What Is a Mini MBA?

What Is a Mini MBA?

By Megan Whitenton

Published on July 30, 2021

Share on Social


Mini MBAs are increasingly popular among aspiring and seasoned business professionals. This type of abbreviated program can lead to some of the same benefits as a traditional MBA, including a salary boost. Students pursuing a mini MBA complete an accelerated, concentrated curriculum.

The mini MBA suits a variety of students, including learners considering a college business degree and established professionals looking to build specialized business expertise. Featuring much of the same coursework as a traditional MBA, students can leverage a mini MBA to enhance their career opportunities.

The following guide explores many benefits of a mini MBA.

What Are the Benefits of a Mini MBA Program?

Compared to a full-time, traditional MBA, mini MBAs can offer significant time and cost savings, as well as a flexible curriculum. While completion times vary, mini MBA programs can typically be completed in less than a semester. Students can also customize their mini MBA to match their career goals.

How Does a Mini MBA Compare to a Full-Time MBA Program?

While full-time and mini MBAs share some similarities, they also differ in many ways. They diverge significantly in cost, program format, depth of topics covered, and employer perception.

Many students prefer the mini MBA due to its lower tuition and accelerated format. Additionally, mini MBAs may appeal to students who already hold an MBA but are interested in pursuing an additional specialization.

A mini MBA also enables students interested in business to perform a test run before making a two-year commitment. Many graduates of a mini MBA program eventually decide to enroll in a full-time program. Additionally, students should keep in mind that many employers prefer to hire candidates with a full MBA. The mini MBA is often viewed as a complement to, not a replacement for, a full-time MBA.

How Much Does a Mini MBA Program Cost?

Many students pursue mini MBAs in order to save money. While costs vary, mini MBAs enable students to learn about foundational business topics for a fraction of the tuition of a full-time MBA, which can cost well over $200,000 at top schools like MIT, Stanford, and Penn.

Schools and professional organizations offer mini MBAs at a drastically reduced price. For example, the online mini MBA certificate at the University of Buffalo is less than $1,000, while Pepperdine University's mini MBA certificate is about $2,500.

What Can I Expect From a Mini MBA Program?

Students can expect a difference in the pace, length, and format of a mini MBA program compared to a full-time MBA. While programs vary by school, mini MBAs typically take less than 15 weeks to complete.

These programs often offer self-paced study, and most admit students at multiple start dates throughout the year. Students can choose between full-time and part-time study options, with many online programs offering accelerated timelines. Online mini MBAs may feature synchronous and/or asynchronous coursework.

What Will I Learn in a Mini MBA Program?

Students can pursue a mini MBA in general business or a specialized field like marketing or financial management. General programs cover broad, foundational business concepts, including communication, finance, and strategy. Additionally, they often explore critical relationships between each of these elements and their significance in the global business landscape.

Targeted mini MBAs tend to be shorter and focused on a single subject. This option may appeal to students who want to develop skills in a particular business area or complement another degree, such as a general MBA or an engineering degree.

Is a Mini MBA Worth It?

Mini MBAs typically attract students looking to sample the MBA curriculum, as well as professionals seeking to enhance their skills in a particular area. While conventional MBAs may require years of full-time study, which can make it difficult to continue working while earning a degree, a mini MBA program often enables students to complete work at their own pace while maintaining a full-time job.

Students often pursue a mini MBA due to its convenience and affordability; however, the program typically yields different results and career opportunities than a full-time MBA. Employers tend to view the mini MBA as a supplemental credential, as opposed to a replacement for a full degree. As such, mini MBA graduates typically need additional training to qualify for jobs commonly held by MBA grads.

Related Pages

What's the Difference Between a Part-Time vs. Full-Time MBA? The Future of the MBA Scholarships for Business Majors

Feature Image: Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd / DigitalVision / Getty Images

As master's degree programs have grown in popularity, graduate student loan debt has increased substantially. An MBA can open the door to many high-paying jobs in the business field. Learn about the best MBA jobs in 2021, from accountant to product marketing manager. This landing page acts as an introduction and overview of online college planning resources for students.