Destination USA: Business administration makes you industry-ready

Destination USA
It is important for students to become familiar with academic trends before selecting a programme or institution for studies.

We continue our discussion today from last week on business administration – a popular field of study at US higher education institutions.

We already understand how a majority of programmes in business administration are professional, preparing students for industry positions at the managerial or executive level in different specialisations. The MBA is a popular professional programme of choice for students along with executive MBA programmes. For students interested in pursuing a research-oriented programme, MS programmes in different specialisations of business administration are also being offered at US colleges and universities.

PhD programmes in business administration are available for students interested in research and academic careers after an MBA or MS degree. At US universities, the duration of a PhD programme averages around five years. It is important for students to become familiar with academic trends and current research developments in the field and match their academic and career goals with the right institutions before selecting the programme or institution for their PhD programme.

As also discussed in previous articles, although it is not a prerequisite for students to declare their major at the time of application for the undergraduate (bachelor’s) programme, they may choose a major and/or minor related to the field of business administration contingent on availability at the selected college or university.

Students should always look for regionally accredited colleges and universities and identify academic programmes with professional accreditation. Professional accrediting organisations for business administration include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programmes (, the MBA Association ( and the Executive MBA Council (

Students may also find out if a course or university is accredited by visiting the database of accredited programmes and institutions published by the US Department of Education at or
Department of Homeland Security at

To search graduate and undergraduate programmes in business administration, students may refer to the following resources:

• Peterson’s Graduate Programmes in the Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Book 2

• Peterson’s online at

• AACSB’s,

• Collee Board

• Edupass

• College Navigator:

— Monika Setia (Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at US – India Educational Foundation, based at the US Consulate General Hyderabad)


Q. What is the difference between a college and university in the US? Who can become a college or university student?
– Rajeshwari

Ans. The terms, college and university, are used interchangeably and mean the same thing in the United States. As a rule, colleges tend to be smaller and usually offer only undergraduate degrees, while a university also offers graduate degrees. Within each college or university, you will find schools, such as schools of arts and sciences or the school of business. A high school education is usually required to become an undergraduate university student. Many institutions will not accept international students who are younger than age 17. However, there are sometimes exceptions to that general rule.

Q. Can I work while studying in the US?
– Aditya

Ans. Most international students in the United States go on an F-1 (non-immigrant) student visa. On an F-1 visa, a student is eligible to work only on the campus of their university. U.S. immigration laws do not allow international students to work off-campus during their studies. On-campus work opportunities are also limited to up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester and up to 40 hours per week during school breaks. In addition, please take note that you are eligible for on-campus employment only while you are enrolled full-time in an academic programme.

On-campus work depends on availability of such positions. If a department/college offers assistantships, you may apply for these during your application or after admission. Most of the time, an assistantship means that the student does not pay tuition and receives a scholarship or stipend that can cover some portion of accommodation, meals, books and personal expenses. The sum paid for an assistantship varies by state, town, university, etc. Assistantships are available to students in the form of Teaching Assistantships (TA), Graduate Assistantships (GA), and/or Research Assistantships (RA) through which students help their departments with teaching, research, both teaching, and other department work. You may search on the department/college webpage or contact department officers for further information about assistantship options. You may also apply for other on-campus jobs that are generally advertised through a student job portal by most universities. There is competition for all open positions, so you should plan to apply as early as possible. Also, take a close look at the eligibility criteria before applying for the position.

F1 students can also avail themselves of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completing one year of coursework. CPT is an off-campus internship or practicum in a major field of study and requires pre-approval by the international student office of your university. OPT is also off-campus work, for which you may apply after completion of an academic degree. It is 12 months of work directly related to your academic major and can be extended up to 24 months for STEM fields.


Every question has an answer. And ‘Destination USA’ will strive to provide the right answer to all those youngsters who dream of studying in the US.

Mail your questions and doubts to [email protected] to have subject matter experts answer them, right from the degree and programme of study you can pursue to what the application process entails, on universities, how to prepare resumes, financing your studies and even how it is like to live and study in the US, all are welcome.

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