Attending school to earn your Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can significantly impact your career. This degree can help you build leadership skills, along with other valuable skills for a business career or a career as an entrepreneur.
Whether you’re currently working or not, you might be concerned about the length of time an MBA program might take. Knowing more about estimated grad school time commitment can help you better understand your options and choose the right program for your needs.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?
The amount of time it takes to earn an MBA depends on several factors, such as the type of program you’re in and whether you are a part-time or full-time student. In general, a traditional MBA program with in-person classes takes about two years to complete for full-time students. This involves completing all coursework, including core curriculum, electives, and specialization courses.
Being in this type of program typically involves attending classes on campus, which is important to factor into your MBA time commitment. When you’re in a traditional MBA program, you’ll need to travel to and from campus for classes and set aside time at home for homework, studying, and working on projects. This can be a lot to handle if you have other commitments, such as responsibilities at home or a job.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an MBA Online?
An online MBA program can help cut down on the time you spend on school since you won’t need to travel to and from campus for your classes. Online MBA programs can be convenient if you work or need to take care of your family. You can watch class lectures at a time that works best for your schedule instead of having to be in class at certain times.
How long can you expect to spend earning an online MBA degree? This can vary depending on your program and whether you’re a full-time or part-time student. Full-time students can earn their MBA in a shorter timeframe since they take more courses each term or semester.
At the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, students can choose from a fully online MBA program or a flexible MBA program, which has some classes online. Full-time students in either program take 36 credit hours or 12 graduate-level courses. These students take three courses each semester, which amounts to nine credit hours. With this schedule, full-time students can earn their MBA in just four semesters or one and a half years.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Flexible or Part-Time MBA?
It’s not always possible for students to go to school full-time to earn their MBA. For example, you might have a full-time job that prevents you from being able to commit to a full-time MBA program. In this case, part-time and flexible MBA programs are an option to explore. Flexible MBA programs have you attend some classes on campus in the evening so you can go after work. Part-time MBA programs allow you to take fewer courses each term or semester, which helps prevent you from being overwhelmed with schoolwork while working full-time.
In a part-time MBA program, you might only take one or two courses per semester, amounting to three or six credit hours. You can earn an MBA in a part-time program in just six semesters (two years), or you can take up to six years to complete your degree program. Your time commitment depends on how many classes you have each semester based on your schedule and the amount of schoolwork you can handle on top of your other responsibilities. Although a part-time or flexible MBA degree program takes longer to complete than a full-time program, it’s important to take as much time as you need. At the end of your program, you’ll still have an MBA degree to help you achieve a leadership position in the business world, whether you’re a full-time or part-time student.
Working While Completing Your MBA
You don’t have to leave the workforce to pursue an MBA when you have a full-time job. You can look into part-time or flexible MBA programs that fit your schedule better. With these programs, you can work during the day, head to your classes in the evening, watch class lectures online, and focus on schoolwork after you get home.
Bear in mind that you can expect to spend roughly 10 to 12 hours a week per course working on assignments, studying, and handling other school-related tasks, so plan accordingly. If you’re in a flexible program, you’ll spend about two and a half hours per class each week for the in-person portion of the course. If you’re in a fully online program, you should set aside about 12 to 15 hours each week per course to handle all of your school-related tasks, including watching lectures.
If you work part-time, you can choose a full-time MBA program. This can allow you to earn your MBA degree and look for a full-time job sooner.
Are There Ways to Speed Up My MBA?
If you want to earn your MBA as quickly as possible, there are a few ways to do this. You might want to earn your degree sooner to reduce your time in school overall and lower your college costs. You might be interested in speeding up your MBA if you’re eager to move up to a leadership or management position in your company or launch your own business. The following are a few approaches to consider to earn your MBA degree in less time.
If you’re a part-time student, consider switching to full-time to earn your degree faster. This might involve changing your situation, such as reducing your work hours. If you want to go to school full-time, talk to your supervisor to see if there’s a way to accommodate your education while still keeping your position. Keep in mind that some companies strongly support employees returning to school to earn an advanced degree. Make sure you can handle a full-time workload in school if you’re used to working part-time.
Transferring credits from courses you’ve already taken can help speed up your MBA program. You might be able to transfer credits from another accredited MBA program, depending on your school. For example, the Gary W. Rollins College of Business allows students to potentially transfer up to six graduate level credit hours from another MBA program with Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. Transferring credits means you’ll need to take fewer courses to earn your MBA. These policies can vary from school to school.
Waive Admission Test (GMAT/GRE)
Waiving the admission test can help you start your MBA degree program sooner. Some schools offer a GMAT/GRE waiver for eligible MBA students. Since eligibility requirements can vary, checking the most up-to-date information on these waivers is essential. For example, you might be able to obtain a GMAT/GRE waiver if you have a previous graduate degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher or if you have a 3.25 cumulative undergraduate GPA and five years of professional work experience.
Work-Life Balance During Your MBA Program
No matter how excited you are about earning your MBA, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance above all else. Rushing through your MBA degree program might involve tackling too much schoolwork at once, especially if you work full-time or have responsibilities at home. For example, doing a full-time MBA program and working a full-time job can take a toll on your health due to too much stress. Taking your time with a part-time MBA program might be a wiser option in this case.
How can you make sure you choose the right MBA degree program? An academic advisor at your school can review your situation and help you select the MBA program that fits your needs. This can help you maintain a work-life balance while earning your MBA degree.If you’re looking into MBA programs, please contact the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Our school has several options available, including a fully online MBA program and a flexible MBA program with a mix of online and in-person classes. Our academic advisors can help you choose the right MBA program based on your situation.