The Fastest Traditional MBA Degree Programs Ranked for 2023

The Fastest Traditional MBA Degree Programs Ranked for 2023

If getting an MBA degree as quickly as possible is your goal, check out our list of the fastest MBA degree programs here.

Key Takeaways

  • Earning an MBA can provide opportunities for career advancement and improved earning potential.

  • While the typical MBA takes 2 to 3 years to complete, it may be possible to earn your MBA at an accelerated pace.

  • We rank the MBA programs that excel both in academic excellence and in delivering students to graduation.

Most MBA students can complete graduate school in 2 to 3 years. However, there are self-pacing options and accelerated programs that may allow you to earn your MBA degree in as little as 12 to 18 months. The school of business graduate programs ranked here performed highest for graduation rate, indicating that MBA students in these programs collectively enjoy the fastest pace to graduate school completion.

For a look at some of the best MBA programs regardless of time to completion—like the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, the Kenan Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley—check out our ranking of the best traditional MBA degree programs.

Otherwise, read on to find out how you can get an MBA degree in less time and get right back to work!

Why look for your school of business based on time to completion?

Time to completion is a useful metric because it suggests that the school of business in question is effective at delivering graduate students to completion at both a high rate and an efficient pace.

This is especially valuable for MBA students, who are often in search of quantitative skills in critical areas like leadership development, international business acumen, and even in areas where technology is transforming the business landscape, such as management information systems, data analytics, machine learning and more.

Many students pursuing their MBA degree are already working professionals. If you’re considering a business degree while balancing personal and professional responsibilities, time is of the essence. The faster you can complete your graduate school program and get back to work, the better. Your top objective is to choose from the fastest full time MBA program.

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How MBA Students Can Speed Up Their Graduate School Degree

Fortunately, many top business administration programs cater to the needs of working professionals. Speed up your degree program by:

  • Looking for a school of business that emphasizes leadership development, entrepreneurship, and other areas of interest to working professionals. Graduate school programs aimed at working adults often provide the kind of scheduling flexibility that can speed your time to completion.
  • Find out about self-paced options. While you may be enrolled in an on campus MBA program, your school of business may also offer access to some self-paced online MBA classes. This hybrid approach may allow you to complete some self-paced courses on your own time.
  • You may be able to enroll in an accelerated program, which can significantly reduce your graduate school time to completion. Find out which school of business on your list offers accelerated courses or programs. While this will likely mean longer class periods, more frequent weekly class meetings, and a heavier workload, it also means that you’ll receive an comprehensive understanding of advanced business administration in as little as 12 to 18 months.
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How We Ranked for the Fastest Grad School Degree

We used two important factors to rank MBA programs—Influence and Graduation Rate:

Influence

Top business schools will typically be highly reputable as well as highly influential. MBA rankings published by sites like U.S. News & World Report place a heavy weight on reputation surveys alongside factors like acceptance rate and graduation rate.

By contrast, Academic Influence measures excellence with a unique metric called Influence. Influence-based MBA rankings spotlight the real-world impact of a school’s students, alumni, and faculty members.

The resulting ranking does reflect some of the same outcomes as the annual U.S. News rankings. For instance, top business schools like Harvard Business School, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the Columbia Business School, The Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business, and other highly prestigious business schools rank both for reputation and Influence.

The Influence metric is a more objective and transparent way of measuring actual student success. Ranking for Influence is a great starting point as you search for the best business school for you. This is because the real-world influence of your professors, classmates and fellow alumni can translate directly into value business networking opportunities.

This makes Influence a particularly meaningful metric for prospective business students.

Graduation Rate

After identifying the best MBA programs based on Influence, we measured for graduation rate as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The MBA degree programs ranked here include only programs with a 90% graduation rate or better. This denotes that each degree program listed here excels at producing MBA graduates.It should also be noted that among the fastest programs ranked here are several seminary-based MBA programs, which boast a 100% graduate rate.

Read on for a look at the Best Business Schools for earning your MBA...

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50 Fastest MBA Degree Programs

  1. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    <1K

    Holy Apostles College and Seminary’s Online Degrees

    BA in English In The Humanities
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in History In The Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sacred Art
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    Walden University

    Minneapolis , MN

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Student body

    39K

  3. Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    100%

    Student body

    <1K

  4. Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    100%

    Student body

    <1K

  5. #5

    Carolina Christian College

    Winston Salem , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    100%

    Student body

    <1K

  6. #6

    Huntsville Bible College

    Huntsville , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    100%

    Student body

    <1K

  7. #7

    Harvard University

    Cambridge , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

  8. #8

    Princeton University

    Princeton , NJ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    98%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/33

  9. #10

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

  10. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1545/35

  11. #12

    Yale University

    New Haven , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    5%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

  12. #13

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

  13. #14

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

  14. #16

    University of Chicago

    Chicago , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1535/34

  15. #17

    Cornell University

    Ithaca , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1470/33

  16. #19

    Brown University

    Providence , RI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1500/34

  17. #20

    Babson College

    Wellesley , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1360/29

  18. #21

    Northwestern University

    Evanston , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1490/34

  19. #22

    Stanford University

    Stanford , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    4%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1495/33

  20. #25

    Juilliard School

    New York , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    1K

  21. #28

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/35

  22. #31

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

  23. #34

    IGlobal University

    Vienna , VA

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    <1K

    IGlobal University’s Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    43K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1420/32

  25. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

  26. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    46K

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How to Get into a Top MBA Program

Test Scores

Many MBA programs will require you to submit GRE Test Scores. These can impact your chances of admission.

Undergraduate Degree

You need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year program. This undergraduate degree can be in any subject. You don’t necessarily have to major in business. to pursue an MBA program.

Undergraduate GPA

The typical graduate level business administration program will include a requirement for a minimum GPA—usually 3.0.

Why look for the fastest MBA program?

MBA programs are extremely popular for a reason. Business administration is a gateway to countless careers in the business sector. However, many of the top careers are highly competitive. Business leaders will typically earn their master’s degree in order to compete for top roles. Attending a top school of business can significantly improve your chances of ascending to a leadership role and earning executive level pay.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives are among the best paid professionals in the labor market. Top executives earned a median salary of $98,980 in 2021. While a bachelor’s degree can technically qualify someone for many roles in business, most leadership roles are held by those with an advanced business degree.

What’s the difference between an MBA and an Executive MBA?

And if your career goals include business leadership, you might consider a specialized concentration such as the executive MBA program. The executive MBA program will typically be reserved for those who have already attained some level of leadership in their field.

For instance, the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University describes the executive MBA as an excellent fit for “leaders and experienced executives.”

If you are a working professional with an interest in attending business school, the executive MBA may be a good fit for you.

What You Should Know Before Starting Your MBA Program

MBA degrees can be costly. The less time you spend enrolled in a full time MBA program, the less money you’ll spend on tuition and expenses. While earning an MBA from an elite institution like Harvard Business School, the Chicago Booth School of Business, or Columbia Business School can carry a lot of weight and prestige, it may also cost a fortune. Institutions like Yale University, Dartmouth College, and New York University are also notoriously expensive business schools.

You can save time and money by seeking out a program designed for a student population of working adults. Many of the degree programs listed here place an emphasis on gaining leadership skills, sharpening business acumen, and advancing career goals in short order. You’ll also enjoy access to the same innovative curriculum and marketable skills as a student at an elite graduate school. But you’ll be in position to return to full time work sooner.

What to Look for in the Fastest Business Schools

Before choosing a school of business for your MBA, there are few factors you’ll need to consider:

Accreditation

School of business accreditation is extremely important when it comes to choosing your MBA program. Accreditation provides assurances that you are getting a quality education, receiving current course material, and gaining access to qualified faculty members. Moreover, only a graduate student earning their MBA from a school of business with accreditation from a Department of Education-recognized accreditor will be eligible for financial aid.

Tuition and Fees

The basic cost of earning an MBA will typically range from $20,000 to $80,000 per year. In state students will generally enjoy a tuition discount for attending a public graduate school in state. Tuition will generally be higher for out of state and international applicants.

Moreover, the tuition figure above doesn’t account for the considerable expenses that accompany this tuition. From books, living expenses and housing to on campus fees (or education delivery fees for online MBA students), earning an MBA is costly. Reducing your time to completion can result in a meaningful reduction in your student loan burden and peripheral expenses.

Reputation

Depending on your career goals, the reputation of your MBA may be important. Earning an MBA from a highly reputable graduate school can significantly improve your chances for career advancement and a top salary. Many business leaders will carry marquee names like Stanford University and Columbia University on their MBA degrees.

Availability of Online Classes

An Online MBA program can be a great way to speed up your time to completion. While tuition and fees are often similar, the online format is a great option for MBA students who are already working professionals. The online program will often include a variety of flexible options including the part time MBA program, the evening MBA, and a wide range of asynchronous option where business professionals can work at their own accelerated pace. With this type of flexibility, the online MBA program makes it possible to complete your MBA program faster.

Financial Aid

All prospective MBA students should fill out their Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. As an MBA student, you may or may not be eligible for federal financial aid, state-based financial aid, or even assistance directly through the financial aid office at your grad school.

While graduate students are typically not eligible for as many financial aid opportunities as undergraduate students, it’s important to complete your FAFSA. You may be able to offset at least some portion of the cost for your MBA.

If you’d prefer to search for business administration programs based on cost, jump to our look at the most affordable MBA programs.

Considering an Online MBA?

Before you launch into business school, it’s worth also considering MBA programs that offer fully online master options. Many of the best business schools offer an array of online courses. And if you are working to balance job responsibilities while attending business school, an online MBA program may make it possible to manage everything at one.

Online MBA students can learn leadership skills and qualify for specialized roles in their organization without disrupting current career goals and responsibilities.

If you don’t think you can handle a full time MBA program with your work schedule and personal responsibilities, many online schools of business offer a wide range of part time MBA programs as well as full time MBA programs with self-pacing and asynchronous distance learning opportunities. Self-pacing and asynchronous options may be a great pathway if you’re looking to earn a fast MBA degree. To learn more about your options, check out the best online master’s programs for MBA students.