EMBA and MBA Degree Requirements: What to Expect

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A person wearing a suit and tie fills in a formEarning an advanced degree online can open you up to a more fulfilling career. It is also more convenient than attending college in person. In the business world, earning an MBA can increase job prospects, improve the skills needed to excel in high-level positions, increase job security, and boost earning power. The median annual salary for those with an MBA is $92,000, according to the compensation source PayScale.

The path to an MBA takes several steps. To be considered for these programs, it is crucial to make certain you have everything necessary to complete the application. Enrollment requirements for the Washington State University Carson College of Business vary depending on whether you are interested in our traditional Online MBA or our Executive MBA Online program (EMBA).

The WSU Carson College of Business meets the rigorous standards set by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is accredited at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels in business and accounting.

Our Online MBA program was created to teach you management and leadership skills that translate across borders and business sectors. At the WSU Carson College of Business, students can choose from four concentrations—marketing, finance, international business, or hospitality business management. You can also opt for a general MBA.

Meanwhile, the Executive MBA Online program was created for the experienced student who wants to prepare for a role at the executive level. Students enrolled in the WSU Carson College of Business Executive MBA program can also participate in our optional multi-day leadership conference.

If you are ready to pursue an advanced business degree, it’s important to understand EMBA and MBA degree requirements prior to beginning your journey.

Online MBA Requirements

The application deadlines for our Online MBA programs vary depending on which term you wish to enter. We offer three opportunities to begin your degree: in the spring, summer, or fall term. Deadliness for the Summer and Fall 2022 terms follow:

  • Summer 1 deadline: May 9, 2022
  • Summer 2 deadline: June 13, 2022
  • Summer 3 deadline: July 18, 2022
  • Fall 1 deadline: August 22, 2022
  • Fall 2 deadline: October 3, 2022
  • Fall 3 deadline: November 7, 2022

For more information on the spring term application deadline dates, please visit our website.

In addition to a completed and signed application, students planning to enroll will need to provide the following:

1. Bachelor’s Degree

If you wish to enroll in the WSU Carson College of Business Online MBA program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the European Foundation for Management Development’s Quality Improvement System. The AACSB and EQUIS are two of the most highly recognized accreditors of business programs worldwide.

The AACSB evaluates schools, in part, according to three overarching core values: the college’s promotion of ethical behavior among students and staff, the collegiate environment, and the school’s commitment to corporate and social responsibility. EQUIS, on the other hand, assesses schools based on how well they integrate a quality education with student experience and prepare students for the corporate world. International students should be prepared to send transcripts of their previous enrollment to either World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).

The WSU Carson College of Business only accepts students who graduated from an accredited program to ensure your previous education aligns with our school’s standard of education, mission, and practices. In addition, accreditation gives us an idea of what you studied before coming to our school. If the curriculum at your former college is close to our own, we can estimate whether you’re prepared to start classes or whether you may benefit from taking some prerequisites first.

If you didn’t earn your degree from a school accredited by the AACSB or EQUIS, you will be required to complete our Online MBA business foundation courses. In this five-to seven-week program, you’ll study accounting, marketing, law, finance, and other essential business topics necessary to prepare you for your graduate studies. If you did not earn your bachelor’s degree in business or did not take equivalent courses with a B average grade (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) with no more than two grades below a 3.0, you will also need to enroll in this course.

2. Resume

Your resume is an opportunity for our admissions office to learn more about you as an individual. This helps us determine which track would be best suited for your goals, allowing us to recommend one that will offer the best experience for you. You may also submit a curriculum vitae (CV) as long as it does not exceed two pages.

When writing your resume, try to focus heavily on your professional accomplishments. This is your opportunity to describe your leadership experience and highlight your personal story.  It is not necessarily an opportunity to repeat the details of your transcripts and GMAT/GRE scores.

Also, describing how your past education performance can contribute to your current career goals can help your chances at admission.

Use numbers to quantify your accomplishments. For example, instead of saying you reduced overhead costs, write something along the lines of “Reduced overhead by 5% monthly average over the course of 12 months.” Figures like these make your personal achievements more impactful, better illustrate your accomplishments, and give us a greater understanding of your abilities.


The WSU Carson College of Business uses the results of your Graduate Management Admission Test or Graduate Record Examinations to demonstrate your potential for success within our program. These tests provide a preview of the critical thinking skills you’ll be asked to apply throughout your studies.

The GMAT consists of four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment: A 30-minute segment asks you to analyze and critique a specific argument
  • Integrated Reasoning: Another 30-minute segment has you evaluate data from various sources in multiple forms
  • Quantitative Reasoning: A 62-minute section requires basic algebra and geometry skills to solve quantitative problems, interpret graphs, and perform similar tasks
  • Verbal Skills: The final 65-minute section tests reasoning, reading comprehension, and your ability to correct poorly written material

The GRE, meanwhile, is composed of three sections:

  • Verbal Reasoning: Measures your ability to draw conclusions and infer arguments from information that may or may not be complete
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Have you solve problems with basic arithmetic, data analysis, algebra, and geometry in addition to asking you to analyze quantitative information
  • Analytical Writing: Asks you to write and support a clear, coherent argument

If your other admission requirements are notably exceptional, you may be eligible for a GMAT waiver. Qualified waiver applicants have one of the following:

  • Official college transcripts showing a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (this can include a graduate degree; professional degree; or a STEM degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics as well as a business degree)
  • At least five years of progressive work experience and a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • At least ten years of progressive work experience and a GPA of at least 2.79 on a 4.0 scale

Additionally, you must include a request for a GMAT waiver in your statement of purpose essay.

For more information on our GMAT Substitution policy, visit our website’s Enrollment Detail page.

4. Letter of Recommendation

Transcripts, resumes, and test scores can provide a comprehensive, but not complete, overview of your abilities and potential as a student and graduate of our MBA program. That’s why the WSU Carson College of Business requires a letter of recommendation to help fill in the gaps.

If you’ve talked to your fellow graduate school applicants, you might hear them mention that obtaining a letter of recommendation can be the hardest part of the application process. It’s the one area of your application where you must rely on someone other than yourself to get the task done. Therefore, it can be beneficial to choose a recommender you know is punctual, has sound writing skills, and who is invested in your success. In addition, give people a few months to write your letter; your courtesy will likely be greatly appreciated.

It’s best if the people recommending you have established academic or business reputations. Try to find a former professor who was impressed with your work, or a supervisor or manager with an advanced degree who supervised you during an internship or entry-level job position. Their credentials can give us insight into your background and help us recommend a suitable concentration.

5. Statement of Purpose

This document should explain your reasoning for entering the program. It should detail why you want to further your business acumen, what professional experience you have, and how your previous experience and education, along with the knowledge acquired during graduate school, will contribute to the pursuit of your career goals. This should also include a request to waive the GMAT and supporting documentation if desired.

A strong statement of purpose is factual yet engaging. Try to make yours unique, yet still professional, by highlighting detailed qualities you possess that will help you succeed in our program.

Executive MBA Requirements

Like our Online MBA program, our Executive MBA Online program also has spring, fall, and summer terms. However, the EMBA program only has one start date per term. The summer and fall terms are as follows:

  • Summer 2022 start date: May 9, 2022
  • Fall 2022 start date: August 22, 2022

For more information on the spring term start date, please visit our website.

The online Executive MBA program was developed to tailor your education to the executive level. The concepts and tactics you’ll study go beyond basic leadership—they’re designed to teach you to survey the entirety of a business’ practices with a critical eye and solid business judgment.

EMBA applicants must fulfill the same requirements expected of MBA applicants. This includes following the same international submission protocols if you are an international student. EMBA applicants must also meet several other requirements.

1. Management Experience

The WSU Carson College of Business asks prospective students to have several years of management, senior management, or executive management experience to help determine their readiness for the executive level. Management experience provides an intimate understanding of the business environment you can’t get anywhere else. Additionally, time in the workforce helps you form a strong business foundation that the Executive MBA program can further build upon.

2. Organizational Summary

The summary is a brief review—no more than 500 words—of your current organization and your role within it. Potential details you can mention in your summary include:

  • The type of organization you work for (for example, a corporation, college or nonprofit)
  • The organization’s mission statement
  • Important statistics showing the organization’s size, health, or progress
  • The organization’s future goals

You must also provide a diagram showing the positions and hierarchy of the people within your company.

3. Interview

This is our opportunity to learn even more about you as an individual. In anticipation of your interview, practice making your interview answers clear, concise, and concrete. A wordy, unsubstantial response to a question can make you appear unprepared.

Similar to a job interview, have a few questions prepared before entering your interview, and try to think of more questions as the conversation between you and the interviewer develops. Avoid questions that are designed simply to pass the time.

Possible engaging questions include the following topics:

  • Statistics attesting to the program’s success, i.e., What’s the acceptance rate? How many graduates enter a specific industry?
  • Resources, i.e., Do online students have opportunities to collaborate?
  • Performance Rating, i.e., What is each class like? How do we receive feedback from our professors?

Prepare for the Next Phase of Your Career

Whether you pursue an MBA or an Executive MBA, an advanced business degree can lead to a broad array of professional advantages. Washington State University’s Online Master of Business Administration and Online Executive Master of Business Administration programs can help prepare you for the next phase of your career, whichever degree is right for you. Our programs are designed to build upon your existing knowledge and skills to equip you to become a business leader.

Learn how WSU can help be part of your professional journey.

Recommended Reading

Executive MBA vs. MBA: What’s the Difference?

How Hard Is An MBA Online? Here Are 3 Things You Need To Know

Is an Executive MBA Beneficial for Business Professionals?


Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Business Accreditation

Council for Higher Education Association, Accreditation & Recognition

Educational Credential Evaluators, Further Education

Educational Testing Service, Test Content

Graduate Management Admission Council, About the GMAT Exam

Indeed, Top 10 Benefits of Getting an MBA

PayScale, Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree

U.S. Small Business Administration, Write Your Business Plan

Washington State University, Online Application Menu

Washington State University, Online MBA

World Education Services, About WES Credential Evaluation