USA MBA accepting 15 years of education from Indian universities

Many US business schools and top universities expect applicants to have completed 16 as opposed to 15 years of education. In India, apart from fields such as engineering, medicine and architecture, graduation in many popular disciplines require 15 years of education.

This post is for those MBA aspirants who have completed their graduation in India in science, arts, commerce or any undergraduate stream that follows a 12+3 pattern. These candidates may have landed a great job or successfully launched their own venture or made it big with their family business, so never considered studying further. Should a three years bachelor’s degree (or 15 years of formal education) act as a deterrent while applying for an MBA abroad?

The answer is ‘No’. A lot of schools do accept applications from candidates having 15 years of education. While evaluating applications, the admissions committee looks at you as a complete package rather than focusing on just 1 single aspect, so if the rest of your application is strong, you may still have a shot at the top schools.

A few candidates, in order to match their academic credentials with professional courses (like the MBA), go to the extent of completing another year in a post-graduate program only for the sake of putting it on the application and satisfying the admission requirements listed on the university website.

However, candidates need to think hard on whether this one year of additional effort is truly justified. Instead of taking such remedial steps to fix the issue, a better approach would be to spend this useful time focusing on the bigger picture. Get a high GMAT score, add some diversity and depth to your work profile so that your application becomes impressive. The number of years of education is just a qualifying criteria and if the school mentions on its website that a three years undergraduate course is acceptable (and many do), there’s no need to worry about this aspect any more.

Given below is a short list to get you started.

[Editor’s note: Article last updated on 10th July 2019]

Top USA B-schools that accept 15 years of education from India

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  4. Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business
  5. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  6. NYU Stern School of Business
  7. University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
  8. Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
  9. Columbia Business School
  10. Yale School of Management

At the time of writing this post, these schools were accepting Indian applicants with 15 years of education degrees. Double check if they still do.

Also do some more research as there will surely more schools to add to this list. So if your dream school is not listed here, you need to visit the concerned university website and check out their FAQ section where most of such questions are answered. If you still have queries unanswered, send across an email to the admissions committee and get a definite answer.

Most of the colleges mention on their website that three year undergraduate degree programs are common in the U.K. and India and this is should not be a problem. Some schools like Columbia Business School state that the applications would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis which means that you should emerge as a strong candidate based on your work experience or extracurricular. Also read Universities in USA and Canada accepting 3 years Bachelor’s Degree

What if the USA MBA college does not accept 15 years of education?

If you are sure that the schools (in the USA or elsewhere) you are interested in do not accept applications from those with 15 years of Indian education, the show can still go on. There are many good schools (including the ones listed earlier) that would be more flexible with their entry rules. Check them out and build your selection of schools accordingly.

What’s more important than the school itself, is the ultimate goals you have in mind. If another good school can get you there, why get so stressed with universities who won’t open their doors for you because of this little technicality?

Some students get so carried away and spend a lot of time and energy trying to find workarounds to make their profile a fit for a particular school that needs more than 15 years of education. In this pursuit they tend to sacrifice on the other aspects that could be taken care of and thus make them a good candidate for some other top business school. So finally it’s a call for the applicant to take whether they would wish to go ahead with their application with whatever educational qualification they have or study for an additional year to complete 16 years of education.

Also read:
B.Com grad with multiple admits reviews ApplicantLab, MBA Crystal Ball and other consultants
MBA after B.Com: ISB with scholarship for commerce graduate
How this bachelors graduate went from McKinsey to Investment Banking

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// Sameer Kamat
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me: Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube


  1. deepak says:

    Hello Sameer

    How about 1 Year IIM Lucknow Certification program. They are costing around 3 Lakh and provide you Training for 2 days a week and Alumni Status to learn Global Business Management. This is based on entrance test and no need for GMAT or other scores.

    Can you guide is it worth spending suhc amount on IIM L – for Certification as its not a degree program. My aspiration is settle abroad and imporve business education.

  2. Sameer Kamat says:


    Part-time programs are not meant to facilitate any significant career change.

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘improving business education’. But if you are expecting that a part-time certification program will help you settle abroad, then it will be an impractical expectation.

  3. Siya says:


    I am currently in my 4th year in Manipal Institute of Technology. In my second year, I took a branch that couldn’t handle and switched to information technology in the following year. My CGPA is 9.1, with my first year GPA = 7.2 and almost perfect GPA in the following semesters (expect my second year that was wasted) My GMAT score is 740. I have been involved with a voluntary student organization and worked in the fields of public relations. I also helped starting a college club and leading it. I have done an research internship in Poland and volunteered on an AIDS project in Indonesia. I have also helped weak fellow students by taking extra classes for them. Back in my home town, I helped start a volunteering club which served to educate under-privileged children, namely in the fields of arithmetic and computer skills. I speak 4 Indian and 3 foreign languages.

    Do I stand a chance at Harvard 2+2? Or Stanford? Will that wasted year cost me too dearly?
    Thanks a lot.

  4. Sameer Kamat says:


    Harvard and Stanford are dream schools for most applicants and for that reason also the most competitive in the world. When it comes to dream schools, the only way to find out is by applying.

    Along with these schools, you should also include other MBA programs that seem more practical.

    But very few schools have the Harvard 2+2 equivalent (another option closer back home is the ISB YLP progam).

    For most other top MBA programs in the US, you’d need to work in the industry and get some work experience. Some folks manage to get in without experience (read this post –> Story of an MBA dropout – An IITian goes Beyond The MBA Hype), but those are exceptions.

  5. Satheesh says:

    If you have good experience, Executive MBA at USC Marshall School of Business is a great choice.

  6. ram says:

    hi sir,
    i have done my 3 yr from du and now i plan to do a 1yr pg diploma(FINANCE) from AIMA(just to complete 16 yrs of studies).Will this diploma be counted in US schools?

  7. Sameer Kamat says:


    I’m not familiar with the program you are referring to. But in general, part-time or distance education programs may not be considered on par with regular / full-time / mainstream degrees. So do your homework rather than assuming that it’ll help you complete 16 years of education.

    Also, read the last paragraph of the blog post once again. A better option would be for you to check other bschools in USA, UK, Singapore where 15 years of education from India will not be a problem.

  8. giri says:

    I have got an offer letter from Warwick business school for their 1yr Msc in management program. Is this a good program? will I get good job opportunities with this degree? Should I leave it and try for Mba instead from symbiosis pune?

  9. giri says:

    another thing I am at the moment doing my graduation final yr from DU. I have no work expirience. and I am doing psychology

  10. Sameer Kamat says:


    An MSc in management and a regular international MBA are aimed at different profiles.

    Pyschology to management is a BIG jump. Remember that you’d have to convince employers too after you finish the next degree. No point in blindly going for another degree just for the heck of it.

    If you have no experience, I’d suggest working for a while so you realise which stream interest you more. Then you can take a call.

  11. ram says:

    Sir,can you tell me regular 1 yr pg diplomas in finance,ugc recognised,in delhi-NCR

  12. Sameer Kamat says:

    Ram, I’m not the right person to answer that as we focus only on GMAT based MBA programs.

  13. Rishabh says:

    I hav completed my bachelors in management studies from lala lajpatrai college of commerce and economics,mumbai. I am planning to do my mba from usa. I hav 1yr of work experience. But i have only 15yrs of education. I would really appreciate if you could let me with the names of the universities i can apply in for a reputed mba course.

  14. amit says:

    First of all… thanks for putting down such informative replies

    I am an Advertising professional with 6.5 years of work experience (out of which 4 years has been in a managerial role)
    I am now thinking about doing my MBA from UK and wanted to know whether it would be a right decision to invest 15-20L?? will it be helpful in providing me good career growth??

    I did my graduation from DU ( and my marks are not great..(its below 50%)… i dont wanna do MBA for the heck of it and think that doing it from top – 30 universities only matters

    My full profile is: from DU – 2003-2006
    PG Diploma in Mass Communication from Bhartiya Vidhya Bhawan (1 year)
    PGDM from AIMA – Weekend programe – CGPA – 3

    Now with the above information i think that my work ex is the major plus point..

    To make up for the shortfall in my grad i am also thinking of appearing for GMAT and scoring good in it (though Universities in UK doesnt that but it might just add more weight to my profile)

    Please help me in deciding how to go about this and also which universities should i be practically looking at


  15. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Rishabh: The names of the bschools are listed in the blog post. So all you need to do is scroll up :-)
    Btw, with 1 year work experience, I don’t think you should be applying to any of them.

    @Amit: I think you are grossly underestimating the cost involved in a good international MBA program (top 30 as you’ve mentioned). Even the Indian options (like ISB, IIMA PGPX) will be more expensive than the range you’ve shared.
    So a little more research and groundwork needed, Amit-bhai.

  16. Eva says:

    Hello, I have done, & 1 yr BEd & PGDIB from IIMT Delhi. Have 2 yrs of work experience in field of international Business; landed in US in h4 visa & is it worth doing a PG programme in Marketing, is it a zero possibility to land in a job here with marketing specialisation?. STEM is the eligible criteria for h1; so i should opt some finance related courses or not. Or is it better in Canada to get work permit?

  17. Dushyant says:

    I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree from Delhi University, my exams are scheduled to finish by the end of first week of June. I was looking around on the websites of all of these universities which you have mentioned and I found out that i will miss the deadlines if I start after my exams to study and appear for GMAT. Sir I have discussed this with a lot of people, some suggested me to submit the documents, transcripts and everything before the deadline with an extra letter in which i will be acknowledging them this issue and mentioning the date of GMAT exam which i will fix very soon. This will make me meet the deadline and the university will somewhat HOLD my application till that date and if i get a good result then the chances of getting admission is high.
    Do they accept such applications?
    Should i go for it and send it to the following univs?
    MIT Sloan
    NYU Stern

  18. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Eva: STEM (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for others reading this) isn’t the only arena where the US economy has jobs. But it does become difficult for international candidates to get certain roles. Marketing jobs are the tougher ones to bag, specially those that involve front ending. Right now, your plans appear to be pretty haphazard – going from Marketing to Finance, and from US to Canada. You’ll need to figure out what you really want first before you take up any educational course.

    @Dushyant: The problem here isn’t your GMAT score. It’s the lack of work-ex. Without work-experience, I don’t think you’d have a shot at any of the top schools you’ve listed. Try to get some corporate experience before you start looking at these programs.

  19. swati says:

    hello sir
    I am pursuing bachelors in business administration (BBA) from Gd Goenka world institute, India. the degree is awarded by Lancaster university UK. i am planning to do my mba from USA. After completing this course I will have 15 years of education. i wanted your advice on whether i should work after completing bba or look for a post graduation course. I have an option of doing post graduate diploma from the same college after completing bba. what do you think should i go for it? will it help me getting in good colleges?

  20. mallik says:

    hello sir ,
    im pursuing and by same way i am doing articleship near a charted accounting and many of them says that articleship will be accepted is it real sir…?

  21. Sanju says:

    Hello Sameer,

    I am Based in Almaty,Kazakhstan Now, been here for the last 5 years and before that was based in South EAST Asia with MAERSK Line.
    i finished my graduation in 2004 (B.A Sociology), and then been working with MAERSK in India and SIngapore and now in Central Asia working as Director- Operations for a Logistics company…
    I am now planning to get back to studies,looking at MBA in SCM in USA..and have started my GMAT preparations.I am looking at 2014 Autumn intake..
    For this since i have only 10+2+3 years oof education, will this be an issue for me?
    i am looking at Various Uni/colleges like Booth,W.P Carey,Smeal,Wisconsin UNI, as they all offer some good courses in SCM…
    Let me have your feedback on this please…
    Thank you..

  22. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Swati: I suggest getting out from the academic world and gaining some real world experience before you decide if you should head back into a class.

    @Mailk: Bschools like ISB clearly state that they don’t accept articleship as work-experience. There may be others that do. So you’ll have to check with the college / university that you are interested in.

    @Sanju: Chicago Booth, as listed in the blog post above, accepts 15 years of education. For the others you’d have to reach out to Smeal, Wisconsin etc to find out. It’ll be great if you can share your findings here.

  23. Mayank says:

    Hello Sameer,
    I’m in a Huge mess right now and want your help.
    I’ve just completed my Bcom from Osmania University, Hyderabad.
    So in order to make my education 16 years, I’m planning to pursue 1Year Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Finance) full time from ISBR, Bangalore.
    Will this be a wise thing to do? Will this be considered as the 16th Year of education?

  24. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Mayank: I don’t know about this program in particular. But if it’s the equivalent of an MBA, the other question you’d need to answer is why another MBA from abroad. So don’t rush into something just to chase the 16 years requirement.

  25. Anas says:

    Dear Sameer,

    I have got a job opportunity in US and would be moving to Arizona in a couple of months. My fiance has just completed her three year B Sc in Chemistry. She intends to continue her education but the missing one year seems like a deterrent. Due to location constrain we may not have an option to look for other universities which accept 15 year of education. If in worst case she has to do additional one year there, what are the options? Thanks in advance!!

  26. Sinan says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am from Navi Mumbai. I did my grad in commerce Mumbai Uni-2006 (54% agg) and later did an EPGSCM i.e. exe program in SCM from IIM-C (weekend V-sat programme) in 2010.
    My total work exp till date is 7 yrs all in SCM & currently working with a fortune 500 US based FMCG company as AM-SC. I have enrolled for IELTS for May exam date. Prep for GMAT will follow up post IELTS.
    I have been to US this year to lead & implement a project on distribution planning.

    I do not have 16yr edu pattern. Which colleges can I target (looking for MBA in SCM concentration) as some of my fav ones are at the start of the list & do I stand a realistic chance to get admitted to better unis by having a decent score above 600 or so..

    Also, how can you help for GMAT prep.. Pls revert back..


  27. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Anas: Congrats on the engagement and the international career opportunity. Don’t worry about your fiancee’s 15 years of education at this stage. Once she joins you in Arizona, she can hunt for good jobs and build up her experience. If the local MBA options don’t work out, there’d be other degrees that she can explore. Too early for you to start worrying about all that.

    For now, cherish and enjoy the good phase of life you are going through.

    @Sinan: If you are targetting the schools listed on this post, you’d have to do much better than a 600 GMAT score. We can’t directly help you with GMAT prep, but check out this online GMAT preparation course by GoGMAT. They have a free trial offer. Sign-up and see if you find it interesting

  28. Deepika says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I have completed my Business Management Bachelors degree and have 5 years of work experience in sales & marketing. I would like to work for a MNC however, majority of these are hiring candidates with a MBA qualification as a prerequisite.
    As a result, I have decided to pursue my MBA from USA. I am ideally looking for a 1 year course from one of the top 20 universities (if possible top 10) and would like to know the following:

    1. I’d like to specialize in International Marketing and work in the USA or Europe post graduation.
    2. I’d like to spend a semester at another campus, preferably somewhere in Europe where I can a) learn a new language or b) hone my French and/or Italian skills.
    3. I want the MBA to have a strong focus on entrepreneurship and strategy. In essence, I envisage upon become an entrepreneur in the long run. In fact, if the MBA has an option where you can choose to work for a start-up project then that would be great!
    4. On average, what GMAT score should I be aiming for to secure admission in one of the good universities?
    5. What qualities/academic credentials do I need to demonstrate in order to apply for a scholarship?

    I’d really appreciate your help and thank you in advance!

  29. sadhvi says:

    hey sameer
    im doing Bsc.(honors) Computer science from Delhi University,and i’m in 2nd year
    Wish to do MBA from US.

    Till next year i’ll complete 15 years of education and want to leave for MBA as soon as possible
    without wasting another year (to complete 16 years of education)
    My score till now is 70% (i.e 60+ is First class)

    The problem here is No work experience and 15 years education.

    What to do , if my only aim is MBA right now.?
    will i be considered without work experience??

    HELP! :'(
    No time, because i really need to start preparing for GMAT if there is a hope!


  30. raju says:

    sir i had compleated my in india totaly my study is 15 years i am eligable to my mba at us sir

  31. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Dipika: Most of the top schools have an average GMAT score of around 700 or higher. Indians generally score higher than this average. So you can do the math accordingly and aim for a good, competitive score. For scholarships, Adcoms will look at your academic grades, professional profile, goals and how you present your overall story (the last one is the trickiest, which is the area we come in).

    @Sadhvi: My view on this simple. Don’t go for an international MBA when you have no experience.

    @Raju: The main article addresses this question.

  32. ken says:

    hi sir
    I completed Bsc computer science (15 yrs education ) and working since three years as SAP consultant as I have work experience will I be able to apply for any college for MBA or still do I need to apply for colleges which accept application with 15yrs education .Help me with this

  33. ramesh.p says:

    I have completed Diploma in Marketing and I got one year experience in marketing and now am planning to apply for MBA in USA. What are the probability that colleges will accept 1yr experience?

  34. Deepika says:

    Thank you Sameer! I’d be really grateful if you could let me know of the Universities that have a strong emphasis on Entrepreneurship in a global environment.

  35. Deepika says:

    Hi Sameer, forgot to add that I have shortlisted the following Universities and would like your take on these:

    1. NYU Stern/HEC Dual MBA degree
    2. Instituto de Empresa International MBA
    3. University of Berkeley, California (HAAS)
    4. University of Chicago, Booth
    5. Columbia Business School
    6. UCLA

    I want your advice as to which University do you think would best suit my profile (given above) and yield optimum results in terms of a) starting up my own business venture in the luxury, media or technology sectors in the future and b) provide most global exposure.

    I was also wondering if you could give me some insight into the Strategy elective at MBA level, is this usually for those who aspire to work in management consultancy?

  36. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Ken: As the post explains, all schools don’t accept 15 years of education.

    @Ramesh: The top schools will need more experience. Typically, 4-5 years is the average at the start of the program.

    @Deepika: All the programs you’ve listed are good enough to give you a basic grounding in the skills that entrepreneurs need. The strategy elective isn’t meant only for consulting careers. The knowledge can be used in any role and any industry.
    If you are looking for a more indepth evaluation and personalised recommendations, you should consider taking up the MBA MAP.

  37. vishnu says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I have 15 years of education and i have very less percentage in my graduation. i also have 2 years of work experience. I am planning to do Post graduate in retails management its a 1 year program and i will do my best to get good marks.

    So do you think this program and a GMAT will get me under the 16 years of education bracket and get me into a top universities. I want to do MBA in Retail Management.


  38. Suruchi says:

    Hi Sameer, I have a work experience of 8 years in IT MNC and GMAT score 700. But my graduation marks is only 48% due to family issues happened that time. I have a keen interest in MBA in Consulting . Could you please let me know whether I am eligible for an MBA in India and outside India. Also let me know the best schools to apply. Really appreciate your help.

  39. Niger says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I studied till class 10 in india and migrated Singapore and did my tertiary and undergraduate education there. I did 3 year polytechnic diploma in Information Technology from one of the five polytechnics in Singapore and followed by bachelor degree. I have received two year exemption based courses taken during my diploma(Direct to Final year of the course and secured my UK degree-(Second class lower (part-time) while working full time.

    Natonality – Singaporean, Age 28
    Bsc Computer Engineering- UK University
    Work Experience- 7 yrs Product development Engineer- HP. Gmat 680
    Do stand any change of admission to following universities.

    pursuing post graduate qualification Frm NUS or SMU (One year Masters in IT) help to offset my undergraduate dilema. … pls advice..

  40. JR says:

    Would a distance learning course count towards the 16 year requirement for mba?

  41. Saket Sharma says:

    Sameer Sir you are doing a great job for us students and solving our queries :)
    I read the whole forum and really got some pretty good knowledge on the B school subject! Thanks a lot! :)
    My Profile being
    i am in my college senior year (3rd year) . I have work experience as
    a manager managing 10 employees in a pharmaceautical firm for 7months.
    An employee in a call centre firm(Kinda like tele marketing) for 3 months and then The team leader or Manager of 35employees for the next 8months.
    I write books . have written two yet 350 pages almost each(Not published yet) (accountancy hons score) 1st year -71%, 2nd year 73.4%.
    Gmat score – 710 ..(might appear again this year though to improve it)
    Do i stand a chance in the 2+2 hbs program or defferred in stanford,wharton,Yale,Isb YLP?
    I really want to rush with my career and all the enigma i generated from two years was to get into one of these top B schools! Which proved of good results and am happy with my work..The job experience etc! :)
    Thanks in advance Mr.Sameer.. Awaiting your respose which is indeed very important thankyou! :)

  42. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Vishnu: I’m not sure about the nature, format and reputation of the program you have in mind. So can’t comment. Don’t chase another degree just to put a tick mark on the pre-requisites for another degree.

    @Suruchi: If you have a genuine reason for the drop in grades, you can explain that in your application. Some schools have a minimum cut-off (e.g. first class or equivalent). Others are more flexible. Here’s a list of the best bschools for consultant jobs

    @Niger: We can’t talk about chances based on the info you’ve shared. It requires a deeper evaluation of your skills. We do that as part of the MBA MAP. See if you find it interesting.

    @Niger: I don’t think so. I’ve addressed this in an earlier comment.

  43. riya says:

    hi i have completed my undergraduation (bbm) in the last academic year may 2013. i would like to do my mba in washington .kindly provide the list of colleges in washington which accept 15 years of education

  44. Manish says:

    Sir i have done bsc in distance and i would like to know whether i m eligible to do mba in usa if i will secure good score in gmat. Plz sir provide me with the solution i m very tensed

  45. prateek says:

    sir i have completed this year now i want to pursue MBA from US but i am confused that should i work for 2-3 years or get into a 1 year full time university affiliated program to get 16 years of formal education ?
    Does a good work experience and a degree like CFA compensate for 16 years of formal education if i choose to work instead of joining a one year university program

  46. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Riya: Are you referring to Washington State or Washington D.C.? we’ve helped folks get into Georgetown in D.C. It’s a pretty good bschool.

    @Manish: Looks tough. But don’t take my word for it. Approach a few schools and explain to them why you are a good candidate, probably they’ll have ideas for you.

    @Prateek: I’d pick option 2. Work for a few years before applying. If a bschool has a strict policy of 16 years of work experience, then the quality and the variety won’t help you. Better to look at bschools where 15 years isn’t a constraint.

  47. Sanjeev says:

    hello Sameer sir,

    I finished my recently(2013 pass out) from osmania university hyderabad through distance mode bt that is nt mentioned anywhere in the final certificates also . So my total years of education goes upto 15yrs.. i just wanted to know am i eligible to do masters in computer science in USA is it possible ?? or is it possible if i complete one more year of education and then can i do MS in computer science ?? .. and are there any universities which accept 15 years of education for MBA .. nt the top universities .. an normal reputed universities will do .. is it worth doing MBA in a normal university .. normal in the sense universities apart from the highly rated ones …
    A reply would be helpful .. thanks in advance ..

  48. gaurav ginni says:

    i gave my bba exams lat month adn waitinf for my result.
    i m plannning to do mba in marketing in usa…
    nd for dat i \m looking for a job..
    i want to ask these question:
    1.Will i face any any diificulty in getting adm in mba since i have only 15 years of education?
    2.what type of experience will be rquired in getting adm in top 50 nd for how much time i have to work in order to get adm?
    kindly help me out….

  49. RAHUL says:

    Sir, i’m pursuing BBA, and i’m in 3rd year right now. I want to pursue MBA from USA next year. As you have listed some colleges that consider 15 years education. i want to know the 5 year experience that is required can be filled by the experience in family business?
    as we have a business of agencies and dealership, so I’ve experience of marketing and moreover i want to choose marketing field only. will it be helping me out?
    kindly reply soon sir……

  50. Shi says:


    If a university does require 16 years, will an mcom degree (correspondence) from mumbai university be valid?

  51. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Sanjeev: As long as you have the right expectations, you can target ‘normal’ (in your words) universities too, not just the top ones. But you might want to re-valiate whether you are eligible to apply and how those bschools view correspondence courses.

    @Gaurav: The blog post is written to address your first question. For most of the top bschools, the class average for work experience is 5 years.

    @Rahul: Family business experience is fine.

    @Shi: You should double-check this, but I feel that approach may not work. Most universities will expect a full-time degree.

  52. victor says:

    Dear Sameer – I did Bcom from osmania university with first class over 60%.I have over 12 years experience in finance and accounting worked for MNCs like GE. The experience includes a mix of managerial experience of close to 5 years. I am in mid 30s. Do I stand a chance of meeting eligibility criteria for business schools (may be top 50)in USA provided GMAT score is above 650 but below 700 ?. I am planning to take GMAT soon.Please advise.

  53. akash says:

    similar question to what “shi” asked above..but w.r.t H1B visa…
    Ive got 15 years of full time education and planning to do mcom from mumbai university (IDOL).
    now the question that I have is will this postgrad be conisdered for H1B visa or will i have to undergo 2 years of full time mcom? if poss pls reply fast because if this will be accepted for H1B..i will enroll myself for the same..and the deadline is nearing!!
    (if incase you dont know…can u pls revert me to someone who may know?? thanks in advance..)

  54. chintan says:

    i complete my BCA and i got a score in GRE 315 and TOFEL 85
    but my problem is my education is 15 year
    so can i get admission in usa for MS in computer science ?

  55. Prateek S says:

    I am doing job and have a experience of 3months. I am planning to write GMAT exam this feburary. My question is whether some of the college accept one year experience. As I want move ahead in my life in a planned way .

  56. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Victor: The primary hurdle in the eligibility process would be your 15 years of education. Apart from the list of bschools in this post, check out others that would accept the degree. Age could be another hurdle for schools where the average experience in the class is lesser.

    @Akash: Sorry, but I can’t advise on visa related matters.

    @Chinta: For MS programs, check the official websites.

    @Prateek: Plenty of lower ranked bschools will accept less (and nil) experience. But check out the market value of those degrees before applying.

  57. Maninder says:

    Hi Sameer ,

    I have 3 year regular Graduation BCA and 6.5 yrs of work experience as of now , i have also done Distance Education MCA from SMU .
    Will i be eligible for a MBA from a decent university in US , if US would be problem for my profile what other good options i have in Canada or UK.

    Please provide some insight on my case.


  58. Abhishek N says:


    I have completed my BBA in 2005 and i have work experience of almost eight years,

    I have been working with O&M and many other associations, NGOs etc.

    I am 30 yrs old and i want to do my MBA from USA ,

    My question is will my work experience count and make up for my 15 years of education.

    What is the GMAT , toefl score i should look at to get into colleges ranking from 10 to 50.

    Also which are good business schools specializing in advertising and retail management courses.

    Awaiting your kind reply


  59. Adheesh Malhotra says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am writing to you for my son. He has done his B.Com. And a post graduate diploma in Marketing Management. Please note this was done not to complete 16 years of education as then he had no plans of doing MBA from the US. He has no work experience but during his free time he has been taking tuitions. Now he in interested in pursuing MBA from the US. He will appear for the GMAT in the very near future. Please let me know the following:
    1. Is he eligible for any MBA with the above qualification?
    2. Will no work experience be a handicap?
    3. Any idea what he should score minimum to be eligible?

    I have so many questions, but your kind answers to the above will give me some start.

    Thank you

  60. Rashi says:

    I am doing Bachelors of commerce (Honours) from Delhi university and currently in the 2nd year. I scored 70% in the first year. I wanted to know the names of more schools in USA which accept 15 years of education and to which I can apply for Masters of Science in management and other commerce related fields like entrepreneurship or international business.
    Also, I would like to know if Masters of Science from UK has good jobs prospects in India and UK and if I should go for MSc from UK in case I don’t get into a good university for MSc in USA.

  61. prateek says:

    i have heard that only work experience in a listed company is counted while applying for an MBA abroad ,how true is it

  62. Tom says:

    sir i have completed (15 years only) this year now i want to pursue MBA from US sir plz tell which is the best option
    OPTION-1:- should i work for 2-3 years and then apply or
    OPTION 2 get into a 1 year full time university affiliated program to get 16 years of formal education ?
    OPTION 3 should i work for 2-3 years and get a degree like CFA compensate for 16 years of formal education if i choose to work instead of joining a one year university program

  63. Anurag says:

    Sir,I wil be graduating in April’14 and I want to go abroad for my masters in finance. (USA)
    I will have only 15 years of education.
    how do i go about it?

  64. riya says:

    hi sir,
    I have completed my bbm with computer application(15 yrs oly). I want pursue master in finance or master in accounting from usa.wat percent is my possibility for doing master degree,which are universities accepting 15yrs of education for masters .

  65. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Maninder: As you’ve got a regular Bachelors degree, many Bschools should be ok with it. The distance MCA may not get the same weightage though.

    @Abhishek: Work experience can’t stand in for the basic academic requirement.

    @Adheesh: With the Masters degree (I assume it was full-time), your son has the requisite academic pre-requisites for most bschools. However, the bigger issue here is the work experience. Not having any experience will eliminate most of the top MBA programs. Don’t push him to apply this year. A little patience will help him build a better profile and apply to reputed schools that have a real market value.

    @Rashi: Sure, you can apply to Masters in Science programs. But be aware that it isn’t easy to get jobs with experience, and even more difficult without experience.

    @Prateek: Not true. Good experience – irrespective of whether it is in publicly listed companies or private companies or startups – will be given due credit by the Admissions Committee.

    @Anurag: Start researching the top MFin programs. Check out their websites for application requirements.

    @Riya: This post focuses on MBA programs. For non-MBA options, you’ll have to carry out independent research and then take a call.

  66. Anuj says:

    hello sir,,i recently completed my bba and have started working with a firm..with 15 years of education and 1 year work ex..can i apply to a decent state university in the US…plz suggest some good b schools(state) that i can apply to…
    and do you think with all of this in hand my chances of getting accepted in a good b school?

  67. VIno says:


    I understand this article applies to MBA programs in the US. However, I have a questions regarding 15 years of education for pursuing masters program in the US. Most of the universities are insisting on 16 years of a degree equivalent to the US degree. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with 1.5 years of work experience in an investment bank. I’d like to do my MS in Information Systems in the US. Most of the decently ranked (not Ivy schools) universities with whom I have checked insist on 16 years. I am also in the process of getting my credentials evaluated by WES. My question is about doing a year in UK – Masters in Biz Intelligence- and using this with my Bachelor’s degree to apply in better schools in the US later. I don’t have great extracurricular activities to spice my resume with and in this short period of time, it might be difficult for me to do anything spectacular. I have a GPA of 3.04 (American standard) having received 83% in my undergraduation. Other than that and some work experience, I really don’t have much to boast about. So I thought a one year masters program in the UK will give me the advantage of 16 years that the US schools so badly need. Do US schools recognize UK masters program? I’d like to hear your view on this.

  68. kamal kumar says:

    I done my graduation by distance from india .But I have completed ICWAI(A professional course ) in India. which is recognised as equivalent to Post Graduate by UGC/AICTE whether i can do MBA from usa reputed universities. I came to understand that icwai is recognised for EB 2 visa by ucis .I dont know how far it is true

  69. Rachita Jain says:

    I am currently pursuing my Bpharm+Mba integrated course degree from NMIMS, Mumbai. It is a 5 year course and I am in my 3rd year. I want to pursue international marketing. Can you tell me how many years of work experience is required to do that course? And also which colleges provide this course in India as well as abroad.

  70. Jasleen says:

    i hv done my graduation from delhi university school of open learning with 49% and after that i hv also done 2 yr. pgdm from imt-cdl with 65% . Moreover I hv a work experience of more than 3years.
    I want to know the possibility of getting admission in usa or canada for an MBA degree.
    First whether its possible or no and secondly if it is then wat should be the minimum GMAT score i should target onto??

  71. RAM says:

    Hello Sir,
    Kindly,help me evaluate my profile if i am suitable for MBA in US.
    BSc Computers :-55 %
    Work Experience :- 8.5 yrs into IT GE / IBM ( I had financial problems while pursuing my .Hence, i had to work full-time given a professional opportunity Work Exp after grad is 3.5 and the remaining is before grad with a single backlog that was holding me )
    Request you to guide me with universities that accept and consider work experience in particular with well known companies at good designation.
    Reason to apply US universities
    1)One of the best nations to reside and live the culture.
    2)International exposure and interact with the best of students from all over the world.
    3)Recognized Degree with more practical knowledge achieved at studies that help a career to grow at a faster pace with a better understand goals tp pursue and achieve.

  72. sindhu says:

    Hello Sir,
    I am a pass out student of MBA(finance) &iam going to US with f2 visa status
    can f2 visa holder can do MS/MBA in US
    what is the procedure for doing Macc/MBA

  73. Neha says:

    Hello sir,
    I have done my graduation Bachelor in Commerce(hons.) from Mahatma Gandhi university which is open university and preparing to get admission in MBA regular 2 year course in india.I want to know-
    1.)Do stanford allow second mba with work exprience?
    2.)Do USA B-schools allow candidates graduate from open universities?
    3.)Kindly,tell me what are the preparations i have to make to get admission in Stanford with these qualifications ??

  74. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Anuj: We’ve covered the part about 15 years in the post above. On the work-experience front, if you are targetting the good schools, you should wait for a few more years.

    @Vino: The good UK programs are recognised across the world. Instead of looking at a Masters program as a stepping stone to the US universities, why not go for one final degree (based on your career preference) in the UK itself.

    @Kamal and Jasleen: You’d have to check directly with the bschools, as some might have strict policies about distance education degrees.

    @Rachita: If you are looking for a second MBA abroad, you’d need 4-5 years at the time of starting the course.

    @Ram: All the top bschools would give significant importance to work experience. So no issues there. However, you’ll have to explain the personal challenge story in the optional essay.

    @Sindhu: I’m not a visa expert, but I’m guessing you’d need to apply for a student visa before you start studying.

    @Neha: Yes, Stanford accepts second MBA applicants. Here’s a bigger list of USA business schools that accept second MBA applicants from India

  75. Chinmay says:

    Hello Mr. Sameer
    I have graduated from Symbiosis College (University of Pune) in the Commerce Stream with a First Class (64.5%) this year. I have done my Company Secretaries course (C.S.) and currently undergoing my 15 months management training (Compulsory CS training) with the Tata Group. I am also pursuing CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and will be appearing for my level 1 exam in December. I am planning to do my MBA on completion of my training. How are the prospects for MBA in India along with B.Com, C.F.A and C.S qualification as opposed to MBA in US with B.Com and C.F.A as C.S. will be of no value there? Also, will my 15 months management training add weight to my profile, though it wont be considered as WorkEx?

  76. AM says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I have done a 3yr undergraduate business degree from a reputed college in Mumbai, then worked for 5.5 years in the Middle east. I came back to India and gave my GMAT recently and got 710. Since coming back, i have a gap of around 1.5 years. Since many b-schools prefer 16yrs education and because of the gap, i was hoping to show my 1 yr of M.Com studies, but not the entire 2 years and degree.

    For the 16 year rule, is it necessary to show a completed degree or is partial study without a completed degree (1 yr done out of a 2 year M.Com course) acceptable to fulfill the 16th year requirement?

    Many Thanks!

  77. Karan says:

    Hi Sir,
    I completed my Bsc. Banking & Finance and am going to complete a year of work exp after which I am aiming for a uk masters in finance. My main aim is to do a masters in finance in uk from any of the top ten unis. My first question is whether UK is a good option with regards to getting a good job in the field of finance. My plan B is going to US and doing a masters in finance there which I ain’t sure of maybe due to lack of research and for which I am planning to do mcom (from a deemed uni as I missed the bombay uni deadline ) so will an mcom (distance learning not full time) from a deemed uni be counted as a 16th year or do I need to enrol in any of the state unis ? Is us masters better than uk masters when it comes to job prospects ?

  78. prateek says:

    I am planning to do a 1 year full time diploma in Banking from Manipal University just to get 16yrs of formal education so will it fulfill the purpose.

  79. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Chinmay: An international MBA is anyway not a good idea for you at this stage as you don’t have the necessary experience. A good MBA in India can be equally effective in your professional growth.

    @AM: Seems like you are getting lost in the technicalities and losing the bigger picture here. Half degrees have no value. Please don’t start something that you can’t finish.

    @Karan: Correspondence degrees generally don’t have the same relevance. Full time degrees count more. Send a note to the universities to confirm.

    @Prateek: As mentioned in the main post, don’t take up degrees and diplomas just to fulfil the pre-requisite for another degree. Focus on getting real world experience and skills.

  80. Nadeem Shaikh says:

    Hello Sameer,

    1st i want to thank you for setting a platform where ppl like us can have open discussion on our aspirations.. Kudos!!

    My question is I’ve completed my 1st 2 yrs of Bachelor’s (Commerce stream) from Mumbai and then there was a long layoff (6yrs almost, where I have worked with MNC’s) & recently completed my TY-Bcom from Madurai Kamraj University (Distant Learning).. If i prepare for GMAT & have a high score say 650 or above will I be eligible for MBA in USA or Canada in good B-schools??

    Reply from your end will be highly appreciated..

  81. nirali says:

    Hi, can you please give me a list of other schools which are not in the top tier in the us, which will accept 15 years bachelors degree from India as a part of the mba program. i would be much obliged if you could reply at the earliest as my gmat score is 600 and i have 2 years work ex

  82. Sarang says:

    Hi Sameer , Hope you doing Good .

    My question is , I want to do Masters in IT from USA collage , I had 4 year ( 10th + 4 year ) diploma in electronic from One of the TOP collage of Mumbai as well as I have 11 year & 5 month of experience . will I am eligible for Master in USA collage , if yes then which are the collage are good , Do I have to give any entrance exam .

    Your guidance will be appreciated

  83. Russell Peter says:

    I have a friend who is a home maker and living in South Carolina who has come back for 2 months to India. Her husband is in USA on H1B visa. She has completed only 3 year bachelors program (BBM) but would like to do any suitable program to be qualified for a Masters Program. For this is there a possibility for her to do an associate program in US itself and later join MS/MBA program? She is undergoing coaching for TOEFL with us and would be leaving back to US by end of March 2015. THIS IS URGENT. Can you provide some details?

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