What is an MBA?

22 Jul 2019

Students in class

If you’re asking yourself ‘What Is an MBA?’ then you’re in the right place. See below for our guide to MBAs and why you should consider one if you’re planning on completing a business master’s degree. 

Defining an MBA degree

The acronym “MBA” stands for Master of Business Administration. A graduate degree at the Bac + 4 or Bac + 5 level. The MBA is a master's degree in management and business management, mainly recognized for its international dimension.

This professionalising diploma allows students to acquire both general managerial skills and a knowledge of practical skills in a specific specialisation, such as Human Resources, Management, International Affairs, Luxury Trade, Business Development, Digital marketing, Finance, and Business.

The different types of MBA degree

There are four types of MBA  : 

  • Full time MBAs  
  • Specialized MBAs
  • Part-time MBAs 
  • The Executive MBAs (EMBA)

The Full-Time MBA is the most common degree format. This fairly general diploma is obtained after one to two years of full-time study, consisting of both theoretical lessons and practical internships in a company ranging from 4 to 6 months.

The Specialized MBA course covers specific areas of activity such as corporate strategy, finance, luxury trade, project management, management, international business or entrepreneurship. These MBAs can be organized over one or two years and also include internships.

The Part-time training allows candidates to complete their diploma course on a more flexible time frame, such as evening courses. The average duration of this type of MBA is 18 months.

The Executive MBA will be of interest to seasoned executives who have 5 to 20 years of experience in a company from most industries. The training is generally shorter and allows holders of this type of MBA to be given new responsibilities or new professional goals when they return full time to their position.

At IPAG, you can enter a full-time generalist MBA in the fourth year before choosing a specialized MBA in the fifth year, or simply directly enter the course in the fifth year. Therefore, our students benefit from all the advantages offered by these management programs.

Who can apply for an MBA?

Put simply, French students, international students, and post business executives. An MBA can be suited to many types of people, across many sectors and industries. Students of French nationality or foreign students can register for an MBA, but under certain conditions, with the aim of acquiring dual skills, specializing in a specific field, giving an international dimension to their studies, or with the perspective of a future entrepreneurial project.

A current executive, a consultant, or a project manager who wishes to boost their professional career can also integrate into an MBA training programme. Their admission will depend on their level of education, qualifications, and relevant accumulated experience. The training allows the validation of professional achievements and can help you to reach a higher level of responsibility within your company. For example, to become the manager of a larger team.

How to get accepted on an MBA course

Each school has its own admission procedure, which can vary depending on the level of entry for the MBA program. 

At IPAG Business School, the MBA admission procedure is quite selective, and consists of two stages. Firstly, there is an evaluation of the applicants experience, and then a formal interview. This interview allows candidates to present their professional project and their motivations in front of an admission jury. Additionally, depending on the skill of the primary language the course will be taught in, as this can be in English or French.

You can enter the fourth year and complete your course in two years if you have a Bac + 3 level diploma. Note that you can also enter the fifth year if you have a Bac + 4 level or a Bac + 3 level (bachelor or license) with 3 years of professional experience. 

As for tuition fees, they differ depending on the schools and the margin of difference can be very wide. But at IPAG, a year in our MBA course costs between €8,000 and 10,000 euros maximum. 

What happens on an MBA course?

Now that we’ve answered the big question of ‘what is an MBA?’, lets take a look at the features of an MBA degree. At IPAG, the program is very different depending on the type of MBA you are doing. Whether you are on the Paris or Nice campus during your first year of MBA, also called an IBMP (International Business and Management Program), you will follow the theoretical courses in French or in English, according to your choice.

The course will have a focus on Management, Commerce, Communication, Negotiation, Business Strategy, Digital Transformation, or Ethics. Students will also do an internship of 4 to 6 months in France or abroad to gain practical experience in the industry.

Browse our available courses below:

MBA in French:

MBA in English: