MBA from same school as undergrad?

OK, I’ve been out of college for about 6 years, and at my current job for just over 2. I do like my current job a lot (money being the only negative), and as far as I can tell they love me, consider me to be one of their best employees, and I’m definitely in their long term plans.

Employer has brought up me potentially taking additional classes, which I’d be excited to do. This could be anything from small seminars, to more in depth courses, to an additional college degree. I’d be thinking more along the lines of pursuing a degree, probably an MBA. This would be paid for by the company, although I still need to clarify a few things and work out a few details.

So, my question is, assuming I do go for the MBA or something similar, would it matter if it is from the same school I got my BBA from? Since I’d be continuing to work full-time while taking classes, I’m looking to do this at a local school. I haven’t done all the research of my options yet, but it looks like there’s about a half dozen schools which I’d be interested in, and which would be close enough for me to commute. I’d say my undergrad school would be a clear #2 (#3 if I really expanded my commuting range), so it normally would be an option that I’d be looking at very closely, is there anything wrong with that? Does it look bad (or even weird) to have both a BBA and MBA from a single school, or would it be at all better for them to be from two separate schools? Although at this point I’m looking from the perspective of continuing at my current employer, and I honestly have no intention of leaving them anytime soon (ever?), I’d still like to consider how this would look on my resume and to outside employers as well. Any suggestions, opinions or advice?

It really depends on how close the BBA and MBA curricula are at your school. If they’re the same to the point where many courses are cross-listed between the programs, then yes, you should probably look elsewhere. But if they’re actually different, it might not be an issue.

The bigger question you should be asking is what you’re going to get out of the MBA that you didn’t get out of your BBA, and how much of that will be of significant value to your current employer.

If you plan on spending your entire career with your current employer, and your current employer doesn’t care, then go for it.

When applying for a new job, however, the conventional wisdom is that it’s better to get the Bachelor’s and the Master’s from two different universities.

If Applicant 1 has degrees from the same school, and Applicant 2 has degrees from different schools, then, all else equal, Applicant 2 is more likely to be hired.

The theory is that going to different schools exposes you to a broader range of teachers, and a more “well-rounded” education.

It also depends on where your undergrad degree is from. If it’s a prestige school, taking your Master’s elsewhere just to be different would probably be a mistake.

Bachelor’s from Whatsamatta U? Doesn’t much matter whether the Master’s is from the same place or not.

Got mine from the same school as my undergrad - but in a different concentration than my bachelor’s. Once you reach a certain level, it’s just another notch and all people care about is where you did your MBA, not where you did your undergrad. They won’t ask where you did your undergrad anymore after you get your MBA…

That being said, go to the BEST MBA school you can get into. That DOES matter.

Best (and toughest!!!) decision I ever made!

Good luck!

My husband is doing it. He did consider other schools, but he felt this was the best fit for him. However, his undergrad degree is not in business–it’s in mechanical engineering, so he’s in a different “college” at the university. He certainly is not being taught by any of the same teachers this time around.

Don’t think he really plans to stay with his current employer forever, so I hope it doesn’t look too bad :(.

Having been on the other side of the desk for this question (lawyers, not MBA’s), unless the institution in question is Harvard, then it raises questions. However, if there’s been time off between the degrees, and especially if you’re getting the MBA part-time, I, for one, would not care. The real reason this kind of thing worried me is because, when people went straight through, I wondered if they went for the later degree simply as a way of extending college. But for an already-established person, that’s clearly not the reason why you’ve chosen to go back to the same school, and so it wouldn’t cause me any tsurrus.


I remember when I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree, the faculty actively discouraged seniors from applying for graduate school there, telling us that we’d be better served by getting a wider exposure of faculty, ideas, etc.

Thanks for the replies and advice. I appreciate the input. Just to kind of clarify and address some of the questions which have brought up, I can provide a few more details:

Undergrad degree is MIS, but my job has steered more towards accounting or finance, which is one of the main reasons I’m considering more schooling. I’ve kind of had going back to school in the back of my mind for a little while, and the reason I’m looking at it more closely now has a lot to do with the fact that my employer suggested me taking classes (and will pay for it). I figure if I’m going to put the time in to take these classes, I may as well get credit towards a degree.

Undergrad degree is definitely not from a prestigious university, but it is from a pretty average public state school. Of the schools I’m looking at now, as far as I can see 1 would be borderline top 50 per the lists I’m seeing on the internet, and the rest would be very average. If was willing to commute an hour (and assuming I could get in and do the work), there is one other option which would actually be a clear top 50 school.

I’d definitely be looking at this as a way to make myself more valuable to my current employer, and at this point I hope to be working for them for a long time, but I’d also want to build my resume in case I ever have or want to look at other companies.

I’m with Cliffy, MHO is that with the six years away from school, it matters much much less. Go to the best school that works for your commuting and scholarly abilities.

I have a BA from one school and an MBA from a top 20 school. My general advice would be to go to the best MBA program you can get into as others have said. I have definitely encountered a lot of degree snobbery in the workplace. And even I will admit that if confronted with a pile of resumes and some are from notable schools and others not, I’m more inclined, all things being equal, to assume better school = better employee. It has never factored into any decision I’ve made as to whether the undergraduate and graduate school are the same. Only what the quality of the school is overall.

In reality though, where you get your degree really has no bearing on the quality of your education in many cases. I’ve met people with Harvard and Wharton degrees who were morons, and others from local schools or even National University that were amazing. Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.

Given the geographical limitations you have, I would recommend whatever the best school is among your choices, balancing commute time/quality of life with how much your company will pay (if some programs are more costly that others and the company will only pay part of it).

Once you have the MBA, no one will care where your undergraduate degree is from, and once you have enough post-MBA experience, no one will even care where your MBA was from, only that you have one.

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