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Master of Business Administration
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.

History

The first graduate school of business in the United States was the Tuck School of Business, part of Dartmouth College [1] Founded in 1900, it was the first institution conferring advanced degrees (masters) in the commercial sciences, specifically, a Master of Science in Commerce degree, the forebear of the modern MBA degree.

In 1908, the Graduate School of Business Administration (GSBA) at Harvard University was established; it offered the world's first MBA program,[2] with a faculty of 15 plus 33 regular students and 47 special students. There are M7 peer recognition for top MBAs.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business first offered working professionals the Executive MBA (EMBA) program in 1943,[3] first available in permanent campus in three continents (Chicago, London and Singapore) and this type of program is offered by most business schools today.

In 1946, Thunderbird School of Global Management was the first school to offer an MBA program focused on global management.

In 1950, the first MBA degrees awarded outside the United States were by the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario in Canada,[5] followed in 1951 with the degree awarded by the University of Pretoria in South Africa.[6] In 1957, INSEAD became the first European business school to offer an MBA program. In 1986, the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College (Florida) was the first MBA program to require every student to have a laptop computer in the classroom. Initially, professors wheeled a cart of laptops into the classroom.

The MBA degree has been adopted by universities worldwide, and has been adopted and adapted by both developed and developing countries.

Accreditation

Business schools or MBA programs may be accredited by external bodies which provide students and employers with an independent view of their quality, and indicate that the school's educational curriculum meets specific quality standards. The three major accrediting bodies in the United States are Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which accredits research universities, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), which accredits universities and colleges, and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), all of which also accredit schools outside the US. The AACSB, the ACBSP, and the IACBE are themselves recognized in the United States by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).[11] MBA programs with specializations for students pursuing careers in healthcare management also eligible for accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

In the United States, a college or university must be accredited as a whole before it is eligible to have its MBA program accredited. Bodies that accredit institutions as a whole include the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA): Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASCSC), Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Accreditation agencies outside the United States include the Association of MBAs (AMBA), a UK based organization that accredits MBA, DBA and MBM programs worldwide, government accreditation bodies such as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) that accredits MBA and PGDM programs across India, the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa, the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) for mostly European and Asian schools, and the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA) in Europe.

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 email, 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, MA, 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. Some 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 can be 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 can be a critical admissions component for many MBA programs. Many top-tier programs require five or more years of work experience for admission.

Program content

Most top MBA programs cover similar subjects within their core required courses. For information about the typical content of an MBA program's core curriculum, see the overview at the Wikiversity MBA topic page. 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, management science, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, project management, real estate, and strategy, among others.

In Europe

History of the MBA in Europe

In 1957, INSEAD became the first European university offering the MBA degree, followed in 1959 by ESADE, ICADE in 1960 (who had started offering in 1956 a "Technical Seminary for Business Administration") [16], IESE (first two-year program in Europe) in 1964, UCD Smurfit Business School in 1964, Manchester Business School and London Business School in 1965, The University of Dublin (Trinity College), the Rotterdam School of Management in 1966, the Cranfield School of Management in 1967 and in 1969 by the HEC School of Management (in French, the École des Hautes Études Commerciales) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. In 1972, Swiss business school IMEDE (now IMD) began offering a full-time MBA program, followed in 1974 by AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow, Poland. In 1991, IEDC-Bled School of Management became the first school in the ex-socialist block of the Central and Eastern to offer an MBA degree. Because of technology advances, distance or online MBA programs have recently emerged in Europe. Several business schools in the United Kingdom now offer distance MBA programs. In 2007, ESCEM became the first French Business school to offer their own distance or online MBA. See List of business schools in Europe

Bologna Accord

In Europe, the recent Bologna Accord established uniformity in three levels of higher education: Bachelor (three years), Masters (one or two years in addition to three or four years for a Bachelor), and Doctorate (an additional three or four years after a Masters). Students can acquire professional experience after their initial bachelor degree at any European institution and later complete their masters in any other European institution via the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System.

Accreditation

Accreditation standards are not uniform in Europe. Some countries have legal requirements for accreditation (e.g. most German states), in some there is a legal requirement only for universities of a certain type (e.g. Austria), and others have no accreditation law at all. Even where there is no legal requirement, many business schools are accredited by independent bodies voluntarily to ensure quality standards.

Austria

In Austria, MBA programs of private universities have to be accredited by the Austrian Accreditation Council (Österreichischer Akkreditierungsrat). State-run universities have no accreditation requirements, however, some of them voluntarily undergo accreditation procedures by independent bodies. There are also MBA programs of non-academic business schools, who are entitled by the Austrian government to offer these programs until 2010 (Lehrgang universitären Charakters). Some non-academic institutions cooperate with state-run universities to ensure legality of their degrees.

Czech Republic

January 1998 saw the first meeting of the Association of the Czech MBA Schools (CAMBAS). The Association is housed within the Centre for Doctoral and Managerial Studies of UEP, Prague. All of the founding members of the Association have their MBA programs accredited by partner institutions in the United Kingdom or United States of America.

Finland

In Finland, as in most countries, MBA does not have the status of official degree. MBA programs are run by various universities including the top universities in the country.

France and French speaking countries

In France and in the Francophone countries such as Switzerland, Monaco, Belgium, and Canada, the MBA degree programs at the public accredited schools are similar to those offered in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Most French Business Schools are accredited by the Conférence des Grandes Écoles, which is an association of higher educational establishments outside the mainstream framework of the public education system.

Germany

Germany was one of the last western countries to adopt the MBA degree. In 1998, the Hochschulrahmengesetz (Higher Education Framework Act), a German federal law regulating higher education including the types of degrees offered, was modified to permit German universities to offer master's degrees. The traditional German degree in business administration was the Diplom in Betriebswirtschaft (Diplom-Kaufmann; Master's degree equivalent) but since 1999, bachelor's and master's degrees have gradually replaced the traditional degrees (see Bologna process). Today most German business schools offer the MBA. Most German states require that MBA degrees have to be accredited by one of the six agencies officially recognized by the German Akkreditierungsrat (accreditation council), the German counterpart to the US-American CHEA. The busiest of these six agencies (in respect to MBA degrees) is the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA). All universities themselves have to be institutionally accredited by the state (staatlich anerkannt).

Italy

Italian MBAs programs at public accredited schools are similar to those offered elsewhere in Europe. Italian Business Schools are accredited by EQUIS and by ASFOR.

Poland

There are several MBA programs offered in Poland. Some of these are run as partnerships with American or Canadian Universities. For example, the CEMBA program is run by the Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Quebec at Montreal, Warsaw-Illinois Executive MBA (WIEMBA) run as partnership of University of Warsaw and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Others like the programs offered by the Institute of Economics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (INE PAN) rely on their own faculty and enrich their courses by inviting visiting lecturers. The CEMBA, WIEMBA and INE PAN programs as several other programs in Poland, are offered also in English.

Ukraine

Recently MBA programs appeared in Ukraine where there are now about twenty schools of business offering a variety of MBA programs. Three of these are subsidiaries of European schools of business, while the remaining institutions are independent. Ukrainian MBA programs are concentrated mainly on particulars of business and management in Ukraine. For example, 2/3 of all case studies are based on real conditions of Ukrainian companies.

United Kingdom

The UK based Association of MBAs (AMBA) was established in 1967 and is an active advocate for MBA degrees. The Association's accreditation service is internationally recognised for all MBA, DBA and Masters in Business and Management (MBM) programs. AMBA also offer the only professional membership association for MBA students and graduates. UK MBA programs typically consist of a set number of taught courses plus a dissertation or project.

Australia and Oceania

Australia

In Australia, 42 Australian business schools offer the MBA degree. Universities differentiate themselves by gaining international accreditation and focusing on national and international rankings. Most MBAs are one to two years full time. There is little use of GMAT, and instead each educational institution specifies its own requirements, which normally entails several years of management-level work experience as well as proven academic skills.

Ratings for Australian MBAs are carried out by the Graduate Management Association of Australia, which publishes an annual Australian MBA Star Ratings. See List of business schools in Australia.

Africa

South Africa

In 2004 South Africa’s Council on Higher Education (CHE) completed an extensive re-accreditation of MBA degrees offered in the country. The process was the first of its kind in the world to be undertaken by a statutory body.[citation needed]

Ghana

Business schools of the traditional universities run a variety of MBA programs. In addition, foreign accredited institutions offer MBA degrees by distance learning in Ghana.

Kenya

MBA is studied in all Public university and major private university. Student choose to specialize in one of this areas; Accounting, finance, entrepreneur, Insurance and Human Resources. The course takes 4 semester of about 4 months each.

Asia

Japan

Japanese business schools offer full time MBA programs, part time MBA programs, and E-Business Management.

MBA in public universities are generally more prestigious than their private counterparts with only 25 percent of all university-bound students being admitted to public universities. The public universities such as Nagoya University, University of Tsukuba, Kyushu University, Kyoto University offer management studies and business administration and are the oldest and most prestigious[peacock term] universities in Japan.

India

There are 1600 business schools in India offering two year MBA programs. The students are a mix of fresh graduates without any work experience and people with significant work experience. Among those schools, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) are the oldest institutions for management education in India. Admission to any of the IIM schools requires passing Common Admission Test (CAT), however other business schools require passing either CAT, XAT, GMAT, JMET, MAT or others. Apart from these entrance tests there are few business schools which conduct aptitude tests individually for admission to that particular business school. The IIM and other autonomous business schools offer a post-graduate diploma in management (PGDM) or Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) which is recognized in India as equivalent to an MBA degree. Government accreditation bodies such as AICTE established that autonomous business schools can offer only the PGDM or PGPM, whereas a full post-graduate degree can be awarded only by a university, in two-year full-time program. The curriculum of the PGDM or PGPM and MBA degrees are equivalent, although the MBA degree is examination oriented and concentrates on theoretical aspects of management whereas the PGDM or PGPM is industry-oriented. PGDM and PGPM usually utilize the case method of instruction, and mainly focus on building soft skills. However, a PGDM or PGPM holder cannot pursue PhD since they are not full post-graduates, but can pursue Fellowship programs instead from many B-Schools. Non-government accredited, one-year fast-track programs have proliferated in India, especially for candidates with work experience. Such programs are commonly known as Post Graduate Programme for Executives (PGPX or ExPGP) in Business Management. See List of business schools in India.

Israel

All public universities are offering a two years MBA program. Some private colleges are offering a one year MBA program for working people who prefer to study at the evening and on Friday (which is a rest day in Israel).

Pakistan

The IBA was the first instiute in Pakistan, set up in 1955 in collaboration with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is the first business school in South Asia set up on the US MBA model. Now in Pakistan, 16 Universities that are recognized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan are the only ones that offer MBAs.

Other Asian countries

International MBA programs are acquiring brand value in Asia. For example, while a foreign MBA is still preferred in the Philippines, many students are now studying at one of many "Global MBA" English language programs being offered. English-only MBA programs are also offered in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. For international students who want a different experience, many Asian programs offer scholarships and discounted tuition to encourage an international environment in the classroom.

Rankings have been done for Asia Pacific schools by the magazine Asia Inc. which is a regional business magazine with distribution worldwide. The importance of MBA education in China has risen, too. See List of business schools in Asia.

MBA program rankings

As MBA programs proliferated over time, differences in the quality of schools, faculty, and course offerings became evident. As a means of establishing criteria to assess quality among different MBA programs, a variety of publications began compiling program information and ranking quality. Different methods of varying validity were used. The Gourman Report, which ran from 1967 until 1997, did not disclose criteria or ranking methods,[19] and these reports were criticized for reporting statistically impossible data, such as no ties among schools, narrow gaps in scores with no variation in gap widths, and ranks of nonexistent departments. In 1977 The Carter Report published rankings of MBA programs based on the number of academic articles published by faculty. Also in 1977, the Ladd & Lipset Survey relied on opinion surveys of business school faculty as the basis for rankings, and MBA Magazine ranked schools based on votes cast by business school deans.

Most recently, well-known publications such as US News & World Report, Business Week, Financial Times, The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal publish rankings of selected MBA programs. Often a schools’ rank will vary significantly across publications, as the methodology used to create the ranks is different among each publication. The U.S. News & World Report ranking incorporates responses from deans, program directors, and senior faculty about the academic quality of their programs as well as the opinions of hiring professionals. The ranking is calculated through a weighted formula of quality assessment (40%), placement success (35%), and student selectivity (25%). The BusinessWeek rankings are similarly based on student surveys, a survey of corporate recruiters, and an intellectual capital rating.[23] The Financial Times incorporates criteria including survey responses from alumni who graduated three years prior to the ranking and information from business schools. Salary and employment statistics are weighted heavily. Rankings by the Economist Intelligence Unit and published in The Economist result from surveys administered to business schools (80%) and to students and recent graduates (20%). Ranking criteria includes GMAT scores, employment and salary statistics, class options, and student body demographics.[25] Although the Wall Street Journal stopped ranking full time MBA programs in 2007, its ranking are based on skill and behavioral development that should lend toward career success, such as social skills, teamwork orientation, ethics, and analytic and problem-solving abilities.

Other rankings base methodologies on attributes other than standardized test scores, salary of graduates, and recruiter opinions. The Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking, published by the Aspen Institute is based on the integration of social and environmental stewardship into university curriculum and faculty research. Rankings are calculated on the amount of sustainability coursework made available to students (20%), amount of student exposure to relevant material (25%), amount of coursework focused on stewardship by for-profit corporations (30%), and relevant faculty research (25%). The 2011 survey and ranking include data from 150 universities. The QS Global 200 Business Schools Report compiles regional rankings of business schools around the world. Ranks are calculated using a two year moving average of points assigned by employers who hire MBA graduates.[29] Since 2005, the UT-Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Rankings ranks business schools on the research faculty publish, not unlike The Carter Report of the past.

The ranking of MBA programs has been discussed in articles and on academic Web sites.Critics of ranking methodologies maintain that any published rankings should be viewed with caution for the following reasons:

• Rankings limit the population size to a small number of MBA programs and ignore the majority of schools, many with excellent offerings.

• The ranking methods may be subject to biases and statistically flawed methodologies (especially for methods relying on subjective interviews of hiring managers).

• The same list of well-known schools appears in each ranking with some variation in ranks, so a school ranked as number 1 in one list may be number 17 in another list.

• Rankings tend to concentrate on the school itself, but some schools offer MBA programs of different qualities (e.g. a school may use highly reputable faculty to teach a daytime program, and use adjunct faculty in its evening program).

• A high rank in a national publication tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

• Some leading business schools including Harvard, INSEAD and Wharton provide limited cooperation with certain ranking publications due to their perception that rankings are misused.

One study found that objectively ranking MBA programs by a combination of graduates' starting salaries and average student GMAT score can reasonably duplicate the top 20 list of the national publications. The study concluded that a truly objective ranking would be individualized to the needs of each prospective student. National publications have recognized the value of rankings against different criteria, and now offer lists ranked different ways: by salary, GMAT score of students, selectivity, and so forth. Other publications have produced “rankings of the rankings”, which coalesce and summarize the findings of multiple independent rankings.[35][36] While useful, these rankings have yet to meet the critique that rankings are not tailored to individual needs, that they use an incomplete population of schools, may fail to distinguish between the different MBA program types offered by each school, or rely on subjective interviews.

MBA degree and current financial crisis

The Financial crisis of 2007–2010 has raised new challenges and questions regarding the MBA degree. Graduates of MBA programs have a reported tendency to go into Finance shortly after receiving the degree. As the field of Finance is tightly linked to the global economic downturn, anecdotal evidence suggests new graduates are stepping onto alternate paths.

Deans at top business schools have acknowledged media and public perception of the MBA has shown some shifts as a result of the financial crisis. Articles about public perception related to the crisis range from schools' acknowledgment of issues related to the training students receive to criticisms of the MBA's role in society.

 
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