Accelerated MBA

Full-time MBA, Accelerated

Thunderbird’s Full-time MBA is offered in an accelerated track for students with undergraduate business backgrounds or advanced work-experience qualifications. Entering the program with a foundation in accounting, data analysis, statistics, finance and management allows you to waive certain core courses and progress more quickly into concentration area classes and optional language offerings.

Program at a glance
Student stats
Credit hours


Average age


Program duration
Depending on optional internship


Male/female ratio
64% male / 36% female 
Program format
Campus-based, full-time program with intakes in fall
Average # of countries represented


Undergraduate & work experience requirements
Undergraduate major or minor in business and two years of work experience required; 5+ years of work experience may be substituted for specified undergraduate degree

Average years of work experience


Second language proficiency
Required for graduation
Degree earned
MBA in Global Management

Learn about program tuition and financing options available to you.


Global studies opportunities

Thunderbird offers you a full immersion in global business with hands-on, study-abroad opportunities around the world. Students in the accelerated MBA program are eligible to participate in

  • Winterims/summerims
  • Global internships
  • Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratories
  • Summer language abroad programs

Read more about these global studies opportunities.

Accelerated MBA Curriculum


In our accelerated MBA program, you may choose to focus your studies in one of the following concentration areas:

  • Global Development
  • Global Entrepreneurship
  • Global Finance
  • Global Management
  • Global Marketing

Sample course descriptions

Note: Not all courses shown here are taught at all times. This listing represents a sample of the courses available at Thunderbird, but is not meant to be all-inclusive. Please speak with an admissions representative to discuss the specific classes being offered in the next term.

  • Course Number: GM-4105
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course is an accelerated course in external financial report and managerial accounting. It includes financial statement preparation and analysis and the study of US generally accepting accounting principles as well as international accounting standards. It also includes the study of management account and decision-making, manufacturing and service industry costing and accounting and performance measurement.

  • Course Number: GM-1100
    Credit Hours: 0.00

    All entering students begin their degree program with this mandatory, one-week course. Foundations Week introduces tools and insights necessary for success and career effectiveness on a global scale. The course presents key aspects of leadership, team building, motivation, ethics, and cross-cultural communication. It also offers self-assessment tools and opportunities to explore career management and job search strategies. Presentation and computer skills are also a part of Foundations Week.

  • Course Number: GF-5290
    Credit Hours: 1.50

    This course provides an overview of the private equity industry globally, its role in economy, its participants, its operations, and its recent development. It covers different phases of the private equity investment process and the players involved at each stage. The phases include: setting up a fund, selection and screening of investments, exploring valuation techniques, structuring a deal, managing and exiting investments. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of private equity transactions through case studies and interactions with private equity professionals.

  • Course Number: GF-5524
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key marketing issues through an examination of various marketing decisions. This course complements other marketing courses by adopting a more hands-on and practical approach to strategic market planning. Specifically the course objectives are to: help students develop an understanding of the role that analytical techniques and computer models can play in enhancing marketing decision making in modern enterprises; improve students? skill in viewing marketing processes and relationships systematically

  • Course Number: ST-4804
    Credit Hours: 1.50

    This course focuses on the communication process between the West and the Arab-Islamic world. It analyzes the communication and information patterns in the Arab-Islamic culture. This analysis is necessary for achieving successful intercultural dialogue between the West and the Arab-Islamic world, and for ensuring success in business and politics in the Arab and Islamic countries. The course examines and deconstructs the word-based fundamentals of the Arab-Islamic culture in order to reveal the essence of the Arab-Islamic communication and information mechanisms.

  • Course Number: AR-4015
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This is an introductory course for beginning language learners. No prior knowledge is required. Students study language fundamentals such as pronunciations, vocabulary and grammar. The emphases are: a) establishing a solid foundation in pronunciations; b) building up vocabulary and sentence patterns in communicative contexts; c) introducing writing systems and preparing students to read characters. In addition, cultural and social information that go along with language use are also included in the teaching.

  • Course Number: AR-4020
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course is a continuation of Fundamentals I. It aims to help students further develop communicative skills in listening and speaking, with an additional emphasis on reading texts. The emphases of this course are: a) building up more vocabulary and grammatical structures for communications purposes, b) integrating the linguistic and cultural knowledge acquired in Fundamentals I with the new knowledge, c) introducing business content and terminology in instructions and activities.

  • Course Number: GF-4607
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course will take participants to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Hong Kong, where the program will explore how to do business in one of the world?s most dynamic economies. Program content will focus on applied knowledge that will help prepare students to lead and manage effectively in the complex Chinese market. Learning will be primarily through site visits, a group exercise, and integrative lecture/discussions.

  • Course Number: GF-4706
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course will take participants to Shanghai, Suzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Bangalore, where the program will explore the high-tech business environment and how to do business in one of the world?s most dynamic regions. Program content will focus on applied knowledge, such as intellectual property protection or managing high tech talent that will help prepare students to lead and manage effectively in this diverse and complex region.

  • Course Number: GF-4601
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course examines select cases of managerial challenges in the Asia/Pacific region. Each case will combine a specific national/territorial setting with a specific management topic: staffing, incorporation, ethics, joint venture management, technology transfer, distribution analysis, and other related topics. Additionally, emerging thematic issues will be explored, such as the new political economy of Northeast Asia (Siberia, Manchuria, Korea), post-industrial globalism in Japan, the Indian investment environment change, and Vietnam?s economic reform.

  • Course Number: GF-4609
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    The course will provide an intense focused experience in India for all levels of previous exposure to the country. The course is intended to provide a re-introduction to Indian business culture and current globalization trends in the Indian market. The program will include guest speakers, corporate presentations, on-site visitation and information discussions with local businesses and members of the community.

  • Course Number: GF-4672
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course will focus on busines opportunities and operational challenges facing organizations doing business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Of particular concern will be the sustainability of the growth and progress see in Dubai over the last 20 years and the problems associated with managing a very diverse set of employees. Program content will focus on applied knowledge that will add to a student'd abilities to manage organization in a region which has experienced dynamic growth as well as the impact of the current financial crisis.

  • Course Number: GF-4655
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course will enhance students? understanding of business development in East Africa?s largest country, Tanzania. Thunderbird students continue to show interest in human and economic development, the growth potential of emerging societies, the African region in general, and how all of these are related to business. Course learning will include social entrepreneurship, development, cross-cultural studies, and an increased global mindset. The program will enhance students?

  • Course Number: XM-1001
    Credit Hours: 0.00

    The goal of this seminar is to challenge future global leaders, whether headed to business, government or the social sector, to reflect critically about their role in creating a more just, inclusive and sustainable world economy. The seminar will encourage participants to question their fundamental assumptions about the human condition, their personal values, and their understanding of leadership.

  • Course Number: GF-4671
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course is about the business environment of Kenya and is designed to educate students about the challenges and opportunities therein for businesses, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, managers, and policy makers. Inter-alia, students will learn the importance of the Kenyan polity, society, economy and business environment in the East African region.

  • Course Number: GF-5712
    Credit Hours: 3.00

    This course examines the role that business intelligence; the systematic collection, synthesis, and analysis of information on the external operating environment should play in strengthening corporate strategies and decision-making. Through lectures and client-sponsored competitive assessment projects, the course has two goals: to help students understand this management tool and to train them to be able to utilize it for competitive advantage. This course also addresses the related issues of corporate/industrial espionage and information security.

  • Course Number: PD-1001
    Credit Hours: 0.00

    In this workshop, students will develop public speaking strategies that take into account the audience, purpose and channels of communication. Students will be able to effectively deliver a variety of presentations: informational, impromptu, and persuasive. Students will be able to incorporate a variety of techniques for improving different aspects of their presentation skills: non-verbal communication, connecting with their audience, facilitating Q/A, developing and using visuals effectively (including PowerPoint) etc.

  • Course Number: PD-1000
    Credit Hours: 0.00

    In this workshop, students will develop writing strategies that take into account the audience, purpose and channels of communication. By assessing their own writing skills and writing processes, they will identify and employ strategies to make them more effective and efficient writers, resulting in writing that is clear, concise, logical and compelling, and professional.

  • Course Number: CS-1003
    Credit Hours: 0.00

    The unique career opportunities that T-birds seek are not always available through traditional job search channels. This lab is designed to help students become more competent, proactive, and successful in this challenging job search process and is targeted toward students desirous of a more focused personal effort against their career goals. This hands-on lab builds on the CMC Seminar and relies on individual and team goal setting to help students progress through the process.

  • Course Number: CS-1000
    Credit Hours: 0.00

    The course equips students with a standard set of career management skills that can be used in any future career search process including: using self assessment and market research tools to identify your goal(s), developing an effective resume and cover letter, professional networking and interviewing skills, and job search ethics and etiquette. The course emphasizes a proactive job search process and teaches students how to leverage skills for future career moves.