What Chicago MBAs Can You Earn the Fastest?

fastest chicago mba

Here’s a lesson everyone learns well before ever stepping foot into business school: time is money.

Some students want to complete their MBA coursework as quickly and efficiently as possible. That’s where accelerated MBA programs come into play: in only 12 months, those who earn an accelerated MBA reenter the job market ready to start their next career.

Accelerated programs— also known as One-Year MBA programs—are designed for students who have clear ideas for what they want to do after graduation, as well as those who already have a strong base in business.

While one-year MBA programs are popular in Europe, they are less common in the U.S. However, several top business schools in the Chicago metro feature accelerated MBA programs.

Let’s take a look:

University of Illinois at Chicago Accelerated MBA Program – Under 12 Months

The Liautaud Graduate School of Business Accelerated MBA launched in fall 2015 and was designed for recent graduates or students with limited work experience to develop knowledge of business principles and skills in three semesters of full-time study.

Students begin the program by taking core courses—financial accounting, corporate finance, marketing, microeconomics, operations management, and organizational behavior—before moving on to advanced electives. Core coursework is completed in a cohort during the fall and spring semesters. The final semester may be completed in the summer semester or in the subsequent fall semester. This degree can be completed in under one year by students who carry a heavy course load each semester.

Kellogg Accelerated MBA – 12 Months

The Northwestern Kellogg School of Management was the first top-tier business school to offer a One-Year MBA program, launching the program more than 50 years ago. The degree option was designed for students who have both a business-related degree and several years of work experience. Fun fact: Kellogg has increased the size of the accelerated program by nearly 20 percent over the past two years.

Kellogg’s Accelerated MBA allow students to bypass core classes. Required courses are taken in the summer, and elective courses taken in the fall, winter, and spring. Students take at least two summer courses in Leadership and Business Strategy, a Crisis Management half credit course right before the fall term, and then join second-year MBA students for the final 13 courses before earning their degree.

Notre Dame One Year MBA Program – 12 Months

Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business’ One Year MBA, located just outside of Chicago on the border of Indiana, begins in May and ends the same month of the following year. The program starts with a 10-week summer session before students join classes with other MBA students in the fall and spring. Summer courses include leadership & organizational behavior, marketing management, and strategic essentials. Following the summer session classes, students declare a concentration in either business analytics, business leadership, consulting, corporate finance, innovation & entrepreneurship, investments, or marketing.

The immersive Mendoza College of Business’ One Year MBA includes international expeditions / Photo via

Notre Dame’s One Year MBA also has an international immersion option. Between fall break and Christmas, one year students take a full schedule of MBA courses in partnership with Universidad Catholica in Chile. In addition to business courses in English, students will have the opportunity to learn or improve their Spanish language skills. These class feature numerous travel opportunities for students to explore the Andes region, including trips to Chile’s Atacama Desert, Machu Picchu in Peru, and multi-day trekking in Patagonia. Read more about Mendoza’s Global Opportunities here.

Northern Illinois University One Year MBA Program – 12 Months

Unlike most accelerated programs, NIU’s One-Year program accepts one cohort each winter. Classes begin in January and students finish coursework in 12 months by attending class just two evenings per week. Classes are further broken down into groups, which are expected to meet up at least once per week outside of normal classroom hours.

The program also includes a nine-day international trip, which is usually scheduled in March. These experiences generally include a combination of company visits, government briefings, and university lectures. Recent international immersions have had students visiting places like Lisbon and Barcelona.

Northern Illinois University Fast Trak MBA – 12 Months

NIU is also unique in that it offers two different MBA options that can be copleted in 12 months or less. The school’s Fast Trak MBA is a day-time, 12-month program with required international experiences in Bordeaux, France or Murcia, Spain. Students attend classes Monday through Friday during spring and fall semesters.

NIU’s Fast Trak MBA has all students enter and experience the program together and begins with a mandatory orientation session in mid-August for all students. The MBA program is broken up into five modules, with students taking between two and four courses during these five-to-eight week intensive class blocks. Students enrolled in the program also have the opportunity to earn a second Masters degree in International Management from IAE the Bordeaux University School of Management or a Master of International Management from the ENAE School of Business in Murcia, Spain.

For more information on Chicago MBA programs, click here.


About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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