Business administration

MBA Meaning

posted in: About the degree

MBA is an abbreviation meaning: Master of Business Administration.


When someone says "MBA", they usually mean an MBA degree from a university or college (e.g. "she has an MBA").

Other MBA meanings you may hear are:

  • the program or course that leads to the award of the MBA degree (e.g. "MBA enrollments")
  • a graduate with a Master of Business Administration qualification (e.g. "they are recruiting MBAs").


MBA is a common abbreviation because

  1. it is much quicker to write or say than "Master of Business Administration"
  2. an MBA is, in many countries, the most popular graduate degree.

"Business administration" has broad meaning and describes the jobs of many people. It refers to "management" but also other functions involved with operating a business (such as finance, marketing, planning and recruiting).

In Australia, an MBA is easily the most popular masters degree. In 2014, there were 376,000 postgraduate university students (uCube). Of these, 114,000 (or 30%) were studying Management and Commerce. Most in the category were enrolled in an MBA program, including embedded courses (graduate certificates or diplomas in business administration).

About MBA programs

You are a potential candidate for an MBA if you are interested in a career in business, management or entrepreneurship.

  • The standard length of a program in Australia is 1.5 years (3 semesters).
  • Usual requirements for entry are that you have a bachelor degree (of any kind) and have worked in a professional role for at least a couple of years.
  • Programs are also available for people without a bachelor degree but who have significant management experience.

MBA studies are popular because they are enjoyable and have a large payoff (as shown by our salary calculator). You can usually choose subjects or projects which align with your career and interests. A good MBA program will spark your imagination and encourage you to think like a leader.