Discover the top MBA programs

The MBA brings all of the important business facets under one program, appealing to business-minded people from a wide range of academic backgrounds. It will be an invaluable tool if you want to move up into management or move forward as a consultant; in addition to business expertise, an MBA degree will refine your interpersonal, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Learn some important information about top MBA programs before you decide on the next step in your business education.

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Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration degree is both popular and in high demand. The degree was designed to teach a scientific approach to business management, and continues to provide a very effective background for success in business. Core courses will cover everything from accounting and finance to project management training.

MBA programs can come in many forms, but two years is the most common duration of an MBA. However, if you have the time and discipline, an accelerated MBA will involve a higher course load and intense examination schedule; a part-time MBA typically consists of night and weekend classes over three or more years, which will be suited to a working professional. An executive MBA program was developed to help working managers and executives with several years of work experience expand their business education without giving up their work commitments.

A distance learning MBA bears some resemblance to a part-time program, in its unconventional structure and appeal to people who have major work and family commitments. Most of the classes and course work will be carried out over the Internet, using e-mail and broadcast video as methods of correspondence between the instructors and students. Although online MBA programs might seem untraditional, many respectable schools offer them.

Top MBA Programs and Schools

Whether you choose to attend a traditional business school or enroll in an online program, you should only consider accredited business schools. Official recognition is important to ensure a high-quality business education, so look for the approval of one of the three accreditation bodies for American business schools—the AACSB, ACBSP or IACBE. An MBA does not come cheap, and you will want to ensure that your time, effort and money won't be wasted.

The top MBA schools in America can carry lofty admission requirements and high tuition, but you will be guaranteed a great business education from Harvard, Dartmouth or Stanford. But don't discount smaller schools—MBA programs can differ in flexibility and course offering, so investigate traditional schools and online programs to find one that will suit your specific needs.