How Many Years Does IT Take to Get an MBA Degree?

For those who already earned a bachelor's degree, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can be an exciting next step. The time it takes to earn an MBA can vary depending on the program one selects. According to 'U.S. News & World Report,' the traditional MBA program duration is two years. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Who Pursues an MBA?

Both traditional and non-traditional students might pursue a Master of Business Administration. These can be students who have just completed their bachelor's degree, or they might be working professionals who decide to obtain additional education. Typically, students opt to pursue an MBA to enhance their career opportunities and add to their potential earnings in the long-term. The coursework in an MBA program can cover general business concepts and could also be specific to individual areas of focus. Students can expect to take about 40 to 60 credit hours.

MBA Program Options

There are a number of options to choose from when considering an MBA. Time and cost are two variables that can influence the choice one makes. The program options and education delivery method are also important as students choose the program that meets their needs. Here is some information about the types of programs offered and the settings where these programs take place. The cost of the degree depends on the school or program one chooses.

Traditional Two-year Program

The traditional two-year program is a possibility that can be appealing to learners. Students who are following the conventional path from bachelor's to master's may consider this route. In addition to the undergraduate degree, a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) may also be required to enter the program. In general, this type of program requires approximately 60 credit hours to complete one's degree.

Accelerated One-year Program

One-year programs accelerate the number of classes students take each term so the required credit hours can be completed in a fast-tracked manner. Choosing this type of program requires a commitment to taking additional credit hours each term. This can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for students who are accustomed to spreading out their course learning. For those who want to complete their MBA in the shortest amount of time - this may be the best option to pursue.

Executive MBA Programs

Executive MBA programs are designed to meet the needs of executive level individuals who are seeking to pursue their MBA credential. These programs can be more accelerated and in general take about 18 months to complete. Sometimes, schools will also waive the GMAT entrance requirement for students who meet certain qualifications. Programs usually require in-person weekend sessions as a part of the curriculum, which provides both networking and development opportunities. For individuals with career experience this may be an appealing choice.

Discipline Specific MBA Programs

Some schools offer discipline specific MBA programs. This can include disciplines such as marketing, healthcare, tech or fashion & luxury. These programs have specific course offerings that relate to a student's area of focus. For example, tech programs may offer courses in data analytics or tech entrepreneurship. There are usually base level course offerings, but the discipline specific nature of these programs determines the course work composition and program length.

MBA Program Settings

In addition, to specific program content, there are multiple settings where one can pursue an MBA. The type of program and individual needs can impact which setting works for students. Online learning has expanded the opportunities for students who are considering obtaining a degree. Take a look at the learning setting options below for more details.

Online Programs

In online MBA programs, education is delivered through learning management systems that are used by both student and faculty. Programs integrate live video sessions and other content such as weekly discussions into their formats. Connections can be made both in a synchronous of asynchronous fashion. These programs offer students a convenient way to work toward earning an MBA, and the duration is usually about 18 months.

On-ground Programs

On-ground programs take place in-person at the school's physical location. The traditional two-year program is a standard on-ground program. However, many students are able to earn their MBA by attending evening or weekend classes in-person. Some of these programs are accelerated and some of them are the traditional two-year programs. An on-ground program might be appealing to students who feel more comfortable interacting face-to-face with an instructor on a regular basis.

Hybrid Programs

Some programs blend both in-person and online offerings. These hybrid programs can include in-person sessions that take place throughout a program. Students might have access to online instruction about 95 percent of the time and in-person sessions about 5 percent of the time. The credit hour requirements typically don't vary from more traditional paths and can include accelerated opportunities. For students who may need additional face-to-face support, this can be an attractive option that can take a little over two years to complete, depending on the program.

Multiple MBA program completion time frames exist, which usually range from 1 to 2 years. Various educational settings are also available, such as online, on-ground, or hybrid, which may also have an effect on students' time to completion.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

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  • The University of Scranton

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    Popular programs at The University of Scranton:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Capella University

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  • Regent University

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  • The Chicago School

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  • Liberty University

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