Best One Year MBA Programs in the World

Accelerated MBA programs offered by even the best business schools are sometimes belittled as “quickie” degrees. However, all the bad press about these programs probably disappeared when The Financial Times released its 2016 list of global full-time MBA courses.

INSEAD’s one-year program topped the rankings, and there were as many as eight “quickies” in the top 15, most of them rated by experts as comparable with top global two-year programs.And it has continued to do so now that we are in the next decade.

Obviously, one-year full-time MBA programs are not the same thing as the traditional postgraduate management programs offered by IIM and the likes. But they are ideal for professionals who are budget-conscious, and don’t have much time for business fundamentals courses of the traditional course, since they may already have an undergraduate management education or significant amount of business exposure.

Many may even want to continue in the same industry after graduating. The best candidates for such courses tend to have more experience than the average full-time-MBA applicant.

What are the main disadvantages of the one-year MBA? Probably the loss of opportunity to do a summer internship (perhaps this should only bother those looking for a job or sector change) and fewer avenues for networking.

Here are brief sketches of some of the best global business schools offering short-duration MBA programs. All these schools figure in the top 50 of FT’s 2021 global MBA rankings. More European schools than U.S. schools appear in the list below since more top schools in the continent offer the shorter-duration MBA program than in the US.

As with most of our articles on the best programs, this is a representative (not comprehensive) list and not a ranking. For the full ranking refer to any of the popular MBA rankings.

It needs to be said that the inclusion in FT’s list of a good number of b-schools offering one-year programs and the better ranking given to some new schools above hoary institutions have drawn the criticism of some management education experts.

[Editor’s Note: Article updated in July 2021 to reflect the latest data]
 


Best one-year MBA programs in the world

 

Top 1-Year MBA in Europe | France, UK, Switzerland, Spain

 

INSEAD (France, Singapore):

INSEAD conducts a one-year (10 months to be precise) MBA program at its campuses in Fontainebleau, Paris, and in Singapore, with an elective course at Abu Dhabi. It calls itself “the business school for the world” with good reason: 90 percent of its faculty and students are international.

Top ranking agencies like Forbes have selected the INSEAD program as giving the greatest return of investment for students: an average annual salary of $189,000 a year (three-year gain), 96 percent more than their pre-MBA earnings compared with a program fee (€89,000, or $105,000, for the class graduating in September 2021) that is much less than the tuition for a traditional two-year MBA program.

INSEAD’s faculty consists of early 150 inspirational teachers. Its Career Development Centre, which is run by 40 committed professions, hosts 250 recruiting companies every year on its three campuses.

Read these interesting INSEAD blogs:
INSEAD Singapore vs MBA in India, USA and France
Why I chose INSEAD over a Wharton MBA admit with scholarship
I cracked into INSEAD, twice
INSEAD MBA admissions interview and GMAT experience
INSEAD MBA grad’s tips on getting management consulting jobs

 

London Business School (England, UK):

The location of the London Business School (LBS), surrounded by top global business organizations, gives the institution one distinct advantage: renowned guest speakers drop by frequently to address the students.

The full-time course is an accelerated MBA program that students can choose to complete in 15 or 21 months. LBS’s reputation and access to global network of recruiters ensure that 91 percent of its graduates receive job offers within three months of completing their course.

The tuition fee for the MBA course starting in August 2021 was £93,800 ($128,000). The average salary three years after graduation was $177,000 (a gain of 103 percent).

Read these London Business School blogs:
Executive MBA at London Business School
London Business School MBA after MS in USA
London Business School (LBS) admit with GMAT 690

 

IESE Business School (Spain):

At University of Navarra’s IESE Business School, students enjoy the benefits of a highly rich curriculum under the guidance of internationally inclusive faculty with frontline experience, diverse network spanning all continents, and the ability to expand your training through diverse student clubs, case competitions, and more.

One of the key feedbacks from students is the much appreciated “Simulations” method of training. “A playful approach to serious learning” as they call it, is based on simulating a business scenario with the students as CEO, CFO or such decision makers faced with real challenges of running a business from a C-Suite role.

IESE has been consistently featuring among the top on top MBA ranking lists. With a weighted salary of $167,000 (with a 131% salary increase prior to MBA)for graduates who spend about $106,000 (2021 fees), students can possibly look to a bright ROI.

For more IESE stories:
IESE student shares her experience

 

HEC Paris (France):

It takes about 16 months to graduate from HEC. And the 16 months play a massive role in shaping future leaders who go on to become pretty formidable figures in the world – for instance, the CEO of Michelin, Jean-Dominique Sénard, the CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault, the founder of BETC, Mercedes Erra, or the former President of France, François Hollande. In all there are more CEOs in the world from HEC than any other university in Europe.

HEC also nurtures an incredible entrepreneurial spirit with 25% graduates successfully operating their own businesses. HEC Incubator and the HEC Seed competition, along with mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs make significant contributions. There are leadership seminars and tournaments that go beyond the theoretical approach to leadership training. All in all, the HEC experience is enriched with faculty with immense research experience, a tradition of excellence, and an impactful career change with a weighted salary of $169,000 (118% increase) from pre to post MBA.

According to their website, their January 2022 tuition amounts to $90,000. In comparison to the career benefits, the ROI is certainly good.

For more HEC stories:
HEC Paris MBA: Admissions, Scholarships, Academics and Careers

 

SDA Bocconi (Italy):

Located in gorgeous Italy, SDA Bocconi is a stalwart in European business education. The program is flexible to meet student needs and reinforced with hands on managerial training where students connect with brand leaders like Google, Prada, Starbucks and more. Special seminars, student clubs, leadership services and more are designed to take the students to the next level of management skill that can shape future leaders.

SDA has been a regular on FT and other ranking lists and boasts a post MBA salary (3 year average gain) of $156,000 or a %126 increase. With a tuition of $70,000 (2021 fees) it is one of the highest yielding MBAs.

For more SDA stories:
SDA Bocconi Asia Center in Mumbai to offer world-class executive education and custom programs for senior executives

 

Judge Business School (England, UK):

At the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, MBA students from over 40 nations take up collaborative projects along with multinationals and high-tech start-ups.

As part of the “Leadership” sessions, guest speakers deliver lectures on program-specific topics. The school allows students to opt for sector-based topics that can improve their expertise in their chosen fields. It also runs a personalized career development program.

The tuition for the Class of 2022/23 was £61,000 ($84,000). The average salary three years after graduation was $168,000, a gain of 87 percent compared with pre-MBA salary.

Some Cambridge MBA blogs:
University of Cambridge MBA Judge-ment Day
Cambridge MBA Judge Business School Interview with Admissions Director

 

University of Oxford: Saïd Business School (UK):

Oxford needs no introduction and neither does SBS. In one year duration, it is known for developing leaders with a solid foundation in business as well as its role in society. It establishes a strong sense of business strategy, builds a well connected network, thrives on peer learning in a diverse student body, provides rich academic experience, and exposes students to thought leaders who can help shape a mind for a promising career.

Class sizes are smaller than typical US b-schools and extremely diverse with over 90% internationals and a healthy sex ratio that can lay the ground for a multicultural learning environment.

On an average students make a 3 year salary gain of about $152,000 (85% increase) and the tuition (2022-23 numbers) is about $90,000.

Other Oxford SBS articles:
Oxford MBA – Said Business School
Oxford MBA interview experience: Questions and answers
How I got into the Oxford MBA at Said Business School

 

IMD (Switzerland):

IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland, develops its students’ skills in such a way that they can fully grasp and resolve issues in an organizational context. Projects take students to companies where they get opportunities to impress potential recruiters.

The tuition is CHF 95,000 ($103,000) in 2021. The average salary three years after graduation was $161,000 (a gain of 68 percent).

Here are some IMD blogs:
How I got into IMD MBA with 660 GMAT
Why IMD
Life as a student at IMD: My MBA experience
IMD Jobs & Careers: Placement process
IMD assessment day interview experience in Switzerland

 

IE School of Business (Spain):

The one-year full-time International MBA (IMBA) course at the IE School of Business, Madrid, Spain, provides students with an opportunity to interact with budding business leaders from all over the world and improve their “cultural intelligence.”

Entrepreneurial thinking is stressed upon and built on a solid foundation of business fundamentals. The IMBA has cultural diversity not only in the classroom but among its faculty as well.

Highly customisable, the IMBA was been ranked the best MBA for entrepreneurship in the world in the past in 2015 and 2016. The tuition is €72,200 ($85,000), and the average salary three years after graduation was $135,000 (a gain of 80 percent).

Read this IE story:
IE Business School Spain MBA admits an Indian entrepreneur

 
Among the other top b-schools running one-year MBA programs in Europe are Alliance Manchester Business School, UK; Warwick Business School, UK; ESADE, Barcelona, Spain; and Imperial College Business School, UK.

 

Best one-year MBA in America

 

Kellogg School of Management (USA):

The one-year Accelerated MBA course at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois, US, starts every June. In September, they join the second-year Full-time Program class, selecting courses that could take them further along their intended career path.

Experiential learning and world-class faculty are the highlights of the one-year Kellogg MBA, along with the flexibility it provides students to overstep core courses and go straight to the electives that are in tune with their future plans.

The tuition is $105,400. The average salary three years after graduation was $191,000 (a gain of 102 percent).

Read Kellogg One Year MBA admission with scholarship after GMAT score jumps by 90 points

 

Cornell Johnson (USA):

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, has both a one-year and a two-year MBA program.

The one-year program is for professionals with advanced degrees and significant experience who wish to acquire new business skills and management knowledge. The tuition is about $115,000.

The average salary three years after graduation was $174,000 (a gain of 128 percent).

Read: Cornell 1 Year MBA admission blog by stock-trader and entrepreneur

 

Among other top b-schools in the US where one-year MBA programs are offered are Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia; the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles; and the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in Indiana. Read more about the list of top one-year MBA programs in USA.

 

Best one-year MBA in Canada

 

Ivey Business School:

With Canada growing in popularity among international students (mainly because of the ease in obtaining work permits compared to other countries), Ivey is one option to include in every experienced applicant’s prospective schools’ list.

Bloomberg Businessweek ranks it the top in Canada for student and recruiter satisfaction.

The tuition for international students is C$106,500. The average salary after graduation was C$103,024. A big proportion (97%) of the students made a career change in various dimensions (industry, role, geography).

Read more about the best MBA in Canada for international students.

 

Top one-year MBA in Asia | China, Hong Kong, India

 

HKUST Business School (Hong Kong):

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School, established in Hong Kong in 1991, has earned a place in “top MBA programs” lists consistently since 2001.

In 2021, it took the 22nd place in FT’s ranking. Of the 80 students it recruits for its full-time one-year MBA program, 90 percent are international students from 30 countries.

Over 90 percent of its graduates work in Asia after completing the program. The school’s five career-track electives allow the students to pursue general management in China, consulting, finance, entrepreneurship, or marketing.

The tuition is $75,300, and the salary gain three years after graduation was 109 percent (average salary $152,000).

 

CEIBS (China):

Established in Shanghai in 1994 under an agreement between the Chinese Government and the European Commission, the CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) was ranked 17th in the world for its one-year full-time program, after IESE Business School, Madrid.

The school has a strong focus on China, as is evident from its slogan “China depth, global breadth.” Most faculty members taught at reputed b-schools in other countries before coming to the CEIBS, and many of them are qualified enough to teach senior executives in the corporate programs.

The tuition is $67,500, and the average salary three years after graduation was $179,000 (a gain of 156 percent).

 

Indian School of Business (India):

The ISB, established in 2001, owns campuses in Hyderabad (Telangana) and Mohali (Punjab), India. It provides its students a depth of understanding about emerging economies.

In 2008, it became the youngest b-school to find a place in global rankings by securing the 20th rank in FT’s list. Even after a decade it still features among the top (FT 2021 rank 23). The total tuition and living fee for the one-year course is $48,000. The average salary three years after graduation was $161,300 (a gain of 173 percent).

We’ve got many stories on ISB. Check out these ISB blogs:
Is ISB still worth the money and time?
How the ISB admission process works
I got into ISB Hyderabad with a low GMAT score of 610
ISB Admission with scholarship in third attempt
My ISB re-application strategy: Higher GMAT score, better interview and meditation
Life at ISB Mohali Campus
ISB Mohali Campus Placements
How the consulting recruitment cycle works on campus at ISB

And then, there are the 1-year MBA courses offered by the IIMs. Here’s some more detail on the best 1-year GMAT MBA in India
 
Resources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 | Image credit: slu.edu


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24 thoughts on “Best One Year MBA Programs in the World”

  1. Hi,

    I have a total corporate experience of 4.8 years in Analytics from Financial Services and Investment industries. I recently got a Managerial role in Analytics from a NGO. I want to check if this Managerial experience of 3-4 years from NGO (Analytics) will help me if I am planning to do a PGPex in 3-4 years. Kindly let me know if you think there are another better opportunities for my profile.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  2. Hello Mr Samerr, I have experience of approx. 3.6 years in scientific instrument industry with 10 +2+3+2 years of educational background (Masters in Biochemistry). I am currently working as Product Manager with product management department. I am interested in MBA sales & marketing as my profiles relates this..
    Please could you suggest on this with procedure and good colleges, Thank you so much !

    Reply
  3. Hi Hari,
    I have an associate degree widely called as Diploma in Engg (3yrs after class 10). Unfortunately neither the government nor other countries have any regard to it despite being a full time engineering course studied for 3 years long. Strange that a 10+2+3 is considered fairly enough though

    My question is
    Having a highest desire to step into to a MS program has no option for me but to get there but has to be a better way for sure?!?!?
    I am not discarding a choice for MBA either at this point since I am already into management with 17years of IT experience. However for the gist of it I would like to explore if in the US every three years of experience is considered a ONE year equivalent academic study does it help anyway to my situation?

    I would be glad to hear from you as you can and provide some good insight to get me outta here! seriously!! :)
    Cheers!!

    Reply
  4. Sameer,
    Requesting your guidance. I have 16+ years of experience in IT industry and handling projects pertaining to different geographies. I have travelled to various countries and happy about my pay!
    I have another 25+ years of career left and thinking of an MBA primarily to distinguish myself from the growing population!
    Planning to try my hands at IIMs!
    Do you think I am on the right direction? Looking to your suggestions!

    Reply
  5. Hi Sameer,
    I’m too young to think about MBA right now but i have some questions which need to be cleared so that i have a clear view of the future. I’m a B.Tech CSE student and i’m in second year. I’ve read some articles saying that after btech you must have minimum 2 years of work experience to get into a good mba university. But i want to persue my MBA course from US soon after one year of my Btech degree which is of 4 years.So is it possible to get admission if you dont have much work experience??
    Waiting for your view on this one
    Vedanth

    Reply
  6. HI Sameer,

    My Self Jaspreet Singh, I have total 6 years of experience in IT Domain & my age is 31. Now wants to go for IIMB for career growth.
    But my Problem is not good in Academics & was always a back bencher.So my Math is not good & communication is fine to handle interaction I was never serious for study & now realised the actual pain.Apart from this my salary is also not that much good
    .

    So my question is can i proceed with GMAT to get admission in IIM A/B/C ?

    B-tech :68
    Diploma:55
    12th 45
    10th:55

    Reply
  7. HI,

    I am a 2012 MBA from IIM Indore. I have been in the Human Resource field for a year prior to my MBA and 4 years since the MBA. I’m keen to look at a change in function and international exposure. Would it make sense to do a second MBA? Which schools would you recommend?

    Decent acads throughout. I do not have a GMAT Score. Age 30.

    Reply
  8. Hello..
    I am a physiotherapist with 6 years of clinical experience as a physiotherapist. Recently I applied for executive MBA and got reply from IIM- B but the fees I is very high. Is it worth doing executive MBA in hospital administration with 5.5 lakh fees.
    Will it help me move to administrator position?. How much starting package will I get?.
    Please reply fast as have to decide within next two days
    Thank you

    Reply
  9. hello sameer ,
    i am working in a psu with 8 yrs of exp. but i have gap between 12th and engg. course. here are my details:-
    1)10th – 66% in 1997
    2) 12th -66% in 1999
    3) B.TECH -65.2% in 2008
    i want to do one year executive mba.pls tell me does the gap after 12th would affect in my admission.

    Reply
  10. @Narayan: Adcoms may think it’s a little late, but what the heck. Go ahead and apply. If you never try, you’ll never know whether you had a chance or not.

    @Vedanth: Don’t rush in too early. There’s a reason why bschools suggest having experience before you apply. Here are some of them: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2011/08/21/work-experience-why-is-it-important-for-international-mba-applications/

    @Jaspreet: If you were not good in academics, you’ll have a tough time competing with the best students from across India who enter the IIM programs.

    @Sonali: You can consider a second MBA if you have a strong rationale that you can communicate to Admission Officers through your essays. Here’s more on second MBA applications: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2013/01/21/second-mba-in-usa/

    @Asmita: If your 6 years of experience has been purely as a physiotherapost without any other managerial responsibilities, it is unlikely that an MBA will make a dramatic image. Remember that the recruiters who offer jobs after MBA do look at what candidates have done before the MBA as well.

    @Rahul: Yes, the gap will affect the applications. Here’s what you can do about it:
    https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2011/12/07/mba-application-faq-for-voluntary-career-break/

    Reply
  11. HI,
    I gave GMAT this month and got 680(Q 49 and V33).
    I have 7+ yrs of experience in IT(Capgemini and IBM my current company).
    I have applied for SP Jain PGPM program. Please advice some interview tips for SP jain.
    Also could you tell me if my profile is suitable for ISB and IIMs.
    I am also looking for some tier 1 b schools abroad where I can apply with this GMAT score.

    Thanks,
    Isha

    Reply
  12. Hi Sameer,

    I have 12 years of work experience in Insurance domain. Currently working as an Assistant Manager with 10 L ctc..
    I have done my graduation in Arts with 50%. Please suggest whether it is a good option for One year MBA from ISB at this stage of my career to accelerate growth?

    I want to change my profile to Consulting roles. Please advise whether it would be of any help?

    Reply
  13. Hi,

    I’m Btech graduate and had work experience of 6yrs in project management in a technical firm. I want to do 1yr MBA to enhance my career. Can any one suggest me whether my profile suits for it? By having good GRE score, could i get in to ISB?

    Reply
  14. Hi Sameer

    I wanted to seek some personal advice from you regarding my future career plans. I am going through a confused mental state where I am not able to decide whether I should go for an MBA at such a late stage in my career ( 13 years of exp. in Telecom sector) or it is not that late at all. I was always interested in adding this degree to my CV but in initial formative years of my career , somehow I was not able to seek admission in any prestigious college owing to few reasons.

    So I will shoot straight questions to you to answer:

    1. Full time one year MBA from prestigious colleges in India costs around $ 50,000, and anywhere in Asia and Europe it costs around 120,000-150,000 $ ( including cost of living for an year) . Applicant must have a good GMAT score ( 650-730 approx). Do you think that investing 120,000 or more on myself will have a decent return on investment specially when I have to seek educational loans and I have to shell out a huge chunk of money from my savings to pay for fees and living expenses.

    2. What is the probability of any good college granting me admission if I somehow manages a good GMAT score ( of course I have to burn the midnight fuel for few weeks to get a good score ).

    3. How likely do you think that any company will offer me job placement at such a late stage if I am done with MBA ( if not , then it doesn’t make a business sense ).

    4. What was your experience in terms of gaining business acumen or confidence once you completed your MBA . Did it changed your career projectile.

    5. As of now I am completely enjoying the work which I am doing in office, but the thought of acquiring a post graduate degree keeps on knocking my head ,hence needed your advice or do you think that I can still shape my career without acquiring this degree.

    6. Or shall I apply for executive MBA ( part time) wherein I don’t have to leave the job, but will it have the same impact in terms of me acquiring business principals and world giving it a due weightage. I am based out in Gurgaon currently.Can you suggest some good geographically viable options for me.

    I know my message is slightly lengthy and it is going to consume some precious minutes of yours but your advice will definitely enlighten the way forward for many confused souls like me.

    Regards
    Sushant

    Reply
  15. @Isha: You could apply to ISB as well as IIMs.

    You’ll find some interview tips here:
    https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/tag/mba-interview-prep/

    And several interview experiences from successful applicants here:
    http://mbacrystalball.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=218

    @Aashika: It’ll be late for ISB. You could look at IIM and the other international programs listed in the article above.

    @Venkat: Yes, to both your queries.

    @Sushant: Whether it’s a worthwhile investment or not is something only you can decide, since you know your capabilities better than anyone else.

    Yes, my experience was very good and it allowed me to change my profile completely (from IT to Finance).

    An EMBA reduces the risk (since you aren’t quitting your job or stopping your salary). But it won’t help you do what a full-time degree can.

    If you are enjoying your work, don’t feel pressured to chase a degree.

    Reply
  16. Thanks Sameer . Request you to please elucidate on point number 2 and 3 ( in my first note above) as they will be the deciding factor for me to go for EMBA or fulltime 1 yr course.

    Regards
    Sushant

    Reply
    • I don’t have answers to those 2 questions (and I don’t think anybody really can), Sushant. Which is why I stayed away from giving a diplomatic, feel-good response.

      Sugar-coated answers are easy to provide and some (incorrectly) consider it as encouragement.

      But when you are planning to spend close to a crore on something, taking the easy way out and getting influenced by what someone is saying on the internet is the worst way to take a decision.

      Talk to current students and alumni who have had a similar profile as yours, to find out what worked for them and what didn’t. Also, take a call on how much financial risk you are willing to take. Make sure it doesn’t mess up your plans for family and dependents. If after all the research and introspection, you aren’t convinced, drop the plans.

      Sounds like a rational approach?

      Reply
  17. Yes Sameer.. It does sound Right and Rational ( after all there are no easy shortcuts in this world :-) )… Thanks once again… I appreciate your advice and support.

    Regards
    Sushant

    Reply
  18. Dear sameer,
    Total work ex-8+years in public sector undertaking engineering domain.academics are-
    10th(2002)-81 %
    12(2004)-80%
    B.Tech(2008)-79%
    Want a career functionality change,so suggest me some good course in India as well as abroad with good ROI & required GMAT scores for above to get shortlisted

    Reply
  19. I don’t understand why you have mentioned ISB’s average salary three years after graduation as $138,xxx . That’s like a Crore Rupees. Many of my friends have graduated from ISB. None are even close to that figure. You should rectify that.

    Reply
  20. @Gmat_Cracker: Good question. This is a common confusion many readers have after seeing the salaries in dollars, and after conversion they seem too high. The reason for this is – most international rankings such as the Financial Times use purchasing power parity (PPP) adjusted salaries so they can compare apples to apples using the same currency. Without that conversion, it wouldn’t be possible for them to compare a USD salary with an INR salary. Hope that clarifies.

    Reply

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