MBA in USA: Learn What You Need to Crack A Top-Tier B-School in USA, Cost Requirements, Scholarships, and more! - Pythagurus (2023)

The United States offers a range of amazing B-schools to study MBA at. But more importantly, if you land an MBA in a respected American University such as Wharton, Booth, Columbia, etc.; your career path will never waiver again!

Of course, your primary target is also on the A-listers such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, etc.

Regardless of which university you choose to pursue your MBA from, there is a common path that you must follow to apply. So, read on as we walk you through the various requirements, costs, and process of applying for an MBA in the USA!

Basic Requirements

Educational background

To apply for a MBA degree in an American university you need to have achieved at least 16 years of education. This basically translates to the 10+2 school level followed by a 4 year bachelor’s degree. Some B-schools also accept students who have a 3 year undergrad degree but this not very common.

The next and one of the most important aspects of your application is the GMAT test. To land a good MBA opportunity in the USA you need an average score of above 700. Needless to say, the higher your GMAT score, the better your chances of getting admitted!

Here’s a quick look at the average GMAT scores of the top American B-schools over the past few years:

B-SchoolAverage GMAT Score 2018Average GMAT Score 2017
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business730726
Kellogg School of Management732728
Harvard Business School730729
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School732730
Stanford University – Graduate School of Business737737
UCLA – UCLA Anderson School of Management715715
University of Virginia – Darden School of Business713712
Columbia Business School725718

While it is the combination of both your GMAT score and your GPA that decides your application status, if you have a low GMAT score then you may want to attempt the test again and bring up your rank before applying to the top MBA programs in the USA.


This is the generalized English proficiency test, and this is a compulsory requirement in order to apply for MBA in any American B-school.

(Video) MBA Applicant Cracks Top Business School In US With Scholarship

Work experience

Almost every MBA program in the United States requires students to have full-time job experience before applying. Depending on the school, the requirement can be between 3 to 5 years of job experience.

Take a look at average work experience required by some of the top B-schools across the world:

B-SchoolAverage AgeWork Experience Required (months)
Stanford GSB2753
Chicago (Booth)2860
Harvard Business School2755
Pennsylvania (Wharton)2860
Northwestern (Kellogg)2861
MIT (Sloan)2859
Columbia Business School2860
UC-Berkeley (Haas)2865
Dartmouth (Tuck)2863
Yale School of Management2858
Virginia (Darden)2761

So, you can obviously tell that the figure is quite varied. The truth is that many top B-schools also consider applications that have qualitative job experience, i.e. quickly achieving milestones or working for 3 years in a Fortune 500 company. So, if you believe you have a strong enough application but you are lacking a few years in work experience, you can still consider applying!

Recommendation letters

You will most likely be required to present one or more letters of recommendation from your university professors, your workplace, or both. Even if the B-school you are applying to did not specify a recommendation letter, it is always better to present one with your application!

Read our article on how you can get the perfect letter of recommendation for your MBA application!

So, what does it take to create an MBA application that will get you into a top-tier MBA program in the USA?

“An understanding of your short-term and long-term goals, the essay questions, and also a top-tier MBA mindset are definitely aspects that you should pay attention to.”

If you have a GPA of over 3.5, a 750+ GMAT score (or its GRE equivalent), and 4+ years of work experience; you should have a strong enough MBA application. But, what you need to understand is that many of these aspects compliment each other. For example, if your GMAT is below 750 but at the same time you have worked at a Fortune 500 company for more than 4 years, then you definitely stand a chance at getting through the top American MBA programs. Similarly, if you have worked for 2-3 years at a small company, but at the same time climbed up the ladder and also have a GMAT score of 750+, you should still apply to the B-schools of your choice!

In this video I go into more details regarding how you can crack a top-tier MBA with a low GMAT or GPA –

(Video) Top B-School Facts & Findings | Kellogg School of Business | MBA Programs Views & Insights

How Can I Get a Scholarship with a LOW GMAT and GPA? GMAT Scholarship India

Moreover, these quantifiable aspects are not the only things that make up your MBA application. An understanding of your short-term and long-term goals, the essay questions, and also a top-tier MBA mindset are definitely aspects that you should pay attention to!

While these MBA programs are known for having a high percentile of international students, the competition is stiff. Take a look at the stats for Harvard’s MBA class and you will be able to get a better idea.

MBA in USA: Learn What You Need to Crack A Top-Tier B-School in USA, Cost Requirements, Scholarships, and more! - Pythagurus (1)

My suggestion is that you start preparing from day 1. Start your networking process, if possible do a campus visit, attend seminars organized by your target B-schools, and perhaps re-take the GMAT to improve your score.

Costs Involved

If you are planning higher education in the United States you need to plan ahead!

While the major chunk of the cost is borne by the tuition fee, there are other costs that you need to calculate as well. The primary ones among these include air-travel fare, food, and housing. There are many other smaller costs involved as well, but these are some of the costs that you should prepare for beforehand.

Now, when it comes to the MBA degree in itself the tuition fee can widely vary between $70,000 and $120,000, and even more upwards. To save your searching time, here are the current tuition costs for an MBA degree in some of the top American B-schools.

UniversityTuition Fees USDINR
Princeton University$53,89039,22,583
Columbia University$77,37656,32,098

There are plenty of scholarships offered by these Universities and you can make use of them to reduce your tuition costs. And there are also various student loans that you can apply for.

(Video) Applicant Cracks Top MBA Programs With 1.35 Crores Of Scholarships

Scholarships for MBA in USA

Every B-school in the USA provides a hefty amount of scholarships for their students every year. Top-tier universities such as Harvard and Stanford are known for partially funding the tuition of 50% of every class at an average! So, if you are applying at top-tier schools then always try for the scholarships.

Scholarships can primarily be of two different types, need based and merit based. As the names suggest, the former is granted to students based on their economic background and the latter is provided based on the students’ merit.

Just take a look at the annual scholarships offered by some of the top-tier MBA programs across the world:

SchoolTotal ScholarshipsAverage Grant% of MBAs on Scholarship
Harvard Business School$31.5 million$32,00050%
Wharton$16.9 million*$30,50033%
Chicago (Booth)$16.3 million*$30,00060%
Stanford GSB$15.7 million$35,83052%
Michigan (Ross)$15.4 million$22,36048%
New York (Stern)$12.8 million$26,400*62%*
UCLA (Anderson)$12.1 million$25,86065%
Northwestern (Kellogg)$11.8 million$22,80035%
Columbia Business School$10.1 million$20,50046%
Virginia (Darden)$8.4 million$30,80043%
MIT (Sloan)$8.1 million$28,22035%
Duke (Fuqua)$7.1 million$20,95033%
Rice (Jones)$6.7 million$33,32094%
Yale School of Management$6.2 million$23,02831%
UC-Berkeley (Haas)$5.8 million$29,06050%
Cornell (Johnson)$5.7 million$12,00033%
Dartmouth (Tuck)$5.4 million$27,55035%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)$5.3 million$21,85357%
Emory (Goizueta)$5.0 million$24,90557%
Georgetown (McDonough)$3.3million$30,00027%

Apart from these scholarships there are also certain private scholarships that you can apply for. The Fullbright Nehru scholarship, provided by the USIEF is one of the best ones to apply for if you are planning your MBA in the USA. There is also the TOEFL scholarship, and various others.

If you are someone who is depending on a scholarship to fulfill their international MBA dreams, then take a look at this video as I provide some key tips regarding how to land a good scholarship amount in top-tier MBA programs –

Application Process

The application procedure for MBA in USA is quite straightforward, and there isn’t a huge difference in the process between the various B-schools. You start off by downloading the form or filling it on the respective website. This will require your GMAT score and your GDP average, and both these factors will play a role in your selection process. You will also have to present your TOEFL certificate as part of your application.

The application will also serve as a personal profile. So, you should make sure to stand out but at the same time not present any unnecessary details! Here are some pro-tips on creating the perfect MBA application!

The next step is to attempt the essays, and this is where you can make your mark! While the primary selection process will be based on your GMAT score, it is your performance in these essays that will largely decide whether you are going to get the call or not. You should prepare thoroughly for these essays as they are not the easiest to attempt!

(Video) Top B-School Facts & Findings | Kellogg School of Business | MBA

Lastly, you will be called for an interview round. Once your interview is complete just sit back and wait for the results to arrive!

Final Thoughts

The multicultural society in the United States along with the amazing quality of life makes it one of the best educational destinations! And if you are applying for your MBA in an American B-school then you have definitely chosen the right path to reach your career goals!

Just remember to start preparing for the process and researching the B-schools well ahead in the timeline and you should not face any major roadblocks. There are also many professional admission consultants to help you on your journey, be it through helping you prepare for the essays or providing you insider tips for gaining scholarships. So, don’t be worried about taking their services.

Best of luck to you!

Read More:

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What is the Cost of Harvard MBA?

Indian IT Applicant: 6 steps to ace MBA Interviews?

Is Work Experience Necessary for MBA?

(Video) 8 MBA Application Mistakes to Avoid | Tips to Crack the Top B-School | Expert Views and Insights

From IT Background to Post-MBA Investment Banking: Interview with Darden MBA|Director, CFA Institute

MBA in 2021: MBA World in the Post Covid-19 Reality

How to Get Top MBA Scholarships Despite a Low GMAT Score


How can I get fully funded scholarship for MBA in USA? ›

Popular MBA Scholarships for Indian Students in USA
  1. Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program - Stanford Business School. ...
  2. Harvard Business School Scholarships - Harvard University. ...
  3. McKinsey Award - MIT Sloan School of Management. ...
  4. Donald P. ...
  5. Dean's Scholarship - Stern School of Business.

Can I get scholarship for MBA in USA? ›

Pursuing an MBA course abroad can be an expensive affair. However, deserving candidates can study MBA in the U.S. with scholarships from various top business schools. Some of these institutions also offer a full Scholarship for MBA In USA for Indian students.

What are the requirements for MBA in USA? ›

MBA admission requirements in USA
  • Bachelor's degree from a recognized university or education institution.
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score.
  • English language proficiency test, like IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Resume (CV)
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • 2 Recommendation Letters.

Can I do MBA for free in USA? ›

A. Studying MBA for free in USA is not easy, there is hardly any school that offers tuition-free programs. However, there are a lot of universities that provide full scholarships to study MBA in USA.

Can I get 100% MBA scholarship? ›

BML Munjal University MBA Scholarship

MBA aspirants can get upto 100% waiver in the tuition fee based on their scores in CAT/ XAT or GMAT.

Can I get 100 percent scholarship to study in USA? ›

Berea College Scholarships

Berea College is the only school in the United States that provides 100% funding to 100% of enrolled international students for the first year of enrollment. This combination of financial aid and scholarships offsets the costs of tuition, room, board, and fees.

How can I get full free scholarship in USA? ›

You need to secure a minimum overall IELTS score band of 6.0 to be eligible for a scholarship in the USA. Which universities in the USA give full scholarships? Stanford University, Yale University, University of New Haven etc., are a few universities that offer full scholarships to their students.

How can I get full scholarship in USA? ›

Documents required to apply for scholarships to study in the USA
  1. Academic scores copy (GPA)
  2. Standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT score)
  3. Photo ID/Passport (Aadhar card in certain cases)
  4. Language proficiency proof (IELTS, or TOEFL exam score)
  5. Motivation letter/Statement of Purpose.
  6. Recommendation letter.

What is the minimum fees for MBA in USA? ›

Cost of Studying MBA in USA

In terms of tuition fees, MBA in USA expenses for Indian students averages approximately 50 lakh rupees or 65,000 USD per year.

Which field is best in MBA in USA? ›

This MBA program prepares students for leadership and management positions in a variety of career fields. In many ways, students can tailor this program to their interests.
1. MBA in Accounting
  • Business Development Manager.
  • Chief Financial Officer.
  • Personal Finance Advisor.
  • Financial Manager.
  • Management Analyst.
24 Jan 2022

What is MBA salary USA? ›

The average salary of MBA in USA for a finance manager is 95,515 USD per annum.
Job TitleAverage Salary Per Year (in USD)
Financial Analyst51,000 - 88,000 or 50,00,000 INR
2 more rows

Can I get job in USA after MBA in USA? ›

All you need is to possess key skills the top corporations in the USA demand and the right approach. So the answer is Yes, it is very much possible for business administration graduates to secure a high-paying job in the US.

Is MBA difficult in USA? ›

Earning your MBA will be difficult; however, it should be an experience that challenges you to take risks in pursuit of higher learning, Beaver says. “Grad school is a collaborative setting where both faculty and students help you to be successful throughout the journey.”

Which MBA specialization is best paid in USA? ›

According to the BLS, some of the highest-paying management occupations related to MBA concentrations include computer and information systems management, financial management, marketing management, and human resources management. Each of these professions earned median annual wages above $125,000 as of 2021.

Does MBA has value in USA? ›

According to a 2022 survey of corporate recruiters, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) projected that MBA graduates working at US companies would earn a median annual salary of $115,000 in 2022. Non-MBA degree holders were projected to earn much less: $75,000 for bachelor's degree holders [1].

Can I study MBA without fees? ›

Alternatively, you can design a free equivalent curriculum of a top MBA school or on your own. Though you won't have the same experience as if you would have attended classes in-person, the knowledge and the analytical skills you will acquire will definitely help you grow in your career.

Can I study MBA for free? ›

Yes, top business schools do offer free online MBA courses as well as a variety of other classes. Many of these courses are available through Coursera and edX.

Do most MBA students get scholarships? ›

The top MBA programs usually offer many funding opportunities for strong applicants. Researching financial aid options as you're deciding which schools to consider can help you look at the big picture. Some institutions offer merit-based financial support to more than half of their MBA students.

What is the minimum score to get scholarship in USA? ›

As per the wide range of reports, the overall GRE score required for getting scholaship in USA is more than 160. The GRE scholarship is awarded to students who achieve 164+ in verbal reasoning and 161+ in quantitative reasoning. However a score of at least 4.5 on the GRE analytical writing section is also required.

Can I study in USA for free? ›

The USA has a lot of universities and colleges that don't require any tuition fees, and you can study there for free. These institutions are operated through donations, and endowments and you will find a lot of faculty that work there are simply very passionate about their job and want to help students study for free.

Which university in USA gives the most scholarship? ›

The 50 colleges that offer the most student aid
RankCollegeStudents receiving need-based aid
1Columbia University2,973
2Yale University2,732
3Williams College1,014
4Amherst College1,066
46 more rows
29 Oct 2018

What is the easiest full scholarship to get? ›

Top 25 Easy Scholarships List for 2022
  • Nitro $2,000 Scholarship – No Essay!
  • $10,000 Scholarship Contest.
  • $25,000 “Be Bold” Scholarship.
  • $2,500 Christian Connector Scholarship.
  • College Express Monthly $10,000 Scholarship.
  • $1,000 Too Cool to Pay for School Scholarship.
  • $40,000 BigFuture Scholarship.
  • $1,000 Survey Sweepstakes.
12 Oct 2022

Which country is easy to get a fully funded scholarship? ›

Italy. In Italy, in addition to the relatively low tuition fees (an average of €1-2 thousand per year), many students from all over the world are attracted to the opportunity to win a scholarship to cover financial hardship. The cost of accommodation is also quite low.

Can international students get full scholarships in USA? ›

Fully-funded scholarships in the US includes the Fulbright Foreign Student Program for international students who want to pursue master's or PhD in the country. They cover tuition, airfare, living stipend, and health insurance. Funding is provided through the duration of study.

What is the #1 way to increase your chances for a scholarship? ›

You will increase your chances of winning a scholarship by taking your time to fill out each application thoroughly. Forgo the urge to copy and paste, even if two scholarship essay questions seem identical. Don't skip optional questions either, since they are a wonderful way to share more about yourself and your goals.

Which university is free in USA? ›

The US Service Academies are among the tuition-free universities in the USA. There are five United States Academies. They are U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Which is the best state to study in USA? ›

The top state to study in the USA ranks well in career and research opportunities, universities, affordability, tuition, and graduate income.
The following are the top five best state in USA for Indian students:
  • California.
  • New York.
  • Texas.
  • Florida.
  • Utah.
27 Oct 2022

How can I get into top MBA college in USA? ›

  1. Start The Process Early. ...
  2. Get The GMAT Done First. ...
  3. Visit The School and Sit In On A Class. ...
  4. Meet With Current or Former MBA Students. ...
  5. Be Yourself In Your Essay, Application, and Interviews. ...
  6. Make Sure Your Resume Reflects Your Business Acumen. ...
  7. Research How Each School Can Further Your Personal and Professional Goals.
22 Jun 2020

Which job in MBA has highest salary? ›

Highest Paying Jobs for MBA Candidates
  • Investment Banker. Investment bankers are involved in raising money in capital markets and providing financial advice for both private companies and the government. ...
  • Project Manager. ...
  • Consulting. ...
  • Business Development Manager. ...
  • Marketing Manager.

Which field of MBA is highly paid? ›

Three of the most paid MBA specialisations include- MBA in Business Analytics, MBA in Finance and MBA in Entrepreneurship.

Which MBA is best for future? ›

Traditionally, finance, marketing, HR, operations, and entrepreneurship are some of the most sought-after and the best MBA specializations and are considered safest by many students.
Table of Contents
  • MBA in Digital Marketing.
  • MBA in Business Analytics.
  • MBA in Data Analytics.
  • MBA in Entrepreneurship.
11 Oct 2022

How long can you stay in USA after MBA? ›

After you graduate from your MBA program, you're eligible for optional practical training (OPT), which is a 12-month period in which you can stay on and work in the US. This allows you to work in any industry area that is related to your field of study.

Who earns more MBA or MS in USA? ›

Average Salaries: MS vs MBA

The salary that an MBA graduate gets is definitely more than the salary of an MS graduate. On average, MBA students can hope to make about $100,000 or higher every year, if they graduate from a good business school.

What is salary of MBA per month? ›

MBA Salary in India – Breakdown of Each Specialization
SpecializationAverage Salary (LPA)Range
MBA in OperationsINR 7,60,0005L-10L
MBA in ITINR 5,77,0005L-12L
MBA in Event ManagementINR 6,00,0002L-18L
MBA in HealthcareINR 6,00,0005L-12L
6 more rows
21 Jul 2021

Can you stay in USA after Masters? ›

Can international students stay in the U.S. after graduation? Yes, absolutely. If students graduate in an undergraduate or a graduate degree program, they are eligible for the optional practical training opt, which allows the students to remain in the U.S. for one year, working in any area of their studies.

Is MBA better in USA or Europe? ›

International Exposure. The number of international students in MBA programs in Europe are higher than the number in US MBA programs. For students looking to gain more international exposure, Europe is generally considered the better choice.

When should I start preparing for MBA in USA? ›

Ideally, it is recommended to start preparing your MBA applications around 6 months before the first round of admission starting in September. It means around March-April 2022, you must begin your preparations for applying to round 1 of MBA admissions 2023.

Which MBA class is hardest? ›

Here, in broad strokes, are some of the most difficult classes involved in an MBA program:
  • Accounting & Economics. ...
  • Management Communications. ...
  • Capstone Courses & Practical Projects.

Is it hard to get a job after MBA in USA? ›

Today, most companies and organizations demand skilled and experienced MBA candidates to lead management and senior executive positions. Even as a fresher, an MBA graduate can handle challenging job roles quite well, owing to their general and niche skills.

Can I get a fully funded scholarship in USA? ›

Fulbright Foreign Scholarships

The grant funds tuition, textbooks, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance for the duration of study. And there you have our list of top 10 fully funded scholarships in USA for international students.

Which university gives most scholarship in USA? ›

10 U.S. Colleges That Most Aid Foreign Students
School (state)Number of international students who received aid during 2021-2022
Wesleyan University (CT)92
Dartmouth College (NH)327
Duke University (NC)174
Stanford University (CA)245
7 more rows

Which university is best for scholarship in USA? ›

Top USA scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Fulbright Scholarship Program. ...
  • Rhodes Scholarship. ...
  • Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program. ...
  • Amherst College Scholarships. ...
  • Harvard University scholarship. ...
  • Yale University Scholarships. ...
  • MIT Scholarships. ...
  • Stanford University Scholarships.
2 May 2022

How much CGPA is required for scholarship in USA? ›

The minimum CGPA requirement for MS in the USA is around 7.0 which is equivalent to 65 - 75% or 3.0 US GPA.

What GPA can get you a full scholarship? ›

It's up to a scholarship provider what the qualification criteria is for each scholarship. One of the most common grade point average requirements is a 3.0 average. (Again, every scholarship provider is different and it's up to them to set their eligibility criteria, not us.)

Which country gives free scholarship? ›

Countries like Germany, Norway, Finland, Austria and Iceland offer various free/low tuition schemes to international students. AfterSchoolAfrica has compiled information about these countries offering free tuition and possibly scholarships. 30+ Top Scholarships to Apply for Before January 2023. Apply…

Is it easy to get scholarship in USA for Masters? ›

Getting a scholarship for MS in the USA is not that difficult, provided you do careful planning and research. Several institutions offer a chance to get a scholarship for MS in the USA for Indian students. You should check the eligibility criteria and apply accordingly.


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