Will You Need an MBA After Getting your BBA? Read This Answer Now, and Then Read It Again In 10 Years


By Paul Kirsch

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from prospective BBA students is some variation of: Do I need to get an MBA after my BBA? 

It’s simultaneously a question with an easy answer and worthy of complex consideration.

Let’s tackle the easy answer first: Don’t think about this right now!

On average, top-tier MBA programs you might be interested in attending require between three to seven years of full-time work experience before they will consider your candidacy. If you’re applying to undergraduate programs right now, that future is at least seven years away. 

Having a goal is important, but as you start your undergraduate studies your goal should be getting the most out of the learning experiences that are going to set you up for success in those first several years of your career.

And what happens after that? Well, that’s the complex part of the “do I need an MBA after my BBA” question. 

There are a lot of factors you will eventually need to consider (again, these are not concerns for you right now. Bookmark this page and come back in seven to ten years).

As you progress through your career it will be important to focus in on the passions you’ll discover and the new goals you’ll create for yourself along the way. IF, after reflecting on your journey and desired path, it’s clear that a graduate degree is required to get to where you want to go, explore what graduate degree would be the most beneficial. 

Here are a few questions for your future self to consider:

  • Am I just after a credential, or are there more learnings a general MBA degree can offer me at this stage?
  • Looking at the leaders of the industry and companies I’m interested in, how did they navigate the career ladder?
  • What skills gap exists between where I am now and where I want to be? What degree will best help me fill that gap?

Our commitment to providing students with an exceptional general management degree is going to equip you for the things that non-business undergraduates are seeking when they pursue an MBA degree a few years into their careers. 

So, consider the value-add of an MBA to your Michigan Ross BBA vs the value-add of a specialized Masters degree in finance or accounting or public policy or environmental sustainability or whatever direction your individual journey will take you.  

If you need some help exploring the options when the time is right we have web pages that dive into these topics to help you compare options

Of course, if you’re reading this for the second time in 2029 and decide that, yes, an MBA is the right path for me — great! We have the best resources available to help you prepare an incredible application. 

But as you graduate high school and begin your BBA studies, spend that goal-making energy choosing the right electives, getting to know your professors, networking with recruiters, being involved on campus, and having the best four-year college experience you can create. 

Explore the Ross BBA Curriculum