How to Earn an MBA Degree

Aside from taking your classes online, earning an MBA degree online isn’t really that much different from earning one in person at a university.

In this article, we'll guide you through the basic steps you'll need to follow in order to earn an MBA degree online, without interrupting work, family life or having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Earn an MBA Degree Online

Everyone’s experience earning their MBA is different and each school will have their own admission requirements, but in general, you can break the journey of how to earn an MBA degree online up into a few basic steps. Below is an outline of the process and a brief explanation on how to accomplish each one.

  1. Earn your bachelor’s degree: Before you enroll in an MBA program, you need to have earned a bachelor's degree. Since an MBA is a graduate-level degree designed to help professionals further their education and gain important business insight, you may wish to earn a bachelor's degree in business or a related field before earning an MBA. This can be helpful in building a foundation of skills that may help set you up for success as you begin your online MBA degree program. Even if you didn’t focus on business in your undergrad, MBA programs are still available to bachelor's degree holders of all kinds.

  2. Gain work experience: While it’s not a necessary part of applying to an MBA program, having work experience can be beneficial. While earning a bachelor's degree can give you many of the foundational skills needed to enter the workplace or pursue an MBA, abilities that are learned on the job may give you an edge.

  3. Take the GMAT / GRE: The GMAT and GRE are graduate entrance exams. Because an MBA is a business management degree program at its core, either the GMAT or the GRE may be required for admission to an MBA program. GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test and focuses on written communication and management skills. The GRE is the Graduate Records Examination and covers a broader range of topics, such as quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and verbal reasoning.

  4. Apply to an MBA program: Once you've earned your bachelor's degree, taken the GMAT or GRE and maybe gained some work experience, you'll want to apply to an MBA program. When choosing which program to apply to, consider factors such as online education offerings, financial aid, flexibility and quality of education. Once you've chosen the program that’s right for you, you'll need to meet their admission requirements and apply to the program.

  5. Start your program and earn your MBA: Once you've been accepted, enrolled and are attending classes, your instructors and coursework will help you grow your industry knowledge, your leadership abilities and collaboration skills. During your time in an in-person or online MBA degree program, take advantage of any school-provided resources like office hours and tutoring resources as these kinds of support services can help you with your schoolwork and set you up to succeed as your earn your MBA.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an MBA?

On average, an MBA degree can take a little over two years to earn for both in-person and online students who are enrolled in a full course load each term. Those who choose to earn an MBA degree part time may find that it takes them longer.

At DeVry, you can earn your Master's Degree in Business Administration in as little as 2 years + 2 months*—or even more quickly with qualifying transfer credits.

Earn Your MBA Degree Online with DeVry University

If you've been looking for a way to further your career by advancing your education, DeVry can help. We offer MBA degree programs that you can earn 100% online and on your schedule while you balance work or care for family. Offered through our Keller Graduate School of Management, our online MBA degree programs provide all the same benefits of an in-person degree program, with all the same support from our student-focused Career Resources team. Classes start every 8 weeks.


*Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment.