Mini MBA Program Definition Overview

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A mini MBA program is a graduate-level business program offered through online and campus-based colleges, universities and business schools. It is an alternative to a traditional MBA degree program. A mini MBA program does not result in a degree. Graduates get a professional credential, usually in the form of a certificate. Some programs award continuing education credits (CEUs).

Mini MBA Program Length

The advantage of a mini MBA program is its length. It is much shorter than a traditional MBA program, which can take up to two years of full-time study to complete. Mini MBA programs also take less time to complete than accelerated MBA programs, which usually takes 11-12 months to complete. A shorter program length means less of a time commitment. The exact length of a mini MBA program depends on the program. Some programs can be completed in just one week, while others require several months of study.


MBA programs are expensive, especially if the program is at a top business school. The tuition for a full-time traditional MBA program at top schools can be more than $60,000 per year on average, with tuition and fees adding up to more than $150,000 over a two year period. A mini MBA, on the other hand, is much cheaper. Some programs cost less than $500. Even the more expensive programs usually cost just a few thousand dollars.

Although it can be difficult to get scholarships for mini MBA programs, you may be able to get financial assistance from your employer. Some states also offer grants for displaced workers; in some cases, these grants may be used for certificate programs or continuing education programs (like a mini MBA program).

The one cost that many people do not consider is lost wages. It is incredibly difficult to work full-time while attending a traditional full-time MBA program. So, people often lose two years of wages. Students who enroll in a mini MBA program, on the other hand, can often work full-time while they get an MBA level education.

Mode of Delivery

There are two main modes of delivery for online MBA programs: online or campus-based. The online programs are typically 100 percent online, which means you'll never have to set foot in a traditional classroom. The campus-based programs are usually held in a single classroom on campus. Classes may be held during the week or on weekends. Classes might be scheduled during the day or in the evenings depending on the program.

Choosing a Mini MBA Program

Mini MBA programs have cropped up at business schools all over the world. When looking for a mini MBA program, you should consider the reputation of the school offering the program. You should also take a close look at the costs, the time commitment, course topics, and school accreditation before choosing and enrolling in a program. Finally, it is important to consider whether or not a mini MBA is right for you. If you need a degree or if you are hoping to change careers or advance to a senior position, you may be better suited for a traditional MBA program.


Let's take a look at a few examples of mini MBA programs:

  • Rutgers Mini-MBA: Business Essentials - As the name suggests, the Mini-MBA program at Rutgers Business School focuses on essential business topics. Students study business law, business strategy, marketing, leadership, project management, international business, and other topics. The program is accelerated and takes just one week to complete. The Rutgers Mini-MBA costs about $5,000 and is approved for New Jersey workforce training grants and GI Bill education benefits.
  • Pepperdine Mini MBA Certificate - The Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University has a 10-week mini MBA program that results in a certificate. Students who enroll in this non-credit-bearing program will explore 10 different business topics, including but not limited to accounting, economics, finance, organizational theory and management, marketing, and decision sciences. The Pepperdine Mini MBA Certificate costs about $6,000.
  • University at Buffalo Online Mini MBA Certificate (OMMBA) - The School of Management at the University at Buffalo in New York offers a non-credit-bearing Mini MBA Certificate program that can be completed entirely online. Students focus on accounting and finance, marketing and communications, technology, human resources and legal issues, economics, and general management. You can take as long as you need to complete the program. Some students complete it in as little as two months by studying a couple of hours a day; others take one year to complete it. The cost is about $1,000.
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Schweitzer, Karen. "Mini MBA Program Definition Overview." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Schweitzer, Karen. (2021, February 16). Mini MBA Program Definition Overview. Retrieved from Schweitzer, Karen. "Mini MBA Program Definition Overview." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 2, 2023).