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The Best Schools for Part-Time MBAs
If you intend to balance graduate school and work, finding the right part-time program is a tough choice. Part-time students often have a slightly different agenda than full-time students: they wish to gain key knowledge of best practices and the very influential credential of an MBA in order to apply them not to a future career, but to the career that they are currently pursuing. Below we highlight three of the best part-time programs in the U.S., which offer courses on the evenings or weekends to allow students to earn their MBAs at a manageable pace.
Haas School of Management
The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley is currently rated #1 in part-time programs by U.S. News & World Report for its evening and weekend MBA program. In close proximity to the business leaders and innovators of Silicon Valley and with teachers and researchers whose accomplishments have produced two Nobel laureates in the past eighteen years, the reputation of Haas is hard to beat. The Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program is completed by part-time students within a three-year time span. Specifically, the part-time program is geared toward busy professionals, combining the entrepreneurial values of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area with a rigorous curriculum focused in general management. Students choose between two options: the weekend option, which is held on Saturdays in Silicon Valley, and the evening option, which is held two evenings per week at the Berkeley-Haas campus. Most recently in 2012, while most business schools were seeing a decrease in their application influx, the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program saw an 11% increase in applications – many from out of the region who are able to fly to the Bay Area for the weekend to get an education incomparable to the offerings in their home region.
Booth School of Business
The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago calls itself “the school of firsts”, including being the first school to offer flexible education opportunities to MBA students since its founding in 1898. It is clear that with an MBA, brand matters. The brand of Chicago Booth is world-renowned, a fact which is clear from the alumni base of over 45,000, the faculty which was the first in the world to include seven Nobel laureates, and the strength of corporate relationships around the metropolitan Chicago area. Chicago part-timers have the option to enroll in the evening or weekend program, both of which meet on the Chicago campus. With part-time programs, MBA students often wonder whether the quality of education is the same as in the full-time program; but with the Chicago Booth part-time program, faculty is mandated to teach at least one part-time course — so rest assured, from top to bottom, the world-class caliber of the part-time program is identical to unbeatable quality of the full-time program.
Kellogg School of Management
The weekend and evening program of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has significantly evolved in recent years to accommodate the very different needs of its students. Part-time students can complete the part-time program any time between two and five years – or sooner if students choose to pursue the new accelerated option, which allows students to complete the program in just over one year. The broad time range means that students can go at their own pace, whatever that may be. Regardless of whether students choose the Saturday or evening option, all students take up three courses per quarter on the Northwestern campus. Or, if you are looking to expand your Kellogg network or broaden your range, part-time students are always invited to take courses with full-time students on either the Chicago or Evanston campus.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com