MBA application


The Master of Business Administration – MBA – has become the magic word in the work and business world. Never before have so many people in Germany been interested in an MBA and the offers been as diverse. In particular, as the university system is being switched to the Anglo-Saxon concept of Bachelor and Master’s degrees. Approximately 300,000 students are currently enrolled in MBA programs worldwide.

MBA courses are usually offered as one- to two-year full-time degrees. The target groups are university graduates and young professionals who want to improve their job prospects through additional training. However, MBA programs are also offered as part-time or distance learning options. Executive MBA programs (EMBA), which are primarily offered as a work-study option, have the advantage that they allow further qualification without giving up your current position and the financial security.
MBA programs are proposed by business schools, and these are fundamentally different from German universities: No high school diploma, university or FH diploma automatically gives access to an MBA program. The business schools select candidates themselves from a large pool of candidates, in the end only a fraction of the candidates remain. Therefore, it is especially important for German MBA prospects to understand that applying to a business school means to be able to sell oneself properly.

The Master of Business Administration is often a costly investment for the future, especially for individuals who want to complete their education at one of the top business schools. The high tuition costs are initially daunting for many applicants; rent and food, insurance, study materials and travel need to be added. Especially in cities like London, Paris, New York or Tokyo livelihood is costly.

Funding the MBA often proves less problematic than originally assumed. As independent of the cost share, depending on the program type, the remuneration of the internship, the signing bonus after graduation, the potential tax refunds and possibly teaching as a teaching assistant (graduate assistant) can be deducted from the overall cost. Foundations and organizations grant loans and grants, e.g.  the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the Studienstiftung, the Rotary Club or the Fulbright Commission. These grants of up to EUR 25,000 are open to all prospective MBA candidates. Therefore, it is always worth applying. Universities can also grant partial scholarships and low-interest loans. Points of contact are the so-called Financial Aid Offices at universities. In many places there are also banks that provide loans for an MBA. The current employer can also be a donor. Numerous international companies take on the role of a sponsor when the employee agrees to work for them for a certain amount of time in return for the funding of the MBA. This form of support is generally received by applicants for part-time or Executive MBA programs. Your salary after your MBA should be able to pay for any accumulated debt quickly. Starting salaries for MBA degrees are usually significantly higher than the salary in the old job.

Especially, for full-time programs, it is common to work and learn between 90 and 100 hours a week in the first few semesters. Dealing with the heavy workload, is not always easy. But this experience contributes to your personal and professional development. Many MBA students would never want to miss out on the experience of working with dedicated people from different cultures. In particular networking during and after the MBA plays an increasingly important role.

A typical career for MBA graduates does not exist. After studying one-third go into industry, two-thirds into investment banking or consulting and a small proportion become self-employed. The MBA is a chance to change your previous profession and embark on a new path.


Start your application about 1 year before the first deadline date. With optimum test results, excellent essays, strong letters of reference and the right timing you increase your chance of being picked by your dream university.

MBA without a degree?

Not all MBA programs require an undergraduate degree. It is quite possible to do an MBA without having completed university, FH or vocational college studies – even at top business schools. For example, INSEAD, one of the top business schools in the world, say that „while the vast majority of our participants have undergraduate and / or advanced degrees, this is not compulsory for admission. Candidates who do not hold an undergraduate degree, but who have an excellent career record and GMAT score are also welcome to apply“. An MBA education is practical and less theoretical than German universities. One main teaching method is often case studies, in which a situation from a real business is described and the students have to work out strategies.

Approximately 98% of participants in an MBA program finish their studies with success. The most difficult part of the MBA is undoubtedly to be admitted to the dream business school. The application process to get into a business school’s MBA program is rigorous, in particular for prestigious MBA programs. Each business school has its own selection process and sets different standards for the application. A universal candidate profile, which allows access to all universities, does not exist. Therefore, the application preparation must be equally rigorous. A short preparation time usually is not enough. The entire application process can easily exceed twelve months. The “average” applications receive a rejection. Those who apply on the off-chance will be declined. The nature of the application itself and the merits of the applicants in the application process are crucial for a successful admission. If you want to be included in a prestigious MBA program, you have to work, invest time and money in the application and, if necessary, be advised and taught by professionals in advance. One must be willing to prepare well; then the investments will pay off.

Thorough preparation starts with taking the standardized admission tests GMAT and TOEFL. After which essays and letters of recommendation must be written, which give a clear picture of career, identify strengths and weaknesses and are intended to explain reasons for an MBA. This is followed by the translation of certificates and the procurement of transcripts.

Just as important as the application’s quality is the time of filing it. Most business schools have a 3-deadline system, others a running application process (Rolling Admissions). The complete application should be submitted at the latest before the second of the three application deadlines because most places and financial resources are still available at the beginning.

The greatest achievement is to tackle the admission, as the top business schools’ admission quotas are about 10-20%. But those who – not least thanks to good preparation – are admitted are in and „only“ have to do their MBA.

In particular, the networking during and after the MBA plays an increasingly important role. Based on this, an MBA abroad can be attractive. Especially in the English speaking world MBA programs have a long tradition. Anyone interested in studying in the UK, can find comprehensive information on MBA programs of different disciplines on the information portal MASTERS AND MORE.

If you have questions regarding MBA admissions, then talk to one of our application specialists. They are available every day from 10:00 to 19:00 on 069-238593-12.

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Christopher Mann


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