I Don't Have an Undergraduate Business Degree. Am I at a Disadvantage?

Jun 18, 2013
Tags: Admissions Requirements, Applications, Diversity, School Selection

Irene HurstSubmitted by Irene Hurst, Director, USF MBA Programs, University of South Florida, Muma College of Business.

Not having an undergraduate degree in a business-related field will not put you in disadvantage over students who did earn their undergraduate degree in business. The MBA is a professional degree that does not require an undergraduate degree in a business-related fields for admission. Furthermore, even some business discipline-specific programs (for example, Masters of Science degrees) admit applicants from undergraduate majors outside of business.

The MBA program curriculum, along with most MS programs in business-related fields, have foundation courses or pre-requisites that will prepare students with various undergraduate backgrounds to successfully complete a graduate program in business. Most MBA programs provide business foundation courses to enhance your skills in core business disciplines. The foundation courses usually cover topics in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, management, information systems, and Statistics. Once you have completed these foundation courses, you will have minimal challenges in business-related required courses and electives. Students who have earned an undergraduate business degree may be waived from those foundation (pre-requisite) courses in the MBA/MS programs.

It is an advantage to MBA programs and the students enrolled in them to include candidates from different undergraduate majors. The diversity of educational backgrounds actually makes class and case discussions more interesting. Students with varied degrees tend to have varied ideas and opinions. This enriches class discussion because students from a non-business background will be able to provide their unique points of view and expertise on business-related issues. MBA coursework involves many facets of business problem solving and strategic analysis that become richer and deeper when students bring their experiences, idiosyncrasies, points of view, and creativity into the discussions.

At the University of South Florida, almost 60 percent of our MBA students are admitted with non-business undergraduate degrees, and they complete business foundation courses in business measurement, decision making, and market orientation.