MBA Fee Structure: How much MBA Cost?

An MBA or Master of Business Administration degree is a popular graduate management program globally, with thousands of aspirants applying for different MBA programs every year.

The United States is considered one of the best places to pursue the course, and an MBA from the States is widely regarded as the gold standard for business education. But what about the MBA cost and fee structure in the United States?  

This article explores the MBA tuition fee structure in the United States and why pursuing an MBA can give students a competitive edge in the international job market.

What is an MBA?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is a graduate-level business and management degree focusing on leadership and managerial skills. 

Earning an MBA gives a holistic view of businesses across finance, accounting, marketing, and other areas. It helps candidates develop the skills and knowledge required to fill managerial positions in any industry or organization. 

MBA was introduced in 1908 by the Harvard University Graduate School of Administration. Today, MBA has become one of the most versatile and common graduate degrees that impart business knowledge and helps aspirants grow their careers, expand their professional network, and boost salary prospects. Although historically, MBA students typically pursued finance or consulting jobs, the average MBA classroom today has students from diverse professional backgrounds, including healthcare, manufacturing, technology, and media.

Types of MBA Programs

Before we explain the MBA cost in the USA for you, let’s look at the different types of MBA programs you can pursue. 

1. Full-time MBA Program

A full-time MBA is a traditional two-year program similar to an undergraduate degree. Traditional MBA programs are ideal for students who do not have to work full-time.

2. Part-time MBA Program

Part-time or professional MBA programs offer flexibility and work-life balance for students who wish to pursue a degree while working or raising a family. A part-time MBA is best suited for students with established careers who want to inherit job skills while gaining work experience.

3. Executive MBA Program

Executive MBA programs or EMBAs are designed for executives and leaders with prolonged managerial experience. Since primarily working professionals sign up for EMBAs, these programs are typically part-time with evening and weekend classes. EMBAs are generally more fast-paced and less immersive than a traditional MBA program.

4. Global MBA Program

Global MBAs or International MBAs are geared towards international business principles and strategies but are otherwise similar to traditional MBAs. Usually, students of diverse nationalities apply for global MBA programs. It is a good option if you wish to work at international firms.

5. Online MBA Program

Enrolling in an online MBA program means you can pursue an MBA from home or anywhere in the world through the internet. Various online platforms offer MBA programs with globally recognized degrees. You do not need to attend on-campus classes and get a flexible schedule to study with an online MBA course. Typically online MBA cost less than traditional, on-campus courses.

Explore our MBA Programs in The US

On-campus vs. Online MBA

You can pursue your MBA degree online, on a college campus, or via a hybrid model. While each mode has its benefits, choose an MBA program best suited for your lifestyle, academic plans, and professional goals.

Here’s how on-campus and online MBAs differ:

On-campus MBA

If you pursue an on-campus MBA, you need to attend physical classes on fixed schedules. Traditional, full-time MBA programs typically follow the on-campus mode, and you get the opportunity to expand your network and interact face-to-face with professors and peers. However, you may have to relocate if you consider a specific school or specialization.

Online MBA

Unlike on-campus MBA, online MBA programs do not typically require you to attend physical classes. These courses are offered through accredited universities, such as the Master of Business Administration from Liverpool Business School, providing access to the same faculty and learning resources as an on-campus program. 

Online MBAs have the advantage of a flexible schedule. Since you can learn from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and a desktop/mobile device, you need not relocate or quit your job to earn a globally-reputed MBA degree. Moreover, online MBAs are typically less costly than their on-campus counterparts and give you the freedom to learn at your own pace.

Check out our MBA programs online.

MBA Tuition Fee in the USA

The MBA tuition fee in the USA varies from school to school, and the different types of MBA programs have their unique fee structure. For instance, the cost of an online MBA is typically less than a campus-based program. 

The MBA tuition fee also depends on the course duration and other aspects such as campus facilities, extra-curricular, and the like. Overall, the average MBA tuition fee in the USA is around 50,000-60,000 USD per year. However, this figure does not include accommodation costs and other miscellaneous expenses such as the books and resources you need to buy during the program.

International students applying to study MBA in the USA need to bear additional expenses, including:

  • USA student VISA application fees
  • Program application fees
  • GRE fees
  • TOEFL/IELTS fees

Living Expenses in the USA

Apart from your MBA tuition fee, you need to consider the living costs in the USA, especially if you are an international student. Living expenses in the United States are significantly higher than in most other countries, with an average of around 1,000-2,000 USD per month. 

Living expenses in the USA include:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Personal expenses

However, you can try and regulate your expenses to manage the high cost of living in the USA. Since the accommodation contributes to a large chunk of the living expenses, you can choose to live in a dormitory or apartment depending on your lifestyle and where you will be studying MBA. Moreover, you can save significantly on food expenses by cooking at home as much as possible.

Benefits of an MBA Degree 

Here are the top reasons why an MBA degree can be your best call.

  • An MBA degree increases job opportunities. In a highly competitive job market, setting yourself apart is the key to landing your dream job. Employers and hiring managers look to hire MBA graduates since they have the marketing and finance skills required to help a company succeed and stay ahead of competitors.
  • MBA exposes you to the global market. Through an MBA degree, you can connect and network with professors and students worldwide who have valuable perspectives and experiences on the global economy. It helps you expand your knowledge of other industries and disciplines internationally.
  • MBA is an opportunity to improve your professional skills. A key benefit of getting an MBA degree is that it improves your knowledge of how businesses operate. Besides, you also get to hone your soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
  • You can expand your professional network. Whether pursuing an online or on-campus MBA, you become part of an alumni network comprising talented and influential professionals. You become part of a global community and get the opportunity to build meaningful professional relationships in the classroom and beyond.

Wrapping Up

The benefits of getting an MBA degree are applicable regardless of your industry or professional background. For many MBA aspirants, an MBA degree is a step towards advancing their careers and demonstrating their commitment to learning and developing critical business and management skills. Whether you study MBA online or on-campus, go through the MBA tuition fee structure before investing in any MBA program.

Learn Online MBA With upGrad

upGrad’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) in association with Liverpool Business School is an 18-month online program offering specializations in analytics, strategy and leadership, finance, marketing, operations, and HR. The program is specifically designed for business owners, entrepreneurs, and working professionals with 3-8 years of full-time work experience.

Sign up today to get exclusive upGrad advantages, including 360-degree learning support and networking with industry mentors. 

Is MBA very costly?

MBA is known to be a costly degree course globally. However, you can opt for an online MBA since online MBA cost less and offers the same level of education and facilities as an on-campus program.

How many years are there in MBA?

A full-time MBA course is of two years. The duration of online MBA courses may vary.

Is an MBA good for the future?

Earning an MBA degree can enhance your career path and help you land a high-paying job. Regardless of academic or professional backgrounds, MBA graduates from top-tier business schools are sought after by employers worldwide.


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