MBA programs are expensive and it can be a tough choice to take two years out of the workforce and spend all of that money. It can be really questionable whether it is better to work the years or get the degree. Thankfully you don’t have to choose and can still go to a top business school. Several of the top business schools across the United States offer part time programs, including these elite ones below:
University of Chicago (Booth) – Chicago, IL
Chicago business school is really cool in that it has all sorts of different ways that you can earn your MBA. One of those ways is through their part time program which takes place on their downtown Chicago campus on evenings and weekends. The program takes a flexible pace: Chicago says that the average student will take two and a half to three years to finish the program but that they have students that will take up to five years. Their students come from hundreds of different companies, 35 industries, and have a wide range of work experience from 2 to 10 years for the middle 80%. Chicago says this program is targeted at individuals who are trying to advance in their current company or industry, so keep that in mind when you are considering whether or not this program is the best fit for you. Chicago says that the part time program will have the same curriculum and faculty as the full time business school program.
University of California Berkeley (Haas) – Berkeley, CA
US News and World reports has supposedly ranked University of California Berkeley Haas’ business school as having the top part time program in the country six years in a row. Berkeley has a few different options for how you can take the program and get it done including either at night on Mondays and Wednesdays or on Tuesdays and Thursdays or on the weekend for most of the day on Saturdays. It is typically a three year program but they say students do complete the program in two and a half years. In your first year of the program you take a lot of useful and practical classes such as Macroeconomics, Financial Accounting, Introduction to Finance, Economics for Business Decision Making, Leading People, Data and Decisions, and a number of classes that can help you with other things you may need as well such as Ethics and Responsibility in Business. The program takes place in the Bay Area in East Bay at the University of Berkeley’s business school campus. Overall it is a really great business school program.
University of California Los Angeles (Anderson) – Los Angeles, CA
University of California Los Angeles is known as a great school for a lot of reasons but one sneaky reason that people may not know a lot about is that it has a great part time MBA program. It is a program that is offered in a couple of different options, either all day on Saturdays or Tuesday and Thursday evenings. One of the cool parts of the Anderson business school program is that they allow you to take a lot of the classes and do a lot of the learning online to try and allow for people who are not in the Los Angeles area to take part in the MBA program. They teach all sorts of classes in the part time program from Data and Decisions, to Managerial Economics, to Financial Accounting, to the Foundations of Finance. Overall it is a very thorough and strong program that can help prepare you well especially if you’re interested in the areas that Los Angeles is well known for such as for the entertainment industry. The program even allows a fast track version that can help you speed it up by as much as six months faster than the normal pace. Two years and a quarter is the fastest that you are able to graduate this program though even if you want to be quicker.
University of Michigan Ann Arbor (Ross) – Ann Arbor, MI
The University of Michigan Ross school offers not only some of the best classes and teachers but some of the most flexibility of any program offering both the relatively standard options for week night and weekend classes but also the much less common option to earn you MBA program online. While being an incredible program it can also be a little bit easier that some of the other schools to get into from a test perspective for example for the weekend MBA the average undergraduate GPA was a 3.4, the average GRE was a 158, and the average GMAT score is a 661. The students do come with a lot of work experience with an average of five and a half years of work experience and they come with interesting undergraduate majors including one of the most engineering heavy classes with 39% of the incoming MBA students having undergraduate engineering degrees. Ross has a great alumni network and is certainly one of the best part time programs, regardless of whether you the nights, weekend, or online options.
Northwestern University (Kellogg) – Evanston, IL
Northwestern University’s business school offers one of the best part time MBA programs both in terms of quality and in terms of flexibility. The program allows students to go to classes either on weekends or on evenings and in either case, both are allowed to join with the full time MBA programs to go to the daytime classes when they want to, pending availability. They allow you to take anywhere from 0-4 courses per quarter and a student can graduate as quickly as 1 year or take as much time as 5 years to finish the program. One really unique feature of this program is that they offer an accelerated option for you to get your MBA degree where you can reduce the costs of your tuition by up to 25%, reduce the number of credits that you will need to graduate from the program, and take advanced electives early on in your time at the program. You are allowed to do this accelerated option either on the weekend or the night part time.