Answer: Yes, there are part-time MBA programs offered online. While the structure of part-time MBA programs vary, a part-time program is designed to accommodate students who may be working while earning their degree or have other significant commitments outside of school. Students enrolled part-time take fewer courses per semester than full-time students, thereby increasing the time it takes to graduate. For example, a standard MBA program can generally be completed in four semesters, or 16 to 24 months of full-time enrollment. Students who enroll part-time in a similar program might take two or more years to earn a degree, depending on the structure of the program and the number of courses taken per semester.
There are a number of variations in the structure of online MBA programs and the number of credits required to graduate from these programs. A traditional, campus-based MBA might require students to complete 60 credits of coursework in four 15-week semesters, which could translate into three to five courses per semester, depending on how credits are allotted. However, the number of credits required by online MBA programs varies, from roughly 30 to 60 credits, and many programs utilize shorter terms which may last between eight and 11 weeks. Depending on the program, full-time enrollment could mean taking two courses per eight-week term, or four courses per 15-week semester. Part-time enrollment varies in the same fashion, and can equate to taking just one course per eight-week term or two courses per 15-week semester.
The table below provides a comparative overview of potential full-time and part-time enrollment options for MBA programs with different crediting requirements and term lengths.
|Enrollment Plan||Credits||Courses Per Term||Length of Terms||Terms Per Year||Time to Completion|
|Full-Time||36||2||8 weeks||5||20 months|
|Part-Time||36||1 or 2||8 weeks||5||30 months|
|Part-Time||36||1||8 weeks||5||40 months|
|Full-Time||48||4 or 5||11 weeks||4||16 months|
|Part-Time||48||2 or 3||11 weeks||4||2 years|
|Full-Time||60||2 or 3||15 weeks||3||2 years|
|Part-Time||60||1 or 2||15 weeks||3||3 years|
Some online MBA programs are only offered full-time and have a structured sequence of core and elective coursework. Some programs are only offered part-time, and these programs may also have a structured sequence in which some or all courses must be taken. However, there are many MBA programs that provide students with more flexibility regarding the number of courses taken per term and the sequence in which these courses can be taken. A flexible MBA program may allow students who are capable of handling four or five courses per term to graduate in as few as 12 to 16 months, while students who would prefer to progress more slowly can take two or three courses per term for two or more years. While there may be prerequisites for certain courses in a flexible MBA program, students are often permitted some leeway regarding the order in which courses are completed. It is also important to note that it is not uncommon for MBA programs to cap the amount of time a student may take to graduate at five or six years.