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Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree.

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Canada
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Ivey '15 (D)
GMAT 1: 670 Q44 V39
WE: General Management (Commercial Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 3

Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2011, 13:01
Hello,

I am new to the GMAT club community. This will be my first post, as I am seeking guidance.
I have been in contact with one specific MBA school who has informed me that having an undergraduate degree is not necessary.

Most other peers I speak with advise me that it is highly unlikely I will get into any masters program without it.
The school also advised me if I went back to get an undergrad, I would be looking at 3-4 years and then coming back to work full time another 2-3 years (because of being disconnected for so long); this in turn would set me back about 7 years. So again, they advised that it is mainly best to apply without one as long as I have sufficient work experience. The academic side can be shown through the GMAT.

Now, I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket and try for this one school.

So I am merely looking for guidance through my GMAT journey and admissions journey in a way that will give me an upper hand vs. those with an undergrad.

What type of score should I aim for and should I achieve before applying anywhere?

I find that while studying with store bought books, the learning curve is far under that of questions found online, and I feel very under developed with these books - what do you recommend I do living in Ottawa, ON?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

P.S My work experience varies from 2-3 years of learning and leadership development to coaching and support of agents and associates in a financial world. (Mainly an assistant lead role).

S White
GMAT/MBA Journey 2011
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Last edited by Mediah on 29 Jan 2011, 19:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685
Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2011, 19:03
My guidance would be to keep your money, you're not getting in anywhere.
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Intern
Intern
User avatar
Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Canada
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Ivey '15 (D)
GMAT 1: 670 Q44 V39
WE: General Management (Commercial Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 3

Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2011, 19:13
method wrote:
My guidance would be to keep your money, you're not getting in anywhere.


I should probably be more clear.

The school I have been in contact with for about a year now (itself) has informed me an undergraduate degree is not a requirement.
This is also true in most Canadian business schools.

They are actually allowed a certain amount of exceptions (this being one of them).

It's not just based on education, but also work experience, leadership, and passion.
I came here to get guidance and inspiration..

So I'm hoping with clarification, I can get support in the right direction.
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Current Student
User avatar
Status: Go Blue!
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685
Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V45
GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167
GPA: 3.22
WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing)
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 145 [0], given: 249

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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2011, 22:38
Sorry if I came across as cold and misunderstanding, although I am in agreement with your peers that your chances are slim.

If you're intent on your GMAT/MBA journey, here are a few productive pointers:
1) Not all GMAT books are created equal. I would recommend the Manhattan line. Although you should note that the Manhattan CAT Q-side is much harder than the real thing, which can be frustrating at times, but ultimately a good thing. I would also recommend GMATFix which is a very good online tool to pinpoint deficiencies.
2) Change what you can change. Build as many leadership points from work and community service as you can.
3) Create a well-defined career goal and then articulate a story which shows your tremendous potential for that goal while simultaneously illustrating a dire need for an MBA.
4) Really consider what your background brings to the table. You don't have an undergraduate experience and you have a short history of work experience. What is it about you that should make the program "buy" your application?
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2011, 09:19
2 to 3 years of work experience, generally speaking, is not enough to overcome not having an undergraduate degree. I hate to over generalize, but without an undergraduate degree there aren't too many jobs in which you'll get true leadership experiences or just plain work experience that is palatable to most decent business schools (by that, I mean schools that aren't online programs). You should really ask yourself, "why do I want to go to business school?" Are you unhappy with your current position and don't see much growth upward without formal education? What are your long term goals? Even in rare exceptions in which a non-degreed candidate gets into a decent business school, the lack of an undergraduate degree might make potential employers wary. Honestly, I think you should be a bit more committed in your quest. 7 years is nothing. I'll be thirty when I start business school this fall, with a wife and kid in tow -so yeah, and I want this bad. I wanted it so bad I knew I wanted it the day I graduated with my undergraduate degree. But it took me a few more years to really evolve and understand what I really want out of my life and my career. I'm guessing you're maybe 21 or so, judging from your listed years of experience. So think about it this way - you'll be younger than me when you wrap up business school even after going for your undergrad degree first. There are no short cuts in life, and I think you're hurting yourself in the long run by short changing yourself from an undergrad degree. Who knows? Maybe after graduating you'll end up finding a something you're passionate about, and do well professionally all without the aid of the MBA...
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2011, 10:30
Mediah wrote:
The school I have been in contact with for about a year now (itself) has informed me an undergraduate degree is not a requirement.
This is also true in most Canadian business schools.

They are actually allowed a certain amount of exceptions (this being one of them).

It's not just based on education, but also work experience, leadership, and passion.
I came here to get guidance and inspiration..

So I'm hoping with clarification, I can get support in the right direction.


I would dispute that this is true of most Canadian b-schools. A quick review of the admissions requirements of Rotman, Schulich, Queens, UBC and McGill reveals that an undergrad degree is required at all of these programs. Now, many EMBA programs around the world don't require an undergrad degree, but that's a different story.

I assume you're talking about Ivey. I guess they're willing to make exceptions, but I think that's true of any school anywhere. Hell, even HBS capitulated and admitted GWB's coffee boy, as I pointed out in the other identical thread you started: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2006/ ... enroll-at/

To answer your initial question, if you can get into Ivey, go for it. But I suspect your chances of getting into most decent schools will be very slim.
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 12 May 2013, 18:41
Although this is an old post, I thought I should reply, in case any one might be reading it today, looking for an answer to a similar question.

Yes, this can be done. How do I know? Because I just did it :o

I got accepted to 3 schools, and nope, I don't have an undergrad. Of course my 10+ years of work experience helped (I doubt anyone without an undergrad would get in with less than 8 years of management experience, at least). But yes, it's definitely possible. I got into 2 top Canadian schools and 1 school in the US. My GMAT score was a 690 and I only wrote it once. Too much emphasis goes on the GMAT score and not enough on the admission essays. I think that's what did it for me - I spent a lot of time on the applications themselves and wrote some compelling essays.

Hope this helps someone else in a similar circumstance!
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 07:46
NextChapter wrote:
Although this is an old post, I thought I should reply, in case any one might be reading it today, looking for an answer to a similar question.
[highlight]Yes, this can be done. How do I know? Because I just did it :o

I got accepted to 3 schools, and nope, I don't have an undergrad. Of course my 10+ years of work experience helped (I doubt anyone without an undergrad would get in with less than 8 years of management experience, at least). But yes, it's definitely possible. I got into 2 top Canadian schools and 1 school in the US. My GMAT score was a 690 and I only wrote it once. Too much emphasis goes on the GMAT score and not enough on the admission essays. I think that's what did it for me - I spent a lot of time on the applications themselves and wrote some compelling essays.

Hope this helps someone else in a similar circumstance!


Thanks so much for your post as I am attempting the exact same thing (MBA without undergrad degree). Would be very interested in hearing what Canadian and US based schools you were successful with.

Thank-you
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree. [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 23:03
I had never heard of this being a possibility before. Thanks for starting this post. This is so interesting to me! I'm not even applying to school (since I just graduated) but wow... had no idea haha...
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Re: Getting into an MBA program without an undergraduate degree.   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2013, 23:03
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