MBA Program Types

Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA?

While many who plan to get an MBA are thinking of the traditional, full-time two-year model, part-time and executive MBAs have been growing in popularity. In its 2011 survey, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) found that full-time MBA programs represented 46.9 of total US enrollment while 53.1 percent of US enrollment in MBA programs was made up of part-time students, which includes executive MBAs.

Graduates from part-time and executive MBAs are more likely to remain with their current employers after completing their MBA programs. In fact, in its 2013 Alumni Perspectives Survey, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which administers the GMAT, found that 77 percent of part-time and 70 percent of executive MBA graduates remained working with their existing employer after graduation.

There are benefits and payoffs to each type of program. Those considering which type of MBA to pursue should be aware of the similarities and differences between them.

  • Full-Time Programs

    Students able to devote two years to a full-time MBA program will be immersed in a full-time learing environment often with choices of majors for specialized study and a rich campus life that fosters strong networking opportunities.

  • Part-Time Programs

    Part-time programs offer classes on nights and weekends for those who wish to continue working while pursuing an MBA. Programs vary greatly, with some offering nearly identical coursework to full-time programs and others reducing areas of specialization and tailoring programs toward students looking to boost rather than change careers.

  • Executive Programs

    A specialized form of part-time MBA, Executive MBA programs often attract candidates farther along in their careers and have schedules that offer courses every other weeekend.