MBA admissions are not simple. Before you begin your application, you need to figure out many things, right from selecting the university to choosing a suitable course that matches your MBA requirements. As MBA is now available in all shapes and sizes, you also have to check whether you want to opt for a Full-time MBA, part-time MBA, executive MBA, or online MBA. Sounds like a lot, right? The good news is that MBA prerequisites are more or less the same for each of these options. 

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What Are MBA Requirements?

If you plan to pursue an MBA, then there are certain conditions that you need to fulfill. Here are the most common MBA prerequisites - 

1. Bachelor's Degree 

As MBA is a postgraduate degree, it is obvious to have a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for MBA. There was a time when only Commerce and Management bachelors degrees were accepted for MBA programs. But, now, Indian and global b-schools are taking all kinds of bachelor's degrees. The MBA requirements differ from university to university. Hence the overall percentage required for the program will vary. 

2. Work Experience 

The next MBA degree requirement is work experience. As MBA is a professional course, candidates with 2 to 5 years of work experience apply for the course. Some applicants are looking to up-skill themselves to get a better appraisal, whereas other candidates want to change their job and field. MBA degree promises a lucrative career. Hence, you prefer to have some exposure to the corporate world before starting your MBA journey. This knowledge will also help you in your MBA classes. 

3. Entrance Exam Scores 

Another necessary MBA requirement is a good score in MBA tests. If you are applying for a regular MBA program in India, you need to take entrance exams like CAT, XAT, or university-specific exams. Whereas, if you apply to a foreign university, GMAT or GRE scores are required. These scores play a vital role in your selection for the university in both cases. 

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4. Resume 

Coming to the next MBA requirement, you have to update your CV as it goes with your application to top universities abroad. It is a crucial part of your application; hence take it very seriously. To craft a winning MBA resume, you need to know the values and culture the b-school offers and then integrate those into your resume. Here are some tips that can help you - 

  • Keep it formal as admission officers will go through it. 
  • If there are any gaps in your education or work experience, explain them well. 
  • There are certain qualities that international students are expected to have, like leadership, teamwork, and the capability to accept diversity. Try to cover these points in your resume. 
  • Keep it short and crisp. (Preferably one page)

Check Out - Dos and Don’ts for an Impactful Resume

5. Recommendation Letters

All the international b-schools ask for at least 2 recommendation letters. These are the suitable recommenders - 

  • Managers (Current or Former) 
  • Colleagues 
  • Clients 
  • Professors or Mentors 
  • Someone who has seen you in leadership roles 

To fulfill this MBA requirement, you need to prioritize quality over the level of seniority. Choose expressive people to highlight your capabilities and skills in front of the admissions committee. You will have to work hand-in-hand with your recommender and explain the process and objective to them. Your LOR should match the skills that you mentioned in your essay. 

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6. Essays

Another MBA prerequisite exclusive to international business schools is the essays. Some Indian MBA colleges also ask for it. So what should you write in your MBA essays? The admission committee wants to know more about your personality, interests, and career goals with the help of your essay. Hence, highlight all these points in your essays.

The center of the essay is always your career goals. Some colleges also talk about the challenges you faced during the Covid pandemic and how it has affected your education and goals. Here are some popular MBA essay topics - 

  • Harvard Business School: What more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program? 
  • London Business School: What are your post-MBA goals, and how will your prior experience and the London Business School program contribute towards these? 
  • UCLA Anderson: How have recent events influenced the impact you would like to make in your community, career, or both? 
  • HEC Paris: Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead; what would it be?
  • ISB: Describe with examples the most important personal qualities you possess that significantly enhance your success prospects as a leader?

Applicants' biggest mistake in their MBA essay is making a template of the essay answer and sending it to multiple schools. By doing so, your essay lacks personalization, and there are high chances that your application will get rejected. Hence, avoid following this method and create new articles for each business school you apply for. 

6. Proof of English

Proof of English is essential when you are applying to top universities abroad. All international students who do not have English as their first language have to take these tests to prove their proficiency in the language. These are the most commonly accepted English tests for MBA - 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)

7. Interview 

Interview is the final leg of your MBA admission process. This MBA requirement decides whether you will get to study in your dream business school or not. Therefore, you must prepare for it beforehand. In this round as well, the admission committee and department heads are confirming whether you will be a right fit for the course or not. So, highlight the immense value this course can bring to your career. Here are some most commonly asked  MBA interview questions

  • Tell me about yourself. 
  • Why do you want to join this business school? 
  • What are your career goals? 
  • How can pursuing an MBA add value to your career? 
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years? 
  • Tell me about your previous work experiences. 
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Keep these MBA prerequisites in mind and prepare well in advance for your admissions. Which of the above-mentioned MBA requirements scare you the most? Let us know in the comment section below, and we will help you overcome your fears. 

About the Author

Nitika SharmaNitika Sharma

Nitika is a Content Marketing Manager at Simplilearn. She enjoys working on Creative Projects, Copywriting, SEO, Strategy and Web Analytics. You will find her baking a cake when she is not working!

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors