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21 May

How Long Does It Take to Earn an MBA?

How long to get an MBA

Getting an MBA is an achievement that can lead to great things for your career, but mastering the material and finishing assignments requires both hard work and time. But exactly how long it takes to get an MBA depends on a number of factors, including your goals for your degree program, how much daily and weekly time you can devote to it, and how many other things you have going on in your life.

Studying Full Time

Currently, 41.8 percent of people in MBA programs are studying full time.1 This means they’re taking the number of credit hours that their university designates a full-time course load; while this number that can vary from school to school, most full-time students can earn an MBA within two years.

And most full-time MBA students aren’t just young people fresh out of bachelor’s degree programs; approximately 9 out of 10 full-time MBA students already have an average of 4.3 years of work experience.2

Taking a full-time course load obviously means you can finish your degree faster and reap its benefits more quickly. You can also take full advantage of university resources, including internships and networking opportunities. Of course, it can be challenging to work full time while earning an MBA, but the salary increase you could receive upon graduation can smooth over the pain of missing out on social events and long nights of sleep.

The Part-Time Option

The majority of MBA students—58.2 percent—complete their degree on a part-time basis.1 Like their full-time counterparts, most part-time MBA students (89 percent of them) have some work experience, and most part-timers complete their degrees within four years.

Part-time study is a great option when the length of time it takes to earn your MBA isn’t your primary consideration. Of course, you could end up waiting a little longer to go up for that leadership role and that bump in salary if you take this path to your degree, and you may continue feeling professionally restless while you complete your studies.

But even so, you’ll have the financial advantage of continuing to work while you study. You may even enjoy the thrill of an “aha moment” when you tackle projects at work that complement what you’re learning in your classes.

What You’ll Study at William & Mary

Whether you choose to take on a full-time or part-time MBA course load, you can design a program that works for you with the Online MBA from William & Mary. With full-time study, you can complete your degree in as few as two years, and with courses completely online, you can still fit them into your schedule fairly easily.

Our MBA courses are designed to provide a rigorous overview of key business functions. These include business communications, organization and leadership, accounting, finance, micro- and macroeconomics, innovation and technology management, marketing and entrepreneurship, global business, and business strategy.

No matter how long it takes to complete your degree, you’ll graduate with a comprehensive understanding of how to lead in today’s business environment. You’ll have the tools you need to work for a variety of businesses in a range of roles, all the way to the top echelons of the C-suite.

Working While Earning Your MBA

Our Online MBA is designed for maximum flexibility with the schedule of today’s busy adult students in mind. Talk to your current boss about how earning your MBA could boost your career within your current company. Also, ask if your employer offers tuition reimbursement, as it’s a great way to offset your grad school expenses.

Many employers, realizing the benefit of investing in MBA talent, offer part-time, flexible scheduling or telecommuting options for team members who are working toward their degrees. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need to be successful in your studies.

Just remember that if your current company invests in you through flex scheduling and tuition reimbursement, they probably expect you to stay with the company for at least a few years after your finish your degree.


Pick a Schedule and Take the Plunge

After you take stock of your current commitments and talk things over with your family and employer, choose a full-time or part-time MBA program that suits your needs and apply for admission. Earning an MBA often leads to a significant return on investment:3

  • Post-MBA starting pay is 50 percent more, on average, than pre-MBA starting pay
  • Five years out, post-MBA pay is 80 percent more than pre-MBA pay
  • Starting later in life is not a disadvantage: Right after graduating, an MBA holder earns an average of $2,822 in starting pay for every year of work experience
  • 94 percent of people who’ve earned an MBA would do it again

How long it takes to get your MBA is largely your choice. Imagine the benefits of earning an Online MBA backed by the world-class reputation of William & Mary, and you’ll worry less about how long your studies will take—and think more about how quickly you can get started. Interested? Check out the flexibility of our Online MBA program.


1 Retrieved on April 23, 2018, from aacsb.edu/-/media/aacsb/publications/data-trends-booklet/2016.ashx?la=en
2 Retrieved on April 23, 2018, from usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2017-03-14/us-news-data-a-portrait-of-the-typical-mba-student
3 Retrieved on April 23, 2018, from forbes.com/sites/ronaldyeaple/2014/03/17/mba-alumni-profile-2/#2cc0649f37c1