Top 10 One-Year MBA Programs in the US

For the time-strapped, one-year MBAs in the US seem like a great value proposition: in just 12 months, you’re back in the job market, ready to hit the ground running.

But while one-year MBA programs are the norm in other parts of the world, such as in the UK or in Europe, they are much less common in the US.

And one-year US MBA programs, even though they're faster, may not be for everybody.

Many of these programs are designed for students who have clear ideas for what they want to do after graduation, or for those who already have some background knowledge in business. And unlike in two-year MBA programs, many one-year MBAs start in the summer.

Here’s a list of the top ten one-year MBA programs in the US, based on rankings info, as well as some info about what they offer.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 26 Followers 51 Discussions
Pittsburgh - Katz

In 1963, Katz became the first US business school to offer a one-year MBA program. Since then, a lot has changed—the school has diversified its offerings by adding a two-year program as well—but the one-year program has held strong, generally catering to an older, more experienced cohort with clearly defined career goals.

 

  • Rankings: The school’s MBA is ranked in Businessweek, The Economist, and The Financial Times
  • Unique requirements: GMAT score of at least 600; at least two years of work experience
  • Intake: May 

 

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Evanston, Illinois 60 Followers 186 Discussions
Northwestern - Kellogg

Kellogg’s program, launched in 1965, was one of the first one-year MBAs in the country. Students start the MBA in June, when they take three to five courses during the summer session. They then join up with the second year of the traditional two-year MBA program and finish the following June.


  • Rankings: The school’s full-time MBA is ranked in Businessweek, The Economist, and The Financial Times.
  • Unique requirements: Students should have at completed at least three core business courses (from a list of six) before applying
  • Intake: June
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Los Angeles, California 90 Followers 115 Discussions
USC - Marshall

Established in 1978, USC’s IBEAR MBA has made a name for itself as the premier one-year MBA program in southern California. One key feature in this program is that it gives students the chance to pursue a 4-month long consulting experience with a real client company.


  • Rankings: USC’s full-time MBA is ranked in Businessweek, The Economist, and The Financial Times.
  • Unique requirements: At least six years of work experience. The program is designed for mid-career professionals training for global leadership position.
  • Intake: July
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Atlanta, Georgia 30 Followers 62 Discussions
Emory - Goizueta

Students in Emory’s one-year MBA, which launched in 1983, start in May with a “summer experience,” which includes a boot camp-like foray into core business topics like accounting, economics, statistics, and even an Excel review. In the fall and spring semesters, students delve into specific topics through elective courses.


  • Rankings: The school’s full-time MBA is ranked by The Economist, Businessweek, and The Financial Times.
  • Unique requirements: Candidates should either have an undergraduate degree in a quantitative field like engineering, or be able to otherwise demonstrate strong quantitative skills.
  • Intake: May
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Ithaca, New York 77 Followers 127 Discussions
Cornell - Johnson

Cornell’s the only Ivy League school to offer a one-year MBA (Columbia, which offers a 16-month MBA option, is the only other Ivy League school to offer an accelerated MBA). At Cornell, one-year students can choose to pursue a range of concentrations, from Consulting to Corporate Finance and Marketing Analytics. They can also take courses from other Cornell schools, such as the School of Hotel Administration and the College of Engineering.


Cornell also offers a one-year, technology-focused MBA in New York City.


  • Rankings: Cornell’s full-time MBA is ranked in Businessweek, The Financial Times, and The Economist.
  • Unique requirements: Applicants should have an advanced degree, such as a PhD or an MA, or a certification like a CFA or CPA.
  • Intake: May
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Notre Dame, Indiana 12 Followers 39 Discussions
Notre Dame - Mendoza

Notre Dame’s one-year MBA program begins in May, with an intensive summer session, before merging with the second year of the traditional MBA program. Concentrations are offered in Business Analytics, Business Leadership, Consulting, Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Investments, and Marketing.


The program also offers optional international immersion sessions in Brazil, Chile, or China.


  • Rankings: Mendoza’s full-time MBA is ranked in Businessweek, The Economist, and The Financial Times.
  • Unique requirements: An undergraduate degree from an accredited university or significant work experience
  • Intake: May
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Gainesville, Florida 51 Followers 93 Discussions
Florida - Warrington - Hough

Warrington offers two flavors of its Accelerated MBA program: a 12-month option, designed for students without a business background in business, which starts in April; and a 10-month option starting in June for those who do have an undergraduate degree in business.

 

  • Rankings: Warrington’s full-time MBA program is ranked in The Financial Times, Businessweek and The Economist.
  • Unique requirements: The 10-month option requires an undergraduate degree in business.
  • Intakes: April, June

 

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Dallas, Texas 13 Followers 37 Discussions
SMU - Cox

Launched in 2015, Cox’s Fast Track MBA program is the newest program on this list, and is one of just a few accredited one-year MBA programs in Texas. The program offers a range of concentrations, in Accounting, Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and more.

 

  • Rankings: The school’s full-time MBA program is ranked in The Financial Times, Businessweek, and The Economist.
  • Unique requirements: An undergraduate degree in business, economics, or other quantitative field
  • Intake: May

 

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Los Angeles, California 38 Followers 44 Discussions
Pepperdine - Graziadio

Pepperdine’s Accelerated MBA program comes in two options: a 12-month program designed for students with an undergraduate degree in business, or a 15-month flavor for those without. In the 15-month version, students can take a whole trimester to study abroad, and pursue an increase range of specialization options.

 

  • Rankings: Pepperdine’s full-time MBA program is ranked by Businessweek.
  • Unique requirements: The 12-month option requires an undergraduate degree in business; both options require at least three years of work experience.
  • Intake: August

 

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Babson Park, Massachusetts 14 Followers 75 Discussions
Babson - Olin

Launched in 1991, Babson’s program, like many other US-based one-year MBAs, is aimed at those with a background in business or economics. The program offers a range of concentrations, in topics from Entrepreneurship to Life Sciences & Healthcare.

 

  • Rankings: Babson’s full-time MBA program is ranked in Businessweek and The Financial Times.
  • Unique requirements: An undergraduate degree in business or demonstrated capacity in accounting, finance, statistics, strategy, operations, economics, or marketing
  • Intake: May

 

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