Fastest Online MBA Degree Programs of 2022

Many universities offer accelerated MBA programs that students can complete in one year. Check out this list of the 10 fastest online MBA programs.

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by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Updated August 4, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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Earning a graduate degree typically takes two or more years. But, for learners looking to enter the workforce more quickly, accelerated programs offer a faster route to a master's degree. The fastest MBA programs take 12 months.

An accelerated master's in business administration trains professionals in organizational behavior, managerial decision-making, and team leadership. An MBA can help boost your earning potential and lead to career growth.

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An accelerated MBA can help learners reach their professional goals in less time. However, this program requires a substantial commitment, so it might not be right for everyone.

Many of the best online schools offer accelerated business degrees. When considering graduate school, research your options, including on-campus and online programs. For some students, an accelerated format best fits their timeline and goals.

How Fast Can I Get an Online MBA?

Traditional MBA programs generally take two years, with some programs requiring longer if students enroll part time. An accelerated MBA typically takes 12-15 months.

These accelerated programs require a significant time commitment. In one year, MBA students typically complete d 30 credits. Some accelerated programs use the traditional semester schedule, while others use shorter terms. Accelerated programs are typically full-time. Students can expect to spend about two hours studying at home for every hour spent in class.

Business schools may set prerequisite requirements for accelerated MBA programs. For example, students may need undergraduate courses in accounting, finance, or management to enroll.

What Can I Expect From an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

An accelerated MBA program takes less time than a traditional MBA. Students with clear educational goals wanting to enter the job market as soon as possible can benefit from an accelerated option.

Students should carefully consider whether an accelerated program is the right option for them. A fast online MBA requires learners to devote substantial time to their studies. Students can prepare for graduate school by improving their organizational and analytical skills. Self-discipline also helps students in accelerated programs.

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

MBA students may also complete an internship in addition to core business classes and electives. Traditional programs schedule the internship for the summer between the first and second year. Accelerated programs may schedule an internship during the final semester.

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Popular Online MBA Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

Organizational Behavior

MBA students explore managerial responsibilities within an organizational setting, including team leadership. This class incorporates case studies on group dynamics, conflict resolution, and leadership.

Project Management

Project managers oversee complex tasks. This course covers project management procedures, resource allocation, and performance measurements. Students also examine interpersonal duties in managing projects.

Managerial Accounting

Managers rely on accounting information to make decisions about production, human resources needs, and financial strategies. Learners explore managerial planning and decision-making from an accounting perspective.

Strategic Leadership and Decision-Making

Teams succeed or fail based on leadership and decision-making. This class examines leadership practices and strategic decisions about purpose and values. Students explore metrics to measure success and the leader's role in organizational health.

Financial Management

MBA students examine advanced financial principles. Topics include capital budgeting, mergers, and risk management. Case studies and real-world examples help learners strengthen their finance skills.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

Before applying to an online MBA, it's important to understand the requirements and admissions process. Like other MBA programs, accelerated MBA programs typically require transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Some online business schools conduct interviews.

Application

Students interested in MBA programs submit a graduate application. The application asks candidates for background information, including prior colleges attended, degrees earned, and work history. As with undergraduate college application systems, business schools may offer several formats to submit the application.

Test Scores

Most MBA programs ask for standardized test scores during the application process. The GMAT is the most common test, though many programs also accept GRE scores. Some online MBA programs offer test-optional policies, and candidates may also qualify for a test waiver. Research the requirements at your prospective programs.

Letters of Recommendation

MBA applicants submit 1-3 letters of recommendation, depending on the program. MBA recommendation letters should speak to the applicant's ability to succeed in a graduate-level business program.

Former professors and supervisors can write the strongest letters as they are personally familiar with the student's work and goals. Make sure to ask for a letter of recommendation at least three weeks before the deadline.

Essays

Business schools evaluate applicants' dedication and written communication skills through grad school essays. Also called a statement of purpose, the essay showcases students' analytical thinking skills and provides context for their background and career goals. Check out our MBA essay tips for advice on strengthening your essay.

Official Transcripts

All accredited MBA programs require applicants to provide official transcripts from their bachelor's program and any other post-graduate coursework. Some programs request transcripts from all schools attended, while others ask for transcripts from your degree-granting institution. If you have graduate coursework on your transcripts, the program may offer transfer credits toward the MBA degree.

What Can I Do With an Accelerated Online MBA Degree?

Career Outlook

Business careers offer many options. Professionals can specialize in areas like marketing, finance, human resources, and accounting. By choosing an MBA, learners gain the knowledge and skills required to pursue managerial roles like marketing manager, operations manager, and more. Plus, an MBA provides professionals with the skills to help advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business and financial occupations paid a median annual salary of $76,570 in May 2021. This is much higher than the $45,760 median salary for all jobs. Master's degree holders can apply for higher-paying positions, including managerial jobs.

The BLS also reports that management occupations paid a median annual salary of $102,450 in May 2021. The field can expect steady job growth. From 2020-2030, the agency projects that management occupations will grow 9%, about as fast as average. This translates to 906,800 new management jobs in the decade.

Career Paths

Operations Manager

Operations managers oversee an organization's daily operations. They create staff schedules, delegate work, and monitor projects to stay on schedule and under budget. Operations managers also develop plans to meet the organization's material and staffing needs. Related titles include general manager and chief executive officer.

Median Annual Salary: $98,980

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee an organization's financial health. They specialize in risk management, budgeting, and investing. Financial managers oversee staff who create financial reports and budgets. These managers also create business forecasts and reports to help executives make informed decisions. Financial managers play a key role in organizations reaching long-term financial goals.

Median Annual Salary: $131,710

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers analyze research to determine the demand for products and services. They identify potential consumers and develop pricing strategies that maximize market share. Marketing managers also research competitors to understand market trends. As managers, they work closely with staff in advertising, product development, and sales.

Median Annual Salary: $133,380

Healthcare Executive

Healthcare executives, also known as healthcare administrators, oversee the administrative side of healthcare organizations. They implement procedures to improve efficiency in services. Healthcare executives also set long-term goals for departments. They manage a staff of non-clinical healthcare workers to ensure healthcare organizations run smoothly.

Median Annual Salary: $101,340

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers oversee the benefits, compensation, and administrative tasks for an organization. They recruit new hires, manage benefits programs, and resolve employee disputes. Human resources managers also advise managers on HR procedures and issues. Similar roles include compensation and benefits manager or training and development manager.

Median Annual Salary: $126,230

MBA Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

MBA graduates can pursue greater responsibilities at work. Many employers seek out MBA graduates for managerial roles. Professionals benefit from continuing education, which may include voluntary certifications or an advanced degree. Certifications demonstrate knowledge in a particular field, such as risk management or healthcare management.

In addition to skill training, professionals can consider a doctorate in business administration. A DBA emphasizes practice by training learners in business research, entrepreneurship, and leadership theory. Many business schools offer online DBA programs. These graduates can go on to teach at the postsecondary level or pursue highly competitive business roles.

How Do I Choose an Accelerated Online MBA Program?

Cost

For many students, cost is a major factor in choosing a program. Online MBA programs may cost less than in-person programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), tuition and fees for all graduate programs cost an average of $19,792 in 2019-2020. Tuition at public schools was lower at $12,410, while private school costs were higher at $26,597. Prospective applicants should research the total program cost before applying.

Program Format

Online MBAs offer several format options. Learners can choose from full-time and part-time MBAs. Programs also offer classes synchronously and asynchronously. Synchronous courses have scheduled meeting times, while asynchronous options allow learners to complete lessons on their own schedule.

Many accelerated program options offer asynchronous courses, but students should research the time commitment these programs require, especially if they plan on working during their studies.

Location

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

Accreditation

MBA students should always choose an accredited university. Learners can also attend an accredited MBA program. Accreditation indicates that a program or school meets academic quality standards. Most employers and certification organizations require applicants to have degrees from accredited schools.

Student Support

The best business schools offer online support services for MBA students. 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 programs about their student services before applying.

Fastest Accredited Online MBA Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

The school programs listed in this ranking were selected due to their accelerated formats — each program can be completed in less than four years. These programs were then ranked based on their overall academic quality, affordability, and online offerings. To learn more about our different rankings, read our ranking methodology.

#1

Franklin University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $670
Out of State | $670

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Franklin University's online MBA program can be completed in 12 months for students based in the U.S. and abroad. The program teaches practical knowledge through business simulations and hands-on projects. Students learn skills in business strategy, operations management, and marketing management. 

Required courses include managerial economics, human resource management, and strategic management. Students can also take courses in business psychology and business analytics.

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#2

Brenau University

School Information
Location Gainesville, Georgia
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 46%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $755
Out of State | $755

Credits to Graduate
30-45

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Brenau University is a private school based in Gainesville, Georgia. While Brenau's MBA programs have the option for in-person classes, the majority are 100% online and run asynchronously. 

The program offers various focus areas. Available MBA programs include human resource management, nonprofit leadership, and healthcare management. While admission requirements differ for each program, applicants generally need a 2.5 GPA on previous college transcripts.

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#3

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $565-$615
Out of State | $565-$615

Credits to Graduate
36-45

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Liberty University's online MBA program can be completed in an average of two years. Courses last just eight weeks and there are over 20 specialties to help students tailor their experience to their interests and needs. 

Available areas of focus include tourism management, public relations, and executive coaching. There is also an option to have multiple specializations and receive separate diplomas for each one. Alternatively, there is a 36 credit hour option with no specialization.

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#4

University of Northwestern-St Paul

School Information
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota
Admission Rate 92%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Online or Blended | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $575
Out of State | $575

Credits to Graduate
42

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the University of Northwestern's online or blended MBA includes foundational courses on business leadership ethics, marketing for managers, and applied economics. Students can choose from concentrations in data analytics, finance, healthcare management, and management. 

This MBA program can be completed in as little as 22 months. Applicants should be interested in a faith-based business curriculum and must have earned a 3.0 GPA in previous university coursework.

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#5

Ashland University

School Information
Location Ashland, Ohio
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 65%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,155
Out of State | $1,155

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Ashland University's one-year online MBA program was developed with busy schedules in mind. While students can complete their degrees in one year, they can also enroll part time to graduate in three years. 

Core courses include operations management, managerial accounting, and policy analysis. There are over 12 options for degree specialization including sport management, healthcare management and leadership, and digital marketing. Students can also create a custom specialization plan to fit their goals.

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#6

Southern Utah University

School Information
Location Cedar City, Utah
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $485
Out of State | $485

Credits to Graduate
33

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Southern Utah University is a medium-sized university based in Cedar City, Utah. SUU's online MBA programs are available in hybrid, on-campus, or fully online formats. Students can graduate in 12 months. 

Core courses include managerial finance, advanced managerial accounting, and supply chain management. Students can choose from six areas of emphasis including business analytics, general business, and finance.

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#7

Lewis University

School Information
Location Romeoville, Illinois
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $820
Out of State | $820

Credits to Graduate
30-39

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Lewis University is a private school based in Romeoville, Illinois. The schools' 12-month MBA program follows a stackable, three-microcredential model that allows students to customize their program.

Students can choose from two areas of specialization. Applicants need an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and will need to submit a professional resume plus two recommendation forms.

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#8

Oklahoma City University

School Information
Location Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $780
Out of State | $780

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Oklahoma City University is a private university based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The majority of the OCU's MBA program is held asynchronously to suit students with busy schedules. OCU tailors courses to student's unique needs with personal coaching and leadership assessments built into the curriculum. 

Courses include accounting for business decision-making, business strategy for creating value, and advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence. Applicants must provide a transcript, resume, two recommendation letters, and a personal statement.

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#9

Babson College

School Information
Location Wellesley, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 26%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $ 1,990
Out of State | $ 1,990

Credits to Graduate
45

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Babson College's online MBA is tailored to entrepreneurs. The part-time program typically takes 2-3 years to complete. While it has a few core courses, the majority of the program requires electives and concentration classes, making it easier to build the degree to meet your learning objectives. Concentration options include quantitative finance, global management, and business analytics.

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#10

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

School Information
Location Edinburg, Texas
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $472
Out of State | $472

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a large university in Edinburg, Texas. Most courses in UTRGV's MBA program are asynchronous and last seven weeks. Core courses include advanced corporate finance, business intelligence and data warehousing, and social media in business. 

Applicants need an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 They will also need to provide a GMAT or GRE score, but waivers might be available.

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Frequently Asked Questions About 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 the most common, and most programs take as little as one year. In these accelerated programs, MBA students complete around 30-36 credits of advanced classes.

A one-year program requires a substantial time commitment. By taking a higher course load, learners can earn their degree faster, but must commit more time to their studies and take courses year-round. Other disciplines with one-year master's programs include education, technology, social services, and the social sciences.

Are accelerated degree classes worth it?

An accelerated degree helps learners graduate and enter the workforce in less time, so many graduates find the extra time commitment to be worth it. During an accelerated program, students may take more classes per term. Some programs also offer shorter terms with condensed classes. Rather than the typical 15-week semester class, students may complete a semester-long course in as little as 6-8 weeks.

These accelerated classes require more in-class hours each week and more assignments. In the shorter time period, students complete the same amount of work in a compressed format.

Are accelerated master's degrees as valuable as traditional degrees?

Accredited accelerated programs meet the same academic standards as traditional on-campus programs. Although they may require fewer credits, degrees from online MBA programs often do not specify that graduates completed the degree online or in an accelerated format.

From an employer perspective, accelerated degrees from accredited institutions hold similar value to traditional degrees.

Is an accelerated MBA right for me?

An accelerated MBA offers a faster route to a business degree. In an accelerated program, MBA students graduate in 12 months. The format appeals to students seeking the fastest route to an MBA.

Keep in mind that an accelerated program requires a considerable weekly time commitment. Business schools often recommend that students in accelerated programs avoid working full time while enrolled. While the format means graduating sooner, it can also limit MBA concentration options. Students should consider their priorities when deciding between an accelerated vs. traditional MBA.

Are accelerated degree programs affordable?

Accelerated programs can offer an affordable path to a degree. In some accelerated programs, incoming students receive credit for prior coursework. These transfer credits save degree-seekers time and money. Other accelerated programs require fewer credits.

An accelerated master's in business administration generally requires around 30 credits, while traditional MBA programs may range from 40-50 credits. Since universities often charge a per-credit rate, an accelerated program with fewer credits may save students money. In addition to researching tuition rates, prospective students should consider the total cost of an accelerated degree.

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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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