While European business schools are starting to offer more two-year MBA programs, the number of one-year programs in the United States continues to grow. Such schools as Northwestern Kellogg and Cornell Johnson have long offered one-year options to prospective students. Before highlighting some of the top US-based one-year MBA programs, let’s talk about why you might consider this type of degree.
In a one-year MBA program, you have the residential aspect of a traditional two-year program while completing your degree faster, after which you can get back out into the workforce quickly. One-year programs target applicants with set career goals or an undergraduate business background to build on those existing skills. Some even have prerequisites of prior business degrees or graduate-level education. For example, the one-year MBA programs at Kellogg and Johnson build on students’ business background to help accelerate their current career path. Meanwhile, industry-focused one-year MBAs, such as Johnson’s Tech MBA and NYU Stern’s Fashion & Luxury MBA, were developed to help students enter a targeted workforce more quickly.
Although one-year MBA programs can help you reenter the workforce faster at a lower cost and with less salary loss, their acceleration eliminates the opportunity for a summer internship, which is available through a traditional two-year program. Most two-year programs incorporate significant industry interaction and experiential learning through projects and in-term internships. Internships can be helpful when making a large career switch or if you want to try out a new industry before deciding on a post-MBA career path. So, if you are looking to make a significant career change, an internship is probably an important component in your plan, and therefore a one-year MBA program might not be the best choice for you.
General One-Year MBA Programs
General one-year MBA programs target students with a profile similar to that of two-year program students, with an average of four to five years of work experience.
Northwestern Kellogg’s One-Year MBA Program starts in June, and you will take three to five courses in the summer. In September, you’ll join the second-year class of the two-year program as you take electives and work toward your goals. Kellogg’s program is not an accelerated course, as you are required to have prior coursework in statistics, economics, marketing, and operations within the prior 10 years. Many students have undergraduate business degrees; however, this is not required. You’ll have access to more than 200 electives and the same majors and pathways as the two-year MBA students. In addition, the Management Science MBA major qualifies as a STEM-designated field of study.
Cornell Johnson’s One-Year MBA Program is a STEM-certified, accelerated MBA program that offers the ability to take classes at both the Ithaca and New York City campuses. Johnson’s program starts in May, and you’ll get a “crash course” in business fundamentals alongside Cornell Tech MBA students. In the fall, you will join the second-year full-time students and take electives, MBA immersions, and NYC intensives depending upon your career goals. Johnson’s program requires that you complete a professional certification or advanced degree—such as CPA, CFA, PMP, JD, MS, PhD, or MA—before beginning the program.
Duke Fuqua’s Accelerated Daytime MBA is a 10-month program that begins in July with a month of “orientation and immersion.” The academic year is organized into four six-week terms during which you are assigned to a cohort of five to six students. During your time at Fuqua, you can take advantage of experiential and global opportunities. The program requires you to have either a Master of Management Studies from Fuqua, a Master in Management or equivalent from an accredited business school, or a one-year MBA from an accredited business school.
Emory Goizueta’s One-Year MBA Program starts with an immersive summer semester that includes core courses, leadership training at Fort Benning, and a Global Experiential Module. In the fall and spring, you will join second-year full-time students for electives and experiences such as Keystone community service and Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy. The program’s Business Analysis track is STEM certified. Emory’s program does not have any prerequisites.
Specialty One-Year MBA Programs
Specialty one-year MBA programs target students with an average of six to seven years of work experience—slightly older students than a typical two-year program.
Cornell Johnson’s Tech MBA is a one-year program that starts in May on Cornell’s Ithaca campus, where you will take classes with students from the school’s one-year MBA program. In three semesters, you will learn through an intensive summer series and participate in experiential learning opportunities such as Studios, including Product Studio in the fall and Startup, BigCo, or PiTech Studio in the spring. In addition, you can participate in NYC intensives in the areas of finance technology and digital marketing. The program is STEM designated. Johnson’s Tech MBA program expects you to have multiple years of full-time work experience and knowledge of the tech industry in order to apply.
NYU Stern’s Andre Koo Tech MBA is a one-year MBA program that starts in May in New York City. The program is built around four major components: Business Core, Technology Core, Stern Solutions (Experiential Learning), and electives. In Stern Solutions, you will work with peers, faculty, and industry-leading companies to solve business problems. Tech students participate in IGNITE to build their job search skills. The program is STEM designated.
NYU Stern’s Fashion & Luxury MBA is designed for students committed to business careers in those fields. This one-year MBA program begins in May and is built around a similar structure to Stern’s Tech MBA, with four major components: Business Core, Fashion & Luxury Core, Stern Solutions (Experiential Learning), and electives. Experiential learning opportunities include NYC and Milan immersions as well as Fashion & Luxury Solutions projects. The NYU Stern Fashion & Luxury Lab enables students to connect with industry leaders.
Mid-Career One-Year MBA Programs
Mid-career one-year MBA programs target professionals with 12 to 20 years of experience.
The MIT Sloan Fellows MBA is a STEM-designated, full-time, one-year program. Sloan also offers an SM in Management of Technology or SM in Management. To be a Fellow, MIT strongly recommends at least 10 years of work experience, and the average is closer to 14. Starting in the summer, you will begin coursework as well as an in-depth leadership assessment. During your time in the program, you will have the chance to visit New York City as part of the Lens on Leadership module or Washington, DC, in the Global Perspectives module.
USC Marshall’s IBEAR MBA Program consists of 12 months beginning in June and is designed for mid-career professionals with an average of 12 years of work experience. The academic year comprises five intense eight-week terms. The IBEAR program is internationally diverse and includes International Business Consulting Projects, where you will work with five to six other participants on a four-month consulting experience. IBEAR’s International Management Science track is STEM designated.
Stanford’s MsX Program is an accelerated master’s program that is not technically an MBA but is often considered alongside other mid-career MBA programs. The program focuses on three curriculum paths—Career Advancement, Entrepreneurship, and Career Change—allowing you to customize the degree to your needs. Professionals in the MsX program have an average of 13 years of work experience. The MsX program holds a STEM designation.
As you can see, the number of US-based one-year programs is growing. However, they tend to be focused on those who know what they need from an MBA program. Therefore, be sure to spend some time reflecting on whether one of these programs might be right for you!