I understand that the reasons to go part time vs full time for a MBA is very different. However, for someone considering a full time MBA but wants to get a better understanding of the MBA coursework, does it make any sense to take 2-3 courses part time first and then applying to a full time program? How to top schools react to a candidate that is already enrolled into a PT program but is looking to switch to a full time program? For someone looking to increase his chances of admission to a top 15 full time program by taking the PT classes to supplement mediocre grades in undergrad, could this strategy pay dividens? I appreciate your thoughts..
Taking a few business classes while working and before applying is a great idea and looked on most positively by b-schools. Doing so demonstrates both your interest in and ability for MBA coursework. THis is a particularly effective method of dealing with mediocre undergrad grades or a lack of quant classes as an undergrad. (For more suggestions, please see "MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA
It is an entirely different matter to enroll
in a part-time program to test the waters. I discourage that strongly. First of all, if you want to switch from that school's part-time to full-time program, some schools won't allow it and others limit that ability. If you apply with this as your stated goal, most part-time programs will reject you. They want to know that you are committed to their part-time program. If you start at a part-time program and then want to transfer to another school's full-time program, you will probably lose all credit and have to justify the switch. Most schools will be very skeptical about your commitment.
In summary, testing the waters by enrolling in a few courses is a great way to go. Enrolling in one program and then attempting to switch is very risky.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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