Obtaining a Master of Business Administration degree is required by many employers, companies that are seeking to hire the cream of the crop and compensate them accordingly. Not just any grad school will do, with your best chances of employment usually with those programs that are nationally recognized. Several such schools are found in the southern United States including the following five.
1. The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Ranked No. 11 among all MBA programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, NC, has one of the top programs of its kind in the south. Most students enroll in Fuqua’s full-time, daytime MBA program. The school also operates a cross continent program making it possible for students to study at four locations beyond Durham: Russia, India, Dubai and China. Current executives can enroll in a weekend program, leading to an MBA in 19 months.
2. Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Atlanta is the home for Emory University and its Goizueta Business School. The program has been in place for nearly a century and was renamed in recent years for Roberto C. Goizueta, the late Coca-Cola CEO. Goizueta prides itself for its “intimate learning experience” with an emphasis on values over financial remuneration. The school stresses a one-on-one teaching aspect that goes beyond classroom learning. Goizueta has a reputation for faculty accessibility, with students and instructors collaborating on projects.
3. Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina. Named for two prominent North Carolina families, the Kenan-Flagler Business School has been building leaders with an emphasis on the greater good. Besides its traditional MBA program, the school operates a global program partnering with schools in Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong and Germany. This OneMBA program gives students the opportunity to learn and study abroad, and come away with both a UNC MBA and a OneMBA.
4. The College of Management at Georgia Institute of Technology — Known as the Ernest Scheller J. College of Business, Georgia Tech’s MBA program operates full-time, evening and executive learning opportunities at its campus in Atlanta. The school has a reputation for blending business and technology, ranking high in production/operation management and supply chain/logistics as well as for information systems. The program has one of the highest job placement ratings in the country, earning an “A+” rating from Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
5. The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University — Located in Nashville, Tenn., Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School boasts a 9-to-1 student to faculty ratio and disallows the use of teaching assistants as instructors. Founded in 1873, the program is small and promises that students will know each other and have multiple options for interning abroad. Four out of 10 intern positions result in full-time job offers with class of 2012 grads earning $96,500 per year on average.
The grad school application process is a rigorous one and that means getting started well before you finish your undergraduate studies. Typically, you will submit a written application and follow that up with an on-campus interview. Some programs, such as the Harvard Business School, now include a “written reflection” step as part of its online application process. Be mindful that applications are usually due early on in your senior year if you plan to begin pursing your MBA the following academic year.