How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA Online?

MBA students working on a project together

If you’re looking for a way to break through to the next level in your career, it may be time to start thinking about earning a master’s degree. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a highly respected academic qualification.

An MBA degree can open doors at major corporations and small companies alike, both in the U.S. and abroad. However, many working professionals lack enough time to attend in-person classes on a college campus. The solution is an online MBA degree program, which allows you to work on your degree from anywhere that offers internet access.

Online MBA Program Length

An online MBA degree offers greater flexibility in scheduling than a traditional on-campus degree. In addition, an online MBA will typically take less time to complete than an on-campus program. On average, an MBA program ranges from 46 to 54 credits required for completion. In comparison, a typical on-campus program will require at least two years on a full-time basis. Bear in mind that a full-time course load will take about 40 hours per week.

The typical MBA student is a working professional who must continue to fulfill obligations in the workplace while earning their degree on the side. Because of this, many students earn their MBA degrees on a part-time basis instead. If you intend to become a part-time student, it may take three to four years to complete your degree. However, an online MBA program still typically requires less time than an on-campus program.

The Factors That May Affect Your Completion Date

The most significant factor in determining your degree completion date is the number of credits you take each semester. However, there are other considerations as well. For example, not all MBA programs require the same number of credits for completion. Depending on the school, you may have the option of enrolling in an MBA degree with a specialization. These may require more credits for graduation.

Examples of specializations include an MBA with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity or an MBA with an Emphasis in Leadership. If you enroll in a program that requires more credits for completion than the average, it may take you a little longer to graduate.

Another consideration is whether you want to take a dual program. Some business schools offer dual MBA degrees, such as a dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Leadership (MBA/MSL) degree. It’s even possible to take a dual MBA and nursing degree. These dual degrees enable you to work toward both degrees simultaneously. A dual program will take longer to complete than a sole MBA degree. However, you’ll graduate sooner than you would if you had taken both degrees separately.

Tips for Completing Your Online MBA on a Reasonable Schedule

As a working professional, going back to school to enhance your academic qualifications requires careful planning. When considering the length of your degree program, don’t neglect to evaluate your transfer credits. If you’ve previously gone to grad school, yet didn’t graduate, you may have credits that will transfer to your new program. These will help hasten your graduation date.

Next, you’ll want to consider what a reasonable schedule of classes will look like for you. Although it can be tempting to take as many courses at once as possible in order to graduate more quickly, this may not be a practical approach for everyone. You may need to continue working on a full-time basis, in which case becoming a full time student simply isn’t practical. It’s important to get the most value from your MBA degree possible, and that may necessitate slowing down a bit in order to give your classes your best effort.

However, even if you’re a part-time MBA student, you may be able to take more than one class at once. Strive for a balanced course load. For instance, try to take one reading-and writing-intensive course paired with one mathematics-focused course. This can help balance your workload while keeping you on track toward graduation.

The Return on Investment for an Online MBA Program

It’s difficult to calculate the exact value of an online MBA, although graduates can certainly expect to increase their potential to command a higher salary. MBA degree holders are also more likely to be awarded promotions, and some graduates go on to start their own businesses.

Furthermore, earning an MBA degree is an investment in yourself. This degree will enhance your professional reputation, letting others know that you are a hard worker who is committed to professional improvement. In addition, MBA programs help students refine their leadership style and abilities.

Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business is pleased to offer numerous MBA degree programs with no GMAT required. You can choose from various MBA specializations, including the Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Health Systems Management degree and the Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity program. Click on Request Info at the top of your screen to explore your future at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.