Business Administration

Resource Guide for Prospective MBA Students

Resource Guide for Prospective MBA Students
Researching MBA programs is a big job. has the resources you need to narrow your search and make the right decision. Image from Pexels
Tom Meltzer profile
Tom Meltzer February 12, 2022

If you're considering an MBA, you know what a bewildering set of choices you face. This guide links to articles that can answer your questions and help you choose the best program for you.

MBA Programs You Should Consider

Article continues here

You’re mulling a career in business and asking yourself the big question: do I need a Master of Business Administration (MBA)? Whether you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder or start your own business, there are compelling reasons to consider graduate-level business study.

An MBA covers all the critical fundamentals—management, finance, operations, marketing, supply chain, communications, human resources, analytics—so students graduate with a solid understanding of business problems and solutions. MBA programs train managers and high-level decision makers to develop a business’ vision and forge strategies to realize it.

If you want to get really good at one specific function—whether that be marketing, finance, or analytics—you might want to consider a master’s degree in those fields. You’ll develop the expertise to oversee critical projects and make fine-bore decisions within your discipline. However, if you want to manage teams, supervise budgets, and contribute to long-term planning of the business as a whole, an MBA may be the better choice.

So, where do you start? We’ve compiled a resource guide linking to many helpful MBA articles on the site. They represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of our graduate business content, but they provide a good starting point for anyone considering an MBA program. This resource guide for prospective MBA students points to articles that address:

  • Should you get an MBA?
  • Choosing an MBA program
  • Applying to an MBA program
  • Paying for your MBA
  • Online MBAs
  • Executive MBA programs

Should you get an MBA?

An MBA requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. It’s not an undertaking to pursue cavalierly. You need to know what you’re getting into and whether it’s the right choice for you.

These articles help you identify your career goals and determine whether an MBA is the right degree to help you achieve them. Some careers are better suited to academic (as opposed to professional) graduate degrees. Others may benefit from a more narrowly focused professional degree or a certificate program. And some business careers require no graduate degree at all.

Still, there’s a reason the MBA is the most popular graduate degree in the United States, one pursued annually by nearly 200,000 students. These articles explain why.


“Should I Get A MBA?”

The National Association of Colleges and Employers predicted an average starting salary for 2019 MBA graduates of $84,580—provided those graduates found jobs in computer science, engineering, science, or business. (source)

Students considering an MBA or graduate business degree can choose from varied career paths, including those focused on financial management, data analytics, market research, healthcare management, and operations management. The analytical skills and problem-solving techniques gained from graduate level business degrees are in high demand across business sectors. (source)

University and Program Name Learn More

Choosing an MBA program

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits nearly 500 US business master’s programs. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) approves of a similar number. When it comes time to look at MBA programs, you’ll have a lot to choose from.

Which program is right for you? That depends on where you live, whether you want to attend in-person or online, what goals you’ve set for your career, and of course your qualifications for admission. The articles listed below help you inventory your priorities and your assets so you can apply to the right schools, where you’re most likely to get in and benefit the most from the program.

Applying to an MBA program

Admissions committees are mysterious entities. What are they looking for when they review applications? Is there a magic formula that guarantees admission? Spoiler alert: if there is one, we don’t have it (sorry!). What we do have is plenty of insights into how to build the strongest case for yourself in your application. The articles below can help guide you through the process.

Paying for your MBA

The most expensive MBA programs in the United States cost over $200,000. The least expensive programs cost less than one-tenth as much. Across that continuum, students have access to various forms of financial assistance, including employee benefits. The articles listed below explain how to get the most bang for your MBA buck.

Online MBAs

Online education was on the ascent throughout the 2010s. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic to push things into an entirely other dimension. Today, everyone who is or recently was a student has experienced online education.

Online MBAs can fit anyone’s lifestyle. They’re an especially good option for professionals who want to continue working full-time while they earn their degree. The convenience of remote study, coupled with flexible scheduling, means an online program can accommodate needs that a traditional on-campus program simply cannot.

Many excellent schools offer online MBA degrees, including Butler University, Case Western Reserve University, Howard University, University of Tulsa, Southern Methodist University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. These articles describe the online learning process and let you know what to look for in a worthwhile online degree program,

Executive MBA programs

Traditional MBA programs typically seek students with two to five years of post-undergraduate professional experience. Some accept students with no professional experience. Executive MBA programs, in contrast, are designed solely for seasoned professionals, usually with at least ten years under their belts.

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs serve managers and low-level executives looking to ascend to the upper corporate levels; we’re talking about aspiring vice presidents and c-suite execs. Executive MBA programs are typically scheduled to suit their students’ busy work schedules, with classes held on evenings and/or weekends. More and more are taking their programs online for the same reason.

These articles explain what distinguishes an EMBA program from other MBAs, discusses the benefits and drawbacks of online programs, and helps you figure out how to meet admissions requirements.


Choosing an MBA Specialization

You can complete an MBA in general management. In fact, some programs only offer a generalist MBA. Others, however, offer areas of specialization, pursued through elective coursework that you take after you complete required core courses. has articles on all the most popular specializations and some that aren’t quite as popular but should, or soon will, be. Below is a sampling.

If you’re interested in a specialized business master’s—a Master of Science in Business Analytics or a Master of Health Administration, for example— has plenty of resources on those as well. The search bar at the top of the page will help you find what you’re looking for.

Questions or feedback? Email

About the Author

Tom Meltzer began his career in education publishing at The Princeton Review, where he authored more than a dozen titles (including the company's annual best colleges guide and two AP test prep manuals) and produced the musical podcast The Princeton Review Vocab Minute. A graduate of Columbia University (English major), Tom lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle. He has been managing editor of the website for over four years.

To learn more about our editorial standards, you can click here.


MBA Programs You Should Consider