An MBA is a valuable graduate degree for people who want high-level positions in business administration. Most MBA programs take two years to earn. But, there are programs available that graduate students can complete in one year or less. These one year MBA programs allow students to graduate in as little time as possible. And prospective students will be relieved that they do not have to choose between a fast completion time and quality education. Some of the top business schools in the nation offer one year MBA programs.
The Nation’s Best One Year MBA Programs
A one year MBA is a Master of Business Administration degree you can earn in twelve months or less. This is half the time of a traditional MBA program. An MBA program aims to equip graduate students with the concepts and practices relating to business leadership and management. MBA students gain the skills required to succeed in a constantly evolving, competitive global landscape. Business schools typically include coursework in subjects like accounting, finance, management, and leadership. A one year MBA includes this critical foundational coursework and enables professionals to climb that management ladder at an accelerated pace. But not ever one year MBA degree is equal. Let’s look at the top one year MBA programs.
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This 2023 consensus ranking of the best 25 one year MBA programs combines information from five of the top MBA ranking systems. This gives students a wholistic look at each program’s MBA brand. We collected information from The Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, The Economist, and U.S. News and World Report. Then we researched the top campus-based MBA degree programs that students can complete in one calendar year or less. The ranking order was informed by the MBA’s Consensus Score. This was found by averaging each programs ranking scores and placing on a 100-point scale. The base tuition of each one year MBA program was used as a tie-breaking factor in the event of a tie.
A full-time MBA with an accelerated completion time is available at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The one year Full-Time MBA provides distinct options for earning this top business credential. This program offers extensive possibilities for achieving educational, personal, and professional goals. On-campus MBA students develop as people and learn how to generate growth in organizations.
Full-Time students graduate with a broad-based, agile skill set. They are prepared to lead confidently in the face of challenges and opportunities. Northwester’s one year MBA Program builds upon business fundamentals. This program gets students back into the workforce with quality skills and knowledge. This one year MBA will propel careers forward.
Duke University features an accelerated MBA at the Fuqua School of Business. In less than a year, Duke’s Accelerated Daytime MBA program builds on students’ prior knowledge and skills to help them develop into new kinds of leaders.
Graduate students who earn master’s degrees in management have a leg up on the competition. Those students skip the business fundamentals and immerse themselves in the electives and experiential learning opportunities that support their goals. All MBA students learn alongside a diverse group of peers. Graduate students develop a new way of working that draws out others’ strengths. MBA graduates become leaders who can inspire businesses to do better while doing what’s best.
New York University features a one year MBA at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business. MBA students immerse themselves in an early-stage technology company in New York. Enrolled students study the value creation model and the founding vision. Program designers show how business metrics are connected to priorities and growth. All MBA students work in partnership with organizations to solve fundamental branding challenges.
NYU’s one year curriculum features lessons on international branding concepts and frameworks. Graduate students gain valuable consulting skills as they manage complex projects. They can hone their company’s vision with business-leader mentorships. MBA students have access to seasoned executives. NYU’s one year MBA has it all.
The SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University features a good MBA with an accelerated completion time. The one year MBA features a tight-knit community. The program boasts a unique curriculum with a dual-campus approach. Graduate students are equipped to hit the ground running. These MBA students stand out among colleagues. The program features internships and the excitement of starting new careers.
Johnson’s full-time one year MBA is STEM-designated. The one-of-a-kind curriculum boasts fully integrated leadership development aspects. Graduate students take advantage of the programming at Cornell Tech in New York City. This one year degree features a required summer internship. Cornell is the right place for today’s MBA.
The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business offers a one year MBA. Enrolled students can complete this stellar program in twelve months at USC’s Campus in Los Angeles. The USC Marshall MBA degree is perfect for mid-career professionals seeking international leadership positions.
All on-campus MBA students learn in a class size of 55. These students are diverse and globally focused. The average age of graduate participants is 35. Program students enjoy dedicated career development. Marshall provides individualized career development plans for mid-career professionals. This program features some travel for business networking forums and management consulting projects. Be sure to check out this excellent one year MBA.
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A full-time one year MBA is available at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business. Graduate students take their careers to the next level. This Full-time MBA degree can be completed in just twelve months. The Foster MBA experience in Seattle gives MBA students the curriculum and career support they need. Students have access to faculty support that shapes their future.
The UW Foster School of Business prides itself on comprehensive degree programs. Nationally recognized experts deliver its one year curriculum in their field. Foster’s MBA spans all aspects of today’s business world. The ROI of a Foster MBA goes beyond financial outcomes.
A full-time one year MBA is offered at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. It takes twelve months. It is completed in 365 days. The Goizueta One Year MBA program provides the theory that can immediately be applied at work. Enrolled students work with real-world clients. They solve real business problems as they study international business abroad. MBA students become leadership coaches as they learn from some of the world’s top business minds.
By the end of their accelerated MBA, students are ready to take on whatever the business world throws at them. One year MBA students work on case studies for real business clients. Once students complete hands-on leadership training, they tailor academics to their career interests. This degree means business.
A full-time MBA with an optional GMAT is offered at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. The business school’s one year MBA is accelerated and engaging. It is a business program for those looking to advance their existing business careers. Enrolled students construct an ethical foundation for strategic decision-making.
Mendoza’s curriculum supports experiential learning and personalized leadership development. Graduate students are supported by exceptional faculty and excellent students. Notre Dame’s alum network is world-renowned. All MBA students have access to academic, professional, and personal advancement. The one year program improves business understanding and develops leadership ingenuity.
The Smeal College of Business at Penn State provides an excellent accelerated MBA. The Early Career One Year MBA from the Smeal College of Business is customizable. The STEM-designated program is perfect for current undergrads or working professionals. Students with up to five years of work experience will thrive in the program.
MBA students with Smeal as their business partner sharpen their business acumen. These learners earn their MBA credentials that can prepare them for career advancement. The nine-month format at Penn State is featured on the University Park campus. A world-class faculty, accelerated completion time, and STEM designation? This stellar degree is an excellent choice.
The University of Florida provides a full-time one year MBA at the Warrington College of Business. Program designers have fashioned an MBA experience that is life-changing. Graduate students enrolled in this one year program made no compromises when selecting the full-time MBA. UF MBA leaders know this decision is one of the most essential choices in academic and professional life.
Graduate students commit to taking time out of their careers to enter a full-time MBA program. They owe it to themselves to consider the UF MBA. The One Year program allows MBA students with professional and academic experience to benefit from a dedicated staff and faculty. This full-time MBA team with a one year completion time delivers.
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University of PittsburghCollege of Business Administration and Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
The College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh provides an accelerated MBA. This is a highly focused business program. It is designed to offer MBA students the fastest return on their investment. The Accelerated MBA program enables graduate students to complete a Katz MBA full-time in a 12-month format. This format minimizes the time students spend away from the workforce.
Students with extensive post-bachelor professional experience will thrive in this one year program. They can focus on advancing in their current professional field or industry. The on-campus program begins in early August. It is designed to be completed in three terms, concluding in July. This one year MBA has it all.
Southern Methodist University currently features a one year MBA through its Cox School of Business. This program is for those headed for success in their current careers but want to get there faster. This is a full-time, 12-month program. SMU’s One Year MBA at Cox is tailored for early-career professionals.
MBA students looking for a rigorous, personalized experience within an intimate small-school setting will love it. Enrolled students learn in small classes from award-winning instructors with open doors. They connect with MBA students worldwide and dynamic business leaders from Dallas’s Fortune 500 companies. One year MBA students will gain the skills, confidence, and global alum connections they need to take their careers to the next level.
The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, provides an excellent full-time one year MBA. The business school’s curriculum encompasses business knowledge and professional skills. Enrolled students can develop expertise in one of five specialized areas during their final semester.
UT Knoxville’s Full-Time MBA program includes a required summer internship. MBA students can apply the skills and knowledge they learned throughout the program. They also establish business rapport with industry leaders. By the end of this one year program, business professionals lead on day one of their post-MBA jobs.
The University of Miami provides an excellent one year MBA through its Herbert Business School. Full-Time MBA students come from diverse backgrounds. They present various academic and professional experiences. They also have one thing in common. MBA graduates have the drive to become global business leaders.
Miami Herbert’s Accelerated MBA allows enrolled students to fast-track their management careers through hands-on opportunities in a city that shapes the future of business. This excellent Accelerated MBA enables eligible students to earn their diploma in less than twelve months. The one year MBA is ideal for candidates with a degree in business or a related discipline. Students seek advanced business expertise that propels their careers in a short amount of time.
Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business offers a full-time one year MBA. Graduate students wanting to start a new career will love this degree. Business leaders interested in switching careers or going further in their current organization will also benefit. The one year on-campus MBA will help graduate students reach their career goals.
This excellent on-campus degree arms MBA students with a ranked MBA in business leadership. Entrepreneurial leadership skills help enrolled students make an impact in business, their community, and the world. Many partner organizations bring their real-world strategies to class annually. This one year on-campus MBA offers a lot to today’s graduate students.
TCU’s Neeley School of Business provides a full-time one year MBA. TCU’s accelerated MBA gives students the entire MBA experience in half the time. This program is designed for professionals wanting to advance in their current or closely related career fields. Neeley’s 36-credit-hour curriculum combines core hours with elective hours that complement and complete résumés.
Enrolled students’ electives can focus on specific disciplines, including finance, supply chain, marketing, and management. MBA students can also focus on industries like energy, health care, consulting, real estate, and entrepreneurship. One year MBA students at TCU have access to excellent professors and a vibrant curriculum.
A top one year MBA is delivered at Hult International Business School. Enrolled students can accelerate their careers in international business. They take part in one intensive year with a transformative campus experience. Program leaders immerse MBA students in diversity and take them across the globe.
MBA students in this one year program develop the skills most in-demand with employers worldwide. They can make an impact from their first day on the job. The curriculum allows students to learn business by doing it. MBA students specialize in their chosen areas, so they graduate with effective mindsets, practical skills, and knowledge to transform their lives and careers.
Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School provides a top one year MBA. Graduate students can advance or switch careers quicker with the business school’s Accelerated Full-Time MBA. Enrolled learners within this intensive one year full-time MBA re-enter the marketplace with a master’s in business from an elite university. They enjoy increased earning potential.
This program features accelerated MBA degree options. Candidates with prior academic and work experience also benefit from waived courses. Many Full-Time MBA students at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School qualify for the 12- or 15-month MBA option. Pepperdine’s accelerated MBA completion format features an experience-driven curriculum. It is taught in small classes with immersive study-abroad opportunities worldwide. Take advantage of this one year MBA.
A full-time one year MBA is available at the University of South Carolina. The Darla Moore School of Business is famous for its undergraduate and graduate programs. This one year degree emphasizes innovative, experiential learning. The program is committed to producing superlatively prepared graduates.
Highly qualified and motivated MBA students will enjoy the program’s robust curriculum and seasoned instructors. Enrolled students make choices to best fit their current needs and long-term goals. This one year accelerated MBA allows graduate students to select the functional specializations that align with their interests and career goals.
The University of Mississippi features a top-notch one year MBA through its School of Business Administration. Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked this on-campus program as a Top 75. The Ole Miss Campus MBA Program is a highly valued business degree. It allows students to earn their credentials in a traditional classroom setting.
This 36-hour program features a comprehensive curriculum. World-renowned instructors teach it. Students can enter the program in the summer or fall. Students enrolling on a full-time basis can expect to graduate in 12 months. Students with full-time jobs should register for the part-time track. This one year MBA is a challenging program that encourages teamwork and networking.
The Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa provides an MBA with an accelerated completion time. This full-time/day program is designed for accelerated completion with peer students. Enrolled students take between eight and fourteen credit hours per semester of classes. On-campus students in the program can complete the 40 hours in as few as one year.
The University of Tampa’s on-campus MBA program helps students develop the advanced strategic mindset retained by successful executives. UT’s one year Master of Business Administration program is one of Florida’s most established and exclusive degrees. MBA students will thrive within this business leadership program.
An exemplary one year MBA is featured at Florida International University’s Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business. Graduate students within this program gain a deeper understanding of global business issues. They can study abroad or elect an internship experience at international and multinational companies. FIU Business reflects the world’s diversity. On-campus MBA students represent over 130 countries. The faculty members of the business school hail from 40 countries.
FIU is based in Miami. Its location offers learners all the advantages of an urban, multicultural, and ethnically rich center. Miami is a business hub that connects the two Americas. Graduate students benefit from its being the regional headquarters for multinational corporations. This one year degree is a top choice.
An accelerated one year MBA is delivered at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. Enrolled students experience an MBA program that accelerates their career goals. UK’s Full-Time MBA program is rich with quality lessons from the field’s top instructors and researchers.
Aspiring MBA students are prepared to learn and apply business functions from day one. They reap the ultimate return on investment. The program is guided by faculty members vested in candidates’ success. Kentucky’s curriculum provides MBA students with the knowledge, tools, and skillsets to be impactful managers and leaders in chosen career paths.
The Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides an excellent full-time one year MBA. The on-campus degree is uniquely designed to fit graduate students’ specific needs. Forty-eight credit hours of advanced business courses make up this degree. There are ten credit hours of foundation classes and twenty-six credit hours of core classes. These credits give students a strong foundation in business and management. From this foundation, students choose twelve credit hours of electives.
This one year program is perfect for recent graduates and those with relevant work experience. Qualified applicants can waive the ten credit hours of foundation courses. The program’s twelve credit hours of electives can customize the MBA to fit specific needs by earning one of over twenty graduate certificates. This degree has it all.
A one year MBA is available at Louisiana State University’s E. J. Ourso College of Business. This LSU Flores MBA Program provides graduate students with a flexible path. This path allows professionals to advance their careers. This is a nationally-ranked program, and it helps unlock an MBA student’s full potential as a business leader.
Enrolled students enjoy a robust curriculum centered on application-based education. Business school leaders provide students with a foundation to succeed in the business world. MBA students get the tools to see a valuable return on investment. The Flores MBA Program rigorously prepares graduate students to enter the business world with a one year advanced degree from a premier university.
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What is a One Year Master of Business Administration?
Graduate students seeking this excellent business degree can pursue an MBA in general management. This program gives them a broad overview of many of the most critical aspects of management and leadership. Some MBA students decide to specialize in a major. So, besides the general core coursework, they take several courses in a concentrated business area. These topics can include Strategy, Accounting, Economics, Operations, Finance, Management Science, Marketing, and Managing Organizations.
MBA graduates often work in high-level leadership roles in the private and public sectors. The expedited nature of the one year MBA allows graduate students to reach their professional goals in less time than a traditional program allows.
Two Year vs. One Year
Traditionally, the one year MBA has been popular outside the United States, where the two-year MBA remains the default business credential. But times are changing. Many of the nation’s best business schools now offer one year options for students looking to expedite their business education.
In the interest of cost-effectiveness and flexibility, MBA applicants are pursuing programs that can accelerate their professional and personal success.
The Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Prospective Students Survey reveals that for the last two years, one year global demand has topped two-year programs. Almost half of all MBA candidates consider a one year program a viable option. This increase is up from less than 40% just two years ago.
Would You Consider a One Year MBA Degree?
Here are some key benefits of the program:
1) A One Year MBA Could Be More Cost-Effective
A business degree that takes half the time to complete should cost less. One of the essential components of the one year MBA is cost-effectiveness. This aspect can be found in lower tuition fees and the overall running cost of the on-campus program.
For example, a traditional full-time MBA can cost a lot in tuition and expenses, easily spanning from $40K to $100K. It is common for business schools to offer substantial discounts and more affordable tuition rates for their one year programs.
Cost of Living
In some instances, the tuition per year can be higher for a one year MBA (although the total cost of the degree is still cheaper). While the tuition rate may be higher for the one year program, students will save on the cost of living during that extra year they do not have to pay for as a full-time student. Living expenses include accommodation, food, and travel. You significantly adds to the overall cost of any program. Halving the time students spend studying can produce significant savings.
Some communities are more expensive to live in than others. The cost of living can vary based on what part of the country you are in. Lower living expenses translate into added affordability. Many business schools offer cost-of-living calculators to help program researchers estimate investment returns.
2) One Year MBA Students Can Quickly Restart their Careers
MBA students who choose one year programs can take advantage of getting quickly back into their careers. Everyone in business leadership knows MBA degrees are great career boosters. Taking time away from work to study is a costly pause in earning potential. Many prospective students express concern over an MBA delaying attractive job opportunities, according to GMAC research.
The quicker business professionals return to work, the faster they’ll start seeing a return on their investment. Moreover, most grads from the latest graduation class are employed three months after completing their MBA. Many graduates receive, on average, a significant salary increase.
Many MBA students want to combine their careers and study life. Some graduate students pursuing an accelerated MBA will supplement their degrees with online learning and weekend classes. These less-than-traditional approaches to graduate school ensure students can continue their careers in real time.
Experienced and active professionals may want to consider an Executive MBA. It allows them to maintain their careers while studying for qualifications that enhance their prospects.
3) One Year MBA Programs Make Career Changes Possible
Many graduate students in business make significant changes to their careers after completing a one year MBA. The one year MBA is synonymous with career acceleration. Many business students experience significant career changes after completing the program.
MBA graduates often make at least one major job transition during their careers. This switch may include a shift in the industry, job function, or location. One year MBA students can significantly transform their careers due to the program’s effect on professional opportunities.
4) One Year MBA Students Enjoy a Rigorous and Focused Curriculum
Just because a program takes less time doesn’t mean it suffers from comprehensibility. One year programs are more condensed. But students get all the content. MBA students seeking this format have the same rigorous core courses that sharpen their economic and business skill sets. One year MBA students then have more immediate access to focus on their careers.
Many top curriculums utilize case study methods to prepare students for the business world. MBA students can be exposed to hundreds of actual cases. Instead of basic theoretical lectures, one year MBA students benefit from an action-oriented approach that reflects the issues in the business environment. Students with exposure to real-world scenarios will thrive after they graduate. One year programs feature dynamic techniques where graduate students are fully immersed for twelve months. These students can maximize results over a shorter time.
5) One Year MBA Students Make Connections that Last Entire Careers
Do not think that less time spent with classmates means bonds will suffer. There is an intensive nature within a one year program. Enrolled students quickly form a camaraderie that keeps them connected. The class duration is over quicker in a twelve-month program. But, the connections MBA students make over the year can last a lifetime.
Some business schools offer small student numbers per cohort. Smaller class sizes can breed a more intimate atmosphere. Students living on campus with classmates often develop a cohesive and tight-knit network of students.
Once graduated, one year MBA students join an alum network of thousands of business school grads. This network provides a wealth of knowledge and opportunity across many countries and industries.
MBA Grad Experience
When I went to my first interview after I graduated with my MBA, I did not get asked about the format of my degree. I did not get asked about my specialization or my grades. But my interviewer did take note of my MBA. She was excited about the possibility of having that business management expertise on staff. Thus, if I had pursued an even quicker program, like the one year MBA, then I could have been able to reap those rewards faster.
How Can I Become Eligible for a One Year MBA Program?
The eligibility requirements for one year MBA programs vary by school. These prerequisites often include the following:
A Bachelor’s Degree in Business
An undergraduate business degree or a related field is a standard prerequisite for acceptance into a one year MBA program. This criterion is more of a preference at some business schools than a requirement. Many excellent programs welcome graduate students who lack a business education. In these cases, be prepared to take some prep courses in business that bring you up to speed in topics like accounting, statistics, and finance.
A Minimum GPA Score
Because of the one year MBA’s intensive and accelerated nature, the minimum GPA is typically demanding. Expect programs to expect an undergrad GPA of 3.4 or 3.5. Mid-career professionals can substitute a stellar GPA with extensive work experience.
In addition to a solid GPA, business schools will request sealed academic transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions. Admission officers will check your overall academic ability.
Letters of Recommendation
Instructors, mentors, supervisors, and other figures familiar with your academic or professional ability can write letters of recommendation. These letters are standard requirements for graduate schools. Business schools typically ask for two to three letters.
Statement of Purpose
This eligibility component is a personal essay. It introduces you to the admission committee and explains your academic and professional goals. An effective statement of purpose shows how a candidate can be an asset to the school they are applying to.
In addition to the above-listed components, a business school may ask applicants to write one or two short essays on specific topics. Fewer schools require candidates to submit GMAT scores. They will accept them if offered. A high GMAT or GRE score still improves one’s chances of acceptance.
Earning a one year MBA is an excellent idea if you are interested in accelerated business leadership development. The road to finding the right degree starts with a few questions: Where do you want to go and when do you want to get there?