The typical Master’s of Business Administration program requires 36 credit hours in areas like management, communication, accounting, finance and economics, which takes two years of full-time study to complete. Students must also attend two semesters per academic year. The average MBA student takes three courses, or nine credit hours, per semester. The most common exception to this scenario is for newly admitted applicants who sometimes require a certain amount of remediation before being admitted unconditionally to the MBA program.
Students who lack any of the required undergraduate coursework for the MBA may need to extend the length of their program by a semester or more.
Most often, part-time MBA study takes longer to complete than full-time study. At some schools, students can only attend two semesters of coursework per academic year, and they are usually able to complete the MBA program in three years.
The trimester format is gaining popularity among schools offering graduate-level management programs, and, for part-time students, this allows them to add an extra semester to each academic year. That way, part-time MBA study may be completed in two years, instead of the usual three. Although the trimester format shortens the length of an MBA program, students should be aware of the drawbacks to this schedule. The extra semester of study will cost more, there is less time off between semesters, and there may be negative effects on personal and professional obligations that accompany the heavier work load.