FAQ: What Is a 1-Year MBA? (Plus Benefits and Pros and Cons)

The one-year MBA is designed for college grad students who want to earn an advanced graduate degree in the shortest time possible. After spending 4 or 5 years studying to earn your undergraduate degree, the idea of returning to school to live the life of a student again may not sound ideal.

Today’s MBA applicants have a huge selection of schools to choose from as well as a variety of program lengths and formats. Why not try to compress a two-year full-time MBA program into only one year for those people who are focused on getting the most return on their investment (both in terms of time and money)?

Some business professionals may thrive in a one-year full-time MBA program, but others may yearn for more time to pursue internships, networking opportunities, and the chance to specialize academically. However, professionals looking for a promotion rather than a complete career change or candidates whose current employer is funding their education may find a one-year program to be more advantageous.

The Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, which introduced the first U S. -based one-year full-time MBA program in 1963. Tom Keller, the university’s director of graduate programs, claims that “you tend to see more career enhancers” as opposed to “career pivot” applicants.

One-Year MBA: Program Overview

What are the eligibility requirements for a 1-year MBA program?

The prerequisites for a one-year MBA program may differ from school to school, but they typically include:

A school may also require you to write one or two brief essays on predetermined topics in addition to the aforementioned. Although many schools no longer demand it, they still accept GMAT scores if they are submitted. A high score can still improve your chances of acceptance.

What is a 1-year MBA?

One year is all it takes to complete a one-year MBA program, which is half the time it takes to complete a traditional MBA program. The objective of an MBA program is to provide students with knowledge of management and leadership principles and practices as well as the skills necessary for success in a rapidly evolving, competitive environment. Depending on the program, the curriculum may vary slightly, but it typically includes coursework in subjects like accounting, finance, management, and strategy in addition to a number of electives.

Students have the option of pursuing a general management MBA or specializing in one of the following fields:

High-level leadership positions in the public or private sector are frequently filled by MBA graduates. The one-year MBA program’s accelerated format enables students to accomplish their professional objectives faster.

How does a 1-year MBA differ from other types of programs?

The following are some ways that a one-year MBA program differs from other kinds of MBA programs:


The length of time needed to complete the one-year MBA is its main point of differentiation. Because it’s an intensive program, students finish it in a hurry over several months. The traditional full-time route usually takes two years, including breaks. A degree can be earned by part-time students in three to four years, with breaks in between. While working while pursuing a degree is possible via the conventional route, it is less likely to happen during a one-year program.


Mid-career professionals returning to school to obtain a degree that will help advance their careers are typically the target audience for one-year MBA programs. Consequently, there might be a greater percentage of older students with experience in business management compared to other MBA programs that are typically filled with recent college graduates. A one-year program is an option for recent college graduates who want to earn an MBA but cut down on the time and money they spend on education.

Student opportunities

One-year MBA programs may provide fewer opportunities than typical graduate school programs because they are an accelerated program. These opportunities include the chance to connect with professionals and other students, as well as the chance to work for businesses locally or internationally. Most program participants may not be as concerned about this because of the composition of the student body.

What are the pros and cons of a 1-year MBA vs. a 2-year MBA?

Although both one-year and two-year MBA programs are full-time, there are a few ways in which the former differs from the latter. The chief point of difference is the length of study. While a one-year program is typically 11 to 13 months of intense study with no significant breaks, a traditional two-year program is roughly 18 months of full-time academic study separated by periodic breaks, such as for holidays.

The curriculum is yet another significant distinction between the two types of programs. Although not all, two-year programs provide their students with a wider variety of courses and more specialization options. They also offer professional job opportunities, including those abroad, in addition to these opportunities. Often, an internship is a requirement for completion. However, because it is shorter, the one-year MBA typically does not provide these opportunities. For the majority of college graduates, a two-year program might be the better choice.

What are the benefits of a one-year MBA?

A one-year MBA has a number of advantages over a conventional program, such as:


Some people might benefit from the one-year MBA’s quick pace. There is less time for students to relax because the curriculum is so intense. This can help with maintaining focus because it might be simpler to focus in a setting that doesn’t allow for long periods of inactivity. For similar reasons, it can aid students in keeping an interest in their course material and remembering what they have learned.

Financial cost

Usually, shorter study periods translate into lower education costs. Students in one-year programs pay tuition for just one year of instruction, or just under two semesters. In comparison, two-year full-timers pay for at least four semesters. As a result, one-year students can significantly reduce their graduate school costs.

Opportunity cost

Additionally, there is a lower opportunity cost, or the chances that students may miss because they are in school. Specifically, they spend only one year away from the workforce. College graduates can enter the job market more quickly, and mid-career professionals can return to their jobs more quickly.

Return on investment

The amount you receive in exchange for the money you invest in a project or activity is known as a return on investment. For a one-year MBA, the investment consists of the money spent on tuition and fees as well as the lost earnings due to being too busy with school. Your education and any potential benefits you may receive would be the return.

You gain the same knowledge whether you enroll in an MBA program for one year or several years, and the credential that results has equal value. Therefore, with a one-year MBA, your return on investment is probably higher because you stand to receive an equal return for less of an investment.


Is a one year MBA worth it?

“The return on investment for a one-year MBA program is phenomenal when you take into account that opportunity cost and the lower out-of-pocket expenses.” “A one-year MBA is more than worthwhile for those seeking to rapidly and effectively advance their careers while creating a strong network in the process.

Is there a 1 year MBA program?

Few US business schools offer a one-year MBA, but Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is one of them. Others are the Kellogg School of Management, Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, and USC Marshall Business School. But the majority of top universities in the US only provide two-year programs.

Which is better 1 year MBA or 2 year MBA?

Difference between one year MBA vs two year MBA. The learning activities for an MBA program last for a full year, which is a demanding experience. However, the two-year MBA program enables applicants to examine different MBA career paths through campus activities and internships.

Is a 1 year MBA hard?

It’s an accelerated, intense, and demanding educational experience that necessitates clarity, focus, and a ferocious work-rate, and this may not be suitable for everyone. One-year MBA candidates need a certain level of expertise and experience in order to be able to start their studies immediately because of these variations in the way the curriculum is delivered.

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