Hybrid MBA programs combine the benefits of online and part-time offerings. In a typical hybrid model, a large proportion of the coursework is done online at a time and place that is most convenient to the student. Unlike a fully online program, students in a hybrid MBA meet with faculty and classmates a few times per semester. These in-person sessions allow for discussion of more advanced concepts, completion of team-based assignments and presentations, as well professional networking opportunities. However, the required in-class time of six to nine hours per course is significantly less than competing part-time or executive MBA options.

At Oregon State, our MBA in Executive Leadership is offered in the online/hybrid format. Students taking two courses per term can complete the degree requirements in less than two years. Each class meets one to three times in a brand-new facility in Portland. The program launched in 2013 and members of the inaugural class will graduate this year. Initial feedback has been very positive.

According to a recent survey, those in the higher education industry are in favor of the hybrid model. The Babson Survey Research Group recently released its annual online education survey, and a majority of survey participants said hybrid courses are equivalent to those taught in person. Interestingly, 33 percent of participants felt hybrid courses were superior to their traditional counterparts.

If you are a working professional thinking about earning your MBA, a good hybrid program can offer the academic rigor of a part-time or executive program coupled with the convenience and flexibility of an online offering.