Top 20 Cheapest MBA Programs in Illinois in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Top 20 Cheapest MBA Programs in Illinois in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Illinois is home to an ever-expanding economy with major cities – such as Chicago and Oak Brook – recognized as national business centers. Year-by-year the state has an increasing demand for capable leaders and entrepreneurs. According to ZipRecruiter, holders of an MBA earn an average of $65,886 per year in Illinois.

What Type Of Career Is An MBA For?

A Master of Business Administration graduate typically pursues a career in mid management in select industries. Popular MBA jobs include business operations management, financial management, and health service administration. Many students who earn this degree already have some experience in the field they want to work in, either through direct employment or undergraduate fieldwork.

What Are The Prerequisites For An MBA Program?

An MBA is a post-grad degree, meaning prospective students will need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to enroll. Some schools require future graduate students to meet certain score requirements on the GMAT or GRE. A few years prior work experience is generally preferred, and many schools make it a requirement for admission. 

Interested in earning your MBA online? Our Degree Finder tool can help narrow down your options!

What Are The Cheapest MBA Programs In Illinois?

We searched for the most affordable MBA programs in the state and ranked them on a 100-point scale. Comparing in-state tuition costs with credit-hour program length, we discovered the programs that are most affordable in terms of money and time spent. Check out our rankings below!

1. University of Illinois at Springfield – Springfield – 100 Points

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s MBA program features a blended format with core classes held weeknights on campus. Electives are held either online or on-campus in the evening or on weekends.  Students have the option to add a specialization certificate to their degree in fields such as finance, human resource management, and business analytics.

  • Tuition: $3,984 per semester
  • Length: 30 credit hours

2. Quincy University – Quincy – 92 Points

Quincy University is a private Roman Catholic university offering on-campus and online MBA programs. To meet the needs of working professionals, courses are offered year-round and on-campus classes meet once a week for 3 ½ hours. Additional certifications in health care administration, organizational leadership, and operations management are available.

  • Tuition: $6,000 per semester
  • Length: 30 credit hours

2. Eastern Illinois University – Charleston – 92 Points

The MBA program at Eastern Illinois University is offered at the Charleston campus and at Parkland Community College in Champaign. Students can also earn this degree online. There are several concentration options available: accountancy, applied management, research, and geographic information sciences. The school offers an MBA with MS in cybersecurity dual degree program.

  • Tuition: $3,826 per semester
  • Length: 33 credit hours

4. McKendree University – Lebanon – 88 Points

McKendree University is a private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school offers an MBA program on-campus and online. Concentrations include corporate finance, cyber defense, digital marketing, and human resource management.

  • Tuition: $6,360 per semester
  • Length: 30 credit hours

5. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – Edwardsville – 77 Points

MBA students at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville may take classes in two formats: flex and accelerated. Flex classes are held one evening per week on campus with online assignments or online courses. Accelerated classes are all online. Specializations include business analytics, management information systems, and project management.

  • Tuition: $4,078 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

6. Governors State University – University Park – 73 Points

Governors State offers their MBA program in a hybrid or fully online format. They also have a program for undergraduate students looking to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and MBA within five years. Students may choose a specialization in business analytics, finance, or leadership. 

  • Tuition: $4,872 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

7. Southern Illinois University Carbondale – Carbondale – 72 Points

SIU Carbondale has residential and online MBA programs and several dual degree options. Students who complete the MBA program may seek higher education through the school’s PhD in Business Administration program. Concentrations offered include agribusiness economics and analytics for managers.

  • Tuition: $7,042 per semester
  • Length: 33 credit hours

8. Concordia University Chicago – Chicago – 61 Points

Concordia is a private university affiliated with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Features of their MBA program include no GRE requirement and two completion track lengths: one-year and two-year. There are eight specializations to choose from: accounting, chief school business official, digital marketing, finance, health care management, leadership and change management, project management, and sports management. 

  • Tuition: $8,520 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

9. Greenville University – Greenville – 57 Points

Greenville is a private institution affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. They offer an online MBA program as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Management for undergrads. Each course in the MBA program is 8 or 16 weeks long. Students may transfer up to 6 credits from other courses to speed up completion.

  • Tuition: $5,712 per semester
  • Length: 40 credit hours

10. Aurora University – Aurora – 53 Points

The MBA program at Aurora University can be taken in three different formats: Plus One, Evening, and Online. The Plus One format is designed to last one year full-time with daytime classes on the main campus. Evening format classes are designed to be completed in two years part-time and are held at the main campus as well as Woodstock Center. Online coursework can take one to two years to complete dependant on student pacing.

  • Tuition: $8,580 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

11. Judson University – Elgin – 49 Points

Judson is a private Evangelical Christian university. Students may attend on-campus classes in the evening, or earn their MBA online. The quickest timeline for degree completion is 18 months. Two concentration areas are available: organizational leadership and not-for-profit administration.

  • Tuition: $8,700 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

12. Benedictine University – Lisle – 48 Points

Benedictine University is a private Roman Catholic university within the Chicago metro area. They offer different MBA formats aimed at different types of students. Working adult students can earn their degree part-time on campus at their own pace. In the full-time internship program, recent graduates take an internship as their concentration to gain professional experience while they earn their degree. The 4+1 MBA program is for undergrads who want to earn a bachelor’s degree plus one-year post-grad to complete their MBA.

  • Tuition: $7,500 per semester
  • Length: 42 credit hours

13. Rockford University – Rockford – 45 Points

Students at Rockford University can take their MBA degree courses on campus, in the evenings, or fully online. Evening classes include dinner. Enrolled students also have access to the Bloomberg Business Lab. Three degree concentrations are available: finance, healthcare administration, and project management.

  • Tuition: $8,760 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

14. National Louis University – Chicago – 34 Points

National Louis University’s MBA program is offered through on-campus, online, or blended formats. This degree may be earned in about 20 months. Students may choose from five concentration areas: accounting, entrepreneurship, health services administration, human resource management, or nonprofit management. 

  • Tuition: $9,372 per semester
  • Length: 39 credit hours

15. Illinois State University – Normal – 33 Points

The Traditional MBA program at Illinois State University is delivered in a hybrid format. Students attend on-site classes one weeknight per week, then complete the rest online. Courseloads are flexible for students to take at their own pace. They also offer a Corporate MBA in an accelerated five-weeks-per-course format. The CMBA can be earned in 22 months. 

  • Tuition: $9,767 per semester
  • Length: 36 credit hours

16. Dominican University – River Forest – 32 Points

Dominican University is a private Dominican Catholic institution. Their MBA degree can be earned on campus or in a hybrid format for full or part-time study. Students may be able to waive some or all of the foundation courses based on past academic or professional experience. Specialization certificates can be added to the degree.

  • Tuition: $12,420 per semester
  • Length: 30 credit hours

17. Northeastern Illinois University – Chicago – 30 Points

Northeastern Illinois University’s MBA classes occur on campus during weeknights and occasionally on Saturday. There are also hybrid and online settings available. Students who have a certain undergrad GPA or work experience may be excepted from having to take the GMAT or GRE. The school offers a concentration in accounting.

  • Tuition: $10,896 per semester
  • Length: 33 credit hours

18. Western Illinois University – Macomb – 26 Points

Western Illinois University offers its MBA courses on campus during the day or evenings and online. There are nine integrated bachelor/master programs available for current undergrads. Concentration courses are determined by the department based on the student’s individual interests. 

  • Tuition: $8,883 per semester
  • Length: 54 credit hours

19. Lewis University – Romeoville – 10 Points

Lewis University is a private Lasallian Roman Catholic university. Learning options for their MBA program include on-campus evening and weekend classes at Romeoville and Oak Brook, as well as hybrid and online courses. Certain foundation courses may be waived based on previous undergraduate work. Concentrations include accounting, finance, healthcare informatics, human resources, marketing, and operations management. 

  • Tuition: $9,720 per semester
  • Length: 54 credit hours

20. Northern Illinois University – Dekalb – Points 7

Northern Illinois University offers four different learning formats for MBA students: Executive, One-Year, Global, and Online. Online study is flexible for full or part-time students holding a bachelor’s degree. Executive MBA courses are designed for working professionals with a minimum of five years work experience and company sponsorship. One-Year courses are preferably for students with three to five years of experience. Global courses feature two study abroad trips.

  • Tuition: $10,440 per semester
  • Length: 48 credit hours (variable depending on the format selected)

If you’re looking for more online learning options check out the resources on our site!

Our Methodology

We retrieved a list of colleges offering MBA degrees in Illinois from the National Center for Education Statistics. Then we gathered tuition and program length information directly from each program’s website. We sorted this data by low cost and short program length and assigned points accordingly.

80% of the ranking comprised in-state tuition cost. The remaining 20% consisted of program length. The highest possible score was 100 points. 

Reporting Errors

We strive to make our data as accurate as possible. If you are an employee of a school listed here and notice an error, please reach out to us so we can make a correction. 

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