How to Get Into an MBA Program

Published on May 29, 2020

man in red shirt applies to MBA program on his laptop

An MBA sets you apart from your colleagues and other industry professionals. In addition to broadening your career prospects, an MBA can fast-track you for a promotion to more senior positions.

You may find it difficult to climb the corporate ladder in certain industries—such as banking, investment, finance, and management consultancies—if you don’t have an MBA degree. While you can go through the traditional pathway of studying for an MBA degree on campus, you should also consider the process of acquiring an MBA degree online.

An Online MBA program is ideal for people who require a more flexible schedule due to important personal and professional commitments. It also comes in handy when you want to study at a prestigious university such as California State University, Chico but don’t want to relocate or spend money and time commuting to campus.

How to Get Into an Online MBA Program

Although online MBA programs make it convenient for you to study remotely, the coursework is just as rigorous as fin-person programs. The same holds for the application process.

To help you get started, here are some actionable tips to improve your chances for acceptance into an MBA program.

1. Start Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to send in your application. Early submissions usually have a higher chance of getting accepted. This is because most applicants send in their applications close to the deadline. Submit your application in the first few days of the window period. This way, reviewers can leisurely review your application and request additional information if necessary.

Some schools even offer priority deadlines to give early applicants a greater chance of admission due to a rolling admissions process. Explore your chosen program’s application deadlines to see if this might be an option for you.

2. Ensure the School Is Accredited

Most employers will consider your MBA to be valid only if it’s obtained from an accredited institution. Business schools and MBA programs are accredited by independent agencies. These agencies assess the quality of schools’ programs and curriculum and accredit them if they meet or surpass their standards.

The three major accrediting agencies in the U.S. are:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

Ensure that your school of choice has been accredited by one or more of these bodies. The Online MBA program from California State University, Chico is fully accredited by the AACSB.

3. Determine What Academic Qualifications the School Requires

Business schools typically only accept applicants who have completed their undergraduate education and possess a good academic record. Applicants to CSU, Chico’s Online MBA program must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale over the last 30 units of credit or 2.75 over the last 60 units of credit.

A higher GPA strengthens your application and improves your chances of being accepted. That said, a low GPA isn’t a deal-breaker. You can supplement your application with an impressive resume and strong standardized test scores.

4. Find out if a GMAT or GRE Score Is Required

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are standard admissions requirements for MBA programs. These tests help business schools assess how well you’re likely to do in an MBA program.

Getting a high score on these tests boosts your chances of being accepted into your preferred MBA program. For instance, CSU, Chico prefers applicants to its Online MBA program to possess a GMAT score of at least 570 or a GRE score of at least 303.

Some business schools waive these tests and allow you to apply without them if you meet certain levels of professional or academic achievement, or in unusual conditions. Currently, California State University, Chico is waiving the GRE/GMAT requirement for all Online MBA applicants through the spring 2021 term. This is due to the closure of testing centers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking advantage of this waiver will save you time and money, and it will reduce the complexities of the admissions process. With this hurdle out of the way, you can begin studying for your MBA degree in next to no time.

5. Review Your Work Experience

Work experience is a major determinant when it comes to getting into an MBA program. Many business schools only accept applications from professionals with at least three years of relevant work experience under their belt.

However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. CSU, Chico also caters to new college graduates who want to benefit from the exposure, knowledge, and prestige of studying in an MBA program. Although some work experience is preferred, the CSU, Chico Online MBA program is open to anyone with a bachelor's degree, even if they don’t have any professional work experience.

6. Get Your Resume and Personal Essay Ready

Business schools will typically ask you to submit these documents as part of your application to their MBA program:

  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Transcript
  • Recommendation letters

When building your resume, emphasize what makes you unique, such as the skills you possess, your achievements, and any relevant work experience. Be sure to highlight how you’ve added value to teams, projects, and your organization.

Your personal statement summarizes your motivations and intentions for studying in an MBA program. Include your reasons for choosing to study at the specific business school to which you’re applying and why the admissions board should admit you into its MBA program.

When applying to the Online MBA program at Chico State, be sure to highlight your background and what makes you a strong candidate for our program. Include real-life examples of projects and situations where you demonstrated your skill and expertise. In other words, show, don’t tell.

Get Your Online MBA From California State University, Chico

Earning an MBA degree can help you grow your professional networks, gain marketable skills, bolster your resume, and increase your earning power. After weighing your options and deciding to take the plunge, you should begin searching for a reputable, accredited business school to earn your MBA degree.

If you would like an MBA program that’s designed to make an immediate impact on your career, you’re in the right place. The College of Business at California State University, Chico caters to full-time, part-time, and remote students—providing anyone, anywhere the flexibility to earn their MBA.

The Online MBA curriculum integrates immediately applicable real-world skills in a uniquely impactful way. Proudly AACSB-accredited since 1972, the CSU, Chico College of Business is committed to academic rigor, innovation, and constant improvement.

Would you like to learn more about our Online MBA program? Click here to get started.

Return to blog homepage