Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Justin S. Brown


business schools, decision considerations, graduate business, interviews, marketing higher education, MBA


This paper adds to existing literature regarding MBA selection processes and helps identify and better understand the needs that motivate consumers to pursue an MBA degree. Through a series of qualitative, one-on-one interviews with 17 brand-new MBA students or prospective students, this research found that while many people have "always wanted" to earn the advanced degree, most have toyed with the idea of a graduate business degree for many years. The most frequent reasons that people cite regarding their decision to seriously consider an MBA at a large southern university centers around four desires. These are, not surprisingly, the desire to earn more money, the desire to change careers, the desire to advance their careers by obtaining a required credential, and the desire for knowledge that can be obtained by earning the degree. Further, this research identified the single most important factor that prospects considered when determining which university to attend for the MBA degree: the university's ability to help make them more marketable or advance their career. Other answers included cost, university's reputation, convenience, program duration, the university's location, and the caliber of peers in the classroom.