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Top MBA in USA for international students

As America accelerates its journey out of the recession, high paying jobs are back on the table. In such a scenario, an MBA in USA offers excellent career prospects for not just U.S. citizens but also international students.

This draws hordes of students from India and other countries to the land of opportunities. Read this to know more about eligibility requirements and entrance exams for MBA in USA.

Why MBA colleges in USA are popular among international students


Plenty of jobs in USA after MBA

Whether it’s consulting, investment banking, technology or manufacturing, employers are flocking to bschools to hire the top talent. Here’s the average salary in USA for MBA jobs.

Most 2 year MBA programs in USA offer an internship which is a good way to get some international exposure in the industry you are interested in breaking into, and also earning some good money for your efforts.

Read these posts on summer internship salaries at the top MBA programs and how to convert summer internships into fulltime jobs.

MBA universities in USA offer more scholarships

The culture of giving back has made American universities are among the richest in the world. The endowments at Harvard and Stanford run into billions of dollars, with successful and generous alumni donating huge sums to their alma mater. This translates into more financial aid and scholarships for deserving international students.

This can bring down the overall costs of higher education abroad.

Read these stories of how Indian students have got scholarships from universities in USA ranging from partial fee waivers to full free ride (100%).

Cultural diversity in the U.S.

Just like the broader American society, MBA colleges in U.S. are a melting pot of various cultures. With all the academic and social interactions that happen on campus, you’ll feel right at home in the first few days itself.

Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Navratri, Dussehra (and Cricket, if that qualifies as religion for you) get celebrated in many U.S. university campuses.

Student friendly visa regime

If you’ve got an admit from a repute U.S university and have fulfilled the documentary requirements for the F1 student visa, the approval process is relatively straight-forward.

There’s also an option to extend your stay in the U.S. after completing the MBA course even if you haven’t found a full-time job yet.

Read these posts on F1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers and Optional Practical Training OPT on F1 Visa in USA.

Employers more willing to file work permits

Unlike many other countries (in Europe for instance) where the cultural fitment might make many employers less willing to sponsor a work permit for international MBA students, American employers who’ve been recruiting from U.S. colleges for decades have a more streamlined procedure to file H1B work visas for international students.

If you can prove your worth to them in the MBA job interviews, they’ll initiate the rest. Some risks remain though, like the cap on H1B visas.

Top MBA in USA for foreign students

Instead of the traditional MBA rankings, we’d be looking at a custom ranking. We’ll refer to one parameter (i.e. the international student proportion) and take it as an indicator of the bschool’s popularity outside USA. Which is why we’re using the word ‘Top’ instead of ‘Best’.

As a reference point, the average number of international students in MBA programs in the U.S. is around 30%. This may be higher or lower depending on the business school.

In the following table, we identify the U.S. schools where this proportion is higher than the average for American bschools. We have arranged the schools with the largest number of international students at the top to the lowest at the bottom, all within a range of about 34-95%. This brings up some surprising results.

Business Schools with International Student Population from 34%-95% City / State
Stevens Institute of Technology – (~95% International Student Population) Hoboken, NJ
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA
Hult International Business School, Boston Cambridge, MA
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Eberly) Fargo, ND
North Dakota State University Indiana, PA
Syracuse University (Whitman) Syracuse, NY
Babson College (Olin) Babson Park, MA
University of California—​Riverside (Anderson) Riverside, CA
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
University of Massachusetts—​Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA
Bentley University (McCallum) Waltham, MA
Southeast Missouri State University (Harrison) Cape Girardeau, MO
Rochester Institute of Technology (Saunders) Rochester, NY
Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, OK
Hofstra University (Zarb) Hempstead, NY
San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
University of Portland (Pamplin) Portland, OR
Auburn University—​Montgomery Montgomery, AL
Missouri University of Science & Technology Rolla, MO
Pace University (Lubin) New York, NY
University of Tampa (Sykes) Tampa, FL
University of San Diego San Diego, CA
University of Delaware (Lerner) Newark, DE
Claremont Graduate University (Drucker) Claremont, CA
Widener University – (~50% International Student Population) Chester, PA
Shenandoah University (Byrd) Washington, VA
California State University—​Long Beach Long Beach, CA
University of California—​Irvine (Merage) Irvine, CA
University of Wisconsin—​Parkside Kenosha, WI
University of Rochester (Simon) Rochester, NY
San Diego State University (Fowler) San Diego, CA
New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ
University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
Purdue University—​West Lafayette (Krannert) West Lafayette, IN
University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX
Clark University Worcester, MA
Chapman University (Argyros) Orange, CA
George Washington University Washington, DC
University of Toledo Toledo, OH
Missouri State University Springfield, MO
Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead) Cleveland, OH
University of Arizona (Eller) Tucson, AZ
College of William and Mary (Mason) Williamsburg, VA
Morgan State University (Graves) Baltimore, MD
Suffolk University (Sawyer) Boston, MA
Michigan State University (Broad) East Lansing, MI
Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
Washington University in St. Louis (Olin) St. Louis, MO
Fairleigh Dickinson University (Silberman) Teaneck, NJ
Drexel University (LeBow) Philadelphia, PA
Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
Northeastern University Boston, MA
CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College (Zicklin) New York, NY
University of California, Davis Davis, CA
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
Iowa State University Ames, IA
University of Pittsburgh (Katz) Pittsburgh, PA
American University (Kogod) Washington, DC
Texas A&M International University Laredo, TX
Yale University New Haven, CT
Duke University (Fuqua) Durham, NC
Fordham University (Gabelli) New York, NY
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Cambridge, MA
Pennsylvania State University-University Park (Smeal) University Park, PA
University of Chicago (Booth) Chicago, IL
Pepperdine University (Graziadio) Malibu, CA
University of Memphis (Fogelman) Memphis, TN
University of Texas, Dallas Dallas, TX
La Salle University Philadelphia, PA
University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Bryan) Greensboro, NC
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Newark and New Brunswick Newark, NJ
University of New Haven West Haven, CT
University of Maryland-College Park (Smith) College Park, MD
University of Washington (Foster) Seattle, WA
University of California—​Berkeley (Haas) Berkeley, CA
Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) – (~34% International Student Population) Pittsburgh, PA

Data Source: US News Business School Rankings 2018
You’d see that most of the bschools with a very high proportion of foreign students don’t sound very familiar. In fact, we’ve never heard of many names in the list. Surprising and counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

Where’s the catch then? Why are many of the seemingly obscure names so popular among the international applicant pool?

Here’s a wild guess. These bschools were possibly promoted aggressively by ‘study abroad consultants’ [or marketing agencies if you remove the facade]. They operate in various countries to push MBA seats to students who aren’t discerning enough to target the highly competitive and top ranking MBA programs. The accomplishment of getting into just about any American MBA program is euphoric enough for many who haven’t read Beyond The MBA Hype.

Or to give them the benefit of doubt, maybe we are simply ignorant about these gems (‘best kept secrets’) of the bschool world.

Whatever the reasons are, keep in mind that the international student ratio is just a quantitative indicator. A high proportion of foreign students in the class doesn’t mean it’s the best for you in every possible sense. In contrast, it could raise some pertinent questions too like the one we just talked about.

Maybe the location of the school (and its extreme cold) doesn’t gel with your warm-blooded circulatory system. Maybe the high school cost doesn’t resonate with your cold-blooded financial system.

Then there are other considerations to analyse – business school ranking, brand recognition outside the USA (if you are planning to come back to India), the probability of getting scholarships for international students, availability of low interest loans, support for families / kids (if you are a mature student).

If it gets too confusing, our MBA MAP application strategy offering might work for you. Drop us a note and we’ll tackle the difficult path ahead together.

Also read:
Best MBA programs in USA
Best Business Schools in New York, USA
International student life in USA
American B-school’s love-hate relationship with international students

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

23 thoughts on “Top MBA in USA for international students”

  1. Hi Sameer,

    I am a mechanical engineer and have been working with a major automobile OEM for last 6.5 years.

    I want to change my profile as well as industry. Will “One year MBA” help me do so.


    • A significant percentage of one year MBA students manage to change their profile completely (role and industry).

      However, it’s easier to change one of the two (rather than both).

      Choose a post MBA goal where you can leverage your 6.5 years and your odds will go up.

  2. I am Rushabh
    i completed my MBA( finance ) in India.
    i given gmat test and i got 370 score in that.( may 2015)
    so can i get admission in US colleges ?
    in any management couse.

    • With that GMT score, it looks highly unlikely that any good business school in USA would be possible. Of course, there are several lower ranked bschools who might still encourage you to apply (without a GMAT score and without experience), but also think about the market value of such degrees.

    • A wake up call to over-ambitious and over-stressed out MBA grads. The higher the stakes (e.g. Wharton, Harvard, and even at the IITs back home), greater is the pressure to succeed.

  3. Hello Sameer,

    I have 3 year of experience as robotic simulation engineer, with international client interaction and handling a small team , also part of my job . But instead of going for 2 yrs of MBA, I wanna go for 1 yr executive program. Along with this I have plenty of extra-curricular work ranging from sports to many courses in robotics, college fest management to winning young scientist award. Please suggest which program should i go for .

  4. Hi Sameer
    I am 31 years old …having experience of 7 years in sales of executive level (3 years Pharma Industry + 4 years Direct Selling Industry)
    Do you feel the distance learning course – Executive MBA of 1 year duration from IIM Lucknow through NIIT Imperia is a good option.
    Kindly suggest other good options also….Cant leave Job but want to do good MBA through distance learning mode.

  5. looking for best university for MBA course but I have 6 bands ovearll ielts, but I did Master of Engineering in computer science with throught distinction, without any backloughcan you please guide me which best university can you please suggest me list of universities with better chances to get me an admits? I am working as an asst. professor in computer dept in engg college since last 4 years.

    • Hi,
      I am 34, I had completed Diploma in 2012, started working….3 years in gulf, then came back India , 2 years I worked here, thought to upgrade Bachelor’s in Engg…. I am almost completing this engg…. This may…. I am running really slow in the process….but still want to give a final try…. I want to prepare GMAT and give the exam…. Do you prefer should I take this or I don’t have any good chances to get placed in a good B school…. I don’t have good s ademics…. If I score good in GMAT will I be able to get admission in a top B school? I know it’s sound impossible, but I wanna try….please do suggest…if I do have possibilities, what course should I tak up with….

  6. Hi,

    I am an electronics engineer working in IT software services industry since last 4 years i wish to do i year MBA from a top notch college.
    I am appearing for GMAt in mid august 2015. Kindly let me know which colleges are suitable for me to apply.

    My area of interest is Marketing, Strategy,Operations and on the first priority i want to apply in top indian colleges then then if possible in abroad.
    Kindly suggest me some good colleges based on my profile mentioned below:

    SSC: 77.7%(CBSE)
    HSC: 69.8%(CBSE)
    B.E(Electronics): 53.4%(Aggregate)(University of Pune)
    Diploma in Embedded system designing:B+(University of Pune)
    Work Ex: 4 years and 2 Months in Automotive Embedded software services Industry.


  7. Hi Sameer,
    I have 10 years of experience in manufacturing industry and presently working as Deputy Manager in a MNC company. Currently I’m drawing approx 11.5 L per annum.

    I wan to give a boost to my career (position as well as salary).

    Will pursuing Ex-MBA from Symbiosis Pune be a good option??

    Else, will you suggest any alternative to meet my requirements…

    FYI, I have already given entrance test for Ex-MBA @ Symbiosis Pune and got shortlisted (I wonder how?? And as per my knowledge all the aspirants got a call).

    Expecting your reply as early as possible as the last date for payment of the fees is commencing….



  8. Hi Sameer,

    I am a 2014 B.E graduate, working as a Decision Scientist in Mu Sigma Business Solutions Pvt Ltd.
    I want to stick to the Business Analyst profile in future; not very sure should I go for CAT or wait till I have 3 years of work-ex and then go for Exec-MBA.

    Your suggestions in here will be really helpful.


  9. hi sameer ,
    1. i did mechanical engg with first class and have 1 yr of work ex and want to do mba in UK,either in marketing or in project management,
    so can u please help me in suggesting good university for this coures in terms of better return on investmest
    2.plz tell me what is going to b more beneficial mba or Msc in UK

  10. Profile:
    10th CBSE: 97.8%, fifth rank in india
    12th CBSE: 96.2%, 3rd in India
    B Tech from NIT: 8.8/10, 7th rank in Class
    Two yrs experience in MNC, two mnths in USA
    Recieved several Awards in School, College
    Attach as coordinator in International nonprofit Organisation
    GMAT: 710
    Gender: Female

    MBA with Scholarship in HBS/Wharton/ LBS/Stanford/INSEAD/IE/Chicago Booth/MIT

    Chance: ???

  11. Hi i am from india(hyderabad) completed my btech and started working as a software seller in a top company i had one year experience as of now and i got about 60% all through my ecadamics and now i wanted to do mba in usa in top b school so what is the gmat score required to get good scholerships and admit in good collage, finally i just wanted to know what is the gmat score required? And years of work experence? If anybody can suggest me il be very thankful to them.

  12. Hello sameer,
    you guiding so well and positive my ques.. is that i have B.E in electrical 1 year lost due to back log and my 10th % is50 and 12 % is 58.and in B.E i got 63.63% i have now total 4 .1/2 year work electrical maintance so should i do distance mba or regular mba .my age is now 28
    the main problem is that i tried once in past with job but i couldn’t achieve good marks and that is big problem .also i m so confused at this time what should i do , i want to do in dual .operation and marketing is it right ?age also big problem,also if u suggest me college it’s good for me

  13. @Sugandha: Some options for you to explore: one year MBA in India and one year MBA in USA. There are several in Europe as well.

    @Deep and Rahul: If you are looking for some big impact on your career, that option won’t be a good choice.

    @Yatin, Ut_almighty, Datta & Gaurav: Sorry we can’t talk about admisssion chances or recommend bschools on the blog. Here’s why.

    @Bhavya: Better to go with Option 2 – wait and then apply. It’ll give you enough exposure to the industry and also some managerial exposure.

    @Yatindra: With the academic issues you’ve faced, I’m not sure if you should head back into the classroom. Looking for a better job might work better.

  14. Hi Sameer

    I have 9 Years of IT experience in Publishing and Public Domains. I have worked for 4 Years in U.S. I have my Post Graduation in Computers. I want to purse MBA in Finance. What should be the minimum GMAT score to get in to any executive MBA 1 Year Program? Will experience be an added advantage? How about Executive MBA in US?


  15. HI There

    My name is Rahul Sharma and I have done my B.Tech in Computer Science in 2007, after that I did a full time one year program in Management and Insurance from XLRI Jamshedpur, graduated from there in Jan’10.
    Joined ICICI Bank as a Relationship/Sales Manager in Feb’10 and am currently working as a Brand Manager for Audi Financial Services India. This makes my total work exp to 5 years now.
    I just need to ask that what is better, studying in India or Abroad as I saw that there is a drastic gap in fees between the two but I wish to work abroad for atleast 10 years but am clueless on how to go forward for that.
    Could you pls guide me on the same.

  16. HI Sameer ,

    My name is manjinder singh & i completed my B.Tech in CSE in the year 2011 . To till date i am working in MNC as the System Er. Now i want to do MBA from USA university . I would really appreciate if you could guide me how to apply for MBA programs without G MAT & TOEFL .could you please send me list of university which accept the international students .

  17. Hi Sameer,
    I am currently in Second Year B.Com. I’m planning to do MBA international business management. I want to do it from somewhere out of India. Can you suggest me some Universities and the procedure to get in there.

  18. Judging a university by only its raṇking and brand name is not right. The list includes some of the very good universities and I know many people who have found success during and after their studies at these universities. Moreover, the top school people talk about by looking at their stats and marketing stuff are too expensive to afford for most of the Indian students. The above given universities provide quality education at low cost. Also, not everyone scores very high in competitive exams and it does not mean that they don’t have right to get higher education in their area of interest due to high competition. I think that the decision should be taken based on a calculated risk. Sometimes, even if you are from a top college, it does not guarantee a desired job.
    So, it isn’t reasonable to discourage people to study at these schools without knowing much about their accomplishments. Its like being judgemental.


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