MBA, MBA Programs

Is a Part-time MBA Program Right For You?

April 21 2024 By The MBA Exchange
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For the relentless go-getters that never stop working, a part-time MBA program offers a chance to level up credentials while not taking time out of the workforce. At The MBA Exchange, we know the real benefits of a part-time MBA for your career and future. 

Here are just some of the reasons why a part-time MBA program might be the right fit for your education and career advancement goals.

What are part-time MBA programs?

Part-time MBA programs differ from traditional full-time programs mainly in terms of the time commitment. These programs are no less rigorous or legitimate than full-time MBAs. A part-time MBA adds career development to your coursework, demanding excellent time management and multitasking skills. You earn your MBA while continuing to work, utilizing evenings or weekends for studies while maintaining your income.

Who Benefits from a Part-Time MBA?

A part-time MBA is ideal for anyone who wants the benefits of an MBA without leaving the workforce. This includes single parents, entrepreneurs, and frequent travelers aiming to enhance their business knowledge and management skills to boost their career paths. Most part-time MBA students are between 25-35 years old, with some career experience but limited leadership development. A part-time MBA can propel you to the next level in your career trajectory.

Types of part-time MBA

Part-time MBA programs are all about scheduling flexibility. Depending on your needs and goals, you could benefit from different types of part-time MBA programs. Here’s what you need to know about the types of part-time MBA programs available, including top part-time MBA programs and part-time online MBA programs. Which sound like the best part-time MBA programs for you? Choosing the right MBA program takes care, consideration and research.

Evening MBA

An evening MBA program schedule lets you earn credits in the after-work hours, putting your evenings to work in the interest of your education.

Weekend MBA

With a weekend MBA, you’ll have better things to do than slack off on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekend MBA programs let you complete coursework during the weekends, slotting school into your schedule without disturbing your workweek.

Flexible MBA

A flexible MBA program has the give and take that students who want to continue working while earning a degree, and students with additional personal or family commitments, need to succeed with b-school achievements. Part-time MBA programs often let you structure your own personalized program. You can build the components of your graduate study around your existing personal and professional commitments, maximizing your potential. Most programs provide counseling and support to help you make the most of flexible scheduling opportunities for part-time online MBA programs as well as in-person courses.

Lockstep vs. Self-Paced MBA Programs

Some MBA programs follow a strict timeline, keeping you on a lockstep schedule with a part-time academic calendar. Others, including many part-time online MBA programs, offer more flexibility, allowing you to work at your own pace. You can choose between structured cohorts or self-paced study to fit your needs and goals.

Part-Time MBA Cost and ROI

Part-time MBA programs spread tuition over a longer period, reducing upfront costs. However, scholarship support is typically limited. Many students secure partial funding through employer subsidies, banking on future skill and productivity enhancements. A part-time MBA opens doors to the same earning opportunities as full-time programs, with MBA graduates averaging nearly $100,000 per year according to PayScale.

Best part-time MBA programs in the USA

Interested in earning your part-time MBA in the US? You want to know the best part-time MBA programs within your reach. Some of the top part-time MBA programs in the US are offered at institutions including:

  • The University of Chicago (Booth)
  • The University of California – Berkeley (Haas)
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  • New York University (Stern)
  • The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Ross)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
  • The University of Texas – Austin (McCombs)
  • The University of Southern California (Marshall)
  • Indiana University (Kelley)

Prospective students state-side can look at program rankings to determine the best part-time programs for them, including offerings from top-rated and prestigious institutions.

Benefits of part-time MBA programs

A part-time MBA works with your complicated life, opening up new earnings opportunities and space for growth without impinging on your career or other life goals. Part-time online MBA programs and in-person part-time study lets you have it all, provided you can handle it.

With a part-time MBA added to your resume, you qualify for higher positions of responsibility, and can expect higher salary ranges. Your course of study equips you to excel in competitive, challenging roles, enhancing your skills and training you to handle dynamic management and business environments.

Part-time MBA admissions

The barriers to entry for part-time MBA admissions are notably a bit lower than those to full-time traditional programs. Expand the range of your ambitions to include top part-time MBA programs and prestigious institutions, you might be able to reach further than you realize.

While earning a part-time MBA poses other challenges in terms of completion and financing, getting your foot in the door at top part-time MBA programs may be a real possibility, even with a lower GPA or a less-than-stellar GMAT or GRE score

Balancing a Part-Time MBA with Work and Life

Achieving a balance between a part-time MBA, work, and personal life can be challenging, but it’s essential for success. Here are key strategies to help you maintain this balance:

  1. Manage Expectations: Understand that earning an MBA is challenging and will require sacrifices. Accepting that there will be tough times can alleviate the pressure to be perfect.
  2. Communicate Effectively: Discuss your new schedule with your supervisor, colleagues, and family. Keeping open lines of communication ensures everyone understands your availability and commitments.
  3. Start Slow: Ease into the program by taking fewer classes initially or starting with foundational courses. This approach helps you adjust without becoming overwhelmed.
  4. Get Organized: Use tools like online calendars and to-do lists to stay on top of your responsibilities. Regularly review and prioritize tasks to manage your time efficiently.
  5. Stay Healthy: Prioritize exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep. Physical well-being supports mental clarity and stress management, essential for balancing multiple responsibilities.
  6. Learn to Say No: You don’t have to attend every event or meeting. Prioritize the most important ones to maintain your focus and energy.
  7. Utilize Technology: Leverage tools like email and video conferencing to stay connected and manage your coursework efficiently. These tools can save time and help you collaborate effectively.
  8. Plan for Breaks: Schedule regular breaks to recharge. Whether it’s a vacation day or a quiet evening, taking time off is crucial for long-term productivity and well-being.
  9. Respect Different Work Styles: In group projects, understand that everyone has different approaches to balancing their responsibilities. Learning to work with diverse styles can improve your teamwork skills.
  10. Plan Your Job Search: If you’re looking for a new job post-MBA, allocate specific times for job search activities. Planning these tasks ensures they fit into your busy schedule.
  11. Maintain Social Connections: Invest time in maintaining important relationships. Even if it’s just an hour a week, keeping up with friends and family provides essential support.
  12. Stay Positive: Keep a positive outlook and remember that the hard work will pay off. Balancing work, school, and life can be one of the toughest but most rewarding experiences.


Balancing a part-time MBA with work and personal life is undeniably challenging but highly rewarding. By managing expectations, maintaining clear communication, starting with a manageable workload, and staying organized, you can create a harmonious blend of professional growth and personal well-being. Prioritizing your health and leveraging technology further enhances your ability to juggle multiple responsibilities effectively. The journey may be demanding, but the skills, knowledge, and opportunities gained will propel your career forward, making the investment well worth it. Embrace the challenge, stay committed, and you will emerge stronger and more equipped to achieve your career aspirations.