Business Administration

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We offer a quarterly workshop that addresses each stage of the application process. Workshops take place in 114 South Hall, and no RSVP is required. Download our schedule here or by clicking the thumbnail below. 

How to Prepare for and Apply to Graduate Programs in Business (MBA)

  • Monday, 5/7, 4:10-5:00
  • Tuesday, 6/5, 3:10-4
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Advising Appointments

Meet with an advisor to discuss your plans to obtain a Master's in Business Administration (M.B.A.). Whether you have just started exploring your options, or have specific questions about appling, we are happy to speak with you. Appointments are 30 minutes and are made online below or by visiting or calling 117 South Hall, 530-752-4475.

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Drop-in Advising

Have a quick question or two about applying to business school? Now offering drop-in hours from 9-11 on Tuesdays and Fridays! Sign in at South Hall 117. 15 minute maximum consultations: for statement of purpose review or longer questions, please make an appointment.



What is an M.B.A.?

A Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) is a graduate degree that develops knowledge of business management, covering both foundational areas of business (finance, marketing, accounting, etc.) as well as allowing for a specialization usually through elective courses. The degree is usually leveraged to obtain management-level positions in business.

What major should I have if I want to get an M.B.A.?

Students of all majors can apply to an M.B.A. program. Programs will be more interested in what you have accomplished professionally post-graduation rather than what you majored in. 

Can I pursue an M.B.A. right upon graduating?

It is not advised to apply to M.B.A. programs right upon graduating, as most successful applicants bring 3-5 (if not more) years of full time work experience to such programs. Look at positions that interest you that require an M.B.A., and note how many years of fulltime experience the job requires. If you want to pursue an advanced degree in business upon graduating, consider looking at master’s degree programs in the areas of accounting, business analytics, banking and finance, etc. that do not have requisite years of experience. 

What types of M.B.A. programs are available?

Accelerated (1 year), full-time (2 year), and part-time (3 year) programs are available. Full-time programs require that you leave your position to return to school, whereas part-time programs can be pursued alongside full-time work. 


Should I pursue an internship while in school?

Definitely. Take on internships to develop professionally and start building your network. Test out how you like working in different roles and industries; this will help to guide your professional goals and plans post-graduation. You are able to leverage this professional experience when you enter the job market.   

What kind of relationships should I develop, and with whom?

You should aim to develop a wide professional network and try to seek out a mentor or two of mid-career colleagues who might help guide you in your career development. Maintaining positive relationships with your supervisors is important, as programs require letters of reference from your current employer. 

Which exam(s) should I prepare for?

The GMAT is the exam most often required by M.B.A. programs. Sometimes the GRE is also accepted, but the GMAT tends to be preferred. 

How many years of full-time experience should I bring to a program?

You should plan to apply to programs once you have reached an appropriate point in your career trajectory appropriate for the degree, but a useful gauge is to look at the average number of years of experience successful applicants bring to the program to which you want to apply. A program may require 2-3 years, but perhaps their successful applicants bring 5-6 years of experience to the program.  


What does the application require?

Programs typically require the following: online application (fee), GMAT/GRE score, years of professional experience, letters of reference, resume, transcripts, and essays. Those who move forward in the application process are brought in for an interview. Consult specific program requirements. 

What essays are required?

Programs may have a series of prompts that they ask you to address, resulting in multiple shorter essays. Length requirements and prompts may vary, so consult specific program requirements. The essays tend to be short, which challenges you to make every word count.

What kind of letters of reference should I get?

Programs will require a letter from your current employer, usually your direct supervisor. You should ask individuals with whom you have had significant professional interaction. Consult specific program requirements regarding whom to ask. 

What should I think about when accepting an offer?

Given the cost of the M.B.A. degree, it is important to compare and contrast job placement statistics among the programs you are considering. What is the placement rate, with whom are graduates placed, and what is the starting salary (compared to incoming salary)? 

What does success in business school look like?

M.B.A. programs accept diverse cohorts of students who bring deep knowledge of their industries to the classroom. Given that most learning will be group-based, working well with others is essential. Other forms success can take include: active participation in classes, clubs, and extracurriculars, participating in and placing in competitions, presenting at conferences, active networking with recruiters, and successful internships and consulting experiences.