So you're committed, enthusiastic, and want to apply. Now what? Well, first you must remember the two keys to succeeding in the b-school application process: begin early and be organized. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), (they're the guys who administer the GMAT exam so you should pay attention to their advice) you should begin the application process 6 to 10 months before the program in which you are interested starts. But before you can know when your program begins, you need to decide what kind of program you want to enter.

Unlike picking out an ice cream flavor, picking out which kind of MBA program you want to attend should not be a random decision. The options are varied and the experience each one provides is different. Most schools offer three programs:

  • Full-time programs take 2 years of course work during the day to complete. Students take 3-5 courses each semester. Full-time programs often offer both an academic and a social component, since students are around campus all day.

  • Part-time programs offer students the ability to continue working while they pursue their degree. These programs usually take between 3-5 years to complete, depending on how many requirements there are and how many courses students choose to take per semester. Courses are offered in the evening, on weekends and during the summer.

  • Executive programs are designed for people who have been in the workforce for at least five years and are looking to enhance specific skills. These programs are generally scheduled over several weekends per month and on average can take about 18 months.

To find a program near you, check out this search index.