A Master of Business Administration can mean greater control over the direction of your career and more opportunities to advance within specialized career tracks. Obtaining an MBA, however, typically means working around current job and personal commitments over a two- to three-year period to complete program requirements. As a result, an accredited one-year MBA program appeals to many seeking a graduate degree in business. Such programs are more available today due to online MBA programs that allow degree completion in a shorter period of time. Whether considering continuing with graduate education immediately after completing a bachelor’s degree or returning to school as a current working professional, here are some thoughts to consider about completing an MBA in a year’s time.

Accredited one-year MBA programs

Aspiring MBA candidates should investigate the accreditation of schools and programs offering one-year MBA degrees. Accrediting organizations hold programs accountable to offer high-quality, cutting-edge curricula that fall in line with industry standards for instructional content. In general, these institutions will be accredited by regional educational authorities and by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as the AACSB International.

Prerequisites for an MBA degree in 12 months

Accelerated MBA programs usually require that candidates possess a Bachelor of Business Administration or a comparable undergraduate business degree. Some candidates may also be able to translate specified work experiences into academic credits. Candidates best suited for this type of learning experience are often those who can commit to intensive studies over a short period of time.

Scope and content of one-year MBA programs

Candidates earning a one-year MBA online generally receive the same breadth of learning as those in traditional MBA programs. Coursework is taught by the same professors, in the same settings, with the same materials and experience, but content is compacted into smaller time frames for completion. For example, candidates may finish foundational studies over four months compared to twice that for traditional students. Then, students follow up with electives and internship experiences in specialty areas that focus their learning in real-world settings. As a result of such a schedule, one-year MBA candidates can complete the degree requirements in less time than a traditional program. Typical studies focus on:

  • Economics, financial management and accounting
  • Statistical analysis and decision-making practices
  • Management theory and organizational behavior
  • Administrative policies
  • Operations, marketing and software solutions
  • Business electives

While earning a one-year MBA requires motivation and commitment, it can pay off for those willing to put in the time up front. MBA graduates from one-year programs save on overall tuition costs and are able to start at the same salary levels as those who graduate from traditional MBA programs. Additionally, those with an MBA might advance more quickly across business platforms or within their jobs than employees who do not hold commensurate degrees.