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MBA - Master of Business Administration - Management

The Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.) is a master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out scientific approaches to management. The core courses in the MBA program are designed to introduce students to the various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc. Students in MBA programs have the option of taking general business courses throughout the program or can select an area of concentration and focus approximately one-fourth of their studies in this subject.

Accreditation bodies exist specifically for MBA programs to ensure consistency and quality of graduate business education. Business schools in many countries offer MBA programs tailored to full-time, part-time, executive, and distance learning students, with specialized concentrations.

Basic types of MBA programs:

Two-year (Full Time) MBA programs normally take place over two academic years (i.e. approximately 18 months of term time). For example in the Northern Hemisphere beginning in late August/September of year one and continuing until May of year two, with a three to four month summer break in between years one and two. Students enter with a reasonable amount of prior real-world work experience and take classes during weekdays like other university students.

Accelerated MBA programs are a variation of the two year programs. They involve a higher course load with more intense class and examination schedules. They usually have less "down time" during the program and between semesters. For example, there is no three to four month summer break, and between semesters there might be seven to ten days off rather than three to five weeks vacation.

Part-time MBA programs normally hold classes on weekday evenings, after normal working hours, or on weekends. Part-time programs normally last three years or more. The students in these programs typically consist of working professionals, who take a light course load for a longer period of time until the graduation requirements are met.

Executive MBA (EMBA) programs developed to meet the educational needs of managers and executives, allowing students to earn an MBA or another business-related graduate degree in two years or less while working full time. Participants come from every type and size of organization – profit, nonprofit, government — representing a variety of industries. EMBA students typically have a higher level of work experience, often 10 years or more, compared to other MBA students. In response to the increasing number of EMBA programs offered, The Executive MBA Council was formed in 1981 to advance executive education.

Distance learning MBA programs hold classes off-campus. These programs can be offered in a number of different formats: correspondence courses by postal mail or mail, non-interactive broadcast video, pre-recorded video, live teleconference or videoconference, offline or online computer courses. Many schools offer these programs.

Dual MBA programs combine MBA degree with others (such as an MS or a J.D., etc.) to let students cut costs (dual programs usually cost less than pursuing 2 degrees separately), save time on education and to tailor the business education courses to their needs. Some business schools offer programs in which students can earn both a bachelor's degree in business administration and an MBA in four or five years.

Admissions Criteria:

Most programs base admission on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), significant work experience, academic transcripts, essays, references or letters of recommendation and personal interviews. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is also accepted by some schools in lieu of the GMAT. Schools are also interested in extracurricular activities, community service activities and how the student can improve the diversity of and contribute to the student body as a whole. All of these qualifications are important for admission; however, some schools do not weigh GMAT scores as heavily as other criteria. In order to achieve a diverse class, business schools also consider the target male-female ratio and local-international student ratios.

Depending on the program, type and length of work experience is also a critical admissions component for many MBA programs. Many American programs require five or more years of experience for admission.

Program Content:

MBA programs expose students to a variety of subjects, which students may choose to specialize in a particular area. Students traditionally study a wide breadth of courses in the program's first year, then pursue a specialized curriculum in the second year. Full-time students typically seek an internship during the interim. Typical specializations include: accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, marketing, operations management, organizational, project management, real estate, and strategy, among others. In India most of the reputed universities admit students on the basis of another entrance examination -CAT.

There are more than 3800 business schools in India (as per AICTE) offering two-year MBA or equivalent programs. Work experience is not a mandatory criteria to enter into most of these schools. Among those schools, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) are the oldest institutions for management education in India. Admission to any of the IIMs requires appearing for the Common Admission Test (CAT), and scoring exceptionally well. Apart from the CAT, other national-level management entrance examinations include XAT, JMETand MAT. Each of these, along with the GMAT in some cases, qualifies candidates for entrance into the other management institutions in India. A few business schools conduct their own aptitude tests and admit candidates on the basis of their scores. State-level entrance exams also exist, and admissions to the business schools affiliated to a state or district university are administered by state-run bodies. (For example, the Directorate of Technical Education in Maharashtra.) The IIMs and other autonomous business schools offer a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) or a Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) which are considered to be equivalent to an MBA degree, since it has been established by Government accreditation bodies such as AICTE that autonomous business schools cannot offer a Masters degree in management. The curricula of the PGDM or PGPM and MBA courses are considered to be equivalent to each other, though the orientations and durations of the courses, and the methods or periods of internships may differ. Since PGDM and PGPM are considered as post-graduate diplomas, they do not qualify as post-graduate degrees, and hence cannot be utilized to pursue a Ph.D. However, most autonomous business schools offer a FPM (Fellow Programme in Management), which is considered equivalent to a doctoral programme, to PGDM or PGPM graduates. Non-government accredited, one-year fast-track executive management programs have proliferated in India, catering mostly to professionals with work experiences greater than 5 years. Such programs are commonly known as Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in Business Management.