How Long Does It Take To Get An MBA? 2 Years Is Too Long!

by Ariel Smotrich

How long does it take to get an MBA? Between 1 and 5 years, depending on the program.

Before applying to a lengthy and costly MBA program, make sure to consider how an MBA will boost your career.

Remember, there are now MBA alternatives that can teach you MBA skills faster and allow you to keep your full-time job.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a rising business professional, make your best choice by looking into different types of MBA programs. Keep reading to learn more!

How long does it take to get an MBA? 2 years

A typical full-time MBA program takes 2 years. Students complete coursework in 6 main areas: finance, marketing, accounting, leadership and organizational behavior, economic statistics, and business ethics. 

Most MBA programs require somewhere between 40-65 credit hours, depending on your electives and where you specialize. For example, Columbia Business School requires business students to take 18 core credit courses and 42 elective credits.

(Credit hours are the equivalent of a unit in traditional higher education. A credit hour reflects 16 hours of in-class instruction).

Most graduate business school programs, such as MBA degree programs, require students to take the GMAT or the GRE. Applications, exam preparation, and execution can take between 6 months to a year. As a result, the tax on your time is even greater than the two years on campus.

In addition to a traditional MBA, there are also accelerated MBA programs, such as 1-year programs. These programs understandably lack breaks between semesters.

How long does it take to get an MBA degree online? 1.5 years

Online MBA degree programs have become more popular in recent years. Many top business schools, such as USC’s Marshall School of Business, Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, and NYU’s Stern School of Business, offer master’s degree programs online. 

Program length can vary based on the school. However, the typical online MBA takes a minimum of 18 months

Many online graduate programs can be taken part-time and don’t have time constraints that in-person MBA programs do. For example, part-time MBA students at the University of Chicago, Booth have a maximum of 5 years to complete their degree.   

What’s the duration of a part-time MBA? 3-5 years

There are part-time MBA programs available both in-person and online.

Part-time MBA programs allow you to continue your work experience in your desired field, but they can double the amount of time that it takes to complete your degree.

Depending on the schedule and MBA student’s course load, a part-time degree can take between 3 to 5 years.

A traditional MBA is too long!

For our parents’ generation, getting a master of business administration was seen as a great step toward advancing your career in business. 

However, in the post-COVID era, it is important to consider the length and cost of your program. Enrolling as a full-time, or even part-time student is not the best way to improve your business education and career.

Rather than waste your time and money, try an MBA alternative or fast-track MBA. They take far less time, and you gain access to the same information and business skills. 

The best MBA alternatives also offer networking opportunities in current and emerging industries.

Best Micro MBA: Business Intensive 

If you want to gain the critical knowledge to reach your business goals in less time, consider a micro MBA, such as brunchwork’s Business Intensive,’s best online business course.   

Business Intensive overview:

• Length: 7 weeks

• Format: Online

• Cost: Starting at $1,499

The Business Intensive teaches 8 core skills that students can expect to gain from a business degree. 

Some of the skills include: sales, finance, and marketing. 

Hands on project specializations include:

• Analyze financial reports and models

• Develop and execute a marketing and sales plan

• Build a no-code website

• Run a market sizing, revenue growth, and competitor analysis

• Develop and test a business strategy

• Conduct user interviews

• Pitch a business idea

The intensive offers a list of high-caliber, live weekly guest speakers. 

Past guest speakers include high profile business leaders, like former Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, PayPal Founding COO David Sacks, Ellevest co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck, product gurus Jackie Bavaro and Gayle Laakman Mcdowell, and Peloton cofounder Graham Stanton.