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5 different types of MBA courses you can pursue in 2023

5 different types of MBA courses you can pursue in 2023
A 6 min read

MBA courses come in a wide variety of formats. If you have set your sights on pursuing an MBA, you can choose from the different types of MBA programs. Choosing the right MBA program would depend on your career goals, your current profile, and the amount of time you’re willing to invest in your MBA.

5 different types of MBA courses include:

  • 1-Year Full-Time MBA Program
  • 2-Year Full-Time MBA Program
  • Executive MBA Program
  • Part-Time MBA Program
  • Online MBA Program

The options may seem overwhelming on the surface, and sometimes there may not be a clear answer as to which one is better for you.

However, in this article, we present the facts and the rationale behind the different types of MBA programs to help you decide which type of MBA program is best for you.

types of MBA program

What are the different types of MBA Programs?

Before we take a look at the different types of MBA Programs, let us understand what an MBA is?

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally recognized degree designed to develop the skills required for careers in business and management.

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Most MBA programs include subjects such as:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Economics
  • Human Resources Management
  • Global Management
  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Technology Management
  • Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurship

However, there are specialized MBA programs that focus on one subject area and offer a faster path to a job in your desired industry.

Specialized MBA programs include:

In this article we will focus on the following different types of MBA programs:

2-Year Full-Time MBA Program

2-Year Full Time MBA Programs - type of MBA program

These programs usually last 4 semesters which are spread out over 2 academic years. During your first year, you will complete general course requirements while developing your core skills. Then during your second year, you’ll have the flexibility to take a deeper dive into the discipline of your choice.

Globally 60% of applicants to 2-year MBA programs have 3 or more years of work experience. Such programs offer the most opportunities for experiential learning in the form of internships and other projects. They also require the most commitment in terms of time. However, they also provide an unparalleled business school experience. As a full-time student, you’ll have access to career services, social and professional clubs, speaker series, counseling, and other activities.

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Here are the statistics for the top 2-year MBA programs in the world:

RankingTop MBA Colleges for 2-year MBA programs:LocationAverage GMAT ScoreTuition Cost (per year)Median Base Salary
1Stanford Graduate School of Business MBAUSA737$76,950$158,000
2Harvard Business School MBAUSA730$73,440$150,500
3University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of BusinessUSA733$83,230$155,000

Note: The rankings have been taken from the QS Global MBA rankings for 2023

Considering the 2-year Harvard Business School MBA or the 2-Year Stanford GSB MBA Program? Read the respective articles to learn more about what these schools are looking for in candidates.

1-Year Full-Time MBA Program

These programs are usually completed in an 11– 16-month time-frame. Many programs have strict prerequisites for work and academic experience to complete the MBA curriculum in this compressed time frame.

Candidates in 1-year full-time MBA programs are experienced professionals seeking to advance their career in their industry or job function and want to earn their degree in a short time period. The accelerated nature of the 1-year MBA offers an intense and immersive business school experience. Since there usually aren’t extended semester breaks in most one-year programs, internship opportunities may be limited. With the majority of candidates coming to these programs with work experience, the focus is on the end goal – your MBA.

Here are the statistics for the top 1-Year MBA programs:

RankingTop MBA Colleges for 1-year MBA programs:LocationAverage GMAT ScoreTuition Cost (per year)Median Base Salary
1INSEAD 1-Year MBA ProgramFrance710
€ 90,000
2IMD 1-Year MBA ProgramSwitzerland680$ 60,297$ 113,025
3Oxford – Saïd Business School 1-Year MBAUK690GBP 59,490GBP 72,618

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Executive MBA Programs

Executive MBA - type of MBA program

Most Executive MBA programs can be completed in two years or less, significantly faster than traditional part-time MBA programs. Classes generally meet on Fridays and Saturdays, and often on alternate weekends. Thus, it is tailored for professionals who are taking the next step in leadership.

The program curriculum focuses on several courses in each of the major business disciplines – leadership, strategy, communication, and management skills. With a focus on career-broadening management and leadership training for executives, an executive MBA provides you with strong management skills to help your organization.

An Executive MBA offers an immersive experience with learning taking place both inside and outside the classroom. The experience is further enhanced by extensive contact with faculty and peers. Many companies also provide financial assistance if you chose an executive MBA program, so check with your employer.

Some of the top Executive MBA programs are:

RankingTop MBA Colleges for Executive MBA programs:LocationAverage GMAT ScoreTuition Cost (per year)Median Base Salary
1IESE Executive MBASpain580 – 750€126,735NA
2HEC Paris Executive MBAFrance690€ 99,000NA
3Wharton Executive MBA ProgramUSA710$223,500$220,500

Part-time MBA Program

Part-time MBA programs offer flexibility and balance to help you reach your goals. They do so without putting your career on hold, with lock-step and self-paced options. These programs generally run year-round, with classes scheduled outside of normal business hours. You have the flexibility of choosing how many classes you take each semester. Most candidates opt for one or two classes and generally complete the program in four or five years.

There are generally 2 types of part-time MBA programs:

  1. Lock Step Programs
  2. Self-Paced Programs

In lockstep programs you enroll with a cohort, helping you begin your experience with a community and network, who will move through the program with you. Self-paced programs offer more flexibility and, in some cases, accelerated coursework.

Following are some Part-Time MBA Programs:

  1. University of California Berkeley Part-Time MBA Program
  2. University of Chicago Booth School of Business Part-Time MBA
  3. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Part-Time MBA Program

Online MBA Programs

Online MBA Programs - types of MBA programs

Online MBA Programs offer flexible options that allow you to fulfill the demands of your busy schedule while taking the next steps in your career. Most online MBA programs allow you to spread your cost and time over longer periods. Thus, allowing you to take classes at your own pace along with a schedule that works with your personal and professional commitments.

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With a variety of course formats, including recorded lectures and live web conference courses conducted in virtual classrooms, online-MBA programs provide a flexible combination that suits both your learning style and lifestyle.

Following are some online MBA programs:

  1. Carnegie Mellon – Tepper School of Business Online MBA
  2. Indiana University – Kelley School of Business Online MBA
  3. University of North Carolina – Kenan Flagler Business School Online MBA

Key differences between different types of MBA Programs

In the following table, we have summarized the key differences between different types of MBA programs:

Type Duration Average Professional ExperienceSchedule
2 Year Full-Time MBA2 Years3+ YearsFull-Time Course Load
1-Year Full Time MBA11 – 16 Months3+ YearsFull-time course load with less time in between semesters
Executive MBA2 Years8+ yearsClasses typically meet on the weekends or evenings to accommodate a full-time work schedule
Part-Time MBA3+ Years0-3 YearsOften consists of evening classes, allowing students to earn a degree with a full-time career
Online MBA2+ Years0-3 YearsCurriculum to be followed from home or remote location

We hope this article provides you the information you need to make an informed decision about the type of MBA program fit for you. In case of any other questions, please write to us at

FAQ – Different types of MBA programs

What are the different types of MBA programs

There are 5 different types of MBA programs:
1-Year Full Time MBA Program
2-Year Full Time MBA Program
Executive MBA Program
Part-Time MBA Program
Online MBA Program

Which are some good destinations for an MBA?

Some good destinations for MBA are
The UK
New Zealand

Can I get complete information on MBA?

You can complete information on MBA in this article

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