Best One-Year MBA Programs of 2022

Earn an MBA in one year online or through hybrid study. Boost your career in general business or a lucrative specialization in just 12 months.

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by Alison Plaut

Published on June 20, 2022

Edited by Jared McMasters
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One-year MBA programs have long been popular in Europe but are now rising in popularity in the US as well. A one-year MBA program condenses the coursework of a standard MBA into a single year of study. Usually considered an accelerated MBA degree, these MBAs cover the same coursework and materials as a traditional master's degree in business administration.

These accelerated programs are excellent for anyone who is eager to enter the workforce with an advanced degree but does not want to spend another two years in graduate school. Students who choose a one-year MBA are often looking for career advancement rather than a new career path.

Because of the concentrated coursework, a one-year MBA program is usually reserved for anyone with a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or a related field.

Even in top-rated programs, one-year MBA programs tend to cost less, on average, than two-year programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average yearly cost of graduate tuition at public institutions was $12,410 in the 2019-20 school year. At private institutions, it was $26,597.

What Can I Expect From a One-Year MBA Program?

In a one-year MBA program, students will cover all the main areas of traditional business study. The core curriculum includes finance, marketing, data analytics, accounting, strategy, leadership, and general management. Students who want to pursue a specific area of business can choose from a range of specialties. These are available in both two-year and one-year MBA programs.

Common MBA specializations include:

  • Project management
  • Accounting
  • Data analytics
  • Marketing
  • Human resource management
  • Sustainability
  • Finance
  • Healthcare management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Organizational leadership
  • International business

A one-year MBA program is an intensely structured, full-time program that can be offered both online and in person. Some top-rated programs estimate that students will need to attend 15 hours per week of classes, plus another 30-35 hours weekly for preparation, casework, and assignments.

MBA programs usually require between 32 and 54 credits or more for graduation. Two-year MBA programs may require more total credits and traditionally include an internship. One-year MBA programs don't usually require an internship.

Some colleges also offer dual degrees with the MBA. In these graduate schools, students can earn an MBA and an MS in specialties like business analytics or financial management.

Popular Online MBA Programs

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

What Are the Admission Requirements for a One-Year MBA Program?

One-year MBA program admission requirements are generally similar to traditional MBA program requirements. However, because one-year MBA programs are accelerated, they may require students to have a bachelor's degree in business or to complete related prerequisite courses.

Graduate admissions vary by program. Many MBA programs require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT test scores. Specific concentrations may have additional prerequisites. For example, data analytics or finance concentrations may require additional science or economics courses.

Application

Nearly all MBA programs will require applicants to submit an application form. These forms ask for basic personal information like name and address, as well as the highest degree obtained. Many MBA applications ask students for additional information such as references, test scores, a resume, or recommendations.

Test Scores

MBA programs usually require test scores. MBA applicants will often be asked for either GRE scores or GMAT test scores. The average GRE score for business graduate school applicants from 2017 to 2020 was 151 for verbal reasoning, 156 for quantitative reasoning, and 3.6 for analytical writing.

Resume

Most graduate programs for business also require a professional resume. Resumes and cover letters highlight an applicant's professional qualifications and relevant experience.

These resumes and cover letters are a way for applicants with existing careers to highlight their strengths. Since many one-year MBA applicants have been out of school for some time, the resume can hold additional weight.

Letters of Recommendation

A strong letter of recommendation from a colleague, supervisor, or professor can help applicants stand out. When asking for a letter of recommendation, be sure to allow your recommender plenty of time to write.

MBA applicants should provide the letter writer with all information they may need. It can be useful for graduate school applicants to share their resumes to provide the letter writer with additional insight into their experience.

Essays

Colleges look to graduate school application essays to gain insight into candidates' motivations and their potential for success in a program. Programs may ask for a personal statement, statement of purpose, or a letter of intent. While all three are similar, applicants can tailor their essays to the college's specific request to increase the chances of a successful application.

Official Transcripts

Most graduate programs will require official transcripts. Some MBA programs accept transfer credits from other business graduate programs. One-year MBA programs may also offer credit for prerequisite coursework or work experience. However, as MBA programs are highly structured, many top one-year and two-year programs do not accept transfer credits.

What Can I Do With a One-Year MBA Degree?

An MBA is the most highly-sought graduate degree in the U.S. Employers look to both one-year and two-year MBAs as a hallmark of management and financial expertise. Earning a one-year MBA can increase career opportunities for graduates.

An MBA is also versatile. Its application and utility extend into nearly every industry and sector, with many careers growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that common business job opportunities will grow between 5% and 14% from 2020 to 2030.

Graduates often look to an MBA for the increased earning potential after graduation. The Graduate Management Admission Council's 2021 survey showed a median salary for MBA graduates of $115,000. According to the BLS, some common business careers had median salaries significantly above the national median in 2021, including:

MBA Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

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How Do I Choose a One-Year MBA Program?

Cost

Online program tuition for MBAs is usually comparable to on-campus programs. Private university tuition is typically higher than public colleges. In-state tuition at public colleges may be less than out-of-state tuition. Students should keep in mind that true program costs will be higher due to living expenses, books, and fees.

One-year MBA programs often cost less than traditional two-year MBA programs. For example, at Northwestern's Kellogg school of business, 2021-22 tuition for the one-year MBA was $105,380, while total tuition for the two-year MBA was $152,740.

Program Format

Program format is another important factor for busy professionals. Some MBA programs are asynchronous, although most are synchronous. One-year MBAs are notoriously intense and require 40 hours or more of weekly classes and study time. In some MBA programs, students can choose between part-time or full-time formats.

Location

Location can be an important factor if the program is on-campus or requires on-campus modules. Some students prefer on-campus classes, while others prefer to go to college online. Even with a one-year online MBA program, a college nearby offers greater flexibility to network or attend some classes on campus. In-state tuition is also often less at public colleges.

Accreditation

Accreditation is essential for degree acceptance and credibility. Accredited programs and colleges must meet national education standards. Employers and colleges both look for applicants with an accredited degree.

One-year MBA programs must still meet accreditation standards. They are often intense because students complete the same requirements of many two-year programs in one year.

Student Support

Prospective MBA students should consider a college's student services. Student services can support students' careers and may help students get internships that can lead to further opportunities. They can also connect students to mentorship programs, tutoring, or an alumni network. Many colleges offer excellent student services for online students as well as on-campus students.

2022 Best Accredited One-Year MBA Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Online College in Ohio

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.

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Program Cost
In State | $34,650
Out of State | $34,650

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

AU students earning a business master's in one year can choose from 12 specializations, including project management, sport management, and entrepreneurship. Tuition includes a one-year membership and exam fees for project management professional certification through the Project Management Institute. Students also receive a Verizon MiFi hotspot device.

Applicants can earn a bachelor's degree in any discipline to qualify for the one-year MBA. AU enables some students to waive the GRE/GMAT test score requirement. Admission officers evaluate each applicant holistically based on the applicant's undergraduate academic performance and professional experience.

#2 Online College in Utah

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
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

SUU's online MBA offers a choice of six emphases: business analytics, finance, general business, healthcare administration, leadership, or marketing. Students complete the online master's in one year through seven-week courses, culminating in a strategy capstone.

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission consideration. SUU does not require GMAT scores. Admitted students may need to complete a three-credit foundations course during the first term as a condition of enrollment. SUU offers multiple start dates per year.

#3 Online College in New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University

School Information
Location Portales, New Mexico
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 36%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Semester
In State | $2,727
Out of State | $3,614

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

ENMU students can complete their accelerated MBA degree online with a concentration in accounting or finance. The curriculum emphasizes generalist management skills for broad applications in business, culminating in a strategic management capstone requirement. 

ENMU offers institutional and military/veteran student scholarships for this program. Regular admission into the one-year MBA requires an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and a minimum 3.0 GPA in ENMU's professional education prerequisites or a GMAT score of at least 450 and completion of the professional prerequisites.

#4 Online College in Alabama

University of West Alabama

School Information
Location Livingston, Alabama
Admission Rate 35%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $429
Out of State | $429

Credits to Graduate
33

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

UWA's one-year online MBA features 14 concentrations, including computer information systems, general business, and healthcare administration. The program culminates in a thesis and/or capstone in a student's chosen area of emphasis. The general business MBA includes a seminar and independent study project.

UWA offers multiple start dates per year. Online courses last for eight weeks. Applicants must hold either a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA or a master's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate business majors with a GPA of at least 2.75 may opt out of business foundations prerequisite coursework.

#5 Online College in Texas

Hardin-Simmons University

School Information
Location Abilene, Texas
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $595
Out of State | $595

Credits to Graduate
30-45

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

HSU's online MBA builds professional, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills aligned with Christian principles. Students work closely with mentors and faculty to develop their faith while completing degree requirements. HSU offers eight-week semesters and fall, spring, or summer entry points.

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submit GMAT scores for admission consideration. Students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher can waive the GMAT requirement. HSU does not require work experience for MBA candidates.

#6 Online College in Colorado

University of Northern Colorado

School Information
Location Greeley, Colorado
Admission Rate 91%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Program Cost
In State | $22,602
Out of State | $22,602

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

UNC students can earn an online master's in one year through the Monfort College of Business. The online MBA offers a choice of emphases in general business administration, healthcare administration, or human resource management. 

Regardless of concentration or academic background, all students must complete a series of foundations courses and a strategic management capstone course. Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree. Students with a GPA of at least 3.0 do not need work experience. The program waives the GMAT requirement for students with a GPA over 2.5.

#7 Online College in Missouri

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $714
Out of State | $714

Credits to Graduate
39-42

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Students can complete Maryville's online master's in one year with a focus in general business administration. Alternatively, learners can earn an online MBA in one of 12 optional concentrations in 14 months. The curriculum emphasizes practical soft skills and culminates in a business policies capstone requirement. 

Maryville does not require prior work experience or GMAT or GRE scores for admission. Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts, a personal statement, and a free online application for consideration. The MBA program offers six start dates per year.

#8 Online College in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

School Information
Location Pembroke, North Carolina
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 41%
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 | $268
Out of State | $966

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

UNCP's accelerated MBA degree develops traditional business, accounting, and marketing skills for broad applications in management professions. Students can also choose from a variety of MBA concentrations, including supply chain management, financial services, or business analytics.

Students can enroll in the online MBA at multiple start dates throughout the year. Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA or a GPA of at least 3.0 on all major or senior-level coursework. UNCP waives the GMAT/GRE requirement for applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA or a master's degree.

#9 Online College in Massachusetts

Fitchburg State University

School Information
Location Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 58%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $417
Out of State | $417

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Fitchburg State's online MBA offers a choice of eight concentrations: accounting, business analytics management, finance, healthcare management, human resources management, management, marketing, or supply chain management. Students can earn the online master's in one year through accelerated seven-week courses.

Fitchburg State offers two program start dates during the fall and summer terms. Regular admission requires an accredited bachelor's degree and an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8. Students must also submit a resume reflecting work experience. Fitchburg State does not require GMAT test scores.

#10 Online College in Indiana

Indiana Wesleyan University

School Information
Location Marion, Indiana
Graduation Rate 38%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $559
Out of State | $559

Credits to Graduate
36

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

IWU's fast-track MBA offers an alternative to the traditional 72-week program, enabling students to earn an online master's in one year. The online MBA offers optional concentrations in healthcare administration, IT management, project management, or school administration. 

Prospective students can participate in IWU's free "test drive" of the online MBA. Graduates of the 3-4-hour test course enjoy a 10% tuition discount upon enrolling in the online MBA. Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission.

Frequently Asked Questions About One-Year MBA Programs

Is a one-year MBA valid? true

A one-year MBA is a valid degree that requires graduates to meet set requirements comparable to a traditional MBA degree. Many students use one-year MBAs to accelerate career advancement. Both employers and graduate schools respect these one-year programs.

A number of top universities now offer one-year MBA programs. Northwestern, Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Southern California all have accredited one-year MBA programs. Graduates can ensure degree validity by selecting an accredited degree program.

Both one-year and two-year MBA programs usually require between 32 and 54 credits or more for graduation. One-year degree programs may require fewer credits than two-year programs or may waive internship requirements.

Are there one-year MBA programs in the USA? true

While Europe has long been known for intensive one-year MBA programs, colleges in the USA have expanded their offerings in recent years. As of May 2022, more than 25 top-rated one-year MBA programs are offered at colleges across the USA.

One-year MBA degrees are available at Northwestern, Cornell, New York University, Duke University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Southern California, University of Florida, University of Cincinnati, and many other colleges. These programs offer training, networking opportunities, and rigorous academics.

Students can also consider online MBA degree programs to earn a degree while working. Some MBA programs have a hybrid format so students can benefit from flexible online classes and on-campus opportunities.

What is the easiest master's degree to get online? true

There are an increasing number of master's degrees available in online formats. Which master's degree is the easiest will depend on each student's interests, aptitude, strengths, and weaknesses. Many online degrees can be part-time, allowing students to continue working while earning a master's degree.

For students interested in a master's degree in business, many universities offer an online MBA and dual master's degrees. Some programs offer dual degrees with an MBA and an MS in specialties like business analytics or financial management.

These dual degrees often require additional time and credits. Potential students should consider program format, location, total costs, and time when selecting the best master's degree for them.

Are one-year MBA programs worth it?

For some graduates, a one-year MBA program may lead to greater career opportunities or a higher base salary.

According to the 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the median salary for MBA graduates was $115,000. That is $50,000 a year higher than the median salaries for bachelor's degree holders surveyed.

According to the BLS, MBA graduates can pursue many careers with salaries above the national average. As of 2021, human resource specialists had a median salary of $62,290. Top executives earned a median salary of $98,980, while financial managers earned a median salary of $131,710.

Why are some master's degrees one year and some two years?

Some master's degrees are one year and others two because of the required credits and program formats. One-year degree programs are often considered accelerated programs. They may require students to hold a bachelor's degree in the same field.

Two-year master's degrees may have additional requirements like internships, research, or a final thesis. For MBA degrees, these internship opportunities are valuable to students who want to start a career in a new field and gain experience. Two-year master's degrees can also enable students to earn a dual degree, such as a dual MBA and MS.

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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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