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How Many Years Does It Take to Earn an MBA?

If you’re looking to advance your career as a business manager, getting a Master of Business Administration degree is a great step.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program can help you build the knowledge and skills you need for a wide range of business careers, from accounting to project management. Business professionals around the world have earned a business administration master’s while working full time—and you can, too. But how long does it take to get an MBA? The answer depends on the degree program and your individual circumstances. As you investigate some of the top MBA programs, look to see which of the following options those schools offer.

Factors That Affect the Length of Your MBA Degree Program

  • Full-time vs. part-time enrollment. You’ll need to consider work, family, and other factors when deciding how many semester credits your schedule will allow. One 3-credit class typically requires 15 to 18 hours of coursework per week. Many graduate schools consider 9 credits per semester a full-time load. A standard MBA program generally takes at least two years to complete with full-time enrollment, and closer to three years on a part-time schedule.
  • On-campus vs. online MBA programs. Taking courses on a college campus may work better for students who need more structure and accountability. However, because on-campus courses meet at fixed times, they offer little flexibility for working professionals trying to earn their business degree. This is where online MBA programs shine. The flexible nature of online degrees allows you to access course materials and complete assignments when it’s most convenient for you—within the allotted time frames, of course. With added flexibility and no commute times, the online format gives you greater freedom to pursue a degree and meet your professional and personal commitments.
  • Standard vs. fast-track MBA programs. Some universities offer a fast-track program that allows you to earn your MBA in as little as 12 months. In these programs, semesters are condensed into eight-week terms. While the pace can be too rigorous for some, others who have the time to commit find it to be a great option.
  • General vs. specialized MBA degree. Another factor affecting the length of your program is whether or not you add a specialization. General programs might consist of 30 semester credits, but choosing a specialization—like corporate finance, marketing, or human resources—adds additional classes and credits to your MBA program.
  • Postgraduate transfer credits. Your MBA program may allow you to transfer in a certain number of graduate-level credits. Depending on the number of eligible transfer credits allowed, you could potentially reduce your program’s length.
  • Admissions test. Some universities allow you to apply to an online MBA program without submitting a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score. Although this wouldn’t affect the length of your graduate program, it would save you time on the front end.

Why Choose Walden?

For a Master of Business Administration program that fits into your busy life, consider Walden University. Walden’s MBA online program offers a number of options to suit your learning preferences and lifestyle. In addition to its MBA degree General Program, Walden offers nine specializations from which to choose. You can even design your own specialization, tailoring the program to fit your professional goals. Walden doesn’t require the GMAT, and may accept up to 15 applicable postgraduate credits.

Walden University offers a fully online MBA program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible online learning environment.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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