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How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

By DeVry University

6 min read

If you’re considering earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA), the question that’s likely at the top of your list is: How long does it take to get an MBA degree?

Earning your MBA is an important step in your educational and professional journey. Whether you’re about to graduate with your bachelor’s degree and are looking ahead to grad school or you’re a working professional trying to change careers or advance in the one you currently have, we’ll give you some guidance to questions like "how long does it take to get an MBA” and “how long is an MBA program” to help get you started on the right foot.

Different Types of MBA Programs

Great strides have been made in developing MBA programs that fit the lifestyles and requirements of different adult learners. Online programs, full-time and part-time program options, and MBA specializations can help you make the commitment to earning your graduate degree easier. 

Why earn an MBA degree? There are several good reasons. Earning an MBA may help you prepare to pursue new career opportunities, allowing you to better meet the requirements of employers or recruiters who are looking for candidates with advanced degrees. If you’re changing careers, an MBA can be a powerful resume builder, demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to learn new skills for the industry you want to transition to. 

An MBA degree can also help you to acquire new workplace skills (also called soft skills) like teamwork, collaboration, leadership, problem-solving and time management that are crucial in management positions. 

Finally, you may just be exposed to more earning potential with an MBA. According to May 2023 Career Outlook data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, master’s degrees holder generally have higher median weekly earnings than those with a bachelor’s degree, and may be less likely to experience unemployment.1

Online MBA programs

If you want to have a great deal of flexibility in how and where you study, an online program is a great option. Online learning allows working adults to take classes when and where they like, so they can earn a degree without having to disrupt the other parts of their busy lives or commute to a college campus. At DeVry, we’ve been teaching online since 1998 and have continuously improved our tools and resources to create a customized learning experience that is current, relevant and effective for busy adult learners. In 2023, for the second consecutive year, DeVry was named one of America’s Top Online Colleges in a study of online students by Newsweek in partnership with Statista.

Many of our degree and certificate programs are offered 100% online. In some programs, students can choose a hybrid option that allows them to combine online learning with an on-campus experience. Our online learning is not limited to part-time programs either. All of our degree programs can be completed in a part-time, full-time or accelerated schedule, whether the student chooses a 100% online or hybrid format.2

Full-time MBA programs

If you are enrolled as a full-time student in an MBA program, it will generally take a little more than 2 years to earn your degree. At DeVry, our non-traditional calendar of 6 academic sessions per year allows students more flexibility in planning their educational experiences. You can complete your online general MBA in as little as 12 months on an accelerated schedule, or 2 years and 2 months on a normal one.3

Enrolling in a full-time MBA program may offer these benefits:

  • Ability to finish in less time:

    A good choice for students who want the option of completing their degree faster than they would on a part-time basis or by taking fewer credits per session. You may also opt to earn your degree on an accelerated schedule, which can help lessen the time even more.

  • A more immersive experience: 

    With a full-time course load, you will be taking a deeper dive into your MBA experience as you’re exposed to more of the general and industry-specific skills and concepts the coursework offers.

  • Ability to use breaks for experiential learning: 

    Students enrolled full time can take advantage of breaks between sessions, or take sessions off, to arrange for experiential learning in part-time employment or internship programs.

Part-time MBA programs

Part-time MBA programs allow students to have more flexibility in their academic journey, making it easier for them to maintain a full-time job while pursuing this graduate degree. The potential benefits of earning your MBA on a part-time basis can give you several advantages:

  • Work while you pursue your degree: 

    As a part-time student, you may be better able to maintain the balance between your coursework and a full-time work schedule.

  • Convenience of online learning: 

    As in a full-time program, the option of completing your degree online can give you even more flexibility, allowing you to set your own pace and study when and where you like.

  • Put your new skills to work right away: 

    While enrolled in a part-time program and working, you may be able to apply the new skills you acquire at your job any time, without waiting until you’ve received your degree.

How long does it take to finish a part-time MBA program? That will depend on several factors, including how many courses you take per session, whether or not you take breaks or sessions off, the length of the program you’re enrolled in and whether you’re able to apply any qualifying transfer credits from a previous program.

What Pace is Right for You?

The choice of MBA programs is clearly not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Finding out what works for you, your schedule and your life should be your top priority. 

The program you choose and whether you enroll in a part-time or full-time schedule will depend on several factors relative to your current personal and professional obligations as you answer the “how long is an MBA program” question. Consider these factors when deciding which MBA options are right for you:

  • Have you just completed a bachelor’s degree program and plan to remain a full-time student?

  • Based on your current professional and personal commitments, are you able to dedicate 7 to 8 hours per week to each MBA course you will take?

  • Are you able to prioritize your graduate education by turning down other activities outside of your coursework?

  • If you can make the commitment to a full-time schedule, is completing your degree on an accelerated schedule a realistic possibility for you?

  • Does your employer offer a tuition assistance program and, if so, what is the amount of its annual benefit?

  • Do you have a support system at work or at home that you can rely on for help managing work-education-family priorities?

At DeVry, the quickest path to earning your MBA is to enroll as a full-time student and work on an accelerated timeline, meaning continuous enrollment and taking no breaks between academic sessions. If part-time enrollment allows you to better balance your commitment to education with your other personal and professional commitments, that may be the better option for you, but it will take longer to complete your degree.

Earn Your MBA at Keller

Are you ready to enroll in an MBA program? At DeVry and our Keller Graduate School of Management, we offer 10 MBA specializations in accounting, finance, human resources, project management, global supply chain management, information systems management and more. Our goal is simple – to offer an MBA experience that fits your schedule as well as your personal and professional goals. 

Our 6 academic sessions per year allow you to start when you’re ready and learn at your own pace, finishing on a regular or accelerated schedule that’s right for you. Classes start soon.

Learn More About
Our MBA Programs

1https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2021/data-on-display/education-pays.htm

2Program, course, and extended classroom availability vary by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.

3Accelerated time to complete requires at least 9 credit hours of Prior Learning Credit, assumes completion of 3 semesters per year, enrollment in an average of 10 credit hours per semester and continuous, full-time year-round enrollment with no break. Does not apply to MBA with Specialization. Time to complete and details vary by specialization See individual program or pages Keller Academic Catalog for complete details. Normal time to complete is 2 years 2 months, assuming completion of 3 semesters per year, enrollment in an average of 6 credit hours per semester and continuous, year-round enrollment with no breaks. See Keller Academic Catalog for complete details.

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