What are the Pros and Cons of an Accelerated MBA Program?


accelerated mba graduate

A Master of Business Administration degree program can provide you with knowledge, experience, passionate professors, interesting cohort members, and the respected MBA designation at the end of your signature. Most importantly, it may help you advance your career. And wouldn’t you like to achieve all of that more quickly? Through an accelerated program, you can. But before you enroll in an accelerated MBA program, consider the pros and cons and whether you’re ready to commit.

Advantages of an Accelerated MBA Program

  • Finish More Quickly: The purpose of an accelerated program is to allow you to attain your MBA more quickly than you would from a traditional MBA program. That faster pace means you can put your new skills to work right away and speed up the trajectory of your career. The more quickly you can get an MBA degree in hand, the more quickly you can apply your new knowledge and skills to your current job or qualify for a new one with increased responsibilities.
  • Add to Your Resume: Even as an MBA candidate, you can add that admirable goal to your resume. With a finish date a whole year before peers on a similar—but slower—path, you’ll appear to be more driven, successful, and vested in your career. An MBA will make a great addition to your resume and help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Focus on Business-Relevant Subjects: An accelerated program is streamlined to focus on classes directly related to developing business skills that are relevant to your career. While electives can be an interesting complement to your MBA, they extend the time needed to finish your degree and may not align with your long-term goals.
  • Eliminate a Thesis: A thesis in a master’s degree program can take two years to complete and requires total immersion on one topic. You are required to investigate a single subject of significant meaning to a business management topic and examine it from theoretical and practical viewpoints. It typically requires extensive review of literature and independent research. And all this occurs during the course of your program, alongside its regular courses, requirements, and demands.
  • Experience Unique Teaching Methodologies: Because your accelerated program will need to provide the same kind of education as a traditional MBA program in less time, you will likely find innovative teaching methods and instruction models. For example, scaffolding may be used. That’s where your professors progressively build upon your existing knowledge and experience; the more you learn, the more is added.
  • Enjoy the Company of Serious, Like-Minded Students: Many MBA graduate students report that one of the best parts of the program is getting to know other students to develop networking opportunities. Accelerated programs often create strict cohorts where you remain with the same group of students from start to finish. This enables you to build stronger relationships during—and after—your program. Some colleges also recommend that you have at least two years of work experience and be at least 25 to be accepted into an accelerated program. This helps ensure that other students in your classes will take the experience just as seriously as you do.

Additional Requirements of an Accelerated MBA Program

  • Challenging Pace and Rigor: You cannot earn an MBA without meeting requisites. That means whether you choose a traditional path or one that moves more quickly, you’ll need to absorb the same knowledge, acquire the same skills, and gain insights from the same kinds of case study and real-world business lessons. But all this will be condensed into a shorter time period. Courses in an accelerated program will move along at a fast clip, so you can’t afford to miss any classes or turn in late assignments.
  • Pre-Requisite Classes: Professors in an accelerated MBA program will assume you have certain basic skills in math, finance, statistics, and economics. Depending upon your work experience and degree type, you may be asked to prove your abilities in these areas or take pre-requisite classes before starting the MBA program.
  • Independent Study: Much of the work you will do in an accelerated program will be outside the classroom. You’ll need to be motivated, well-organized, and self-disciplined to succeed.
  • Less Choice for Courses and Electives: In a streamlined MBA program, the courses you need will be pre-determined. There may be fewer choices for business classes and electives that you might want to take.
  • Single Cohort: If you’re looking for a traditional MBA path where you interact with lots of different students throughout your program, an accelerated program may not be for you. In an accelerated program, you might be taking all your classes with the same students for the full year of the program.


Whether you choose an accelerated or more traditional MBA program, an MBA can add value to your career and your life. At National American University, we offer 100% online accelerated MBA and Master of Management programs if you’re looking to finish in a fast, structured pace.  But if you need more flexibility—and time—NAU’s traditional online MBA and online Master of Management programs may suit you better. Interested in learning more? Fill out the form to request information now.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence