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How Long Does an MBA Degree Take to Complete?

The time it takes to complete an MBA program differs based on the program type a student chooses. Discover details about the core program and how long it may take to earn an MBA in different programs.

Time Required to Earn an MBA

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree earned by those looking to either enter or excel further in the business world. Individuals apply to MBA degree programs from all walks of life, including directly out of a bachelor's degree program, after working an entry-level position for a few years, or after having worked within the private or public sector for many years.

There are generally five main types of MBA programs. The length of these programs ranges from 1-3+ years. Examples are detailed below.

Full-Time MBA: 2 Years

This is the standard MBA program. It takes four semesters of full-time coursework to complete, coinciding with the university's schedule. Students are enrolled with a full-time course load, typically beginning their semester in late August or early September and completing all work required for the degree by May or June of the second year.

Part-Time MBA: 3+ Years

Working professionals often enroll in part-time degree programs. Students take their classes either at night or on the weekends, and their course load depends on what they believe they're able to handle per semester. Courses may also be available online.

Accelerated MBA: 1+ Years

These programs differ in length by school. Students do not adhere to the standard university schedule for these programs. Winter vacations may only last a single week, and students may be required to take courses all summer instead of receiving the standard vacation.

Executive MBA: 2 Years

This program is similar to the full-time MBA program, though it is meant for working professionals who've been involved in their profession for many years. Classes are geared toward the knowledge and experience level of existing managers and supervisors within specific businesses.

Dual MBA: 3+ Years

Dual MBA degree programs allow students to earn an MBA while they simultaneously earn another related degree. Typically, it takes less time to earn two degrees in a dual degree program, but only because some courses count toward both degrees. If the full-time MBA degree program takes about two years, a dual degree program will add around one year or more to the process.

Undergraduate students also have the option of pursuing dual degree programs that would result in a bachelor's degree and an MBA. For these programs, schools usually offer baccalaureate students the option to begin their MBA coursework during their senior year of college and continue throughout the summer, then into the next school year. Students can ultimately finish their MBA after just one year beyond their undergraduate studies.

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