The Ultimate Dilemma: Part-time vs. Full-time

Working as a recruiter for an MBA program with both a full-time and part-time program, I frequently get asked the question: “should I apply for the full-time program or the part-time program?” I often find myself saying: “it really depends.” One of the many benefits of Mason’s MBA programs is that there is no academic difference between the part-time and full-time programs. Our students take the exact same classes, in a cohort format, with the same highly qualified professors, for the same tuition price. This, of course, makes the decision easier…and harder.

Ranked #70 in U.S. News & World Report, Mason’s part-time (evening) MBA program is ideal for the working professional who wants to advance their career, make a career change, or simply expand their knowledge base. The key word here is FLEXIBILITY. Students take an average of 35 months to complete the program taking two courses (6 credits) per semester (fall and spring) two evenings a week and one summer course.

Since we are located in the D.C. Metropolitan area, we offer the part-time program on our Fairfax (fall and spring start) and Arlington (fall only start) campuses. With heavy academic and professional workloads, families and other outside commitments, our part-time students excel at time management, meeting before and after class for group projects, and come to campus with the primary purpose of attending class and gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to earn their MBA degree and advance their professional lives.

Our full-time (traditional) MBA students, on the other hand, enter the program with the idea of fast tracking their education. They often have similar professional and personal goals as our part-time students but with the ability to commit their time and resources to going to school full-time. The benefits of entering the full-time program revolve around the three A’s: accelerated, assistance, and access.

ACCELERATED: Starting only in fall on the Fairfax campus, full-time students typically complete the MBA program in 21 months, taking 12 credits in the fall and spring semesters. These students do not take summer courses since summers are reserved for internship (usually paid) opportunities.

ASSISTANCE: Knowing that our full-time students are unable to work full-time, we offer merit-based scholarships and graduate assistantships to assist them financially. These merit-based award packages often cover the entire cost of attending our MBA programs.

ACCESS: Mason MBA full-time students are on campus more often. This allows them to have greater access to professors for research, teaching and mentorship opportunities. Their schedules also allow them to utilize our career services more frequently and attend daytime campus events that greatly impact their experience.

Whether going full-time or part-time, you know you will earn a quality education here at Mason. As a prospective student, you have to find the program that fits your needs and interests. This difficult decision is really a highly personal one. Therefore, “it really depends…on YOU.”

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