MBA without Bachelors

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Sefu, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Sefu

    Sefu New Member

    Please try to not flame me. I am a business professional looking to attain a accredited MBA in the US through a distance learning program. Although I do not hold a bachelors (some college at a state univ) I have been in the business world for over 10 years. Here are some of the things I do have..

    • 6 figure income
    • Recommendation letters from CEO’s/CIO’s/VP’s/Director’s of fortune 100, 500 companies.
    • Solid business resume working for fortune 500 companies
    • In depth understanding of Business and Corporate Sales

    I am willing to study and take the GMAT. Can anyone please help? (Already looked at Edinburgh, need something with US accreditation)
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    You're facing an uphill, if not impossible, battle....Heriot-Watt is the only legitimate MBA that I'm aware of that doesn't require an accredited undergraduate degree. The good news is that it's very possible to complete a legitimately accredited Bachelor's degree through DL in a short amount of time, less than a year, depending on your transfer credit and motivation.
  3. Sweetowski

    Sweetowski Member

    Most of the UK-universities are deciding on a case-to-case basis if you don't fulfill the entry requirements right away. I know that this does not help much if you are looking for an USA-MBA...
  4. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Not U.S., but U.S. regional accreditation:

    Athabasca University (Canada’s Open University): online EMBA ($44,500)
    AUCC, ACU, CAQC and U.S. regional accreditation, e.g., Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

    Basic admission criteria:
    The following are considered minimum requirements and do not guarantee acceptance into the program. The admissions committee will make its decision based on your full application package:

    Applicants will have:
    • an undergraduate degree from an accredited university and at least three years of managerial experience,
    • an accepted professional designation and at least five years of managerial experience,
    • a minimum of eight to ten years of substantial managerial experience*
    and provide:
    • a detailed resume
    • three (3) letters of reference
    • a personal essay outlining goals, experience and expectations
    • official transcripts of post-secondary education and/or professional designation(s)
    • a two hundred ($200 CAD), non-refundable application fee

    *Applying without a degree or designation:
    Applicants without a degree or designation must first apply to the Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Management (PBDM) and, upon successful completion, transfer into Phase Two of the MBA program. The PBDM is identical to Phase One of the MBA.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You know, why not just contact admissions departments at programs that interest you and ask? Most will say no. But maybe one will say yes, and you only need one, right? Don't talk to some flunky, start the conversation as high up as possible. You have nothing to lose by trying this -- the worst thing they can do is chuckle. If so, move on to the next one on the list.

    As an alternative, depending on your timeframe, if you have a decent amount of college credit, even if it's old, you could finish a quick Bachelor's degree through one of the three assessment colleges. These schools, Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey, and Excelsior College in New York, all accept 100% (or just about) in transfer credit and allow you to take exams rather than courses. If you have the experience but not the piece of paper, some of these exams may be a cakewalk for you.

    Good luck,

  6. webspider

    webspider New Member

    hello friends,
    It depends on the degree. I know CSU IT does allow you to do a Masters without have done an undergrad degree if you have relevant work experience in the field. Don't forget that since you have already done a bunch of units, if you did do an undergrad degree you could get a lot of the work credited.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  7. jhus

    jhus New Member

    I am in a very similar situation, 25+ years of work experience (tech, project management, business development), even some qualifications (both tech and business) but no academic degree whatsoever. Like yourself I have lately grown a desire to do a distance learning program at masters level and I have done quite a bit of research on various programs (MSc, MA and MBA ones).

    Over the last year or os, I have made direct contact with many universities and specifically asked about their willingness and ability to waive the bachelor degree and GMAT entry requirements. From this experience it seems to me that US universities are in general far less flexible that those in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe).

    For this reason I then shifted my focus towards universities in the UK and Europe. Because I am also trying to figure out whether I should follow my personal interests more (technology => MSc) or career considerations (business => MBA) I considered a wider spectrum than I would have otherwise done. Two of the business schools I considered are Manchester Business School and Warwick Business School. Whilst officially both do require a bachelor with honours degree, they can waive this requirement for equivalent work experience typically backed up with references. While dealing with both schools, I was assured that I would not have to worry about the entry requirements given my work history and international experience.

    I also learned that the way these MBA programs are rated typically puts a high premium on the average work experience and age of students on the program and that therefore, the universities are more likely to waive entry requirements if a candidate has a profile that they feel would increase the quality of the composition of the class and possibly contribute to raising their ratings. This appears to be specific to business schools.

    Before this background, I would encourage you to make contact with the universities of interest to you and plead your case. You may find that your work experience and references are good enough for most of them. It is also quite possible to use an acceptance letter from a highly regarded business school in the UK to pursue a business school in the US that may be dragging their feet about waving the bachelor requirement. An acceptance letter from a good school is after all a form of reference, too.

    There are also programs that let you study one module and if you pass that module successfully, then you are deemed to have passed the entry requirements. This will then counter the argument that you may have the experience but you may not have what it takes to study at an academic level. In order to counter the latter you may also consider studying one or more modules from a master program at the Open University in the UK. Most of the master programs at the OU do not have any entry requirements (other than English of course). You could study some courses from their portfolio standalone and use them to counter the argument that you may not be able to study at an academic level. You may even be able to transfer the credits earned at the OU at the school you eventually join your MBA program at.

    good luck
  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Heriot Watt University?
  9. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Why the need for US accreditation? If you don't have a fear of education from an international perspective, EBS could be a great option, as well as some Australian universities.

    Going ahead and taking the GMAT may be your other option. A high GMAT score goes a long way in persuading an admissions officer in allowing a non-traditional admission. (As well as a check made out to the university prepaying your tuition.)
  10. BacktotheBooks

    BacktotheBooks New Member

    Heriot Watt U with the Edinburgh B-School. (Not to be confused with the U of Edinburgh). Same town though I think. It's had a ranked program or two.
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Yes, that's the one.
  12. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    You might learn more by finishing an undergrad in business than by finishing an MBA.
    Most good MBA programs require foundation courses prior to enrolling in any graduate level courses. For these, you can take CLEP and DSST exams to demonstrate the requisite knowledge. Just by studying for and passing the following tests, you will learn much about business and satisfy these requirements:
    business law
    financial accounting
    organizational behavior
    management information systems
    business ethics and society

    I guarantee that after reading and studying for each of these CLEP/DSST exams, you will be a much better MBA student and will be close to finishing an undergrad business degree. Without these CLEPs under your belt, you will be stuck in foundation courses for 12-18 months.
  13. rongkwokbin

    rongkwokbin New Member

    is there any cheap MBA college in New York ?
  14. major56

    major56 Active Member

    RMIT University (Graduate School of Business and Law)
    The MBA (Executive) online program has two entrance pathways:

    (i) Academic + work experience
    A degree in any discipline from a recognised tertiary institution and evidence of a minimum five years of work experience in a managerial position after completion of a degree.
    (ii) Management + work experience
    Entry may be granted to applicants who do not have a degree but can demonstrate through professional work experience their capacity to successfully undertake this program. Typically this would consist of at least 8–10 years of business experience, at least five of which must have been in a management role.
    RMIT - Master of Business Administration (Executive)
    RMIT - MBA (Executive) and MBA (Executive) Online
  15. MikeInDetroit

    MikeInDetroit New Member

    Remember. The qualification for the MBA is any undergraduate degree. Therefore the curricula does not build upon any learning obtained within the curricula of the courses within the undergraduate degree.
    The prerequisite is due only to support the educational financial model. You must pay for an undergraduate degree first. Then you are allowed to pay for your graduate degree.
    However, since the educational establishments do want their offerings associated with success those in business with proven track records of success are permitted to forgo the financial requirement (attaining an undergraduate degree) in return for the valued association of success with the graduate degree.
    The GMAT would be an important indicator of your ability to achieve success but, taken in isolation without proven work experience, would likely be too much of a risk to forgo the undergraduate investment requirement.
    Now, if you want to test out the above statement you will expect to find the strongest voices of disagreement to be coming from
    a) the academic community who are directly threatened (financially) from any attempt to forgo the requirement of an undergraduate degree
    b) those who have gained the undergraduate degree and who do not want to see a lessening of the requirement for others.
  16. st22345

    st22345 Member

    Hopefully this isn't totally off topic, but an alternative that you might consider if you don't want to pursue a BA/BS and then follow it up with the MBA would be an executive education program. They tend to look for business/executive experience for admission. Colleges across the US have these types of programs. An example would be the Harvard Business School program

    If you are willing to complete a regionally accredited BA/BS degree, entry to almost any MBA program becomes an option even if you have to take some prerequisite courses. It is relatively easy to take CLEP or other credit by exam testing and to put together a portfolio of knowledge you have already acquired that achieving the BA/BS degree is not that hard at any of the Big 3 (TESC, Excelsior, COSC).

    Best of luck to you,

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