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Business Schools

Business schools offer an array of programs from management to analytical studies.

Students at business schools can zone in on an area of study. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Students at business schools can zone in on an area of study.

Business Schools

Most business schools offer MBA programs that take up to two years to complete. Recently, however, well-respected business schools in the United States have begun offering an MBA in advanced programs that can be finished within a year to 18 months. Completing an MBA in a year comes with challenges as well as benefits. The programs are typically very difficult to gain acceptance to and are often tailored to students with backgrounds in business.

Who Qualifies?

MBA programs that can be completed in one year are often designed for people who want to quickly return to the workforce. These advanced programs also save the student money and can be more personalized and flexible than traditional, longer programs. Accelerated programs essentially allow students to obtain a higher degree while maintaining their position in the workforce.

Business schools offering one-year MBA degrees prefer that students already have specialized skills or advanced degrees and have clearly defined career objectives. Business undergraduate degrees are preferred, but not always required, by many business schools before admission. Some business programs require previous work experience.

Most admitted students have obtained a degree within the seven years prior to application. Though quantitative skills in areas such as accounting and mathematics are desired, the programs can be tailored to a person's specific business interests.


Those who wish to participate in a one-year MBA program should research whether prospective or current employers will value the degree when hiring or offering promotions. Some employers may not consider the programs to be equivalent to traditional MBA programs. Unlike traditional MBA programs, internship opportunities usually do not exist in one-year MBA programs.

Business Schools with Advanced MBA Programs

Northwestern University

Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management offers a one-year MBA program for applicants who exhibit distinct career goals. The Northwestern program has a selective application process, accepting only about 70 to 80 students per year. The MBA students must complete 15.5 courses to earn their degree. The advanced MBA program is personalized and flexible, and most students accepted to the program have already received undergraduate business degrees. Accepted students must have graduated within the past seven years and meet certain course requirements. The Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management is located in Evanston, Illinois.

Cornell University

The advanced MBA program at Cornell University's Johnson School begins in May and concludes in May of the following year. The accelerated program at Cornell judges applicants on their leadership abilities and qualitative skills and whether they already possess an advanced degree. Cornell University's Johnson School is one of the nation's top management schools and is located in Ithaca, New York.

Emory University

Emory University's Goizueta Business School offers a one-year MBA program. Ideal applicants already possess undergraduate degrees in economics or business or have skills in mathematics or other related disciplines. As with other programs, Emory's one-year MBA program requires that specific coursework be completed in advance of application. Applicants with narrowly defined career goals are preferred. The class of 2009 had 44 students enrolled in the program. The Emory University Goizueta School is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Babson College

Babson College's F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business is especially well-regarded for its focus on entrepreneurship. Its one-year MBA program is described as an intensive program designed for applicants who already possess undergraduate business degrees. The one-year MBA program at Babson starts in May with a 12-week summer program and then continues through two semesters. This program revolves around curricular modules and strives to offer flexibility to students. Babson College is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

University of Florida

The University of Florida's Warrington College of Business Administration offers two one-year MBA programs. One is designed specifically for students who already have business backgrounds, and the other program is open to students from all educational backgrounds. The first option available to applicants is a 12-month program designed for students who want to start their careers immediately after receiving their degrees. The university does not require these one-year MBA applicants to have specific majors.

The second option is a one-year MBA program designed for students who have undergraduate business degrees that were completed within seven years of starting the program. Students selecting the second option generally have extensive business backgrounds. The Warrington College of Business Administration is located in Gainesville, Florida.

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