Because an MBA degree can be one of the costliest to earn, and one of the most time-consuming, many students opt for an Accelerated MBA program. The accelerated MBA is a degree path that allows students to go directly from their undergraduate studies to the graduate program without first gaining work experience. Not all business colleges offer them, but those that do are finding an influx of young students eager to shave off a year or so from their programs. If you are considering an accelerated Master’s in Business Administration, there are some things you should know about this degree path.
Application is Generally Made at the End of the Junior Year
There are some schools that require students to apply earlier, some even during their freshman terms. Usually, though, the application is accepted at the later date. That means some of the upper division courses you take during your senior year will satisfy the requisites for the master’s program. Taking the courses early means you will meet graduate requirements sooner, and that shaves costs off an already-expensive program.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Business Administration 2016-2017
Graduates Are Younger
Traditional MBA programs require applicants to have some work experience. This may mean at least a three-to-five year gap between earning the undergraduate and the graduate degrees. This factor may give graduates from the accelerated programs an edge because they will stand out from the older job applicants, but also because employers may see the inexperience as a “blank slate” upon which to write. That is, these people come into a position with fewer preconceived notions about how the job should be done.
Accelerated Applicants Need Top Grades
Traditional programs require some work experience because that diversity of problems and solutions gives a depth and breadth to their education. To compensate for that foundational experience, schools with accelerated programs require applicants to have high GPAs. If your program admits freshmen, you may have to have a minimum of a 3.8 high school cumulative GPA. Students coming into the program at the end of their junior year may need to have maintained at least a 3.4 average for previous undergraduate courses.
You May Not Need the GMAT
Some schools recognize the disconnect that students may feel after being out of class for several years. In order to predict their readiness to enter a master’s program, they require applicants to take the GMAT or GRE tests. Students entering the programs fresh from their baccalaureate experience don’t have this lag.
It Isn’t For Everyone
You may be feeling pressured to apply to an accelerated program because you are afraid if you wait a few years, you will not go back to school. While it is true that you might be less motivated later on, many employers encourage employees to earn the advanced degree and even reimburse some expenses. Perhaps you are looking into the traditional programs because you think prospective employers will be more attracted to an older applicant with prior work experience. While it is true that many companies look for that experience, some businesses place less emphasis on work experience, and more on your participation in organizations in school.
Whether or not a student applies to these degree programs is a personal matter. Students need to consider costs and their ability to be successful in an extended student experience along with other issues. If you are considering entering an Accelerated MBA program, your decision should be the best one for you.