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How Long Does it Take to Get a Business Administration Degree?

By Charlene Lattea, WVU Online | Wednesday, March 29, 2023

How long does it take to get a business degree?

That depends entirely on the type of degree or certification you’re pursuing and whether you are full time or part time.

When looking at Business Administration degrees, you naturally want to know how long it will take you to complete the degree, and weigh that information along with other details of the program while making your decision. How long it will take depends on several factors. What type of degree are you pursuing? Do you plan to attend full time or part time? Do you have credits that you can transfer?

All these are things to consider, but first you may want to know what kinds of degrees are available.

Types of Business Degrees

The four types of degrees include: associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate.

Let’s take a look at each of these degrees in greater detail.

The Associate Degree

An associate degree is taken at the undergraduate level and gives students the basic knowledge and skills they need to advance in their career.

Often these degrees, such as WVU Online’s Associate of Arts in Business Administration, are designed for students who expect to go on and complete a bachelor’s degree.

Twenty courses will give you a broad knowledge of business, combined with skills in technology to prepare you for a variety of careers in a field that is changing rapidly. These include micro and macroeconomics, accounting, statistics, business communications, and computer applications, among others.

Electives can be tailored to match your personal and professional interests and you will also take 31 to 37 hours of General Education Foundation (GEF) courses.

Bachelor’s degrees

The bachelor’s degree is the full undergraduate degree and requires 120 credit hours if you enter the program as a freshman.

These degrees require four years to complete if you are attending full time, and longer if you are attending part time.

With the bachelor’s degree you will complete GEF requirements, electives, basic courses in business administration, and courses for your major.

If you take one of WVU Online’s BSBA programs in General Business, Marketing, or Hospitality and Tourism, you will work with an advisor to prepare a plan that outlines the time you need to complete the degree, according to your personal schedule.

Looking at Master’s degrees?

A master’s degree in business administration is an opportunity to specialize in a particular area as you earn an advanced degree. It will take about two years to complete, if you are studying full time.

Typically, when looking for an advanced degree in business administration, students are looking for the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

An MBA usually takes two years, but students can also find accelerated programs that allow them to complete the program in 12 to 15 months.

WVU’s Online Hybrid MBA program is a 12-month, full-time accelerated program designed for working professionals of varying backgrounds. The program requires 30 credits and unique features include “bolt-on” certificates, or the opportunity to obtain dual degrees, including Doctor of Dental Surgery, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Jurisprudence, or Master of Nursing, along with the MBA.

Sometimes a master’s is designed to be completed in two years and completing it sooner requires the approval of the program director. Such is the case with WVU Online’s Master of Arts in Music Business and Industry.

This degree typically takes a little over two years. Upon completion, graduates will be experts in current music industry regulations and management practices, as well as music publishing and recording.

Another area of specialization, the WVU Online Master of Science in Human Resource Leadership can be completed in as little as one year. In this field, you will find leadership opportunities that are wide-ranging and steady job growth and high earning potential, with salary ranges consistently above $100,000 per year.

The WVU Online Master of Science in Digital Marketing degree is unique because students take courses during five accelerated terms throughout the year. This degree can be completed in just one year, which is intense, or students can choose to complete it in 18 months to two years, which is much more flexible.

Doctorate in Business Administration

Are you a business professional looking for a pathway into academia, consulting, executive leadership or government and non-profit organizations?

The doctorate in business administration requires a great deal of time and commitment and it might take you three years or more to complete.

WVU’s Business Administration Doctorate requires 17 courses and can be completed in three years. Beginning in 2023, the program is offering concentrations in accounting, economics, management, and marketing.

Graduates of this program are highly sought after by employers due to their advanced knowledge, research skills, and expertise. The career outlook is strong, with a wide range of job opportunities.

What if you need to complete something a lot faster than one to four years? That’s where certificates come in!

Graduate or Undergraduate Certificates

The certificate gives you a broad overview of a particular program, while focusing on the most important aspects that you will need to apply it to your current career. Certificates are much faster to complete than traditional programs.

For example, the WVU Online Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate is a shorter version of the full degree that gives you the basics of IMC.

Only four courses are required, and the certificate takes one year to complete. If you decide to study for an bachelor’s degree or graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at a later date, all of the credits can be transferred.

WVU Online has many business-related certificate programs, including:

These certificates require 12 credits of coursework, taken in one academic year, or sometimes even in 16 weeks! All are rigorous programs that will greatly help you grow in your career.

Wondering what you can do with business administration?

Some of the jobs associated with these certificates include:

Management Analyst
Conduct organizational studies and design systems to assist management in operating efficiently. Median Salary: $93,000. Projected Growth: 11% or higher.

Business Intelligence Analyst
Produce financial and market intelligence by querying data repositories and generating reports. Median Salary: $100,910. Projected Growth: 11% or higher.

Data Scientist
Develop and implement applications to transform raw data into meaningful information using programming languages and visualization software. Median Salary: $100,910. Projected Growth: 11% or higher.

Database Architect
Design strategies for enterprise databases, data warehouse systems, and multidimensional networks. Median Salary: $125,430. Projected Growth: 8-10%, faster than average.

Information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.

WVU Online degree options in Business Administration

To find out about WVU Online degree options, whether you are interested in an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a certificate in business administration, visit these pages:

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