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In the competitive business world, a master’s in management (MM) can be a valuable asset for individuals seeking to advance their careers. MM programs focus on leadership skills, strategic thinking, and providing a comprehensive understanding of business processes.

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates can pursue positions such as marketing manager, with a median salary of $138,730 a year; financial analyst, with a median salary of $96,220; or management analyst, with a median salary of $95,290.

MM programs typically take one to two years to complete. The average cost varies greatly depending on the individual program and whether it is at a public or private institution. Students can expect to spend roughly $12,000 to $28,000 for tuition and required fees.

How to Choose a Master’s in Management Degree Program

Choose your area of study

The program you choose may be either an MBA (master of business administration) with a concentration in management or a master of science in management.

In an MBA program with a concentration in management, students study a broader range of business disciplines, including finance, marketing, and operations, with a specialized focus on management strategies. The emphasis is on developing leadership and decision-making skills within a comprehensive business context.

On the other hand, a master’s in management program focuses specifically on core management principles, offering a more targeted curriculum. MM programs often provide a deeper dive into management theory, strategic leadership, and organizational behavior, preparing graduates for entry-level managerial roles. Selecting the right focus area is crucial in aligning your degree with your career aspirations.

Research schools and programs

When researching master’s in management programs, look first at an institution’s accreditation. Most reputable schools are accredited by regional agencies that attest to the quality of the school’s programs. You may lose out on financial aid opportunities if you attend a non-accredited institution. Other factors to consider include the faculty’s expertise and level of industry experience as well as the program’s regional and national rankings. You should also explore your school’s networking opportunities and whether there are any internships or real-world learning experiences available.

Before committing, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How does the curriculum align with my career goals?
  • What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
  • Are there opportunities for global exposure or study abroad?
  • Can I connect with current students or alumni for insights?
  • What support services are available for career development?

Prepare for tests and applications

To attend most graduate-level programs, you will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. It is helpful, though often not necessary, to have a degree in a related field such as finance or management. There may be a minimum GPA required to gain entry to your program.

Some MM programs require test scores from the GRE or GMAT tests. For other programs, these tests are optional. Read the application directions carefully, and make sure you have all the required materials submitted before any deadlines.

Select your program

When selecting a master’s in management program, carefully align your choice with your career goals and learning preferences. Consider factors like program specialization, faculty expertise, and available resources. Evaluate whether the program offers practical experiences such as internships or industry projects. Additionally, assess the program’s reputation, alumni success stories, and the strength of its professional network. Balancing aspects like class size, location, and potential for international exposure ensures a well-rounded decision. Remember to choose a program that not only imparts knowledge but also provides a supportive environment for personal and professional growth, contributing to a fulfilling educational experience.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

When determining how to pay for a master’s in management program, explore various financial avenues. You will need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be eligible for federal and institutional funding. Investigate potential external funding sources or employer sponsorship programs. Consider private student loans, keeping in mind repayment terms. Evaluate the feasibility of part-time work or internships to supplement income. Create a realistic budget, factoring in tuition, living expenses, and additional costs. Engage with your school’s financial aid office for guidance and explore options for merit-based aid. Crafting a well-thought-out financial plan ensures a smooth and sustainable investment in your master’s in management education.

Best 50 Accredited Master’s in Management Programs

Best Master's in Management Degree Programs

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Georgia Institute of Technology

University of Michigan

UF Warrington College of Business

Indiana University-Bloomington

Lehigh University

Indiana Wesleyan University

George Mason University

Stevens Institute of Technology

University of Texas at Dallas

Northeastern University

Southeast Missouri State University

Northwestern University

University of Notre Dame

University of Maryland

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Duke University

University of Southern California

University of Chicago

Wake Forest University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Yale School of Management

University of California

Fordham University

Cornell University

Arizona State University

NYU School of Professional Studies

Discover More Options

How We Rank Schools

MM programs give you a firm foundation in a variety of disciplines. Some degrees cover finance, while others focus on marketing or leadership. All industries require management leadership to get things done. Our list includes both online and on-campus workshops and classes.

Many master’s programs in business-related disciplines are backed by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Another accrediting body is the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Choosing a program with one of these accreditations increases the value of your degree on the job market.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Management Degree Program

A master’s in management program offers a comprehensive exploration of key business disciplines, providing a solid foundation in finance, marketing, strategic management, and leadership. Expect an emphasis on developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills crucial for managerial roles. The curriculum often integrates case studies, real-world projects, and collaborative learning experiences to foster the practical application of theoretical concepts.

Additionally, programs may delve into global business perspectives, cross-cultural management, and emerging trends in the business landscape. The coursework generally takes one and a half to two years to complete. Some programs incorporate internships or capstone projects, enhancing practical exposure. Overall, students can expect a dynamic and immersive educational experience, preparing them for diverse managerial challenges in a rapidly evolving business environment.

Potential courses you’ll take in a master’s in management degree program

  • Strategic Leadership and Decision Making: This course delves into advanced leadership strategies, focusing on decision-making processes within complex business scenarios. Students explore case studies and develop critical thinking skills for effective strategic management.
  • Financial Management and Analysis: Covering financial principles, budgeting, and analysis techniques, this course equips students with the skills to make informed financial decisions. Topics include financial reporting, risk assessment, and strategic financial planning.
  • Global Business and Cross-Cultural Management: Examining international business dynamics, this course explores cross-cultural management strategies, global market trends, and the complexities of conducting business in diverse cultural environments.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Focused on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, this course covers innovation processes, startup management, and strategies for driving creativity and innovation within organizations.
  • Marketing Strategy and Brand Management: This course delves into advanced marketing concepts, including brand development, market positioning, and strategic marketing planning. Students explore case studies and develop skills to create effective marketing strategies in competitive business landscapes.

Master’s in Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a master’s in management degree program?

To apply for a master’s in management program, follow these steps: begin by thoroughly reviewing the admission requirements of your chosen institution. Typically, this includes submitting a completed application form, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose outlining career goals, and standardized test scores (like the GMAT or GRE). Some programs may also require a well-crafted resume detailing relevant experience. Ensure you adhere to specific deadlines and any additional prerequisites. Consider reaching out to an admissions counselor for guidance throughout the application process.

How much does a master’s in management degree cost?

The cost of a master’s in management degree varies significantly between public and private institutions. On average, public universities offer more affordable tuition. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the cost to attend a nonprofit public institution was $12,394 a year in 2020-21. Private institutions often have higher tuition fees, with an average of $28,445 for nonprofit and $14,301 for profit-based institutions. It’s crucial to consider additional expenses like textbooks, materials, and living costs. Financial aid, scholarships, and assistantships may help offset these costs. Prospective students should carefully assess the overall investment and explore available funding options to make an informed decision based on their financial circumstances and educational goals.

How long does it take to earn a master’s in management degree?

A master’s in management degree typically takes one and a half to two years to complete, providing an accelerated path to advanced managerial skills. The duration will vary based on the program structure, credit requirements, and whether you’re enrolled full-time or part-time. Online options often offer flexibility, allowing students to pace their studies. Practical experiences such as internships or capstone projects can influence the overall length of the program. Prospective students should consider their preferred learning pace, career goals, and potential time commitments when choosing the most suitable master’s in management program for their needs.