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Degree Overview: Graduate Degree Program in Business

Majors Overview May 4, 2015

Get information about graduate degree programs in business and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Graduate Degree Programs in Business

A graduate business program is devised to meet the needs of holders of undergraduate degrees that wish to pursue advanced management studies in order to advance their careers. A wide range of schools commonly offer the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in both on-campus and online formats, apart from a combination of both formats.

Students enrolled in many M.B.A. programs are allowed to select an area of concentration, such as in finance, marketing, or human resource management. Studies in management principles, leadership theory, and organizational leadership augment courses that address practices in various business disciplines.

Less commonly, schools also offer a doctorate in business program that focuses on research methodologies and management theories and is designed primarily to meet the needs of individuals that seek college-level careers in academia. Graduates can seek occupations as senior executives or consultants.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs

Business professionals seeking career advancement and business leadership and managerial roles will benefit by enrolling in this program. Students study consumer behavior and marketing techniques, in addition to subjects wherein they learn the financial aspects of running a business, such as financial reports and analysis.

Students learn about effective management of a team of employees through studies in group motivation and culture. They learn via studies in business law and ethics about responsible and professional operation of a business. Students get instruction on the increasingly important role played by technology in global business, including ways of using technology to improve business operations.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Students may also be required to submit a resume, professional references, work experience, a personal essay, and acceptable scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination is a requirement for incoming students whose native language is not English.


Studies in operations management, strategic management, and entrepreneurship may be included in the coursework. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as the following:

•International trade
•Global business environments
•Product distribution

Career Choices

Armed with an M.B.A. degree, a graduate can seek employment in various settings, including the healthcare industry, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and large corporations. They can opt for popular careers such as:

•Private consultant
•Project manager
•Marketing manager
•Information technology manager
•Investment manager

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a master’s degree program in business management can seek continuing education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Management. Students in this degree program can seek a major in various disciplines and often move toward a career in research or academia.

Ph.D. Programs in Business Management

A substantial amount of scholarly writing and research is a requirement of this program. Students may have to research marketing techniques that impact consumer behavior or analytical accounting methods. The behavioral process of making choices is examined through research in decision-making, while the social and cultural effects on individual leadership and the process of negotiation are studied through research in management.

Students enrolled in this program may complete a scholarly research article and a teaching portfolio, or they may teach college courses. The program, which culminates in a doctoral dissertation, pairs students with faculty mentors.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a master’s degree, in addition to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. Other requirements include submitting a scholarly research sample, a resume, personal statement essay, professional and academic references, and acceptable scores on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) or GMAT.


A student’s writing and research skills are the focus of coursework. Students might study theories in buyer behavior, business strategy, finance, and marketing. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Supply chain management

Career Choices

Those who successfully graduate with a Ph.D. in Business Management can seek careers in numerous fields. They may opt for popular career choices such as:

•Business consultant
•Financial manager
•Human resource manager

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