The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most prestigious and well-known degree options for business students at the graduate level. As the name implies, this degree program provides students with a business administration education. Students learn core business principles, and at some schools, also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area, such as accounting, finance, management, or marketing. Most business schools offer both full- and part-time MBA programs. Some schools also make their programs available online. Read more about how to choose the right MBA program.

Accelerated MBA

An accelerated MBA program results in the same degree as a regular MBA program. The only real difference is that an accelerated MBA program is earned at an accelerated pace. A traditional MBA degree takes two years to earn. An accelerated MBA degree program, on the other hand, can usually be completed in as little as 11 months. Accelerated programs are fast-paced and rigorous, but provide students with an opportunity to fast track their education and jump start their career.

Executive MBA

An executive MBA (EMBA) program is similar to an MBA program in the sense that it provides a general business administration education. However, an EMBA degree program is designed for working executives who want to earn their degree through part-time study. Most executive MBA programs hold classes on the weekends - sometimes every other weekend. Program duration varies by school, but typically lasts anywhere from one to two years. Students in an EMBA program may have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area or customize their study with electives. The typical EMBA program puts a strong emphasis on teamwork. Read more about the difference between an MBA and an EMBA.

Specialised Master's

specialized master's degree is an alternative to an MBA. It can be a smart option for students who want to study a specific area of business. Specialized master's degree programs can provide students with in-depth knowledge and experience in areas like accounting, finance, management, business analytics, entrepreneurship, international business, marketing, human resources, supply chain management, etc. Most graduate business schools offer specialized master's programs in addition to MBA programs. The admissions requirements are typically similar for both types of programs.

Dual degree

A dual (joint) degree program offers business students the opportunity to earn an MBA or specialized master's degree in business in conjunction with another degree. Dual degree programs are becoming increasingly popular at business schools. Most programs take four to six years to complete and result in two different graduate-level degrees. Popular dual degree options for MBA students include:

  • MBA/JD - Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor
  • MBA/MD - Master of Business Administration and Medical Degree


Business students who have already earned a master's degree can earn a PhD in business administration or another business field. A PhD is the highest degree that can be earned. The average program takes four to six years to complete, but could take longer depending on the school and the student. While enrolled in a PhD program, most business students conduct in-depth research in their business field.

Other business education options

There are many other business education options beyond degrees for students at the graduate level. Most business schools offer executive education programs to help executives and managers enhance or acquire new skills in business, management, or leadership. Executive education programs are usually non-credit and non-degree-granting, but programs may result in a certificate.

Some business schools also offers business certificates for master's and post-master's students. These certificates can usually be earned within a few weeks or a couple of months. Certificate programs usually focus on a particular topic, such as taxation, management theory, leadership, etc. and can generally be completed on campus or online.

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