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A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most marketable, versatile, and engaging degree programs you can pursue. There are many valuable reasons to get your MBA, but if you’re still on the fence, it may be because you’re wondering how long this investment in your future will take before it starts paying off. How long does it take to get an MBA, and what factors can influence your timeline? Keep reading to learn the answers.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

How long does it take to get an MBA? Maybe a better question is: How long is a typical MBA program? As we’ll see, the total time it takes to earn your MBA depends on a few factors unique to your program and approach.

That said, a typical MBA program lasts two years. MBA degree programs ordinarily consist of 36 credit hours divided across 12 courses, each worth three credits. Full-time students traditionally take three courses each semester for four semesters to complete the program requirements and earn their degree.

What Does a Typical Semester Look Like for an MBA Student?

The structure of a semester for an MBA student can vary from program to program. In a traditional program, the three courses a full-time student takes may occur concurrently throughout the semester. For example, they may attend one class on Monday evening, the next on Tuesday evening, and the third on Thursday evening. They’ll work on assignments throughout the weeks for all three classes.

However, this structure isn’t always the case. MVNU Online MBA courses are each concentrated into six weeks, allowing students with a standard full-time course load to focus on one course at a time. That means you can dedicate your attention and time spent on assignments to one subject area before moving on to the next. A typical semester in this structure consists of three courses back to back, but not overlapping.

Factors That Affect How Much Time It Takes to Get an MBA

Although two years is the standard for an MBA program (or any master’s program, for that matter), students may take less or more time to complete their graduate business degree.

The total time it takes to earn your MBA depends on a few important factors, such as whether you’re a part- or full-time student, whether you’re following a standard or accelerated timeline, whether you have any dual graduate credits under your belt, and when you get to start taking classes.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time Status

The biggest factor in determining how long it takes to do an MBA is whether you’re taking classes part time or full time. The two-year standard assumes that you’re taking classes full time. If you want to attend school part time, it may take you more like three years or even as many as six years to complete your degree.

Although it’s slower paced, attending classes part time is still a great option to consider if you have limited time to give to coursework but want to make progress toward achieving your goals. If you decide not to enroll in an MBA program part-time because earning your degree in three or four years seems too far off, will you still feel good about that decision once those three or four years have elapsed? Or will you feel even more stalled out in your career and wish you had taken those steps toward earning your MBA and opening up new opportunities? Because if you had made that decision a few years ago, now you would have a diploma in hand!

Whether you take on a part-time or full-time course load, taking MBA classes online allows you to complete coursework when it fits best into your schedule. That means you can continue investing in your career, family, and personal life and fit your studies into evenings, weekends, or whenever works best for you. Programs with an asynchronous learning model don’t require you to attend any live lectures, making them especially flexible.

Traditional vs. Accelerated Programs

Traditional two-year programs are designed to move at a manageable pace, but some students prefer to step on the gas to start the next chapter of their career sooner.

If you’re interested in how to get an MBA quickly, you may want to consider an accelerated program. These programs consist of the same number of credit hours as a traditional program compacted into less time. That means an accelerated program will require more time and attention, but you’ll get to finish sooner.

Accelerated MBAs can follow different timelines and structures. For example, at MVNU Online, students can take advantage of our Fast-Track MBA option, where they’ll double up on classes to finish their degree in 11-15 months rather than two years.

Dual Graduate Credits

Another way you can speed up your path to an MBA is by earning some graduate credits as an undergraduate student. Not all colleges and universities will offer this as an option. However, at MVNU Online, students who meet minimum GPA requirements can opt to take up to six credits of 6000-level graduate business courses in place of the standard upper-level undergraduate business courses.

This is a valuable option if you are still earning your bachelor’s degree but planning to begin an MBA program soon after graduation. With a couple of MBA courses already completed when you graduate with your bachelor’s degree, you’ll have a bit of a headstart with only 30 credits left to complete your MBA.

Start Dates

One easily overlooked aspect of an MBA program that can affect how long it takes you to finish is the academic calendar it follows. In other words, how often do new classes start, and when can you enroll? If classes start at the beginning of each semester and continue throughout the semester, then you may wait months after deciding you want to enroll before you can get started.

At MVNU Online, our courses last six weeks, meaning new courses are starting frequently, and you can jump in when you’re ready. That means you could start taking steps toward earning your MBA right now, no matter the season.

Earn Your MBA on a Timeline That Works for You!

How long does it take to get an MBA? The short answer is approximately two years. The actual answer depends on several factors, as we learned. No matter how long it takes you, getting a Master of Business Administration can be the key that unlocks new opportunities in your career. MBA jobs are typically high-paying and allow you to tap into your leadership potential.

What are you waiting for? Whether you’re interested in an accelerated program, a standard 19-month program, or a part-time program you can spread out over a few years, consider enrolling in an MBA program from MVNU Online. We offer flexible options with frequent opportunities to enroll throughout the year so you can earn your MBA on your timeline. Plus, asynchronous learning means you can work around your daily and weekly schedule while you’re taking classes. Fit in reading, a few videos, and assignment work when it makes sense for you.

Want more information about MBA programs to choose the right option for you? Check out our Academic Program Quiz to discover which program we think is your best fit!

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