Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

How fast can you get an MBA? Maybe faster than you think — check out this list of the best online accelerated MBA programs.
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While most MBA programs take about two years to complete, an accelerated MBA program allows you to fast-track your degree and graduate in as little as one year. Additionally, attending an online program can boost flexibility, connect you with peers and professors from across the country, and allow you to consider a wider variety of program options. Earning an MBA can help further your career goals and open the door to a higher salary, specialized roles, and managerial positions.

Learn more about what to expect from an accelerated online MBA program to figure out if this online degree is right for you.

What Can I Expect From an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

Accelerated online MBA programs can be challenging. Students still complete a minimum of 30 credits, but they cover the material much faster than in a traditional MBA program. Accelerated programs may include typical semester-long classes or offer intensive courses over a shorter term. Programs may also have summer course requirements.

Depending on the program, you may need to meet more prerequisites to enroll in an accelerated course of study.

MBA students typically choose between general or specialized MBA tracks. Most accelerated programs offer a general MBA, though some provide concentrations.

You may also be required to complete an internship in addition to core business classes and electives during your MBA program. Traditional programs schedule this internship during the summer between the first and second year. Alternatively, accelerated programs may schedule an internship during the final semester.

Fastest Online MBA Degree Programs

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#1 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Six-Month Term:

In-State | $4,755

Out-of-State | $4,755

Credits to Graduate: 34

Thanks to its unique tuition model, you can pay less than $10,000 for your MBA at Western Governors University. The private university charges a flat rate per six-month term, and in the online MBA program, you can finish in as little as one year.

You’ll take 11 courses one at a time in the program. Each student works with a mentor to craft a personalized degree plan. The program concludes with a capstone project that applies coursework to a real-world situation.

The program does not require GRE or GMAT scores. You need an accredited bachelor’s degree to gain admission.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,162
Out-of-state
$7,162
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$7,765
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
150,116
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#2 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

University of North Carolina Wilmington

  • Wilmington, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $518

Out-of-State | $1,361

Credits to Graduate: 36

At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, you can earn an MBA in as little as 12 months. The online MBA program offers multiple specializations to focus your studies. 

While many accelerated MBA programs limit your concentration options, at UNCW you can choose from focus areas like business law, accounting, business analytics, or information analysis. Other specialization options include operations management, economics, corporate finance, marketing, and strategic management.

You’ll complete your coursework in a fully online format, and North Carolina residents qualify for a significant tuition deduction. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,443
Out-of-state
$19,063
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$4,719
Out-of-state
$19,104
Retention Rate
83%
Acceptance Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
17,843
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

University of Delaware

  • Newark, DE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $950

Out-of-State | $950

Credits to Graduate: 44

At the University of Delaware, you’ll be able to complete your MBA in 16 weeks of full-time study. The online MBA degree program, offered through the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, offers six concentrations. 

You’ll choose from in-demand specializations like information technology, business analytics, and healthcare management. Or focus on strategic leadership, finance, or international business.

The program prefers candidates with two years of work experience. Apply with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. GMAT or GRE scores are optional.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$12,980
Out-of-state
$34,840
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,100
Out-of-state
$17,100
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
23,996
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#4 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Fitchburg State University

  • Fitchburg, MA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $436

Out-of-State | $436

Credits to Graduate: 30

At Fitchburg State University, a public institution in Massachusetts, you can finish an MBA in as little as 12 months. The online MBA program also charges one of the most affordable rates, and you’ll pay the same low rate regardless of your state residency.

Designed for working professionals, the MBA program prioritizes flexibility. Specialize your degree with concentration options in healthcare management, supply chain management, or business analytics.

Fitchburg State offers multiple start dates throughout the year. You’ll need an accredited bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.8 GPA for admission.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$970
Out-of-state
$7,050
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$3,510
Out-of-state
$3,510
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
6,554
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#5 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,100

Out-of-State | $1,100

Credits to Graduate: 36

You can customize your MBA at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business. The online MBA program combines a required core with customized core and elective courses. That means you can earn an MBA in emerging technology, data analytics, or healthcare management. 

At LSU, online learners can also participate in international trips to strengthen their education.

And you can finish the program in as little as 18 months, 

Apply with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Instead of GRE or GMAT scores, you’ll need three years of professional experience.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,047
Out-of-state
$24,731
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,132
Out-of-state
$9,132
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
37,350
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#6 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

University of Redlands

  • Redlands, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $962

Out-of-State | $962

Credits to Graduate: 36

At the University of Redlands, a southern California private institution, you can choose between a synchronous or asynchronous learning format depending on your schedule and preferences. The online MBA program takes as little as 12 months.

Choose from seven concentrations, with unique options like location analytics. You’ll also benefit from career and professional development opportunities as well as academic advising. Over 95% of Redlands graduates say they would recommend the program to family and friends.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$52,150
Out-of-state
$52,150
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$23,360
Out-of-state
$23,360
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
4,059
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#7 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $507

Out-of-State | $1,383

Credits to Graduate: 36

The Walker College of Business at App State prioritizes individualized attention. During the accelerated online MBA program, you’ll connect with academic advisors and career services to enhance your business skills and career. 

Specialize in unique areas like sustainable business or cybersecurity. You can also create your own course of study with an interdisciplinary business concentration. If you have either a minimum 3.5 GPA or a minimum 3.0 GPA plus five years of professional experience, you can apply for a GRE or GMAT waiver. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,950
Out-of-state
$20,246
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$4,839
Out-of-state
$19,849
Retention Rate
83%
Acceptance Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
20,436
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

California State University-Monterey Bay

  • Seaside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,200

Out-of-State | $1,200

Credits to Graduate: 30

From its campus off Monterey Bay, Cal State Monterey Bay enrolls 7,500 students. And the online MBA program strengthens a Silicon Valley mindset that focuses on responsible business. You can graduate from the fully online program in as little as 16 months. 

The MBA program uses a collaborative cohort model. You’ll receive online tutoring support and dedicated attention from a student success coordinator. Plus, you’ll receive a $2,000 degree completion award when you graduate, lowering the total cost of the degree. The program does not require GMAT scores, but you’ll need a minimum 2.9 GPA for admission. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$16,680
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
7,503
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#9 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

University of Miami

  • Coral Gables, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $2,421

Out-of-State | $2,421

Credits to Graduate: 35

A private institution in south Florida, the University of Miami offers business degrees through the Patti and Allan Herbert Business School. And the online MBA program offers an accelerated track for business majors. Incoming students with a business degree waive seven credits of the MBA curriculum.

The accelerated program takes 16 months and requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in business earned within the past seven years. You’ll also need at least two years of professional experience. The program offers three start dates annually with no GMAT requirement.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$53,112
Out-of-state
$53,112
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$39,834
Out-of-state
$39,834
Retention Rate
92%
Acceptance Rate
19%
Students Enrolled
19,401
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#10 Top Accelerated Online MBA Programs

The College of Saint Scholastica

  • Duluth, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $575

Out-of-State | $575

Credits to Graduate: 36

At St. Scholastica, a private college in Minnesota, you can earn an MBA in as little as 12 months. The MBA in leadership and change emphasizes strategic leadership and organizational development. In the fully online format, you’ll develop critical thinking and decision-making skills through experiential learning.  

You’ll take classes on an accelerated eight-week term. Choose from three capstone options, including a two-week study abroad capstone, a group practicum, or a traditional thesis. Apply with an accredited bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.8 GPA, with no GMAT or GRE requirement. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$38,750
Out-of-state
$38,750
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,182
Out-of-state
$14,182
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
3,512
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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16 Types of Accelerated MBA Programs

Accounting

Accounting MBA concentrations combine business management education with instruction about advanced accounting concepts. They help students build targeted financial and cost analysis skills with broad applicability in areas including financial management, risk management, taxation, compliance, and enterprise valuation.

Graduates may qualify for careers in management analysis, financial analysis, and business development.

Featured Online Master's in Accounting Programs

Business Administration

Online master of business administration programs focus on essential aspects of business administration. These programs take a broad approach, typically covering accounting, finance, economics, operations management, business strategy, and marketing. Electives provide students with opportunities to build knowledge in more specific areas of interest.

Business administration graduates often go on to land corporate management and executive roles.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Business Analytics

MBAs in business analytics fuse core business administration coursework with an accompanying emphasis on data analysis. Students master the data-driven strategic analysis skills modern businesses use to identify opportunities and build competitive advantages.

Graduates may go on to build careers as business analysts, data analysts, predictive modelers, and technical team leads.

Featured Online Master's in Data Analytics Programs

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship concentrations focus on innovative ways to help businesses excel. You can expect coursework in project management and growth strategies. Graduates can work in areas like market research and management analysis.

Whether you're interested in running your own business or working for a company, an entrepreneurship focus will show you how to run a business.

Featured Online Master's in Entrepreneurship Programs

Finance

MBA programs specializing in finance focus on the money management side of business. With coursework in supply chain management and corporate finance, you'll learn the skills needed to help businesses make savvy financial choices.

Pursuing an accelerated MBA in finance can set you up for many high-paying jobs, like financial analyst or financial manager.

Featured Online Master's in Finance Programs

Healthcare Administration

MBAs in healthcare administration address the unique management needs of healthcare institutions. Coursework covers a fusion of financial, organizational, human, and technical resource management. Students typically come from professional backgrounds in healthcare or the life sciences.

Professionals with healthcare administration MBAs often work as health information, medical services, clinical, or corporate development managers.

Featured Online MHA Programs

Human Resources

Are you a people person? Pursuing an MBA with a concentration in human resources can help you sharpen your interpersonal skills, focusing on managing conflicts and leading development trainings. Some programs offer further specializations in employment law or training and development.

An accelerated MBA in human resources can lead to careers in management positions in the growing field of human resources.

Featured Online Master's in Human Resources Programs

Information Technology

An MBA in information technology (IT) delivers the knowledge and skills needed to manage organizational technology needs. These programs teach a combination of general business management and specialized topics in information security, telecommunications, data mining, and project management.

You can seek roles as computer and information systems managers, project managers, and IT managers with an MBA in IT. These career paths culminate in exciting c-suite roles, such as chief technology officer and chief information officer.

Featured Online Master's in IT Programs

International Business

If you're interested in working on a global scale, an accelerated MBA in international business can teach you how to conduct business in a culturally conscious way. Graduates can find careers at companies that conduct global business, or they can pursue careers abroad.

Studying international business can also help you stand out when applying for jobs at companies with a strong global presence.

Featured Online Master's in International Business Programs

Management

MBAs in management extend to many specialized fields. Examples include operations management, risk management, change management, and sports management, among others. Coursework depends on the program's specific focus but generally covers topics in business strategy, leadership, marketing, finance, and ethics.

Career options largely depend on your specialization. Related job roles focus on targeted areas of business operations management.

Featured Online Master's in Management Programs

Marketing

Are you a creative type? Pursuing an accelerated online MBA focused on marketing can allow you to explore your innovative and creative side, while also working in a lucrative industry. Marketing majors take classes like market research, advertising, and branding in order to understand consumer patterns.

An MBA with a marketing concentration can give you the flexibility to work in several fields, including sales and the medical industry.

Featured Online Master's in Marketing Programs

Nonprofit Management

If you want to make a difference, an MBA in nonprofit management might be right for you. These programs focus on the unique management needs of nonprofit organizations. You'll explore topics including fundraising, marketing, compliance, and the ethical and legal needs of nonprofit organizations.

After graduation, you may qualify to become a fundraising manager, media planner, marketer, or research analyst.

Featured Online Master's in Nonprofit Management Programs

Organizational Leadership

Organizational leadership MBA concentrations are ideal if you want to prepare to meet the challenges of a high-profile management or executive role. These programs develop your knowledge of the theories and best practices that help organizations make the most of their human resources.

Professionals working in many business areas can benefit from an MBA in organizational leadership. If you're seeking to build a career focused on the human side of business operations, this degree might be right for you.

Featured Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs

Project Management

A project manager takes a company's plans and helps make them a reality. If you earn an accelerated online MBA concentrating on project management, you'll take courses in strategic project management and risk assessment.

As a project manager, you can find lucrative and rewarding career opportunities in IT, health, and even construction.

Featured Online Master's in Project Management Programs

Public Administration

MBAs in public administration develop management skills that address the increasing levels of crossover between the public and private sectors. These programs emphasize prudent fiscal and organizational management, social responsibility, and ethics.

After graduation, you may qualify for roles in both the private and public sectors. The public administration concentration is particularly appealing to private-sector employers that work alongside government agencies, or in regulated industries.

Featured Online MPA Programs

Supply Chain and Logistics

MBAs in supply chain and logistics management teach students to improve efficiency and mitigate risk. You'll learn about procurement, forecasting, demand planning, and shipping and receiving logistics. You will also develop advanced analysis and decision-making skills with respect to raw materials sourcing and product distribution.

Program graduates may go on to roles as distribution managers, logistics managers, and production managers.

Featured Online Master's in Supply Chain and Logistics Programs

Can I Get an Online MBA With No GMAT Requirement at a Low Cost?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam that tests quantitative, qualitative, and analytical skills. It was once a standard aspect of the MBA admissions process. However, a growing number of business schools no longer require it.

Instead, many have adopted more holistic applicant evaluation standards that consider both a student's academic performance and personal profile.

GMAT testing rates have recently declined sharply. In 2017, U.S. residents took nearly 104,000 GMAT exams. By 2021, the figure had dropped to just under 48,000. The COVID-19 pandemic was not the only cause: In 2019, GMAT test rates had already fallen by more than 20% compared to 2017 levels.

Low-cost, no-GMAT MBAs also make access to advanced business education more equitable. Higher education experts widely believe that no-GMAT and GMAT-optional test policies will remain the norm for the foreseeable future.

How Fast Can I Get an Online MBA?

Most MBA programs require you to complete at least 30 credits to graduate. And a typical online MBA program takes full-time students about two years to complete.

But that isn't the only option available to you. You can complete an accelerated online MBA program in as little as 12-15 months.

What Can I Do With an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

By earning an accelerated MBA degree, you can enter the workforce faster, enabling you to start earning a higher salary sooner. Earning an MBA degree also helps prepare you for higher-level business positions, including many management roles.

+3%
Career Outlook (Projected Growth 2022-2032)*

$116,880
Median Annual Salary (May 2022)**

*Based on data for top executives according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
**Based on all management occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

By earning an accelerated MBA degree, you can enter the workforce faster, enabling you to start earning a higher salary sooner. Earning an MBA degree also helps prepare you for higher-level business positions, including many management roles.

Careers With an Accelerated MBA Degree
Jobs Median Annual Salary (May 2023)
Marketing manager $131,870
Financial analyst $99,010
Human resource manager $136,350
Computer and information systems manager $169,510
Management analyst $99,410
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Choose an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

Choosing the right accelerated MBA program for you depends on several factors, including cost, format, and location.

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    Cost

    For many students, cost is the biggest factor in choosing a program. Online MBA programs may cost less than in-person programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees for all graduate programs cost an average of $20,513 in 2021-2022. Tuition at public schools was lower ($12,596), while at private schools, it was higher ($28,017). You should research the total program cost before applying.
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    Program Format

    Online MBAs offer several format options. You can choose from full-time and part-time MBAs, although accelerated programs require a significant amount of your time. Programs may also offer classes synchronously and asynchronously.
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    Location

    Even if you choose an online program, you should still consider a school's location. Attending a local business school may offer several advantages. For example, local programs may host in-person networking events and connect students with faculty members. A local business school might also offer more employer connections in your area.
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    Accreditation

    When choosing where to apply, make sure you're only considering accredited universities. And bear in mind that many schools offer accredited MBA programs. Accreditation indicates that a program or school meets certain academic quality standards. Most employers and certification organizations will require you to have a degree from an accredited institution.
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    Student Support

    The best business schools offer ample online support services. Student services often include academic advising, library access, and tutoring. MBA programs may also provide internship support and mentorship opportunities for distance learners. Be sure to ask a program about its student services before applying.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Fastest Online MBA Programs

Can I get a master's degree in one year?

Yes, many graduate schools offer one-year master's programs. Accelerated master's in business administration programs are among the most popular. Many accelerated programs take as little as one year to complete. In these accelerated programs, you typically complete around 30-36 credits of advanced classes.

An accelerated degree helps you graduate and enter the workforce in less time, so many graduates find the accelerated schedule to be worth it. However, keep in mind that during an accelerated program, you may need to take more classes per term.

Some programs also offer shorter terms with condensed classes. Rather than the typical 15-week semester class, you may go over all the content of a semester-long course in as little as 6-8 weeks.

Accredited accelerated programs meet the same academic standards as traditional on-campus programs. The diploma you earn from an online MBA program does not usually specify that you completed your degree online or in an accelerated format.

An accelerated MBA program offers a faster route to a business degree. In an accelerated program, you may graduate in as few as 12 months. So, if you're seeking the fastest route to an MBA, this may be right for you.

Keep in mind that an accelerated program requires a considerable weekly time commitment. Business schools often recommend that you avoid working full time while enrolled.

Accelerated programs can offer a relatively affordable path to a degree. An accelerated master's in business administration generally requires students to complete around 30-36 credits, while traditional MBA programs sometimes require upwards of 40-50 credits. Since universities often charge a per-credit rate, an accelerated program with fewer credits may save you money.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed April 24, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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