Academic Preparation for Working Professionals

MBA students come from diverse academic and experiential backgrounds. A typical class includes students who have studied business, economics, law, engineering, sciences, medicine, literature, and other fields. Further, students have varied functional and managerial experience based on their professional responsibilities. And some students have completed college only a few years ago, while others have been out of college 15 years or more.

Our MBA students have found that pre-program academic preparation contributes significantly to their success as they study for the MBA degree. The goal of MBA Ready is to assist you with customizing your preparation.

What materials are included in MBA Ready?

On each content page, we have provided a list of important concepts for you to become familiar with before Orientation, and some suggested materials for review or preview. There are many possibilities. You can certainly use your own books, notes, etc. from courses you have taken.

All admitted students will receive access to special online courses in math preparation, accounting preparation, and Excel training.

However, if you want to start your preparation before you have applied/been admitted to the program, please look over our suggestions.

If you would like to know how your background fits into our class profiles, contact the MBA Admissions Office at +1.919.660.7705, or admissions-info@fuqua.duke.edu.

Road Map

As you consider how prepared you are academically for a rigorous MBA program, and whether you have the required skills to participate fully, please take into account the following:

Word, PowerPoint & Excel

Executive MBA students depend on their computers for connectivity with the program, the faculty and their teams. To be prepared for the first term of the program, all students must be comfortable with the common office software used at Fuqua: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. With respect to Excel, you will need the ability to efficiently create, as well as use, the models represented and the documents produced by this software. 

Accounting & Statistics

Alumni tell us again and again: if you have had limited exposure to financial statements or little experience applying statistical concepts, you may need to begin preparing sooner—before the normal pre-reading period..

Mathematics

If you have not recently studied or used quantitative concepts much beyond arithmetic, you will need to review algebra and learn a bit of calculus.

Time Value of Money

You should be thoroughly familiar with the concepts and measurement of time value of money.

English Proficiency

You will need strong English proficiency to participate successfully in the program. This includes using both oral and written communication. If all your academic coursework was taught in your native language (rather than in English) and if you do not use English during your job, you may need to take formal steps to increase your English proficiency. We suggest some activities to enhance your proficiency.