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What is an Accelerated MBA?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2018
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Most Master in Business Administration (MBA) programs take about two to two and a half years to complete. Many people who want to earn this degree don’t have time to drop out of the workforce for a couple of years and commit to this type of study. A couple of alternative options exist. One is to complete a part-time program, which takes about three to four years and the other is to find an accelerated MBA program. An accelerated MBA is usually a 12-15 month program that earns the master’s degree, and which may prove a better alternative for those who want to get their studies done quickly.

There are many accelerated MBA programs in Europe and they’ve been growing in number in the US as well. Very obviously, one of the key aspects of these programs is they tend to require students to take more classes in a shorter span of time. They usually begin with an intense summer session and end with one, or the summer session prepares students to take up second year classes in a regular MBA program.

Some of the features that usually aren't available with an accelerated MBA program include significant time for things like internships and professional development. Some schools have short internships, but it’s difficult to extend these over full semesters because the length of the program is shorter. Occasionally, students complain that they miss out on forming professional relationships too, but this can vary, depending on the school's program.

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It may not be as necessary to create a business network while pursuing an accelerated MBA. Many of these programs have very high admission standards and expect that students will have already worked in business for several years. Some are principally geared toward those people with other graduate degrees and proven ability to handle compressed graduate studies. Candidates for graduation may thus possess a strong business network before they head to school, and the need to create a new network may not be as important.

The exact requirements for an accelerated MBA program can vary. At well-known schools, high Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, impressive resumes and possibly other graduate education might be required. A few schools don’t require an undergraduate degree in business, provided a student has strong work experience, high GMAT scores, and some foundational business and accounting classes. In these cases it’s still necessary to possess an undergraduate degree.

In difficult economic times, the attractiveness of an MBA may not be enough of an inducement to quit a job, which the accelerated MBA requires. Some people might have the option of taking leave or a sabbatical, but those who are really worried about their employment future have other choices. People could investigate evening or weekend MBAs, instead. Most of these part-time programs can be undertaken while continuing to work, though they take a few years to complete.

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