If you are a forward-thinking undergraduate student with MBA plans in the future, then a 4+1 program might be right for you. This type of program takes a non-traditional, accelerated approach to receiving this degree, and this article explains how to get on the fast track.
The typical path to receive an MBA is to finish college, work several years, and then apply to a full-time, two-year program with some experience under your belt. But for many, this path doesn't work. The prospect of leaving the workforce and returning to school is too financially risky. For others, having to re-enter school in their mid-to-late twenties seems out-of-sync and might involve going with a partner or spouse in tow.
That’s why business schools are taking novel approaches to teaching the MBA degree. The increasing prevalence of online or part-time MBA programs reflects the demand for a non-traditional path. There's another option for students who are thinking ahead. Called a "4+1 program," it’s a fast track way to get your advanced degree and accelerate your coursework. The MBA is earned in tandem with your undergraduate degree, with just one additional year of study.
Most schools have eligibility requirements, such as a minimum GPA. They may also restrict the program to those with undergraduate majors such as business, engineering, and the sciences. That’s because those majors tend to fulfill the prerequisites necessary to complete both degrees in just five years. You should also check with each program to find out what the specific applications requirements are.
At most schools, 4+1 programs allows students to take advanced coursework beginning in their senior year of college and then go onto a fifth year of school for an intense, fast paced study of back-to-back B-school classes. Advanced MBA courses taken in your senior or extra year may also count as undergraduate electives. There will likely be a professional practicum built into the last year so you get real-life business experience as well.
Quinnipiac's 3+1 program begins freshman year and allows a student to graduate with both a BS and MBA in just four years. However, their program requires that you apply as an incoming freshman. In addition, it’s limited to those students entering the School of Business and Engineering who were in the top 20 percent of their high school class.
Getting an accelerated MBA over the more traditional two-year degree has been trending up in recent years. If you can handle the intense learning environment, and want a reduced time frame for getting the degree, then a 4+1 may be just right for you.