People interested in a weekend MBA program will have many factors to consider. They should first determine if a weekend MBA is the best-structured program, as there are other potential attendance structures. Additional considerations when choosing best schools include requirements for admission, program reputation, focus in studies, and practical considerations like cost.
A weekend MBA program may be constructed in different ways. In the simplest structure, master’s candidates attend school one day each weekend, and they usually do this year-round, taking classes during the summer as well. This is typically considered part-time attendance and it can take two to three years to finish school.
Other possible structures include those where students do the majority of their coursework online but must attend a school for a full weekend once a month. This structure might be full-time and take less time to complete. Alternately, some programs may have an attendance requirement of several weeks during the summer combined with principally online classes. Standard full-time master’s programs with weekday attendance take about a year to complete, and some people do manage full-time school and full-time work. Some part and full-time programs offer all evening classes so students can still work during the day.
One last point of importance in determining schedule is the idea of a “cycle” of classes as opposed to a program where students can progress toward the degree by choosing their own classes. In a cycle weekend MBA program, the schedule is pre-determined for the program’s length. If anything arises that disrupts the student’s ability to attend, they may have to repeat the whole program. Exactly how often the cycle is offered depends on the school and should be considered because life is notoriously unpredictable. Cycles only offered every two to three years could cause complications if a student is unable to finish classes, and could greatly extend how long it takes to get an MBA.
The weekend MBA program admission requirements are something else to reflect upon. Ideal programs readily admit the interested student, and the schools worth investigating will have admission requirements that the student meets or exceeds. School reputation is clearly vital too. Any school should be investigated for accreditation, and students should ask questions about career success of MBA grads from the school. It’s helpful to get precise and specific information about level of graduate success, and some schools even have features like job placement programs that may be attractive.
In any cycle programs, focus of the weekend MBA program is predetermined, and applicants should decide if this focus meets study objectives. Some students have specific study goals in mind when they undertake an MBA. They should determine whether a department of any type supports their focus.
Cost is another feature of interest, and it can range significantly. Some schools offer economical weekend programs and others charge much more than a standard school. Determining what is affordable helps select which schools are best choices.