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Is A Part-Time MBA Program Right For You? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

Part-time MBA programs may be more accessible, flexible, and affordable than their full-time counterparts—but they are not the perfect fit for every candidate

Fri Dec 11 2020


Part-time MBAs are a great qualification for professionals who want to reap the benefits of an MBA without taking a career break. Rather than studying on-campus full-time, part-time students take their classes in the evening, on weekends, or during brief but intense residentials throughout the year.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) latest graduate survey, four out of five part-time MBA alumni reported that going to business school was a good investment of their time and resources.

However, this program structure is not the right fit for everyone, and it’s important to do your research before looking into your options. 

To help you decide if a part-time MBA is a good fit for you, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Would I miss a sense of immersion and community?

One important consideration when contemplating a part-time MBA is how important immersion and community are to you. Is networking especially important to your career goals? 

If so, then a full-time MBA might be a good fit. However, this is not to say that part-time programs don’t have a lot to offer in this realm.

While part-time MBAs are often characterized as less immersive because students typically work while attending classes, many part-time programs recognize the need for immersion and networking. NYU Stern offers full-time and part-time MBA options, and accepts the Executive Assessment (EA) for both. Students in both programs are eligible to participate in networking events, retreats, and other activities outside of the classroom.

2. How do I plan to fund my studies?

For 40% of b-school candidates, earning a raise is a top motivation. However, financing the education needed to earn that raise is also a top concern. GMAC research has found that “The cost of a graduate business degree and the need to take on student debt are the most likely reservations to impact prospective students’ pursuit of a GME.” 

Employers are also less likely to help fund employee studies, meaning that many students are self-funded.

Part-time MBAs have several advantages to offer in this regard. For those self-funding their studies, the ability to work while studying helps to lessen the financial burden involved. Spreading the cost of education over several years can also help to alleviate financial concerns, making it easier to access a b-school education.

3. How much time can I invest?

When searching for schools that fit your finances and interests, you will also want to look at the amount of time you wish to invest in your education, both day-to-day and long-term. 

A part-time MBA program can offer more flexibility and a smaller time commitment on a day-to-day level. Students can often choose from a wide variety of options, including self-paced course curricula or lockstep programs, flex schedules, and more.

However, for part-time MBA students, graduation may be two to eight years away, as studies are spread out over a longer time period. If earning your degree quickly is a higher priority, then a full-time program can be a better fit. If, however, you prioritize flexibility, then part-time options can be ideal.

4. What are my career goals?

Part-time MBA students tend to be working professionals who wish to advance along the career path they are already on; they tend not to be pursuing an immediate career transition. 

Full-time MBA students are often looking to make a significant change more quickly, sometimes moving to a new industry or specialty, which is why they choose to focus solely on their MBA.

Ask yourself whether you want to maintain employment at your current company and open growth opportunities, or if you want to pivot to a new career path. The answers will help you decide which type of program is right for you.

Next read:

3 Ways to Fund Your Part-Time MBA

This article was created by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and originally published on the Executive Assessment Blog. BusinessBecause is a subsidiary of GMAC.

Learn more about the Executive Assessment.

Student Reviews

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business




On Campus

What built my love for NYU

My involvement with NYU has been astonishing thanks to individuals there, yet I truly do figure they could improve in the area of offering understudies sage monetary guidance. I only have more inquiries in regards to my school consistently. I truly like how different and comprehensive my school is generally speaking. By and large, individuals are thoughtful, well disposed, and exceptionally splendid. I'm propelled to work harder by my incredible speakers and companions. Assets and encounters are unparalleled. In spite of the fact that it isn't a great fit for everybody, I love going to a major metropolitan school. The main things I need were that it was more affordable and farther away from my folks.




On Campus

Experienced educators

NYU is known for its focus on providing students with hands-on experiences. They offer numerous opportunities for exploration. The classes are enjoyable, and the professors display genuine passion for both their subjects and their students. The professors at NYU are highly knowledgeable in their fields and are always available to lend a helping hand as long as you make the effort to approach them. Joining a research laboratory is highly encouraged and can provide you with priceless experience. The professors not only care for students but are also highly intelligent. They prioritize the success of their students in their future careers.




On Campus

Graduate Acting in a Nutshell

NYU's Graduate Acting program has consistently been recognized in the world's top 5 acting graduate programs for years. With an unprecedented pandemic commencing in my first year in the program, I experienced the type of innovation worthy of that world recognition. The ability to pivot entirely, yet maintain an extremely high level of education was truly profound. I consistently found myself being pushed in ways I wasn't aware I needed to be. The access to industry professionals for advice, guidance, and leadership means the transition after graduation is much less daunting than going it alone.




On Campus

Simply the best school

This school is truly outstanding. In essence, there is no other educational institution that can surpass its exceptional performance and unparalleled attention to detail. It not only boasts state-of-the-art equipment, but also houses exceptional professors who are available to guide and instruct students on their usage.




On Campus

Quality curriculum

NYU is a wonderful school where you can really learn anything you want to know. New York College gives probably the best training inside a city climate. I can see NYU becoming a leader in the technology and infrastructure industries thanks to its rapidly expanding engineering school. I love the delightful way proficient the teachers are and how the educational plan is set up.




On Campus

Amazing school environment

The campus of New York University is very diverse, has excellent programs, and the professors are nice. NYU's location is fantastic because it is close to Manhattan. There is so much to learn about and such a lively environment created by the city. Additionally, I believe that the urban location of the campus aids students in developing important life skills.




On Campus

Transformative experience

The experience of going to New York University (NYU) has been transformational. An environment that is conducive to study is created by the lively campus and multicultural community. NYU provides a comprehensive education that goes beyond the classroom thanks to the access to limitless opportunities in the center of New York City. The student experience is further improved by the support services and extracurricular activities. I wholeheartedly endorse NYU as a fantastic university.





This programe was strong!

The studies we're great, I learned the ins & outs of modern history. The subjects taught were on point (biology, art, etc.) The staff was well trained and were very helpful and kind. Facilities were also on point. The pricing can be a bit expensive though, but it is worse in Massachusetts.





NYU's Undergrad Accounting

The Stern School of Business provides the undergraduate accounting program at New York University. Students are prepared for careers in accounting, finance, and related fields through this highly regarded program. In addition to a comprehensive business education, the program provides students with a solid foundation in accounting principles. The educational program remembers courses for monetary bookkeeping, administrative bookkeeping, tax collection, evaluating, and data frameworks. Economics, statistics, finance, and management are also required courses for students. Through internships and other experiential learning opportunities, students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in addition to the coursework. Additionally, the program has strong connections to leading accounting firms, which may offer students a route to employment opportunities after graduation. By and large, the undergrad bookkeeping program at New York College is a thorough and extensive program that can give understudies the abilities and information they need to prevail in the field of bookkeeping.




On Campus

Journalism program

The best professors!!!! Really talented and experienced, full of knowledge and gave really a hands on education. We worked like a real newsroom, got assigned stories and were given the tools to go after them.