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One year MBA in USA

The general perception is that the best U.S business schools offer two year MBA programs. Candidates looking for a good one year MBA consider options from the U.K (Cambridge, Oxford) as well as Europe (INSEAD, IMD) and Asia / India (ISB, IIM) among others.

A one year MBA program in India or abroad may appeal to many as it is a financially viable option due to lower fees, living expense and opportunity cost among others.

Also, those who wish to resume work early to avoid a feeling of disconnect from the professional world may opt for a one year MBA program.

In this post, we will explore the lesser known one year MBA programs in USA (also known as accelerated MBA in the U.S.).

Best One year MBA programs in USA

Some of the top U.S. universities offering a one year MBA.

  • At Johnson School (Cornell University), the 12-month accelerated MBA starts mid-May with the tuition fee being $86,336
  • At Columbia Business School, the regular two-year MBA starts in August which roughly comprises of 70% of the class. However there‚Äôs also an option of a January entry which sees the remaining 30% of its students coming in and completing their MBA at the same time within 16 months.
  • At Kellogg School (Northwestern University), the one-year MBA starts in June and again finishes in June the following year, the tuition fee being $75,400
  • Marshall School of Business (University of Southern California) offers a 12 month accelerated MBA program targeted for professionals with a minimum of six years and an average of ten years work experience.
  • At Goizueta Business School (Emory University), the 12-month program begins in May and the tuition fee is $ 66,900.
  • At Mendoza college of Business (University of Notre Dame), program begins in May and students graduate the following May.
  • F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, a leading brand name for entrepreneurship also offers a one-year MBA.

We shall evaluate one year MBA programs in USA and compare it with the traditional two year MBA, to highlight the key differences, advantages or drawbacks of each:

One Year MBA vs Two Year MBA


MBA Internship opportunity

The main difference between these two programs is that with an accelerated MBA, the summer internship option is not available in most cases except in Cornell which offers a short two-week MBA internship.

A lot of companies hire students working as interns. For those wishing to leverage their MBA internship to get a foothold in an entire new industry, this golden opportunity would not be available.

Career Change

The accelerated one year MBA may not be ideal for those who wish to explore various career options and move into a completely unrelated arena (though several manage a career change as well) because it does not provide much time and scope for the same.

The MBA internship option is unavailable to try out and hone your skills in a new area.

Career Growth

The accelerated MBA would perfectly suit those who already have a clear picture about their future career goals and wish to continue in the same industry or would like to return to their former employer.

It is a great option for professionals looking to acquire the desired business skills from a reputed brand within a short duration of time.

It would also be recommended for entrepreneurs or those already into an existing family business.

Pre-MBA Work Experience

The work experience criteria required for applying to an accelerated MBA program tends to be on the higher side, the average work experience ranging from 4 to 10 years depending upon the school whereas for a two-year MBA from the U.S., the experience may be much lower.

Academic Requirements for One Year MBA

Schools expect candidates to have an advanced knowledge in quantitative fields or an undergraduate degree in business or economics to keep up with the rapid pace of an accelerated MBA program.

The qualifying criteria would vary for each school.

MBA Fee structure

The fees for a one-year accelerated MBA program would be roughly 75% of the fees of a two year MBA program though you may have expected it to be half.

Working part-time in a graduate assistantship role to gain some extra money and reduce the overall MBA cost is tougher due to the nature of the program.

The real cost advantage lies in reduced living expense due to shorter program duration and getting back to work faster.

Networking opportunity

The opportunity to network with students from previous and next batches is also limited for a one-year program.

Students doing a two-year MBA, in the first year, get the opportunity to interact with their seniors in the second year and after entering the second year, they can get to know their juniors in the first year.

So your network spans across three different batches.

U.S. job opportunities after MBA

With a one year MBA in USA, those keen on working in America., now have a good chance to tap the employment opportunities available locally.

If you were to take a one year program in the U.K, cross country recruitment would have been really difficult.

Average MBA salary

Some have an impression that with a one-year MBA, you cannot expect a salary as high as you would after a two year MBA program.

However combination of a good brand and higher experience and knowledge of the candidates taking an accelerated MBA program results in a high salary.

MBA Class structure

In majority of the b-school, the accelerated MBA program begins in summer and once the summer quarter is completed, students are merged with the second year of a 2 year MBA program.
As we always recommend, talk to current students who are attending the program or have gone through the drill, to get a better picture of what to expect if you decide to apply to a one year MBA in America.

If you need support with the applications you know where to reach us.
Also read:
Cornell 1 Year MBA admission blog by stock-trader and entrepreneur
Kellogg One Year MBA admission with scholarship after GMAT score jumps by 90 points

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

33 thoughts on “One year MBA in USA”

  1. hi sameer

    I AM FROM NDIA. I am planning for a one year mba program from university of redlands. I am from pharmacy background and would like to do mba in marketing. Though I received admission in Hult business school in master in international business program i am much more interested in mba.Is the univ of redlands good one. I am so confused.please help me. i HAVE APPLIED TO UOR because it is costing less in my pocket when compared to other universities.

  2. Hey Sameer,

    Kudos to you for helping all us seekers. I want to go for accelerated MBA program (1yr) in the US. I have done MBA from IIT Kharagpur(India) already. Could you please suggest me which colleges I should target which will accept my application. I want “1 year MBA + US”.

    It would be great if you could suggest me any other 1 year courses (if not MBA) which would be good post MBA in India and enable me getting a good job in the US.

  3. Hi Sameer,

    Purdue is beginning a one year MBA for STEM (Science,technology,Math) professionals this year on wards.

    I have 6 years work ex in IT development and wish to continue in IT it self but a role change to product/program/project management or Pre sales kind of roles

    This program seems more cost effective because its 1 year and fee is relatively less (60k USD).

    Would I have to face challenges for job hunt in US ? (Considering that industry is same … but no intership)
    Also this is a new program 1st batch will begin June 2014 … What would be brand value of this MBA from Purdue ? Are there any other factors to be considered ?

    In case dont get a job in US …to what extent/and what kind of jobs will I get in India ? (What will be the ROI ? )


  4. @Akash: To be honest, I personally don’t like the option of being a guinea pig after paying so much money. I’d rather go for a program that’s been tried and tested.

    A lot of the concerns that you have are easier to address when the program is proven and well-respected in the market.

    But that’s just the conservative me speaking.

  5. Hi Sameer,

    My name is Akshay Salunke and I have been admitted to the University of Florida’s Hough School of Business for the 1 Year Full time MBA program. Could you let me know if the program is good enough in terms of teaching and job prospects? I have also secured a Graduate Assistantship so I expect my full fees to be paid off.

  6. Hi Sameer,
    I am in a turmoil. I am 29 years old with a 7 years IT exp in Telecom. I am residing in Bangalore and need a thorough help in guiding my career. I had couple of IIM calls in the past but I did not join them as I wanted to do my MBA from a Stanford or a Harvard. I took the GMAT and applied to these 2 colleges along with Booth and Sloan. Got dinged in all of them. Now I am not sure what to do. Can you help me please. I feel like I am loosing out time.

  7. Hi Sameer,

    I have worked as a Manager HR in India and now I am planning to pursue an Accelerated MBA program in US. I now want to switch my career from HR to business consulting. How difficult it is for an international student to switch careers after an Accelerated MBA program?

  8. Hi Sameer,

    What are your thoughts on IBEAR one year mba program at USC
    I have 8 years IT experience and would like to continue in technology consulting

  9. Hi Sameer,
    I want to go for 1 year MBA program in the US. I have 5 years of experience and have already done my MBA from Nirma university, Ahmedabad in 2010-12. Could you please suggest me which colleges I should target which will accept my application.

  10. Hi Sameer

    I want to from any of the top 5 MBA schools in US (preferably 1 year program) as have 12 years of work experience in thermal power plant in India.
    In addition to that, I have executive MBA certification from IIM Calcutta, PMP certification from PMI-USA and six sigma Black belt certifications.
    My educational credentials are as follows:
    Engineering from NIT Suratkal: 52% marks obtained.
    XII: 62 %
    X: 63 %
    What are the chances of my selection in the top 5 Business schools in USA if I manage to get 700+ score in GMAT?

  11. Hi,
    Good read. Found it quite educating. My question is with a three year work experience in audit (in one of the big four firms), do you recommend a one year or two year program?. My main aim of an MBA is to try to work in the USA and possibly relocate there. Also what schools will you suggest? and any scholarships available for us coming from developing countries?….


    Il appreciate a reply to my mailbox or do i keep checking this site for a response?

  12. @Dayo: If you are targetting the American shores, there are no other options but to target MBA programs in the U.S. where 2 year MBAs are the norm.

    Each bschool has its own set of scholarships (some might be country specific). You’d be better off hoping for a merit based scholarships…like these MBA scholarship stories

    Btw, there’s an RSS Feed for comments to this blog post. If you used it, you wouldn’t have to keep checking the blog post for follow-on comments.

  13. Hello sameer…
    Its great that somebody has put forward some basic theory regarding an MBA away from the Indian shores.

    I am pursuing Chartard Accountancy as of now and I aim of getting an MBA degree from USA.
    I have enrolled directly after my school and I have not enrolled for graduation here, also my CA degree will be inclusive of a 3 year acticleship at a CA firm.
    I wanted to know whether my CA degree would help me getting through a good university in USA Or do i need to hold a graduate degree from India as well?

    Secondly, which university would provide a good expertise in media marketting or service sectors?

    I am really new to the idea of MBA and I really seek help to plan my career further.Thanks!

    • Based on my personal experience, CA degree is NOT recognised as graduate or post grad degree OUTSIDE India. (Sounds funny, but thats the bitter truth). Hence, B.Com + M.Com from regular college is MUST if you want to study abroad. I did distance learning B,Com and paid the price !

      Some universities will accept “articleship” as work ex BUT mostly will not !

      CA degree has little value outside India unless you also have M.Com from regular college

  14. Hello Sameer,

    I am really confused whether to go for an executive MBA from abroad.The main purpose for me to have a mba degree is to change my current IT profile (9 years of experience) into Business management.But I am not able to find any information about the placement after completing executive MBA . I am planning to give IELTS exam to get admission in these colleges.Also I am open to do a 1 year full time MBA only if it provides good placement after completion
    Please guide me as EMBA program have a huge tuition money.

    Thanks in advance

  15. hi sameer,

    my profile: cuurently heading a business for a brand in india for a mnc. full time mba from iim b. gmat 730, TOTAL experience around 7. i want to do mba 1 yr and have shortlisted only kelloog. Whats ur take on my chances?

  16. Hi Sameer

    I would like to know about GMAT score required to get an admit from top 10 colleges for 1 year Accelerated MBA. Also what are chances of getting Graduate Assistantship (GA) from these colleges ? What do we need to do to get the GA ? Can we apply for CPT/OPT while doing 1 year Acc MBA ? And lastly, what is the (tentative) total cost of doing 1 year MBA from these B-schools and what kind of compensation I can expect after graduation ?

    My profile : Btech , MBA (Narsee Monjee), 7 years experience in IT consulting and sales .. Would like to go for sales leadership roles in US post MBA ..

    Your guidance would be of real help to take my career forward.


  17. Dear Sameer,

    Thank you for this article. could you please give some insight on IMD, Oxford and Cornell one year, for someone sponsored, will back to the same job, and look for good education with brand? which one would offer this better?

    Thank you.


  18. Hi Sameer,

    Could you please recommend good B schools in US having one year MBA programs. I am having 9 years of IT work experience. I am interested in consulting and entrepreneurship. I am looking forward for Fall 2015 admissions.

    Thanks in advance.


  19. I m doing MBA from a decent college in India so i jus want to know what othr optional course are there fr me abroad aftr doing Mba in India

  20. Hi Sameer,
    I have done my engineering in ELectrical Electronics & Power and post engineering i did my MBA from a reputed college in Pune (University of Pune). I have total of 6.5 years of experience in marketing. i am currently working in Honeywell Mumbai.
    Recently i got engaged and my Fiance is working in the US Charlotte, North Carolina. So after getting married i will shift to the US. Can you suggest me soem job options (which could be difficult as i will come there on H4). But then some MBA courses in the colleges close to NC which can guarantee a good job.

    Thanks & Regards,

  21. Hi,
    I have got 16 year experience in semiconductor company based in USA. I want to pursue one year MBA course from US. Which specialization for MBA will be good? I want to take advantage of my work experience after getting one year MBA degree.

  22. Hi,
    I am a 31 year old female from Mumbai. I really wish to pursue a 1 year mba from a good university abroad, however unable to narrow down on the course options. any kind of advise/suggestions would be highly appreciated : ) my details are given below

    Experience: I have done my MMS in HR, Post which I worked with ICICI Bank for a year in their HR Dept. Later I worked with an investment banking firm for 3 years in their training and development dept. I was involved in a lot of assignments such as employee engagement, training delivery, content development and Corporate Social Responsibility. After this, I had to quit corporate sphere and join my family business(Landscape Development) due to some unforeseen events. since past 2 years I am taking care of the entire set up.

    I now want to pursue a 1 year mba to enhance my existing set up and sharpen my business acumen. I really feel this would help me expand into new horizons which as of now is a challenge and also help me to overcome day to day challenges.

    I have scored a 680 in gmat, could you please let me know what are my chances of getting admission in one of the top 30 colleges in the world. Also please suggest which are the programs I can target.

    Thank you..

  23. Hi Sameer, I have 12+ years of work experience in the IT industry and I am looking to join a 1 yr full time exec MBA in India or abroad. Can you recommend which one would be a better option?

  24. Hi Sameer,

    I am in confusion whether t go for MS in Economics or one year MBA. I want to make my career in consultancy. I have worked as an intern for 1 year in a reputed financial firm and then 1 year as a full-time employee. I have 700+ gmat score and I have done graduation from reputed college of India.
    Please recommend what all colleges shall I consider with this work experience and gmat score. Also help me with choosing program.
    Thanks in advance.

  25. Hi Sameer,

    I wish to do one year MBA from any of the top colleges in the US. I am currently in Shanghai working as a Business Analyst for an IT firm. I have a total experience of 10.5 years. I had started distant MBA from BITS Pilani and completed one year but had to relocate to Shanghai due to work and now i really wish to take up my MBA seriously and do it from a reputed university. I have done B.Tech in Electronics and Communication and have work record of working in companies like Infosys and EY. I have to start with GMAT/GRE preperations. I am looking forward to your advice on if this would be a wise decision to take at this point of time.


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