What You Need to Know About Weekend MBA Programs

Weekend MBA Program Overview

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A weekend MBA program is a part-time business degree program with class sessions that are held on the weekend, usually on Saturdays. The program results in a Master of Business Administration degree. Weekend MBA programs are typically campus-based but may incorporate some form of distance learning, such as video-based lectures or online discussion groups.

Most weekend MBA programs are just that: programs that take place on the weekend.

However, there are some programs that have weekend and evening classes. Programs like this have classes on the weekend as well as classes that take place in the evening on weekdays.

Types of Weekend MBA Programs

There are two basic types of weekend MBA programs: the first is a traditional MBA program for students who would enroll in a typical MBA degree program, and the second is an executive MBA program. An executive MBA program, or EMBA, is specifically designed for corporate executives, managers, and other working professionals with extensive work experience. Although work experience can vary, most executive MBA students have 10-15 years of work experience on average. Many executive MBA students also receive full or partial company sponsorship, meaning that they typically receive some form of tuition reimbursement.

Top Business Schools With Weekend MBA Programs

There are a growing number of business schools offering weekend MBA programs.

Some of the top business schools in the country offer this program option for people who want to attend school part-time. Some examples include:

  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business: At Chicago Booth, students meet every Saturday for 11 weeks at a time and earn an MBA degree in 2.5 to 3 years. The curriculum for the weekend MBA program is the same as the curriculum for the full-time MBA program.
  • The University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business: At Berkeley Haas, students can choose from a weekend or evening schedule for MBA classes and could earn their degree in as little as 2.5 years. Weekend MBA classes are held on Saturdays in the spring and fall, but year-round activities are available.
  • Kellogg School of Management at Northwest University: Kellogg's weekend MBA program takes place on Saturdays, but students can choose to take evening classes in addition to weekend classes. There are two weekend MBA options: traditional pace and accelerated. The traditional option takes 20.5 months to complete, while the accelerated option requires fewer credits and evening classes and takes 15.5 months to complete.

Pros and Cons of Weekend MBA Programs

There are many good reasons to consider a weekend MBA program, but this education option might not be the best choice for everyone. Let's explore a few pros and cons of weekend MBA programs.

Pros:

  • The biggest advantage of weekend MBA programs is that you can take all of your classes on the weekend, which makes it easier to work part-time or full-time while you earn your degree.
  • A weekend MBA program may make it easier to attend a business school that is not located near your home. It is not unusual for MBA students to fly in from somewhere else for weekend classes.
  • Some full-time MBA programs take two years to complete. You can often earn your degree in the same amount of time (or close to it) as you would in a full-time program by attending part-time weekend MBA programs.
  • Some weekend MBA programs allow you to reduce your tuition costs. In other words, you might pay less for a weekend MBA program than you would for a traditional, full-time MBA program.

Cons:

  • Classes might take place just one day per week in a weekend MBA program, but you will have to put in work on other days of the week to keep up with your studies.
  • Being able to put what you learn into practice right away in an advantage for students who work while they attend school, but it is also important to remember that it can be exhausting to work and study at the same time. Furthermore, there will come a day when you have to choose between work and academic commitments, and one is likely to suffer because of your choice.
  • Students in full-time programs sometimes get the opportunity to spend more time with their cohorts, which is conducive to relationship building. In a weekend MBA program, you may not have as many opportunities to network or make friends. 
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Schweitzer, Karen. "What You Need to Know About Weekend MBA Programs." ThoughtCo, Dec. 11, 2017, thoughtco.com/about-weekend-mba-programs-4122572. Schweitzer, Karen. (2017, December 11). What You Need to Know About Weekend MBA Programs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/about-weekend-mba-programs-4122572 Schweitzer, Karen. "What You Need to Know About Weekend MBA Programs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/about-weekend-mba-programs-4122572 (accessed December 14, 2017).