MBA Program Admissions: Glossary of Terms

MBA Program Admissions: Glossary of Terms

For someone who has no background whatsoever in business and management jargon, it’s easy to get lost in the tangle of words people use in MBA admissions. It’s expected of applicants to do their own research before going through the MBA admissions processes, so you should do your own vocabulary update before facing the MBA admissions committee. Having some knowledge on even the most common terms used in MBA schools also shows that you’re an “insider” and that you know what you’re talking about. Below are some terms and acronyms often encountered in MBA admissions and business schools:

ACBSP or Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs

ACBSP is an association that establishes and promotes educational standards in business schools, including MBA admissions processes, school curriculum, etc. ACBSP operates mainly in the US and is currently considered as an accreditor for small graduate MBA degree programs.

Association of MBAs (AMBA)

The AMBA is a UK-based accreditation organization that focuses on, and approves, quality MBA programs in the UK and in other countries.

Company or corporate programs

Company programs are private MBA programs that are offered only to employees of a specific company. These kinds of “specialized” MBA programs also have different MBA admissions procedures because they cater to a specific group.

Distance Learning or Online Programs

As the name implies, these kinds of MBA programs employ teaching methods that are conducted online. These programs usually cater to professionals who can’t afford to leave their jobs or do not have the flexibility of time to go to campus-based classes. MBA admissions procedures and requirements for distance learning are generally less demanding; not all online programs require GMAT scores and letters of recommendation.

Dual MBA program

As the name implies, this is a type of MBA program which allows students to take two major fields of business study under one program.

Executive MBA (EMBA)

Executive MBA programs are differentiated from regular MBA programs in that the former are essentially designed for managers and executives with years of professional experience. EMBA degrees are usually part-time or modular. Similarly, MBA admissions requirements differ because those who take EMBA degrees are experienced professionals.

Focus or concentration of study

Most MBA programs employ integrated teaching methods – they cover a wide range of management topics. Having a focus or concentration of study allows students to take courses that are aimed toward specific aspects of management like Finance and Marketing. In the MBA admissions process, the focus of study is usually disclosed in the applicant’s statement of purpose or personal statement.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

The GMAT is an essential MBA admissions requirement that measures the applicant’s writing and quantitative skills. The minimum required score for the GMAT is usually 400-600, and is one of the ways through which MBA admissions committees filter their applicants.

Modular MBA

This kind of MBA program doesn’t have “normal” class schedules as compared to full-time MBA degrees. As the name implies, students’ attendance are dependent on the modules being taught, and these programs usually require fewer but longer class periods. MBA admissions requirements for modular degrees are also different from full-time MBAs.

Open program

Open MBA programs are differentiated from the others in terms of the MBA admissions requirements. Such programs do not have the usual academic MBA admissions requirements, and for this reason, are called “open” programs. This program is usually targeted for those who don’t meet the academic requirements but have substantial professional experience. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) TOEFL is one of the common MBA admissions requirements for non-native English speakers.

Statement of purpose

Also called personal statement or admission essay, the statement of purpose is a common MBA admissions requirement. It outlines the applicant’s career goals, academic and professional achievements, etc.