What is a Business Degree Called in the US? Understanding Business Education

In the United States, a business degree is a coveted credential that opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities. But what exactly is a business degree called in the US? This comprehensive guide will delve into the various names, types, and specializations of business degrees offered by American institutions, helping you navigate your educational and professional journey.

Understanding the Basics: Types of Business Degrees

1. Associate Degree in Business (AS or AA)

An Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA) in Business is typically a two-year program offered by community colleges. This degree focuses on foundational business principles, including accounting, marketing, and management. It serves as an entry point for those looking to enter the workforce quickly or transfer to a four-year institution.

2. Bachelor’s Degree in Business (BBA or BSBA)

A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) is a four-year undergraduate degree. The BBA is more general, covering a broad spectrum of business disciplines, while the BSBA often includes a stronger focus on technical and analytical skills.

3. Master’s Degree in Business (MBA or MS)

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most popular and prestigious business degrees in the US. It typically takes two years to complete and is designed for those seeking advanced leadership roles. Alternatively, a Master of Science (MS) in Business, such as an MS in Finance or Marketing, provides specialized knowledge in a particular area of business.

4. Doctoral Degree in Business (DBA or PhD)

For those aiming at academic or high-level research careers, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a PhD in Business is the pinnacle of business education. These programs involve rigorous coursework and original research, culminating in a dissertation.

Specializations within Business Degrees

Business degrees offer a variety of specializations to cater to diverse interests and career goals. Here are some popular specializations:

1. Accounting

Specializing in accounting equips students with skills in financial reporting, auditing, and tax preparation, essential for careers in public accounting, corporate finance, and government agencies.

2. Marketing

A marketing specialization focuses on strategies for product promotion, consumer behavior analysis, and market research, preparing graduates for roles in advertising, brand management, and digital marketing.

3. Finance

Finance specializations delve into investment management, corporate finance, and financial planning, leading to careers in banking, investment firms, and financial consulting.

4. Management

Management specializations cover leadership, organizational behavior, and strategic planning, essential for roles in operations, human resources, and executive management.

5. International Business

With globalization, international business specializations are increasingly important. This focus includes international trade, global market dynamics, and cross-cultural management, preparing graduates for careers in multinational corporations.

The Importance of Accreditation

When choosing a business degree program in the US, accreditation is a crucial factor. Accreditation ensures that the institution meets high standards of quality and rigor. The two primary accrediting bodies for business schools in the US are:

1. AACSB International

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is a global accrediting body that ensures excellence in business education. AACSB-accredited schools are recognized for their high-quality faculty, cutting-edge curriculum, and robust career services.


The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) focuses on teaching excellence and student outcomes. ACBSP accreditation ensures that business programs are relevant and rigorous, preparing students for successful careers.

Career Opportunities with a Business Degree

A business degree from a reputable US institution opens up a myriad of career opportunities across various industries. Here are some potential career paths:

1. Financial Analyst

Financial analysts assess investment opportunities, analyze financial data, and provide recommendations to businesses and individuals, making it a highly sought-after career in the finance sector.

2. Marketing Manager

Marketing managers develop strategies to promote products and services, analyze market trends, and oversee marketing campaigns, crucial for driving business growth.

3. Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers handle recruitment, employee relations, and organizational development, ensuring that companies have the talent and culture needed to thrive.

4. Management Consultant

Management consultants advise organizations on improving efficiency, solving problems, and implementing strategic initiatives, making it a dynamic and rewarding career.

5. Entrepreneur

With a business degree, many graduates venture into entrepreneurship, starting their own businesses and driving innovation in various industries.

Tips for Succeeding in a Business Degree Program

Succeeding in a business degree program requires a combination of academic dedication, practical experience, and networking. Here are some tips to help you thrive:

1. Engage with Coursework

Actively participate in classes, complete assignments on time, and seek help when needed. Understanding the material thoroughly will serve you well in your career.

2. Gain Practical Experience

Internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer opportunities provide hands-on experience and industry insights, enhancing your resume and career prospects.

3. Network

Building relationships with professors, peers, and industry professionals can open doors to job opportunities, mentorship, and career advice.

4. Stay Updated

The business world is constantly evolving. Stay informed about industry trends, new technologies, and global market shifts to remain competitive.

5. Utilize Campus Resources

Take advantage of career services, academic advising, and student organizations. These resources can support your academic and professional development.


Understanding what a business degree is called in the US and the various pathways available can help you make informed decisions about your education and career. Whether you pursue an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, the key is to choose a program that aligns with your goals and offers strong accreditation. With the right preparation and dedication, a business degree can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career in a variety of fields.

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