Carnegie Mellon Launches Accelerated Full-Time MBA Program

Carnegie Mellon Launches Accelerated Full-Time MBA Program

The Tepper School of Business has launchd a new accelerated MBA that takes three semesters instead of four

For some students, faster is better. It was a little under two years ago, in February 2022, that Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business announced the launch of an accelerated online hybrid MBA program that featured flexible online courses, weekly evening/online courses, and immersive weekends in a 24-month program, shaving a year off the customary experience of the school’s online hybrid MBA.

The success of the accelerated online program — which also featured a significant tuition savings — inspired the Tepper School to offer students a chance to speed up their experience in another: the school’s flagship MBA. Tepper announced today (December 15) the launch of a full-time accelerated MBA that students can complete in three semesters instead of four, existing in harmony with Tepper’s two-year program: same faculty, same networking, mostly the same curriculum. In fact, Tepper’s leadership hopes the new program will invigorate its four-semester MBA by giving that group a parallel cohort of colleagues.

“The Tepper School is launching this program option to bolster our full-time, two-year MBA program,” Tad Brinkerhoff, assistant dean, tells Poets&Quants. “Our full-time accelerated MBA students will be joining our full-time MBA cohort and share the same Basecamp (orientation), professors, career and leadership coaches, and student clubs.”


Tepper’s Tad Brinkerhoff: “Prospective students want a quality education with outstanding career outcomes, but reducing the time out of the workforce by one semester is an attractive option”

Because students in the accelerated program will be taught by the same faculty, attend the same events, and take many of the same classes as those in the two-year program, the school expects a seamless integration between the two groups.

“Full-time MBA students are unlikely to know who a student in the accelerated program is and who is not, since students in the accelerated full-time MBA are taking the same curriculum except for a handful of core classes,” Brinkerhoff says.

Early coursework is the main difference between programs. To qualify for the accelerated MBA, applicants must have already taken Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Microeconomics, and Operations courses. One additional course admits will have to take is a refresher course designed “to set them up for success for the rest of the curriculum and be integrated into the other core courses and electives with the full-time MBAs,” Brinkerhoff says.

Students in the accelerated MBA program won’t miss out on internships — unless they want to. “Candidates will have the option to pursue an internship,” Brinkerhoff says. “These candidates will join a more robust cohort than other one-year or accelerated MBA programs and build the same strong network as our full-time MBAs. The optional internship can help with a small pivot as well as being competitive for industries and/or companies that traditionally hire most of their MBA talent from their internship programs.

“We believe this makes it a differentiated option in the MBA marketplace and stands out as a flexible, accelerated option for top candidates.”


A big appeal of the accelerated program is financial: A shorter program means less expense. That’s how it worked the last time: Tuition savings for the accelerated online hybrid MBA were estimated in February 2022 at around $36K.

About the new program, “We believe having this option to accelerate their coursework and shorten their time out of the workforce will be an attractive option for the right candidates,” Brinkerhoff says. “This will also reduce the cost of the program by one semester and, in return, increase the ROI for these candidates.”

Tepper’s tuition for the fall 2023 entering cohort was $37,856 this fall and another $37,856 in spring 2024. Estimating approximately the same amounts for fall 2024 and spring 2025, and adding fees and cost of living of approximately $60K for two years (based on the school’s estimates), and the total cost for a Tepper full-time MBA is currently around $215K. Saving a quarter of that would a savings of more than $50K.

Tepper leaped from 24th to 16th in Poets&Quants’ just-published 2023-2024 ranking of MBA programs. In the school’s latest employment report, Tepper Class of 2023 MBAs made a base salary range of $80K to $210K, with a median $161K. Median signing bonus for the class was $30K. Nearly half the class (45.9%) went into consulting, with a base salary range of $95K to $197,500 and a median of $175K.


Why is Tepper launching this program now? Demand. With a strong reputation for analytics, Tepper already attracts applicants from the tech and engineering spaces. The ideal applicant for the new program is “someone who has taken business coursework and who wants to accelerate their career in their current function or industry,” Brinkerhoff says — and that’s a big population worth pursuing.

“Tepper is hoping to increase the opportunities for students with a business background who can earn an MBA degree in a shorter time by receiving credit for business courses already taken,” Brinkerhoff says.

“With the successful launch of the accelerated option in the online hybrid program in 2022, leadership decided to add a similar option for the full-time option in 2023. Prospective students want a quality education with outstanding career outcomes, but reducing the time out of the workforce by one semester is an attractive option.”

Learn more about Tepper’s new full-time accelerated MBA here.


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