Can an Online MBA Be Done in One Year?

Online student working from home

While a Master of Business Administration degree can take years to pursue and is often completed in two years, you can attain your MBA in one year. The path to a faster MBA depends on where you go, the learning format you choose, and the time and dedication you’re willing to commit.

From credit hours and courses to additional components, such as community service and internships, requirements in master’s programs can vary greatly. One college might insist you earn 60 credits, while another can set the standard at 30 credits. The more credits you are required to earn, the longer you can expect for the program to take to complete. Here are four ways to earn your MBA in just one year.

Transfer Credits into MBA Program

Regardless of the program you choose, the more existing credits you can use, the more quickly you will be able to complete your degree. Universities differ on their willingness to accept credits from other institutions and the number of credits they will allow. Find one that will accept yours.

Choose an Accelerated MBA Program

If you want to earn your MBA in one year, look for an accelerated program with rolling admissions and credit hour requirements of 36 or less. Rolling admissions allow you to dive right in; the sooner you start, the sooner you can finish.

Choose an Online MBA Program

Attending traditional on-campus courses not only take more time out of your day; they also require more logistics from the university. One reason students are unable to quickly complete their program is because the courses are not offered every semester. Online courses require no classroom and professors can be enlisted from across the country.

Be Prepared for the Rigor of an Accelerated Program

Many universities require you to have a business background or experience so they can be assured you will be able to keep up with the fast pace of an accelerated program. If you don’t have business experience or an undergraduate business degree, you may need to complete pre-requisite courses or participate in an internship to fulfill admission requirements. The best way to complete your degree quickly is to be dedicated to your goal.

How Do One-Year MBA Programs Work?

Many one-year degrees condense the curriculum so you focus on core business courses that matter most to a business leader. The pace is faster and course material is taught with the assumption that you already possess business knowledge and skills. A one-year program may also allow you to choose a concentration or take electives that align with your future goals. Since you are likely already working in a business role, one-year programs also do away with required internships or job shadowing and often have no thesis requirement.

Will I Learn the Same Material in a One-Year MBA?

In the shortest answer, yes, one-year programs provide the same material. Under the requirements of its accrediting agency, the institution you attend will need to meet standards of uniformity and excellence. Those agencies are further supervised by the U.S. Department of Education. Look to the individual university for its accreditation and whether it is also specifically accredited for its business programs.

Whether you take one year or five years to earn your MBA, you can expect to learn core course material such as:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Financial Management
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Business Leadership
  • Strategic Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Legal Issues in Business
  • Group Dynamics
  • Business Ethics
  • Marketing Management

The length of the program may be shorter, but its brevity should not sacrifice quality. You are introduced to concepts, principles, and lessons that you can use in the real world to help further your career. Even in one year, you can learn how to hone your leadership skills, become a better problem solver, and strategically plan for your job or your business.

Benefits of a Shorter MBA Program

Why take two years to earn a degree when you can do it in one? Particularly as a working adult, you likely have myriad obligations that press upon your time. The sooner you complete your degree, the sooner you can check that very large accomplishment off your list. If you consider an MBA a key component to a future leadership role in business, completing your degree sooner puts you on that upward trajectory sooner. Whether you intend to ask for a promotion, apply for a new position, or venture into your own business, the MBA can enhance your business acumen. If you choose a faster, online program, you may also save on tuition and commuting costs.

Will a One-Year MBA Be Right for Me?

While there are benefits to completing your MBA in a single year, it isn’t for everyone. Its accelerated nature means you need a good foundation from the start. You need to commit to a fast timeline and be willing to put other responsibilities on the back burner. Tuition reimbursement that some employers offer may also not apply if the allotment is capped at a dollar amount per year. Make sure to do your research and set yourself up for success from the start.

Are you ready to pursue an MBA? At Limestone University, we offer an online MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Management, an online MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Management, and beginning fall 2022, an online MBA with a concentration in Sport Management that can be completed in as little as one year. Request info to learn more now.