The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out scientific approaches to management. The core courses in the MBA program are designed to introduce students to the various areas of business such as accounting, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc.
Two-year (Full Time) MBA programs normally take place over two academic years (i.e. approximately 18 months of term time). For example in the Northern Hemisphere beginning in late August/September of year one and continuing until May of year two, with a three to four month summer break in between years one and two. Students enter with a reasonable amount of prior real-world work experience and take classes during weekdays like other university students.
Accelerated MBA programs are a variation of the two year programs. They involve a higher course load with more intense class and examination schedules. They usually have less "down time" during the program and between semesters. For example, there is no three to four month summer break, and between semesters there might be seven to ten days off rather than three to five weeks vacation.
Part-time MBA programs normally hold classes on weekday evenings, after normal working hours, or on weekends. Part-time programs normally last three years or more. The students in these programs typically consist of working professionals, who take a light course load for a longer period of time until the graduation requirements are met.
Executive MBA (EMBA) programs developed to meet the educational needs of managers and executives, allowing students to earn an MBA or another business-related graduate degree in two years or less while working full time. Participants come from every type and size of organization – profit, nonprofit, government — representing a variety of industries. EMBA students typically have a higher level of work experience, often 10 years or more, compared to other MBA students. In response to the increasing number of EMBA programs offered, The Executive MBA Council was formed in 1981 to advance executive education.
Distance learning MBA programs hold classes off-campus. These programs can be offered in a number of different formats: correspondence courses by postal mail or email, non-interactive broadcast video, pre-recorded video, live teleconference or videoconference, offline or online computer courses. Many schools offer these programs.
Dual MBA programs combine MBA degree with others (such as an MS or a J.D., etc.) to let students cut costs (dual programs usually cost less than pursuing 2 degrees separately), save time on education and to tailor the business education courses to their needs. Some business schools offer programs in which students can earn both a bachelor's degree inbusiness administration and an MBA in four or five years.
The first graduate school of business in the United States was the Tuck School of Business, part of Dartmouth College. Founded in 1900, it was the first institution conferring advanced degrees (masters) in the commercial sciences, specifically, a Master of Science in Commerce degree, the forebear of the modern MBA degree.
In 1908, the Graduate School of Business Administration (GSBA) at Harvard University was established; it offered the world's first MBA program, with a faculty of 15 plus 33 regular students and 47 special students.
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business first offered working professionals the Executive MBA (EMBA) program in 1940, and this type of program is offered by most business schools today.
In 1950, the first MBA degrees were awarded outside the United States by The University of Western Ontario in Canada, followed in 1951 with the degree awarded by the University of Pretoria in South Africa. The Institute of Business Administration, Karachi inPakistan was established in 1955 as the first Asian business school by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1957, INSEAD became the first European business school to offer an MBA program.
In 1986, the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College (Florida) was the first MBA program to require every student to have a laptop computer in the classroom. Initially, professors wheeled a cart of laptops into the classroom, passed them out to students together with floppy disks and collected them at the end of class. A year later, the school issued a laptop computer to each student as the student's personal property during registration. This ensured that each student had the same computer capability. Eventually, the Crummer School became the #1 rated MBA program in Florida.
The MBA degree has been adopted by universities worldwide, and has been adopted and adapted by both developed and developing countries.