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.

When an Online MBA Program Makes Sense

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, who they benefit and how they fit into the greater MBA landscape.

The 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.

Diversity. 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.

Types of MBA Degree Programs

There are MBA programs to suit most every educational need and learning style:

  • Full-time MBA programs typically take two years to complete, but accelerated online programs can cut time-to-graduation by one year.
  • Part-time MBA programs can take three or more years to complete, depending on the student’s commitment and obligations.
  • Executive MBA programs are designed for senior business leaders to train for C-level positions. They can be accelerated for quick completion or spread out over a year.
  • Global Executive MBA programs are designed for managers with international management experience who are seeking skills related to unique global leadership issues.
  • Online MBA programs are ideally suited for professionals who want to work remotely on their degree without compromising their commitments to career and family. Online accelerated programs are designed to be completed in a year, while more traditionally paced programs can take longer.

Key Factors to Consider In Evaluating Programs

Not all MBA programs are created equal. Each degree program has unique characteristics that make it a solid fit for certain students. For instance, an MBA candidate with aspirations of running a business may opt for a program with a strong entrepreneurial focus. Other students may want to attend a college with a healthy track record of placing students in internships with Fortune 500 companies. Whatever the motivation, it’s important to look at numerous elements before applying to campus or online MBA programs. Here’s a glimpse key decision-making factors that tend to stand out.

Program Components and Educational Quality

Not all online MBA programs are created equally. Students should research and evaluate the length of the program, the curriculum that makes up the degree, the opportunities to specialize in a business niche and the school’s reputation among employers. The ability to integrate real-world deliverables into their course requirements can enable students to make an immediate impact at their workplace. Students seeking a specialized MBA should explore online programs leading to degrees with a niche focus including:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Human resources
  • Marketing
  • Project Management


The bottom-line value of an online MBA degree depends on whether the school and its MBA program are accredited. Most schools will be accredited by one of the regional accreditation agencies recognized by the Department of Education. Fully online schools are accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). 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 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 consider whether courses lead to knowledge necessary for obtaining certifications.

Sample Courses and Curriculum

Online MBA degree programs typically are organized around a core curriculum and a series of elective courses that match the educational niche or career goals for each student. Core curriculum focuses around leadership, human resources, strategic planning, information systems, process management and change management. Here are a few examples of online MBA courses:

  • 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.

Career Certifications

An MBA degree is often sufficient for managers to take on leadership roles in the nation’s 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)

Internships and Practical Experience

Completing an internship as part of the MBA degree is a critical piece of the career mosaic. Most MBA degree programs require student internships, so students should spend time evaluating internship opportunities available through their prospective schools. Paid and unpaid internships are offered during the school year or over the summer break.

Internships are typically offered in the student’s economic sector of interest: corporate, governmental or non-profit organizations. An internship with a respected employer can be an advantage when future hiring managers consider applicants. Internships often culminate in permanent job offers for qualified MBA candidates.

Read More

MBA programs across the U.S. may cover many of the same general management principles, business strategies and processes. However, unique careers at the management level call for unique degree programs. Students who wish to enter leadership positions, start a business or engage in industry-specific research and data analysis have a number of MBA concentrations from which to choose. Everything depends on where interests and experience lie. In addition, MBA hopefuls have various types of programs available, whether accelerated, online or specifically for veterans. Use the matrices below to find out which MBA options make the most sense for you.


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.


With a clearer view of how some popular MBA concentrations differ functionally, let's see how they differ financially. Of course, all MBAs open doors to new careers or advancement opportunities, but some industries tend to pay higher salaries to keep their b-school talent from flying the coop. Other industries covet the value of MBAs more than others, actively recruiting the degree holders each and every year. The below table dissects MBAs by industry with a focus on starting salaries for graduates, the percentage of companies looking to hire MBAs, and the sectors that pull the most students after the graduation dust settles. All salary data annual and from 2013.

Industry Avg. Starting Salary Companies Planning to Hire MBAs % of 2013 MBAs in Field
Consulting $123,000 79% 8%
Energy $110,000 86% 4%
Health Care / Pharmaceuticals $110,000 89% 10%
Finance / Accounting $100,000 75% 20%
Technology $95,000 84% 13%
Government / Non-Profit $80,000 43% 15%
Source: Alumni Perspective Survey, Graduate Admission Council, 2014 Survey Report


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.


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 returnon 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.

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.

Interview With an Online MBA Graduate
  • 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.

Open Online MBA Classes

Operations Strategy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management

This open course from MIT's celebrated business school examines in-depth the relationships between service and manufacturing companies and their competitors, suppliers and consumers. Taught by Professors Charles H. Fine and Donald Rosenfield.

Financial Markets

Yale University

This eight-week course focuses on the history and relationships of financial markets in relation to historical, social and economic forces, and an overview of major institutions including insurance, banking, futures, securities and other derivatives markets. Led by Yale Professor Robert Shiller.

Financial Engineering and Risk Management II

Columbia University

A six-week course led by Columbia Professors Martin Haugh and Garud Iyengar, advanced FE & RM helps students understand principles, evaluation of risk management, and issues related to derivatives pricing/financial modeling.

An Introduction to Operations Management

Wharton School of Management

Part of the Wharton School's Foundation Series, this eight-week course highlights studies in Six Sigma, process analysis, productivity, quality assessment, enterprise responsiveness and product variety. The format allows for real-world problem solving, research, and deliverables.

Law and The Entrepreneur

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

Professor Esther Barron, Director of the Entrepreneurship Law Center at the Northwestern University School of Law, leads this review of the legal tools necessary for entrepreneurs to initiate a new venture. Course covers forming LLCs, the protection of intellectual property, venture capital, and employment law.

Grow To Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

Once a business is successfully launched, an entire new set of concerns face business owners. This course led by Darden School of Business Professor Edwin Hess is delivered in two parts, each presenting case studies and encouraging students to prepare strategic responses to issues in team-building, leadership, employee performance and change management.

  • Adobe Systems

    Adobe interns get paid to work side by side with some of the most talented professionals in the digital media and marketing space. Interns make valuable contributions to business-critical projects in product marketing and product management in a variety of locations. Adobe internships offer competitive salary and holiday pay, fun social events, chances to participate in community service projects, opportunities to make career contacts and employee discounts on Adobe products.

  • American Airlines

    The American Airlines MBA Summer Intern Program is a developmental assignment that provides interns with real-time work projects, leadership development opportunities, and involvement in corporate social responsibility. Work projects involve assignments that are relevant to American's current business needs and opportunities. The internship program features an Executive Speaker Series in which interns regularly meet as a group with leaders across business functions. Interns are also afforded travel privileges enabling them to connect to the international and domestic destinations that American Airlines serves.

  • Boston Scientific

    The company's 12-week internships immerse students in real projects as they collaborate with some of the best minds in the business to create the solutions of today that will impact patient care of tomorrow. Opportunities span Finance and Accounting, Information Systems, Human Resources, Manufacturing and Operations, Research and Development, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs and Marketing.

  • Comcast

    Comcast has traditionally hosts a small number of MBA interns at its headquarters in Philadelphia. Interns work in a variety of functional areas, including but not limited to Strategic & Financial Planning, Corporate Development, Strategic Development, Marketing Intelligence, and Business Intelligence. First-year, full-time MBA candidates with a minimum three to five years of professional experience are eligible for consideration.

  • Exelon Corporation

    Exelon, one of the country's largest power generators, actively recruits MBA students for leadership positions throughout the company. The company maintains specific programs to attract, retain and develop MBAs within its career development and succession management programs.

  • Hewlett Packard

    Hewlett Packard operates in more than 170 countries around the world. MBA internships are open to students who have completed one year of graduate work in management. Interns can work in IT-related or non-technical roles.

  • Hyatt

    The Hyatt Internship Program builds the foundation to becoming successful in the hospitality industry. While most internships are offered in operational areas, Hyatt internships are offered in a variety of disciplines and may vary slightly by country as described in the specific job descriptions of the available internship postings.

  • Nestle USA

    Nestle USA offers summer internships to first-year MBA students in marketing or brand management. Students work on exciting projects and obtain hands-on experience across nearly every aspect of brand management. Interns are typically hired for full-time employment as Marketing Associates.

  • Visa

    Visa provides advanced degree students with real world experiences. MBA interns are typically hired in the areas of marketing, product strategy and innovation, finance and global strategy.

  • Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo offers MBA internship programs in several of its business groups, including securities, commercial real estate, commercial banking, and wealth, brokerage and retirement.

  • Bain

    Bain's Associate Consultant Intern (ACI) summer program begins with a week of intensive training delivered by experienced consultants. Interns are then assigned to an active case (and may be asked to travel to the client site). ACIs are commonly responsible for data gathering and analysis; industry research; interviewing key clients, customers, and suppliers; and presenting their findings to the team.

  • Booz & Company

    Students who have completed their first year of MBA study, can apply for an internship as Summer Associates at Booz & Company. Internships typically last six to eight weeks, and are designed to emulate the full-time Associate experience as much as possible. Summer Associates work with clients through all stages of consulting projects: identifying the major issues that the client is facing, generating hypotheses against those issues, structuring and performing analyses, identifying creative but pragmatic options against potential market scenarios, developing conclusions, making strategic recommendations, and then developing plans to operationalize the agreed upon strategy.

  • Dell

    Dell offers MBA internships in its Global Services and Deployment (GSD) area, consisting of global operations teams that include customer service, supply chain, and professional services; marketing and sales operations teams, finance, engineering and more. Intern roles include a combination of project management and internal consulting. Interns are expected to apply strong consulting skills to broad set of business improvement opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions, operations improvement, cost reduction and business optimization.

  • McKinsey & Company

    The internship program McKinsey is typically eight to 12 weeks in the summer. Interns work on a client engagement as a member of a McKinsey team. At the end of the internship, the office will generally make a decision as to whether or not to extend the intern a permanent offer.

  • Vanguard

    The Vanguard MBA Summer Internship Program is for first-year, full-time MBA students with demonstrated academic achievement and exceptional communication, analytical, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Internships are full-time and paid. Typical areas of concentration for MBA interns are finance, investments, marketing, operations, relationship management and project management.

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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