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Study an MBA Abroad - the Definitive Guide

Indian students continue to prefer studying MBA abroad as it is being highly valued by prospective employers.

Mahesh Ramani

Did you know that eight of the world’s top 10 business schools are based out of the USA?

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Subject modules & entry requirements

The MBA was originally envisaged as a programme designed to help engineers transition into management roles with ease. Today the MBA degree is one of the most popular postgraduate degrees among Indian students looking to study abroad. The MBA opens up a world of possibilities; career opportunities are available in Banking and Finance, Project Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Marketing, Recruitment and Training and Industrial Management. This subject guide lists some of the best MBA programmes abroad. 

How long will you study?

The MBA is offered as a one-year programme in the UK and most institutions in the USA offer the MBA as a two-year programme. 18-month and 21-month programmes also exist.

Top B-Schools

Source - Business Insider

What will you study?

The beauty of the MBA programme is its flexibility to incorporate various fields of study and offer a multitude of specialisation options. Most B-Schools offer students a set of modules from which they are supposed to pick some mandatory modules and mix and match to pick a specific number of electives. There is a fixed set of learning credits that needs to be earned by the study of mandatory modules and the electives. Most B-Schools list the following subjects under the core module structure for the general MBA. 

  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Communication
  • Finance

The electives on offer cover a broad variety of subjects like – Competitive Strategy, Investment Behaviour, Entrepreneurship, Consumer Behaviour, Real Estate, International Business, Intellectual Property Rights, Corporate Finance and Project Management.

Find an MBA programme that fits your requirements.  

Typical entry requirements

The main criterion for admission into a top-ranked MBA programme is a good score on the GMAT. Most leading B-schools also require prospective MBA applicants to have at least two years of work experience.

GMAT scores

A score in the range of 715 to 725 on the GMAT is considered excellent and offers applicants a good chance to find entry into a prestigious B-school. In recent years, some B-schools are accepting a GRE score instead of the GMAT as well; but this number is limited.

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into the MBA. Some institutions may require a higher score of 7.0 on the IELTS.


A two-year MBA at a leading B-school in the USA is likely to set you back by about INR35 to INR45 lakhs. A one-year MBA could cost anywhere from INR15 to INR20 lakhs. Many B-schools offer a variety of attractive scholarships for international students. 

Subject specialisations

The General MBA or the regular MBA gives students the chance to learn a little bit of everything and then figure out where they would like to apply their learning. Specialist MBAs on the other hand focus on a specific area right from the beginning and allow students to become experts in their chosen area of study. Nottingham University Business School is ranked among the top 100 B-Schools in Europe. The Nottingham MBA is consistently ranked among the top MBA programmes in the UK and attracts a number of international students every year. 

Brief descriptions of the most popular MBA specialisations are given below:


The MBA in Finance continues to remain strong and despite global recessions and the Wall Street crash. From career opportunities as fund managers to jobs in banks and share-trading firms, the MBA in Finance is a great study option.  View MBA in Finance programmes.

Human Resources Management

The process of hiring the right employee for an organisation requires immense skill. Happy employees contribute to the growth of a company. The MBA in Human Resources Management is the perfect option for those who love interacting with people. View MBA in Human Resources Management programmes.


In recent years, Accounting as a separate MBA specialisation is gaining importance as Finance and Accounting are treated as two different streams. This programme is of great importance for those working as auditors and chartered accountants. View MBA in Accounting programmes.

Information Technology and Information Systems

An MBA in IT combines management with IT policies and offers modules in software management, cyber-security, managing IT teams and decision-making. This MBA specialisation holds immense potential, as even smaller companies are increasingly dependent on computing and networks.

View MBA in IT programmes.

View MBA in Information Systems programmes.

International Business

Business is no longer dependent just on local production and distributors. The fall in the value of the currency in China or a devastating drought in India can have global ramifications. As products find new takers and entrepreneurs explore new business markets an MBA in International Business is a good option. View MBA in International Business programmes.

Project Management

The MBA in Project Management is a coveted degree. A certification from the Project Management Institute gives additional value to the degree. From designing plans that monitor manufacturing to designing individual targets for employees; certified project managers are in high demand.

View MBA in Project Management programmes.


There is an old saying that goes - “Any fool can make a product, it takes brains to sell it.” The MBA in Marketing explores modules in selling techniques, customer psychology, business strategies and marketing. View MBA in Marketing programmes.

Supply Chain Management

The MBA in Supply Chain Management focuses on the fastest delivery of a product from its source to the final consumer. With each industry having its own set of complexities, this is a challenging programme. View MBA in Supply Chain Management programmes.

Career prospects

MBA students have the privilege of choosing to work in a wide variety of industries that range from industrial production to banking and automobiles to computing. The infographic reproduced below gives a fair idea about the salaries earned by MBA graduates in India.


Salaries of individuals with an MBA and working in the USA are listed in the infographic given below.

Median Salary by Skill/Specialty


Source - Payscale

If we just compare the salaries of recent MBA degree holders working in the USA and India there is a diference of about four times the annual salary when converted to Indian Ruppes. This clearly demonstrates the value of an MBA from a renowned international B-school and finding a job abroad.

Famous MBAs

Some famous Indians with an MBA to their name are:

  • Indra Nooyi the CEO of PepsiCo – She holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.
  • Ajaypal Singh Banga – CEO of MasterCard – He holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.
  • Raghuram Rajan - Current Reserve Bank of India Governor – He holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.

Professional associations


The Association of MBAs (AMBA) was established in 1967. AMBA connects MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools and MBA employers in more than 110 countries.

Image Source - Pinterest

Worried about choosing the right course?

Jenifer G Jenifer G,
Study abroad expert.
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