With so many options available, it can be hard to make an informed decision about the length of your MBA program .  Before you start your MBA application, check out these tips on how to decide which MBA program length is right for you. 

MBA program length

1. Full-time MBA programs: 2 years

Full-time MBA programs are best for students who can commit to two years of study. Full-time MBA programs aren't designed to accommodate work schedules, so consider whether or not you're willing to quit your job. That said, full-time MBA programs benefit students without much experience, who are launching their careers. It's important to consider the cost, too—two years of tuition without working full-time may be prohibitive. 

2. Part-time MBA programs: about 3 years

If you’re already working but want to pursue your MBA simultaneously, a part-time MBA program may make the most sense. You'll have access to the same faculty and resources as your full-time peers, but you'll have added flexibility and work-life balance. Of course, three years is a long time to work on a degree, so consider whether or not you'll be able (or willing) to maintain this commitment for so long. 

3. Accelerated MBA programs: 12-18 months

Many accelerated MBA programs start early summer and end the following summer, with an optional, six-month field specialization. If you have a strong professional background and/or an undergraduate business degree, but you still want to gain more expertise, an accelerated MBA could be the best option to save time and money.

4. 4+1 MBA: 5 years

Some undergraduate institutions offer a fast-track option—the 4+1 MBA—which allows students to begin earning their MBA while still pursuing a bachelor's degree (in business or another field). Most 4+1 MBA students start their application process during their junior undergraduate year—and you'll still have to take the GMAT . Students begin taking business courses their senior year and will ultimately save time and money. 

5. Online MBA programs: 18+ months

Online MBA programs are ideal for students who don't want to (or can't) leave their jobs to pursue their degree full-time. Online MBA students take between one and four classes per semester, so it may take them longer to finish their degree; at the same time, online MBA programs are often less expensive than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. If you're determined to earn your MBA and able to work independently and remotely, an online MBA program might be the best option for you.

Quiz: Should You Take the GMAT or GRE?

The  GMAT  is not the only test in the business school game anymore. Answer a few questions and will help you decide whether to to take the GMAT or the GRE.