Here is a timeline of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Included in this history are the first business schools and the origins of graduate business programs.
Sources have been provided for some of the less well-known facts.
World’s First Business School Established
December 1, 1819
The world’s first business school was created in 1819 with the founding of The École spéciale de commerce et d’industrie in Paris, France. The Business School still exists and is now known as ESCP Business School. > Back to MBA timelineRead more
Wharton School of Business Opens
January 1, 1881
The Wharton School of Finance and Economy of the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1881 through a donation of $100,000 by Joseph Wharton. The Business School is recognised as the world’s oldest collegiate business school. Graduate education would not be offered until many years later, with the MBA program…Read more
First Graduate School of Business – Tuck
January 1, 1900
The first graduate school of business was established in 1900. The Tuck School of Business was founded at Dartmouth College through a donation made by Dartmouth alumnus Edward Tuck. Dartmouth College is an Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire. The Tuck School of Business now offers only one…Read more
First MBA Program Launched at Harvard
April 8, 1908
The creation of Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1908 effectively began the first MBA program, though the MBA concept was far from developed when the business school started. The first students enrolled in three courses: Accounting, Commercial Contracts, and Economic Resources of the United States. Only a quarter of the…Read more
Case Method Proposed for MBA Teaching
January 1, 1920
The Case Method for MBA instruction effectively began when the second dean of Harvard Business School, Wallace Brett Donham (pictured on right), published a memo to the faculty in 1920. As a way to bring focus and practicality to business studies, Donham proposed adapting the case law method commonly used…Read more
An Executive MBA Offered to Wartime Workers
January 1, 1943
The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago offered the first Executive MBA in 1943. The initiative was a wartime response to a perceived shortage of managers in the United States. Source: Chicago Booth. With a depleted labor force, a need arose for experienced workers to learn management…Read more
First MBA Classes Outside of the US, in Canada
September 23, 1948
MBA classes shifted outside the United States for the first time with the launch of an MBA program at Ivey Business School in Canada. Canada’s top 100 CEOs and Presidents met at Western University to determine a need for a National School of Business Administration. Out of the meeting, work…Read more