Traditional MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs typically take two years to complete. One-year MBA programs, also known as accelerated MBA programs, or 12-month MBA programs, cut that time in half while also saving on tuition and time away from work.
Schools With One-Year Programs
INSEAD began offering the first one-year MBA program decades ago. These programs are now commonplace in many European schools. The popularity of the programs has prompted many U.S. business schools to offer an accelerated MBA option in addition to traditional two-year MBA programs, executive MBA programs, and part-time MBA programs.
You won't find a one-year MBA program at every business school, but you should have no problem locating a one-year MBA program at a good business school.
Here are some of the well-known and reputable business schools that allow students to earn an MBA in one year or less.
INSEAD pioneered the one-year MBA and is widely considered to be one of the best MBA schools in the world. INSEAD has campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. Their accelerated MBA program can be completed in just 10 months. Students take 20 courses (13 core management courses and 7 electives.) Students can choose from more than 75 different electives, which allows for a fully customizable experience.
Another positive attribute of this program is the opportunity to experience multicultural education. INSEAD students are diverse, representing more than 75 nationalities. During the first four months, students complete dozens of group projects so they can learn what it is like to lead and work in diverse teams. At least half of INSEAD grads go on to own or manage their own company.
Kellogg School of Management
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwest University is one of the highest-ranked U.S. schools with a one-year MBA program. It was also one of the first U.S. schools to offer a one-year program.
The most interesting aspect of the Kellogg program is that it doesn't jam two years' worth of courses into 12 months like some schools. Instead, Kellogg students get the option to skip core courses and focus on electives that match their career goals. With more than 200 courses to choose from, students can make sure their education is as broad or as focused as they would like.
The customization continues with experiential learning. Kellogg has more than 1,000 experiential learning opportunities to choose from, including special labs, courses, and projects that provide real experience with critical business and management issues.
IE Business School
IE Business School is a Madrid school that is consistently ranked among the best schools in Europe and on a global scale. The student body in the one-year MBA program, also known as the IE International MBA program, is 90 percent international, which means classrooms are diverse. MBA students can choose from either English or Spanish instruction.
The curriculum shies away from the traditional-up to 40 percent of the program can be customized and tailored to your career goals and needs. One-year MBA students start with a core period that emphasizes entrepreneurship before moving on to a lab period that consists of two accelerated labs designed to provide experiential, challenge-based learning. The program culminates with an elective period that allows students to customize the rest of their education with courses, study at Wharton (a partner school), competitive IE consulting projects, a 7-10 week internship, and other unique opportunities.
Johnson Graduate School of Management
For students who want to earn an Ivy League MBA from a U.S. school in just 12 months, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University is the place to be. Johnson's one-year MBA program is specifically designed for current and aspiring professionals with strong leadership and quantitative skills.
Students in the one-year MBA program take core courses during a 10-week summer term before joining two-year MBA students in remaining courses. One-year MBA students also have access to the full range of courses across Cornell University, which amounts to about 4,000 different options.
Highlights of the one-year MBA program include international study trips, a fall semester Management Practicum that allows students to gain hands-on experience through real consulting projects, and a spring semester Immersion Program that integrates coursework with fieldwork.
Selecting a One-Year Program
These are not the only good business schools with a one-year MBA program. However, these schools do provide a solid example of what you should look for in a one-year program. Some of the most desirable programs offer:
- Diverse classrooms
- A solid core curriculum
- Customizable electives
- Experiential learning experiences
- Global learning experiences
- Internship opportunities