Florida is a favorite destination of orange connoisseurs, famous for its warm climate, beaches, and theme parks . If you’re interested in attending a business school in the Sunshine State, you have numerous options available.
Since there are many business schools in Florida, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. If you’re interested in calling Florida home or don’t want to leave your home state to pursue your MBA, this guide is for you.
We’ll discuss what you need to know about business schools in Florida, information about the top five best schools, and top tips to give you the best chance of acceptance.
About Business Schools in Florida
Although Florida business schools may not be ranked among the top 20 national business schools, they’re still great, depending on your career aspirations. Florida business schools tend to be less competitive, with a wide range of acceptance rates. Of Florida schools ranked by U.S. News Report, acceptance rates fall between 26.6% to 84%.
In-state tuition can range from approximately $12,700 to $21,100 per year, while out-of-state tuition can range from $31,000 to $47,000 per year. On a per-credit basis for full-time MBA programs, tuition can range from approximately $470 to $2,220.
Job Outlook in Florida for MBAs
MBA graduates have the essential business training and skills to excel in many career paths. Common entry-level MBA jobs include financial analyst, database analyst, healthcare manager, business operations manager, marketing manager, and many others.
The job outlook in Florida is quite favorable for those holding an MBA degree. Coupled with Florida’s generally lower cost of living than other states, working in top-paying cities can garner a great return on investment.
According to ZipRecruiter, MBAs in Florida can earn approximately $62,000 on average per year in entry-level jobs. You can expect salary increases as you advance and gain new skills and experience. However, what city you want to work in impacts your entry-level wages:
We ranked Florida’s top business schools following U.S News Report’s top national business school ranking. U.S. News uses various qualitative and quantitative measures to conclude a business schools ranking:
- A quality assessment worth 40%, made up of a peer and recruiter assessment scores
- Placement success contributes 35% to each school’s rank, made up of employment rates at and three months after graduation, and mean starting salaries and bonuses.
- Student selectivity weighed 25% in the ranking process and examined students’ mean GMAT and GRE scores, mean undergraduate GPA, and acceptance rates.
5 Best Business Schools In Florida
Below you’ll find information about each of Florida’s best business schools, including rankings, program offerings, and how to apply.
1. The Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida
The UF Warrington College of Business is ranked No. 26 in Best Business Schools, No. 26 in Executive MBA programs, and No. 41 in Best Part-time MBA programs.
You have four options to complete your UF MBA: the Full-time MBA, Executive MBA, Online MBA, Online MBA, and Weekend Professional MBA.
There are three major steps to apply for the UF MBA. You must fill out a pre-application form, complete the UF Graduate School Application, and submit any supplemental materials. You need to provide a resume, two professional recommendation letters, official transcripts, and GMAT or GRE scores.
You must also write five short answer responses (limited to 1000 characters each) and three essay responses (limited to 5500 characters each) to the following questions:
Short Answer Questions
“1. In order of importance to you, list significant extracurricular activities, professional associations, and civic organizations in which you have participated in school, work, or the community. Also please indicate years of participation and any leadership positions you held.”
2. What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you?
3. List below any other interests, hobbies, or recreational activities you currently pursue in your free time.
4. Please describe any academic, professional, or civic honors or awards you received, patents you've been issued, books you've authored, or any other significant accomplishments you would like the admissions committee to consider.
5. Explain the primary factors that influenced your decision to apply to the UF MBA Program.”
“1. Describe how you would like to see your career develop. Explain how your academic background, prior professional experience, and the UF MBA will help you achieve your career goals. If your career goals are international or you are an international student, please include as part of your career plan in what country or region you plan to seek employment following completion of the program.
2. Full-Time MBA Applicants Only - Describe success you achieved due to self-motivation, persistence, and hard work. What motivated you?
3. Optional – Please share any additional information you think will assist the admissions committee in evaluating your application to the UF MBA Program.”
2. The Miami Herbert Business School at the University of Miami
The UM Miami Herbert Business School is ranked No. 60 in Best Business Schools and No. 26 in Best International MBA Programs.
There are many options for MBA pathways at UM to best suit your needs and lifestyle. The school offers:
- Full-time MBA
- Accelerated MBA
- Online MBA
- Accelerated MBA in Real Estate
- Executive MBA Programs including the Miami Global Executive MBA, Executive MBA for Health Management and Policy, and Global OneMBA
- Evening and Weekend MBA
- Joint MBA programs
You will need to gather and create numerous components to apply to UM’s MBA programs:
- Official transcripts
- GMAT or GRE scores
- Personal statement: Your personal statement lets your personality shine and “is a chance for the admission committee to get to know you, your experience and goals, and what you may bring to the program.”
- Supplemental Essay: These essays help further demonstrate your candidacy.
- Current Resume: Your resume should be easy to follow, concise, and state professional and academic achievements.
- Letters of recommendation: The number of letters you must provide varies by program.
3. The College of Business at Florida State University
The FSU College of Business is ranked No. 106 in Best Business Schools and #73 in Best Part-time MBA Programs.
There’s something for everyone: FSU offers the following six MBA programs that you can choose from:
- Accelerated, Full-time MBA
- Evening, Part-time MBA
- Online Part-time MBA
- Online, Part-time with Real Estate
- JD/MBA Joint Pathway
- MSW/MBA Joint Pathway
Application requirements may vary from program to program, but the Accelerated Full-time MBA requires:
- Test scores
- Official transcripts
- An application statement
- A current resume: FSU you to outline all full-time and part-time work experience, and that management, business, and leadership experience is detailed.
- Letters of recommendation: FSU asks for three recommendation letters from employers or college professors “that speak specifically to the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the MBA program.”
4. The College of Business Administration at Florida International University
The College of Business Administration at Florida International University is ranked between No. 110 and 143 in Best Business Schools, No. 106 in Best Part-Time MBA Programs, and No. 3 in Best International MBA Programs.
FIU offers numerous MBA programs:
- Business Analytics MBA
- Full-time International MBA
- Healthcare MBA
- Executive MBA
- Professional MBA Online
- Professional MBA Weekend
- Professional MBA Downtown
- Professional MBA Flex
- Professional MBA Online with a specialization in Sports Management
Application requirements may vary by program, but the Full-time MBA requires:
- Official transcripts
- GMAT, GRE scores, or waiver
- A professional resume: You must detail your experience in chronological order, dates you earned degrees, and an internship or part-time experience.
- Statement of Purpose: You must write a response of no more than two pages indicating your interest and objectives for pursuing this program.
5. The Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida
The USF Muma College of Business is ranked between No. 110 and No. 143 in Best Business Schools and No. 102 in Best Part-time MBA Programs.
The Muma College of Business offers five MBA programs:
- Online MBA
- Executive MBA
- The Evening Program at the Tampa campus
- Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management MBA
- The Weekend Program at the Sarasota-Manatee Campus
USF’s admissions committee reviews applications holistically. These are the MBA requirements:
- Official transcripts
- GMAT, GRE scores, or a waiver
- Statement of purpose
- Professional resume
Letters of recommendation: USF requires three recommendation letters, and at least one of them should be a professional reference.
Tips for Getting Into the Best Business Schools in Florida
Setting yourself up for MBA success means polishing your application to perfection. You must dedicate thought and effort to all application parts to give yourself the best chance of acceptance.
Ace the GMAT or GRE
All these schools accept the GMAT or GRE, although the Warrington College of Business explicitly states they prefer applicants with GMAT scores. Test scores show the admissions committee you’re prepared to handle the rigor of an MBA program while showcasing your academic aptitude, problem-solving and language skills.
The GMAT and GRE are challenging tests that require focused test prep. You can achieve high scores by sticking to a consistent study schedule, identifying areas for improvement, and catering to your unique learning style.
Update and Revamp Your Resume
Your resume helps summarize your professional experience and lists your notable accomplishments. It’s best to make sure your resume is condensed to one page, uses concise language so it’s easy to read, and demonstrates how your skills and responsibilities have evolved. Avoid industry jargon or anything else that could confuse your reader.
Ask For Recommendation Letters Early and Provide Context
MBA programs typically require at least one recommendation letter, but some of Florida’s best business schools require three. Ask for recommendations as soon as possible to give your recommenders adequate time to write them.
Schools may ask for recommendations from specific people but will likely ask for letters from current or past supervisors and your former college professors. Give your recommenders context, such as your resume, a list of your relevant achievements, and additional information about the program you wish to attend.
Write Expertly Crafted Essays and Statements of Purpose
Your essays, personal statements, and statements of purpose are the heart and soul of any application. Your writing helps humanize your candidacy and shows you’re more than the sum of your achievements.
Writing business school essays can be challenging; you want to show off your writing skills, best traits and explain why you’re the perfect candidate. Your essays should be concise, descriptive and use relevant anecdotes as their backbone. Detailed stories help the admissions committee understand your experiences and how they’ve shaped you.
To craft meaningful essays, you’ll need to consider the highlights of your professional or academic career, how you overcome challenges, and your capability to adapt when faced with new information or situations. Above all, retain your unique voice and be authentic—the best you is the real you.
Seek An Admission’s Consultant’s Help
Not sure what needs to be emphasized in your application or wondering how to bring all of your interests and experiences together in a cohesive way? An admissions consultant can help you pull your application together and highlight your candidacy. They can help you develop a study strategy for the GMAT or GRE, help take the guesswork out of what admissions committees are looking for, and ensure your essays are impactful and sensible.
Can I still apply to Warrington College of Business with GRE scores?
Warrington will accept MBA applications with GRE scores, but they explicitly state they prefer GMAT scores. Submitting GRE scores instead may hurt your chances of acceptance. Before you take the GMAT or GRE, be sure to research requirements for all the schools you’ll apply to and ensure they accept both tests or don’t prefer one.
What are the acceptance rates at Florida’s best business schools?
Acceptance rates at Florida’s best business schools range from 26.6% to 84%. These are the acceptance rates at each school:
- Warrington College of Business: 26.6%
- The Miami Herbert Business School: 56.4%
- UF College of Business: 84%
- College of Business Administration at FIU: 44.1%
- The Muma College of Business: 41.9%
What are the top MBA industries in Florida?
Completing your MBA at a Florida business school can open the door to the many opportunities the state has to offer. Depending on your interests and career goals, you can find meaningful work in the banking, real estate, health care, tourism, hospitality, aerospace, aviation, defense, agriculture, and fishing industries.
According to the Miami-Dade Council, these industries have the highest potential for growth and high wages:
- Banking & Finance
- Creative Design
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Life Sciences & Healthcare
- Trade & Logistics
Should I choose a part-time MBA program?
A part-time MBA program may be right for you if you want to keep working full-time as you study. If you’re concerned about the cost of an MBA degree, simultaneously earning a salary can help lessen the financial burden.
Part-time MBA programs are great for people who have other home and community commitments, and they have greater flexibility to allow you to work at your own pace. However, part-time MBA programs take longer to complete than full-time. Consider which schedule would work best for your lifestyle before applying.
How long does it take to complete full-time MBA programs?
Full-time MBA programs typically take between one to two years to complete.
Does it matter what round I apply in?
Round deadlines matter. Applying in Round 1 is a great way to get your foot in the door, and only about a third of MBA applicants apply in this round. Consider applying in Round 1 if you have high test scores, requested recommendation letters early, and know you have enough time to perfect your application before the deadline.
Round 2 is when most people apply to MBA programs. Applying in Round 2 may be in your best interest if you’re juggling multiple responsibilities and need more time to pull your application together, or you want more time to study before taking the GMAT or GRE.
Round 3 is the last, and most applicants apply in Rounds 1 and 2. If you apply in Round 3, ensure your application is perfect, and you’ve done an excellent job of differentiating yourself from other applicants.
An education from any of Florida’s best business schools can help prepare you for success as you advance in your career. The essential business training you’ll receive can help you develop the skills you need and promote personal growth.
Before applying to any of Florida’s top schools, check all application requirements and make sure you meet them. To give yourself the best chance of success at any of these five schools, update your resume, ask for your recommendations early, strive for high GMAT or GRE scores, and put your heart into your essays. With enough time and effort into your application, you can feel confident in your candidacy.