How Do One-Year MBA Programs Work?

Many U.S. business schools offer accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs that can be completed in about a year. Read on to find out how these programs work. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

One-Year MBA Programs

One-year MBA programs, often referred to as accelerated MBA programs, can typically be completed in 11-16 months. These programs typically allow students to take fewer core courses than are required in a traditional two-year program, instead allowing them to take more courses in a specific concentration like finance, marketing, leadership or entrepreneurship.

Important Facts About One-Year MBA Programs

Entry-Level Education Bachelors degree (business degree and work experience encouraged)
Common Courses Managerial economics, strategic management, cost accounting
Possible Careers Investment banking, consulting, business management
Key Skills Business experience, understanding of statistics and economics, high motivation
Median Salary (2018)$85,660 (for financial analysts)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026)11% growth (for financial analysts)*

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Admission Requirements

Most schools require that students seeking to enroll in a one-year MBA program have taken specific undergraduate or graduate courses in accounting, finance, marketing and economics. Some schools also require that applicants possess a professional background in the area of study they will pursue in the one-year MBA program.


Many one-year MBA programs begin with an orientation or transition period, which can last a few days or a few weeks and is meant to introduce students to the intensity of the program. In some programs, this period consists of sessions or modules that explore the core courses in an MBA program. These modules might include accounting, finance, global management, entrepreneurship, ethics, operations, strategy and marketing. Leadership, technology, networking and communication skills might also be addressed during this period.

Curriculum and Schedule

A typical one-year MBA program covers three sequential semesters, usually fall, spring and summer. Up to eight one- to three-credit courses are taken each semester. These courses are usually a mix of fundamentals and electives. Though most one-year MBA programs do not provide an internship opportunity, some do offer a practicum in the final semester. Practicums generally allow students to solve business problems in a corporate environment.

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