MBAs have long been the most popular graduate degree in the United States, and with good reason. Unlike most professional programs, an MBA doesn’t lock you into a specific career. In fact, depending on your field, an MBA could actually broaden your horizons — not to mention make you a lot more money.
Why Should You Apply for an MBA?
There are any number of reasons to apply for an MBA. If you’re mid-career, you might be looking for an MBA to improve your leadership skills, branch out into a different niche, increase your networking opportunities, or even switch careers entirely. For recent graduates, an MBA can provide better job prospects and earning potential, with MBA holders earning higher median salaries than their counterparts in similar positions. The National Association of Colleges and Employers predicts an average starting salary for MBA graduates in the class of 2020 of $79,043, which is over $20,000 higher than the predicted salary of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business.
What Are the Program Requirements for an MBA?
The requirements for each specific MBA program may vary according to the school, but in general, applicants may be required to have:
- A four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Resume and personal statement
- Letters of professional recommendation
- Proof of English proficiency if applying from outside the United States
- GMAT score over 600
- 1-5 years of relevant work experience
|1||Concordia University Chicago||River Forest, Illinois|
|2||Aurora University||Aurora, Illinois|
|3||National Louis University||Chicago, Illinois|
|4||Western Illinois University||Macomb, Illinois|
|5||Chicago State University||Chicago, Illinois|
What Are the Best Value MBA Programs in Chicago?
We compiled a list of schools in and around the greater Chicago region that provide MBA programs and ranked the top 27 schools. We used tuition (lowest is best) and admittance rate (highest is best) to rank the schools. Check out our rankings below to find the best value MBA programs in Chicago.
Concordia University Chicago
The MBA program at Concordia University Chicago is offered as a one or two-year program, on-campus or online, and allows students to choose from 10 specializations. The Concordia-Chicago MBA is based around the four pillars of ethics and social responsibility, critical thinking and entrepreneurial mindset, communication and human relations, and global interconnectedness and inclusiveness. The world-class program offers small class sizes, expert faculty, flexible scheduling, and a practical, hands-on approach to business education.
Aurora University‘s Dunham School of Business offers its MBA program in three formats. The MBA Plus One Program is a streamlined one-year, full-time degree, while the MBA Evening Program is designed for working professionals and the MBA Online Program offers a flexible format. The program offers experiential learning opportunities and is built heavily on real-world and simulated case studies. Students can complete an MBA in one year full-time or two years part-time.
National Louis University
The MBA program at National Louis University offers students flexible classes, leadership development, real-world-experience, and professional networking opportunities. The program cultivates leadership abilities by teaching traditional strategies alongside customized techniques tailored to students’ individual strengths. The MBA concludes with the comprehensive Capstone Simulation, where student teams work together to run a company.
Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program provides a high-value, low-cost credential customized to meet your educational and professional objectives. Accredited by AACSB, flexibility is key with six entry points into the program and 8-week modules for working professionals to complete the program online. Increased faculty and student engagement available with livestream courses or available fully online for a purely asynchronous learning environment. Choose from eleven concentrations including business analytics, health services administration, and supply chain management, providing specialized content to enhance your credentials.
Chicago State University
Chicago State University offers a weekend MBA program designed for working professionals that desire to lead and transform organizations, improve performance, and access capital in a globally competitive environment. The program offers a choice of 11 specializations as well as a capstone project in the final semester. The executive-style weekend format is designed for working professionals seeking career advancement, with learning styles that benefit from interaction and collaboration
University of St. Francis
The University of St. Francis offers an affordable and flexible MBA program, with online and face-to-face learning options available. MBA students choose from eight degree concentrations and can start with stackable certificates. The University of St. Francis’s relevant and on-trend curriculum focuses on global and competitive challenges, the value chain of business, analytical thinking, and leadership and decision making. The MBA can be completed in as few as 12-18 months.
Northern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University‘s College of Business offers a one-year MBA alongside an Executive MBA, Global MBA, and Online MBA. The one-year MBA offers students C-suite networking opportunities, executive lecture events, special topics electives, a global field project, and a personalized professional development plan. MBA graduates will solve business problems through the integration of core business knowledge, including accounting, finance, marketing, management, information technology, and operations management.
Northeastern Illinois University
Northeastern Illinois University‘s College of Business and Management offers students in its MBA program the choice between online, hybrid, or in-person classroom learning, with entry pathways for traditional students and executives. The program aims to prepare students for mid- and upper-level positions in both the private and public sectors, such as in the fields of manufacturing, service, financial, institutional, and government.
Governors State University
Governors State University‘s MBA program equips students with skills to manage organizations and increase profitability. The MBA prepares students to manage organizations, increase profitability, and seamlessly enter global markets prepared to lead and innovate. The program is offered online or in a hybrid format, with a choice of five specializations. Students can achieve an MBA in as little as 18 months, with a five-year MBA admission track available to undergraduate students.
MBA students at Brennan School of Business at Dominican University gain hands-on experience by solving business challenges for real corporate clients in its MBA Gateway program. The program is offered part-time, full-time, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. Students can complete foundational courses online at their own pace, or waive the requirement for previous academic or business experience.
Lewis University‘s MBA program is designed for working professionals with flexibility in mind. The program includes an accelerated 8-week course schedule and is available on campus, online, or in a blended format. Lewis University’s MBA includes a customized curriculum rich in both theory and practical application, led by expert faculty who bring formal study, research, and executive experience to the classroom.
Robert Morris University Illinois
The MBA program at the Robert Morris University School of Business has a global focus, with global concepts and practices woven throughout the entire program. RMU offers the program in an accelerated format designed for students to complete their MBA in under two years. The course is offered in-person one evening a week or online, and all courses are taught by the same staff.
Roosevelt University‘s Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration focuses on experiential learning in its MBA program. Students have access to small classes, mentoring and internship programs, networking events, and international study opportunities. The program offers flexible study options including evening and weekend classes alongside a choice of 17 specializations including accounting, hospitality management, international business, marketing, and real estate.
Saint Xavier University
Saint Xavier University‘s Graham School of Management offers an online MBA program including internship and mentorship opportunities. The program provides graduate students with the knowledge and ethical training necessary to lead with confidence in the business industry. Students have the opportunity to set their own pace, taking between one and five years to complete the program and choosing from five concentrations.
Judson University‘s MBA is designed for working adults. The accelerated program is available face to face and online, with a concentration in organizational leadership or not for profit administration. Courses integrate finance, marketing, and strategic leadership to give students the tools they need to solve real-world organizational problems. Students have opportunities to gain a deep understanding of business strategy, anticipate and analyze trends in the business environment, and communicate effectively in person and in writing.
Elmhurst University offers a cohort-based MBA program that gives students the option to choose between online or on-campus learning. The program offers 11 specializations, including general management, finance, data science, and health care administration. Students can complete an MBA in as little as two years of part-time study. Most students are business professionals who have been in the workplace for at least three years, bringing valuable experience to the classroom.
Benedictine University‘s Goodwin College of Business offers its MBA program in a number of flexible formats. The Lisle campus MBA program is designed for working adults who seek flexibility in their course schedules, an academic concentration, and time to complete their degrees as part-time students. The program is offered in an accelerated 18-month cohort format, available in-person and online. Additionally, a full-time Internship MBA program and 4+1 MBA program are available to undergraduate students and recent graduates.
North Park University
The MBA program at North Park University can be completed through traditional face-to-face classes, 100% online, or a combination of formats. The North Park MBA prepares experienced business professionals to be effective, knowledgeable, and ethical managers in the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors. North Park University offers a flexible format, experienced faculty, and an MBA program designed for students to balance the demands of work, family, and school.
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago‘s Quinlan School of Business offers the one-of-a-kind Next Generation MBA alongside the prestigious Baumhart Scholars MBA program and Executive MBA. Its flagship Next Generation MBA is STEM-designated and is based on teaching skills that employers and business partners demand and data-driven decision making. The program can be completed in one year full-time or two years part-time.
North Central College
North Central College offers an online MBA program designed to be completed in as little as one year full-time. The program is complemented by weekend professional development experiences offered in a seminar-type format, offering students the opportunity to network with their classmates and faculty face-to-face while learning from successful business professionals. The degree is open to graduates from any discipline.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Liautaud Graduate School of Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers a full-time accelerated MBA as well as weekend and flexible enrollment options. Students at UIC Business Liautaud Graduate School can choose from 11 set concentrations or opt to build their own. The flexible, tailored program offers students the opportunity to learn hard and soft skills they’ll need in their future careers.
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management provides relevant and practical business leadership skills facilitated by their signature 100% Business Leader Faculty. The Leadership MBA Program provides eight specialization areas that are critical for success in today’s business environment. Students will complete the core MBA courses and choose a specialization path that allows them to do a deep-dive into their specific area of interest.
Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business offers a choice of 15 MBA concentrations. The program allows students to problem-solve innovative solutions for real business challenges with a focus on hands-on learning and a strong alumni network. The MBA can be completed in 15 months full-time, and evening and weekend enrollment options are also available.
University of Notre Dame
Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame offers a range of MBA programs, including a traditional two-year MBA, accelerated one-year MBA, executive MBA, and dual degree options. The program is rooted in analytics and leadership, providing the skills and experience you need to make balanced and informed contributions to any industry. The University of Notre Dame offers students a world-class education and access to its powerful alumni network.
Stuart School of Business
Stuart School of Business at Illinois Institute of Technology offers a unique accelerated MBA program with a choice of 13 specializations. The program is offered full-time, part-time or online, with a strong focus on teaching business innovation to prepare experienced, mid-career professionals for management positions.
Kellog School of Management
The Kellog School of Management at Northwestern University offers several pathways to learning, including evening and weekend enrollments, an accelerated program, and an executive MBA for high-level experienced professionals. The program fosters personal and professional growth through a rich co-curricular experience with over 1000 experiential learning opportunities.
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business offers an MBA degree in four formats, including a full-time, evening, weekend, and global Executive MBA program. Students at Chicago Booth will learn to lead with confidence and put their ideas into action, supported by the school’s global network.
Our Ranking Methodology
To determine how to rank each college, we researched and evaluated each school’s estimated cost of tuition per credit and acceptance rate. We took graduate tuition rates directly from each school’s website and acceptance data from Google. We used in-state tuition rates where available. We used per-credit tuition rates for comparison. Where applicable, the acceptance data is for the specific campus, not the parent school.
After sorting each program by cost of tuition and then by acceptance rate, we let each value make up equal portions (50%) of each school’s score.
Problems with Your Ranking?
If you are affiliated with one of the schools ranked and you notice an error in the information we used for rankings, please contact us and let us know so we can make a correction.