Most Indian MBA applicants planning to study in MBA colleges abroad know why work experience is necessary for MBA programs abroad.
Those who’ve done their research also know that the average work experience in the top international programs is 5 years . For some 1 year MBA programs in India (IIM), the average experience is in double digits (10+ years).
But given the widespread popularity of traditional Indian MBA programs that accept students without experience, there’s sizeable chunk of freshers in India who plan to simultaneously target MBA universities abroad and in India.
Before we move on, let us reiterate our firm belief that it doesn’t make sense (in a majority of the cases) to go with such a strategy of flying overseas prematurely.
Though most good MBA programs share that belief, some are happy to accept freshers into their MBA classrooms. Here’s a list of some such programs.
[Editor’s Note: Article updated in August 2021 to reflect the latest data]
MBA programs in USA that accept freshers (with no experience)
You’ll find some of the best MBA universities included in the list below. But before you pop the champagne assuming that the Admission Committees are waiting for you with their arms open, keep in mind the fine print.
On their websites, they might have mentioned something to the effect of ‘No minimum experience needed to apply’.
But some might also drop subtle hints (e.g. ‘though experience is not a pre-requisite, we’d recommend at least 2 years’) to indicate that their main target applicant pool isn’t freshers.
Others will leave it open to interpretation.
Alright, onto the list of the best MBA programs in USA without work experience, starting with the elite universities.
|Harvard Business School (HBS) Harvard 2+2 Program|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business|
|Wharton MBA (University of Pennsylvania)|
|Sloan School of Management (MIT)|
|Chicago Booth School of Business (University of Chicago)|
|Columbia Business School (Columbia University)|
|Stern School of Business (New York University – NYU)|
|Haas School of Business (University of California, Berkeley)|
|Anderson School of Management (UCLA)|
|Yale School of Management Yale Silver Scholars Program Review|
Other good MBA programs in USA with no experience
If you aren’t too picky about the MBA ranking of the program, you’ll find other decent names to add to the list. Here are a few more names, in no particular order.
|Marshall School of Business (USC)|
|Carroll School of Management – Boston College|
|Boston University School of Management|
More U.S. MBA colleges that accept freshers
Depending on how flexible you are with the rankings and brand names, there’s a bigger universe for you to explore.
|Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, University of Delaware|
|College of Business, San Francisco State University|
|Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University|
|Fox School of Business, Temple University|
|Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University.|
|LeBow College of Business, Drexel University|
|Lucas Graduate School of Business, San Jose State University.|
|Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore|
|Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John’s University|
|Rohrer College of Business, Rowan University|
|Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University|
Ok, we’ll admit. There are several names in there that we’ve heard for the first time while working on this list. We have no idea of how good or bad they are.
As always, don’t rely purely on this list. Use it as the starting point and re-verify the universities latest policy on accepting MBA applications with no experience.
Why do B-schools accept applications from freshers?
Logical query, right? When the MBA class average is 5 years and Adcoms have strong reasons for not filling the classroom with greenhorns, why not just make it crystal clear in the application guidelines?
Business Schools might have multiple reasons to do so.
For starters they may not want to miss out on genuinely talented applicants who might have a spark to do something big after graduating. Or those who might’ve already achieved something noteworthy while being students.
The other reason might have something to do with the ever changing and ever competitive nature of the admissions process.
Bschools are competing with other universities for the same talent. Why put additional pre-requisites that’ll reduce their global applicant pool?
There are several other commercial and business reasons as well. If you’ve read Beyond The MBA Hype, you know what we are referring to.
But those are not relevant for this post, so let’s get the focus back on the main topic.
There are several MBA programs in America, Europe, Asia, Australia that accept MBA applications without experience.
It’s up to you to decide whether to look at this as an opportunity to apply early (if you are already superstar material), or to introspect if there’s more work to be done to strengthen your profile first.
If you ask us, we’d suggest being more patient. Get some managerial and leadership experience in the business world.
For the impatient ones who don’t want to defer their MBA plans, there are excellent MBA colleges in India that don’t require work-experience.
Instead of the GMAT, focus on cracking the CAT. Or if studying overseas is on your mind, you could consider MiM programs.
Read this post to understand the differences between MBA and Masters in Management (MiM).
Are there other good MBA programs where work experience isn’t needed? Share it below as a comment and we’ll add it to the main list.
You may also be interested in these posts:
– MBA without work experience
– Does company size and brand of pre-MBA work experience matter in MBA admissions?
– Top MBA in USA and UK with 2 years of work experience
– MBA without GMAT in India, USA and other countries.
– Best MBA college with scholarship + job guarantee