MBA in USA – A Complete Guide

Rachit Agrawal
Modified on 2020-11-23 in Career Counselling
Read time: 15 mins

USA is one of the top destinations for Indian and international students to pursue an MBA. Apart from a full-time MBA program, which is for two years, MBA aspirants can also opt for a one-year program in the USA. So before moving on let’s talk about what is the cost of an MBA in the USA. Also, the brand value for the best MBA programs in the USA is high, giving you an edge over other MBA graduates. Around 75% of prospective students choose the United States as their study destination because of the reputation of its educational system.

Why study MBA in USA?

The following are some of the reasons why you should get an MBA in the United States:

  • According to both the Financial Times and the QS Rankings, more than 50 business schools are ranked among the best business schools in the world for their MBA programs.
  • Following completion of an MBA degree, the United States provides one of the most generous median salaries globally.
  • According to GMAC data, 91 percent of over 960 recruiters are looking to hire MBA graduates from the United States for different professions.
  • Some business schools provide a payback period of fewer than four years. Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, and others are among them. Every 13 months, there is an increase of 11% in the USA sector. Others, on the other hand, earn just 8% increases every 16 months. 

MBA in USA for Indian students

An MBA from a US business school might assist Indian students since US business schools provide a diverse range of MBA programs that are thorough and very adaptable. The most crucial advantage of an MBA in the United States for Indian students is a global experience. An MBA in the United States will provide you with knowledge and expertise in dealing with global concerns. You will be able to assist any organisation in navigating local markets and international markets with this knowledge. And this will give your profile a lot more heft.

Cost of MBA in USA

When you think of any education the first question which triggers your mind is how much fees or cost you have to pay to get the best college. So helping you with this question here we listed some top colleges and their costs.

Go through the below table :

College NameCost
Standard GSB$237,288
Wharton School of Business$223,390
Kellogg School of Management$211220
Booth School of Business$220576
MIT Sloan School of Management$237,636
Harvard Business School$225,204
UC Berkeley(Haas)$103,068
Columbia Business School$228,438

Lodging in the United States, food, personal costs, phone/internet bills, transit, health insurance, and entertainment are all included in the cost of living. The cost of living in this nation is much higher than in India. The following is a list of estimated expenditures as a whole:

Type of Expense Cost per annum (in INR)
AccommodationAround 8,95,620
Food and beverages1,43,300 (approx)
Personal expenses 2 to 3 lakhs
Health insurance6,26,857
Phone/internet Around 63,000

Check out : Scholarships for Indian students studying in USA

Colleges for MBA in USA

Business schools in the United States provide a diverse range of MBA programs that are thorough and very adaptable. However, with so many alternatives, students often struggle to choose the best MBA program for them. Career ambitions, length of time spent on the course, entrance requirements, and cost of participation are all aspects considered while picking the finest MBA choice accessible at US universities.

Top Colleges and Universities for MBA in USA

Here is the list of top 10 Colleges that are at the top priority of every aspirant of MBA:

  • Standard GSB
  • Dartmouth Tuck
  • Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Wharton, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois
  • Sloan, MIT, Massachusetts
  • Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
  • Columbia University, New York
  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Yale School of Management, New Haven, Connecticut
  • University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business
  • Darden School of Business – University of Virginia
  • Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, North Carolina
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles
  • Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
  • McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin
  • Olin Business School – Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri

MBA in USA Fees

MBA costs in the United States for Indian students might reach $1 million. Pre-arrival costs, university tuition, and cost of living are the three primary components of the cost of learning in the United States and any other foreign nation.

In terms of tuition, an MBA in the United States costs roughly 50 lakh rupees per year for Indian students. Living expenditures, which are estimated to be approximately 15 lakhs per year, are added to this cost.

The following table shows the average cost of an MBA program in the United States: 

Type of Expenses Average Cost (INR)
Registration Fees for Standardized Tests 14,000 – 19,000
Application FeesVary
Airfare Up to 1,00,000
Visa and SEVIS Fees38,069 and 26,000
Tuition Fees20 lakhs – 60 lakhs per year
Cost of Living15 lakhs per year

MBA in USA Eligibility

It will be even more challenging to go to your preferred college. Various factors determine an overseas applicant’s eligibility to study MBA in the United States. The following are some of the most significant characteristics that an international student should be aware of:

  • To pursue any master’s degree in the United States, you must have completed 16 years of study. This indicates that you must have completed a 10+2+4 education or a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
  • GMAT scores: A solid GMAT score is required for admission to most management schools in the United States. Specific colleges may accept GRE equivalents.
  • Applicants who are not native English speakers must confirm language competency. International students may use their IELTS and TOEFL results to apply for study abroad.
  • The acceptable TOEFL score is 100.
  • An IELTS score of 6.5 is required.
  • Work Experience: To study MBA in the United States, candidates must have a minimum of three years of work experience. This, however, differs from one institution to the next and depends on the sort of MBA program selected.

MBA in USA Requirements

International students who want to study overseas will be asked to provide specific documentation. The following are a few of them:

  • Academic Qualifications and Transcripts: You must send a photocopy of all of your documents from all schools you’ve attended in English.
  • Exam results necessary for study in the United States must be sent directly from the examination council to the applying business schools.
  • Two academic and one corporate letter of reference will always assist you to crush your LOR game, although specific colleges may just need two LORs.
  • Resume: An updated CV that discusses your professional experience and talents in general.
  • Letter of Coverage: A letter focusing on and emphasising your accomplishments
  • Some colleges may demand a Statement of Purpose/Intent. These must include a summary of why you wish to pursue that degree and why you choose that particular institution.

Salary of an MBA in USA

Now you may be wondering what salary you will get after MBA in the USA. Yes, the tuition fees are high but after graduating you will get double what you paid. It’s like you invested first and know taking the interest with a paid amount. So the salary which will be given to you after passing out from top MBA colleges is $174K. And on average across all schools is $107K. The lowest salary which will be given to any graduate is $52K. This was all about the average of all colleges. Now in the below table, you can see some top colleges’ names followed by the salary that will be paid to graduate from that college.

College NameSalary
Stanford GSB$152,503
Wharton School of Business$150,000
Kellogg School of Management$126,606
Booth School of Business$145,000
UC Berkeley (Haas)$140,000
Yale School of Management$127,100

Check out : Master of Engineering Management Course In USA

The average salary of MBA

As every degree has its specialization field likewise in MBA also there are some specialized fields. Below is the average salary which a graduate will get after specialized in a particular domain.

  • The average salary that is given to graduates from MBA programs specialized in Technology is $112K.
  • The average salary for MBA graduates who are specialized in Consulting will get $104K on average.
  • Students who are specialized in MBA Finance will get an average salary of $98K.
  • For the specialization in MBA Marketing, one will be paid for $91K.

NOTE: Above given all salaries are per year. 

How to do MBA in USA

If you want to know how to do MBA then this block will be helpful for you. There is some procedure which you have to follow and you have to also meet some criteria as well. 

The majority of institutes in the USA require candidates to have a minimum of 16 years of education. It means that students has completed a graduate degree after completing their school (10+2). Along with them who have done with their master’s degree are also eligible.

Minimum educational requirements for pursuing MBA in the USA:

  1. Four years of Bachelor’s degree
  2. GMAT score over 600
  3. Proof of English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)
  4. Universities also require/recommend a minimum of two-three year’s work experience.

The work experience is not a compulsory requirement it’s an option. Universities also take fresher’s.

Scholarship for MBA in USA

The selection of a business school and study venue for an international MBA aspirant is heavily influenced by the available money. International students in the United States may be eligible for financial assistance that might help them save money.

The following are some of the most well-known scholarships offered to Indian students seeking an MBA in the United States:

  • The Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship pays approximately 80% of the tuition for Indian MBA students at Stanford.
  • Several Chicago Booth University Scholarships are available.
  • H. Tobaccowala, Akhtarali: Offers a one-million-dollar scholarship to an Indian student completing an MBA at the Chicago Booth School of Business.
  • Ramakrishnan Family Scholarship: Provides a yearly stipend of 25,000 USD to three Indian MBA students at Chicago Booth Business School.

How to get a scholarship for MBA in USA

A good GMAT score can help you get a high scholarship amount. A good GMAT score means above 700 so that you can get a good scholarship. You can also apply for an education loan by estimating the fund you want and then contacting them. For this, you also require a USA cosigner loan option, understand it, and then you can credit it.

Jobs for MBA in USA

  • IT Manager
  • Financial Manager
  • Financial Advisor
  • HR Manager
  • Management Analyst
  • Senior Product Manager

One year MBA in USA

One year MBA is the preferable course for students. It is the best selling point. This is more beneficial because people are doing it quickly and then putting their knowledge into use. Just you will have an intense calendar for the next 12 months but after that all rewards are yours. Also, it minimizes the cost as compared to the 2- year MBA. There is no difference between One Year MBA and Two Year MBA course the education is the same.

MBA in USA without Work Experience

There are many colleges that don’t have the criteria of work experience and they give admission to students who don’t have any experience.

Here is a list of those Colleges :

  • Wharton MBA
  • Sloan School Of Management
  • Stern School of Business
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Marshall School of Business

MBA Courses in USA 

Business schools in the United States provide a diverse range of MBA programs that are thorough and very adaptable. However, with so many alternatives, students often struggle to choose the best MBA program for them. Career ambitions, length of time that may be spent on the course, entrance requirements, and cost of attending are all aspects considered while picking the finest MBA choice accessible at US universities.

The following are the types of MBA available:

Types of MBA
in USA
Work experience requirementDuration of Course Scheduled Classes
Full time MBA 2 – 3+ years 1-2 yearsRegular
Part-Time MBA3 years 3+ or 3 yearsEvening
Online MBA0 – 3 years 2 years No such suitable
Executive MBA8 or 8+ years 2 years Weekend
Global MBA1 – 2 years1 – 2 years Regular
Certificate Program1 – 2 years1 – 2 years 5-9 modules

Check out : Top 10 phd programs in USA without GRE

MBA in USA without GMAT

Days are gone when GMAT scores were the primary criterion for admission to business schools in the United States. To evaluate a candidate’s profile, an increasing number of universities providing MBA programs in the United States depend on additional criteria. The following is a list of six major MBA programs in the United States that do not need the GMAT.

University/B-SchoolProgram Additional Requirement
Sawyer Business School Executive MBASeven years of professional experience is required.
Hult International Business School1-year MBAAlternatively, take the Hult Business Assessment Test.
Alfred Learner College of Business & EconomicsMBAGPA- 2.8 (83% or B grade) in UG with upper-level maths course
At least Four years of experience is required.
College of Business at Florida International UniversityProfessional MBA Four years of experience is required.
Though the GMAT is not necessary, it might help you stand out in your application.
Kellogg School of Management Executive MBAThe GMAT is only necessary if the admissions process believes the application has an issue. 

MBA in USA without Work Experience

When evaluating an application, the application examining committee considers work experience as among the most relevant factors. Many leading B-Schools have stated in their application guidelines that they want candidates to have job experience on their job applications.

However, it is not a need. If a candidate has strong academic qualifications, they may sometimes compensate for their lack of job experience. Stanford, Harvard, Chicago Booth, MIT, Columbia, and other business schools do not need job experience and accept first-year students into their MBA programs.

Many colleges provide an MBA curriculum that includes job experience. For example, the Harvard Business School 2+2 program requires working for two years (maximum four years) in a corporate job in an American organisation before being accepted to a two-year full-time MBA program. You may be an undergraduate or a graduate student for this, but you must not have previously had a full-time job.

Duration of MBA in USA

The time period to complete an MBA degree in the USA is 2-years. But if you want to complete before that then the new program is also there that if of 1-year. So it depends on you which you want to choose.

Cheap MBA in USA

Discovering the cheapest MBA courses in the United States is a bargain for overseas students looking to save money. With budget schools in the United States, you won’t have to worry about costs, and you’ll be able to finish your degree without having to take out a large loan. If you want to earn an MBA in the United States on a tight budget, seek colleges with affordable tuition prices while still providing high-quality education.

College NameFees
Lehigh University$19,350
Oklahoma City University$16,230
University of Texas$19,048
Florida State University$18,693
West Texas A & M$9,600

One year MBA in USA

Most top colleges in the United States offer a one-year MBA that combines a STEM-designation route, student leadership possibilities, and a flexible curriculum. This alternative to the typical MBA in the United States is attracting both college graduates and working people.

Admission standards for a one-year MBA in the United States are somewhat less stringent than for a regular MBA, and the cost is much lower (fees start 21,000 USD). A one-year MBA in the United States is gaining appeal because of its remarkable speed to market. This, along with the advantages of being part of a close-knit student community, provides you with all you need to accelerate your career path and secure MBA employment in the United States.

MS v/s MBA in USA

Both the degrees are for doing masters and education in the USA is best. What if you have to choose one and you are confused about it. In this section, you can know more about what you will get after doing each degree and how much scope you have.

Starting with the MS, doing MS from the USA has many opportunities and it has a duration of 1 to 3 years. It focuses on many specialization courses like science, mathematics, and engineering-related subjects. After this, you will be eligible to pursue doctorate level degrees. The scholarship is also available for students.

Coming to the MBA, MBA is of 1 to 2 years course and focuses on management subjects. After this, you will directly approach jobs. If you opt for this course then you can go back to a technical career. And as compared to MS, MBA graduates will revolve around management things only whereas MS students can get high payable jobs.

MBA Jobs in USA

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 23 per cent increase in demand for different business and associated professions in the United States would result in roughly 138,000 new job opportunities by 2024. This indicates that order is on the rise. As one of the world’s top economies, the US market is constantly in need of experienced professionals.

Furthermore, the United States is home to some of the best MBA recruiters, like McKinsey, EY, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and others, making it more straightforward for MBA graduates to obtain work.

As international students, you must guarantee that your F1 visa is updated to an H1b visa, permitting international students to work in the United States. 

Job DesignationAverage Annual Salary (USD)
Assistant B.D. Manager99,000
Business Development (B.D.) Manager128,000
Project Manager106,000
General Manager128,000


✅ Is MBA expensive in USA?

Ans: Coming to the tuition, MBA in USA fees for Indian students is around 50 lakh rupees yearly. Adding to this cost is living expenses, which is around 15 lakhs per annum. The USA seems to be the costliest country to pursue an MBA but it is worth every penny.

✅ Is MBA hard in USA?

Ans: In short, an MBA is as difficult as you make it, and is as rewarding as you invest in it. In the business world, there is rarely any hand-holding. You either develop into a competent business expert or are surpassed by the competition.

✅ Is MBA 2 years in USA?

Ans: MBA in USA: Top Colleges/Universities, Fees, Admission, Eligibility, Scholarships, Jobs, ROI. Studying MBA in USA is a 2 years program and is acknowledged worldwide for the top C-level management posts.

✅ What is the salary of MBA fresher in USA?

Ans: New MBA graduates earned a median starting salary of US$115,000, over $20,000 higher than the average for grads with other types of degrees – an amount that the National Association of College and Employers (NACE) has predicted will continue to increase.

✅ Is GMAT required for MBA in USA?

Ans: Yes, GMAT is compulsory for an MBA in the USA, GMAT is an important part of the admission process. If one has good work experience then there could be an exception that will lead to pursuing an MBA in USA without GMAT.



About the Author

Rachit AgrawalRachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

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