The time commitment and workload for an online MBA degree

  • December 27, 2022
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 4 minute read

If you’re tentatively looking forward to beginning an online MBA program or just considering whether such a program might work for you, knowing more about an MBA’s time commitment and workload could help you prepare.

Time commitment and workload are two of the most common subjects we address with prospective students.

What is the commitment for an MBA leadership online degree?

The time commitment for Olin’s Online MBA requirements is 15 to 20 hours per week, or three courses per semester. Over the course of the semester, there are eight live sessions plus class group activities and your own personal work. You can put in more hours if you feel like you want or need them, but 15-20 is our aim as instructors.

The cohort-based nature of the program calls for students to be active and community-minded. Workload will vary from course to course, week to week, and professor to professor. If you find a particular course more challenging, you’ll want to spend more time engaging with your classmates to increase your understanding. Students may be surprised at how often they interact with classmates, but those who are willing to share and ask questions with their cohort will have the most rewarding MBA experience.

The other variable affecting workload will be your personal life. We speak to students all the time about navigating their home commitments. It may sound counter-intuitive, but we always tell students to put their personal lives first. Take time for yourself and your relationships; if you don’t take care of your personal life first, the program becomes a moot point when there isn’t any room in your life.

What kind of support will you be given in an online MBA?

The best thing about Olin’s Online MBA program is how much support you’re able to receive as a student. Here’s a rundown of the resources that will help ease that workload and time commitment:

Professor support

Students often debate online MBA programs versus traditional programs and assume that the online path involves less individualized mentoring and contact with professors. In actuality, our professors spend a lot of time creating and delivering support mechanisms to individual students, online and in-person.

The cohort

The cohort is a major support structure ingrained within the program that students can lean on. Everyone in the cohort is having a similar experience, and they can help each other navigate through the program. They can be sounding boards for career ideas, can offer resources to help with financial or academic struggles, and can provide the social support that will make getting an online MBA degree worth it.

The Weston Career Center

If career planning is overwhelming, the WashU Center for Career Engagement is there to help you plan and consider your options. While you’re studying for your online MBA, your course commitments require a lot of focus, but you also want to get prepared for life after the program. The WCC is there to get to know your ambitions and aspirations on an individual level and help you achieve them.

A personal support network

There are many other supporters in our immediate network, from course and subject tutors to the admissions team and financial services, who have a unique angle on the online MBA experience and what students are going through.

Advisors are in constant communication with students. It’s a job and a passion for many. Students may feel like they don’t want to bother an advisor, but that’s what they’re there for; it can be really helpful for students to get individualized mentoring and talk through their experiences.

The Center for Digital Education

The Center for Digital Education is the large support mechanism behind the learn.WashU online platform. The CDE has state-of-the-art recording facilities where the information in courses you take is produced and polished by the faculty and the e-learning support team. This also includes teams checking to make sure accessible features are working and available. MBA students can also find innovative resources to take the lead and guide the digital experience of the course.

The platform itself

The learn.WashU platform has been created expressly to connect and enable student cohorts to complete our MBA degree requirements. It’s a proprietary learning management system, with interactive classrooms, research tools, and many ways to personalize the technology to better serve your needs. Students really love it. It also has a “lifelong learning” component, so even after the course requirements are done, you can stay connected to the educational environment.

When beginning or even just looking into accredited online MBA programs, many prospective students wonder how they’ll make it work for them and whether they’ll be sufficiently supported. They may even just be wondering how much time they’ll need to spend achieving this qualification, and how much work they’ll need to put in. Empower your decision with information, and find out more about what an online MBA degree could do for your life and your career.

About the Author

Washington University in Saint Louis

WashU Olin Business School

Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander in scale. The education we deliver prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world.

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