Do MBA Classes Involve a Lot of Math?

by Andrew Aarons

    A Master's in Business Administration is an advanced degree that prepares you for success in the business world. These programs are designed to offer students a broad knowledge in leadership and management. However, because success in business has a lot to do with dollars and cents, MBA programs always also include math requirements as part of the program.

    Most MBA programs require you to show your math proficiency before you enter the program. After applying, you’ll most likely be asked to sit a math test, either during the application process or during a pre-MBA program, once accepted. However, at some schools such as the University of Berkeley, applicants with strong quantitative skills, as demonstrated on GMAT or GRE scores or through work experience, may not have to prove their math ability before entering the MBA program.

    Before entering into an MBA program, many schools ensure that students have a solid math background by helping them brush up on essential math skills. Some MBA programs offer pre-term math courses, often as a result of how a student performs on the math entrance exam. These courses are offered in a summer semester before the first term of the MBA. The University of Pennsylvania Wharton’s MBA program, for example, strongly suggests that students take a college-level calculus course before beginning their MBA program.

    Some MBA programs offer a full semester of foundation courses before full admission into an MBA program in order to fully prepare students for the rigors of an MBA. At Indiana University Southeast, the foundation program focuses on a few typically math-heavy areas, including statistics, economics and finance. Students at Indiana University are expected to have passed a finite mathematics and a calculus survey course to enter into the MBA program.

    Each MBA program is structured differently, though most programs have some overlap in the core courses offered. While you will definitely be asked to study math during your MBA, the specific math courses may vary from program to program. California State University Fullerton’s MBA program, for example, has a business calculus course and economics courses that rely on it, such as micro and macroeconomic theory courses, both of which will involve some math study.

    About the Author

    Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.

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