Best Accelerated MBA Programs Online for 2023

Accelerated MBA programs online can help you earn your master’s degree in as little as one year. Learn about the best programs, what to expect as a student, and if an accelerated MBA program is right for you.

Whether you want to pivot into a career as a management consultant or hop on the fast track to the C-suite, online accelerated MBA programs can open the door to new job opportunities and a higher annual salary. MBA degree holders earn an average of $92,000 annually, according to Payscale. If you’re ready to launch a career as a financial manager or business operations manager, an online accelerated MBA can help you build the leadership, finance, and marketing skills you’ll need in as little as one year. Plus, online courses offer convenient and flexible class formats to busy working professionals, making balancing current life and career responsibilities easier as you pursue a master’s degree.

This guide will teach you how to evaluate key factors like cost, curriculum, and class format, what to expect as you earn your accelerated MBA online, and how to choose the best program for your needs.

College Spotlights: Top Online Accelerated MBA Programs

Getting an MBA is a significant investment in your professional future. To help you get started, we’ve identified the best accelerated online MBA programs with the affordability, flexibility, and accreditation you’ll need to take your career to the next level. Below, you’ll find five of the top-rated schools for accelerated MBA programs online. These outstanding schools represent just a handful of the leading options – check back for our full rankings, which will be arriving later in 2023.

University of Dayton

The one-year MBA program at the University of Dayton offers a fast-paced path to a master’s for people who have completed a bachelor’s degree in business within the past seven years. Building on their existing foundations in basic business concepts, students continue their studies in the fundamental areas of finance, economics, and integrated strategy.

In addition to the general MBA track, students can opt to build further expertise with concentrations in marketing or business analytics. All courses are offered in accelerated five-week formats and primarily completed via weekly online classes and self-paced assignments. Two weekend-long, in-person immersions allow students to apply classroom knowledge as they network in person with classmates, faculty, and business leaders.

Program highlights:

  • Credits: 30-31.5
  • Length: One year to 15 months
  • Cost: $1,430/credit
  • Mode: Fully online, with two weekends of in-person immersion
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University’s Monte Ahuja College of Business online accelerated MBA program is ideal for students seeking an MBA in 12 months without putting their current careers on hold. Students are admitted as part of a small cohort, where they study a linear sequence of classes under the direction of full-time CSU faculty members and current MBA program instructors.

Each six-week course module takes place entirely online, allowing students to work on their own schedules from any location. Prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree in business, earned in the past 10 years, or have completed required prerequisite courses as determined by university advisers. CSU’s program holds the distinction of being one of the first one-year MBA programs to be AACSB-accredited.

Program highlights:

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $35,943
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Master of Business Administration online supplies students with the in-demand leadership skills integral to success in the executive and administrative job markets of today and tomorrow. UTRGV’s MBA classes are 100% online and designed to expand students’ business knowledge, build their professional confidence, and foster practical management skills.

Courses are offered in seven-week formats for quicker study, and students have the option to customize a master’s degree with a focus on financial planning, healthcare administration, or international trade. UTRGV provides ample opportunity for distinguished graduate students to receive additional educational funding and scholarships, with several scholarships on offer for students of traditional and accelerated programs.

Program highlights:

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $472.22/credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University offers the Tepper part-time accelerated MBA to students who have already completed an undergraduate business degree. The analytics-focused curriculum is ideal for those who have previously completed business-related courses, have three to seven years of professional experience, and want to complete their master’s degree while working full-time. During the program’s two years of study, students are instructed by the same professors who lead CMU’s full-time MBA program. Classes are completed through two weekly live online meetings and independent coursework. Additionally, multiple in-person Access Weekends provide students with dedicated time to connect with colleagues, attend in-person classes, and participate in professional development activities. All CMU online MBA students have access to customized, one-on-one leadership coaching, professional career services, and exclusive professional clubs.

Program highlights:

  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $36,400
  • Mode: Online hybrid format with two weekly live online classes, self-paced online coursework, and multiple in-person access weekends
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

American University

American University’s Kogod School of Business offers a one-year Master’s in business administration for motivated students who want to build valuable business management and leadership skills as they complete their MBA in as little as one year. This accelerated option is best suited for students who are not working full-time and can dedicate intensive focus to accomplishing a degree on a shorter timeline. As part of AU’s small, online-based live classes, students receive a rigorous business education. If they choose, students may specialize in one of seven focus areas: entrepreneurship, marketing, legal studies, finance, cybersecurity, business analytics, or consulting.

As a complement to online lectures and independent coursework, students gain real-world experience by working for a Washington, D.C.-area company and connecting with classmates, faculty, and business leaders at two in-person immersions.

Program highlights:

  • Credits: 48
  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $1,812/credit
  • Mode: Online hybrid format, with live online classes, independent coursework, and two in-person immersions
  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Can I Earn an Online MBA in 1 year?

Yes, you can. One of the main benefits of earning an online MBA is studying at a pace of your choosing, which allows you to set a timeline that best suits your career goals and personal needs. For students committed to obtaining their MBA in a shorter time, it’s possible to earn an MBA online in as little as one year. For example, Fitchburg State University and the University of Saint Mary are just two of many one-year accelerated online MBA programs. The strongest candidates for a one-year path of study will have already earned a bachelor’s degree in business and be able to dedicate considerable time to complete the required assignments and coursework.

Benefits and Challenges of Earning an Accelerated MBA

Online study can be the best option for many MBA students, but it comes with some challenges, especially for those who choose a one-year online program. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the primary benefits and challenges of pursuing your master’s degree in business administration online.

So, what are some of the main benefits of earning your MBA online? Online classes can make earning your MBA more affordable and approachable, making room for you to earn a degree on your own timeline without having to change locations or quit your job to commit to full-time study.

Benefit #1: You can earn a degree in less time.

While on-campus MBA programs can take two or three years to complete, online programs can be completed in as little as one year, advancing your career prospects and potential earnings with minimal time investment.

Benefit #2: You can study when and where it’s convenient.

If you’re balancing a busy career and lifestyle, a traditional on-campus MBA might seem too difficult to manage on top of your existing obligations. Accelerated online MBA programs can easily allow you to study entirely at your own pace or attend live online classes from any location.

Benefit #3: Online classes can be more affordable.

Many online MBA programs have fewer associated fees and cost less than their on-campus counterparts. Plus, if you choose to study online, you’ll save money by not having to commute or relocate to be closer to the college or university you’re attending.

Though there are clear benefits to online programs, there are also challenges that students must take into account with regard to the time and workload commitments of an online accelerated MBA.

Challenge #1: Building relationships with classmates and instructors can be more difficult.

Building a solid business network and practicing professional relationship skills are especially important for MBA students. You still can succeed in these areas as an online student, but forming quality relationships can take more effort if you primarily study alone.

Challenge #2: Online accelerated MBA programs can be fast-paced and require intensive time.

If you’re determined to earn your online MBA in the shortest time possible, you’ll need to be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to coursework. In fact, you may find you’re not able to work full-time while pursuing a one-year degree. Consider a part-time accelerated online MBA program if you cannot commit to studying full-time.

Challenge #3: Online programs require self-control and motivation.

Having the freedom to complete coursework on your own time is more convenient than attending on-campus classes. Still, that independence comes with the responsibility to set aside sufficient time to complete course modules and assignments.

How Do Accelerated MBA Classes Differ from Traditional Programs?

Typically, MBA programs can take two to three years to complete, with courses spanning 16-week semesters of study. By comparison, accelerated online MBA programs provide a rapid pace of study by shortening classes to six- to eight-week sessions. In these expedited options, such as Cleveland State University’s online MBA, students can complete their degree in as little as one year. Meanwhile, part-time programs may take up to two years to complete. For example, the University of Florida’s online two-year MBA offers students a more relaxed pace of study.

Accelerated Online MBA Costs

The cost of attending an accelerated MBA program online is essential to be aware of as you choose the right program for you. You’ll need to plan to pay for tuition and any related expenses, as well as the added cost of completing any prerequisite courses if you don’t already hold a bachelor’s degree in business.

MBA students can obtain financial aid through traditional student loans, scholarships, and grants, while working professionals may also be eligible for employer-based tuition assistance. The first step to receiving financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. To learn more about funding your education, check out our guides to financial aid and our scholarship and resources.

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost








Frequently Asked Questions About Accelerated Online MBA Programs

What are the Admissions Requirements for an Accelerated Online MBA?

Though individual programs may vary, most online accelerated MBA programs have similar minimum requirements to other online MBA programs. Standard minimum requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Completed prerequisite business courses if your bachelor’s degree was not in business
  • Complete college transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Current resume or proof of professional experience
  • Written essay
  • Professional recommendation

Can I Earn an Accelerated MBA 100% Online, or Do I Need to Visit Campus?

Depending on the accelerated online MBA program you choose, you may be able to complete coursework entirely online. Several schools offer hybrid programs, which include mandatory weekend-long in-person intensives. These immersive experiences are intended to provide MBA students with networking and career development opportunities that enhance their education. However, if your priority is to complete all MBA coursework 100% online, you should be able to find a quality program that meets your educational requirements.

Do Online Accelerated MBA Programs Offer the Same Specializations as Traditional Programs?

While some programs only offer a general MBA, many schools allow students to select an optional concentration. Typically, an area of specialization will enable a graduate to enter the job market with additional industry-specific qualifications or skill sets, such as finance, marketing, or project management. Choosing to pursue a specialization may increase your projected graduation date by one to three more months than a general accelerated online MBA.

Are Online Accelerated MBA Programs Accredited?

It’s crucial to verify an MBA program’s accreditation before you apply. Accreditation ensures that colleges and universities meet independent standards that ensure their programs’ academic quality and excellence. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the largest and most widely recognized business school accreditation. Still, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) are equally trustworthy accreditation institutions.