One-Year MBA Programs: Definition, Pros and Cons

One-Year MBA Program Overview

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What Is a One-Year MBA Program?

A one-year MBA program is the name commonly given to Master of Business Administration programs that last around one year. These programs are different than their traditional counterparts, two-year MBA programs, which usually take two years to complete. An accelerated MBA program is another name commonly used for a one-year MBA program.

Does It Really Last Just a Year?

One-year MBA programs can last anywhere from 10 to 16 months, but 11-month and 12-month MBA programs are the most common.

These programs are always full-time programs; attending part-time is not an option. 

Pros of One-Year MBA Programs

An MBA is great for students who wish to pursue a solid degree that will help them advance in their current career or field. But what makes one-year MBA programs better than other types of MBA programs?

  • First and foremost, a one-year MBA program saves time. These programs were created in Europe decades ago because people wanted to earn their degree in less time. One-year programs meet that demand by requiring half of the time investment of traditional MBA programs.
  • A one-year MBA is usually cheaper than other types of MBA programs because you attend school for less time. The reduced cost of tuition is another reason that one-year MBA programs have become popularized in the United States and abroad. 
  • Most one-year MBA programs reduce unnecessary core requirements and allow customization of courses through electives and concentrations. This allows you to really specialize in your field of choice.

    Cons of One-Year MBA Programs

    One-year MBA programs have plenty of drawbacks in addition to advantages. Some of the following cons are the biggest reasons to avoid one-year MBA programs.

    • Internship opportunities are much more limited within a one-year program, and in some cases, they are non-existent. 
    • Courses in one-year MBA programs demand a lot of time and effort. You will most likely lose one full year in the workforce (and all of the income that comes with it).

    Application Requirements

    The application process for one-year MBA programs is similar to that of other MBA programs. You usually have to fill out an application, supply recommendations, submit GMAT scores, write an essay and/or participate in an interview. You will also need to submit your undergraduate transcripts for review. A high GPA isn't a requirement for every MBA program, but it will help your chances of getting accepted to a one-year MBA program.

    Getting Accepted to One-Year MBA Programs

    Most one-year MBA programs have a very competitive admission process. Prerequisites include an exemplary academic record and/or work background. You may also need a minimum amount of work experience. Some schools want you to be well-versed in basic business and management principles so that you can keep up with the rigorous coursework. You can increase your chances of acceptance by meeting minimum admissions requirements and submitting a well-rounded MBA application.


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    Your Citation
    Schweitzer, Karen. "One-Year MBA Programs: Definition, Pros and Cons." ThoughtCo, Feb. 25, 2016, Schweitzer, Karen. (2016, February 25). One-Year MBA Programs: Definition, Pros and Cons. Retrieved from Schweitzer, Karen. "One-Year MBA Programs: Definition, Pros and Cons." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 22, 2017).