The Best One-Year MBA Programs

Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business is ranked 25th among the best B-schools in the U.S. by Poets&Quants.

University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business

Most often, one of the sacrifices in signing up for an accelerated MBA program is that students lose out on international experiences. That’s not true in Notre Dame’s Mendoza School one-year MBA program. Even as an accelerated MBA student, students can take part in a two-week “international immersion” in either Beijing and Shanghai, China, or Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

During the China immersion offered between terms, MBA students visit a cross-section of Chinese and multinational businesses and gain an appreciation for the diverse opportunities that exist in the area for both established businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. During the Latin American immersion, students are exposed to regional business opportunities and social development understanding in two important financial and cultural centers

Notre Dame’s program is for students with an undergraduate business degree from an accredited university where English is the primary language. Applicants also must meet some key prerequisites that include six credit hours of accounting, six in economics, another six in mathematics and three credit hours each of finance and marketing.

As is typical in one-year programs, Mendoza tells prospective students upfront that the quickie option is not for those seeking “a drastic or significant career change”—largely because students won’t be able to do an internship to help with a transition to a new field.

The start date for MBA students is in May of each year with graduation the following May. During the 10-week summer semester, students attend intensive sessions in the core disciplines explored during the first year of Mendoza’s two-year program. After the summer session, students join the second year of the traditional MBA program.

Notre Dame’s typical intake of one-year students is about 65 a year. Some 29% of the Class of 2012 was composed of women, with only 6% international (much lower than most other programs). The average age of a one-year MBA here is 27, with an average five years of work experience. One in five students were married.

Class sizes are small and the intense summer sequence cultivates a tightly knit group of classmates. The material covered during the summer classes is tailored for the accelerated nature of the program. Having core prerequisites out of the way, the program allows students to jump right into a concentration track in the next fall and spring with the two-year students returning for their second year.

During what the school calls “interterm intensives,” MBA students also can analyze and offer solutions for real-life problems presented by executives from large global organizations, including Adidas, Boeing, GE, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald’s, Nestle, OfficeMax, Pace Global Energy Services, Starbucks and Walgreens.