MBA Preparation

Pre-MBA Advising

Room 111 South Hall

This service is offered to UC Davis students and alumni.

For an appointment with a Pre-Business Advisor, call

(530) 752-4475.

Undergraduate Academic Preparation and Admissions Criteria

MBA schools do not require any specific course work or majors. Students from every major are qualified candidates to apply to an MBA program, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and engineering. You should select a major that you enjoy and will do well in academically, since the grade point average plays a significant role in the admissions process. However, there are courses that help to develop necessary skills to be successful in a MBA program that you should consider taking. The only requirement that some MBA programs have is one year of calculus (the Math 16 series). Other helpful classes and important skills are:

  • accounting (Management 11A & 11B)
  • microeconomics (Economics 1A)
  • communication classes (both public speaking and writing)
  • classes to become computer literate
  • statistics (Statistics 13)

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Virtually all business (MBA) programs require applicants to take the GMAT (but some may also take the GRE). It is standardized test designed to help admissions committees assess the verbal and quantitative and analytical skills of their applicants. The test is scored on a scale of 200 - 800. It is no longer a paper exam; it is a computer adaptive test where the questions are weighted. The exam is administered on a computer and when you are finished you receive your score for the multiple choice sections immediately and at a later date you will receive the scores for your two essays by mail. To sign up for the GMAT visit the Web site:, choose the date and location you want to take the exam, prepare and you are set. It is highly recommended that you prepare for the GMAT, however it is individual as to how you do it. Some people prefer to take a course. Preparation courses range in cost anywhere from $300. to $1500. You can also purchase materials take an on line course and prepare on your own. Your score is good for five years. If you take the exam more than once most schools will take your higher score.

Internships and Work Experience

As a student at UC Davis you are eligible to take up to twelve units of P/NP internship credit. Before deciding on a career path it is important to know for certain that it is the right path and that you have realistic expectations of that profession. Additionally if you are planning on working after your undergraduate education, internships may provide you with some valuable contacts for a future job. This is particularly true for students wanting to continue on to an MBA program. While it is possible to attend an MBA program directly after graduation, to be competitive for admissions to the top programs you will most likely need work experience. In addition to a good GPA and GMAT score, the top MBA programs are looking for an average of three to six years of career related work experience. It is believed that one can better apply the theories presented in the MBA classroom if you have had practical work experience. And later, you will need that work experience with your MBA degree to find a professional position in management.

MBA Application Essays

You will be required to write anywhere from one to five essays of varying lengths and topics. Samples of the questions relate to your interest in attending a specific MBA program, what is a MBA going to do for you, what you have to offer their MBA program, where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years, your community service experience, what was the most difficult work situation you encountered and how you resolved the conflict. As you can see, in order to respond to some of these topics you must have a pretty definite idea of your business interests and skills not to mention work experience. It is important that you put a great deal of thought and time into writing these essays. This is the most time consuming part of the application process. You may bring your essays to an advisor to have them critiqued, even if you are an alum.

Recommendation Letters

On the average you will need two to three letters for the MBA application. Letters from your supervisors in the work place carry the most weight.However you should check with the schools you are considering, sometimes a school may want an academic letter.