Accelerated One-Year MBA Programs


If you’re already several years deep into your career, there’s no reason to spend two full years (and all that tuition money) getting your MBA. Today, several premium MBA programs offer an accelerated, one-year degree format.

Accelerated MBAs aren’t just a fad, either: A 2023 Prospective Students Survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that the popularity of one-year MBA programs has surpassed traditional two-year MBA programs across the globe.

That’s because these speedy MBA programs cost half as much, take half as long, and meet your career goals just as effectively.

If you’re aiming to secure the highest paying MBA jobs and expedite your career progression, explore our top picks of accelerated one-year MBA programs below to enhance your earnings potential.

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Why You Should Choose a One-Year MBA Program

An accelerated MBA is good for folks who know what they want — whether that looks like climbing the career ladder, breaking into a new industry, starting a business, or competing for executive roles.

Here are four more reasons to choose an accelerated program:

  • It Is Time Efficient

    One-year MBA programs operate on intensive schedules (usually meeting during the summer and over breaks) that cram as many courses as possible into the least amount of time. The pace of learning is fast and focused — many schools recommend that you avoid working full time while a student.
  • It Is a Good Return on Investment

    MBAs pay off: North American MBA students see a median 50% compensation hike after graduation. The less time and money you spend on your MBA program, the quicker you may see a return on your investment.
  • It Offers a Marketable Credential

    An MBA can dramatically boost your marketability as a candidate for high-level positions across industries: It imparts technical skills, leadership training, and valuable experience.
  • It Can Enrich Your Life

    GMAC reports that the number one motivator for students pursuing graduate management education (like an MBA) is to enrich their lives and develop their potential. A one-year MBA can expand your knowledge and satisfy your desire for personal growth.

How to Decide if a One-Year Program is Right for You

Accelerated MBA programs aren’t right for everyone. They are typically designed for business professionals who already have years of on-the-job training in business.

That’s why it’s important to pick a program format that suits your experience, career goals, and learning style. These factors can help you decide if a one-year MBA program is a good fit for you.

If… Then…
You already have significant work experience Yes
You want to significantly speed up your career advancement Yes
You want to pivot into a new role or industry Yes
You can manage an intensive, focused, and demanding learning experience Yes
You have limited work experience No
You’re looking for a comprehensive, foundation-building business education No
You want to gain experience through an extended internship No
You learn better at a relaxed pace No

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Financing an Accelerated One-Year MBA Program

One-year MBAs do cost less than traditional two-year programs – but they are still a considerable investment. Fortunately, you can access many forms of financial aid, including:

Also: Be sure to look into employer reimbursement for some of your education costs. A 2022 Employee Benefits Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that nearly 50% of employers offer tuition assistance as a benefit — if the money is there, be sure to use it!

3 Popular Accelerated One-Year MBA Programs

Emory University

Emory University is a private university in Atlanta, Georgia. A medium-sized school with outsized research funding, Emory is known for having good resources, great professors, and competitive academics.

Goizueta Business School

Emory’s Goizueta Business School offers some of the best-ranked MBA programs in the country. Their accelerated one-year program — a “high octane year” of intensive learning — gives students the chance to learn business theory and then apply it to real-world business challenges.

Goizueta’s 1-year program is exactly 12 months long. Students begin with an immersive summer term that covers the core curriculum, then spend the next two terms zeroing in on their concentration, working with clients, and even studying abroad.

The intensive, in-person program offers 20 concentrations and 90 elective courses.

Tuition and fees for a one-year MBA from Goizueta: $113,982

Emory’s One-Year MBA Specializations

Accounting | Alternative Investments | Analytics | Business Analysis | Capital Markets | Consulting Strategy | Corporate Finance | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Entrepreneurship | Finance | Global Management | Healthcare Consulting | Investment Banking | Leadership | Marketing | Marketing Analytics | Media & Entertainment | Operations | Organizational Management | Product & Brand Management | Real Estate | Social Enterprise | Technology Management

Applying to Emory’s MBA Programs

  • Submit an online application
  • Pay a $175 application fee
  • Submit official test scores (GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT accepted) or complete a waiver
  • If required, include an English Language Test Score from TOEFL, EILTS, or Duolingo
  • Submit a one- or two-page resume/CV
  • Include all academic transcripts
  • Complete at least two written essays and one video essay
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Attend on-campus and virtual interviews (by invitation)

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private research and teaching institution in Evanston, Illinois. The school is known for rigorous academics, interdisciplinary research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. With only a 7% acceptance rate, NU is a competitive school that boasts excellent student outcomes.

Kellogg School of Management

In addition to high-quality, experiential learning and world-class instructors, students at Kellogg have access to numerous research centers, guest speakers, student organizations, and a huge network of high-achieving professional alumni.

Kellogg’s one-year MBA is a 12-month, June-to-June program intended for students who already have business experience and clear career goals. The program is offered in person at the Global Hub at the Kellogg School of Management.

Unlike many one-year programs, Kellogg’s accelerated MBA lets you forego core business courses in order to dig deep into concentrated electives to supercharge your personal career objectives.

Tuition and fees for a one-year MBA from Kellogg: $124,326

Northwestern’s One-Year MBA Specializations and Pathways

Accounting | Economics | Finance | Marketing | Operations | Strategy | Managing Organizations Management Science | Data Analytics | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Entrepreneurship | Growth & Scaling | Healthcare | Real Estate | Social Impact | Venture Capital & Private Equity

Applying to Northwestern University

Some previous academic experience is required for acceptance into an MBA program at Northwestern, including coursework in economics, statistics, marketing, and operations.

  • Submit an online application
  • Pay a $250 application fee
  • Submit official test scores (GMAT, GMAT Focus, or GRE)
  • Submit a resume/CV
  • Include all academic transcripts
  • Complete two written essays and a video essay
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Attend a virtual interview

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a large private research institution in Los Angeles, California. It consistently ranks among the top colleges in the United States, and is known for combining the academic freedom of a private university with the large financial resources typical of public universities. The school is committed to making education affordable and accessible, awarding $464 million in school-based aid in the 2021-2022 academic year.

USC Marshall School of Business

At the USC Marshall School of Business, you’ll find both the gravitas of history and the excitement of cutting-edge innovation. The century-old institution has sent decades of talented alumni all across the world to forge deep, abiding ties with local and global business communities. In addition to top-notch business training, Marshall’s programs prioritize DEI, tech fluency, human leadership, and real-world learning.

Marshall offers a one-year International Business and Education Research (IBEAR) MBA for students who are mid-career professionals. Students complete 56 graduate credits in six eight-week terms.

The 12-month program also includes professional development retreats, experiential learning trips, and a capstone management consulting project.

Tuition and fees for a one-year MBA from USC: $139,222

USC’s One-Year MBA Specializations

IBEAR students can leverage their elective courses to specialize in whatever area best fits their needs. They can also pursue additional certificate programs in:

Business Analytics | Financial Analysis and Valuation | Supply Chain Management

Applying to USC

  • Submit an online application
  • Pay a $155 application fee
  • Submit official test scores (GMAT, GRE) or complete a test score waiver
  • Submit a resume/CV
  • Include all academic transcripts
  • Include TOEFL or IELTS scores (international students only)
  • Submit a passport photo
  • Complete required essays
  • Submit one letter of recommendation
  • Attend a virtual or in-person interview

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Common Questions About One-Year MBA Programs

How do I apply to an accelerated MBA program?

Most accelerated MBA programs require:

  • A graduate application
  • GMAT or GRE scores, although some programs make these optional
  • Letters of recommendation or contact information for your recommenders
  • An essay, statement of purpose, or short-response essays
  • Transcripts
  • Application fee

Is it good to get a one-year MBA?

A one-year MBA is great if you are prepared to commit to an intensive learning schedule for 12-15 months. Mid-career professionals leverage the extra training and education into lucrative leadership or management positions.

What questions should I ask about a one-year MBA program?

Before you choose a one-year accelerated MBA program, there are a few questions you can ask:

  • What is the structure of the curriculum?
  • Are there evening, weekend, or online options available?
  • Are there specific areas of specialization or concentration available?
  • How are the courses delivered?
  • How do faculty interact with students?
  • What resources are available to me outside of the classroom to support my success?
  • What career services and resources are available?
  • What are the latest MBA student outcomes with regard to job placements and compensation?
  • Are there scholarships, grants, fellowships, or other financial aid options available?
  • What additional expenses and fees should I expect?
  • What networking opportunities are available?

Which countries have one-year MBA programs?

One-year MBA programs are gaining traction globally, according to GMAC. But they are already very popular in the United States, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, and throughout Europe.

The post Accelerated One-Year MBA Programs appeared first on Online MBA Programs | Find the Best Schools and Degrees.

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