10 Fastest Online MBA Degree Programs for 2020

short online mba programs

For working adults who feel they have hit a ceiling in their careers, an online MBA degree can be a flexible, convenient way to earn the credentials and skills they need to break through. Online MBA programs have become common throughout the US, offered by prestigious universities, regional colleges, public and private institutions, and the full gamut of higher education institutions. Most have their own unique advantages, whether it is a large alumni network for a job market boost, faculty famous for mentorship, or low costs that ensure a great return on investment. 

But for professionals who want to make an impact on their careers fast, accelerated MBA programs online are the way to go. Programs use many methods to streamline the process: compressed, intensive classes that last just 5, 6, or 7 weeks; generous credits for work and life experience; transfer agreements with other colleges, and more. But however they make it work, the shortest online MBA programs get professionals the credentials they need when they need it. 

Featured Programs

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated MBA Programs Online

To rank the best and shortest online MBA programs, Great Business School editors didn’t just look for the quickest and easiest MBA – we searched for the most reputable programs that also provide ways to fast-track the degree. Programs are ranked according to their Tuition Costs, Student Reviews, Reputation, and Graduate Salary, using data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, Niche, and U.S. News. 

1. University of Arizona

For students looking to accelerate their career with an MBA program, The University of Arizona Eller College of Management offers a recognized MBA program across the United States. With the flexibility of the online format and the ability to take multiple courses at one time, this MBA program is one of the shortest online MBA programs.

At the University of Arizona, those looking to accelerate their career with a ranked MBA program has the ability to accelerate their degree as their desired speed. The tuition also includes all e-books and materials needed for the program, minimizing additional costs for the student. The program is accredited by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and is the leader for business school accrediting across the nation. Students enrolled in the online MBA program will receive instruction from the same faculty that the traditional course will receive.

Degree Online MBA – 14 months

2. Saint Joseph’s University

The MBA program online at Saint Joseph’s University is as flexible and diverse in format as it is students. For those wanting to fast-track their career in months instead of years, the online MBA program provides the tools and skills needed to complete the degree in just over a year.

The Haub School of Business has numerous rankings for its programs, with the online MBA being at the center. This program is offered in a variety of formats, with the most accelerated being the online format that is currently available to working professionals. Payscale rated it fifth in Return on Investment in the Business School category. Over 70% of alumni from this program received salary increases in their current position and/or advance their career in another company. It is listed in the top ten for Best Colleges for Veterans and in the top twenty for Best Colleges in the Northern region. 

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

3. Texas Tech University

Seeking out accelerated MBA programs online that are both affordable and efficient can be hard to find, but possible with the online MBA from Texas Tech University. This program allows students to operate at their own pace, taking as many classes as they choose during each term.

Online students may not be walking the campus, but they are still entitled to the resources of the renowned Rawls College of Business Career Management Center that gives them the resources they need to be successful in their program and career. This program offers a concentration to specialize in Information Technology or the option to gain a highly sought Microsoft Excel certification required in all business industries. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools (AACSB) and the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredit the Rawls College of Business, ensuring its reputation and the quality of the online MBA program.

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

4. University of Cincinnati

For the students who are working full-time and need a program that fits their needs and schedule the online MBA program from the University of Cincinnati offers an option that is accelerated and affordable for students. Because this program can be completed at the student’s pace, it can be proven to be a more affordable option with the program being completed in three terms, increasing its return on investment following graduation from the program and one of the shortest online MBA programs.

The faculty leading instruction on this program are the same teaching professionals in the traditional classroom. With attendance and interaction mandatory in the online program, students online are not at a loss as compared to their peers. This program also offers students the ability to customize their program with one of the seven concentrations available in a variety of industries. This program is nationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools (AACSB).

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

5. California Baptist University

Obtaining a general management MBA program online at an accelerated pace can be found with the online Fully Employed MBA in General Management program at California Baptist University. This program allows students to accelerate their studies to completion within a year all while developing proficiency skills in general management that can be used in any industry.

California Baptist University has ACBSP accreditation, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Based upon the latest accreditation assessment, over 75% of students were exceeding academic goals and excel in the business fundamental skills. Over 70% of graduates in the online Fully Employed MBA in General Management program were able to complete their program in 12 months, and over 60% received a promotion or new job with a higher salary within six months following graduation. California Baptist University has been ranked annually for the last 4 years for their graduate program, with them leading in the number one spot for Online MBA Faculty Credentials and Training 2019.

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

6. Emporia State University

One of the best accelerated MBA programs online is the MBA online program from Emporia State University. This program has a tuition rate comparable to Bachelor’s degrees, increasing its return on investment for students following graduation and allowing them to fast track their careers in as short as twelve months.

Emporia State University has spent the last decade expanding and maintaining a competitive online classroom for students that are working professionals looking to gain quality education on their schedule and within an affordable budget. The courses for this program are 7 weeks long with students having the ability to pace themselves at their discretion. Whether they want to take one class or three, the flexibility is there. Students have the ability to add a concentration in leading areas and have a highly recognized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and a faculty that has industry experience.

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

Featured Programs

7. Southern Utah University

The online MBA program found at Southern Utah University is one of the shortest online MBA programs, but its length does not sacrifice its quality. Students are challenged through the curriculum to shape them into the leaders needed for today’s business world and give them the confidence they need in the boardroom.

At Southern Utah University, accreditations range from specific programs to institution-wide. The MBA program has an accreditation with the AACSB International, making it a leader in quality and excellence. The MBA program has seen an accelerated employment rate, also, with over 95% of graduates finding job placement or significant promotion following their graduation and degree conferral. If students desire to take a particular course on-campus, they do have that flexibility, as the program is the same for online students as well as traditional students, and is as flexible as the student needs in order to be successful.

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

8. Troy University

Students enrolled in the MBA – General Management program at Troy University are working professionals in a variety of industries ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to information technology and marketing. Students also have the ability to pursue their degree at a faster completion rate than most programs.

This program offers students the ability to excel their leadership skills, giving them the knowledge and confidence to take on an advancing career with management in a variety of settings, as well as a global perspective as the economy continues to become globalized. In 2019, Troy University has been named as one of the leading institutions for veterans, and valuecolleges.com ranked it among the top 25 for the best value. The ability to accelerate the program allows it to be one of the leading affordable options for students in Alabama. They are also accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.

Degree Online MBA – 12 months

9. Cleveland State University

The online accelerated MBA program from Cleveland State University is one of the growing and most popular MBA programs online today. In the last few years, graduates of this program has found that their affordable tuition and minimized their overall debt, and their employment rate is over 70% within six months of graduation for either a promotion or a new position.

The Business School at Cleveland State University has AACSB accreditation due to its exemplary curriculum. Students are granted the ability to study at their own pace, with some of the fastest students completing their degree in 12 months. The all-inclusive tuition provides students with tuition that includes books and materials in addition to the credit hour rate for the program. In 2018, they were rated in the top 20 for online schools by the US News and World Report.

Degree Online Accelerated MBA – 12 months

10. University of Texas–Tyler

One of the leading online MBA programs, the University of Texas at Tyler offers an accelerated program that has working professionals transforming their professional careers. With seven-week courses and affordable tuition, graduates are seeing a return on investment much quicker after graduation.

The University of Texas at Tyler is an accredited institution that offers multiple start dates for students, allowing them to enter their programs when they are ready. Students have the ability to add a concentration on their program, making them more marketable within their industry, and continue working while earning their MBA.  The University of Texas has been offering a competitive and rigorous curriculum since it launched the online MBA program. Online students are awarded equal instruction for online courses just like traditional students. This program is gaining popularity among working professionals across the nation.

Degree MBA Online – 12 months

Is an Executive MBA Worth It?

When asking is an Executive MBA worth it, the answer is yes. Working professionals in the business sector and other industries are looking to advance their education for administrative and managerial positions. With an Executive MBA, these students have the ability to continue working their day jobs and get the online fast track of an Executive MBA. Despite the speed of this program, student s are still able to expand their skills and become proficient in leadership as they move into more administrative and executive positions within their career.

The best Executive MBA programs online are designed to allow the student a complete and total online program, allowing them to earn their degree at their own personal pace. With many of the best Executive MBA programs online, students have the ability to take multiple classes during each session, accelerating their ability to complete the program in as little as 12 months. These programs accelerate their students for a promotion at their current employer or make them marketable to seek higher salary positions after graduation. Some employers will even sponsor a portion or all of the program for the employees in which they find a growing potential.

Can I Get an MBA Online in Less Than a Year?

When determining how long does It take to get an MBA online, students find themselves looking at full-time MBAs that can be two years long or Executive MBAs that can be much shorter. There are several Executive and Accelerated MBA programs that have timelines for less than two years. There are 1 year MBA programs online for working professionals looking to accelerate their career.

In order to achieve these 12 month online MBA programs, students enrolled must understand that they are required to take multiple courses at once. The curriculum between a full-time MBA program and an accelerated program is no different, as the fundamentals are still required. The pace at which students learn, however, is what makes the difference between the programs. For those looking at the 1 year MBA programs online, it is noted that they are 12 months at the maximized acceleration, meaning that the students take the recommended course loads to achieve this timeline. If the student is willing to put in the work and take multiple courses at once, then they have the ability to achieve one of the 12 month MBA programs online.

What Can I Do with an MBA and No Experience?

If a student is questioning, “What can I do with an MBA and no experience,” the answer is to find quality entry-level employment. If a student has completed an MBA but also does not have professional working experience, they are still able to receive quality employment within their preferred industry.  The best jobs for MBA graduates with no experience is either in the government sector, working as a public service manager, or working in sales or marketing for a corporation.

 MBA programs also come with specializations that make students more marketable to their employers. Of the numerous options, strategic management and project management offer the higher salary options of graduates with MBA degrees as they are the highest paying MBA specialization options. It is important for these graduates to know how to get a job after MBA graduation, so they should develop their resume around their specialization.

The MBA with no experience salary for graduates can be expected to range around $60,000 to $65,000 for most of the entry-level positions in sales, accounting, and as a finance analyst. This salary will continue to increase for those who have the desired specialization from their MBA program despite not having experience.

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl