An MBA in the USA can be highly rewarding in terms of the skills you pick up, the push it gives to your career and the worldview you develop living in the financial capital of the world.

While there there has recently been a downward trend in domestic applications in the United States for an MBA, with a further 24 months of Optional Practical Training facility, international applicant growth is likely to hold steady for STEM Certified M.B.A. programs.

Getting an M.B.A. can transform one’s career and open up career opportunities in the host country. According to the survey conducted by GMAC Application Trends in 2019, 50% of international students apply in the U.S. to secure jobs in the U.S.

Almost all of the prominent business schools in the world are located in the United States. Getting an M.B.A. degree from these prestigious institutions can set the stage for better opportunities.

Also Read – US B-Schools Continue to Dominate The Economist Full-time MBA Rankings 2019

Employers understand for instance, how challenging it is to get enrolled to the Wharton School of Business, which has an acceptance rate of just 19.2%;

Graduates from American M.B.A. Programs have an advantage over other fellow graduates as the ‘USA MBA’ brand is highly respected. It is no surprise that well over 75% of potential students choose the USA.

Why Study MBA in the USA?

The United States of America has some of the most noteworthy and esteemed business schools in the world. The MBA program enjoys a special status when obtained from the crème de la crème of these American colleges.

With all the top MBA recruiters residing in America, the country offers many favourable positions in top businesses for MBA graduates, adding to the plethora of reasons why an MBA in the USA is a lucrative choice.

Also Read – US B-Schools Capture 16 of Top 20 Economist MBA Rankings 2017

What makes the USA so popular among MBA seekers?

51 of the best 100 MBA programs, graded by the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings, are from the US. Furthermore, there is a valid justification for the particularly uncontested rule of USA over the domain of business education. The MBA degree itself began or, in a sense, originated in the country as a way to give an educational certification to the study of business.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton in the 1800s originally started preparing students with the parts of managing a fruitful business – bookkeeping, finance, legal, promotions, activities, and much more.


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Top 10 MBA Programs in USA


University/ Business SchoolRank in USA
(As per FT Global MBA Ranking 2020)
Global Rank
(As per FT Global MBA Ranking 2020)
Weighted salary (US$)
Harvard Business School11210110
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton22211543
Stanford Graduate School of Business33222625
MIT – Sloan46197177
Columbia Business School58202238
University of Chicago – Booth610191679
Northwestern University – Kellogg711186438
University of California at Berkeley – Haas812193630
Yale School of Management914178829
Dartmouth College – Tuck1016177819


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MBA Salary in the USA

According to a NACE Salary Survey, the base salary of MBA grads for students of 2020 was close to $79,043, despite the pandemic. This figure was $20,000 more than the projected average starting salary for MBA graduates.

This shows that pursuing an MBA in any part of the world pays you with rich dividends. In America, an MBA degree holds immense value to any firm or organization. Graduates who have completed the best MBA programs in the USA stand to earn higher than others globally.

Also Read – Admission Open for One Year MBA at Cornell Johnson College of Business 

According to market statistics, a Stanford MBA graduate in 2020 earned an average base salary of $150,000. You can find details about the average base salary for graduates having done the Best MBA programs in the USA in the given table.

As you can see, the figure scales more than 100K. Additionally, firms and organizations in the United States of America offer you with a signing bonus. Research done by the Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019 showed that half of the American organizations give new recruits with a signing bonus of $10,500 for MBA graduates.

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Cost of Living in USA

For an international student, the cost of living in the USA will vary depending on housing, lifestyle choices, and other factors chosen by the student. Below are some of the expenses that you will incur while living in the United States:

CategoriesAverage monthly expenses(in USD)
Accommodation1000 (On-Campus)

600-800 (Off-Campus)


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Admissions For MBA in the USA

Although understanding the admission process and application cycle for top universities in the USA is essential in finding the right business school, when it comes to applying, it can be a very tedious and overwhelming affair for an international student who is unaware of the procedures in a new country. From managing document submissions to ensuring full compliance with rules, and regulations – it can all be a bit hair-raising!

Let’s look at some of the things you should know if you are planning to apply for an MBA in USA.

Admission Cycle For MBA in USA

USA Universities offer interested students 3 chances per year to apply for different courses and universities. So, they can choose either of the three courses according to their preferences and comfort.

Applications for Fall Semester

  • The fall semester begins at the end of August and ends in late December or early January.
  • Many selected courses are limited to the fall semester.
  • Students can avail a lot of scholarships and job opportunities during this semester.

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Fee & Scholarships

MBA in USA – Scholarships and Financial Aid

One of the primary challenges faced by students is the cost of studying MBA in the U.S. There are, however, a variety of ways to fund your education, including fellowships, scholarships, assistantships, and education loans.

For instance, the average MBA scholarship from Harvard is USD 40,000 annually. Furthermore, the Harvard MBA scholarship is a privilege that does not have to be repaid, and nearly half of the class is granted one each.

Learn more about how to get an MBA Scholarship from Harvard.

Most of the best MBA programs in the USA grant merit-based scholarships in general. In addition to that, targeted scholarships such as diversity scholarships are also offered by business schools.

Here is a link to an article that goes over the list of scholarships available for Indian and International students at Top business schools.

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Ques. Would it be worth acquiring an MBA in the United States?

Ans. The USA. has most of the world’s leading MBA-graduate universities such as Harvard and Stanford Universities. A student who has an M.B.A. from a. USA institution can develop innovative business competencies and skills through the all-inclusive courses. So USA will not be a bad option if one plans to pursue an M.B.A.

Also Read – H-1 B visa for MBA in USA

Ques. Is a Standardized English Test score necessary for MBA programs in USA business schools?

Ans. Yes, to get admitted to MBA programs, almost every USA. institution has mandated applicants to submit scores of standardized tests such as GRE or GMAT and IELTS/TOEFL.

Ques. Is it a necessity to take the GRE or GMAT to pursue an MBA in the US.?

Ans. Students pursuing MBA usually favour taking the GMAT due to its wide acceptance, while graduates of other programs prefer GRE. That said, in the United States, a large number of universities accept GRE scores rather than GMAT scores. Both tests are equal and GRE is also accepted by many business schools.

Also Read – Stanford Tops Bloomberg Businessweek Best B-schools 2019-20 US Ranking

Ques. Can an MBA be pursued without GMAT in the U.S.?

Ans. Yes. While many of the leading MBA colleges require applicants to have a GMAT score,  especially if applicants plan to finish the program full time, many colleges prioritize academic qualifications and professional qualifications over a GMAT score. The three main types of programs where GMAT is not taken into account are Executive MBA, Online MBA, and lower ranked full-time MBA programs.

Executive MBA: Since this program is developed for experienced managers with extensive job experience, they are not asked to submit a GMAT score.

Online MBA: This kind of M.B.A. course is from the distance MBA category and therefore have less stringent entry norms. These Online MBA degrees do not require a GMAT score from the applicant.

Lesser-known, lower ranked, full-time MBA programs.: A few less-known B-Schools do not ask the applicant for a GMAT score when completing the application form. They use a different criterion such as their own internal test to select students.

Ques. Is work experience required to pursue an M.B.A. in the U.S.?

Ans. One of the crucial details scrutinised by the application review committee when evaluating an application is the candidate’s work experience. Almost all of the top B-Schools mandate some work experience in their application instructions.

Work experience is not compulsory though. When applicants have substantial academic qualifications, they can occasionally manage with it instead of work-experience. Business schools such as Stanford, Harvard, Chicago Booth, M.I.T., Columbia have not made work-experience obligatory and admit freshers for the MBA programs.

Also Read – Michigan Ross MAP Embeds MBA Students In 85 Projects Across The World

There are also universities offering applicants an MBA in conjunction with work experience. For example, an applicanty must work with an American firm in a professional job in the 2+2 Harvard Business School, and the applicant will be admitted to a full-time 2 years MBA program after working for the first two years. The applicant can be either a bachelor or a graduate, but the applicant must not have previously held a full-time job.

Ques. How to study an MBA through Scholarships in the U.S.?

Ans. Different scholarships are offered through many programs and universities by shallow foundations, host universities, and other institutions. To check all the available types of scholarships.

Ques. What are America’s top MBA. business schools?

Ans. Wharton, Harvard Business School, M.I.T. Sloan, Yale, Chicago Booth, and Columbia Business School are some of the best B-schools in the USA that provide MBA. These are ranked by Financial Times and Q.S. rankings among the top business schools for M.B.A.

Also Read – Six Lessons From HBS Peek Weekend, Including Empathy 

Ques. How much do Indian Students pay to study M.B.A. in the U.S.A.?

Ans. Depending on the university choice of an Indian student, MBA in the USA can cost between INR 20 and 80 Lakhs. Top-class universities with M.B.A.s in the U.S.A. charge between INR 32 and 60 Lakhs.

Ques. What exam is necessary to study MBA. in the U.S.?

Ans. For applicants who wish to study for an M.B.A. in the U.S.A., the GMAT is one of the essential examinations required. The applicant will may also need IELTS/TOEFL exam scores in addition to the GMAT.

Also Read – Some Tips & Tricks for US-bound MBA Aspirants 

Ques. Is GMAT required for MBA admissions at top business schools in 2021?

Ans. No, owing to COVID-19, different business Schools such as Haas School of Business, Kellog School of Management, The Wharton School, Columbia Business School, UT-Austin, Georgia University have suspended the GMAT requisites for 2021 sessions. Instead of having a strict rule for submitting GMAT scores, many popular schools have made it an optional requirement.

Ques. Why is the United States the best place to get an MBA.?

Ans. The United States is the most cherished destination for M.B.A. students because it is home to the world’s most prestigious and internationally known business schools and home to the world’s top employers & talented MBA graduates.

Also Read – Two More Rounds To Go for MBA Admission at SFU Beedie School of Business

Ques. Which MBA earns the most money in the United States?

Ans. The highest-paying MBA specializations in the United States are strategic management, project management, corporate finance, and economics.

Ques. What is the duration to get an M.B.A. in the U.S.?

Ans. The traditional M.B.A. course has a duration of two years. If the applicant has enough experience, the applicant can opt for an accelerated one-year M.B.A.

Ques. Which country is the best to get an M.B.A.?

Ans. The USA ranks at the top of the world’s list of the best countries to pursue an M.B.A. program. The UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and France follow the USA in the corresponding order for the popularity of their MBA course.

Also Read – Six Lessons From HBS Peek Weekend, Including Empathy 

Ques. After MBA in the USA, can I get a job in the USA itself?

Ans. Yes, as one of the world’s largest economies, the U.S. economy always needs qualified professionals. Moreover, the United States is home to several of the best MBA employers, including McKinsey, EY, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and others, making it much easier for MBA graduates to get employed. International student, however,  must ensure that their F1 visa is updated to an H1b visa, which allows international students to work in the United States.

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