A December 2010 U.S. News & World Report article indicated that the average candidate at top-tier business schools has three to five years of professional experience before applying for an MBA program. The minimum standard is often at least one or two years of experience.
A June 2013 Forbes article noted that top executive MBA programs sometimes require candidates to have at least five years of quality managerial experience before applying. The quality of a candidate's work experience and his prior educational background may play a role. A candidate with an undergraduate business degree is unlikely to need as much professional experience to prepare for MBA success as a candidate with an unrelated degree.