One-year MBA programs are very common and nearly all of the best MBA programs in the US and the best MBA programs in Canada offer them. A typical, full-time MBA program usually lasts two years, so a one-year MBA is not such a stretch. A one-year MBA is not a mini-MBA, as you will earn an MBA degree by completing a one-year MBA, not a graduate certificate. One-year MBA programs are especially useful if you want to fast-track your professional career and have a clear vision of what you want to do with your MBA, which is what usually spurs the creation of accelerated programs in any field, such as 3-year medical schools or two-year JD programs. This article will list some of the most popular one-year MBA programs in the US and Canada, their advantages and disadvantages, and whether they’re the right choice for you.

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Article Contents
12 min read

One-Year MBA Programs in the US List of One-Year MBA Programs in Canada One-Year MBA: What are One-Year MBA Programs? One-Year MBA Programs: Pros and Cons of One-Year MBAs One-Year MBA Programs: Should I Do a One-Year MBA? FAQs

One-Year MBA Programs in the US

1. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Median GPA: 3.7

GMAT Range: 620-780

Median GRE (Verbal and Quant): 163

Northwestern University hosts several different MBA schedules, and you can choose from a one-year MBA program or a more-traditional full-time, two-year MBA program. The accelerated one-year MBA program requires you have some background in finance or economics, either academic or professional.

2. Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management

Median GPA: 3.4

GMAT Range: 680-720

Median GRE (Verbal/Quant): 157/163

The one-year MBA program at Cornell Johnson is a STEM-based MBA that focuses on digital advancements in society and the ways businesses can harness technology to accelerate change in society. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and emphasizes taking more electives than required courses so you can learn as much about engineering and statistics as MBA law and data-gathering.

3. University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business

Median GPA: 3.3

Median GMAT Score: 710

Median GRE Score: 315

The one-year MBA program at Norte Dame is also geared to working professionals who want to get back to their careers with the knowledge and skills taught in a one-year MBA program. The Mendoza College of Business is part of one the best Catholic universities in USA, so, its principles and values are defined as more humanist and ethics-driven rather than growth and profit-driven.

4. Emory University's Goizueta Business School

Median GPA: n/a

GMAT Range: 590 to 770

GRE: n/a

The one-year MBA at Emory University is one of the most well-known accelerated MBAs in the US and it is another STEM-based advanced business degree. You can also choose a two-year program, but the one-year program is more intensive and focused on experiential education. During your 12 months, you’ll participate in various MBA internships to gain real-world experience, which is balanced out with in-class instruction at the university’s downtown Atlanta campus.

5. NYU Stern School of Business

GPA Range: 3.15-3.90

GMAT Range: 688-740

GRE Range (Verbal/Quant): 156-168

You can apply to two, one-year MBA programs at the NYU Stern School of Business. The school offers a one-year MBA for tech students, as well as a one-year MBA program for students interested in the business side of Fashion and Luxury brands. Both programs have a high MBA acceptance rate, as close to 20% of applicants are admitted into either the two- or one-year MBA program.

6. Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School

Median GPA: 3.29

Median GMAT: 620 

Median GRE: 314

The one-year MBA program has much more strict MBA requirements than its typical, two-year programs. To get into the one-year MBA, you must have at least three years of business experience, and an undergraduate degree in business administration. But even with the shortened timeline, you’ll still be able to participate in important extracurricular activities, such as spending one week abroad. Pepperdine University is also home to a mini MBA program.

7. University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business

Median GPA: 3.5 or higher

GMAT Range: Test-optional

GRE Range: Test-optional

The one-year MBA program at the Katz School of Business is also designed for people with extensive professional experience who want to accelerate their careers. The program offers several different micro-credentials to get specializations in several business areas such as marketing analytics and operations management.

8. Duke University Fuqua School of Business

GPA Range: 3.10-3.89

GMAT Range: 670-760

GRE Range: 306-330

This accelerated one-year MBA is another tech-focused program that attracts a lot of international students, as close to 50% of the entire incoming class are international students. The one-year MBA program at Duke University also has almost 100 different electives available to enhance your degree, along with certification programs in Energy Finance and Social Entrepreneurship.

9. USC Marshall School of Business

Median GPA:

GMAT Range:

GRE Range:

Also known as the International Education and Research (IBEAR) MBA, this one-year MBA at USC Marshall incorporates global learning and tech-related knowledge into an intense, MBA experience. You can choose from working with several local business through Active Learning courses, or collaborate with your fellow students to create and develop a capstone project. You must also have at least six years of professional working experience, military service or have completed another advanced degree to qualify.

Want to learn how to make your MBA resume standout? Watch this video:

List of One-Year MBA Programs in Canada

1. University of Toronto Rotman School of Management

Median GPA: 3.6

Median GMAT: 672

GRE Range: n/a

The one-year MBA program at the Rotman School of Management is an Executive MBA program for working professionals, as opposed to the typical, two-year, full-time MBA program also offered by the school. As many accelerated MBA program require extensive professional experience, you can choose between an Executive MBA vs. MBA, if you have the requisite professional experience, which is having eight or more years of full-time work, and at least three of those years in a management position.

2. University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business

Minimum GPA: 75-80%

Recommended GMAT: 650 or higher

Recommended GRE Score: 320 or higher

The full-time MBA at the Sauder School of Business is an accelerated, one-year MBA program, as it only lasts sixteen months, rather than a full two years. The one-year MBA program at UBC is known for its specializations in environment and climate change studies, as well as several hands-on learning experiences where you can work in sustainability and global environmental affairs departments for Fortune 500 companies.

3. University of Alberta - Alberta School of Business

Median GPA: 3.5

Median GMAT: n/a

Median GRE: n/a

The University of Alberta has a fast-track, one-year MBA program reserved only for undergraduates who hold a business degree (bachelor of commerce; bachelor of management). You also need to submit an MBA resume outlining a minimum of three years of professional work experience. The one-year MBA at U of Alberta focuses more on advanced management, organizational, finance and other subjects rather than going over fundamental business courses, as you would experience in a traditional, two-year MBA program.

4. York University Schulich School of Business

Median GPA: Not specified

Median GMAT: not required

Median GRE: not required

The one-year MBA at York University is focused on tech-leadership, and it is one of the easiest MBA programs to get into as you do not have to submit either GMAT or GRE scores. You have to have at least two years of work experience, and, if you’re admitted, you can choose from several different electives to complement your field of study. But you’ll also participate in a mandatory six-week internship at any of the school’s many private partners.

5. Queen's University Smith School of Business

Median GPA: Not specified

GMAT Score: not required

GRE Range: not required

The one-year MBA program at Queen’s University is also open only to students with an undergraduate business degree, which can also include a degree in accounting, statistics, marketing, macro or microeconomics. You must also apply with a minimum of a B- for your undergraduate program and interview for the program if you’re selected after you submit your application.

6. Western University Ivey Business School

Median GPA: n/a

GMAT Range: not required

GRE Range: not required

The Ivey Business School at Western University has a full-time MBA program and an accelerated, one-year MBA, but both programs only last one-year, although the accelerated program has a hybrid format so you can also take classes online. However, you must have an undergraduate degree in business or commerce to apply to the accelerated, one-year MBA program. The accelerated, one-year MBA program is also GMAT or GRE optional, but the full-time program does require you submit standardized test scores.

7. University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business

Minimum GPA: 3.5

Minimum GMAT: 550 or higher

GRE Range: n/a

The University of Calgary also offers a hybrid, one-year MBA program that you can take while you work. As with many of the other one-year MBA programs on this list, you have to have an undergraduate degree in a business field and a minimum two-years of work experience – typical, two-year MBA programs usually do not have a major specification. The school also offers several certifications in everything from Business Intelligence and Analytics to Finance and Global Energy Management.

8. McMaster University DeGroote School of Business

Minimum GPA: B+

GMAT Range: not required if you meet GPA minimum

GRE Range: not required if you meet GPA minimum

The accelerated, one-year MBA program at McMaster University is composed of two mandatory courses and eight electives, so you have more freedom to decide your particular course of study or field of specialization. You must also have a business administration or commerce undergraduate degree, but you can also apply to this program if you have an undergraduate degree is several areas from Engineering Management to Management and Organizational Studies.

9. Carleton University Sprott School of Business

Minimum GPA: B+

Minimum GMAT Score: 550 

GRE Range: n/a

The Carleton University Sprott School of Business also offers an accelerated program that consists only of six credits and an internship, which is three credits shorter than the typical two-year program. You must also have an undergraduate degree in business administration or commerce to apply, as well as having a minimum B+ grade average.

Still deciding on your MBA path? Check this out:

One-Year MBA: What are One-Year MBA Programs?

One-year MBA programs offer a unique opportunity to boost your career by earning an MBA from a reputable, accredited program in just 12, 15, or 16 months depending on the program. One of the reasons one-year MBA programs exist is for students who have specific career goals in mind and want to get to work on them quickly. But, despite their shortened length, one-year MBAs are a little different from Executive MBAs, which also tend to last one-year.

One-year MBAs may or may not, depending on the program’s curriculum, include foundational courses in standard business subjects, such as:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics or macroeconomics
  • Marketing
  • Business intelligence
  • General management

Which is one difference between one-year MBAs and Executive MBAs, as the latter do not usually include these foundational courses. One-year MBA programs are designed to provide a fast-track for highly motivated students, particularly international students, who tend to make up a large cohort of students enrolled in one-year MBA programs. International students, often more than domestic students, have an interest in finishing their degree faster and advancing their career faster, as they have to pay higher fees and take out more loans, as international students.

Paying less tuition than two-year MBA programs is another feature of one-year MBA programs. Not only are one-year MBA programs cheaper than two-year programs, but you only have to pay for one year, rather than two, which is an enormous savings in some cases. For example, the accelerated one-year MBA at Emory University costs only $113,982 compared to the $151,689/year for the two-year MBA program. You still pay six figures in the one-year MBA, but you also save up to $40,000 in tuition and fees.

Given that you can save a significant amount of money in a one-year MBA program, but also reap the rewards afterward in the form of a higher salary, many students view accelerated programs as more desirable than traditional, two-year programs. Many of these one-year MBA programs have excellent and near-perfect employment rates for their graduates; Emory has a 96% employment rate; Carleton has a 94% employment rate.

As these programs are usually for working people, many graduates continue with the same company (some companies even sponsor employees and pay for their education) but transition into high-level, and higher-paying, management roles in the same or a different company or industry. Some even launch their own successful ventures. In addition to the career benefits, one-year MBA programs offer a time-efficient path to acquiring essential business skills.

Business schools that often rank high on MBA rankings, such as INSEAD and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, have designed their curricula to provide a comprehensive education in a condensed timeframe. These programs cover a wide range of business disciplines, including finance, marketing, leadership, and strategy, but they also offer a lot of extracurricular, and professional development opportunities, such as study abroad options, internships, and externships.

One-Year MBA Programs: Pros and Cons of One-Year MBAs

Pros of One-Year MBA Programs

1. Saves Time and Money

By completing a one-year MBA program in just 8, 12, or 15 months – the accelerated MBA at York University can take as little as eight months – you can save time and money compared to traditional two-year programs. But you receive the same quality of education, as well as access to faculty and other student support services. For example, the Carnegie Mellon University one-year MBA program is renowned for its accelerated format, but it also gives you access to the school’s various externships, and internship opportunities. Some programs make experiential learning a part of the required degree requirements, so you’ll also be able to work on an independent project or in a real-world role at a local business, while still gaining the same level of knowledge and skills as a two-year program, but in a shorter timeframe.

2. Reach Your Career Goals Faster

One-year MBA programs are designed to fast-track your career, and they are quite successful in doing so. We already mentioned the high employment rates for many of these programs, but, for example, graduates of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management’s one-year MBA program have secured leadership positions at top companies such as Amazon and McKinsey within a year of graduation. However, because one-year MBA programs are selective about who they choose, you have to have a clear idea of what you want to do with your degree, which you have to articulate in your MBA admission essay or MBA video essay, which many of these one-year MBA programs require.

3. Focused and Intensive Learning

The accelerated pace of one-year MBA programs may be the right environment for you if you’re a motivated and driven student. This focused approach ensures that you acquire a comprehensive understanding of key concepts and practical skills in a shorter timeframe, which can be challenging. For example, the one-year MBA program at USC Marshall offers a specialized curriculum that allows you to customize your learning experience based on your career goals, as you can choose from several different MBA electives, but also have direct, hands-on experience by helping local businesses overcome common business problems.

Cons of One-Year MBA Programs

1. Limited Time for Specialization

Due to the condensed nature of one-year MBA programs, there may be limited time to specialize in a specific area of interest. You typically spend an entire semester in a two-year program earning a specialization, so, depending on the program, you may not be able to earn certification in specialized area in a one-year MBA. However, the other side of that coin is that many of these one-year MBA programs are already specialized, especially the Tech and STEM-based programs at Cornell University and NYU, which are specialized MBAs on top of being accelerated programs. Still, if you have a specific career path or industry in mind that requires in-depth expertise, a longer duration program may be more suitable.

2. Intense Workload

If you have a particular study and learning style, the fast-pace, intensive and demanding nature of one-year MBA programs might not be for you. Accelerated degree programs in any field are usually difficult, so the intensive coursework and tight deadlines of one-year MBAs can be challenging, especially if you prefer a more relaxed learning environment or have other commitments outside of school. However, this intensity also prepares you for the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the business world, so you have to do decide what kind of learning environment you want to have as you pursue your MBA, which should be a central concern for how to choose the right MBA program.

3. Limited Internship Opportunities

Some one-year MBA programs may have limited opportunities for internships, although, we mentioned a lot of the programs that do make external learning opportunities key to their curriculum. But even if you do get a chance to participate in an internship, it can be for a shortened amount of time compared to the months-long commitments you have in two-year programs. Internships and externships can be crucial for gaining practical experience and making industry connections, so if they are an important part of your career strategy, you may need to carefully consider the program’s structure and available opportunities. However, as we mentioned, many one-year MBA programs such as the Duke Fuqua and Ivey Business School's one-year MBA program offer internships as part of their curriculum, allowing you to gain valuable hands-on experience during your studies.

One-Year MBA Programs: Should I Do a One-Year MBA?

In general, one-year MBA programs offer a time- and money-saving path to enhance your career prospects and acquire essential business skills without a significant investment on your part. The one thing you have to remember about any accelerated program is that they exist to help you reach your goals faster, but you have to have those goals clear in your mind before you apply. You’ll be asked about what you plan to do with your MBA by many of these programs, because that is a key selection factor for getting in.

If you are super-focused on a specific goal, but still need some foundational training and knowledge, then a one-year MBA program is right for you. On top of their condensed timeframes, many one-year MBA programs are offered by some of the best MBA programs in the world, so they have the same brand recognition as two-year programs, which can also be useful if you’re trying to get a new position or advance within your company.

If you’re looking to rise up the ladder in your firm, then a one-year MBA program is also a good idea. They’re good for working professionals mostly because many of these one-year MBA programs have hybrid or online components that you can complete on your own time, but their shortened length also means you’ll spend less time studying than you would in a conventional, two-year program.


1. What are one-year MBA programs?

One-year MBA programs are shortened MBA programs that only last 8, 12, or 15 months depending on the program rather than lasting two-years, as most MBA programs.

2. What are the differences between one-year MBA and two-year MBA?

The main differences between one-year MBA and two-year MBA programs are the length, and cost. But otherwise, one-year and two-year MBA programs have more similarities, as they follow similar course requirements, are taught by the same faculty, and offer similar internships and experiential learning opportunities.

3. Which schools offer one-year MBA programs?

The schools listed above, such as Kellogg, USC Marshall, and the University of Notre Dame all offer one-year MBA programs in the US. York University, McMaster and Western University all offer a one-year MBA program.

4. How do I get into a one-year MBA program?

Each one-year MBA program has different requirements, but the most general ones include having a significant amount of professional and work experience, having completed a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field, and having a high GPA score.

5. Do I need to take the GMAT or GRE to get into one-year MBA program?

All one-year MBA programs have different requirements concerning the GMAT and GRE; some programs require it, while others are test-optional.

6. What are the advantages of a one-year MBA program?

Some of the advantages of a one-year MBA program include accelerating your career goals, paying less for a high-quality education, and receiving a full MBA from a recognized and accredited program.

7. What are some of the disadvantages of a one-year MBA program?

Some of the disadvantages of a one-year MBA program include the intense workload, and the stricter admission requirements.

8. Are one-year MBA programs worth it?

If you have clear career goals, or you want to advance in your current position, a one-year MBA program can give you a pathway without investing as much time or resources as you would in a two-year program.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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