Prospective students of MBA programs in the Chicago area who would like to continue working while pursuing their degree may want to consider enrolling in a weekend MBA program. Below we'll look at five schools with applicable programs in order to find out information regarding required curriculum, program structure, and admissions requirements.
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Overview of Weekend MBA Programs in Chicago
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology offers an accelerated MBA program that students can complete by attending courses on Saturdays over the course of six semesters. This program, which is designed for professionals who have already been working for several years, requires the completion of a total of 36 credit hours, or 12 courses. Some topics covered in these courses include business analytics, accounting, sustainable businesses, economic analysis, and financial management and leadership. This MBA is specifically focused on innovation and offers scholarships to students who are interested in innovation in Chicago.
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago offers a weekend MBA program that is highly flexible, allowing students to make many decisions in terms of course selection and time to degree completion. With only one required course, students must choose 20 courses, some of which are foundational courses while others are elective courses. Students are also able to pursue a concentration area, from over ten choices. Options include international business, finance, entrepreneurship, economics, and strategic management. Some of the courses within the curriculum are lab courses, which provide hands-on experience in areas like private equity, social ventures, marketing research, and real estate.
The weekend MBA program at Northwestern University allows students to earn their MBA by attending courses on Saturdays. The curriculum entails ten required courses in addition to elective courses. Students are able to pursue a major within the program, with options in marketing, finance, or strategy. Northwestern's program also offers a number of different pathway options intended to develop skills for a specific field, like real estate, social impact, data analytics, or asset management. Students can pursue a traditional track, which leads to degree completion in around two and a half years, or an accelerated track that leads to degree completion in around two years, though this option may require attending additional evening courses during the week.
DePaul University Chicago
Students may also want to consider the weekend MBA program at DePaul University Chicago where classes are offered every other weekend. This two-year program is intended for working professionals, and requires that students complete 11 core courses along with seven elective courses, three of which are mandatory. Students can then select the four remaining electives according to a concentration area that interests them. Concentrations are numerous at this school and include entrepreneurship, hospitality leadership, accounting, economics, and finance.
University of Illinois - Chicago
Another option for a weekend MBA program is the two-year program offered at the University of Illinois - Chicago. In this program, students will meet for classes with their cohort during Saturday sessions. Students can specialize their studies by pursuing a concentration. Some options include business analytics, finance, entrepreneurship, management, and operations and supply-chain management. In total, the program requires 54 credit hours, 26 of which are core courses and the remaining 28 of which can be completed through elective coursework.
Because weekend MBA programs are typically designed with full-time working professionals in mind, it is a common prerequisite that applicants have some work experience. Programs will often specify how many years of experience are required, though not all programs will be as stringent as others. Additionally, when applying to these programs, applicants will need to submit personal statements, letters of recommendation, past academic transcripts, and a completed application form. It is also common to submit GRE or GMAT results, and some programs may require an interview.
Students have numerous options available to them in terms of weekend MBA programs in Chicago. Most programs are held every Saturday and can be completed in close to two years.