A 9 minute read

Why MBA in USA? Check out the Best MBA Programs in 2020

USA is one of the top destinations for Indian and international students to pursue an MBA. Its homeland to some of the best MBA programs in Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, Northwestern Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and many more. And that is not all. Getting your MBA in USA can be rewarding in terms of the learning experience, post-MBA careers, and cultural experience.

In recent times the domestic applications have seen a decline in the USA. However, the STEM- certified MBA programs are more likely to see international applicant growth as it comes with an additional 24 months OPT.

According to GMAC Prospective Survey 2019, 2 in 3 international candidates plan to apply to a US program (65%), making it the most popular destination.

Aspiring to pursue your MBA in USA? A high GMAT score can set you apart from the competition. Start your GMAT Preparation with the most reviewed online GMAT prep company. Try out our FREE Trial Today!


In this article, we look at why you should pursue an MBA in USA, the best MBA programs to target, salary, cost, scholarships, and visa requirements.


Getting an MBA can lead to career transformation and open up opportunities for career growth. According to the GMAC Application Trends survey 2019, 50% of international candidates apply to the United States because it allows them to get a US job.

Apart from the career prospect, most of the top business schools are located there, and getting an MBA from top b-schools can pave the way to various opportunities. For example, if you get an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, where the acceptance rate is 19.2%, potential employers will know how difficult it is to get an admission there.

Besides, the brand value for the best MBA programs in USA is high, giving you an edge over other MBA graduates. Around 75% of prospective students choose the United States as their study destination because of the reputation of its educational system.

Here are six reasons that make MBA in USA an attractive study destination:


Let us discuss each point in detail.


Best MBA Programs in USA 2020

Some of the top business schools in the world are located in the United States. Apart from a full-time MBA program, which is for two years, MBA aspirants can also opt for a one-year program in the USA.

Learn how to choose between a one-year vs. two year MBA program.

Here are the best MBA programs in USA 2020:

Best MBA Programs in USA – Full-Time MBA

MBA programs in USA

MBA Cost

GMAT Score
(Class 2021)

Stanford GSB $237,288 734
Wharton School of Business $223,390 732
Kellogg School of Management $211220 730
Booth School of Business $220576 730
MIT Sloan School of Management $237,636 727
Harvard Business School $225,204  695
UC Berkeley (Haas) $103,068 725
Columbia Business School $228,438 727
Yale School of Management $211,600 720
NYU (Stern) $224,508 721
Virginia (Darden) $200,412 713
Dartmouth Tuck $224,000 723
Duke (Fuqua) $194,660 700
Michigan (Ross) $192,064 719
Cornell (Johnson) $199,980 696
UCLA (Anderson) $221,876 719
USC (Marshall) $193,634 708
Texas-Austin (McCombs) $179,380 704
CMU (Tepper) $93,768 687
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) $135,042 697

Did you know the average GMAT score of the top 50 business schools in the USA is 703.


Best One-year MBA Programs USA MBA Cost
Kellogg Accelerated MBA $140,366
Cornell Johnson $145,847
Duke Fuqua Accelerated MBA $114,165
Notre Dame (Mendoza) $81,242
USC Marshall (I-Bear) $124,715
NYU Stern Tech MBA $149,101
Emory (Goizueta) $103,971
Babson College One-Year $128,761
University of Pittsburgh $52,845
Peeperdine Graziadio Business School
Accelerated MBA

Read in detail about the Best MBA programs in USA for one year.


Here is a list of articles on Best MBA programs in various specializations. Most of the colleges are located in the US:


MBA in USA – Scholarships and Financial Aid

One of the reasons why non-US citizens avoid studying in the United States is because of the MBA cost involved.

MBA in USA Scholarships and Financial Aid

Around 66% of prospective students agree that tuition cost prevents them from pursuing an MBA in the USA; 57 % agree on the cost of living. The MBA cost in USA is one of the major challenges that students face. However, there are multiple means to finance your education through fellowships, scholarships, assistantships, and education loans.

The same report also points out that around 33% of students choose the United States because of the availability of financial aid. Here is the data on candidates who prefer to study internationally based on the availability of financial assistance:


For example, the average scholarship amount for the Harvard MBA is $40,000 per year. Also, the Harvard MBA scholarship is a gift that does not need to be paid back, and nearly 50% of the class receives it.

Leave more about how to get a Harvard MBA Scholarship.

In general, most of the best MBA programs in the USA offer merit-based scholarships. Apart from that, targeted scholarships like diversity scholarships are also provided by business schools.

Here is an article that covers the list of scholarships available for Indian and International students at Top business schools.

Other Financial Aids available for Indian Students

According to Nishant, a Columbia Business School student, there are various funding opportunities available at Columbia. “Most of the Indian students that I know have scholarships, which can range from 20%-80%.” He also states that in terms of assistantships, opportunities are available where you can apply for a thesis assistant or teaching position. These options are well paid and can take care of your daily or rent expenses.

In addition, there are education loans that you can apply for in the USA. Here is an article on How you can get a student loan for an MBA in USA.

A high GMAT score can help you get a high scholarship amount. Here are some success stories of students who got an admit into the best MBA programs in the USA with scholarship:

Students can also get financial aid through fellowships. Here is an article on Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship, where 3 Indians get 70 lakhs each to study at Stanford GSB MBA program.


MBA Salary in USA

As per the NACE Salary Survey, the average starting salary for MBA grads in the Class of 2020 will be $79,043 – more than $20,000 higher than the average starting salary projection for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business.

MBA Salary in USA

Besides, this number can change drastically if you get into the best MBA programs in the USA. For example, the average base salary for Stanford MBA graduate 2019 is $152,503.

From the table below, the average base salary for the Best MBA programs in the USA is above 100K. Apart from the base salary, US companies tend to offer a signing bonus.

According to Corporate recruiters Survey 2019, more than half of US companies provide singing bonuses. The median signing bonus for an MBA in the USA is $10,500.

 Business Schools in USA 

MBA Salary in USA Average/Mean Base ( Class 2019)

Stanford GSB $152,503
Wharton School of Business $150,000
Kellogg School of Management $125,606
Booth School of Business $145,000
MIT Sloan School of Management $140,000
Harvard Business School $148,705
UC Berkeley (Haas) $140,000
Columbia Business School $150,000
Yale School of Management $127,100 (2018)
NYU (Stern) $140,000
Virginia (Darden) $135,168
Dartmouth Tuck $140,000
Duke (Fuqua) $135,397
Michigan (Ross) $109,578
Cornell (Johnson) $131,150
UCLA (Anderson) $106,955 (2018)
USC (Marshall) $217,495
Texas-Austin (McCombs) $125,000
CMU (Tepper) $126,250
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) $125,000

Here is an article on how to get into top business schools.

Read Top companies to work for in 2020:

Additional Benefits post MBA in the USA

US companies are most likely to offer health coverage, retirement, and work/life balance. Here are some of the compensation benefits offered by US companies:


Here are a few articles related to MBA Salary that you might find useful:


Aspiring to pursue your MBA from top business schools?  A high GMAT score can set you apart from the competition. Start your GMAT Preparation with the most reviewed online GMAT prep company. Try out our FREE Trial Today!


MBA in USA: Visa Requirements

To pursue MBA in USA (full-time), you require an F-1 student visa, which allows you a 12 months Optional Training program (OPT). The program will enable you to work and stay in the united states for 12 months after your graduation.

MBA in USA Visa Requirements

You can even increase your OPT if you have STEM-certification for your degree. A STEM MBA graduate will be eligible for 36 months of OPT.

In the recent past, many MBA aspirants have decided against pursuing an MBA in the USA. This is because of the negative news around the H-1B visa.

However, the current sentiment regarding H-1B is bad for the IT outsourcing companies but excellent news for MBA students. It’s even better if you are aiming for the top 30 business schools in the United States.

Read these articles to have a better understanding of post-MBA visa in united states:


STEM Programs at Best MBA programs in USA

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In the recent past, many business schools have embraced STEM-designation.

As mentioned earlier, a STEM-certified MBA program offers 36 months OPT. Thus, you get to stay and work in the United States for an additional 24 months without an H-1B visa.

According to the GMAC application survey 2019, 44% of programs that were STEM certified reported an increase in international applicants.

The federal government in 2016 created the STEM-designated degree program to address the shortage of qualified workers in STEM fields that are estimated to grow more than a million jobs by 2024. Thus, a graduate with a STEM degree will have more opportunities in the US job market.

The below table mentions the STEM programs offered by best MBA programs in the USA:

Business School STEM MBA Certification
Columbia Business School Entire Full-Time MBA program
Stanford GSB Entire Full-Time MBA program
Harvard Business school Management Science track in Full-time MBA
Michigan Ross STEM-Designated Track
NYU Stern Entire Full-Time MBA program
Yale SoM STEM-MBA concentration
Dartmouth Tuck Management Science and Quantitative Analysis
UNC Kenan-Flagler STEM Concentration
Northwestern Kellogg Management Science
Wharton School of Business Majors in full-time MBA: Statistics, Actuarial science, Business Analytics; Business Economics & Public Policy; Business, Energy, Environment & Sustainability; Operations, Information, and Decisions
UC Berkeley Hass MBA (All programs)
CMU Tepper MBA (All programs)
Chicago Booth Entire Full-Time MBA program
Simon Business School MBA (All programs)
MIT Sloan Entire Full-Time MBA program
Purdue – Krannert School of Management MS Marketing, MS business analytics & information management, MS Finance, MS Global Supply chain management, MS Economics
Wisconsin School of Business MBA in Operations and Technology Management, MBA in supply chain management
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth MBA in Business Analytics
University of Notre Dame MBA/MS in Business Analytics Dual degree
Tippie College of Business Masters in Finance
Whitman School of Management Masters in Finance
Darden Virginia Specialization in Management science full-time MBA
Georgetown (McDonough) Management science major in full-time MBA
Indiana Kelley Five majors in Full-time MBA: Business analytics, finance, marketing, accounting, and supply chain management
UC-Davis Entire Full-Time MBA program
Olin Business School Entire Full-Time MBA program


Multicultural Environment at the Best MBA Programs in USA

Diversity of cultures is celebrated broadly on university and college campuses across the United States.

The country is often described as a nation of immigrants, and the MBA colleges see great value in what an international student brings to the educational experience in terms of their languages, cultures, and tradition.

Diversity at best mba programs in USA

Best MBA programs in the USA are increasingly promoting culture and diversity.

For example, Stanford GSB states that it is committed to creating inclusive spaces for its members to learn with each other and celebrate the power of diversity. 43% of its incoming class of 2021 consists of international students.

Learn how do business schools evaluate diversity.

The below table represents the percentage of international students for the best MBA programs in the USA:


International Students

Stanford GSB 43%
Wharton School of Business 30%
Kellogg School of Management 32%
Booth School of Business 31%
MIT Sloan School of Management 41%
Harvard Business School 37%
UC Berkeley (Haas) 35%
Columbia Business School 47%
Yale School of Management 44%
NYU (Stern) 24%
Virginia (Darden) 33%
Dartmouth Tuck 38%
Duke (Fuqua) 37%
Michigan (Ross) 27%
Cornell (Johnson) 32%
UCLA (Anderson) 33%
USC (Marshall) 32%
Texas-Austin (McCombs) 20%
CMU (Tepper) 35%
UNC (Kenan-Flagler) 17%

Here is a list of related articles on Top business schools in:


Did you know that a GMAT score of 730+ yields incremental $500K in ROI? Start your GMAT Preparation with the most reviewed online GMAT prep company. Try out our FREE Trial Today!


How much does MBA in USA cost?

The MBA cost for top MBA programs in USA can range from $93,768 – $237,288.

What exam is required for MBA in USA?

Two predominant exams that aspirants need to undertake are GMAT and GRE.

How long is an MBA in the USA?

Generally, a full-time MBA takes two years to complete. However, students can opt for a one-year program also.

What GMAT score is required to get into best MBA programs in USA?

The average GMAT score for the incoming class of 2021, at the top 20 business schools ranges between 687-734.

People who read this article also read

Let's discuss further - What's your take?