A part-time MBA program, or Master of Business Administration program, is a graduate level program for those who wish to attend part time throughout the year rather than enrolling full time. For students who are working professionals or have other needs, attending school a few hours a week may be an option instead of having to attend a much more intense program.
Many of today’s universities offer a more flexible learning path to enable people to earn their education in a way that fits their lifestyle and goals.
There are various types of part time MBA programs offered by some schools:
- Part time program: This refers to any educational program in which a student is not enrolled full time. Schools differ on how many credit hours equate to full or part time. In some cases, full time is 12 credit hours or more, with part time being less than that.
- Lockstep: Some colleges offer a lock step program. In this program, the structure emulates that of a full-time MBA program. It allows students to take classes with a cohort. A cohort program is one where students within the educational track all start and finish the program at the same time. That’s different than some programs where students may take classes with other first year students and third year students rather than all at the same pace.
- Hybrid: A hybrid format allows students to enroll in courses that may allow students to finish many of their courses online rather than on campus. It may have some level of on campus work to do, such as lab work or research work, but the majority of the learning is online.
- Self-paced: Self-paced MBA programs allows the student to work through the program on their own, at a pace that suits their specific needs. Students may take an accelerated track or may take more spaced out courses based on what fits their needs.
Is it easier to get into a part time program?
There is some evidence when comparing GMAT scores that it is easier to get into a part-time MBA program. In some reports, it is evident that full time students had a higher GMAT average (by about 83 points) than those of a part-time student. Students who enter into these programs on a part time basis still gain access to the school’s courses and the resources offered, as there is no program difference outside of being a full time or part time opportunity.
Why is that? It could be, in part, due to more competition for a full-time program. With more students looking for a full-time program, there are simply fewer spots to fill within each school. A student may apply for a full-time program at multiple schools seeking that format without considering the option of a part-time education. That leaves more spots available to those just seeking out a part-time MBA program.
How much do online MBAs cost?
The American Journal of Business Education reported that in 2019 an online MBA program requiring a GMAT cost $30,165 on average. Programs with non GMAT requirement cost $27,537 on average. The cost of an online MBA ranges from one college to the next.
Online MBA Salaries
Do those completing an online MBA get paid more? That could be the case. In a study conducted by Graduate Management Admissions Council, the median salary for U.S. companies planning to hire a new MBA hire in 2021 was $115,000. Another study found that online MBA graduates could see a significant increase in their income with an average percentage jump of as much as 63%.
Part Time Programs Provide Flexibility
For some students, completing a part time MBA program enables them to finish their education at a slower rate, allowing them to work or maintain other responsibilities while still pursuing their graduate education. Depending on the courses and the specific areas of study, these programs may be easier because they provide more time to work on courses individually as students do not have as many classes at one time.
Some situations where it may be beneficial include:
- Students who have extensive work experience and do not want to switch career paths, as these students do not typically need a lot of career support
- Students who wish to seek out a less competitive applicant pool, as there is less competition for these programs than full-time programs that often have alumni networks and affiliation requirements
- A student has a sponsoring employer who may be a working professional while earning their degree program
- A student with financial challenges due to the significantly lower cost of some part-time programs compared to full-time programs
- Students who have financial, community, or family commitments and need more flexibility
- Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
Is a Part time MBA worth doing?
For those who wish to earn an MBA but are unable to attend full-time, a part-time program is well worth it. It offers numerous benefits to students depending on the student’s specific needs.
Online versus traditional MBAs: Pros and cons
Online and in-person MBA programs may provide similar opportunities for students with access to some of the same education and courses. Yet, there are differences as well, including in areas of cost and competitive advantage.
Pros and Advantages:
- Both program styles allow students to expand their knowledge and develop business skills that may help them to further their career. These are all post-bachelor’s educational programs.
- Both methods typically provide students with the ability to learn in similar manners, such as through lectures, assignments, group work, research, and other methods. For students who prefer in-person education due to the learning format and being within a group, online learning may be difficult.
- Both programs enable students to earn a distinction to add to their resume if they earn their MBA.
- There is more flexibility in an online MBA than there is in an in-person program. For those who have other responsibilities, that added flexibility may be the deciding factor in pursuing this graduate degree program or not being able to do so.
- On-campus programs require a student to visit the campus each day, and often that means living there or nearby. With an online MBA, students may be able to live anywhere and attend that college or university.
- Interaction during class may differ in some situations as online students may not get the same opportunities to engage with the professor or other students as being in class in person.
How do you choose an online MBA program?
Students considering enrolling in an online MBA program may wish to research the school and program thoroughly to ensure they know what to expect. This often means taking in factors such as accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Additionally, the cost of attendance, availability of financial aid (financial aid may be available to those who qualify), as well as GMAT and GRE testing requirements.
Students may also wish to learn more about the online learning environment, the amount of support available, and any type of career coaching and support the program offers. Take a look at the faculty, the course load and flexibility of programs, and even the reputation of the university itself.
Online Part Time MBA Programs Rankings by Acceptance Rate
Here’s a list of programs that offer a part-time online MBA ranked by acceptance rates reported by College Scorecard.
|School Name||MBA Programs Offered||Acceptance Rate|
|Rice University||MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA, Dual Degree MBA||11%|
|University of Southern California||MBA, Executive MBA, MBA for Professionals and Managers, IBEAR MBA||16%|
|University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill||MBA, Executive MBA, Business of Medicine MBA||25%|
|American University||MBA, MBA Entrepreneurship, MBA Finance, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Consulting, MBA Marketing, MBA Legal Studies, MBA Cybersecurity, MBA Finance||39%|
|University of South Florida||MBA, MBA Finance||49%|
|Regent University||MBA, MBA Accounting, MBA Cybersecurity Management, MBA Entrepreneurship, MBA Finance and Investing, MBA General Management, MBA Healthcare Management, MBA Human Resource Management, MBA Innovation Management, MBA Leadership, MBA Marketing, MBA Not for Profit Management||50%|
|University of Wisconsin||MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA||57%|
|University of Delaware||MBA, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Finance, MBA Strategic Leadership, MBA Entrepreneurial Studies, MBA Healthcare Management||66%|
|Syracuse University||MBA, MBA Accounting, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, MBA Finance, MBA Marketing Management, MBA Real Estate, MBA Supply Chain Management||69%|
|Hofstra University||MBA, Executive MBA||69%|
|Texas Tech University||MBA, Dual MBA, Professional MBA, STEM MBA||70%|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||MBA, STEM MBA, MBA Finance, MBA Marketing, MBA Management Information Systems, MBA Entrepreneurship||74%|
|University of Massachusetts – Lowell||MBA, MBA Accounting, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Entrepreneurship, MBA Finance, MBA Healthcare, MBA Information Technology, MBA International Business, MBA Managerial Leadership, MBA Marketing||75%|
|Florida Atlantic University||MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, MBA Sports Management||75%|
|University of West Georgia||MBA, MBA Business Intelligence and Cyber Security, MBA Digital Marketing, MBA Sales and Consumer Research, MBA Data Analysis, MBA IoT||78%|
|Indiana University – Bloomington||MBA, Executive MBA, Business of Medicine MBA||80%|
|James Madison University||MBA, MBA Executive Leadership, MBA Information Security, MBA Innovation||80%|
|Xavier University||Executive MBA, MBA for Emerging Leaders, MBA, Non-Degree MBA||81%|
|Montclair State University||MBA, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Accounting, MBA Digital Marketing, MBA Human Resources Management, MBA International Business, MBA Information Technology, MBA Marketing, MBA Project Management||83%|
|Kent State University||MBA, Executive MBA||84%|
|University of Arizona||MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, MBA Marketing, MBA Accounting, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Finance, MBA Economics||85%|
|Auburn University||MBA, Executive MBA, Physicians Executive MBA, MBA Business Analytics, MBA Finance, MBA Information Systems||85%|
|Suffolk University||MBA, MBA Nonprofit, MBA Healthcare, MBA/MSA, MBA/||86%|
|University of Nevada – Reno||MBA, MBA Accounting, MBA Entrepreneurship, MBA Finance, MBA Information Technology, MBA Renewable Energy, MBA Sports Management||87%|
|Old Dominion University||MBA||95%|
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- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access.
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