How Many Years for an MBA?

If you’re interested in pursuing an MBA program but aren’t sure of its duration, in this article we’ll address how long an MBA is and the different modalities.

An MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree is a desired distinction from the world’s top business schools. However, no two programs are the same, making it essential to think carefully about where you apply. This means reflecting on your motivations, values, career goals, and strengths. Your future aims and individual motivations are the first filters for distinguishing the information that’s most useful, practical, and relevant to you.

Keep reading to find out more about how long is an MBA program, the factor that affects the duration of an MBA, and more.

MBA Progam: Core Curriculum

Bay Atlantic University offers a Master of Business Administration degree tailored to provide students with the theoretical bases, experience-driven knowledge, and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in a dynamic business world.

The MBA program curriculum covers various subjects, qualifying students for diverse job opportunities. Some of the core courses you will take include:

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Research Methods
  • Capstone Project
  • Quantitative Methods in Business and Economics Income Tax Accounting
  • Financial Management
  • Leadership & Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing Management

What Factors Affect the Duration of an MBA Program?


Getting an MBA is no easy work, but it may take less time than you think. It depends on your commitment and goals as well as some academic factors.

Several structural factors determine the time it takes to finish an MBA program. These factors include:

  • the number of sessions or terms per year
  • whether the program is designed for part or full-time enrollment
  • the number of credit hours needed for graduation

How Long Is an MBA Program?

Prospective MBA students come from all walks of life and have diverse needs. To adjust to students’ varying needs, schools offer MBA programs in various formats and delivery options, which are listed below. When looking into these options, remember that the most significant factor affecting program completion time is whether you study part-time or full-time.

Traditional full time

How long is a full-time MBA program? While there are variations in how programs assign credits, a traditional MBA program requires earning 36 credits through 12 three-credit courses over four academic semesters. These programs that offer courses during a fall and a spring semester generally require two years of full-time enrollment. In programs that hold a summer session, full-time students can finish four semesters of coursework in only 16 months.

However, there are MBA programs that break the school year down into five or six terms that last eight or ten weeks. Full-time students with this type of program structure can graduate in 12 to 15 months by taking two courses per term.

Part time

A part-time MBA may be the ideal choice for those who benefit more from the flexibility of this program over the focus provided by a full-time one.

The average time it generally takes students to complete a part-time MBA program is three years, depending on the course load per semester. Each semester you choose a course load that works with your current career and personal commitments.



Online MBAs can be ideal for you if you prioritize cost and flexibility and are ready to embrace online interaction with peers and professors. Online MBAs can accommodate the obligations of your life while you learn the tools to build and support businesses.

On average, most online MBA degree programs last about two to three years. Many use a cohort approach to coursework. This means that a group of students enter the program together and progress through all requirements.


Online and on-campus accelerated MBA programs are quicker than traditional two- to three-year programs. Students pursuing an accelerated MBA can expect to complete their studies within ten to fifteen months.

As most accelerated MBA programs take a year to complete, it is sometimes called a one-year MBA. To fit the required 30+ credit hours into the shortened time frame, students might have to complete extra business courses before applying and take summer courses during the program.


A hybrid MBA is a program that combines online and on-campus instruction. While most hybrid MBA education is entirely online, many face-to-face components are known as immersions.

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Most hybrid MBA and executive MBA programs last around two years. Durations vary per school, with some requiring 16 to 36 months of study.

Because the workload comprises core and optional topics, hybrid models proceed at a comparable pace to their on-campus equivalents.


If you’re a management professional with C-suite aspirations, an executive MBA will enable you to lead your organization and advance your career. This program is primarily part-time and designed for busy working professionals. If you want to work while you study and already have significant work experience, you could be a suitable candidate for an executive MBA.

It is a 14-month course of study, structured in a way that it can be completed while employed full-time and with all the everyday obligations. Moreover, within the constraints of set exam dates about once every six weeks, there is great flexibility in the program’s self-study and social learning aspects.

How Do You Know Which Format Is Best for You?


One of the main concerns for students who want to apply for an MBA program could be the time they can commit to their studies. As a result, they should consider two important factors when weighing the relative benefits of the various types of programs: how many courses they can take per term and how quickly they would like to complete the program.

If earning an MBA in two years or less is a priority, a program that supports full-time enrollment is likely the better option. However, students in a full-time MBA program may find it challenging to work or attend to other commitments outside of school while earning their degree. A part-time program is generally a better option for those who intend to continue working while earning an MBA.

It is important to note that some MBA programs are only offered full-time, while others are only part-time. Some programs have flexible enrollment, which allows students to vary the number of courses they take per term and choose between full-time and part-time enrollment options. So, choose a format that aligns with your goals and needs.


Like so many things in your life, you get out what you put in. Ensure you know your career goals as part of your MBA program decision. The benefits of your MBA will last a lifetime, so you should make sure now is the right time for the commitment.

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