Ranked Virginia MBA Programs – Comparing Program Formats

Comparing the format of the ranked Virginia MBA programs you are considering is very important.

Just as if the shoe doesn’t fit, the same can be said about the format of MBA programs. If the format doesn’t fit your needs and schedule, than your chances of success are diminished. Number of credits, electives available, class meeting times, and length of degree program are all part of the format of a program. Finding the right MBA program takes a great deal of time and energy.

The top ranked Virginia MBA programs (part-time) according to U.S. News & World Report are:

  • George Mason University School of Management
  • Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech
  • Robins School of Business at University of Richmond
  • Mason School of Business at College of William & Mary
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

Here’s a short break down of the format for each of the top ranked Virginia MBA Programs.*

George Mason University School of Management

Locations: Fairfax, VA and Arlington, VA
Duration: 18 months (full-time), 23 months (part-time)
Credits: 48

The Mason MBA program prepares the next generation of world leaders through a rigorous, stimulating business and management curriculum based on a global perspective, industry demand, and leadership. This kind of broader business school focus has become essential for pioneers of businesses, governments, and public institutions worldwide.
George Mason University School of Management offers a top ranked MBA program at an affordable price, which translates to a higher return on your investment. One of less than 10% of business schools AACSB accredited in both business and accounting, Mason’s MBA program has smaller class sizes and a cohort structure to optimize your learning. In addition, the traditional Mason MBA full-time program can be completed in as little as 18 months, which is within the timeframe for active military assigned to attend graduate school. Part-time students attend class two evenings per week and generally finish the program in 23 months.

Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech

Locations: Blacksburg, VA (full-time), Falls Church, VA (part-time)
Duration: 21 months (full-time), 42 months (part-time)
Credits: 48

The Pamplin MBA allows a student to gain a broad perspective of various business disciplines. The 10 required core classes introduce a wide range of business functions, and provide the quantitative and analytical foundation for the more rigorous, advanced classes in the second year.  Students additionally take 6 electives and have the option of study abroad courses and 6 concentration areas. Classes are offered in the evening from Monday – Thursday. With more than 45 courses offered annually, students are able to accelerate their studies and complete the program in two years or extend their course plan to a maximum of five years. The average student completes the degree in about 3 ½ years.

Robins School of Business at University of Richmond

Location: Richmond, VA
Duration: 24 months (part-time)
Credits: 45

The Richmond MBA aims to enhance the strategic thinking of experienced individuals through rigorous courses that feature applied learning opportunities. The Richmond MBA has a newly revised curriculum for 2013. The new curriculum will allow professionals an option to finish in 24 months while maintaining the flexibility in the program. Those who wish to extend their time in the program to three years or more will be able to do so under the new curriculum. The curriculum includes an Opening Residency, International Residency and Capstone Project. The school is now offering new elective courses in a variety of areas. Classes meet on weeknights, one night per week for 14 weeks, except in summer session when classes meet twice per week for 7 weeks.

Mason School of Business at College of William & Mary

Location: Newport News, VA
Duration: 21 months (full-time), 36 months (part-time)
Credits: 39

At the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, the MBA program provides students with a flexible, adaptable reputable MBA program that is specifically designed for working professionals. Students in the Mason School of Business Flex MBA Program earn an advanced degree alongside other professionals who share the same drive and commitment to professional growth and merit and from a faculty who is consistently recognized globally for their teaching excellence. Through the flex MBA program, students take classes weekday evenings for about three years. Classes are offered on multiple days to better fit students’ schedules. Flex students typically take two courses per semester (fall, spring and summer). Due to the demands of working professionals, students have up to five years to complete the program.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Location: Richmond, VA
Duration: 18 months (full-time), 36 months (part-time)
Credits: 57

Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business offers students an MBA program of study that meets their individual needs, priorities and schedules. Major strengths of the program include its challenging core curriculum, its smaller classroom sizes for a more personalized learning experience, its inclusion of successful Richmond-area business leaders in class discussions and its expansive alumni network that is very active in the Richmond area. While studying the interrelated functional areas of businesses and exploring case studies, students will develop skills in solving business problems, making decisions, communicating effectively, and working in teams. Classes are typically offered one evening per week (Monday through Thursday). The degree must be completed within six years of the time of admission to the program; however, the typical student completes the degree in one and a half to three years.


Weighing the format of different ranked Virginia MBA programs is vital in the search to find the right fit for you. Some programs are longer than others, and each has varying credit hours. Class offerings may be in the evenings or weekends. Finding the MBA program with the format that works best for you and your current lifestyle is vital in determining your success in the program. Be sure to weigh all factors when looking at various MBA programs.

*Data obtained from individual university websites.

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Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Business. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

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