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What Is an MBA? All About the MBA Degree and MBA Programs

What Is an MBA? All About the MBA Degree and MBA Programs

MBA courses and curriculum

The MBA curriculum is typically divided into two parts:

Core MBA courses cover the foundations of general management. Core courses typical of MBA programs include:

  • Accounting
  • Business Communication
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Strategy
  • Data Analytics
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Elective MBA courses give you the opportunity to select courses that best match your individual career goals. You usually study the core MBA syllabus before choosing electives in the second half of the program.

There are a wide variety of elective courses covering anything from HR management, nonprofit management, entrepreneurship, sustainability and CSR, to cutting-edge topics like artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Most MBA courses are taught using the case study method, made famous by Harvard Business School, which sees students analyze case studies of business successes or failures before discussing them in class.

You learn the business theory during an MBA before applying your learnings in group project work or even real-world consulting projects. Outside class, you can immerse yourself in all aspects of business school life: MBA clubs, extracurriculars, networking events, conferences, competitions, company visits, and exciting international immersions.

What’s it like being an MBA student? “The irony of the MBA is that it’s usually pursued in an effort to stand out, but during the experience your interaction with so many interesting, driven, and stimulating people is both humbling and inspiring,” says Pascal Michels, former MBA student and MBA admissions director at IESE Business School, now a director and consultant at MBA admissions consulting firm Menlo Coaching.

“Beyond the academics, an MBA is really about the people you meet; the friendships forged in heated classroom discussions and late-night team meetings—that’s what triggers much of the personal growth.”

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