Earning a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is considered one of the highest academic achievements in the business world.
Choosing to pursue a master’s degree is the ideal way to advance in your MBA career while continuing to manage other responsibilities outside of education. Obtaining an MBA is becoming highly useful and beneficial in the business world. There are many high-quality online universities that offer online and on-campus MBA programs, but it’s also important for prospective students to find the most affordable MBA programs that suit their needs.
Best MBA Programs
|1||Mississippi State University||Starkville, Mississippi|
|2||East Carolina University||Greenville, North Carolina|
|3||University of Florida – Warrington College of Business||Gainesville, Florida|
|4||Tennessee Technological University||Cookeville, Tennessee|
|5||Ball State University||Muncie, Indiana|
Online programs deliver the same quality of teaching through a different platform. If you are looking to advance within a current job or are seeking future roles in business leadership, an online MBA is a promising option to achieve those goals. When looking into programs be attentive to how long the program will take, whether they’re full- or part-time programs, requirements, specializations, and other factors to ensure that the program is right for you. We have also created a list of affordable MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT.
MBA programs online contain a unique, individualized element that allows students to customize schedules, goals and other personal preferences. Additional education online is highly recommended for independent learners who desire to set their own pace for course completion.
Accredited MBA online programs provide students with a surefire way to get an executive-level career in the business industry. Business administration provides students with knowledge about enterprise fundamentals, including marketing and branding, economics, organizational structures, accounting practices, and operations optimization.
Degree-seekers have the opportunity to pursue a general MBA, or they can choose a concentration to develop advanced skills in a specific area of business management.
Most graduate students of online MBA degrees can go on to work in management positions around the world. Still, the MBA degree also qualifies candidates for high-level jobs in both nonprofit agencies and the government.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the demand for business executives will keep pace with the growth of the overall job market between 2018 and 2028.
Many online MBA programs claim to be the best MBA online program, but how can you tell if one is truly the best? In this article, we’re going to go over some of the best MBA online programs that are guaranteed to give you an edge against your competition when you go searching for a job.
We’ll also talk about what some of the more affordable online MBA options are and how you can spend less time in school with less money spent. Then we’ll talk about MBA concentrations that you can specialize in when you do your MBA. These will help guide you into knowing if you want to do a specialized MBA or a generalized MBA.
Finally, we’ll go over the best online MBA programs that have the best job outcomes after graduation. This is an important thing to know because you don’t want to be spending money on an MBA that’s going to get you nowhere in the industry.
With all of the information that we’re going to provide you with, we hope that you’re able to determine what the best online MBA program is for you and how it will help you land your dream job.
Best MBA Online Programs
Those students who want to change careers or move into a new role at their current company might consider getting an online MBA because of its flexibility. Business school is the most popular MBA program among online students. Here are some things that you’ll likely encounter when doing an online MBA program.
Classmates from Different Industries
Online MBA students have different career goals, so they typically come from different industries – including healthcare and business. This professional diversity teaches students to solve business issues in unique ways.
On average, online MBA program students have around eight years of experience. This will make your classes more interactive and interesting because of the real-life examples they can bring to the discussions.
Board Networking Opportunities
Those who pursue an online MBA often live and work worldwide, providing students with virtual networking opportunities on an international and national level.
In some online MBA programs, you can have the chance to travel overseas to work with and meet foreign business leaders. You might even spend weeks or months beforehand studying business trends in that country.
Live and Self-Paced Learning
Online MBAs combine live and self-paced learning. The advantage to this is flexibility for students so they can complete their work on their own time.
About Two Years of Coursework
The length of an online MBA degree program will vary depending on the university you attend, but it commonly takes about two years to complete an online MBA.
The value of an online MBA is that you don’t have to quit the job you currently have to earn an MBA. Online MBA programs provide you with maximum flexibility. So, if your position requires you to travel around, you can do your assignments and classwork from anywhere with internet access.
Another thing is that online MBA programs can be completed in an accelerated fashion, or you can take your time and complete it when you can. This flexibility makes it so students can work around professional and personal commitments.
So, is an online MBA for everyone? No, it’s not. Some students prefer in-person learning and struggle with the accelerated coursework. There’s also the fact that you’re sacrificing the sense of camaraderie that exists among like-minded students.
You’re also giving up job opportunities because recruiters come to campuses to get students to apply for their open positions. By being online, you’re giving up the opportunity to meet with these recruiters and learn more about possible openings.
To be successful as an online MBA student, you must be self-disciplined, good with technology, and self-motivated. These are some of the requirements because you need to make sure that you’re meeting deadlines, studying, and understanding the material by yourself, and you’re going to be working with technology every day.
Here are the Best MBA Programs
Mississippi State University
MSU has designed its rigorous curriculum for its MBA program to be useful and relevant to today’s concepts. The program emphasizes management, marketing, finance, economics, and quantitative analysis. The online MBA requires 24 hours of core MBA classes and an additional 6 hours of electives of the student’s choice.
East Carolina University
East Carolina University creates a customized experience to fit the needs of individual students. The MBA program’s purpose is to help accelerate a student’s career. ECU is known for its flexibility and student assistance to help students get into the right classes that they need for programs. An MBA degree will guarantee valuable knowledge in theory and practice of business management.
University of Florida – Warrington College of Business
The University of Florida, Warrington College of Business, is a high-ranking business school, having frequented top business school lists such as US News and World Report, Forbes, The Economist, and Financial Times, among many others. The UF MBA program offers a variety of program options from a traditional Full-Time 2-year program offered on campus, a fully Online option for those who want to keep their job while earning their MBA, to their Weekend Professional programs that meet in Gainesville once a month. They also offer the Executive MBA program for those with 8+ years of managerial experience. Qualifying students that have finished their business undergraduate within 7 years of admittance, can fast-track the program and finish in only 1 year. UF MBA boasts small cohorts, world-class faculty, and high-tier experiential learning opportunities, all with affordable tuition. Like most MBA programs, the UF MBA requires a minimum of 2 years of professional work experience before admission and enrollment to the MBA program.
Tennessee Technological University
The MBA program offered through Tennessee Technological University allows students from all different academic backgrounds to pursue without disrupting their career path. Both full time and part time options are available with many courses to choose from that may interest a student. Through methods, simulations, and research projects students will feel prepared to make larger advances in their career. The tuition assessments below reflect the basic graduate-level fees and tuitions for full-time students (12 credit hours) for Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018 unless otherwise noted. For more information regarding Tennessee Tech’s MBA costs and financial aid, please click here.
Ball State University
Ball State University is student-driven, motivated and goal oriented. The MBA program offered through The Miller College of Business is determined to help students reach their full potential. Ball State’s faculty is highly qualified and noted among US News World and Report. Students can begin the program in fall, spring, and summer either part or full time. The University is also known for helping its students prepare for and land jobs
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University’s online MBA is known for its high-quality education designed for students with varied academic and professional backgrounds. The courses are both comprehensive and challenging to test students to the best of their abilities and push them to apply the skills that they have learned. Students can also choose supply chain management or finance as a concentration within the degree.
As one of the top regional schools in the southeast, Union University promotes its solid ethics and Christ-centered learning. Union’s MBA program is flexible, valuable, and versatile. The program can be completed in 12,18, or 24 months depending on different student’s schedules. The program focuses on positive business influences and organizational decision making.
Ohio Dominican University
Ohio Dominican University offers a fully online MBA degree with an emphasis in ethical leadership and strategic agility. The online format allows students to take as many or as little classes as need from any location at any time. ODU is passionate about helping its students succeed in leadership positions in a variety of different fields and agencies.
Asbury University provides online education to many adults wanting to continue their education. The University is made up four schools; arts and sciences, education, communication, and the school of graduate professional studies. Asbury provides a fully online MBA program that is known for its affordability, academic prestige, and its flexibility. The online portal of AU encourages completion at your own pace. Through the MBA program, students will be able to perform managerial competency through skills such as critical thinking and business organization and communication.
Hope International University
As private Christian University servicing over 2,000, Hope International University offers many great programs including a fully online MBA degree. Five concentrations are available for students to choose from which include marketing management, nonprofit management, international development, general management, and business entrepreneurship. For those looking to finish quickly, HIU offers accelerated options.
Cedarville University was established in 1887 with the vision of providing Christian higher education “for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.” Its online MBA is designed for Christian professionals who desire to live out biblical principles in the workplace. Three tracks are available: general MBA, operations management, and healthcare administration. 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 with busy schedules. 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.
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 18-month program. On average, the University of Tennessee has a 5 to 1 student to faculty ratio, making them quite the hands-on program. The university has an estimated acceptance rate of 92% and is ranked as a top university by various organizations. The UT – Martin MBA program is AACSB-accredited and all courses are taught by full-time faculty.
University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts has one of the most prestigious online MBA programs, that has proven to be successful for many students. The Isenberg School of Management offers a dual degree track plan for those students who are interested in earning multiple degrees at the same time. The program also offers specific concentrations to explore as well. Full time and part time formats are put in place for the needs of students to go at an accelerated or slower pace.
James Madison University
James Madison University offers one of the top online MBA programs in cyber security. The education provided by JMU allows students to gain positions as business leaders. Cybersecurity is a top concern for the government and other organizations, thus providing many job opportunities within the field. James Madison is also known for its excellent student engagement and high-quality academics throughout all programs.
With a history of success, Lehigh University’s MBA program offers business education that is global, environmentally, and economically conscious. Business is constantly changing, and MBA program through Lehigh provides experiences that value constant change of the business world. Lehigh University produces dynamic leaders who think critically and understand business concepts with an ethical and social mindset.
University of Texas
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.
Louisiana State University
The LSU online MBA qualifies students for jobs as entrepreneurial leaders and jobs in other leadership positions, the corporate world, business ventures, and more. The program strengthens students’ awareness of the business world through courses including finance, and information systems. The MBA can be completed in as little as 18 months.
Oral Roberts University
The LSU online MBA qualifies students for jobs as entrepreneurial leaders and jobs in other leadership positions, the corporate world, business ventures, and more. The program strengthens students’ awareness of the business world through courses including finance, and information systems. The MBA can be completed in as little as 18 months.
North Carolina State University
NC State University offers a professional online MBA program that can be completed full time. Students have the luxury of having a flexible timetable allowing students up to six years to complete the program and as few as 21 months if desired. This accredited international program is ranked #15 by US News and World Report for best online MBA program. NC State uses technology to its full benefit for online students, providing constant communication and feedback with students. The program is available to begin in either spring or fall semester depending on what best fits a student’s needs.
Arizona State University
The W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State offers an MBA program that is known for developing leaders for today’s business world. Accounting, statistics, economics, marketing, and more are included as focus points throughout the program. ASU is one of the most prestigious online communities ranking number 5 for best online MBA program by US News World and Report. Approximately 88% of ASU graduates receive job offers within 90 days.
Oklahoma State University
The online MBA program at Oklahoma State University is accredited by the AACSB and has an ideal educational format for motivated, full-time working professionals who have travel obligations, face relocation or otherwise don’t have time for a traditional classroom MBA. Students who want to apply need to have a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college, possess a competitive GMAT score and at least a 3.0 GPA. Students who are interested should know that work experience is preferred but not required. While there are no formal prerequisite courses to the program, a sound background in calculus and quantitative skills is beneficial.
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.
Temple University provides a competitive MBA program which includes collaborative curriculum, excellent student services, diverse learning community, and support for those who are aspiring to be business professionals. Within the Fox School of Business, there are plenty of events and opportunities for students to display and gain more knowledge of the business world.
The MBA program consists of 48 credits and can be completed in as little as 20 months.
California Baptist University
The California Baptist University created its online platform as more and more students began juggling careers, family life, and education all at once. It challenges graduates to become individuals whose skills, integrity and sense of purpose glorify God and distinguish them in the workplace and in the world. CBU Online offers an accredited Fully Employed MBA with the option of specializing in either accounting or general management. This MBA program is designed for professionals working full and part-time jobs who are seeking to develop technical skills and leadership competencies. Students can complete their degree in as little as 16 months.
The University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business delivers a high-quality, internationally accredited AACSB online MBA degree program. It develops leaders for business and government and offers specializations in areas such as business analytics, health services administration, marketing and others. Through the program, leadership opportunities are given to students to strengthen their skills and demonstrate innovation within a global market that is always changing.
Pepperdine University offers its MBA online through its prestigious Graziadio School of Business and Management, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This accreditation honor is bestowed on less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. Admission requirements include a completed bachelor’s degree with an acceptable GPA, a minimum of two years of work experience, appropriate transcripts, and a GMAT score (or an acceptable alternative).
Pepperdine University’s online MBA consists of 15 courses taken over six 14-week trimesters. Students can choose from four elective concentrations which include Finance, Marketing, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, and General Management. Two weekend-long campus residency experiences are required, including an initial Personal and Leadership Development Workshop course. Students can complete the 52-unit program in just two years.
Students who choose an online MBA through Rutgers have the flexibility of taking classes year-round, part-time, or full-time with three yearly starting points in the spring, summer, or fall. Rutgers University is accredited by the AACSB, and according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Rutgers’ MBA offers a 169% Return on Investment. This means students will be able to get way more out of their online MBA than they put in. Students can also partially customize their degree through Focused Learning Modules. They can choose from Business Analytics, Digital Marketing, Investments & Private Wealth Management, or Strategic Leadership.
University of Dayton
The University of Dayton, a Catholic research university services an online community of students looking to further their education. Live online classes, multimedia coursework, and course immersions create a valuable learning experience. The program can be completed in as little as 18 months, giving students the opportunity to earn a degree quickly and move forward in a career or organization and put skills learned to practice.
Drexel University’s online MBA program has been offered for over 10 years and is AACSB-accredited. Students can choose from concentrations in Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Finance, General Business/Customized Concentration, and Marketing to strengthen or diversify their existing skills. There are even two graduate minors (in Finance and Marketing) that are available online as well.
University of Tennessee
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.
University of Nebraska
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.
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.
University of Colorado
The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs online MBA is accredited by the AACSB and has been offered since 1996. With over 20 years of experience, this program has been uniquely designed for the working professional. It can be completed in as little as 18 months or as many as 5 years and is for those with or without a background in business. The MBA at UCCS also gives students the chance to choose from eight emphases including Finance, General Business, Health Care Administration, Innovation Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, and Project Management.
Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Baptist University is focused on teaching students the value of ethics and integrity as they receive instruction from professors that have practical, real-world experience. OBU’s MBA program can be completed in under two years and offers four concentrations, in addition to a general MBA. Students may complete tracks in International Business, Leadership, Project Management or Energy Management. At OBU, 100 percent of MBA graduates are employed at graduation and experience an overall 20 to 30 percent increase in salary after graduating.
University of North Texas
The 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.
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, promotes active learning for its online learners. With real-life business situations, University of Virginia challenges it students to think critically through difficult scenarios. A diverse group of students are enrolled both in person and online giving students the opportunity to learn from others with different backgrounds and experiences. Many graduate students have ventured into the business world and have inspired change and innovation by using their skills they developed while enrolled in the program.
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.
West Texas A&M University
The online MBA program offered at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) gives students the option to take classes exclusively online or take a combination of online and on-campus classes. The program is designed to be completed in two years, though some students may complete it in as little as 12-18 months or as many as three+ years, depending on their circumstances. Several MBA concentrations are available for students to choose from, including General Business, Computer Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Healthcare Managment.
Villanova University provides a unique network for its business students. Its active alumni program excels in career growth and outreach as well as collaborates with graduate students to help others succeed. The MBA program is grounded in technology, ethics, problem-solving all through a flexible online platform. The online degree is the same curriculum taught by the same faculty which includes 21 courses over six semesters.
University of Houston
The University of Houston—Victoria offers two MBA degrees online, the Global MBA and the Strategic MBA. Both can be completed by students with recent business degrees in as little as 30 hours. The Global MBA differentiates itself from a traditional MBA by providing international perspectives and a global-savvy context. Students without a business background may need to complete up to 54 credits for the Global MBA. The Strategic MBA trains students for real-world business scenarios through applied learning simulations and case studies. Students without a business background may need to complete up to 48 credits for the Strategic MBA. Both programs have more than six concentrations students can choose from.
The MBA program offered by Indiana University focuses on a wide range of business concepts such as development, law and ethics, marketing, economics, and more. While there are no concentration focuses available, students are given the opportunity to choose many electives that interest them and that count towards their degree. Among the elective choices are courses which include travel to other countries to consult with small business owners, providing students with networking opportunities and a deeper understanding of global business issues.
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.
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%.
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution that was founded in 1845. The Hankamer School of Business is accredited by AACSB, the highest standard of achievement for business school’s worldwide. Its MBA online degree program provides the tools of principled leadership that will enable students to command admiration and deliver results wherever they go. Engaging conversations with professors and classmates will help students learn to communicate professionally, work in teams, and approach complex business situations with faith-based integrity. Baylor offers students an accelerated MBA as well that can be completed in 12-16 months.
Texas A&M University – Kingsville
Students who wish to be a part of Texas A&M University – Kingsville’s online MBA program need to have an acceptable GMAT or GRE score, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, and completion of TAMUK’s MBA program prerequisites (certain core courses). The program can be completed in as little as 12 months and students have the option to pick from five graduate certificates. The program is AACSB-accredited.
Through flexible curriculum options, Babson College offers diverse business-related programs. Students typically treat this program as a part-time MBA and finish within 21 months. While focusing on business ventures, Babson also highly encourages entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset. Students will create a strong global mindset as well by increasing social, cultural, and ethical awareness. This, coupled with the ability to evaluate an organization’s effectiveness, will help students confidently face business challenges head-on.
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 graduate school: 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.
Fort Hays State University
The online MBA at Fort Hays State University offers many more concentrations to choose from than most MBA programs. It consists of 34 total credits hours with 9 credits set aside specifically for the students’ chosen concentration. The concentrations FHSU offers are:
Health Care Management
Health and Human Performance/Sports Management
Human Resource Management (HRM)
Management Information Systems
Tourism and Hospitality Management
General MBA (no concentration)
Accounting (on campus only)
Twelve additional credit hours are required for students who do not have an undergraduate business degree. Courses are delivered via streaming videos and online discussion boards are used to help students stay in touch with fellow classmates as well as instructors. Some instructors use Skype, WebX, Blackboard, YouTube, and GoogleDocs to enhance the learning experience.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, non-profit Christian university that was founded in 1920. Its MBA courses are designed to build upon past experiences and education to help students become more insightful and tactical thinkers. Students can choose to get a general MBA or an MBA in Healthcare Administration, Personal Financial Planning, Project Management, or School Administration. The program can be completed in 18-26 months.
Get ahead faster with an MBA from the top-ranked Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, located just 25 miles from New York City. They offer a variety of MBA programs, from traditional on-campus programs to online, executive, and hybrid options. Their close proximity to New York City also allows them to offer a graduate degree in business administration in Midtown Manhattan. Their graduate business co-op partnerships with global giants across industries provides excellent candidates with opportunities for paid, full-time work experience. Whatever your professional goals and personal responsibilities, they have an MBA program to fit your life.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology offers an online Master of Business Administration program through Saunders College of Business. Students receive a strong foundation in business fundamentals and courses have an emphasis on digital technology, including Design and Information Systems and Data Analytics and Business Intelligence. Students can choose from a number of concentrations such as Finance and Entrepreneurship. The MBA also offers STEM options through joint concentrations with other RIT colleges. For professionals with over six years’ experience, RIT offers an Executive MBA that can be taken on-campus or online and it’s primarily designed for mid-to-upper-level professionals who want to hone their leadership and business skills. The cohort-based Executive MBA program immerses students in coursework and concepts that can be used immediately in the workplace, culminating with an immersive International Seminar and Company Capstone Project.
George Washington University
Located in the hub of Washington DC, George Washington University has fostered institutional and professional relationships with private and public sectors, which gives students the opportunity to connect and create a global network for their future. The MBA provided by GW is comprised of videos, podcasts, animations, and other interactive learning styles to keep the information engaging. In addition to the program, 6 concentrations within the degree are available but not required. Instructors are easily accessible to online students who can chat via video or email to answer questions or get additional help.
The online MBA at Concordia University is one of the most flexible programs on this list, allowing students wishing to pursue online learning to start anytime during the year and take courses at their own pace. While an MBA is traditionally meant for business students, Concordia offers 13 MBA concentrations to accommodate students and professionals with experience in healthcare, public administration, environmental, or engineering backgrounds, among many others. Their website also mentions the opportunity to build and customize your educational experience to make it your own.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a military-friendly school and is associated with the Wesleyan church. Its MBA programs are designed for the experienced working professional who will possess the appropriate knowledge, practical skills, and professional abilities necessary to fill executive managerial and administrative positions upon completion of the degree. Students who participate in OKWU’s quality MBA program may choose an emphasis in Human Resources Management, Finance, Marketing, Organizational Leadership, or Nursing Management.
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.
Bethel University is affiliated with the Missionary Church and is a Christian community of learners dedicated to building lives of commitment to leadership in the Church and the world. Its MBA can be completed in 24 months of part-time or online study, with one class being taught every 7 weeks. Students can start at any time of the year and may take a session or semester off if the need arises. Students may choose between a Management Science track or a Leadership track.
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. 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 12 months.
Emory University has a series of course for its MBA program that helps students manage personal and professional responsibilities. While the program is intensive, it is also flexible to fit a working student’s needs. The online MBA helps students sharpen their skills without falling behind in their work, school, or social life. EU gives skills to students that companies and professionals are looking for, which can take students to the next level of their career.
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 one of the smallest student-to-faculty ratios of 18 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%.
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%.
The Park University MBA degree may be earned on-campus, online, or as a combination of either option. The online MBA program provides flexibility for students so they can study where and when they can without needing to sacrifice academic excellence. The MBA curriculum has 21 hours of core courses designed to provide a broad education covering the major areas of business and 12 credit hours of elective or concentration courses. MBA students have the option to choose from nine different concentrations, including Disaster and Emergency Management, Finance, Homeland Security, Human Resource Management, International Business, Management Information Systems, Management Accounting, Project Management, or Quality Management.
Clarkson University was founded in 1896 as a memorial to Thomas S. Clarkson, a successful entrepreneur and businessman. Clarkson University’s online MBA program embodies his philosophy and motto that states “A Workman That Needeth Not to be Ashamed.” Working professionals can earn their degree in a way that is best suited for them, whether it’s by taking MBA courses on campus, online, or by using a combination of the two. The curriculum comprises 16 core courses and 5 electives so students can tailor their degree to their particular strengths and interests.
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.
University of New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire was founded back in 1866 and has since claimed quite a few national rankings such as the highest national sustainability ranking and is one of the greenest colleges in the United States. It has also been recognized for its online MBA program which is laid out in 8-week terms and can be completed in two years. Students have the option to specialize in Finance, Information Systems & Business Analytics, Marketing, Global Business, Growth & Innovation, or Hospitality Management. UNH has a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1.
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Missouri State University offers students an affordable option for pursuing an MBA online. They have three different concentration students can choose from including General Management, Human Resource Management, and Marketing. The program will help students progress to higher management positions through the development of career-boosting foundational skills in business ethics, finance, quantitative analysis, policy formulation, global economics and more. All three emphases can be completed in 12-18 months.
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 gain access to practical knowledge and essential skills in areas such as management, accounting, economics, finance, strategy, and marketing.
Kansas State University
Kansas State University has been offering quality education since 1863. Its Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA) program offers those with pre-established business experience an opportunity to pursue an interactive, online MBA degree. It allows students to complete their asynchronous coursework at their own pace and integrate examples of their professional experience in each class. The program starts with a mandatory two-day regional student orientation for new students and includes a required faculty-led international trip. K-State’s MBA program is AACSB-accredited.
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
A&M-Texarkana offers students the option to get a General MBA or an MBA with an Energy Leadership or Supply Chain concentration. The basic program consists of 9 required courses and 3 elective courses. For students who graduated with an undergraduate degree and had a 3.0 GPA or better are not required to have an acceptable GMAT score, as the school has agreed to waive it under those conditions. A&M-Texarkana has a student-to-teacher ratio of 18 to 1.
Frostburg State University
Frostburg State University’s online MBA curriculum is designed for everyone, not just business majors, and it will provide a strong, well-rounded foundation in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and management. It follows a 7-week course model, offering 6 sessions a year for students to join, and full-time students can complete it in as little as 12 months. Frostburg State University has a 17 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. Beginning in Fall 2018, Frostburg State University is began offering three curriculum concentrations in their online MBA program: General Management, Healthcare Management, and Business Analytics. Students may choose any one of them during Frostburg State University’s 6 sessions and the credit hours remain the same. Their MBA program is accredited by the AACSB.
University of Alaska – Fairbanks
The Univesity of Alaska at Fairbanks has an affordable online MBA program that permits students to concentrate in General Management or in Capital Markets. For students without a business undergraduate, seven online pre-MBA modules replace full prerequisite courses. The degree is designed to be completed in less than two years and has a rolling admissions schedule. And the cherry on top? It’s accredited by the AACSB.
University of Texas—Rio Grande Valley
The online MBA at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is accredited by AACSB International and can be completed in as little as 12 months. Students must start with a business administration foundation which is achieved by holding a bachelor’s degree in a business field or by taking some or all of UTRGV’s foundation courses. All courses are offered in a 7-week format.
Louisiana State University – Shreveport
LSU Shreveport offers students an affordable online MBA program with nine areas of concentration including General Business, Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, Finance, Hospitality and Casino Management, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, and Project Management. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an achievement that is only reached by five percent of all business schools. Graduate students who want flexible learning schedules and an opportunity to hone their MBA degree in particular areas of study find LSUS to be a good fit. At LSUS the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1.
Wayne State College
Wayne State College provides an affordable, yet quality option for those seeking to earn their MBA degree online. It’s a 30-credit-hour, non-thesis, 100% online program with no required visits to campus. WSC is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education and every class is taught by a faculty member who holds the highest degree or credentials in their field.
MidAmerica Nazarene University
MidAmerica Nazarene University’s online MBA program has classes that are focused on marketing, economics, organizational development, strategic management, corporate and personal ethics, and accounting. Most of the classes are taught in an 8-week format and most students can complete the degree in 24 months.
Angelo State University
At Angelo State University all MBA courses are offered online or in a face-to-face/hybrid format. Unlike other programs, no elective courses are available to take in ASU’s MBA program. Online courses are offered in five 8-week terms throughout the year. In addition to the 30 credits of core classes, there are foundation requirements for students who have not received a bachelor’s degree in business.
We know that finding the best school to fit your unique needs can be a huge challenge. For that reason, we work hard to develop lists of the best schools based on the characteristics most important for you. Whether that be the cost of attendance, student success, resources available, flexibility of schedule, or any other number of important factors, we’ve got you covered. For more information about school rankings, our ranking process, and to find lists of schools based on specific characteristics, check out our methodology page.
James R. Bailey is Professor and Hochberg Fellow of Leadership Development at the George Washington University School of Business. Dr. Bailey is the recipient of many teaching distinctions, including four GWSB Outstanding Faculty Awards. He is a regular contributor to Fast Company, HBR, International Business Times and many more.
What are some of the most common career paths for MBA graduates?
Our primary recruiters are consultancies. Consultancies cross-integrate functions better than any other organizations do. The change management people bring in the operations people. It’s a Mayo Clinic model. Multiple experts for what appears to be a singular issue. That’s sharp.
What advice do you give to graduating MBA students?
Stop acting like a business analysis or marketing expert. The world is full of functional experts. Functional experts are a dime a dozen. Wall Street analysts are change in the pocket. Emphasize your team, communication and leadership skills. A sharp functionary makes a few hundred grand for their organization. A skilled team leader makes several million.
What personal qualities or academic strengths make someone a good fit for an MBA program?
Modesty. It’s perfectly natural that one sings their own praises. But no matter how good you are at what you do, there’s somebody else better. Other members of your team have the equivalent of your skill. Recognize and celebrate it.
What do students find most challenging about an MBA program?
The hard work of soft work. The hard skill students—finance, accounting, and others—are dismissive of leadership and teams. It will cost them. They will be functionaries, not c-suite. Sorry, just true.
What specializations or unique certifications does your program offer?
Specialized master’s degrees are the way of the future. Not everyone needs a 50 credit 2+ year MBA. But the market demands specific programs for specific needs. GWSB has 20+ certificates and specialized degrees. We are far ahead of the market. And by market I mean serving student needs. We do it better than anyone in the country.
Additional MBA Programs
University of North Carolina
Students at the University of North Carolina must complete at least one semester successfully before they can be admitted into the online MBA program. Online students can also get real-world experience through virtual internships.
University of New Mexico
The University of New Mexico provides students with the best online MBA program in the state. The program is aimed at those students who have some college credits already done.
University of Wisconsin
This is one of the leading online MBA programs in the nation. Students have the choice between ten different majors, and graduates can pursue an MBA degree completely online.
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland provides students with a unique MBA program. The school is classified to be one of the best in the world, and students have the opportunity to choose between several specializations.
Most Affordable MBA Online Programs
The list of the most affordable MBA online programs is based on each program’s base tuition. Each of the affordable MBA online programs can be finished with a tuition rate of less than $13,000, allowing students to get a great education without breaking the bank.
The most affordable online MBA programs are:
Augusta University – James M. Hull College of Business
For in-state students taking 12 or more hours, the tuition per semester is $2,752. For those who are out-of-state, the tuition for 12 or more hours is $9,386 per semester.
Georgia Southwestern University – College of Business and Computing
For both in-state and out-of-state students, the MBA tuition starts around $257 per credit hour.
Which online MBA programs provide financial assistance to students? For those students who plan on applying for an online MBA at an accredited school, you’ll find that the financial aid process is the same as for traditional programs. The first place that you should go to find information about financial assistance is the online MBA programs finance department.
Some universities provide specific scholarships to online MBA students. Whether an online MBA program offers loans, scholarships, and grants are specific to the school, but in most cases, an online MBA program administrator can point you in the right direction to get financial assistance.
Students who partake in accelerated online MBA programs tend to spend less on their degrees than those in traditional programs. You’ll spend less time in school, which means that you’ll graduate with lower student debt and enter the workforce to earn an MBA salary quickly.
The price tag associated with an accelerated MBA program will vary by school. Some factors that will affect the cost of an online MBA will include school prestige, learning format, and school type. Learning format includes online and in-person, so you would have to make sure that you’re getting a tuition estimate based on being online. Finally, the school type depends on if the university you’re applying to is public or private.
Typically, more prestigious schools will charge much higher tuition. Private universities also tend to charge more than public universities, particularly for those who pay in-state rates. Out-of-state students can sometimes receive tuition reductions or pay-in-state tuition by taking an online MBA program.
The best way to know which schools will provide you with financial assistance is to ask the financial aid department yourself. This is the best way to ensure that you’re getting to correct information for what you’re planning on doing at the university. Additionally, they can help you learn more about scholarships, grants, and loans that you can get to help pay the cost of an online MBA program.
Those in an executive online MBA program tend to spend more on their program because they already have years of experience under their belt and the program is more intensive than a regular MBA program.
Finding the Best Online MBA By Concentration
There comes a time where, at some business schools, MBA students must choose a specialization or concentration, but this isn’t required by all online MBA schools.
Business school admissions consultants and professors have been known to say that MBA applicants who have a career goal in mind should choose a business school that offers MBA specializations or concentrations in this discipline.
For example, MBA students looking to develop technical expertise in finance might prefer going to an online MBA program with an accounting or finance major. This ensures that you’re getting the education you need to go into the specific field you want to work in. Without it, you’ll earn a general MBA degree.
Those MBA students who want to become generalists should search for online MBA programs that offer various core courses. They also should search for schools that don’t require them to declare a major. Not every school allows students to go for a generalized MBA program. Some schools require students to pick a concentration at a certain point.
There are dozens of MBA specializations for a working professional to pick from, but not every online business school will offer all of these MBA concentrations. Remember, your choice is dependent on your career and education goals. Here is a list of some of the best MBA concentrations to choose from.
MBA in Finance
An online MBA in finance will prepare online students for leadership roles in the financial industry. An online student can learn financial skills, such as corporate restructuring, international markets, corporate budgeting, advanced financial management, and investment analysis.
Online MBA program graduates with a concentration in finance can go on to pursue roles such as chief financial officer, finance director, finance manager, and financial analyst.
MBA in Marketing
An MBA concentration in marketing will teach you skills, including public relations and advertising, sales, product marketing, brand strategy and management, market research, online marketing, and sales. In an online MBA dedicated to marketing, you’ll be able to move into marketing leadership roles such as content marketing director and marketing manager.
MBA in Entrepreneurship
A concentration in entrepreneurship helps aspiring business owners learn the necessary skills to open a business. An MBA with an entrepreneurship focus also helps graduates who work at new startup companies or want to take over a family business.
MBA in Business Analytics
An MBA with this focus will teach you data skills, such as using analytics tools, creating pattern and statistical analysis models, identifying trends and analyzing data, how to data mine, and solving business challenges with data. An online student with this MBA can pursue careers as an operations research analyst, management analyst, and financial analyst.
MBA in Accounting
An online MBA degree program with a focus on accounting will teach you subjects like taxes and financial reporting. You will learn about routine audits, profit maximization, corporate valuation, payroll services, and tax preparation. With an MBA in accounting, you can take on roles as an auditor or accountant.
MBA in Consulting
An online MBA degree with a focus in consulting can lead to a career working with several companies to provide recommendations that will improve organizational revenue and efficiency. Students in this MBA program will have classes that discuss informed decision making and corporate strategy.
Other MBA Concentrations
There are several more concentrations that you can focus your MBA degree program on, including:
- Project management
- Operations management
- Human resources
- Information systems
- Real estate
- Supply chain management
- Organizational behavior
It’s important that you get your Master of Business Administration from an accredited university. Regional and national business school accreditation assures online students that the university they want to go to adheres to high-quality standards based on professional practice and the latest research.
Going to an accredited school can also mean that you’re going to one of the best schools in the world. This ensures that you’re getting a degree that’s going to mean something to future employers.
Several universities require online students to take and pass the GMAT before being accepted into the program, but some MBA programs don’t require the GMAT for admission. If you want to avoid paying to take the GMAT exam, make sure that you’re doing your research to find an online MBA program that doesn’t require the GMAT.
Online MBA Programs with the Best Career Outcomes
You might be wondering what online MBA programs have the highest graduation rates. To answer that question, let’s look at the best online MBA programs and see how their graduation rates stack up.
The University of Florida has a graduation rate of 87.2%, which is a reasonable percentage for its online MBA program. The University of North Carolina has a graduation rate of 91.1%; this is even better than the University of Florida. It is the highest graduation rate that we’ll see amongst the best online MBA programs.
Next up is North Carolina State University, with a graduation rate of 77.2%. This is lower than both University of Florida and the University of North Carolina, but it’s not the lowest graduation rate of the best MBA online programs.
The school with the lowest graduation rate is the University of New Mexico, with a rate of 44.4%. Finally, we have the University of Wisconsin with a graduation rate of 84.8%, making it a pretty decent school for graduating from.
When you choose an online MBA program, you want to go with one that will help you get a job when you’re finished. To help you find the best MBA online program with the best job placement, we’ve put together a list.
Brigham Young University
Located in Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University is the top pick for job placement. Several factors make this university one of the best MBA online programs. They’re an affordable school with amazing financial aid opportunities, meaning that you can get your online MBA degree with less debt.
Brigham Young University does a great job helping students network and makes connections with future employers, so they are well-paid after graduation. Because of their preparation and alumni network, around 95% of graduates were employed within three months of graduating.
Seven majors are available at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and they’re in-demand majors so students can increase their market value. From the beginning of the program, Indiana University is focused on career development, with a personal career coach and a collaborative cohort that all work together to make you look like an asset to future employers. More than 95% of graduates land jobs within three months of graduation.
Texas Tech University
The MBA program offered by Texas Tech University has the main objective of creating future leaders within the business world. It offers affordable tuition to both in- and out-of-state residents and has an amazing job placement for MBA graduates at 92.3%.
University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut offers an MBA program with unique accelerator programs. The University of Connecticut boasts a 94% job placement rate after graduation for MBA students.
The MBA program at Vanderbilt is a 2-year program designed in a modular format, with intensive seven-week courses set up to send you into your specialization early on. Vanderbilt’s job placement is incredible, at 94%.
University of Tennessee
The MBA program at the University of Tennessee takes about 17 months, which is a short time to fit in coursework, internships, and study abroad. 91% of graduating students tend to have employment within three months.
These are just a few examples of the best MBA online programs with high job placement rates after graduation. If you don’t see a university that appeals to you on this list, you can research the university of your choice to see the job placement rate after graduation.
Online MBA graduates have opportunities to pursue a variety of career paths. Some of the most common employment options include jobs in management, operations, accounting, finance, and marketing. Those who graduate from an online MBA program can find employment at government institutions, nonprofit corporations, and other corporations.
Below you’ll find some examples of the most common career outcomes for those who get an MBA degree.
Marketing managers typically work with other professionals to create marketing campaigns that aim to increase sales and awareness of a specific service or product. They can also be the point of communication between in-house creative staff and clients.
Financial analysts provide advice and support to companies, organizations, and individuals looking for advice on their investment decisions. The responsibilities of a financial analyst include creating investment portfolios and analyzing the stock marketed.
The main responsibilities of accountants include assess financial stability and records, filing and preparing taxes, and ensuring the accuracy of reports. Some online MBA graduates might even go on to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), in addition to their master’s degree, to increase their job opportunities in the accounting field.
There are so many different MBA programs out there that claim to be the best, so how do you know which one is really the best for you? Several things will play a key role in determining if an online MBA program is best for you.
For instance, the first thing you’ll want to know is which programs are said to be the best. Then from there, you need to think about which programs will be the most affordable for you and what career outcomes you might have. Once you know all of this information, you can effectively choose the best online MBA program for you.
Keep in mind that not all MBA programs are created equal. Some are going to take you the full two years, maybe more, before you graduate. Then some will take you about a year to finish. Depending on which one you end up going with, you’ll end up spending different amounts of money.
There are different concentrations that you can choose from too. These will determine if you need another major or if you can just specialize in that area. These aren’t always mandatory by the university of your picking, but some universities require you to pick a concentration.
If you want to go with a general MBA, make sure that you’re going with a university that doesn’t require you to pick a concentration.
Finally, you need to think about job placement after graduating with your MBA. You want to go to a school that works hard to ensure that its graduates are employed. They can do this by encouraging internships, networking, and other events to introduce you to different companies.