A dean of MBA admissions explains how to decide between full-time or part-time business school

Isser GalloglyHow much do you care about networking? Isser Gallogly is pictured.Isser Gallogly

Full-time professionals interested in continuing their education often face the same worry: Is the loss of income and two years spent out of the workforce worth getting a master of business administration (MBA) degree?

The answer depends on what you aim to get out of business school, according to Isser Gallogly, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“If being fully immersed in your experience in business school is incredibly important to you, a full-time program obviously optimizes that,” Gallogly told Business Insider.

“Business school is much more than the classroom experience. A huge part of the MBA program [is] the networking opportunities … you’re building a network for life.”

There are trade-offs when thinking about pursuing a part-time or a full-time program. “With a full-time program, there’s more investment in terms of the cost because you’re forgoing income but you have more time to invest in the program,” Gallogly said. “With part-time, you’re obviously keeping your job, keeping your income, so there’s less opportunity cost, but on the flip side, you have less time to go to business school and get engaged and involved.”

Still, Stern’s part-time program has four or five happy hours a week, and retreats away from campus to ensure students still have some of the same networking benefits.

However, “if networking and being fully involved is incredibly important and your job is somewhat limiting, full-time may be a better option in that case,” according to Gallogly.

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