Universities are offering more and more programs and classes online, making education more convenient for everyone’s busy lives. Associate and bachelor degrees are not the only ones available online anymore, many graduate programs are beginning to follow suit. Among these online graduate programs are a number of MBA graduate programs becoming available through various online programs. But the concern arises: are these online programs just as effective as those offered on University campuses? Picking the right one that offers the best possible online program can be incredibly stressful; that is why we compiled a list of the Top 20 Online MBA Programs in the U.S.
1. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is #1 on many lists of best business schools across the United States. Their W.P. Carey School of Business has been highly ranked for years. The online MBA program is 15 years old, making it one of the older schools on this list. One of the greatest benefits to the Arizona State University online program is that the classes are taught by the same faculty members that teach on campus. Starting salary is slightly less than Indiana University – Bloomington at $98,000, but the high ranking experience of Arizona State University makes this the number one on our list.
2. Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley)
Indiana University is the most competitive program on our list, with a high GMAT score of 636 for admission consideration. Indiana University – Bloomington is also featured on dozens of business school rankings and lists, so of course this program is high on our list as well. It takes anywhere between 2 to 5 years to graduate, making it a flexible option for students. Graduates from the program can expect a salary increase anywhere between 35% to 60%. That being said, average starting salary is over $104,000, making it the highest on our list.
3. University of Florida (Hough)
The University of Florida (Hough) is a high ranking graduate school of business, having frequented top business school lists on Forbes. On a normal track students can finish the program in just 2 years, but for qualifying students that have finished their business undergraduate within 7 years of admittance, can fast-track the program and finish in only 1 year. Like most MBA programs, University of Florida requires 2 years of professional work experience before admission to the MBA program. The average GMAT score for students admitted is around 584.
4. Ball State University
Having founded their online MBA program in the mid-1990s, Ball State University has one of the oldest online programs for earning an MBA. They offer three different variations to their MBA program: online, blended, and traditional (on campus). The student-faculty ratio is 6 to 1, and after graduating the average starting salary is around $100,000.
5. Thunderbird School of Global Management
Thunderbird School of Global Management is ranked as the #1 school for international business. With that kind of ranking, the Thunderbird School of Global Management is a great consideration for gaining an online MBA degree. It is a hybrid program that requires some on-campus time. The online MBA program can be finished in two years (19 months), and has some of the highest numbers of graduating alumni through the online MBA program, with more than 35,000 alumni. A starting salary as a Thunderbird School of Global Management MBA graduate is around $83,000 a year. The school has a 62% acceptance rate with an average GMAT score of 585.
6. University of Texas – Dallas
The University of Texas, located in the bustling city of Dallas, offers only two specializations: Global Leadership and Project Management. There is an option for Healthcare Management track, but only for qualifying students. After graduating from the University of Texas MBA program, students can expect an average starting salary above $80,000.
7. Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s 10-year-old online MBA program offers the more specializations than any other on this list. Northeastern University is a highly recommended school for getting an MBA online, and specializations include; Healthcare Management, High Technology Management, International Management, Supply Chain Management, Finance, Innovation Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Sustainability. Their average starting income for graduates is above $73,000.
8. University of North Texas
University of North Texas has always been a high ranking school, even among online MBA programs. They started their program in 2007. The curriculum is 100% online, but you can opt for a blended option with a combination of online and traditional on-campus classes. They also offer specializations in Marketing, Finance, and Strategic Management. They have a lower GMAT average score than other colleges with the average at about 511, and an acceptance rate of approximately 55%. This University also provides a nice 4 to 1 student-faculty ratio, making it a much more hands-on experience for students.
9. Auburn University
Auburn has one of the oldest online programs, with an MBA program established over 25 years ago. Unlike most online MBA programs out there, Auburn University’s mirrors the professional MBA program that they offer on campus. If you are seeking to have two degrees, you can couple your MBA degree with others like an MSBA-Finance degree, Industrial and Systems Engineering degree, or a Management Information Systems degree. On average, they accept those with a GMAT score at around 529. They have one of the highest acceptance rates at 72%.
10. James Madison University
James Madison University founded their online MBA program in 1999. They only offer two specializations in innovation and information security. Expect a more technological curriculum from them. It is also important to note that although they offer the MBA program online, it does require some studying on campus. They have one of the best student-faculty of 3 to 1. James Madison University also has a great starting salary among graduates at around $75,000.
11. Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University was founded over 50 years ago to educate the whole person—the mind, body, and spirit. Though it’s had an MBA program for a long time, it wasn’t offered online. However, recently ORU added an LMBA, or a Leadership Master of Business Management degree that integrates two critical components of business – technical knowledge and effective leadership techniques. It is designed to be completed in six semesters, treating each summer as valuable time for completing classes.
12. Syracuse University
Like the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, the Syracuse University online MBA courses began in 2001. They offer a nice variety of specializations from Accounting to Entrepreneurship. They also offer tracks in Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Marketing Management. On average, among accepted students, GMAT scores are around 600. They garner a great student-to-faculty ratio at around 11 to 1. To top it all off, graduates in their respective jobs have a handsome starting salary of about $90,000 a year.
13. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon Nazarene University opened its doors in 1968 with an educational philosophy defined by an emphasis on loving God with all of one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength, as well as one’s neighbors as one’s self. MVNU’s online MBA was designed for ambitious adults to get a high-quality education while maintaining personal and professional responsibilities. All MBA students are required to complete nine core courses and are encouraged to finish their degree with a concentration in Finance, Human Resource Management, Ministry Leadership, or Organizational Management. For those who choose, there are 11- and 15-month accelerated online MBA programs as well.
14. University of Nebraska – Lincoln
This 14-year-old program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln offers five different specializations: Business Analytics, International Business, Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Marketing. They have the highest average GMAT score for accepted students of 640. Like most MBA programs, they require 2 years working experience before applying. Graduates of this program can expect a $65,000+ starting salary.
15. Cedarville University
Cedarville College was established in 1887 with the vision of providing Christian higher education. Its online MBA allows students to pick one of three options: general MBA, operations management concentration, or healthcare administration concentration. It’s a 36-credit program and can be completed in 24 months. The required classes are given in seven-week terms, allowing flexibility for working professionals.Courses are designed for the online environment but include hands-on case studies, projects chosen by the student, simulation games, and personal development. Cedarville has a 72 percent graduation rate and a student-to-faculty ratio of 5 to 1.
16. North Carolina State University
This University is the most flexible school on our list. Depending on preferences, students can finish the program in 21 months. If a slower pace is preferred, students can finish an MBA over a six-year period. Students even have the option for more face-to-face courses as opposed to the online curriculum, or a blend of both. MBA graduates of North Carolina State University have an average starting salary of about $67,000.
17. Rochester Institute of Technology
RIT offers a rigorous online MBA program for management professionals. There is no GMAT required for admission into this astounding program. They are very flexible with their scheduling options, offering a traditional 2-year program, accelerated 1-year program for undergraduates, Fast-Track 1-year program for non-business graduates, and an Executive MBA option (this option requires on-campus work).
18. Northwest Nazarene University
Northwest Nazarene University was founded in 1913 and is a Christian, liberal arts institution affiliated with The Church of the Nazarene. It’s been named among the Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report and their business school is accredited by the ACBSP. Their online MBA program allows students to choose from the following concentrations: Healthcare, Operations Management, Finance, Global Business, and Leadership. The school offers a variety of student support services including library resources, tutoring, writing assistance, and advising services. NNU’s online MBA program is designed with the working adult in mind and may be completed in as little as 16 months.
- Tuition: $595/credit hour
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
- Required GMAT Score: unknown
19. Norwich University
Norwich University first started their online MBA program 15 years ago, and it has been highly ranked ever since. They have five different specializations students can pick from: Finance, Organizational Leadership, Construction Management, Program Management, and Supply Chain Management. They offer an accelerated 18-month program for qualifying applicants. Norwich University’s online MBA program is one of the hardest to get into, with an acceptance rate of 42%.
20. Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University was founded in 1867 as the Howard School for the education of African Americans, but today it serves over 6,300 students and ranks among the nation’s most diverse campus communities. FSU is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina and is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. FSU’s online MBA is fully accredited by the AACSB and has numerous national rankings for its quality and affordability. It allows students to choose from one of eight concentrations and several graduate certificates.
21. Georgia College and State University
For students looking for flexibility and cheaper tuition, Georgia College and State University may be the right choice. Of all of the Universities on our list, Georgia College and State University has the smallest student-to-faculty ratio at 1 to 1. Students can expect much more attentiveness from their faculty. The average GMAT score is 544 among accepted students, with an acceptance rate of 62%.
- Tuition: $288 (in-state) or $1,027 (out-of-state)/credit hour
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 1 to 1
- Required GMAT Score: average accepted score is 544
22. Babson College: Olin
Babson College’s MBA Program is primarily online, but it is necessary to note that some face-to-face sessions are required every seven weeks. They are one of the leading schools of entrepreneurship in the nation. For graduates of this program, expect a robust starting salary around $91,500.
23. Campbellsville University
Campbellsville University was founded in 1906 and is considered one of the best private Christian institutions in the United States. Students who choose to attend this school can also let go of the stress that accompanies paying for a graduate degree: Campbellsville University has among the lowest student debt loads in the nation. Students committed to receiving an online MBA from CU have seven emphases to choose from including information technology, healthcare management, marketing, and more. Benefits of this program include leadership skills needed to move into managerial roles, a firm grasp of advanced business concepts used daily in the workplace, a knowledge base of trends that are changing the economy, and a focus on relevant information that can be immediately applied.
24. University of Tennessee – Martin
The online MBA program at the University of Tennessee – Martin is a great, attentive option. Expect a small class for this 20-month program. On average, the University of Tennessee has a 5 to 1 student to faculty ratio, making them quite the hands-on program. They have a low acceptance rate of 42% making it fairly difficult to get in and the program does not offer any specific specializations.
25. Quinnipiac University
This University is fairly new to the online MBA game, they offer six different specializations; Computer Information Systems, Finance, Healthcare Management, International Business, Marketing, and Management. They have a fairly high acceptance rate of 76% and an average GMAT acceptance score of 540.
- Tuition: $925/credit hour
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: unknown
- Required GMAT Score: average score of 500+
26. Central Michigan University
Located in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, this University offers an MBA program with an emphasis in enterprise resource planning. It includes specializations in Human Resource Management, Marketing, Value-Driven Organization, and Logistics Management. They have a low acceptance rate of about 44%, with an average GMAT acceptance score of around 490. Most graduates from their online program have an average starting salary of around $53,200.
- Tuition: $600/credit hour
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
- Required GMAT Score: around 490
27. Greenville University
Greenville University was founded in 1892 and since the beginning, its mission has been focused on providing Christ-centered education to empower students to live lives of character and service. Its online MBA degree is solely focused on the technical skills needed in business administration and it has one focus area, Business Management. The program helps students obtain practical knowledge and essential skills in areas such as management, accounting, economics, finance, strategy, and marketing.
- Tuition: $434/credit hour
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
- Required GMAT Score: “score indicating sufficient aptitude for success in an MBA program”