In 1949, South Africa made history when it became the 3rd country (in the world) to offer the MBA programme (through the University of Pretoria).

Founded in 1908, the MBA originates from Harvard Business School in United States of America. Over 112 years since its inception, the mighty MBA has evolved a great deal. It has even grown to become widely accessible and more inclusive, especially in South Africa. Here are a few more facts about the MBA qualification.

What is an MBA?

  • MBA stands for Master of Business Administration.
  • It is an internationally recognised business qualification.
  • An MBA is a master’s degree, SAQA places it at NQF level 9.
  • It helps candidates/ students develop skills in business, management and leadership.
  • Some of the modules included in an MBA program are marketing, finance, operations, human resources, accounting, information technology and entrepreneurship.

If you’re considering applying for an MBA programme in South Africa, here are MBA entry requirements from 10 business schools to help you evaluate your chances of acceptance.

Table of Contents*

1 Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
2 University of Witwatersrand (WITS)
3 University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN)
4 University of Limpopo (UL)
5 Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)
6 University of Free State (UFS)
7 Rhodes University (RU)
8 Monash University (IIE MSA)
9 Henley Business School
10 University of Stellenbosch (USB)
*Use the table of contents to jump to the section you want to read

1. MBA Entry Requirements at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Business School

You must have:

  • A duly completed application form
  • A bachelor honours degree or a relevant NQF Level 8 degree from a recognised academic institution
  • A percentage mark of 50% or more in GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test), GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or GAT (General Aptitude Test from the TUT Business School)
  • A minimum of five years’ work-experience
  • Completed and passed a 3-hour comprehensive aptitude exam administered at TUT Business School. Students who have taken and passed the GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) or the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) in the past three years will be exempted from writing the 3-hour exam

Note: Results obtained in GMAT and GRE must not be older than three years. Marks from GMAT, GRE and GAT will be treated equally.


2. MBA Entry Requirements at University of Witwatersrand (WITS) Business School

You must have:

  • A 4-year degree (NQF 8), or 3-year degree plus postgraduate diploma (NQF 8)
  • Post-university work experience, with a minimum of 4 years
  • An acceptable GMAT score, NMAT score or WBS Admission Test score
  • Mathematics, at a level of competence equivalent to the requirements of the SA Matriculation certificate
  • SAQA evaluation (for international qualifications only) prior to application
  • Proof of English language proficiency (for students who have not studied at tertiary level in English)

Recogntion of Prior Learming (RPL) applicants are required to write the NMAT test.


3. MBA Entry Requirements at University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN)

You must:

  • Have an honours degree or a post graduate diploma at NQF level 8, or a cognate bachelor’s degree at NQF level 8, or have been admitted to the status of an honours degree or attained a level of competence as provided for in the University’s admissions framework
  • Be at least 25 years old on the 1st of January of the year of first registration
  • Have a minimum of 3 years formal and full time work experience
  • Have passed the Graduate Management Admission Test or an entrance examination prescribed by UKZN


4. MBA Entry Requirements at University of Limpopo (UL)

You must have:

  • Honours degree, postgraduate diploma or equivalent qualification at NQF level 8
  • At least three years related managerial experience
  • Matriculation mathematics or statistics
  • A detailed curriculum vitae/ resume
  • A letter of support from your employer

You may also be required to undergo an assessment as deemed necessary by the Selection Committee of the School.


5. MBA Entry Requirements at Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria (UP)

You must have:

  • A completed degree/ SAQA accredited NQF 7 qualification
  • A minimum of five years’ work experience, with at least two years of management experience
  • Postgraduate level of intellectual ability (assessed through the GIBS Entrance Test or the Graduate Management Admission Test
  • Leadership potential (in accordance with your experience, references and application essay)
  • Good English language skills to have the ability to articulate your arguments verbally and in written format
  • Matriculation certificate level competence in Mathematics
  • Competence in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and a web browser

Please note:

  • Should you not hold a degree or a SAQA accredited NQF 7 qualification, you will be required to complete the GMAT test and obtain a minimum score of 550
  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries will have to complete an English Proficiency Test
  • For the MBA being delivered in KZN, applicants should see their future in the manufacturing sector, whether in a manufacturing plant, manufacturing-related facility, or a private or public sector support agency.

Interesting Fact: The University of Pretoria is home to the oldest MBA program in Africa and most of the world (excluding North America).


6. MBA Entry Requirements at University of Free State (UFS) Business School

You must:

  • Be at least 25 years of age
  • Have at least 3 years’ relevant managerial experience or work experience
  • Have an applicable bachelor’s degree (NQF Level 7, comprising of at least 360 credits)
  • A Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (NQF Level 8) or an applicable honours degree (NQF Level 8)
  • Undergo a psychometric selection process


7. MBA Entry Requirements at Rhodes University (RU) Business School

You must have:

  • An NQF 8 or equivalent qualification: This is an honours degree e.g.  BCom (Hons), BSc (Hons) and Postgraduate Diploma or a 4 year bachelor’s degree (e.g. Bachelor of Engineering)
  • A completed NMAT test
  • A minimum of three year’s full-time relevant practical business and/or organisational experience
  • English proficiency
  • Obtained a pass in Mathematics in Senior Certificate examination or equivalent

Note: You do not need a first degree in business, accounting or economics in order to apply. RU Business School welcomes applications who graduated in any field (e.g. engineering, arts, science, law etc.)

RU Business School:

8. MBA Entry Requirements at Monash University Business School or IIE MSA

You must have:

  • Completed a bachelor honours degree or an equivalent qualification as determined by Monash University
  • A minimum of three years’ work experience, with minimum one year of managerial experience
  • The minimum English language requirement
  • Completed an online application
  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • A statement of purpose
  • A copy of your passport or identity document
  • Certified copies of your academic transcripts, with English translations where required
  • Proof of English language ability
  • Contact details for two professional referees
  • Scholarship application, if applicable

Quick Fact: Generally, students in the Monash MBA have five+ years of work experience.

Monash MBA: or

9. MBA Entry Requirements at Henley Business School

You must have:

  • Three years’ management experience
  • An honours degree or equivalent professional or international qualification with at NQF 8 rating
  • Evidence of competence in English
  • Access to company data for assignment purposes.
  • A completed application form
  • Copy of your identity document or passport
  • Current curriculum vitae/ resume
  • Certified copies of degree certificates
  • Two professional references
  • English language test results, if applicable

Henley MBA:

10. MBA Entry Requirements at University of Stellenbosch (USB) Business School

You must have one of the following qualifications on NQF level 8:

  • 4-year bachelor’s degree (NQF level 8) and at least 3 years of relevant full-time working experience
  • Honours degree (NQF level 8), plus 3 years of relevant full-time working experience
  • 3-year Bachelor’s degree (NQF level 7) plus a postgraduate diploma (NQF level 8) and at least 3 years of relevant working experience.

You must also have:

  • Working experience (preferably managerial level)
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae/ resume
  • 2 essays, showing the your level of motivation and working experience
  • Satisfactory selection test results for the SHL or GMAT selection tests
  • International students require a SAQA evaluation certificate to evaluate your degree according to South African standards

It is highly recommended to also:

  • Have Mathematics at the level of Grade 12 or equivalent
  • Be proficient in English


9 Other MBA Business Schools in South Africa

You can read about other business schools in South Africa that offer the MBA qualification in my previous article “MBA Entry Requirements in South Africa #1” .

The business schools on this list are University of Cape Town Graduate (UCT), University of Johannesburg (UJ), MANCOSA, Regent Business School (RBS), Regenesys Business School, University of South Africa (UNISA), Milpark Business School, North West University (NWU) and Nelson Mandela University (NMU).