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Best 1-Year MBA Programs in the World

Updated on 21 March, 2024

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

Do you often wonder which are the best 1-year MBA programs in the world? There are many institutions that can readily lay claim to this distinction with their cutting-edge one-year modules, complete with innovative and experiential learning. While choosing the best one-year MBA program is difficult, here are some of the options worth considering. Let’s walk through why, how, and what to choose while considering an accelerated 1-year MBA program.

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Why Study a 1-Year MBA?

  • Over the past decade, 1-year MBAs have increased enormously because of their shorter duration and lower program costs. Alongside these two major factors, several other supporting benefits come with the accelerated MBA program. These programs are best suited for experienced professionals looking to upgrade their skills. 
  • It comes with an intense learning experience for career advancers.
  • Moreover, the program leads to a higher return on investment, as it becomes affordable in view of the fact that it takes half the time than a 2-year management degree. Thus, the 1-year MBA program becomes suitable for a fast-forward career growth.
  •  The 1-year MBA program enables candidates to interact with professionals having experiences from diverse industries in different roles. 

Top Universities for 1-Year MBA

NYU (New York University)- Leonard N. Stern School of Business, USA

NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business has one of the world’s top one-year MBAs. 

It offers two specialized MBA programs:

QS University Ranking 2024Program/CreditCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
39Tech MBA/ 52 credit
  • Stern Solutions
  • Tech Core
  • Business Core
  • Electives
$82,326 + $1,678 (orientation fee)February 15 
Fashion & Luxury MBA/52 credits
  • Stern Solutions
  • Fashion & Luxury Core
  • Business Core
  • Electives
$82,326 + $1,678 (orientation fee)February 15 

Northwestern University- Kellog School Of Management

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA has a highly-ranked one-year MBA program that helps students learn more about core business principles and build their leadership skills. Here are the details of the university's 1-year MBA program:

QS University Ranking 2024Program/CreditCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
32One-year MBA Program/15.5 credits

Any of these:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Strategy
  • Managing Organizations
  • Management Science
$108,016 + other expensesApril 5 


Cornell University

The SC Johnson School of Business at Cornell University is also acclaimed for its 1-year MBA courses. Students can choose an accelerated course that will have students fusing flexible curriculums with STEM-designated career pathways and community networking. 

QS University Ranking 2024Program/CreditCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
20Tech MBA/60 credits
  • Johnson Core
  • Required Johnson and Cornell Tech Courses
  • Required Studio Courses
  • General Electives
$118,758 + other expensesMarch 7

IMD Lausanne

The one-year MBA program at IMD Lausanne in Switzerland is hugely acclaimed for its emphasis on collaboration and critical thinking. Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek have ranked this one-year MBA course at IMD Lausanne as #1 in Europe. This degree is the gateway to a fulfilling global leadership career ahead. 

Financial Times 2024 European Business School RankProgram/CreditCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
111-year MBA/90 credits
  • Leadership
  • Sustainability
  • Career 
$87,290 + $19,095 (additional fee)October 15 


INSEAD offers one-year MBA programs at its campuses in France and Singapore. The institution is affectionately called The Business School for the World, with representatives of more than 80 nationalities. The curriculum is robust and engaging, and the course concludes with a project or an essay along with an examination. 

Financial Times 2024 European Business School RankProgram/PeriodsCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
15MBA/5 periods (each of eight weeks)
  • Financial Accounting
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Financial Markets and Valuation
  • Prices and Markets
  • Uncertainty, Data and Judgement
  • Introduction to Strategy
  • Corporate Financial Policy
  • Managing Customer Value
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Process and Operations Management
  • Leadership Communication Foundations
  • Macroeconomics in the Global Economy
  • Business and Society
$105,440 to $107,070March 7 

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Cambridge University

Cambridge University needs no introduction and is ranked #1 for Business and Management Studies in REF 2021. Its one-year MBA program is one of the best in the world as per Forbes. Cambridge offers experiential learning with an emphasis on executing real-world projects. 

QS University Ranking 2024Program/TermCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
2MBA/4 terms (Michaelmas, Lent, Easter, and Summer)Culture, Arts and Media Management
Digital Transformation
Energy and Environment
Health Strategies
Social Innovation
$ 69,570 + $19,205 (living expenses) + $190 (application fee)May 22 

SDA Bocconi University

Housed in Milan, Italy, SDA Bocconi has a well-recognized one-year MBA program. The institution seeks not only to equip students with domain knowledge but also industry experience and the entire spectrum of analytical and social aspects conjoined to managerial issues. 

Financial Times 2024 European Business School RankProgram/CreditCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
4MBA/105 credits
  • Business Fundamentals
  • Management 
  • Entrepreneurial Projects
$70,687 + $130 (application fee)April 20 

Oxford-Said Business School

The MBA program at Said has been ranked amongst the world’s best and most diverse MBA courses. In 2023, the Financial Times ranked the MBA from Oxford at #28 in the world.

QS University Ranking 2024ProgramCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
  • Organisational Behaviour Tech & Ops Management Accounting 
  • Analytics Marketing Business Finance Integrative Module
  • Firms and Markets Strategy
  • Capitalism in Debate Entrepreneurship 
  • Electives
$77,690March 22

IE Business School

Located in Madrid, Spain, the institution offers one of the choicest international MBA programs for aspirants. This one-year MBA is a full-time course, offering high achievers a chance to get global exposure along with in-depth insights into managerial and leadership practices. 

QS University Ranking 2024ProgramCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
347International MBA
  • Accounting & Management Control
  • Economic
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour
  • Information Systems & Technology
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Operations & Technology
  • Strategy



$89,500 + $1305 (one-time contribution to IE foundation)There’s no deadline. You can apply any time of the year because of its rolling admission process.

Mannheim Business School

The Mannheim Business School has an equally acclaimed one-year MBA program highly coveted throughout Europe. The one-year accelerated program emphasizes smaller classes, ensuring more opportunities for networking, exchange, and exposure as far as students are concerned. 

Financial Times 2024 European Business School RankProgram/TermCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
21Mannheim Full-Time MBA/4 terms (+1 optional term)
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • Marketing Fundamentals
  • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
  • Fundamentals of Strategic Management
  • Macroeconomics
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Change Management
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Elective Courses
$46,220August 15 

Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of Management 

Located in Rotterdam, the Rotterdam School of Management offers a cutting-edge one-year MBA program that is globally recognized for its innovation, flexibility, and emphasis on comprehensive knowledge. 

QS University Ranking 2024Program/ModuleCore ComponentFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
208International Full-Time MBA/5 modules
  • Financial Management: Accounting
  • Management Science
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Quantitative Platform of Business
  • Personal Leadership Development
  • The Impact Experience
  • Economic Environment of Business
  • Human Resource Management
  • Innovation Management
  • Business of Sustainability
  • Electives
$69,600August 15 

HEC Montreal

One of Canada’s premier management institutions, HEC Montreal is a great choice for international aspirants seeking the best 1-year MBA programs in the world. The practice-focused course helps students equip themselves for high-flying global careers in the future. 

Program/CreditCore ComponentsFeeApplication Deadline for 2024
Full-time MBA/54 credits
  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Sustainable Development
$59,000May 15 

These are only a few of the top-ranked one-year MBA programs in the world, as ranked by Forbes and College Consensus among leading organizations. There are many other premier one-year MBA programs across the world.


Below are the eligibility criteria for 1-year MBA programs:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university. 
  • IELTS or TOEFL scorecard with 6.5 and 7.5 scores, respectively.
  • GRE or GMAT scorecard. The required GMAT score is 600 to 730, and the GRE score is a minimum of 310 to 315. 
  • A valid passport and a student visa.

The desired GPA and scores might vary across the universities.

How to Get Admissions to 1-Year MBA?

The admission process for 1-year MBA is similar to that of other MBA programs. The difference lies in their respective eligibility criteria. Here is the step-by-step process for getting admission to 1-year MBA course:

  1. Select the university from where you want to pursue the course.
  2. Go through all the program information mentioned on the university’s official website and see if you meet the eligibility.
  3. Fill out the application and upload scanned copies of all the required documents. The list might include a CV, scorecards, transcripts, and more.
  4. Make the application fee payment. 
  5. If selected, you will receive an interview call and an offer letter from the university.
  6. Further, you may book your seat at the desired university by paying the program fee.

Admission Requirements for 1-Year MBA

Several documents are required when planning to pursue a 1-year MBA course. Though sometimes document requirements may vary from university to university, the following list includes some of the standard documents required in every university.

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Transcripts of all previous educational qualifications
  • GMAT/GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scorecards
  • Certificate of work experience
  • Proof of funds

Jobs and Career Opportunities

The one-year MBA program focuses on strengthening business and management knowledge to accelerate your career at a higher level. With the short-term full-time program comes numerous job opportunities in the field of finance, sales, retail, fashion, IT, entrepreneurship, banks, marketing, business, and many more. Here are a few job opportunities that you can look forward to:

  • Business Analyst
  • Business Administrator
  • Business Operations Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Product Manager
  • SAP Consultants
  • Supply Chain Analyst
  • Retail Manager
  • HR Manager
  • Sales Manager

1-year MBA vs 2-year MBA

Choosing between a 1-year and 2-year MBA needs much scrutinization, as certain differences exist. It becomes crucial for aspiring candidates to be aware of the differences to align their career goals with the chosen MBA program. Below are a few significant differences between the 1-year and 2-year MBA programs.

1-Year MBA2-Year MBA
Lesser time duration and accelerated courseMore time required to complete this degree
Cost-effectiveCost is double of the 1-year MBA
Employers consider it equivalent to a 2-year MBA, increasing its acceptability in the marketIt has always been a popular program globally
Best choice for people from business backgrounds or experienced professionals Best choice for experienced professionals as well as freshers
The peer group comprises professionals with experience in diverse industries, enhancing the learning experienceGet networking opportunities with seniors, and juniors, across industries

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the advantage of 1-year MBA?

 1-year MBA program is of shorter duration and accelerates your career with less investment and early employment. Since work experience is needed to pursue the course, employment comes with better opportunities.

What is the fee for a one-year MBA program?

Though the one-year MBA program fee varies in different universities, the average range is $46,200 to $118,758.

Which is better, a 1-year MBA or a 2-year MBA?

Whether to choose a 1-year MBA or 2-year MBA depends entirely on your professional background and requirements. If you have several years of work experience or belong to a business family, then a 1-year MBA suits you the best. If you want to change your career stream or upgrade your knowledge for better work opportunities, then a 2-year MBA adds more value. 

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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