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How fast is an accelerated online CMBA program?

The length of an accelerated online CMBA program

Some universities now offer Corporate Master of Business Administration (CMBA) degree programs online. Before you select a program and apply to enroll, it's important to understand how quickly you'll progress through each course to complete the program. All accelerated programs are faster than traditional MBA programs, but they may still vary widely in duration and intensity.

How quickly can you finish a CMBA program?

If your priority is to complete an accelerated online CMBA as quickly as possible, you may opt for a one-year program. These highly accelerated programs are largely based on the one-year model used in most business schools in Europe. However, bear in mind that in order to complete such a condensed course of study, you typically need to enroll as a full-time student.

What's the difference between a CMBA and an Executive MBA? While one-year programs are increasingly popular, many online accelerated programs offer a Corporate MBA or an Executive MBA degree that can be completed in 18 months to two years. These programs are typically more convenient if you wish to continue working full-time while you study. Executive MBA programs are intensive programs that are designed specifically for experienced individuals already working in the corporate world, usually already in a management role, who wish to use an advanced degree to transition to a higher position or to transition to a new industry. The CMBA, on the other hand, is also an intensive program, but it is typically designed for less experienced professionals looking to advance more quickly in their careers than they can with only a bachelor's degree.

Either way, full-time study programs may prove more useful upon graduation, as recruiting companies may look at intensive study more favorably. On the other hand, some companies favor candidates with a combination of academic accomplishment and relevant work experience.

What other factors affect a CMBA program's duration?

Aside from the course load during the program, your online CMBA degree can vary in length, depending on the aims of the particular institution you choose. In general, all accredited programs will satisfy the same basic core curriculum. However, depending on the particular school, your precise courses and degree requirements may vary widely. Online programs may consist of streaming lectures and readings as well as some element of online participation, whether through forums or simply by posting projects and papers online. Whereas online MBA programs were historically considered lower caliber than traditionally earned degrees awarded by well-recognized business schools, the bias is changing. Well-known business schools are increasingly offering their courses online, making it possible to study with comparable professors from anywhere in the world.

When selecting an accelerated online CMBA, remember that the program you choose may last anywhere from one to two years. Naturally, courses lasting more than two years are also widely available, though they are typically not referred to as "accelerated" programs.

1.US News & World Report, “How to Choose among Accelerated, Executive, and Online M.B.A.s” May 4, 2012.
2. CBS News, “Choosing an Online MBA Program” September 14, 2009.

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