How to Evaluate MBA Programs in DC

Washington, DC, the intersection of government, technology, and business, is a prime location to pursue an MBA program. With so many career and education opportunities in the area, potential students have a wealth of MBA programs in DC to consider.

For those considering top ranked MBA programs in Washington, D.C, there are five ranked MBA Programs in the region. Read “Top Ranked Programs in DC” post for more info.

When facing so many options, how can you evaluate the MBA programs in DC to determine which is right for you?  Reviewing rankings is one method for evaluating programs.

U.S. News & World Report annually ranks all AACSB accredited business schools’ part-time MBA programs based on peer assessment, GMAT average, work experience, percent of part-time students, and undergraduate GPA. To put these MBA program rankings in perspective, there are more than 13,000 schools worldwide that offer business programs. U.S. News & World Report considers only the 672 member institutions (AACSB-accredited business schools) in the U.S. for these rankings.

In addition, all programs have different formats. This includes duration of the program, number of credits, distinctive points, full- or part-time options, curriculum, and class schedule. Read “Top MBA Programs in Washington, D.C. – Format” post for more info.

Opportunities for residencies should also be considered. Today, business is global, and an education without global features will leave you with a gap in your skills. Global residency programs are becoming increasingly popular and offer students a great way to immerse themselves in another culture. Read “How to Choose the Right Global MBA Program” post for more info.

In order to evaluate MBA programs in DC, you should also be sure to check into the specializations offered at each school you are considering. Students generally have the opportunity to choose which electives they want to take during their programs to concentrate their studies on a particular area of interest. Within these electives, many schools have areas that are a greater focus than others. These opportunities often can bring you more class options, and opportunities in the field. Read “Specializations Offered at Top Washington, D.C. MBA Programs” post for more info.

Along with specializations, faculty should always be considered when evaluating MBA programs. Often potential students do not research faculty at prospective schools, but a great faculty member can make the difference for you – providing an excellent educational experience, or even serving as a mentor. Although it is difficult to know which professor will have the biggest impact on you during your program, you can consider the backgrounds of those teaching you. Where did they receive their degrees? Are they actively conducting research? What professional experience do they have? All of these items can paint a better picture for you about the faculty at your reach. Read “Researching Faculty at Washington, D.C. MBA Programs” post for more info.

Finally, career services may be the most important aspect of your MBA program to help you secure a job directly after graduating or even down the road. Washington, D.C., is home to more than 1,000 international firms from 50 countries. According to Inc Magazine’s Best of the Inc 5000 list published in 2012, Washington, D.C., has the second largest number of companies in America. This robust job market strengthens MBA programs in DC. When considering the career services that are available for students, be sure to check about internship opportunities, networking while in the program and after you graduate, shadowing, and placement statistics. Read “Ranked MBA Programs in Washington, D.C. – Career Services” post for more info.

Evaluating MBA programs in DC is a process that will require a great deal of research, but knowing what features to look out for will help. Taking the time out now will benefit you most in the future. Read “How to Compare MBA Programs” post for more info.

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Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Business. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

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