBA Prospects: Johnson graduates are employed in various industries, with more than 83% of its 2019 class receiving and accepting job offers. Many of them are in the consultancy industry, while others are in financial services and general management industries.

Learn more about Cornell University JGSM’s MBA offerings.


Ross School of Business

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI

Ross is known for cultivating an innovative attitude in its students. MBA programs are offered in all four formats, while specialized MBA tracks in technology, quantitative analysis, manufacturing technologies are also offered.

Types of Aid: Tauber Institute for Global Operations scholarship, Erb Institute scholarship, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, Short-term Tuition Reimbursement Loans, Chapter 33/Post-9/11 GI Bill Program

Admissions Requirement: After selecting a deadline, the following documents are then required to apply for the program: transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, resume, essays, referrals, video interview, and the $200 application fee. A team exercise participation may also be asked during the application process.

Tuition Fee:  $71,048

Post-MBA Prospects: Amazon and Deloitte are among the top companies that consistently hire a substantial number of Ross graduates. About half of its alumni are in the technology and consulting fields.

Explore the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor’s MBA programs at Ross School of Business.


Anderson School of Management

University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

UCLA Anderson exudes the same positivity the west coast is known for, along with other program characteristics that make this b-school a suitable and worthy choice: a high premium on diversity, sustainability, social causes, and entrepreneurship.

Types of Aid: Fellowships (merit-based, donor, external, consortium, Nozawa, Forte, and Romba), Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, GI Bill, Teaching Assistance, outside funding, and more with eligibility requirements.

Admission Requirements: Applications are to be submitted online. An undergraduate degree is a requirement. The following are the documentary requirements for application: transcript, work experience (resume), GMAT or GRE scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and an interview. The application fee is $200.

Tuition Fee: $65,114

Post-MBA Prospects: The majority of its graduates are employed in the technology sector in management consulting roles. Its top-rated career services center, the Parker Career Management Center, has partnerships with top-tier firms from various industries – from tech to healthcare to finance to entertainment media – such as Amazon, Google, Bain, Cisco, Citi, Comcast NBC Universal, Sony, etc. It has successfully placed its students in successful internships that eventually translated to job offers, with an average annual salary of 122K.

Explore the breadth of Anderson’s MBA programs and the renowned Parker Career Management Center.


Smith School of Business

Logo. (PRNewsFoto/University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business)

University of Maryland – College Park
College Park, MD

Smith prides itself as one of the few b-schools that exudes a strong entrepreneurial focus in its curricula, coupled with substantial experiential learning. All four modes of MBA program delivery are offered, plus an EMBA in China. Its areas of focus are consultancy, general management, finance, and marketing.

Types of Aid: Dean Scholarship, Smith Scholarship, Dean’s Fellowship, Smith Fellowship, Double Terp Award, The Forté Foundation Fellowship, Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellowship, Reaching Out MBA Fellowship, JumpStart Advisory Group Fellowship, Graduate Assistantships.

Admission Requirements: GMAT or GRE scores, transcripts, resume, and letters of recommendation. In case an undergraduate degree or GMAT/GRE scores are not available, applicants are then required to take quantitative classes, such as calculus, before the start of MBA studies. The application fee $75.

Tuition Fee: $59,573

Post-MBA Prospects: Smith School Of Business graduates gained a 100% salary increase upon employment, and internship applications are consistently accepted at a flawless rate as well. Most graduates are employed in consultancy, marketing, and sales positions under the financial services industry. A good number of graduates are employed in the consultancy, technology and consumer goods industries as well.

Earn a top-notch MBA degree at UMD Smith School of Business.


Columbia Business School

New York, NY

Columbia is known for its finance forte; after all, it is located in New York City. But it also offers concentrations in healthcare management, not-for-profit management, technology, quantitative analysis, statistics, and research, along with the traditional specialized offerings. It offers both full-time MBA and EMBA programs.

Types of Aid: The Laidlaw Foundation Scholarship, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Admission Requirements: The following are required when applying into the program: transcripts, GPA report, GMAT/EA/GRE report, essays, letters of recommendation, interview, and of course, the completed application form. The application fee is $250.

Tuition Fee: $77,376

Post-MBA Prospects: More than 90% of CBS’ 2019 class received a job offer three months post-graduation. The CBS Career Management Center played a significant part in jump-starting the careers of its graduates, accounting for 71% of the successful job placements.

Learn more about Columbia Business School’s MBA programs.


Tepper School of Business

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

Tepper is one of the few b-schools that actualized the bridging of business management and technology. Its analytics concentration has a focus on big data and predictive modeling, and these concepts are infused into traditional MBA cores such as marketing, economics, and finance, turning business management into real science. It stays ahead of the game by introducing A.I. and robotics, thus allowing MBA students to collaborate with the engineers, data scientists, and software specialists from its parent university.

Types of Aid: Summer grants, federal loan repayments, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Admission Requirements: To apply for the MBA programs at Tepper School, you need to submit a completed application form, a resume, one essay, one letter of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and the GMAT (preferred) or GRE report. Upon admission, official transcripts will be required for submission. In the absence of a GMAT/GRE report due to the current pandemic, applicants must do the following instead: 1) pass the Tepper Mathematics Prep course, 2) attend Tepper’s Math Skills Workshop, and 3) attain a GPA of 3.0 in their first semester of MBA coursework. The application fee of $200 is currently waived until July 31, 2020.

Tuition Fee: $70,000

Post-MBA Prospects: Prospective employers regard Tepper graduates as highly skillful and innovative with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Almost 95% of its 2019 class received job offers post-graduation, with an average annual salary of $126K. Many of its graduates are in consultancy roles in the tech industry, with a vast majority of them relocating to the west coast.

See Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business’ MBA programs.


Jindal School of Management

University of Texas – Dallas
Dallas, TX

JSOM offers all four modalities of MBA delivery. More than that, its MBA student population boasts of diversity, as 36% of its enrollees come from different countries. Its MIS and Supply Chain Management course concentrations are also STEM-designated.

Types of Aid: JSOM Graduate Scholarships, Graduate Assistantship

Admissions Requirement: The following are required for screening purposes: Completed application form, GMAT (preferred) or GRE scores, unofficial transcripts (official copies will be required upon admission), resume, letters of recommendation and essays, all of which have to be emailed to [email protected]. Don’t forget to specify the program you’re applying to. The application fee is $100.

Tuition Fee: $56,552

Post-MBA Prospects: JSOM graduates have taken on expanded roles once hired. Nadeem Panjwani, a graduate of the 2017 class, is now employed as a software product manager for Motorola. He attributes his success to three things that JSOM has taught him: the value of vast connections, experiential learning, and industry specialization.

Get information on the University of Texas – Dallas JSOM’s MBA program.


Scheller College of Business

Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA

Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business is located in the heart of Atlanta’s tech hub, so it’s no wonder it excels in the areas of production and operations management, business analytics, and financial technology. With its parent university being a leading national technical research institution, it can offer an array of technology and sustainability courses that are infused with social and business education concepts and applications.

Types of Aid: Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans, Direct Parent PLUS Loans, Graduate Direct PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans

Admission Requirements: The following are the documentary requirements for the application process: two required essays and one optional essay, resume, GMAT or GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. The application fee is $75 and is waived for U.S. military servicemen, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellows, and Forté MBA Launch participants.

Tuition Fee: $40,752 (the most affordable in this list)

Post-MBA Prospects: Its graduates excel in both business and technology fields. These are highly analytical professionals with strong creative skills and a collaborative spirit, and these qualities are the backbone of any business technology role. 96% of Scheller’s 2019 class were employed post-graduation, earning an average annual salary of $117K.

Know more about the Georgia Institute of Technology – Scheller’s MBA offerings.


Wharton Business School

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Another surprise listing here, this time, the fall of one of the elites. Wharton has long been regarded as one of the top MBA schools in the U.S., and we don’t disagree. One of the significant gains of being a Wharton graduate is the vast network of alumni and the increase in salary its diploma has known to give its graduates. So, what brought it down then? First, its limited program flexibility – no part-time nor online MBA offerings, second is its lack of extensive STEM courses, though it offers data analytics and e-commerce concentrations. Despite the fall in the rankings, its reputation is still valuable to applicants and employers, thanks to its renowned finance and entrepreneurship cores.

Types of Aid: Yellow Ribbon Program, Wharton Fellowship Program (includes nine fellowships).

Admission Requirements: The following documents are required for screening: background information, two essays, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE score, resume, and the application fee of $275.

Tuition Fee: $74,500 (its EMBA tuition is the highest in our list at $214,800 per year)

Post-MBA Prospects: Wharton graduates are among the highest-paid employees with a reported average annual salary of $150K. A majority of its graduates are placed in – yes, you guessed it – finance roles with consultancy roles coming at second.

Learn more about the timeless value of a Wharton MBA education.


Stern School of Business

New York University
New York, NY

Stern is renowned for its high pedigree and a high number of MBA graduates in financial roles. It is also a top-notch research hub, as SSRN hails Stern research projects as the most downloaded over the past year and is also ranked second-best in research productivity.

Types of Aid: Tuition remission, teaching fellowships, graduate fellowships, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan

Admission Requirements: The following documents are required for the application process: GMAT/EA/GRE scores, transcript, essays, letters of recommendation, personal information, and of course, the application fee of $250.

Tuition Fee: $74,184

Post-MBA Prospects: Stern graduates attract top employers in various industries such as Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, Warner Bros., Marriott, GlaxoSmithKline, and Morgan Stanley, to name a few, with companies from the finance industry benefiting the most from Stern’s graduates.

Earn your MBA degree right at the heart of the financial district at NYU’s Stern of School of Business.


McCombs School of Business

University of Texas – Austin
Austin, TX

McCombs is the best place to be involved in the intersection of business and technology. Texas is one of the largest global economies, because 10% of the Fortune 500 companies have its headquarters here, which includes industries like energy, aeronautics, healthcare, and technology. The inexistence of a state income tax also means that MBA students can enjoy affordable tuition while being part of the business technology transformation, which is rare nowadays.

Types of Aid: Federal Loans, Private Loans, Veterans Benefits

Admissions Requirements: McCombs School of Business requires applicants to submit a GMAT/GRE report, transcript as proof of a conferred bachelor’s degree, resume as proof of work experience and other professional recognition, essays, letters of recommendation, personal information and the application fee of $200.

Tuition Fee: $56,572

Post-MBA Prospects: McCombs graduates command a high starting annual salary at $141K for those employed in the consulting industry. Other graduates are also placed in key industries like technology, financial services, and retail.

Earn your MBA at the University of Texas – McCombs School of Business.


Fuqua School of Business

Duke University
Durham, NC

Since Tim Cook took over as Apple CEO, the tech giant has consistently hired Fuqua graduates yearly. It may be loyalty or only because the school is renowned for its general management MBA specialization. Cook, a Fuqua alumnus, bucked the tradition where tech companies were led by tech people, and general managers were mostly found in retail and consumer goods companies.

Types of Aid: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, Yellow Ribbon Program, Rex and Ellen Adams Loan Assistance Program (loan amnesty)

Admission Requirements: The following are the required documents for the application process: Personal information, resume (although post-undergraduate work is not required, an undergraduate degree – any degree – is required), transcripts, GMAT or GRE score, essays and letters of recommendation. All these should be submitted electronically via Fuqua’s online application portal. You’ll need to register to acquire an enterprise I.D. (EID). The application fee is $225.

Tuition Fee: $70,000

Post-MBA Prospects: Fuqua regularly conducts career symposia, conferences, or its Distinguished Speakers Series (DSS) that connect its experienced and renowned alumni with the current MBA class. Among the Fuqua alumni that have graced the podium are Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario, who gave the keynote during the Sustainable Business and Social Impact (SBSI) conference, and Wal-Mart CEO and President, Doug McMillon.

Learn more about Duke’s MBA programs and its newly rolled out sustainability and STEM tracks.


Kenan-Flagler Business School

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Kenan-Flagler is a pioneer in STEM-designated MBA tracks and online MBA program delivery (ranked no.1 by U.S. News’ best online MBAs list). It focuses on leadership while maintaining quality teaching through small class sizes, which students greatly appreciate.

Types of Aid: Subsidies for N.C. residents, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, private loans

Admission Requirements: Prepare the following to get started with your application: basic personal info, resume, transcripts, GMAT/GRE report, essays, and letters of recommendation. An application fee of $150 is required, but this is currently waived until July 13, 2020.

Tuition Fee: $66,626

Post-MBA Prospects: Kenan-Flagler’s proprietary career assessment test, CareerLeader™, provides information to students on which industry do they fit the best. Its 2019 class posted a median annual salary of $140K for consultancy roles. The majority of its graduates pursue careers in tech, which has a median annual salary of $126.5K, according to figures posted on UNC’s website.

Enroll in an MBA program at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.


Kelley Business School

Indiana University
Bloomington, IN

Aside from its long-standing close ties with Procter & Gamble, Kelley Business School is known to produce MBA graduates whose fortes are in finance, marketing, and leadership. It’s just ironic that for a business school that prides itself in having a leadership core, it doesn’t have an EMBA offering. However, it’s keeping up with the competition by offering STEM majors to its MBA programs.

Types of Aid: Federal loans, Dean’s fellowships, Forte fellowships, Romba fellowship, Professional Student Employee Program, Global Fellowships, Kelley School of Business Merit Fellowship

Admission Requirements: All applications will have to go through the Indiana University Graduate Centralized Application System (CAS). An account must be created to proceed and submit these documents: GMAT/GRE report, transcripts, resume, essays, and one referral. The application fee is $75.

Tuition Fee: $51,451

Post-MBA Prospects: Since Kelley Business School graduates are top management and marketing material, they make ideal candidates for the not-so-distant neighbor and long-time partner P&G. Besides the consumer market, other job prospects await graduates, who simply need to consult their career services office. Kelly, after all, is the third-best career service center among MBA schools.

Explore how Kelley Business School brings out the business leader in you through its MBA programs.


Marriott School of Business

Brigham Young University
Provo, UT

BYU is owned and operated by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its graduate school arm, Marriott School of Business (MSB), offers full-time MBA and EMBA programs, which cost almost the same at $48K. Its EMBA tuition is the most affordable on our list. Marriott produces graduates who are service-oriented, socially aware, and focused on entrepreneurship, management, and sustainability. It is the only school on our list that offers a concentration on social innovation. In addition, it also offers courses on analytics and information systems, keeping up with business technology transformations.

Types of Aids: Cardon International Sponsorship (CIS), Eccles Scholars Award, Hawes Scholar Award, Single-Parent Scholarship, Stoddard Prize, Williams Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, Veterans Benefits, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Grad PLUS Loans, BYU MSB Loan, Second-year Assistantships, Summer Internships

Admission Requirements: For the screening process, applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, transcripts, an undergraduate degree, Ecclesiastical endorsement, two letters of recommendation, a resume, an essay, and the willingness to abide by the BYU Honor Code. There’s no mention of an application fee on the school’s website. MSB accepts non-Mormon applicants.

Tuition Fee: $48,812 (EMBA: $48,800)

Post-MBA Prospects: The majority of MSB graduates forge careers in marketing roles, where they earn an annual average of $107K. The technology sector employs the most significant population of MSB alumni at 40%. Its top five employers are all tech giants – Amazon, Adobe, Intel, and Dell – except for consultancy and auditing firm PwC, which is the fourth top employer for MSB graduates.

Learn more about BYU’s MBA Programs at Marriott Business School.


What’s the difference between MBA and EMBA?

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A Master’s in Business Administration is the next step for academic advancement that significantly impacts your career. Designed to take your core general management skills to the next level and explore specialized knowledge in Marketing, Strategy, Finance, Ethics, Entrepreneurship, and other facets of business. Typically, MBAs are full-time academic programs with participants having at least three years of work experience. There isn’t an age limit for earning your MBA; the most important factors are the right MBA school and genuine interest in and commitment to the rigorous program.

On the other hand, Executive MBAs (EMBAs) cater to more experienced students, although it is not exclusive to a specific age group. Executives who have worked for companies (often more than one) may have acquired what they need to perform their duties, but need the academic advancement and training to navigate other skills and competencies relating to their current position or a potential promotion they aim for.

Both MBA and EMBA students are financially backed by their companies, and therefore often seek advancement rather than change careers. EMBA students are mostly required to continue working while earning their degree, that is why they often attend the programs on a part-time basis or as distance learners.

What’s next for me after earning my MBA?

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MBAs are often considered a way to learn new skills or update them with the intention of using these competencies for career advancement. Finding your role after graduation is a critical decision every MBA student must consider from the time you filed your application for an MBA program. MBA students who are middle managers consider an MBA degree an advantage in integrating in leadership and managerial skills as they assume senior positions in the future.

If you’re changing careers, make sure your target position keeps you well-paid and offers satisfactory employment. Think about how fast you are able to transition as you become equipped with the competencies of an MBA graduate.

MBA programs deal with numerous applied projects and are skills-centered, making them extremely useful in the labor market. That said, your academic journey will also consist of developing superior research skills. Your MBA career opportunity could focus on the research field, and land you international work experience.

How will an MBA alumni network help me in my career?

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When you complete your MBA or EMBA program, you become automatically registered in your university’s MBA alumni network. Regardless of its members being new graduates or part of the previous generations, the network works to share MBA insights, job updates, career recommendations, and feedback from your fellow MBA degree holders. You can always include this network in your career profile.

Now more than ever, keeping the right professional contacts and setting collaborations with colleagues are critical to keeping you in tune with your skills, acquiring other competencies, and learning from your network. Engaging with your MBA alumni network is a way to stay in touch with fellow graduates and stay relevant in your industry.

Some additional information to explore:

How to Succeed in Grad School

How to Create the Best Mentoring Relationship with your Professors

8 Ways to Be Productive in Grad School