How to Choose Schools for MBA or Master’s Programmes?

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Choose schools

The diversity of international MBA and Master’s programmes has never been greater. According to AACSB estimates, there are more than 13,500 schools offering business degree programmes worldwide. How to choose schools?

This opens many opportunities and the chance to satisfy all your preferences regarding the programme content, learning style, teaching method, class diversity, international exposure, budget, scholarships and location.

However, this great diversity is a challenge to most prospective students. How to identify the programmes that best match your requirements? On the one hand they should provide what you need, while on the other hand you need to be a strong applicant for the programmes you choose. How do you strike this balance?

Step 1: Clarify your goals

Why do you want to do further studies in a Master’s or MBA programme? Which type of programme is better for you? How will these studies help you develop your career after graduation? Think of all your preferences and create your full list of selection criteria, but do not limit yourself to rankings, budget, scholarships and location. Consider the programme content, learning style, teaching method, class diversity, international exposure, and any other personal preferences you may have.

Step 2: Plan your budget

Be realistic about finances. It is hardly desirable to gain admission to a programme of study that you cannot finance, as you will simply not be able to begin your studies. Select programmes you can afford. Even if you intend to compete for scholarships, you need a backup plan.

Step 3: Start your research about programmes, the application process and admission requirements.

School finder search tools are very efficient to identify an initial list of schools; check school profiles (standardised for easy comparison); request programme brochures for more details; join online school presentations; contact the admission officers with your specific questions; talk to current and former students in forums and social networks; read specialised blogs.

Step 4: Meet schools

Take every opportunity to meet a school representative in person. You will get a feel of the school, answers to specific questions and personal advice from an insider. A school representative will give you valuable feedback on your profile, your match to the school and whether the school provides what you expect. Prepare yourself and ask all your questions.

Step 5: Prepare for and take standard admission tests ( GMAT/GRE; TOEFL / TOEIC / IELTS / CAE / CPA)

Your test scores are important for the final selection of the best-matching schools. Get to know the tests in advance through samples and simulations and attend presentations and webinars.

Step 6: Shortlist the schools to which you will actually apply.

Get expert advice on the final school selection to make sure that the schools offer what you expect and that you are a strong candidate for them.

Start early! This process takes about one year before you actually begin your studies in an international Master’s or an MBA programme.

Check out our School Finder Tool

Get advice from experts and check out real life experiences in the forum at any stage in your research and preparation to ensure the best final result.

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