Skip to main content

Can I Get an MBA Without a Business Background?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Many students with undergraduate degrees in majors outside of business wonder if they can get into an online MBA program and be successful.

The answer is yes in both cases and sometimes — in graduate school and in the workplace — non-business majors are highly desired and certainly very successful.

The roster of incredibly successful entrepreneurs and business professionals who pursued non-business majors as undergraduates is impressive and includes:

  • Peter Thiel, PayPal cofounder, philosophy major;
  • Danielle Sheer, Carbonite vice president, existential philosophy major;
  • Vince Broady, Thismoment CEO, religion major.

The critical thinking skills that come with a wide range of degrees, including virtually all liberal arts degrees, serve MBA students and business professionals well. Broady noted that with his major in religion, he is able to see a much bigger perspective than many in business due to his knowledge of how religions have evolved and changed over the centuries.

The sought-after skills

It’s worth noting that the skills companies look for in new hires are skills that any serious student will acquire while earning an undergraduate degree. At the top of this list are the ability to make sound decisions and solve problems; communication skills; the ability to obtain and process information; and the ability to plan, organize and prioritize, among others. These are also the skills that will help make a student successful in graduate business school.

Further, if you don’t have an undergraduate business degree and are at a place in your career where it makes sense to earn an MBA, you need to know that business schools value diversity in their programs. Accepting students who possess a variety of undergraduate degrees enriches the program for all of the students. Students can get an interesting and challenging assortment of perspectives on issues when other disciplines and areas of study are represented in classes.

Foundation classes offered

Because schools create diversity in their programs and want all students to be successful, they offer foundation business courses that prepare non-business majors for an MBA program. When students hit their core MBA courses, they don’t have to spend time getting up to speed on topics or knowledge that is specific to business.

Typically, areas covered in these foundation courses include accounting for managers, principles of economics, foundations of marketing, foundations of management and statistical foundations.

Applicants choosing to earn an MBA will find that almost any undergraduate degree is accepted when applying for graduate business school. If you have a desire to sharpen your business skills, don’t let a non-business background stop you from doing so.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online MBA program.


Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Click on the link below to request more information regarding the UTRGV Graduate Programs.

Request More Information