Kings of the North: Should You Get a Part-Time MBA in Chicago or Toronto?
In many ways, Chicago and Toronto are very similar world class cities: Both are situated on a Great Lake, host an “Original Six” hockey team, and both metros suffer from “second city” inferiority complexes. Both metros also have plenty of competitive business school options for professionals who want to earn an MBA.
But not every MBA candidate can manage a full-time degree program. So many business school students continue to work throughout their studies, balancing a job and graduate school through a part-time MBA program. Many Chicago and Toronto metro programs take place in the evenings and on weekends, allowing for flexibility along with continued professional growth.
Chicago’s Best Part-Time MBA Programs
- Booth School of Business – The University of Chicago
- Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University
- Kellstadt Graduate School of Business – DePaul University
- Northern Illinois University College of Business
- Quinlan School of Business – Loyola University
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business features both an Evening MBA and a Weekend MBA, providing additional options and flexibility to students who wish to take on their MBAs part-time. The Evening MBA operates out of the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Classes meet one evening per week from 6-9 p.m. Students average two courses per 11 week quarter, allowing them to complete the 20 course program in two and a half to three years time. Meanwhile, Weekend MBAs attend class every Saturday at the Gleacher Center. Classes run from either 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. for the duration of each 11 week quarter. Students also typically complete the 20-course program in two and a half to three years time.
Kellogg’s part-time MBA can can be taken as an Evening MBA, Saturday MBA, or even an Accelerated format. For added flexibility, students enrolled in any part-time program may take quarters off from school for personal or professional reasons and take any class offered in the Evening or Saturday programs, or even transfer between the two program options if they wish. The Evening MBA is designed for those already living in and around the Chicago metro, while the Saturday MBA is ideal for those who live in the city and travel during the week or for those who live just outside of Chicago. Lastly, the Accelerated option is designed for students who have already completed core coursework as an undergraduate or graduate student.
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The DePaul Kellstadt’s part-time MBA offers evening and morning options to students. Offered at all DePaul campuses, this program can be completed in two to three years and is designed for working professionals with at least two years of working experience. What makes Kellstadt’s program even more flexible is the vast amount of customization options each student has. Each quarter students can choose Morning or Evening format, or both, at one or multiple campus locations.
NIU’s Evening MBA is ideal for mid-career candidates and usually takes about three and a half years to complete. Classes run Monday-Thursday evenings at the Hoffman Estates and Naperville campuses. The NIU Evening MBA is divided into two phases: Phase One is designed to make up for deficiencies in undergraduate course work or experience., while Phase Two is comprised of mostly elective coursework.
The Loyola Quinlan full-time and part-time programs operate in conjunction with one another, with the part-time MBA course consisting of one to two courses per quarter. Students can switch between full-time and part-time course loads, but must complete their degree within five years of enrolling at Quinlan.
Toronto’s Best Part-Time MBA Programs
- Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto
- Schulich School of Business – York University
- Ted Rogers School of Management – Ryerson University
- Wilfrid Laurier University – Toronto Campus
The Rotman School of Management offers both Morning and Evening MBA program part-time formats. Students enrolled in either variation will experience the same learning style that is offered to full-time MBA students, expect they will take classes twice a week, allowing them to keep up with their work schedules. The Morning MBA holds classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, while the Evening MBA holds classes held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., twice per week.
Schulich’s part-time MBA is offered on three different campuses, with each tailored for a different type of schedule. At the Keele campus, choose evenings (two per week), alternate weekends (Saturday/Sunday) or day classes. The downtown King and Bay campus offers evening classes. The Schulich full-time and part-time MBA are the same great programs (only the schedule differs), enabling you to switch between the two. The program takes approximately three years to complete.
Students at Ryerson University can earn either the MBA Global or MBA-MTI on a part-time basis in as little as 24 months, though it may take longer if they are required to complete Foundation Courses, or if they choose to take less than two courses each semester. The part-time course load is one to two courses per semester. Part-time classes are held on weeknights from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Laurier’s part-time Alternate Weekend MBA can be completed in just over three years. In that time, students will complete a general MBA and one of 11 specialization fields. All Laurier MBA candidate also take part in a Not-for-Profit Practicum, choosing between a 40-hour practicum with a local organization or an extended international project.
For more information on the best MBA programs offered in each metro, check out our Chicago and Toronto pages.