Understanding the Types of MBA Degree Programs
Business education has seen a lot of changes in a relatively short period, both in the diversity of its curriculum and the flexibility in the time it takes to earn an MBA. Schools now are beginning to offer one-year programs for students who simply can’t afford the time off for a traditional two-year program. Also, the range of specialties for MBA students has never been greater.
These new choices present great opportunity, but also greater challenges that previous generations of students didn’t face. Here’s a rundown of the options popular today.
Traditional full-time MBA
Virtually all MBA programs were structured the same way before the advent of online education. Students either attended graduate school immediately after earning their bachelor’s degrees or returned to campus after a few years in the workforce.
Unfortunately, this path wasn’t a viable option for those who didn’t live near a college. Some students could afford to pack up and move – or were willing to finance their schooling with loans – but many could not, leaving many talented individuals unable to earn the credentials they needed to advance.
Traditional MBA programs still exist, but the market for them is declining. Some colleges, such as Wake Forest University, have gone so far as to shutter their traditional MBA programs.
Part-time on-campus MBA programs
Even professionals living near college campuses often couldn’t make graduate school work because attending meant leaving a needed job that didn’t jibe with full-time school. Increased earning potential and skills lost out to family financial obligations or the need to repay undergraduate loans.
Acknowledging these circumstances led to the rise of part-time MBA programs. Classes often were held at night to accommodate working adults. Earning a degree took longer than the traditional two years to allow students to juggle work, family, and classes.
These advances greatly expanded access for students, but those who lived far from college campuses or who had trouble accommodating evening classes still were shut out. The advent of online MBA programs put that problem to rest.
Online MBA programs offer students access to a high-quality education no matter where they live. Their creation was a boon to professionals in isolated areas who yearned to learn more but were too far from a physical campus to make their dream attainable.
Another benefit of an online MBA program over a part-time MBA program in a brick and mortar facility is that most online programs can be completed in two years. Students pursuing their MBA at Ashford University often earn their degree in less time.
At Ashford, students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines such as business, economics, accounting, or finance need fewer credits to earn their MBAs. They also can earn graduate credit for undergraduate coursework in areas such as statistics.
Ashford designed its program to allow students to register for new classes without waiting for the next semester. Each course lasts six weeks, and students begin their next scheduled course as soon as the previous course is finished. Now students can concentrate on doing well in one class at a time and move quickly on to the next once they’re finished.
Written by Ashford University staff.
Certain degree programs may not be available in all states. For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit ashford.edu/pd/omba.