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USA business schools accepting second MBA applicants from India

Written by Sameer Kamat

It’s a fact that many Indians who already have an MBA from India under their belt feel the need for an international MBA at some point of time during their career. These candidates may have already gone through the rigorous two-year MBA program quite early, sometimes immediately after completing their undergraduate studies. They may also have a good brand name (like IIM) on their resume. The need for a second MBA after IIM (or any of the numerous other MBA colleges in India) stems out from the fact that an international MBA differs greatly from what our local MBA institutions have to offer. So rather than getting a second MBA from ISB, those who already have an Indian MBA prefer going abroad.

Firstly, the idea of going for an MBA without any work experience, though common and a popular trend in India, isn’t the norm for an MBA abroad. Many of the best international MBA programs make work experience mandatory. Those who do get in without formal work-experience have something really unique to add to the diversity of the MBA class profile.

Reasons for a second MBA after IIM or other MBA colleges in India

Though the candidate would have benefitted greatly from an early MBA, due to lack of industry knowledge, the ability to relate business concepts to the real world would be missing. International MBA programs focus on the diversity in the class. This means that you get to interact with a lot of professionals from various countries as well as a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. This enhances the learning experience and helps develop networking ties across the globe.

For those who wish to change career track after a few years of working in a certain field and move on to highly demanding and competitive fields like strategy consulting or investment banking in the top-tier firms, a second international MBA may look like the need of the hour.

The other reasons may include a desire to relocate abroad, get some international exposure and obtain a global perspective.

Though all international business schools may not open their doors to 2nd MBA aspirants, there are still a sizeable number of top schools which accept second MBA applicants. These candidates need to do a good job at being able to justify the need for a second MBA when they already have one. The essays (and specifically the ‘Why second MBA’ essay) need to be well-thought-out and you need to clearly outline how a second MBA would help you achieve what an earlier MBA couldn’t.

Which schools accept second MBA applicants

Michigan Ross School of Business, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton School of Business, NYU Stern mention on their website that those with a previous MBA degree may apply. However candidates need to provide sufficient reasons for doing their same.

Darden School of Business admits student for a second MBA provided the previous MBA was from a non-AACSB accredited institution. Majority of the Indian MBA institutions do not come under this category, so candidates can apply.

At the Columbia Business School, candidates with a previous MBA degree can apply to the Columbia Executive MBA Program.

At Johnson (Cornell University), those with an advanced degree are recommended the one-year accelerated MBA program.

Kellogg is another top brand that accepts 2nd MBA candidates for their one-year accelerated MBA program.

Smeal College of Business does not accept U.S. MBA grads. However international students may be considered eligible for applying to the program.

At Goizueta Business School, U.S. MBA grads cannot apply. Though the website mentions that exceptions would be considered on a case-by-case basis, there’s not much information provided regarding international applicants.

Kelley MBA also accepts second MBA applicants. Our friend Nitin, just confirmed this in the comments below.

Rotman MBA might also consider 2nd MBA applicants on a case-by-case basis. (Thanks for the input, Ashish)

There are schools outside the U.S. that open to 2nd MBA applicants. For instance a second MBA from INSEAD (from their Paris & Singapore campus) is a definite possibility. So’s a 2nd MBA from ISB.

Bschools that don’t accept second MBA applicants

Some b-schools like Berkeley Haas School of Business, Tuck School of Business, Vanderbilt Owen graduate school of Business, Duke Fuqua, Michigan State Broad College of Business and Illinois clearly state that they would not be able to accept candidates with a previous MBA degree.

A lot of other top MBA universities, though known to admit international candidates already holding an MBA degree, do not provide clear information about this. So the best bet would be to send across a query to the admissions team informing them about the institution you have done your first MBA from and check with them if you’re eligible to apply. Go ahead only after receiving a confirmation. This would save you a lot of heartburn later.

Before you apply, be sure of what your expectations from a second MBA degree would be. This will also help you frame your Why second MBA essay in a convincing manner.

- Would an extra MBA make a real and significant difference to your career profile?
- Would it be worthwhile investing a whole lot of money and another one or two years when you have already gone down that road earlier?

If you are wholly convinced that a second MBA after IIM (or other Indian MBA universities) is certainly going to be beneficial, do your research on the colleges wheer you would best fit in and where you would be able to meet your career objectives.

As always, do not assume that this post is comprehensive or accurate when you are reading this post. So whether you are planning for a 2nd MBA from ISB or from an international MBA program abroad, use this list as a starting point and carry out your independent research before applying.

Are you aware of other international programs within the U.S. and in Europe that accept second MBA applicants? Please share them in the comments section below.


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Sameer Kamat

About Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball | Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter @mba_cb | Facebook


32 Comments

  1. nitin vig   |  Monday, 21 January 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Hey Sameer,

    Great article. You can add Kelley to the list.

    nitin

  2. Sameer Kamat   |  Monday, 21 January 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Done, Nitin bhai.

    Btw, for those who joined us late, Nitin manages the Kelley MBA forum on our site.

  3. Ashish   |  Friday, 01 February 2013 at 5:30 pm

    you can also add NYU Stern (Non US MBA) and Rotman (case on case basis) to the positive list

  4. Sameer Kamat   |  Friday, 01 February 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks, Ashish. NYU was already there in the list. Just added Rotman to the main post.

  5. Ashwin   |  Sunday, 30 June 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Duke (Fuqua School of Management) does not accept candidates for a second round of MBA

  6. Sameer Kamat   |  Sunday, 07 July 2013 at 8:14 am

    Thanks, Ashwin. Added to the list.

  7. Ashish   |  Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I am starting my application process again. Few more schools that accept 2nd MBA apps:
    Richard Ivey, Canada
    Foster
    Georgia – Scheller: You will have to use optional essay to explain the need for 2nd MBA
    Berkeley Haas School of Business will accept 2nd MBA as long as your degree in India is Post Graduate Diploma
    Kenan Flagler
    Carlson: You will have to use optional essay to explain the need for 2nd MBA

    Schools in ‘No’ list:
    CMU Tepper
    Goizueta Business School: Ad-com’s response; ‘Typically, we do not admit students who already possess a Master’s Degree. However, if you are able to explain the vast difference between your current degree and that of the degree you wish to obtain at Emory on your application, you may be considered.’

  8. Ashish   |  Tuesday, 20 August 2013 at 6:58 pm

    1 more addition to ‘Yes’ list:
    Oxford – Said Business School

  9. Sameer Kamat   |  Friday, 23 August 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for sharing the details, Ashish.

  10. Karan   |  Sunday, 06 October 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Hi,

    I’ve got an small query. I’ve completed my MBA in 2012 (Marketing & HR), been working for an BTL Agency in India, however I’m not satisfied with the kind of profile / companies / packages been offered. Was hoping if you could please advise some specialization course which i can pursue to get an additional advantage over on it.

    Your reply would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Karan

  11. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Karan: You already have an MBA degree. For most folks, that’s the final degree. Unless there are industry specific certifications that are needed for clients and employers to take you seriously, no point in chasing more courses.

    P.S. For the benefit of others wondering what BTL is – it stands for Below The Line Advertising. It involves targetting a niche (as opposed to a mass market) audience to accomplish marketing objectives e.g. raising brand awareness.

    Confession: I had no clue what BTL meant and looked it up in Wikipedia

  12. abhinag   |  Friday, 11 October 2013 at 6:04 am

    Hi Sameer, I am Abhinag. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Finance at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am specializing in corporate finance and asset management. Which MBA would you suggest me (1 year vs 2 year) and also do Indian candidates with a specialized masters degree in finance be viewed favorably by the admission committees of top 20 after I gain 3-4 years of workex?

  13. Sahil   |  Wednesday, 23 October 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Here’s what’s posted on Berkley Haas School of Business website:

    “University policy prohibits awarding of duplicate degrees. If you have an MBA or comparable degree from an institute of higher education, your application will be ineligible for consideration.”

    However, there are some exceptions in which case your application can be considered. You can find them on the FAQs page. However, as a Second MBA applicant, I would prefer not to apply to a school with so many criteria.

  14. Sameer Kamat   |  Friday, 01 November 2013 at 7:54 am

    @Abhinag: An additional Masters degree is definitely an advantage, specially if it is directly aligned with your experience and post MBA aspirations. With 3-4 years experience, you’d still be in the sweet spot for 2 year MBA in USA.

    @Sahil: Thanks for the views. In fact, in our original article you’ll find Berkeley Haas as the first name in the section about bschools that don’t accept second MBA applicants. Don’t worry, there are plenty others that’ll be of interest. Good luck!

  15. GAURAV   |  Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 5:17 am

    Hi,
    I did an MBA from IBS hyderabad (marketing) and got a campus placement in Havells in Sales and marketing . was there for 1 year and then had been working in Philips Lighting for more than 2 years in sales . Have got one promotion also in Philips and i am a deputy manager now. But the thing is people from IIM’s etc join as Managers and then move to higher roles of product managers and marketing managers while I am still in a frontline sales role where i handle distributors and their offroll sales team. It feels even after an MBA from no so bad college , I am far too behind from these tier 1 guys. I want to give it back to them . By next Feb ie 2015 I will have a 4 year work ex on papers. Should I go for an international MBA. If yes then please suggest if my candidature is good enough and where all I can make it as PHILIPS is an internatinally renowned name.

  16. Ashley   |  Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hello Sameer, Does a PGDBA from a reputed Indian B-school completed through distance education also count as an MBA degree for the US B-schools?

  17. Abhishek Gupta   |  Monday, 10 March 2014 at 11:08 am

    Hi Sameer

    After reading your article i have a query .

    I did a 21 months full time certificate program(PGPBM) in Marketing.After completing this certificate program i was placed in world’s largest battery manufacturing company and now i have 4 years of sales and marketing experience in channel and institutional sales.I want to go for another MBA in Marketing from one of the top US university.
    Can i apply for top MBA programs in USA?

  18. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 13 March 2014 at 6:37 pm

    @Gaurav: At the end of the day, it comes down to demand and supply. When the elite institutions start flooding the market with their grads, tier-2/3 guys face the heat. This is one of the primary reasons for folks heading back to bschool. Sales and marketing would be a good differentiator when you apply.

    Ashley: You’ll find this useful – MBA programs that accept correspondence courses & distance education degrees

    Abhishek: I’m not aware of that course, but it sounds like a variation of an MBA. So list in the blog post above would be applicable.

  19. Mohit narain   |  Friday, 14 March 2014 at 11:51 am

    I am persuing my bbe from bit mesra, patna campus. After completing my gradguation degree I want to apply for b-schools in usa, newzeland, singapore, france. So if I crack gmat, and other competitive exams will these university give a chance to do persue my mba programme.

  20. Hari   |  Friday, 04 April 2014 at 6:04 am

    HI Sameer,

    I’ve been following mbacrystallball for quite some time and should admit that you guys are doing awonderful job, helping people with very high career aspirations. Kudos !!!

    Im an MBA grad from BIM, Trichy. After completion, I’ve joined a IT consulting firm and has been here for more than 4 years now. Have taken a few overseas assignments as well and travelled to US twice. At some point of time, I always have this feeling that the Job Im doing right now (ERP solution consultant) doesn’t actually match the reason why i wanted an MBA after my B.Tech(IT) graduation. I always wanted to do business/ strategic consulting and have aspirations to settle in US.

    So, Im planning for a second/ executive MBA now. Do you think, my profile will attract the admissions committee in top US universities? will it be worth for me to leave my monthly six-digit gross salary and take a second MBA from the US?

    I’m yet to start my preparation for the GMAT and your answer will be of great value to me.

    Regards,
    Hari

  21. Sameer Kamat   |  Tuesday, 29 April 2014 at 12:14 pm

    @Mohit: You need 3-4 years experience for the good MBA programs. Don’t rush in when you aren’t ready.

    @Hari: ‘Aspiring to settle in the US’ is not a strong enough rationale, I’m afraid. Also, IT to strategy consulting is a pretty radical shift (though many do achieve it). You’d have to work more towards building a credible story to convince Adcoms.

  22. anurag   |  Tuesday, 29 April 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Sameer,

    I am doing the PGPPM (post graduate program in public policy and management) program from IIM bangalore and want to do a US MBA.
    I have around 7.9 years of work ex in the natural resource industry and am 31 yrs of age.
    my key queries would be:

    1) is that possible ?
    2) are their schools that offer an RA/TA with full scholarship in the US ?
    3) My experience spans operations/research and consulting/business&financial analysis and I have done CFA -1.

    Look forward to your updates.

    Cheers,
    Anurag

  23. Sammy   |  Monday, 26 May 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I have done an indian MBA post engineering and have 3 years of post MBA experience in india with a global well reputed MNC. The problem lies that this role will entail very little global experience. I also need to relocate to the US within the next few years owing to family compulsions.

    My question to you is on my MBA application – > Can I hide my indian MBA. I had been working at an NGO during my MBA days part time. I have sufficient documentation to substantiate that. Will that be seen as misrepresentation ? Can I show my 2 year MBA as work experience at an NGO

    This may sound weird but I am sure this would not be the first time anyone is doing that. I know people who have hidden their educational time to show it as work ex (startup / friend’s start up) applying for positions where the MBA is not relevant.

  24. Tushar   |  Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Dear sameer,

    I have done my full time MBA in marketing and operations from FSM Delhi and currently working in oil and petrochemical sector. My pre and post MBA experience would b 7 yrs now. But I am still looking out for that niche in market for myself. Hence thinking of doing an executive MBA from IIM A or ISB. Any suggestions’???

  25. Sameer Kamat   |  Wednesday, 04 June 2014 at 7:47 pm

    @Anurag: B-schools do offer Research and Teaching Assistantships (RA / TA). However, if you are still working on your PGP degree, it’ll be tough to justify another MBA in quick succession. And the age would be a hurdle too.

    @Sammy: You are talking about mis-representing facts in your application. This is not just unprofessional, but unethical as well. Others you know might’ve done it, but it’s never a good idea to build a new career on the foundation of lies.

    @Tushar: If you have a strong rationale for the second MBA, give it a shot.

  26. HARISH   |  Monday, 09 June 2014 at 9:20 am

    Dear Sameer,

    I think i have a unique scenario here . I did my undergrad from India . However, immediately after that I went to us to do my MBA .The university the graduated is not in the top 30 . Now after working for 7 years I know how I want to grow professionally . In order to do that getting into a good B school will a very strong option. However, my dilemma is what are the universities that allow student to get a second MBA here in US. If so what are they looking for .

  27. Jedy   |  Wednesday, 25 June 2014 at 10:53 am

    Hi Sameer,

    I have done an Indian MBA (Tier 2 Institute) post my Engineering and landed up in Tata Motors as a sales and marketinng manager, after 3 years of experience i am planning for my 2nd MBA from ISB. Does ISB allow 2nd MBA?

  28. Animesh   |  Thursday, 26 June 2014 at 7:39 am

    Dear Sameer,

    I have Bsc science and MBA Marketing/Sales degree from a 2-tier institute under my belt. Have around 4 years of hardcore sales experience in IT/ITES service industry, however I am not satisfied with current profile. I want to take my career to next next level.

    I am confused whether to opt for a 2nd MBA from reputed institute in India or for a super specialization from top colleges or 1 year MBA for executives . Please share your views with some insights on the best options of institutes. Considering my background, what super specializations will you recommend?

  29. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 28 June 2014 at 11:34 am

    @Harish: You sure can go for a second MBA. You’d need a clear, credible and practical justification for it though.

    @Jedy: We’ve mentioned this in the blog post. ISB accepts second MBA applications.

    @Animesh: A specialisation will push you further into another niche, and I’m guess that’s what you want to get away from. If you are looking for a long term career in India, most industries would expect you to move into a managerial cadre. Before you jump into another degree, a little more introspection needed, bro.

  30. Vibhor   |  Friday, 11 July 2014 at 11:29 am

    Dear Sameer,
    Currently I am persuing my bachelor’s degree from Delhi University. I want to do foreign MBA but as they require around 4 years of working experience, so is it worth to work for that much time or should I go for an Indian MBA and then doing a foreign MBA ..? And will they consider it good doing an Indian MBA and can it substitute for less working experience..?

    Looking forward to your reply. Thank you. And I am a big fan of your book ‘Beyond the MBA Hype’.

    Vibhor

  31. Anand   |  Friday, 15 August 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Dear Sammer
    Is age also a bar while applying for second MBA or Exe MBA in US sine u mentioned the same to Anurag.

    @Anurag: B-schools do offer Research and Teaching Assistantships (RA / TA). However, if you are still working on your PGP degree, it’ll be tough to justify another MBA in quick succession. And the age would be a hurdle too.

  32. Sameer Kamat   |  Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 5:17 pm

    @Vibhor: As far as possible, don’t end up in the second MBA situation. Too much time and money at stake. Go for one that you think will truly help.

    @Anand: Age in general is a bar, irrespective of whether it the first MBA or second. However, they make appropriate concessions for folks who’ve spent more time in the academic world.

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