How Long To Get A Business Degree


How Long To Get A Business Degree

The duration of obtaining a business degree varies depending on the type of degree you’re aiming for and your circumstances. For instance, an associate degree typically takes about two years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree usually requires four years of study.

Meanwhile, a master’s degree can take an additional two years after completing a bachelor’s, and a doctorate may take three to five years beyond that. However, factors like prior college credits, transferable courses, and program format (such as online or part-time options) can all influence the timeline.

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How long does a business degree take?

When considering the duration of a business degree, it’s essential to understand that it can vary based on several factors. Typically, an associate degree takes about two years, while a bachelor’s degree typically requires four years of study.

Meanwhile, a master’s degree generally takes an additional two years after completing a bachelor’s degree, and a doctorate may take three to five years beyond that. However, these timelines can be influenced by factors such as prior college credits, transferable courses, and the program format, including online or part-time options.

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Associate degree in business

An associate degree in business typically spans about two years. During this time, students delve into foundational topics such as accounting, management, marketing, and finance. The program also includes general education courses that enhance critical thinking and analytical skills.

While full-time students usually complete the degree in two years, part-time students may take longer, often around three years. Also, students with prior college credits or an undergraduate business certificate may be able to graduate in less time. Overall, an associate degree in business provides a solid foundation for entry-level careers or as a stepping stone to pursue further education in the field.

Bachelor’s degree in business

A bachelor’s degree in business typically takes around four years to complete. Throughout this program, students explore a wide range of topics, including operations management, organizational leadership, and strategic decision-making. Many programs also offer specialized concentrations such as entrepreneurship, human resources management, accounting, and marketing.

While full-time students generally finish in four years, part-time students may take longer, typically around six years. Additionally, students with transfer credits or an associate degree can often complete a bachelor’s degree in less time, typically around two years.

Master’s degree in business

A master’s degree in business typically takes about two years to complete for full-time graduate students. These programs provide advanced training in various specialized fields such as accounting, marketing, human resources, or finance.

Depending on the program, part-time students may take two to three years to finish their degree. Online master’s in business programs often offer flexible scheduling options, allowing students to complete their studies in one to two years. With a master’s degree in business, graduates gain the expertise needed to advance their careers in management, consulting, finance, or entrepreneurship.

Doctoral program in business

A doctoral program in business, such as a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a Ph.D. in Business, typically takes around three to five years to complete. These programs are designed for individuals seeking to develop advanced expertise in business research and leadership.

Full-time students usually complete their doctorate in about three years, while part-time students may take longer. Some programs offer accelerated options, allowing students to finish in two to three years. With a doctorate in business, graduates pursue careers as executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, or professors, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and practice in the business field.

Earn Your Degree

Earn your business degree at your own pace. Whether you’re pursuing an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral program, there’s a path for you. Choose the program that fits your schedule and career goals, and take the next step towards advancing your education and professional development. With flexible options and a comprehensive curriculum, you can embark on a rewarding journey toward success in the business world.

Factors that affect the length

Factors that affect the length

Several factors influence the length of time it takes to earn a business degree. These include your enrollment status (full-time or part-time), the number of transfer credits you have, and the specific requirements of the program you choose.

Also, your schedule and commitments may impact the pace at which you progress through your degree. By considering these factors and planning accordingly, you can tailor your educational journey to fit your needs and achieve your goals promptly.

Online vs. on-campus learning

When deciding between online and on-campus learning for your business degree, consider factors like flexibility, accessibility, and personal preference. Online learning offers flexibility in terms of schedule and location, allowing you to balance your studies with work and other commitments.

On the other hand, on-campus learning provides a traditional classroom experience with face-to-face interaction with professors and peers. Ultimately, the choice between online and on-campus learning depends on your learning style, lifestyle, and goals.

Alternatives to a business degree

For those considering alternatives to a traditional business degree, several options exist to gain relevant skills and knowledge in the field:

  • Specialized Certifications: Pursuing industry-specific certifications can provide targeted training in areas such as project management, digital marketing, or financial analysis.
  • Bootcamps and Workshops: Short-term, intensive programs like coding boot camps or entrepreneurship workshops offer hands-on training and networking opportunities.
  • Apprenticeships and Internships: Working directly in a business environment through apprenticeships or internships allows individuals to gain practical experience while learning on the job.
  • Online Courses and MOOCs: Taking online courses or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from reputable platforms can provide flexible and affordable education in business-related topics.
  • Self-Study and Books: Engaging in self-study using textbooks, business journals, and online resources can be a cost-effective way to learn at your own pace.

Certificate programs          

Certificate programs offer focused and specialized training in specific areas of business, providing practical skills that can enhance career prospects. These programs typically take a shorter time to complete compared to traditional degree programs and are often designed to meet the needs of working professionals looking to advance their careers or pivot into a new field.

One of the key advantages of certificate programs is their flexibility, with many offering online or part-time options to accommodate busy schedules. Additionally, certificate programs are often more affordable than degree programs, making them accessible to a broader range of learners.

Individual courses for skill-building

Individual courses offer a targeted approach to skill-building in specific areas of business, allowing individuals to focus on acquiring knowledge and expertise in particular subjects without committing to a full program or certificate.

These courses cover a wide range of topics, from finance and marketing to leadership and project management, and are often available online or through continuing education programs.

Explore business degrees

Explore business degrees
  • Business degrees are available at different levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.
  • Undergraduate options include an Associate in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).
  • Graduate-level programs offer degrees such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science (MS) in Business, and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
  • These programs cover fundamental concepts in areas like accounting, finance, marketing, and management.
  • Graduate programs often provide opportunities for specialization in areas like finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, or operations management.
  • Business degrees can be tailored to specific industries or career paths, such as healthcare management or international business.
  • Certificate programs and individual courses are available for professionals seeking to enhance their skills or specialize in a particular area.
  • Business degrees prepare students for careers in business, finance, management, entrepreneurship, and related fields.
  • They provide the knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Business?

An Associate Degree in Business typically takes about two years to complete for full-time students. However, the length of time can vary depending on factors such as enrollment status and prior college credits. Part-time students may take longer, often requiring three years to finish the program. Online associate programs generally follow a similar timeline of around two years for completion.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Business typically takes about four years to complete for full-time students. However, the duration may vary based on factors such as transfer credits, course load, and enrollment status. Part-time students often take longer, with most completing the degree within six years. Some online business programs offer accelerated options, allowing students to finish their bachelor’s degree in one to three years.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Business?

A Master’s Degree in Business generally takes about two years to complete for full-time graduate students. However, there are variations depending on factors such as program format, course load, and enrollment status.

Part-time students may take two to three years to finish their master’s degree, while some accelerated programs can be completed in one year. Online master’s in business programs typically require one to two years for completion.

Timeline for Advanced Degree Programs

Advanced degree programs in business typically have varying timelines depending on the specific degree and program structure. Here’s a general timeline:

how long to get a business degree

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Traditional MBA programs usually take two years for full-time students.

Part-time MBA programs generally take 2.5-3 years to complete.

Accelerated MBA programs may be completed in 12-18 months.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

DBA programs typically take around three years to complete.

Some accelerated DBA programs may take as little as two to three years.

Part-time students may take longer to earn their DBA, usually three to five years.

Ph.D. in Business

Ph.D. programs often take four to five years to complete for full-time students.

Part-time students may require longer to finish their Ph.D., depending on their schedule and program requirements.

Why Earning a Business Degree Is a Worthy Time Investment

Earning a business degree is a worthy time investment due to several compelling reasons:

Career Opportunities

A business degree opens doors to diverse career paths in various industries, including finance, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. With specialized knowledge and skills, graduates are well-equipped to pursue rewarding and lucrative career opportunities.

Skill Development

Business programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that develops essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership. These skills are highly valued in today’s dynamic and competitive job market, enhancing graduates’ employability and career advancement prospects.

Networking Opportunities

Business schools provide valuable networking opportunities with peers, faculty members, alumni, and industry professionals. Building a strong professional network can lead to mentorship, job referrals, partnerships, and other career-enhancing opportunities.

Personal Growth

Pursuing a business degree fosters personal growth and self-improvement. Students gain valuable insights into business concepts, ethics, and global perspectives, which contribute to their intellectual and personal development.

Higher Earning Potential

Studies consistently show that individuals with a business degree tend to earn higher salaries compared to those without one. The specialized knowledge and credentials acquired through a business program often lead to increased earning potential throughout one’s career.

Learn More about Earning Your Business Degree from Maryville Online

Explore the benefits of earning your business degree from Maryville Online:

Flexible Online Programs

Maryville University offers a range of online business degree programs designed to accommodate busy schedules. Whether you’re a working professional or a busy parent, you can pursue your education at your own pace and on your terms.

Accredited Curriculum

Our business programs are accredited by reputable organizations, ensuring that you receive a quality education that meets industry standards. You’ll learn from experienced faculty members who bring real-world expertise to the virtual classroom.

Specialized Concentrations

Tailor your business degree to your specific interests and career goals with our wide range of specialized concentrations. Whether you’re interested in finance, marketing, management, or entrepreneurship, we have a program that’s right for you.

Career Support Services

Gain access to career development resources, networking opportunities, and job placement assistance through our dedicated career services team. We’ll help you prepare for success in the competitive job market and connect you with employers seeking skilled business professionals.

Interactive Learning Environment

Engage with fellow students and faculty members in our interactive online learning environment. Participate in discussions, collaborate on projects, and receive personalized support from instructors who are committed to your success.

Affordable Tuition Options

Maryville University offers competitive tuition rates and a variety of financial aid options to help make your education more affordable. Whether you’re eligible for scholarships, grants, or loans, we’ll work with you to find the best solution for your financial situation.

Adaptability and Resilience

Business education equips individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate rapidly changing business environments. Graduates learn to adapt to new technologies, market trends, and organizational challenges, making them resilient and adaptable professionals.


In conclusion, the timeline for earning a business degree varies depending on several factors, including the type of degree pursued, individual circumstances, and the chosen program’s structure. From associate degrees to doctoral programs, each level of education offers unique opportunities for skill development and career advancement.

Associate degrees typically take two years to complete, providing foundational knowledge in business administration. Bachelor’s degrees, the most common pathway, typically require four years of study, offering a comprehensive understanding of business principles and practices.

Master’s degrees offer specialized training and can be completed in two years for full-time students, while doctoral programs require a longer time commitment, typically ranging from three to five years.

Frequently asked question

How long does it take to earn an associate degree in business?

Typically, an associate degree in business takes about two years to complete for full-time students.

What is the duration of a bachelor’s degree in business?

A bachelor’s degree in business usually requires four years of study, although it can vary based on factors like transfer credits and program format.

How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in business?

Master’s degrees in business generally take two years for full-time students, with options for accelerated or part-time study.

What is the timeline for completing a doctoral program in business?

Doctoral programs in business, such as a DBA or Ph.D., typically take around three to five years, depending on the program and enrollment status.

How does online learning affect the duration of a business degree?

Online learning offers flexibility, allowing students to tailor their study schedules. This can potentially shorten or lengthen the time needed to complete a business degree, depending on individual circumstances.

Are there alternative options to earning a traditional business degree?

Yes, alternatives include certificate programs, individual courses for skill-building, and specialized training programs, which may vary in duration based on the specific program and requirements.

Why is earning a business degree considered a worthy time investment?

Earning a business degree provides valuable skills, career opportunities, and personal growth. It equips individuals with the knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in today’s competitive business landscape.

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