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Types of MBA Degrees

September 6, 2016 9:34 pm

If you are considering enrolling in an MBA (Master of Business Administration) program, it is important that you understand the different types. This will enable you to ensure that your chosen program actually meets your personal goals, needs, and requirements. This is also why you should start by thinking about what you actually want to achieve with your degree. Spending some time with an admissions counselor to discuss this is always a good idea. Let’s take a look at the different types.

Full Time MBA

The full time MBA takes between one and two years to complete. For this graduate study, you will go to a business school on weekdays for 12 to 24 months. You will not have time to do other things, including leisure activities, travel, or work. Hence, if you do decide to go for the full time MBA, you need to make sure that your family is fully behind you.

The two year, full time MBA program is quite common in this country. You will fully immerse yourself in it, and you will usually also have to take part in an internship. Interestingly, in Europe, the full time MBA program is generally only one year in length. Such programs are even more intensive as they teach everything in just 12 months. They do not come with an internship, but it does mean that students only have to take one year out of their lives. Whether in this country or in Europe, you will need to have one or two years’ work experience before being admitted.

Accelerated MBA

The accelerated MBA is only available in this country and closely resembles the European full time MBA, as it takes less time to complete. Naturally, your class schedule will be intensive and your course load high. There is less time off between semesters, and you will have virtually no summer break. Usually, you will complete this program in one year, although 18 months is also sometimes possible.

Distance Learning MBA

There is a difference between the online MBA (more on that below) and distance learning MBA. With distance learning, you will have to attend some classes at some point during your degree program. However, the majority of the program will be offered through interactive means, such as pre-recorded videos, interactive videos, offline and online computer courses, and teleconferencing.

Usually, you will also have to interact with other students. You may have to organize and attend online or in person meetings with your classmates. You will also have to attend some classes, which are generally offered on weekends or in the evenings, at set points during the year. Essentially, distance learning is a form of blended learning, which is becoming increasingly popular, particularly thanks to the development of smart and mobile technology.

Online MBA

As the world is becoming increasingly virtual, there are now quite a number of schools that offer the MBA degree program 100% online. Here, you can complete your degree at a time and pace that is convenient to you, from any location with an internet connection. This is a far less intensive study, which means most people are able to do it alongside their regular job. That said, you must show a lot of time management skills and a great degree of self-discipline.

For a long time, employers felt that the online MBA was not as good as an on campus MBA. One reason was that graduates were not able to interact with colleagues or take part in classroom debates. However, it is now becoming increasingly clear that the level of commitment that someone has to make in order to complete an online MBA is actually as valuable as for the classroom-based programs. Furthermore, some interaction does take place in virtual classrooms.

Executive MBA (EMBA)

The EMBA program is designed for those who are currently employed and are unable to stop working for a long period of time. It is a part time degree, usually taking between 12 and 24 months to complete. This means that people can study and work at the same time.

EMBA programs have stringent admission requirements. Usually, people have to have worked as a manager for between five and ten years. As a result, students are often more mature. Furthermore, they often have financial support through their jobs, as well as the ability to take the time out to attend classes regularly. In the classroom, they will work together with other executives in a range of different positions and functions. The EMBA is becoming an increasingly popular qualification, particularly with women, because it is such a flexible degree program.

Professional MBA (PMBA)

The PMBA is a combination of the EMBA and the part time MBA. It is one of the most flexible of all the programs, enabling students to take part in weekend and evening modules and complete their degree in around one year. The program offers two types of study modules, which means students can study online when they have circumstances making it impossible for them to attend classes, and go to classes when they can. Most participants also work full time while completing this degree program. It is also possible for people to switch to the full time MBA at any point of the PMBA degree program, although not all schools offer this option.


The GEMBA is a variant on the EMBA program, enabling students to take part in different classroom environments across different cultures and countries. Usually, these programs are created by the cooperation of different campuses or schools across the planet. These are very competitive degree programs and they tend to be far more expensive as well. To take part in the GEMBA, students have to be able to manage the workload of the course, while also being able to travel and meet the associated expenses of this. The benefits, however, are tremendous as graduates have true global experience and knowledge.

Joint EMBA

The joint EMBA includes multi-institution and consortia programs. It is quite similar to the GEMBA program, enabling students to experience a range of different curricula and teaching styles on various campuses. The joint EMBA is usually delivered by between two and six different organizations, in partnership with itself.

Modular EMBA

The modular EMBA is a very intensive program. Students become fully immersed in their classroom for a number of weeks every few months. This means that it is delivered part time in a sense, but students must be away from their jobs for long periods of time. Usually, people complete this by using their annual leave, others save up flexi time at work if that opportunity is offered to them. It is possible for people to have to travel to complete the modular EMBA as well, sometimes even to other countries. It generally takes one to two years to complete this program.

Part Time MBA

Last but not least, there is the part time MBA. This degree program follows the same curriculum and methods of study as the full time MBA, but classes are offered on evenings and weekends. As a result, the degree usually takes at least three years to complete, usually more.

MBA Concentrations

When thinking of the type of MBA degree, you shouldn’t think only of the method of course delivery, but also about the different concentration options that exist. Because the MBA is now such a popular degree, schools have started to go beyond the general MBA, offering specific concentrations. The decision to choose a concentration or not can be a difficult one to make because, on the one hand, you hone in your skills on something that is relevant to you now but, on the other hand, you end up with fewer transferable skills. The full list of different concentrations is now almost endless, but the most popular ones are:

  • Business management
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Ecommerce and ebusiness
  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human resource management
  • Global management
  • Marketing
  • Information systems
  • Strategic management
  • Risk management
  • Operations management
  • Environmental management
  • Technology management

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Take the First Step

In an increasingly global, competitive marketplace, having MBA-level management and leadership skills are absolutely critical to your career progression. With a top level, online MBA degree, you will become a business leader who can run a leaner, more efficient business, create a better business dynamic in your company, and also discover new, better paying business opportunities to expand your career.

Use our website to learn about all of the online MBA options available to you today.