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One of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts became the sixth to join the Union in 1788. Although one of the smallest states by land area, Massachusetts contains some of the most popular and historic cities in the country, like Boston, Cambridge, and Springfield. It also serves as the home of several well-known companies, including General Electric, Dunkin’ Brands, and Gillette.
A strong network of postsecondary academic institutions helps shape the Bay State’s attractive business landscape. For instance, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Northeastern University each reside in Massachusetts, giving students ample opportunities to start and grow their business careers.
The state is also known for its enticing salaries for several popular business-focused careers available with a master of business administration (MBA). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for example, marketing managers and financial managers earned an average of more than $165,000 in May 2022, surpassing national averages for those roles.
If you are considering pursuing an MBA in Massachusetts, continue exploring this page to learn about the state’s business schools, degree offerings, and outcomes for MBA students.
|Number of Higher Learning Institutions||107|
|Per Capita Income||$48,617|
|Fortune 500 Companies||18|
Sources: U.S. Census, Current Results, NCES, Statista
3 Business Schools in Massachusetts
- School Type: Private
- Average Tuition & Fees: $3,100 per credit
- Acceptance Rate: 16%
- Number of MBA Applicants: 960
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is a research-focused school with campuses in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
D’Amore-McKim School of Business
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business features a renowned MBA program offered on campus, 100% online, and part time, to meet each learner’s scheduling and commuting needs. Depending on the chosen format, this degree takes between 18 months and three years to complete.
Online students can complete coursework asynchronously and also attend live, scheduled lectures.
With numerous concentrations available, students can focus their skill development in specific business areas, like marketing or analytics. Additionally, at least six interdisciplinary credits are required to complete the program, giving students room to pursue other interests alongside their MBA courses.
D’Amore-McKim’s MBA Specializations
Analytics | Artificial Intelligence | Bioinformatics | Biotechnology Industry | Brand Management | Business Management for Healthcare | Corporate Innovation | Corporate Finance | Cybersecurity | Data Science | Data Visualization | Entrepreneurship | Experience Design | Game Design | Information Ethics | International Business | Investments | Leading People & Organizations | Marketing | Marketing Analytics | Media Innovation and Advocacy | Operations and Supply Chain Management | Public Health | Software Development | Sustainability and Business
Applying to Northeastern
Northeastern MBA applicants must submit a personal statement, resume, two letters of recommendation, and all college transcripts with their online application. They can also optionally submit GMAT and GRE scores.
- School Type: Private
- Average Tuition & Fees: $4,000-$31,899 per semester (depending on format)
- Acceptance Rate: 34%
- Number of MBA Applicants: N/A
Boston University is a research university in Boston, Massachusetts, with more than 36,000 undergraduate and grad students across the globe.
Questrom School of Business
BU’s Questrom School of Business allows students to complete an MBA on campus or 100% online, with full-time and part-time options to align with their schedules. The online MBA includes synchronous weekly lectures with morning or evening class times to choose from. Part-time learners can also attend evening and weekend classes and optional week-long intensives to balance their personal, professional, and educational needs.
Designed to be completed in as little as two years, BU’s MBA provides opportunities for team collaboration to work through real-world situations with peers. Students can also form business-focused treks to develop their skills worldwide or join interest clubs and organizations for learning and networking opportunities.
Questrom’s MBA Specializations
Business Analytics | Digital Technology | Health Sector | Management Science | Social Impact
Applying to BU
BU requires applicants to submit a written essay or video essay series, a resume, a letter of recommendation, official transcripts, and GRE or GMAT scores. Shortlisted candidates may also be invited to complete a pre-admissions interview.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- School Type: Public
- Average Tuition & Fees: Free (on-campus students), $34,225-36,075 (online students)
- Acceptance Rate: 30-92% (depending on format)
- Number of MBA Applicants: N/A
With roots dating back to 1863, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is a leading research institution focused on sustainability, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Isenberg School of Management
UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management is an AACSB-accredited school with on-campus, hybrid, and online MBA programs. Students can expect to complete the program in about two years, with courses covering areas like marketing, organizational strategy, and risk management.
On-campus MBA students at Isenberg are awarded Isenberg MBA Fellowships that fully fund the degree. In-person learners dive into the workforce with an integrated practicum during their first year, applying learned business strategies to improve real company operations.
Although online learners do not have the same requirement, they develop transferable skills through an intensive curriculum designed to prepare them for the modern business landscape. For example, business law and human resource management courses give students concrete examples to navigate contracts, benefits packages, and ethical situations head-on.
Isenberg’s MBA Specializations
Business Analytics | Entrepreneurship | Finance | Healthcare Administration | Marketing | Sport Management
Applying to UMass Amherst
UMass Amherst MBA applicants must have at least three years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. Additionally, candidates must submit a personal statement, a resume, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores.
Why Go to College for an MBA in Massachusetts?
The Massachusetts economy has been prioritized in recent years, with the government investing more than $3 billion into the state’s infrastructure and encouraging businesses to make the state their home. An increased number of business applications and a reduced unemployment rate show promising signs for Massachusetts’ business climate.
As a result, pursuing an MBA in the Bay State could lead to plentiful opportunities to become a part of the growing economy. Home to widely known Fortune 500 companies like Liberty Mutual, BJ’s Wholesale, and Keurig Dr. Pepper, Massachusetts offers a diverse business landscape across multiple industries.
Students can pursue MBAs at leading business schools in Massachusetts, such as Northeastern and the UMass Amherst, to jumpstart their careers. Eligible MBA students attending a qualifying public college or university may qualify for a state tuition waiver to offset their educational costs. The Massachusetts Board of Education has also moved to increase financial aid funding for higher education.
Accreditation for Massachusetts Schools
Institutional accreditation endorses schools meeting strict standards for academics, faculty, and student outcomes. Attending an accredited business school in Massachusetts is important for students interested in pursuing further education after completing their MBA, as many schools only approve transfer credits from accredited institutions. The New England Commission of Higher Education is the accrediting body for Massachusetts colleges and universities.
Additionally, MBA programs themselves may be accredited. Programmatic accreditation can be helpful for MBA graduates who intend to obtain a certification or licensure or who want to stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs.
MBA programs are typically accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Paying for Your MBA Degree
Tuition for graduate programs like MBAs can be costly. The average nationwide graduate school tuition for one year was $12,394 for public schools and $28,445 for private schools in 2020-2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Fortunately, MBA students can take advantage of numerous financial aid options. For example, grants and scholarships can go directly toward tuition without needing to be paid back. Meanwhile, loans can cover a program’s tuition while allowing students to repay the borrowed money over time. A graduate tuition waiver is also available for eligible Massachusetts students attending participating public colleges and universities.
Explore the links below to learn more about financial aid options for MBA students.
|Average Tuition and Fees||National|
|Private Nonprofit Institution||$28,445|
|Private For-profit Institution||$14,301|
In-State Versus Out-of-State Tuition
In-state and out-of-state tuition refers to varying tuition rates based on whether a student has permanent residency in Massachusetts. In-state tuition is usually lower than out-of-state tuition. However, some Massachusetts schools offering MBAs charge the same rate for all learners, like BU and Northeastern.
Additionally, MBA students in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont can attend an eligible Massachusetts college or university to receive reduced tuition, despite living out of state. This program, known as Tuition Break, is offered by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE). UMass Amherst and Salem State University are two eligible Massachusetts schools with MBA programs.
Cost of Living in Massachusetts
Cost of living refers to the amount of money needed for everyday necessities, like housing, transportation, and food. Some states have much higher costs of living than others.
The baseline cost of living index score for the United States is 100. Massachusetts has the third-highest cost of living in the United States at 148, just behind Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Students should consider this as they plan their education in Massachusetts, as a higher cost of living could make budgeting during college challenging.
Careers for MBA Graduates in Massachusetts
In addition to the benefits that government infrastructure funding brought to the Massachusetts economy, the state offers several business tax credits and an Economic Development Incentive Program to encourage business and economic growth.
Some of the best industries for MBA graduates are top sectors in Massachusetts, like financial services and information technology. These industries pave the way for high-paying careers with promising outlooks, such as financial managers, accountants, and general and operations managers.
Massachusetts cities like Boston and Springfield offer tech-focused, innovative climates that attract new startups and entrepreneurs. Worcester has also been climbing the ladder as a thriving place for business with its booming manufacturing and scientific research sectors.
Below, explore some of the best career opportunities for MBA graduates in Massachusetts with excellent salary potential and job outlooks.
Popular MBA Careers in Massachusetts
General and Operations Manager
General and operations managers oversee multiple departments for an organization, such as logistics and human resources. These professionals are typically skilled in multiple business areas, allowing them to adapt to virtually any of the many industries Massachusetts houses. A bachelor’s degree is usually required for this role, although an MBA could develop advanced skills in communications and operations.
Job Outlook in Massachusetts (2020-2030): 26.5%
Accountants monitor, track, organize, and analyze financial records for an organization. Financial services is one of Massachusetts’ most robust industries, and, therefore, accountant roles are plentiful and typically pay higher salaries than the national average. Entry-level accounting roles are available for associate and bachelor’s degree graduates, but an MBA can help accountants move toward certified public accountant (CPA) licensure.
Job Outlook in Massachusetts (2020-2030): 21.6%
Financial managers are responsible for several organizational financial tasks, such as overseeing accounting departments and evaluating data to plan budgets. Although a bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement for financial managers, some organizations may prefer MBA graduates with CPA licensure. In Massachusetts, the average salaries for these professionals are nearly $12,000 more than the national average.
Job Outlook in Massachusetts (2020-2030): 28.4%
|Career||Massachusetts Employment||Massachusetts Average Annual Salary (2022)||National Average Annual Salary (2022)|
|Accountants and Auditors||39,020||$95,830||$86,740|
|Administrative Services Managers||8,910||$144,180||$115,640|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||580||$125,560||$147,050|
|Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists||2,450||$86,320||$75,920|
|General and Operations Managers||119,850||$146,940||$122,860|
|Project Management Specialists||25,310||$106,590||$101,610|
|Public Relations Managers||2,610||$162,400||$150,030|
|Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents||11,520||$107,860||$100,740|
|Training and Development Managers||1,050||$160,000||$132,100|
Questions About Business Schools in Massachusetts
Is BU a good school for business?
Yes, BU is a reputable university in Boston, Massachusetts, with an MBA offered by its Questrom School of Business. Students can pursue an on-campus or online version of the program to fit their scheduling needs while choosing one of five concentrations that aligns with their career goals and interests.
Is it expensive to get an MBA in Massachusetts?
An MBA can be expensive in any state, but tuition varies between schools. For instance, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern charges MBA students $3,100 per credit. Meanwhile, the Isenberg School of Management from the UMass Amherst charges $925 per credit.
What is the hardest MBA program to get into in Massachusetts?
Business schools in Massachusetts have varying requirements for students, although many ask applicants to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and standardized test scores. However, Harvard Business School’s MBA admissions process may be the most demanding, with additional steps like an applicant interview and a written post-interview reflection.
How do I qualify for in-state tuition in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts students must be residents of the state for at least six months if attending a community college or 12 months if attending a state college or university to qualify for in-state tuition. Alternatively, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont students may participate in the NEBHE’s Tuition Break program to receive in-state tuition at participating schools.