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Olivia Kotowski

Is Part-Time MBA Worth It? Top Factors To Consider

January 12, 2024
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Part 1: IntroductionIs A Part-Time MBA Worth It? How Many Years Does a Part-Time MBA Take?Part-Time MBA: The CostAre Part-Time MBA Programs Less Competitive?Part-Time vs. Full-Time MBA ProgramsPros and Cons of Part-Time MBAs Top Part-Time MBA ProgramsFAQsPart 10: FAQs

Having a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can be a game-changer for your career, but let's face it, not everyone can drop everything and go back to school full-time. But here's the good news: you can still chase that MBA dream, even if you're juggling a hectic life.

Most top-notch business schools understand that their students often have full-time careers. That's why they offer part-time MBA programs. These programs let you pursue your MBA without putting everything else on hold. So, let's explore how a part-time MBA can be your ticket to a brighter future.

Is A Part-Time MBA Worth It? 

Most business schools offer multiple flexible options for pursuing a part-time MBA degree. It is typical for business schools to offer evening MBA programs as well as weekend MBA programs. For example, the Chicago Booth School of Business offers both of these programs to its students. 

In Chicago Booth’s Evening MBA program, classes are offered once a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In their weekend MBA program, classes are offered in multiple blocks, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

These programs also begin at different times of the year at Chicago Booth. The weekend MBA program only admits students for the autumn and spring semesters, whereas the evening MBA program admits students during all offered semesters. 

Offering more than one flexible option is excellent for potential students who do not want to disrupt their already busy schedules. This way, students can pursue their degrees on their own terms. 

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NYU Stern offers a range of flexible part-time MBA programs, ideal for those deeply committed to their careers and other responsibilities. Unlike their full-time program, which follows a fixed two-year schedule, NYU Stern's part-time options provide adaptability for busy individuals.

NYU Stern’s part-time MBA program gives its students the option to complete their degree at their own pace within a six-year timeframe. Students are offered a weeknight program option with 12-week semesters. Courses are offered once a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in this program. 

NYU Stern also has a part-time MBA program that can be pursued in the summer. Classes in this program are held two nights a week–with a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday schedule–and semesters are split into six weeks apiece. 

In addition to these programs, NYU Stern also has a weekend program for pursuing an MBA part-time. For students on this path, classes are held weekly on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

These are just two examples of many business schools that offer flexible part-time MBA programs for busy students. No matter how jam-packed your schedule may already be, there is a flexible program out there that can work for you. 

If you hold a full-time position in your career field and you can’t or do not wish to cut down on hours, pursuing a part-time MBA in the evenings or on the weekends could be an excellent option for you. It is all about doing the necessary research to find the best fit for your schedule as a student. 

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How Many Years Does a Part-Time MBA Take?

Part-time MBA program durations differ by school. Typically, they take two to three years, but some, like NYU Stern's, may extend up to six years. These programs cater to working adults, accommodating their schedules.

There are multiple different factors to consider when posing the question: “How long does a part-time MBA take?” First, it depends on your current schedule as a working professional and student. Chances are, students who work part-time are more likely to finish their part-time MBA program faster than students who work full-time. 

A student might opt for a weekend MBA program over an evening one for better schedule alignment. While it might take longer, if it suits their career and life, it can be a valuable choice.

This is why flexible options are crucial for part-time MBA students: it allows them to pursue and obtain an MBA degree on their own terms. 

Whether it takes two years, three years, or even five or six years, the end goal is the same: an MBA degree. No matter how long it takes, obtaining an MBA is an incredible accomplishment and an excellent stepping stone in your respective career.

Part-Time MBA: The Cost

Part-time, online, and flexible MBA programs are all considered professional MBAs. These programs have gained popularity because they offer flexibility and can be a more economical option over a full-time MBA program. 

MBA tuition costs for programs in the U.S. News & World Report’s top 100 business schools can begin as low as $1,900 and reach over $100,000. 

This is such a significant valuation because specific costs depend on the length of the program you are completing, the number of credits you are taking, what you are specializing in, and more. 

As a whole, the tuition for part-time MBA programs is generally pretty comparable to other professional business school degrees. Costs typically depend primarily on the school you choose to attend and how long it takes you to complete your program. 

If cost is a concern for you while deciding if you should pursue an MBA, a part-time MBA program is a great option because it allows you to earn a salary while simultaneously pursuing your MBA degree. 

Business schools that offer part-time programs understand and prioritize the work/life balance dynamic by offering these flexible options to their students. 

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Are Part-Time MBA Programs Less Competitive?

Part-time MBA programs are objectively less competitive compared to full-time MBA programs. For MBA admissions, acceptance rates for part-time MBA programs can be two to four times those of the full-time MBA programs offered at the same institutions. 

When applying to prestigious business schools for an MBA, keep in mind that part-time programs are an option. If you're concerned about stats or getting into your dream school, consider starting with the part-time MBA; some schools allow switching to the full-time program later.

A perfect example of the stark difference in acceptance rates and competitiveness between part-time and full-time MBA programs is UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The prestigious school’s acceptance rate for full-time applicants is 15%, the average GMAT score is 729, and the average undergraduate grade point average is 3.82. 

However, if you apply to Berkeley’s part-time MBA program, the acceptance rate is more than three times higher than the acceptance rate for the full-time MBA program. 

The average GMAT score for the part-time program is 705, 24 points lower than that of the full-time program, and the average grade point average of admitted applicants is 3.39. 

This is not the only school that presents trends like this. Many prestigious schools have similar numbers in their part-time programs versus their full-time programs. 

Pursuing a part-time MBA, in most instances, is less competitive than pursuing a full-time MBA program. If competitiveness is a concern for you when applying to business schools, pursuing a part-time MBA may be the better path for you to follow. At many schools, it is an option to switch to a full-time program at a later time.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time MBA Programs

Although a part-time MBA and a full-time MBA have the same core business curriculum and the same end goal, there are some significant differences between the two types of programs. 

Whatever program you decide to pursue will still provide you with valuable knowledge and skills to prepare you for leadership positions in your career and boost your salary significantly. 

In recent years, part-time MBA programs have grown in popularity amongst applicants. Part-time MBA programs typically offer students more flexibility and more options for customization, therefore providing students with the ability to pursue an MBA while still maintaining their regular schedules. 

Part-time MBA programs are a popular option for those already knee-deep in their career field and who cannot or do not want to work part-time at their current job. This means that many students in part-time MBA programs are already experienced business professionals. This is an opportunity in itself: for networking and collaboration. 

Part-time MBA programs, popular among those with family responsibilities, offer evening or weekend classes for flexibility. However, they do take longer to finish, typically 1-2 years more than full-time programs.

Full-time MBA programs are taught more quickly, as all students are enrolled as full-time students. Full-time MBA programs are typically completed in 1-2 years because students are attending more hours of school during the week. 

Students in the full-time MBA program also have more options in concentrations and electives, a perk that part-time MBA students may not always enjoy. With being a full-time student, there are also opportunities on campus that part-time students may not enjoy, like clubs and organizations within different MBA concentrations. 

There are positives to each program and negatives to each program. It all depends on which program is the best fit for you, your schedule, and your career goals. 

Are Part-Time MBAs as Good as Full-Time MBAs?

Part-time and full-time MBA programs both have their merits. Your choice should align with your preferences and circumstances. Consider factors like your learning style, career continuity, and preferred class schedule to make the best decision for your unique situation.

There is no right or wrong answer here. Part-time MBA programs are just as good as full-time MBA programs. Full-time MBA programs are just as good as part-time MBA programs. The most important thing to consider when choosing which MBA program to pursue is what is best for you as a student.

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Pros and Cons of Part-Time MBAs 

Here are a few pros and cons of a part-time MBA program. While some of these may not apply to you, it’s important to take each of these into consideration as you embark on your MBA journey. 


Working at your own pace
If you are the type of student who does not like to rush in your learning process, a part-time MBA program could be an excellent option for you. For this reason, many students find it less challenging than a full-time MBA. 

Taking one or two classes at a time can allow students to pace themselves and take the time to learn the concepts being taught in their course. This is a great consideration for those who work full-time or have familial responsibilities to tend to every day.

Better chances of being admitted to prestigious business schools
Part-time MBA programs are statistically less competitive than full-time MBA programs. Even if you wish to switch to a full-time program later, applying and beginning as a part-time MBA student allows for a much better chance of acceptance.


Business schools often prioritize working professionals in their applicant pool, offering part-time MBA programs with evening and weekend classes. This accommodates those who can't commit to full-time studies due to work or family responsibilities.


Longer to complete than a full-time MBA

A part-time MBA program typically takes 1-2 years longer to complete than a full-time MBA program. If time is a concern of yours when considering which program to apply to, it is essential to note that a part-time program will take longer to complete.

Missed opportunities in networking

Many full-time MBA programs offer clubs and organizations on campus based on different concentrations in the MBA program. This is an excellent way for students to network and collaborate with other fellow business professionals.

Top Part-Time MBA Programs 

There is a wide variety of excellent part-time MBA programs all across the U.S. It is all about finding the best fit for you and your needs as a student personally. Some of the top part-time MBA programs are even discussed in this article.

  1. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
    Chicago Booth is a top-ranked part-time MBA program known for its flexibility. They offer both Evening and Weekend MBA programs, completed in 2.5-3 years, similar to full-time programs. With 13 concentrations and over 130 courses, students can customize their academic journey to their liking.
  1. The University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business
    UC Berkeley Haas provides a highly-ranked part-time MBA program, typically completed in 2.5-3 years. This program offers a significant portion of electives, giving students flexibility to tailor their studies according to their preferences and concentrations.
  1. New York University Stern School of Business

NYU Stern's part-time MBA program offers flexibility with weekend or weeknight classes. It features diverse electives, allowing customization for career goals, and typically takes 2.5-3 years. Plus, it's set in the dynamic business hub of New York City.

  1. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg's part-time MBA program is known for its rigorous curriculum, strong alumni network, and flexible options (Evening or Weekend). Completing the degree in 2.5-3 years, it offers diverse concentrations and experiential learning, ideal for career-focused professionals.

  1. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson School of Management

UCLA Anderson offers a respected part-time MBA program with a focus on leadership and management skills. It takes 2.5-3 years to complete, offers specializations, and is ideal for career-driven professionals in the dynamic Los Angeles business environment.

These are just a few examples of many top-rated part-time MBA programs. All of these programs offer excellent benefits and opportunities for applicants. It is all about finding which program suits your needs as a student.

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If you're wondering whether a part-time MBA is worth it, these FAQs will provide the answers to help you make an informed decision.

1. Does a Part-Time MBA Have Value?

Yes, a Part-Time MBA holds equal value to a Full-Time MBA. The main difference lies in the class schedule, with part-time programs offering evening or weekend classes taking longer to complete but ultimately leading to the same MBA degree.

2. How Long Does a Part-Time MBA Take to Complete?

The duration of a Part-Time MBA program varies by school and your chosen pace, generally taking 1-2 years longer than full-time programs. Factors like your work schedule and family commitments also influence the program's length.

3. Is a Part-Time MBA Program More Expensive Than a Full-Time MBA Program?

Whether a Part-Time MBA program is more expensive than a Full-Time MBA depends on the school and study pace. Part-time students often pay per credit, which can be costlier, but this varies among business schools.

4. Is It Easier to Get a Part-Time MBA?

Both Part-Time and Full-Time MBA programs cover the same core curriculum. However, Part-Time programs are tailored for those working full-time or with other commitments that make full-time study challenging.

5. What Are the Benefits of a Part-Time MBA?

Part-time MBA programs offer numerous benefits, including preparation for leadership roles, broader perspectives in business, and potential salary increases.

6. What Is the Best School to Attend for a Part-Time MBA?

The best school for a Part-Time MBA depends on your specific needs and preferences as a student. Many top business schools offer Part-Time MBA programs, so choose one that aligns with your goals and expectations.


Getting an MBA is a big decision, but it can be a game-changer for your career. Part-time MBA programs are perfect for working professionals looking to advance without hitting pause on their careers. They add value to your resume and provide invaluable experience.

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At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.
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