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Part-time Executive MBA Programs

FAQs, Resources & the Best Programs for 2018

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A part-time MBA program can be a popular option for students who want to keep their jobs while preparing for advancement. Part-time students may pay more upfront because it will take longer to complete an MBA. Part-timers are buying time that pays off in the future in terms of career advancement and earning power. A part-time MBA program may be the best choice for managers already employed in leadership and seeking the quickest path to credentials and/or advancement. Full and part-time outcomes may vary based on factors such as school reputation, expertise of faculty, and student performance. Look over the course listings.

When evaluating programs, contact the business schools on your short list and ask for graduation rates, time from degree to employment, and if the graduates advanced or received an increase in salary. Our rankings of the best schools should kickstart your evaluation of part-time MBA programs.

Best Online Executive MBA Programs 2018-2019

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What makes for a good part-time MBA program? That depends on how you hope to use the degree or employ the deep knowledge of management best practices. Ask employers about the perception of part-time MBAs in your specialty. Often an MBA can serve as verification that the employee is already applying MBA-level knowledge and leadership skills. Evaluate tuition, class sizes, accreditation, networking opportunities, industry partnerships, and starting salaries for the school’s MBA grads. The following rankings already take into account many of the factors that students care about:

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Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri$4,64454%84%57%1No Yes Yes School website
2 Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, Indiana$28,33343%56%75%1No Yes Yes School website
3 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas$12,41862%68%73%1No Yes Yes School website
4 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, Colorado$6,71445%61%45%1No Yes Yes School website
5 Texas Southern University Houston, Texas$1,60039%51%20%1Yes Yes Yes School website
6 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama$10,47056%53%68%1Yes Yes Yes School website
7 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, Hawaii$15,28850%85%61%1No Yes Yes School website
8 University of Nevada-Reno Reno, Nevada$4,75247%83%60%1Yes Yes Yes School website
9 University of North Alabama Florence, Alabama$5,59866%56%44%1No Yes Yes School website
10 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida$5,46738%60%52%1No Yes Yes School website

Tips for Passing a Part-time MBA Program

All MBA programs present didactic and real-world business challenges for students. With a part-time MBA program and its compressed curriculum, there is a unique set of difficulties. A student may have time commitments to family or employment. Ultimately student success in a part-time MBA program is based largely on availability and commitment to completing class requirements. Students will need to follow a concrete study plan, commit to online class attendance, create extra hours for networking, completing internships, or attending on-campus class meetings with peers and faculty. Here are several common questions asked about the part-time MBA degree:

Q: What is a recommended study schedule to complete a part-time MBA?

A: Successful online, part-time MBA students can expect to devote 12-16 hours per week of study time for each course. In part-time programs that can be completed in 24 – 30 months, students may spend 20 hours a week completing their assignments and another 20 hours a week participating in online classes. Completing a part-time MBA can take one to three years, depending on frequency of class meetings, or individual student circumstances.

Q: Which specializations are offered in a part-time MBA program?

A: The range of disciplines in a part-time MBA may vary by the business school and its institutional requirements. Common concentrations include Accounting, E-Business/E-Commerce, Economics, Finance, Global Management, Healthcare Management, and Human Resources.

Q: Can you earn a part-time MBA without a prior business degree?

A: Non-business undergrads or applicants with limited work experience (less than two years) in a business-related field may be suited for a part-time MBA bridge program that combines classroom hours with practical learning activities such as internships in business settings. Bridge programs can take one year (and a summer) to two years to complete. Not all business schools offer bridge programs.

Q: What are the emerging fields in business management to pursue?

A: Some of the fastest-growing specializations for MBAs include Cyber Security, Change Management, Environmental Management, Homeland Security, Agri-Business Management, Global Business, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Energy Efficient and Clean Technology, and Media Management.

Q: Which activities will boost my career during the part-time MBA program?

A: Depending on the part-time MBA program, students may choose to use real-world business problems from their employer as class projects. If solving the problem increases the bottom line or updates current strategies, you may become a workplace hero. Consider taking so-called “informational interviews” with professional contacts to boost career networking opportunities, find mentors or learn about your chosen specialty.

Q: How much can managers earn?

A: According to the Financial Times, “managerial salaries rose by $7,000 on average in 2017. Earnings for healthcare and industrial managerial positions increased 10 percent, with an average annual wage of $143,000.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “the highest annual mean wages for MBAs in 2017 were in the management fields of scientific research and development organizations ($148,610), companies and enterprises ($132,460), and management of computer systems design ($136,080).” PayScale cites an annual median salary of financial managers at $114,743.

Examples of Part-time MBA Courses

Each business graduate school establishes MBA completion requirements and classwork that is mandatory, such as comprehensive core classes and major studies in your MBA specialty.

Real Estate Marketing.

Future MBAs concentrating in real estate law and marketing learn how to perform a competitive market analysis, develop strategic marketing plans, and learn marketing ethics. Focus is on twenty-first century promotional problems and solutions.

Financial and Managerial Accounting.

Course covers theories in accounting and managerial decision-making strategies. Learn effective concepts for organizational control and planning using accurate statistics.

Micro-Macro Economics.

Study the variable agents in the economy that are key to your decision-making process. Measure performance in a market-oriented economy.

Entrepreneurship: Creating culture and teamwork.

A comprehensive overview of evidence-based tools for motivating employees and building effective teams in today’s ever-changing business landscape.

Global Management.

Computers and communication devices have revolutionized business practices around the world. Today’s managers must learn operative strategies while understanding differences in culture, language, marketing techniques and financial practices.

Scholarships & Resources for Part-time MBA Students

Even relatively low-cost MBA programs can still be expensive. According to wPoets and Quants, “MBA degree programs can run from $16,800 at a state university to $128,000 at a prestigious business school.” Fortunately, there are grants and scholarships that can fully pay tuition or augment the funds you set aside to pay for your MBA. Some business organizations may even pay for an employee’s degree. This can be vital since many scholarship organizations favor full-time students. It’s also important to explore the financial aid sections on websites of prospective schools. Institutions may offer scholarships that are exclusive to students enrolled in business programs. Here’s a roundup of some associations and organizations offering scholarships to business students:

Government Finance Officers Association.

The GFSA offers a $10,000-$20,000 Minorities in Finance Scholarship open exclusively to African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems.

The non-profit HIMSS Foundation offers $5,000 in scholarships for students pursuing a business degree in healthcare information or management systems.

Lint Center Scholarships.

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is a non-profit clearing house for scholarships devoted to students planning to go into national security or global intelligence fields. Merit-based scholarships include the Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship, U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent, Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton Jr. Memorial Scholarship, and Maj. James W. Dennehy Esq. Scholarship.

American Association of University Women.

AAUW offers $2,000-$12,000 in scholarships to women holding baccalaureate degrees who want to return to the workplace with advanced skills or those planning to change careers.

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

The consortium administers the Leslie Elise Adkins Endowed Scholarship which offers full tuition to qualified scholarships to African American students, particularly women, and students attending Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College or USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Point Foundation Scholarship.

The foundation assists promising gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students, currently supporting 73 Point Scholars and 25 Community College Scholars, including business and accounting majors.

MBAs thrive on resources to stay informed of business trends, financial news, the latest GMAT aids, and evolving methodologies in leadership and management. Here are a few resources to get you started:

Harvard Business Review.

Sample free webinars and articles, more resources if you subscribe to one of the nation’s leading publisher of business news and trends, breaking stories, and learning tips.

MBA World.

The Association of MBAs provides information for students and teachers in MBA schools. Find answers on applying to MBA schools and the entry tests to qualify for the admissions.

GMAT Club.

Preparing for the GMAT? Find resources for free GMAT preparation exams, daily study plans, and reviews of GMAT study books.

The Economist.

Among the critical websites serving MBAs and business, The Economist serves up articles on world politics, business & finance, and economics. Resources include articles on MBA core knowledge, leadership skills and going digital.


Whether you plan to join a start-up company or go into business consulting, Entrepreneur provides videos, podcasts and articles that address topics like business intelligence, franchise opportunities, education and training.

Beta Gamma Sigma.

Since 1913, BGS has served as the nation’s International Business Honor Society and an MBA community organization for networking. Members can search for internships, test preparation tools and academic scholarships.