MBA in Washington DC: Kogod School of Business v McDonough School of Business |

MBA in Washington DC: Kogod School of Business v McDonough School of Business

By Niamh O

Updated August 15, 2019 Updated August 15, 2019

As well as being home to the nation’s federal government and an abundance of political and social history, Washington DC is also home to two top business schools: Kogod School of Business and McDonough School of Business.

American University’s Kogod School of Business and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business – both founded in the 1950s – offer a range of MBA programs. Here’s a closer look at how the schools’ two full-time MBA programs compare.

                                 Top MBA Programs in Washington DC: Kogod v McDonough


Kogod School of Business

McDonough School of Business

Length and format of program

  • 21 months for full-time MBA program
  • 49 credit hours
  • Offers primarily daytime and evening classes
  • One intake per year; classes begin during the fall
  • During the first-year summer, students can choose between internships, international travel, or additional coursework opportunities
  • 21 months for full-time MBA
  • 60 credit hours
  • 100+ electives: one- to two-week elective courses include topics like: data visualization, startup factory, six sigma, and national security

Fees and funding

  • Tuition $86,191
  • Health insurance is mandatory (unless you have comparable coverage elsewhere). It’s $1,960 annually
  • Scholarships are awarded by the academic departments and may vary depending on your program of study. All applicants are considered for merit scholarships


  • Tuition $59,700
  • Graduate student activity fee $34
  • Georgetown University health insurance $2,950
  • Average living allowance $22,696
  • Books $2,646
  • Travel $2,606
  • Federal direct loan fees $3,220
  • Total predicted cost per year: $93,852


  • Create your application profile in the American University Application System
  • Submit your application, supporting documents and pay application fee ($100 non-refundable)
  • Complete admissions interview when required
  • A statement of purpose is required; the prompt wants you to: Tell Kogod why you want to pursue an MBA there, what skills will you combine with the degree to achieve short and long-term goals
  • The first round of the MBA program follows this timeline: application due, Nov 15 2019; decisions released, Dec 20 2019; response from applicant, Feb 15 2020
  • Find more information about admissions here
  • Applicants need to submit one written essay, one video essay, one letter of recommendation, GMAT/GRE, transcripts, resumé, and application fee
  • For the 2020 academic year, there are four rounds with different application deadlines
  • Round 1: Application deadline, Sept 30 2019; decision notification, Dec 13 2019; deposit due, Feb 5 2020 (non-refundable $2,000 deposit required to reserve place)
  • Round 2: Applications deadline, Jan 6 2020; decision notification, Mar 19 2020; deposit due, Apr 17 2020
  • International students encouraged to apply by second round to allow sufficient time to secure a student visa
  • Find the deadlines here

Class profile

  • Average GMAT score: 580
  • Average GPA: 3.3
  • Average 4.5 years’ experience
  • Average age of 29
  • 29 percent international students
  • 43 percent female students
  • 60-70 students per cohort
  • Average GMAT score: 693
  • Average GPA: 3.34
  • Average 5.59 years’ experience
  • Average age of 28
  • 29 percent international students
  • 29 percent female students
  • 37 percent US diversity

Inside the MBA classroom

McDonough MBA students begin with a week-long course ‘Leading Teams for Performance and Impact,’ followed by three weeks on the ‘Structure of Global Industries (SGI) course’.

There are 16 core courses, including Structure of Global Industries, Corporate Financial Reporting, Marketing Analysis and Customer Strategy; as well as more than 70 elective offerings. Students can also participate in Intensive Learning Experience (ILEs), elective courses that feature experiential learning, client centered work and off-site visits.  

Kogod’s full-time MBA consists of 25 credit hours of core courses and 15 credit hours of electives. The Capstone project, Global Practicum, and Advanced Professional Skills requirements count for three credits each.

Students can participate in client-driven team exercises, as well as an international consulting project and trip where students work on real-life consulting project alongside international students at a partner institution.

Electives on Kogod’s program are spread across nine academic concentrations: accounting, consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, sustainability management, marketing, real estate and finance.

Outside the MBA classroom

There are more than 40 student-run organizations at the McDonough School of Business from a wide variety of interests, from cultural to recreational.

In 2019, McDonough’s Global Business Experience sent students to four continents to consult on projects in areas including market entry, market development, communications, innovation strategy, competitive strategy and global growth strategy.

Full-time MBA students have also been sent to China, Germany, Ghana, India, Mexico, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Kogod’s global consulting project sends teams of MBA students to burgeoning international economies in order to experience major business abroad. These projects culminate with a two-week site visit to the client company and exploration of the host country.

Past MBA cohorts at Kogod have travelled to China, Colombia, India, Israel, Poland, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates.

There are also a number of MBA clubs at Kogod, including: The American Fashion Society; Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE); Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization; Hispanic Business Association’ Kogod Private Equity & Venture Capital Club, and many more.

This article was originally published in August 2019 .

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (;, creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  


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