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One-year MBA Abroad


One-year MBA Abroad

One-year MBA programs have been mainly popularized by European B-schools and are now being seen as a viable alternative to the two-year MBA such as programs offered in USA. It is basically an accelerated, full-time MBA program customized for experienced professionals. The one-year format is gaining immense popularity among Indian students. According to a report published by QS (2013), 48% B-school aspirants prefer a one-year MBA program, while only 38% are interested in the traditional two-year program.

Specific features:

  • Designed for candidates having work experience between 2 and 16 years
  • Program enhances leadership skills, develops greater understanding of the nuances of accounting/finance/human resource management, builds network, and whets operational and business management capacity in candidates
  • Practice-oriented curriculum with a few electives and cross-functional courses, case studies, group discussions and presentations, projects, simulations, and conferences/guest lectures

A quick comparison



Usually 9-12 months

Usually 24 months

Eligibility/Work Experience

2-5 years

0-5 years


75% of the two-year MBA

25% more than the one-year MBA


Focus on foundational areas and specialist skills in domains such as finance, accountancy, etc

Soft and leadership skills

Career opportunities

Provides good vertical growth within an organization; good for candidates interested in entrepreneurship and family business as well

Ideal for changing careers, horizontal and vertical growth


Usually not a part of the program


Post-MBA career options: students can either join their previous employer at a better position or search for a higher position (such as CEO, Vice President, GM and Senior Manager) in the same sector but a different company. They may also join family businesses or start their own ventures.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum three years of work experience; average experience – 6-13 years ; candidates already working in senior managerial roles are preferred
  • Undergraduate degree is required; some schools prefer candidates who have good knowledge in quantitative areas or have a bachelor’s degree in business or economics
  • GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores are required by most schools
  • Essays, resume, LoRs and interview are the other important requirements

Top B-schools offering 1-year MBA programs

Particulars IMD,  Lausanne,  Switzerland INSEAD – Fontainebleau, France and Singapore SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy


No. 1 world-wide by Forbes in 2011 and 2013
No. 1 as per the Financial Times in 2014

No. 2 by Forbes

No. 26 world-wide and no. 10 in Europe as per the Financial Times Global MBA rankings 2015

Additional Admission Requirements (in addition to the ones mentioned above)

  • Proficiency in one foreign language
  • A day-long on-campus assessment including an interview
  • Case discussion and presentation conducted
  • Two assessment days are held in Singapore and Sao Paulo
  • Proficiency in one foreign language needed
  • international experience preferred
  • No additional requirement

Class Size

90 students

500 students

90-100 in two sections


Subjects in business fundamentals, electives, projects, group work, and discovery expeditions integrated with personal grooming and career services

14 core courses and 11 student-chosen electives  (from a pool of 75) with each period followed by an examination, project or essay

core courses, concentrations, summer projects, skills training, seminars, and even an optional international exchange program

Tuition Fee

Tuition – CHF (Swiss Franc) 60,000
Fees are CHF 25,000

Euro 65,800

Euro 47,000

Post-program career path

75% students placed in industrial jobs; 20% placed in consulting

34% entered consulting; 49% went into corporate sectors

About 37% entered the marketing and sales sector while 19% entered consulting

To conclude, a full-time one-year MBA is not only a quicker route to leadership success but also brings real value for the investment made.