An MBA is a potentially life-changing decision. If you make the right choice, go to the right school, and choose the right specializations and electives, it can transform your career. Whether an MBA has the kind of impact you hope it does can largely depend on your decisions in shaping the degree. This is even more challenging for working professionals who need to find part-time MBA programs that can fit into their schedules.
Working professionals who want to incorporate a part-time MBA program into their lives need to have the flexibility to construct their degree journey. But, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for flexibility. The best degrees offer some guidance to students to help you build the best career path forward. If you make the right choices, the differences can be tremendous. How?
The right MBA can be the difference between whether you lose your job during an economic downturn or get a new job you desire to move your career forward. “The unemployment rate drops with every additional level of education attained. Workers with less education than a high school diploma had the highest unemployment rate (7.4%), while those with a doctoral degree had the lowest rate (1.6%). Earnings by educational attainment generally follow the opposite pattern, peaking for workers with a professional degree — a group that includes lawyers and dentists — and decreasing as education levels fall,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated in a 2017 analysis.
|1||University of Chicago||Chicago, Illinois|
|2||University of California Berkley||Berkeley, California|
|3||New York University||New York City, New York|
|4||Northwestern University||Evanston, Illinois|
|5||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
Below are some of our choices for quality MBAs that are designed with the working professional in mind. They deliver a high degree of quality, while providing the flexibility you’re looking for:
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago Booth part-time MBA is regarded as one of the best in the world. It garners a #1 rank from U.S. news. Like most part-time MBA formats, Booth offers classes in an evening or weekend format. About 77 percent of students in the weekend MBA program live outside of the Chicago areas.
With campuses in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong, Booth has a global alumni network to provide career support and mentoring. Students are part of a collaborative community, graduating with critical thinking and leadership skills.
University of California Berkley
The University of California Berkley Haas MBA emphasizes collaboration, teamwork, and professionalism.
Students join a community of about 70 students as they begin their MBA journey, working in teams of about five classmates in study groups. The Haas structure is meant to emphasize collaboration while driving home foundation business lessons and leadership skills. The flexible schedule of the program is ideal for the working professional seeking to broaden their career horizon.
New York University
The Stern MBA program is nationally-recognized and provides students with several part-time and flexible options. The accelerated, part-time program allows students to finish an MBA in two years. The weeknight option is Stern’s most popular part-time choice. Students generally take two to six years to complete their degree, setting their own schedule and pace. The third choice is the Saturday option which is offered year-round on Saturdays. Although the vast majority of the courses are on Saturday, there are intensives in January and late-summer.
The program has tremendous flexibility, allowing students to select up to three specializations out of a possible 27. Students also have their choice among more than 200 elective courses.
The program’s core curriculum is broad-based and includes courses such as Collaboration, Conflict, and Negotiation, Financial Accounting & Reporting, Foundations of Finance, and The Global Economy, to name just a few.
The Kellogg MBA students can customize their class schedule, choosing from an evening or weekend MBA program. Ranked as the #3 part-time MBA program in the country, Kellogg provides students an opportunity to diversify their skillset while building a network and positioning themselves for leadership.
Kellogg students receive resources such as the Career Management Center, which supports Kellogg students transitioning careers, looking to advance their careers, or starting a business. The center provides one-on-one career coaching, workshops, self-assessments, and other resources.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan Ross MBA provides students with action-based learning with a flexible schedule. Students tackle real-world business problems and leave prepared for the next step in their careers.
About 25 percent of weekend MBA graduates begin working in a consulting function, and another 42 percent end up working in a new function.
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University of Texas – Austin
University of Texas evening MBA students lead a symbiotic life, continuing their career in the day and turning into a world-class MBA student at night. Students benefit from cutting-edge research applied in real-time.
The McCombs MBA believes in team-based learning, meaning that you and your peers will collaborate on projects, developing essential soft skills while solving real-world business problems.
The Kelley part-time MBA begins with the Jumpstart Business Foundations course, a 6 credit hour, four-week course tailored to your degree program. Students get to choose from a variety of course possibilities with different focuses: Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing, and Strategic Management.
Kelley also provides career services to its students and alumni. Graduate Career Services is dedicated to helping Kelley graduates reach their career potential, helping them hone interviewing and networking skills.
Emory’s Evening MBA has been ranked the top program of it’s kind in Georgia and garnered a top ten national rank by U.S. News. The program is designed for working professionals and prides itself on having small classes to encourage closer relationships with professors and peers.
Students begin with theory and then apply it to real-world problems, working on challenging business as usual mindsets.
Georgetown University offers a quality flex MBA that can be completed in as little as 26 months. The flex MBA allows students to shift their schedule as they need to, such as converting semester-long courses to seven-week courses. Students can work at their own pace – completing the course work in an accelerated manner if they so choose.
“We are in a state of continuous innovation, ensuring that the MBA program meets the needs of our students and employers. Our part-time students now have more flexibility to complete the degree at a pace that works for them,” said Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs.
Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business offers a STEM-designated Flex MBA that is meant to deliver the same curriculum as it’s well-regarded full-time MBA.
The MBA is a great option for more tech-savvy students, as it has an advanced analytics focus. The program is specifically designed for the tech-driven professional.
Marshall School of Business
This 33-month long program is meant to address the challenges working professionals will face in the modern business landscape. The flexible program takes place at a historic University Park in Los Angeles.
The program’s core curriculum delivers a strong business foundation, as well as more specialized coursework that allows students to pursue their interests and career aspirations.
Fisher College of Business
The MBA for Working Professionals offered by the Fisher College of Business allows students to pursue their MBA part-time. The program is ranked 7th by U.S. News for public universities. Classes are offered in the evening and on weekends.
Fisher keeps its class sizes small to create a personal learning experience. The program encourages team-based learning as students tackle what is described as a rigorous curriculum. Students gain real-life experiences through case competitions and partnerships with the business community.
The program also is committed to ensuring students are part of a larger community through an executive luncheon series, fostering mentorships, and encouraging engagement with peers. Classmates come from a diverse set of backgrounds. Among the organizations represented are Amazon, Battelle, P&G, and Wexner Medical Center.
Washington University’s part-time MBA is considered one of the best in the country, garnering a 12th place ranking by U.S. News. Students employ data and theory to solve real-world business problems in an experiential learning environment.
The program is relatively affordable, with a cost of $1,810 per credit hour. It also has a tremendous amount of flexibility, with 50 percent of its courses being electives.
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma Professional MBA allows working professionals to tackle their coursework at night. The MBA program allows students to implement what they are learning in the classroom into their daily professional lives.
The program is tailored to the working professional working to grow and expand their career. Alumni gain access to a peer-to-peer alumni network.
McCoy College of Business
The McCoy College of Business Flex MBA program is a 36-hour, customizable program. Students can attend part-time or full-time, as they develop well-rounded business skills.
The McCoy College MBA experience includes study abroad opportunities. The college also features professional development and networking opportunities, including guest lectures, panel discussions, and trainings.
The Clemson University part-time MBA program is offered online and tailored to working professionals with two or more years of experience. The flexible online MBA program provides students with a dynamic, flexible learning experience.
Students can create a class schedule that meets their needs. Video conferencing allows students to join live lectures and participate in class discussions, or if you can’t join the lecture live, you can view it later. Students also receive extensive resources related to career planning, networking, seminars, and conferences.
Georgia University offers a Professional MBA option that can be earned in 20 to 23 months. The program is offered part-time at night and held at the Terry Executive Education Center. The program is geared for the high-potential working professional.
Students have seen a strong ROI from the program, with 45 percent receiving a promotion, 52 percent being awarded new responsibilities, and 85 percent of graduates reporting that they were more effective in their careers.
Iowa University’s part-time MBA allows students to learn at their own pace. Students can proceed at an accelerated pace and finish the course work in two years , or if needed, take more time.
Students are not locked into a sequence of courses but rather can develop a custom plan of study that reflects their timetable and education plan. Iowa offers numerous paths to completion and is a great option for working professionals seeking to control their own destiny.
W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona
The W. P. Carey School of Business Professional Flex MBA provides night, weekend, and online options for students. The program prides itself on giving students freedom of choice in constructing their own educational timeline.
Like the W. P. Carey School of Business full-time MBA, the Flex MBA is STEM-designated. The program can be completed in as little as 21 months, depending on your decisions.
Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University offers an online, part-time MBA program. The program offers plenty of flexibility and specialization. Students can add-on a certificate in one of the following areas to leave Old Dominion with a more specialized MBA:
- Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization
- Maritime, Ports and Logistics Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Public Procurement and Contract Management
- Business Analytics and Big Data
The MBA program is accredited by the AACSB, and has routinely been recognized for excellence. The online MBA program was ranked #53 by U.S. News in 2020, and was ranked #29 by the Princeton Review.
University of Colorado
The Leeds School of Business part-time MBA boasts an impressive graduation rate of 70 percent. The program is specifically geared toward working professionals, and classes are offered in Boulder and south Denver. The part-time program delivers the same education and course requirement; it is structured differently with the working professional in mind.
St. Louis University
The Chaifetz School’s Professional MBA is nationally recognized, ranked in the top 40 by U.S. News. This dynamic program offers 50 percent of its classes online, providing students with plenty of flexibility and format options. The program is AACSB-accredited and provides various levels of career and professional support.
Students can focus on various elective coursework areas, including accounting, entrepreneurship, international business, and supply chain management.
UCLA Anderson School of Management
The Anderson School of Management offers a Fully Employed MBA that is well-regarded. The program has been ranked #1 in Southern California for 22 years by U.S. News.
Anderson emphasizes that this is the same degree as the full-time MBA and that part-time students enjoy all of the benefits of UCLA, from on-campus activities to an extensive alumni network.
The program offers three scheduling options and plenty of flexibility regarding electives and constructing a degree that will meet your unique needs.
Boston College delivers a part-time MBA experience with more than 150 electives, offering a wide range of experiential learning opportunities. The school has evening, online, hybrid options providing plenty of flexibility and choices for students. To help guide students on their MBA journey, the school has two-year, three-year, and four-year program roadmaps.