Part-time vs Full-time vs Executive MBA – What is the Difference?

Part time MBA vs Full time MBA vs Executive MBA

When applying to business school, one of the first things you should carefully consider is what type of MBA program you should pursue. There are two traditional MBA paths: part-time and full-time, and a more modern option known as the Executive MBA (EMBA), which is usually offered for a couple of days a week over two school years, making it almost a hybrid of full and part time courses. Learn more about each to determine the best option for you.

Traditional Full-Time MBA

Traditional full-time MBA programs are usually the first ones that come to mind when someone says they are going to attend business school. Students in a full-time MBA program will usually complete their entire program in two or fewer years, are usually expected to live near or at the school they attend, and will face a more demanding and rigorous course schedule. And while you will not be able to work, there are significant advantages to pursuing a full-time MBA program over other options. Perhaps the most significant is the increased likelihood of receiving financial aid. According to the GMAC, of the full-time MBA programs, 94% have merit-based scholarships, 41% have fellowships available, and 55% provide assistantship positions, like that of a Teacher Assistant. Another perk of full-time programs is the availability of internships over the summer between academic semesters. This is a great way to get your foot in the door of a business before you graduate. You also have more flexibility in the courses you choose, and people from more backgrounds are usually accepted into a full-time program.

Instead of a two-year commitment, you could condense your full-time MBA into a single year, but this will require you to take more highly specialized classes rather than choosing from a selection of business and elective classes. These programs also do not allow enough time to complete an internship, but you will finish your studies in half the time. Depending on your career goals, a single-year full-time MBA might be the best option for you.

Traditional Part-Time MBA

If you find that you cannot spend two years away from your job, consider a traditional part-time MBA. These programs allow you to continue to work full-time during the week while offering you classes at nights and on weekends. For the average student, it could take up to five years to finish a part-time MBA program.

Aside from being able to take classes outside of a traditional work week, part-time MBA programs are also easier to gain admission to because these programs typically have lower GPA and GMAT requirements than full-time programs. 

Executive MBA (EMBA)

The Executive MBA program is almost a hybrid of part and full time courses, but the biggest difference is that an EMBA requires several years of business experience. Most people who enter these types of programs have been in the workforce for at least 10 years and are usually in their 30s or 40s. The structure of EMBA programs is usually all day on Fridays and Saturdays for two years, which can take a toll on those with obligations outside the office either to their families, volunteer duties, or leisure activities. Due to the rigor of this program and the frequent company sponsorship of students, the financial expenses of an EMBA often exceeds other types of MBA. Since many companies often pay at least some of the price for their employees to go through this program to get a work promotion, you will likely not have to pay the entire cost yourself.

Regardless of the type of MBA program you choose, consider how much time you have available to devote to your education and job. Do you need to work full time or can you take MBA classes full time? Are your GMAT scores and GPA high enough to get into a full-time program, or should you seek easier admission into a part-time MBA? The answers to these questions and many others will help you to narrow down your choices before finalizing your decision on an MBA program that will fit into your lifestyle and career. Regardless of which option you choose, let the experts from Testmasters help you to prepare for your business school admissions exam.

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