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What Does MBA Stand For?

By DeVry University

December 28, 2021

4 min read

The acronym MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. This type of versatile graduate-degree primarily focuses on helping you build business skills, but it may also incorporate classes in other disciplines if you choose to add a specialization to your MBA degree. An MBA program can help you develop leadership skills, which tend to be geared toward the world of business management but can prove helpful in other fields as well.

Beyond explaning what MBA stands for, in this article we'll also explore the different applications of an MBA and how you can pursue one through an MBA degree program. You'll learn about these topics and more as we explore the following sections:

Preparing for an MBA Degree Program

Preparing for an MBA degree program is fairly straightforward. Typically, you need a bachelor's degree from a university-recognized institution and will likely need to meet other graduate admissions requirements as well, such as having a minimum undergraduate GPA. You'll typically need to complete an application process for graduate school to be admitted into an MBA degree program, even if you attended the same institution for your undergraduate degree.

Beyond applying and making sure you meet the requirements, it's good practice to brush up on any business skills you’ve picked up during your career or in your undergrad program, especially if it’s been some time since you finished your bachelor's degree.

Benefits of Earning an MBA Degree

There can be many potential benefits to earning an MBA degree. Advancing your education is a great way to gain new insights, explore current technologies and network within your industry. Depending on the career path you have in mind, earning an MBA degree can prepare you to pursue a variety of roles, as well as hone your business skills. Compared to specialized master’s degrees, such as a Master’s in Accounting, an MBA degree takes a more generalized approach to business education. This means that it covers a wide range of business concepts and skills, making it easier for you to apply these concepts across many different business career paths.

You should, of course, consider whether an MBA is a better fit for your career goals compared to a more specialized master's degree in your chosen field. For instance, if you earn an MBA with a Specialization in Finance, you are choosing a program with a blend of business and finance classes over a Master's Degree in Finance, which would be more exclusively geared toward that discipline.

What Types of MBA Degree Programs Are There?

If you’re interested in pursuing an MBA, you will want to know about the various types of programs offered and the different concentrations to choose from.

Options are also available for busy professionals who may not be able to commit to going back to school for a traditional, full-time program. Here are a few paths you might consider:

    • Full-Time MBA:

    In a full-time MBA program, you’ll take on a larger class load, making an exclusive commitment to your education. Focusing completely on your studies, you may be less likely to hold a full-time job while pursuing your degree. 

    • Part-Time MBA:

    A part-time MBA schedule will typically allow you more time to pursue other commitments such as work, family and hobbies. This type of schedule is a flexible choice for professionals who are balancing career commitments but still want to advance their business education. Oftentimes, those pursuing a part-time MBA still maintain a full-time job.

    • Executive MBA:

    Developed with experienced professionals in mind, executive MBA programs are another type of program you might consider. Enrolling in this type of program often requires you to have a bachelor’s degree and 5-10 years of career experience. Typically part-time programs,  classes are held in the evening and on weekends to make it easier for students with full-time, executive-level jobs to maintain balance between their professional and continuing education commitments.

    • Online MBA:

    MBA programs offered exclusively online can be a great option for busy students. Using modern tools like video conferencing, video tutorials and chat sessions that were unavailable to previous generations of learners, they allow you to learn on your own terms, without commuting to a college campus. This may allow you to better balance your commitment to postgraduate education with work and other priorities.

    • Hybrid or Flexible MBA:

    A flexible MBA is a hybrid program that allows you to take classes in different ways to best suit your needs. This might include a mix of online and in-person classes, or a combination of weekend and evening classroom sessions. Hybrid programs may be an excellent option for working students who want to  combine the benefits of online and on-site learning.

    • Global MBA:

    Typically focusing on international business management and global business practices, the global MBA enables you to gain knowledge through an international perspective. This may be the program to choose if you wish to expand your international business network or your potential reach as a global business professional, or if you plan to continue your career by pursuing opportunities to work for multinational corporations.

What MBA Program Is Right for Me?

If you already have a particular career path in mind, you may want to choose a program that adds a specialization to your MBA degree. A specialization allows you to broaden your understanding of a specific discipline to help position yourself to pursue career opportunities in a particular field, while retaining the core business curriculum of an MBA. For example, earning an MBA with a Specialization in Finance would help you to develop business administration skills in addition to high-level finance skills, preparing you to pursue finance careers  like business manager, commercial banking officer or financial analyst.

At DeVry, we offer a hybrid or fully online MBA program designed for motivated, working professionals. Choose from 10 MBA degree specializations and customize your MBA to meet your specific career goals:

    • Accounting
    • Business Intelligence & Analytics Management
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Global Supply Chain Management
    • Health Services
    • Human Resources
    • Information Systems Management
    • Marketing
    • Project Management

Cost of an MBA Degree Program at DeVry

The cost of earning an MBA degree can vary depending on the school you attend, and whether or not you have incoming transfer credits, scholarships or grants. To learn more about the cost of earning an MBA degree at DeVry and to gain more insight into our scholarship offerings, visit our tuition and financial aid page.

Alternatives to an MBA Degree

An MBA isn't your only option if you're interested in business or a related field. Some other alternatives to an MBA include master's degrees in specific fields such as accounting, project management or marketing. At DeVry, we offer MBA degree specializations in each of those fields, and more.

Here are some degree paths that you might consider in lieu of an MBA degree:

Earn Your MBA Degree at DeVry

Interested in earning your MBA? At DeVry, you may be able to earn your MBA in as few as 10 courses*. We also offer 10 different MBA specializations to help you expand your skills in business while learning additional tools that can help you as you prepare to pursue the career you want. Classes start every 8 weeks.

*Students attending certain DeVry locations are not eligible for course waivers based on undergraduate coursework; however, such students are eligible for course waivers based on graduate/professional degrees or CPA certifications. Students attending a Missouri location may be awarded waivers for no more than 25% of the program’s credit hours.

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