Online MBA Programs: Accredited and Affordable Options

  • Read through and understand the differences between campus- based, hybrid and online MBA programs. Search program options by cost, state and college type.
  • Learn about the different types of MBA programs and how they work online, including part-time, full-time, executive, specialized, etc.
  • Discover scholarships, internships, resources and free open courses for current and future MBA students. Find career and salary information to see how your area stacks up against the rest of the country.

Meet the Expert

Doug Jones earned his MBA online from Arizona State University in 2004, graduating with a specialization in entrepreneurship. He utilized the knowledge and skills acquired during his program to forge a successful career in technology and management. Doug works in the tech industry and contributes his expertise occasionally to Affordable Colleges Online.

Hybrid and online MBA programs offer students the most flexible learning options. Some or all of coursework and group projects take place remotely, allowing participants to schedule study time around work and family commitments. But how do they really work? Can a student earn an MBA entirely online without meeting anyone face-to-face? Yes and no. Here’s a detailed look at hybrid and online MBA programs, whom they benefit and how they fit into the business education landscape.

Online MBA Basics

Nearly all MBA programs thrive on collaboration. Groups of various sizes work on projects together, drawing from each others past education and experience to create a quality, well-rounded product. Of course, such collaboration necessitates regular communication that goes beyond the surface, which usually takes place in coffee shops, conference rooms or on-campus offices. Hybrid and online MBA programs also focus on group work, but leverage different modes of communication. For example, in the distance learning environment, peer groups might use video conferencing technology such as Skype or Go To Meeting to kick off a project or coordinate responsibilities. Some online programs, and likely most hybrid programs, also schedule periodic visits to campus, usually at the beginning of each semester. This helps students establish working relationships face-to-face, which they can build upon via both routine and ad hoc follow-up.

Luckily, colleges and universities across the country are recognizing the need for “diversity of delivery”. MBA students come from a wide range of backgrounds and therefore need to find a program that fits their lifestyle. Whether online, accelerated, part-time or full-time, research is the key. Learn as much as you can about your target programs before committing time, money and effort. An MBA can make a resume; the right MBA can make a difference.

Finding the Right Online MBA

Identifying the best MBA program starts with assessing your own personal and professional needs. Family, cost, time, return on investment and current career path make up just a handful of things each future applicant should consider. Before taking first steps down the online MBA path, perform a little due diligence on available options, what they entail and the potential impact of their pros and cons.

Types of Programs

Traditional MBA programs work for many people. They involve regular campus visits, group projects, face-to-face interaction and more. Some of these in-person elements, however, may not be ideal for working professionals and/or those with family obligations that extend beyond the classroom. Some potential MBA students may have circumstances that require even more flexibility. For example, the bank manager with ten years of experience yet no time to study for or take the GMAT. Or the junior manager with two years of experience but needs to finish an MBA program fast. See if these types of MBA programs meet your needs.

Educational Need Full-Time Part-Time Accelerated No GMAT Online or Hybrid Veterans Only
An MBA program that looks more heavily at work experience, GPA and letters of recommendation than at test scores. I have a lot to offer but studying for and taking an entrance exam aren’t for me.
A program that takes two years (or close) to complete and involves daily time commitments. I plan to earn my MBA in lieu of working.
A program with ultimate time and place flexibility, where I can submit work, coordinate with classmates and take exams from just about anywhere.
An MBA program that allows me to work full-time while earning my degree. It may require 4 – 5 years, but that’s OK.
A program where I can work with and learn from veterans like me. Not only would this make the social aspect of the program more comfortable, but I’d be working with people who are battletested.
An MBA program that blends quality with speed, where I can graduate and apply my new skills to a current role (or new role) in less than two years.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time

Every student researching MBA programs needs to do their due diligence. While this includes finding the right school, program and setting, it also means considering the financial pros and cons of the different MBA types. For example, a full-time MBA program lasts just two years on average, but makes working while in school a major challenge. A part-time MBA, on the other hand, allows students to work toward a degree without sacrificing the day job. Sure it can take three years or more, but students can keep earning a salary and gain more work experience while hitting the books. Each option has its own merits, but only a closer look at the numbers can help gauge the potential return on investment.

Annual Costs (est.)* Full-Time MBA Part-Time MBA
Tuition $40,000 $20,000
Room & Board $20,000 $20,000
Books & Other Materials $10,000 $5,000
Gross Annual Cost $70,000 $45,000
Lost Income $60,000 $0
Net Annual Cost $130,000 $45,000
Program Length (in years) 2 4*
TOTAL MBA COST $260,000 $180,000
* All costs used in the table are estimates based figures from the GMAC.


Many MBA students already have work experience in a specific industry sector. For example, someone with five years working in health care may want an MBA to facilitate a move into management. Yet for that student, a general MBA may not be the best choice. An MBA program focused on health care teaches leadership, management and processes both in general and focused on the field. The latter gives students specialized knowledge they can take back to their jobs and put to immediate use. See which career goals mesh with some of today’s most popular MBA concentrations.

Career Goal Consulting Energy Finance Govt. / Non-Profit Health Care Technology
To work in a leadership position for an organization that makes a difference, either in the community or on a global scale.
To work among some of today’s top minds, collecting and analyzing data to discern patterns and craft needle-moving recommendations for a wide range of clients.
To work with large companies on issues related to fossil fuels, alternative fuel sources and other areas where physical science and business come together.
To manage or lead a team within the health care and medical field, whether clinical, pharmaceutical or related to public health and disease prevention.
To work and/or manage on the cutting-edge of tech. This could include running a business or serving as a senior manager or executive for an online-based company. If it involves software, hardware or online solutions, I’m in.
To secure a management/leadership role at an investment firm, bank or related institution. To work with stocks, bonds, securities and other investments, either with personal clients, small businesses or large corporations.

Other Factors to Consider

Understanding the various types of online MBA and the numerous specializations available is a great place to start. It establishes basic wants and needs and provides initial direction. However, for the students who may already have first steps down, the researching programs against the following categories should help filter choices down to a relatively short list.


The bottom-line value of an online MBA degree depends on whether the school and its MBA program have proper accreditation. Most schools earn accreditation from one of the six regional organizations recognized by the Department of Education. In addition, MBA programs should also be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Program Assets

Another key consideration is whether the online MBA program includes opportunities for internships, a critical consideration for students who wish to integrate learning and create life-long business contacts and mentors. MBA students typically complete internships with organizations in the corporate, governmental or non-profit sectors where they intend to hold managerial roles after graduation. Business leaders may also plan on obtaining professional certifications to benchmark their abilities in fields such as project management, consulting or as a Certified MBA. When evaluating a program, students should think about whether courses lead to knowledge necessary for obtaining certifications.

Career Certifications

A master’s in business administration degree is often sufficient for managers to take on leadership roles at top companies and organizations. However, in addition to completing an MBA, business management professionals may also prepare and test for certifications that benchmark their skills, mainly for career advancement or specialization. Work experience can be a principal requirement for earning certifications. While certifications and tests are evolving all the time, it’s vital for students to seek certifications from organizations that offer reputable programs. Here are a few types of certifications to consider:

The Certified Business Manager (CBM): The Association of Professionals in Business Management (APBM)offers this credential, which validates business management knowledge based on practices worldwide. The CBM examination may be taken by professionals with three years of full-time work experience (for those with existing master’s degrees) or four years’ experience for applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree.
Project Management Professional (PMP): The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers this certificate, which evaluates each manager’s education, experience and competency in directing projects from inception to completion. It is one of the most highly sought certifications for professional managers. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree and have accrued 4,000 hours of professional project management experience.
Certified Management Consultant (CMC): Applicants must be a member of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) to qualify for a CMC certification. To sit for the examination, professionals must have accrued at least three years of consulting experience and either work for, or own, a consulting firm.

Other certifications sought by management professionals can be industry specific and include:

  • Certified Benefits Professional (CBP)
  • Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)
  • Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)
  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
  • Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified Marketing Executive (CME)
  • Certified MBA (CMBA)
  • Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM)
  • Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)
  • Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
  • Global Remuneration Professional (GRP)
  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR)

Courses and Curriculum

Online MBA programs typically surround a core curriculum and a series of elective courses that match the educational niche or career goals for each student. Core curriculum focuses on leadership, human resources, strategic planning, information systems, process management and change management. Examples include:

  • Accounting for Managers: Students explore accounting concepts, principles and audits relating to economic measurement and management choices.
  • Entrepreneurship: A study of factors contributing to the success of new business ventures with a focus on venture capital, human assets, business regulations and competitive analysis.
  • Information Systems: A comprehensive overview of essential business software, data security practices, database management and enterprise-wide systems development.
  • Supply Chain Management: A detailed examination of key concepts and processes in strategic planning operations, project management, logistics, production, delivery methods and quantitative assessments.

The Online MBA Timeline

Everyone learns differently, and the variety of programs out there makes establishing a concrete, tried-and-true MBA timeline a tough task. However, it is possible to map out a common pathway from test prep to degree completion so aspiring management professionals can visualize what many students experience.

Year 0: Application

Prepare for and Take the GMAT

The year before school starts should be chalk full of organized preparation. And this begins with the GMAT. A typically study period lasts for 6 – 10 weeks, and can be done through an official prep course, with a private tutor or with good old fashioned self-study and determination. Regardless, the earlier a candidate gets ready, the better. Some people opt to take the test more than once.

Visit Schools

Even students planning to enroll in an online MBA program should visit their target schools in-person. Why? To meet professors, talk to current students and get a general lay of the tech and resource land. Many online programs require periodic visits to campus anyway, so this will be good practice. The goal here should be to pinpoint what you like, what you don’t and then to start narrowing down to a short list.

Community Service and Leadership

When vetting applicants, business schools look for more than just good grades, solid test scores and work experience. They also want to see what each person has done from a leadership perspective, whether professionally or unofficially in the community.

Get Your References Ready

B-school admissions may want to contact past supervisors, professors or other mentors to ask about your work ethic, abilities and intangibles. Make sure to reach out to these people, discuss your desired educational choice and anything else that might be helpful. Connecting with them early also gives them time to think about what they might say, or what they need to write should you require a formal letter of recommendation.

Identify Target Schools

With the GMAT on the horizon and schools releasing essay questions, it’s time to narrow your choices. There’s no minimum or maximum to the number of programs you can target, but the more you consider, the options you have – but also the more materials you’ll need to submit. This is also a great time to think about which type of MBA you’re interested in, including part-time, full-time and specialization.

Polish Your Resume

Many business schools require submission of a resume with the application packet. This includes work history, prior education, experience, references and more. Make sure to highlight achievements, goals accomplished, and other endeavors that stand to make you shine.

Start Writing Your Essays

Most business schools release unique topics for applicants to reflect on and address in writing. These essays allow potential students to show admissions representatives what they’ve accomplished and/or give them a taste of their problem-solving prowess. In other words, it’s a chance to show them how you stand out from the crowd. Keep in mind that these are not essays that can (or should) be completed in a day or a week. Research, brainstorm, revise and edit until you have a product you’re proud of. Also note that some schools require a second round of essays.

Submit All Application Materials

This includes your full packet of materials, final drafts of essays, answer to the short question portion of the application, and letters of recommendation. Different schools may have different submission schedules for all these materials, so make sure you research the requirements thoroughly. The last thing you want to do is miss a deadline…

Schedule Interviews

If the application process goes well, schools may want to interview you for candidacy. Some interviews take place at a campus, others closer to home with a local rep, and others via Skype (especially for online programs). Make sure you know your resume and your essays inside and out.

Accept an Offer

If the interview process goes well, one or more schools will offer you a place in their program. Hopefully you’ve narrowed down the list to two or three schools and can soon get down to the final choice. You may want to visit the campus again or speak with faculty one more time to be sure.

Secure Funding

Some companies sponsor employees and pay for their stint in business school. For students without this luxury, it’s time to secure funding either by scholarship or financial aid. The latter comes in the form of federal loans, private loans or even loans from the institution itself. For detailed information on financial aid options, including for online college opportunities, visit our guide to financial aid.

Year One: Acclimation

The first year means getting your feet wet, meeting fellow students and taking many of your core courses. There’s also building relationships with your “pod” or “cluster”, the students you’ll work with on group projects and case studies. For online students this may begin with a remote “meet up” via Skype, or, take place in-person with subsequent meetings online. Although every school is different, here’s a list of activities online MBA students may face in year one:

  • Building relationships with your team or pod
  • Taking the first courses that make up the core curriculum
  • Participating in program-sponsored community service
  • Attending conferences or forums
  • Going to social events with fellow students
  • Joining various clubs or advisory boards
  • Applying for summer internships

Year Two: Completion

The second year of a standard online MBA program includes finishing up core classes, diving deeper into electives and establishing an areas of expertise. It’s also a time to hone leadership skills by taking charge of conferences, presentations, networking and other career-focused sessions. Here’s a list of things you might encounter during your second year:

  • Finishing up required coursework
  • Carving out a niche/specialization
  • Networking, networking, networking
  • Visiting target companies to learn and meet
  • Finish up advanced student projects
  • Graduate

Online MBA programs may tackle these things a bit differently considering their remote nature. For example, networking and expos can take place or be attending locally instead of near a campus. And, students can visit companies nearby to really get a handle of what’s available in their area. To see how an online MBA student navigated such a program, let’s turn to Doug Jones, a graduate of Arizona State’s online master’s of business administration program in 2004.

Meet an Online MBA Graduate

Doug Jones

Degree:  Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with emphasis in entrepreneurship.

College:  Arizona State University Online (2002 – 2004)

To MBA or not to MBA… That’s a decision thousands of potential graduate students make each year after pondering certain questions: Is an MBA worth the money? Can I earn my degree online? Will I be able to juggle work and family at the same time?

It’s easy for an outsider to do a little research and answer these questions, but nothing beats the inside scoop from someone whose been there and done that. Meet Doug Jones, the founder and CEO of Affordable Colleges Online, who used distance learning to earn his MBA, build a successful career in tech, and eventually become a web entrepreneur.

Q&A with Doug Jones
  • What’s the best thing about your online MBA program? The toughest?

    A couple things stand out. First, the ability to pursue my MBA while working full-time was huge. I can’t emphasize that enough. Quitting work to earn a degree would’ve meant tremendous opportunity cost in the form of lost salary.

    Second, working with classmates globally made case studies more interesting (and more valuable). And because I worked for Intel at the time, an international company, I could apply what I learned to my job rather easily.

    The toughest? School + work + family can be challenging. My wife and I didn’t have children yet, but we still had other things to think about that demanded time and effort. However, there’s no way I could’ve juggled everything if I had been in a campus program.

    Many MBA programs rely on tight collaboration with fellow students, especially for group projects. How did the online nature of the program help or hinder communication with peers?

    It helped significantly. Online forums, email, video conferencing – both lectures and meetings – kept us connected. It also helped that we met in-person at the ASU campus one week per semester. Here we met each other and the professors to establish a rapport, and then worked virtually for the remainder of the session.

    You completed your undergraduate degree on campus. How did your online MBA program compare to your campus-based bachelor’s degree?

    They differed in a lot of ways. Obviously, my online MBA had much less face time (although we had plenty of video chats). Also, in MBA programs, most students are professionals already, so the maturity level was higher. Lots of fellow students with a tremendous amount of experience to tap into and learn from.

    Did you have much interaction with your professors? Did you find it tough to communicate with no face-to-face office hours?

    In addition to the week on campus, each professor had weekly office hours where we could email, IM, talk on the phone or video chat. We also had daily forum discussions about course materials and projects. I actually interacted with my professors a lot – far more than I anticipated.

    Did ASU have a support system in place to help you as you worked toward your degree?

    ASU Online had career placement services and guidance counselors, all very accessible. I was also able to bounce ideas off some of my professors because many had significant work experience in the field.

    Did you receive any form of financial assistance? If so, was it easy to get for an online program?

    I was really fortunate when it came to paying for the program. Intel paid for my online MBA. But if you don’t work for Intel, many companies out there have tuition assistance and tuition reimbursement programs to help employees further their education. One thing I’ve learned during my current job is that financial assistance – whether from the government or a company – almost always requires that the target college has the proper accreditation. When applying to MBA programs, make sure it’s accredited by an agency like the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).

    Anything that really surprised you as you earned your online MBA?

    The caliber of the students and the professors. I knew there would be smart people in the program, but many of the students and profs I worked with blew me away. Probably the most surprising thing, however, was the value of the online experience. ASU’s program challenged me academically and professionally, but also offered tremendous flexibility. The online programs – whether MBA or otherwise – that strike such as balance stand to change the face of higher education.

    Any words of advice for future online MBA students?

    If you can’t afford going to school on campus, don’t be afraid to embrace online learning. This new model comes with so many benefits, and the technology improves year after year. And if you can’t study full-time, explore part-time programs. My program at ASU had more of a real-time schedule, but others can be more self-paced for the super busy.

Top 30 Online MBA Programs

Over the past few years, online graduate-level business programs have proliferated. Students are now faced with the difficult decision of sorting through a surplus of programs, looking for the one that fits their unique wants and needs. This list should make that task a little easier.

We have combed through nearly 8,000 online MBA programs and highlighted only the very best. We selected these 30 school based on a number of factors, including strict accreditation, faculty quality, student engagement, and admissions selectivity. These online MBAs are an elite class, unsurpassed in quality and affordability.

For the specifics on how we identified the Top 30 Online MBA Programs, please read our methodology page.

Washington State University
Cost: $750/Credit Score: 100 Website:

Washington State University is a top research institution in the U.S. with four main campuses as well as extension offices and distance programs. The dedicated and esteemed faculty at Washington State include Fulbright Scholars and National Science Foundation award recipients. The online college MBA program was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. Washington State strives to bring the real classroom experience to its distance students, bridging intellectual connections that will positively impact their careers.

Arkansas State University–Jonesboro
Cost: $467/Credit Score: 96.9 Website:

Rapidly growing in enrollment and resources, Arkansas State University lies on top of Crowley’s Ridge, a 150-mile geological formation that runs along the Mississippi Plain. Arkansas State reached its centennial year of education, research, and service in 2009. The online MBA in the College of Business was ranked #1 in faculty credentials and training and by the U.S. News & World Report. Coursework focuses on a core curriculum covering management, economics, and analytics and elective courses in a variety of fields. The online college program’s concentration in Supply Chain Management is a highly acclaimed option for logistics professionals.

University of Tennessee–Martin
Cost: $481/Credit Score: 93.3 Website:

Located in northwest Tennessee, the University of Tennessee at Martin is the base of UT Online, which offers the distance programs for University of Tennessee system schools. The UT Skyhawks compete in NCAA Division I athletics in a wide variety of sports from men’s and women’s basketball to rodeo and rifle. The Online MBA for Banking Professionals makes it possible for individuals in the finance sector, like analysts and loan officers, to propel their career forward. The skills students will develop include but are not limited to leadership, technology, business ethics, and economic trends – all geared specifically toward banking.

University of Texas–Dallas
Cost: $1,343/Credit Score: 91.7 Website:

The seven schools at the University of Texas at Dallas incorporate 134 academic programs in which students can earn bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked UT Dallas as a best value for four years in a row. Online MBA students in the Naveen Jindal School of Management have the advantage of accessing one of the best business schools in Texas. The Professional MBA program is completed through audio lectures, video clips, and online exams during the school’s regular three semesters.

Arizona State University (Carey)
Cost: $54,600/Full Program Score: 90.5 Website:

Arizona State University has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 5 universities in the U.S. for most qualified graduates. Founded in 1885, the university builds on its foundation with the goal of being a “New American University” that makes educational resources accessible to all students and has a positive impact on its community. The W.P. Carey School of Business is one of America’s biggest, boasting more than 250 faculty and 1,800 graduate students. Distance students reap the benefit of a flexible one-class-at-a-time curriculum and a dedicated career services team that helps match business professionals with desirable employers.

Georgia College & State University (Bunting)
Cost: $21,650/Full Program Score: 88.3 Website:

Multidisciplinary liberal arts studies and focused graduate programs characterize the academic environment at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. The Georgia Board of Regents has distinguished the school as “Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University” to align with its educational vision. The Georgia WebMBA at Georgia College is ranked #15 nationally and is a 100% online college. Students work with online texts, case students, team projects, and self-paced assignments to complete their coursework.

University of Florida (Hough)
Cost: $52,500/Full Program Score: 87.9 Website:

Described as a “Public Ivy” (a public university in league with the likes of Harvard and Yale), the University of Florida offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and almost 200 graduate programs. The Florida Gators sports teams are much beloved by students and faculty as well as Florida residents. With dozens of online degree programs, the University of Florida has the resources to accommodate any type of student. The online MBA program was one of the first to be fully accredited and has been ranked #1 by The Economist magazine.

University of Illinois–Springfield
Cost: $304.75/Credit Score: 86.1 Website:

Multidisciplinary liberal arts studies and focused graduate programs characterize the academic environment at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. The Georgia Board of Regents has distinguished the school as “Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University” to align with its educational vision. The Georgia WebMBA at Georgia College is ranked #15 nationally and is a 100% online college. Students work with online texts, case students, team projects, and self-paced assignments to complete their coursework.

University of North Texas
Cost: $291/Credit Score: 85.7 Website:

One of the largest research universities in Texas, the University of North Texas is dedicated to creating a meaningful learning experience for its 36,000 students. Based in Denton, Texas, it has 35 doctoral degree programs from which much of its rigorous research is generated. The College of Business online MBA promotes skills in communication, ethics, technology, and problem solving through the use of its accessible resources. Knowledge of both theory and practice are essential to business leadership, and UNT emphasizes both in its curriculum.

Cost: $464/Credit Score: 84.6 Website:

The State University of New York at Oswego hosts a student body of almost 8,000 students on its 690-acre lakeside campus. Study abroad and internship opportunities broaden students’ horizons by exposing them to diverse communities and work experiences. The online MBA program meets students’ needs with accessible faculty who are eager to help students succeed. Online college coursework provides a strong foundation that students can build on with hands-on experience.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Cost: $531/Credit Score: 84.3 Website:

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been at the top of its class among national universities for more than 140 years. Ambitious and innovative, this university contributes top quality grant-funded research to the sciences and humanities communities. UNL’s online MBA provides opportunities for busy professionals to enhance their career with an internationally recognized program. Specializations requiring specific courses are taught in the areas of international business, agribusiness, finance, and marketing.

University of Michigan–Dearborn
Cost: $3,207/Credit Assessment Score: 84.2 Website:

Recognized for having engineering and management programs of the highest caliber, the University of Michigan-Dearborn also offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, sciences, education, and computer science. The College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Business have been consistently ranked at the top nationally and regionally. More than a dozen graduate degrees are available online. The MBA can be combined with a dual degree in Finance, Engineering, or Information Systems.

University of South Dakota
Cost: $400/Credit Score: 82.1 Website:

Originally founded in 1862, the University of South Dakota is the oldest university in the Dakotas. The USD Coyotes compete in the Summit League of NCAA Division I in sports including football, basketball, and cross country. The Beacom School of Business has the only accredited MBA in South Dakota. Students will graduate from the online MBA program with a refined understanding of business roles in today’s world.

Missouri State University
Cost: $6,234/Year Score: 82.1 Website:

Also known as Mo State, Missouri State University is diversely populated with students from the 40 states and 70 countries. The NCAA Division I athletes include basketball, field hockey, and cross country stars that play for the Mo State Bears. One hundred percent of students who enroll in the online MBA program are working professionals. The campus provides 24/7 live tech support to assist online students with access to their coursework.

West Virginia University
Cost: $789/Credit Score: 79.2 Website:

A public, land-grant institution that was founded in 1867, West Virginia University lies in Morgantown, which has been voted the best small city in America by WVU’s mascot, the Mountaineer, is representative of the pioneering spirit in the institution’s educational programs and research. Years of work experience can be greatly enhanced by the team-building and problem-solving skills learned in WVU’s online Executive MBA program. The 48 hours of coursework are offered for the online college and is supplemented with four brief in-person residencies.

East Carolina University
Cost: $5,616/Year Score: 78.6 Website:

East Carolina University is the fastest growing school in the North Carolina state system. Inspired to prepare students for an ever-changing world, East Carolina University values diversity along with respect, authenticity, and a commitment to serve. A customizable MBA program is a good fit for students who want either completely online courses or a mix of virtual and face-to-face. Known as a Best Buy for online college MBAs, the program does not require previous business degree.

University of Massachusetts–Amherst (Isenberg)
Cost:  $825/Credit Score: 76 Website:

As the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system, the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosts more than 28,000 students on its 1,450 acres. Bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees are available in the university’s nine schools and colleges. The Eugene M. Isenberg School of Management combines the freedom of attending class around a busy schedule and essential knowledge in core and specialized areas of business. Nearby residents can complete the Blended MBA, which includes in-person classes at one of the satellite campuses.

University of Colorado–Colorado Springs
Cost: $2,298/3 Credit Hours Score: 74.7 Website:

Seated at the foot of Pike’s Peak, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is the academic base of just under 10,000 students. It is notable for its high graduation rates among minorities and its Veteran-friendly culture. Responding to the need for ethics awareness in business, the online MBA incorporates an ethics program run by the College of Business Ethics Initiative. The collaborative spirit of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus transfers over to the online college course, as the university strives to give distance students the same opportunities as traditional students.

Mississippi State University
Cost: $370/Credit Score: 74.1 Website:

Learning, service and research encompass the mission of Mississippi State University, a public land-grant university with faculty highly active in research. It is well known for its agricultural, engineering, and veterinary medicine schools in addition to business. Participants in the Distance MBA benefit from being part of a school with rankings from several nationally recognized organizations. The flexible and effective online college program has existed for 10 years and more than 250 students have graduated from it.

Oklahoma State University (Spears)
Cost: $358/Credit Score: 72.3 Website:

Oklahoma State University has been ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the best schools in the West in recent years. The campus community rallies behind its athletic teams, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who have won many national championships. In the Spears School of Business, supportive faculty and educational technologies help students reach their career goals. The entirely online college program consists of 48 credit hours and incorporates the important element of teamwork in the same way as in-person programs.

Columbus State University (Turner)
Cost: $958/Credit Score: 72.3 Website:

Columbus State University is one of the top regional universities in the U.S. South, located about 100 miles southwest of Atlanta. Part of the University System of Georgia, Columbus State University shares many resources with 30 other public colleges and universities in the state. The small size of the online WebMBA offered by the Turner College of Business allows faculty to dedicate more time to each student personally. The general-purpose online college program covers a holistic combination of business essentials like global business, human behavior, operations, and information systems.

University of Colorado–Denver
Cost: N/A/N/A Score: 71.9 Website:

As one of the nation’s top public research universities, The University of Colorado at Denver has more than 130 degree programs. The university encompasses the Anschutz Medical Campus, a center with nursing and medical programs that have attracted attention from the Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report. CU Online, its online college, uses best practices in instructional technology to deliver more than 450 courses. The Business School offers several degree options including an Executive MBA in Health Administration and an 11-month MBA.

University of Baltimore -Towson University
Cost: $2,996/Semester Score: 71 Website:

The University of Baltimore was established by progressive leaders in 1925 to deliver “knowledge that works” to part-time professionals in business and law. Situated in the Charm City, it has since become a traditional university with competitive undergraduate and graduate programs. The online college programs have strong support from faculty and state-of-the-art technology. The University of Baltimore offers the UB/Towson MBA in a fully online environment where students participate in structured assignments with rigid deadlines.

James Madison University
Cost: $775/Credit Score: 70.7 Website:

About two hours outside of Washington, D.C. in the Shenandoah Valley, James Madison University is surrounded by country and mountain landscapes. It was originally founded as an all-women’s school in 1908, and began admitting men in 1946. James Madison University has two MBA programs – the Innovation MBA and the Information Security MBA – and both are available in a blended online college and face-to-face format. Students meet every few weeks in Harrisonburg, Virginia to work in-person with faculty and participate in group projects.

Michigan Technological University
Cost: $41,000/Full Program Score: 70.4 Website:

Michigan Technical University specializes in helping students “create the future” in more than 120 academic programs. Located on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, the university’s city of Houghton was named one of the 100 Best Small Towns in America. The Tech MBA online offered by the School of Business and Economics is conducted on a state-of-the-art web platform. Three required residencies, including one abroad, ensure that students are getting the experience they need to get ahead.

Southeast Missouri State University (Harrison)
Cost: $6,853/Year Score: 70.4 Website:

Located near the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University has robust online college programs offering more than 200 subjects. Southeast encourages students to seek out real-world experience and facilitates opportunities for work and internships while studying. The Donald L. Harrison College of Business offers its General Management MBA program online, which includes applied research projects in an area of choice. Foundation courses for students lacking an undergraduate degree in business are also available online.

University of Louisiana–Monroe
Cost: $509/Credit Score: 70.2 Website:

The University of Louisiana at Monroe was established in 1931 and is part of the larger University of Louisiana system. Programs in business, English, counseling, pharmacy, arts and more produce graduates who become highly successful professionals. A thorough curriculum in the online MBA program includes courses in financial analysis, marketing strategy, and international business. Its competitive entrance qualifications ensure a challenging education with peers who are seasoned in business.

Tennessee Technological University
Cost: $542/Credit Score: 69.8 Website:

More than 40 undergraduate and 20 graduate degrees are offered at Tennessee Tech in areas like agriculture, engineers, business, and education. Its intellectual community is a space where students can choose their calling and dedicate themselves to intense study. The 100% online MBA at Tennessee Tech’s College of Business has been ranked #18 on’s list of Best Buys for online programs. The award-winning professors and comprehensive education prepare graduates to become leaders in diverse business landscapes.

North Carolina State University (Jenkins)
Cost: $32,487/Full Program Score: 69 Website:

North Carolina State University’s academic and research programs are recognized internationally for their quality and creativity. The university’s intercollegiate athletic teams, nicknamed the Wolfpack, compete at the highest level. Offering the Jenkins Professional Online MBA, the Poole College of Management engages with online students in a compelling program. An accelerated 21-month program is available for those wishing to complete their degree at a fast pace, or the flexible route allows for up to six years.

University of West Georgia
Cost: $1,728/9 Credit hours Score: 68 Website:

About 11,600 students attend the University of West Georgia in Carrollton studying in 106 academic programs. The school hosts the state of Georgia’s only Honors College for high-achieving students seeking a more challenging learning experience. The Georgia WebMBA online program lasts five semesters, with two classes each semester. A two-day orientation in Atlanta at the beginning of the program starts students off on the right foot before they begin the online college coursework.


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