How Long Does It Take To Get An MBA? 2 Years – But That’s Too Long!

By: Ariel Smotrich

How Long Does It Take To Get An MBA? 2 Years – But That’s Too Long!

If you’re looking to gain critical business knowledge to excel in the corporate world, you’ve probably thought about getting an MBA.

Before applying, make sure to consider the expense and time cost, versus what an MBA will do for your career.

There are now MBA alternatives that can teach you MBA skills faster, while allowing 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.

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 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.   

How long does it take to get an MBA part-time? 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.

It takes too long to get a traditional MBA!

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 MBA Alternative: Business Intensive 

If you want to gain the critical knowledge to reach your business goals in less time, consider an alternative 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 Mcdowel, and Peloton cofounder Graham Stanton.

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