Top Online MBA Degrees Affordable and Accredited Programs

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Many consider the Master of Business Administration (MBA) one of the most valuable degrees available to students and professionals today. In addition to serving as an advanced academic credential, the MBA gives graduates a wider range of career options and much greater earning potential. Graduates of MBA programs enjoy a higher level of job security, and the degree can help fast track already-working professionals into upper management positions in their fields. Read on to explore online MBA basics, see which colleges offer stand-out programs and discover which advanced degree option is the right fit for you.

Best Online MBA Programs

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Best Online MBA Programs

Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factors

Data Sources: Eligibility Criteria:
  • Each college must be accredited
  • Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
  • Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
  • Each college must have at least one online program 1
Ranking Factors:
  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Flexibility
  • Program

Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.

  • A dash in our Rankings Tool indicates IPEDS data was not available.
  • Tuition displayed in in-state and per year unless stated otherwise.
2-Year Schools

Earning an MBA online has become an increasingly popular option for those looking to advance their careers, and with good reason: online degree programs offer the flexibility needed to maintain busy work and home lives while still balancing a full class schedule. Schools have seen this increased need for such programs, and have answered; there are now hundreds of online MBA programs in which prospective students may enroll. To help narrow the field, we've analyzed every online MBA program in the nation by cost, supportive services, student teacher ratio and accreditation to determine which schools stand on top. Discover the Best Online MBA Program below.

Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina $11,940 41% - 91% 1 No No No

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill offers students a number of options to receive a Master of Business Administration. This includes evening and weekend classes, study abroad opportunities or a fully online format to complete the 66 credits required to graduate. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, as well as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, accredit this program. Students can choose to focus on data analytics and decision-making, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, or strategy and consulting. If these concentrations don't interest you, the school partners with a variety of additional programs to provide students with opportunities in public administration, public health or social work. Regardless of choice, all enrollees will participate in business core classes, which explore analytical tools, business communication, business strategy, leadership skills and financial accounting. Students are also required to participate in 2 immersion experiences, which are 3-day intensive workshops that take place on-campus, in another state or internationally. After graduation, MBA graduates can continue to register for courses at a reduced rate in order to stay up-to-date with industry knowledge and skills. For successful completion, students will receive an H (high pass) or P (pass) in all of their coursework. The school uses a variety of tools to create a distance education experience comparable to on-campus studies, including live video lectures, roundtable discussions and a mobile app. The cohort model encourages students to form relationships and support one another along the way. Students interested in admission can submit their applications alongside transcripts, recommendation letters and GMAT or GRE scores.

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2 Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Stillwater, Oklahoma $5,924 75% 1% 64% 1 No No No

Students possessing an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university or college can enroll in an online program to earn a Master of Business Administration from Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. In order to qualify, students must submit GMAT or GRE scores and provide evidence of a minimum 3.0 GPA in all prior coursework. A strong background in calculus and quantitative skills is encouraged. Graduation requires the completion of 42 credit hours in coursework, which covers topics such as accounting, economics, marketing, management, finance and analytics. On top of core studies, students choose electives from a variety of concentrations, such as business sustainability, data science, energy business, entrepreneurship, global marketing, human resource management, information assurance, marketing analytics or nonprofit management. Distance education students can also take advantage of study abroad experiences through the Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement. Online classrooms are conducted through the web platform Brightspace, and a tuitorial on how to navigate the system is available. Another resource available to online students is LASSO, which provides free online tutoring and success coaching. Students can also take advantage of the Math Learning Success Center and OSU Writing Center to assist in test prep and assignments and Career Services, which offers career exploration assessments, guidance on resume building and interviewing, and advice for perfecting a proper handshake. Roughly 80% of students receive some form of financial aid, and there are a number of scholarships awarded specifically to business students. On top of this, active-duty and full-time military personnel are eligible for tuition discounts and fee waivers.

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3 Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri $6,038 54% 1% 57% 1 No No No

At Missouri State University, 25% of students opt for the fully online option to earn a Master of Business Administration. This popularity may be due to the fact that both in-state and out-of-state enrollees pay the same tuition rates as their on-campus peers. The program consists of 24 core credit hours in subjects such as managerial accounting, organizational behavior and quantitative methods in business decision-making. On top of this, students choose from a variety of topics to satisfy 9 seminar and elective credit hours. Many work toward earning a business-specific graduate certificate. Some of the certificate options include computer information systems, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, forensic accounting, international business and tax accounting. All students must have fulfilled 18 hours of foundation courses in order to complete the MBA program, and students are encouraged to contact the College of Business to determine which classes may be waived as a result of undergraduate academics. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for graduation, and if this is not met, students can participate in up to 6 semester hours of extra credit to raise their average. Students who are unsure about whether distance education is the right choice for them can participate in the online readiness survey. Online students have access to the library, writing center, tutoring, technical help and veteran services to assist in their academic journey. The College of Business is also a member of the MBA Roundtable, National Association of Women MBAs and the Graduate Business Student Services Association, which links students to opportunities in the field. Those interested in this MBA program can submit an application, transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores for admissions consideration.

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4 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona $11,136 85% 1% 66% 1 No No No

Accredited by AACSB, the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is host to a 100% online Master of Business Administration degree. Students can focus on concentrations in finance, international business, marketing or supply chain management. The school also encourages enrollment in a concurrent program to receive a master's degree in legal studies, electrical engineering or industrial engineering. This is due to the fact that additional coursework coupled with another academic plan requires less time and money. Beginning in either January or August, students will take an average of 21 months to complete 49 credit hours, or 17 classes, with a grade of B or above in order to graduate. Courses last for 7.5 weeks, and students are able to take 2 classes per quarter. Students will explore core subjects such as statistics for managers, operations and supply management, ethical issues and managerial accounting. They will also choose elective topics ranging from advanced corporate finance, to investment strategies, to sustainability and social responsibility. In addition, distance education students have opportunities to take their studies abroad if their schedule permits. ASU Online Student Support & Services can connect you to available resources, including the library, disability and veteran resources, career services and tutoring. Students who have a business idea can take advantage of Venture Devils, which offers support to student startup founders by connecting them to the appropriate information and people. For program admittance, students must submit GMAT or GRE scores as well as have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA in all prior academic history.

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5 Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $15,786 83% 1% 71% 1 No No No

Temple University's Fox School of Business offers students flexibility through their online Master of Business Administration program. Entirely self-paced, students can take anywhere from 20 months to 6 years to complete the required 48 credits. A grade of a C- or above is necessary for any credit to count toward graduation. Courses begin at 3 different points each year, and students only take 1 class over a period of 5 weeks for added convenience and manageability. Core work looks into leadership development, managing risk, law and ethical foundations, business in a global environment and financial analysis. Online students can select from 11 concentrations, such as business management, entrepreneurship, financial management, human resource management, sport business, travel and tourism, and corporate compliance, governance and regulatory policy. Although curriculum is completed online, there is a requirement to participate in a weeklong, on-campus residency experience at the beginning of the program and satisfy a hands-on internship at the end. Housing and food for the residency experience are included in tuition costs. On Thursday evenings, students are expected to join classmates and faculty in a live web conferencing session, which encourages a sense of community and support. The Student Success Center and Writing Center are also available resources to assist in any questions or challenges students may come across. In order to be considered for admission, prospective students must submit an application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE or GMAT scores, a resume and essays, as well as take part in an interview.

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6 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, Arkansas $8,924 70% 1% 41% 1 No No No

Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, Arkansas State University provides students with the opportunity to receive a Master of Business Administration in a fully online format. Students in this program can choose concentrations in supply chain management or finance. GPA and GMAT or GRE scores are taken into consideration when applying for admission. Students are also required to have satisfied a number of undergraduate foundation courses, which are outlined in the graduate handbook. There are fast track options, however, to satisfy these credits prior to your graduate program if you completed a bachelor's degree in a field outside of business. If admissioned, students will need to complete 27 hours of core coursework, which explores topics of accounting for planning, managerial economics, global strategic initiatives, management information systems and strategic marketing. An additional 6 hours of electives complete the 33 credit hours needed for graduation. In order to count towards graduation, a C or above must be maintained in each class. A final obligation for program completion is that students must complete a research presentation in front of faculty. The school is committed to providing online learners with support, which includes linking every student to a personal teaching assistant who is an expert in their field of study. Student Services is also available to help with financial questions, disability services and technical help for Blackboard Learn, the web platform used to manage online classes. Before applying, make sure to confirm that your state of residency will acknowledge this degree program.

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7 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas $5,139 25% 1% 56% 1 No No No

Sam Houston State University provides a 100% online program to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree. Students spend an average of 2 years completing this 36-credit hour program. They must maintain a 3.0 GPA for all coursework as well as pass their comprehensive exam with a B or higher in order to graduate. There are 27 credit hours composed of core business curriculum, including accounting for management, techniques of statistical analysis, financial management and a seminar for team leadership. The final 9 credits are business-specific electives. A student's GPA and GMAT score will determine their eligibility for the program. A 3.5 average in undergraduate studies, however, may waive the exam requirement. An additional qualification is the completion of 15 credit hours in specific prerequisite courses, such as Economic Principles and Policy, Analysis of Accounting Information and Foundations of Strategic Management. Students can start their program throughout the year, with classes beginning in August, January or May. Coursework is accessible at any time via the web platform Blackboard Learn. The system connects online learners with a number of smart phone applications to assist in organization, research and web conferencing. SHSU Online Campus encourages students to become a part of the school community by live streaming campus events. Other resources include access to the library, academic advising and career services. New online students are eligible to earn $1,000 in scholarships. On top of this, there are 32 financial awards presented to College of Business students annually.

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8 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas $14,456 62% 1% 73% 3 No No No

Naveen Jindal School of Management's online option to receive a Master in Business Administration through the University of Texas at Dallas can be completed in as little as 16 months. The program consists of 53 credit hours. Of these, 30 involve core classes in financial accounting, information technology for management, business economics and managerial accounting. An additional 23 credits are elective-based, and prospective students can search the course listings to see which are offered online. Students can also choose from 15 concentrations, ranging from finance to international management to real estate. For added flexibility, there are start dates in the fall, spring and summer each year. In order to qualify for the program, students must have maintained a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work as well as completed prerequisites in quantitative foundation of business and communications for management. Additionally, the application requires GMAT scores, references, essays, a resume and an interview. Students can demo an online course to see if online learning is the right choice for them. For those living in the area, there is an option to observe a class. Upon program admission, students have access to a number of resources, including academic advising, the library and technical help. The Career Management Center stays in close contact with MBA students during their journey. They connect students with potential employers, host workshops and implement mock interviews. On top of this, the center showcases virtual professional development and program information sessions throughout the year. Graduates from this program typically go on to find careers in areas such as health care management, marketing and risk management.

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9 West Texas A & M University Canyon, Texas $7,040 43% 1% 44% 1 No No No

Students earning their Master of Business Administration through the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business at West Texas A&M University can do so in a fully online format or by combining on-campus courses with some distance education. Although working at an accelerated rate is an option, most students complete the program in an average of 2 years. Depending on your undergraduate education, this degree requires 31-46 semester hours. For those who received a bachelor's degree in fields outside of business, they will likely need to satisfy up to 9 semester hours in financial accounting, statistics and corporate finance foundational classes. All students will explore core coursework that covers topics such as data analytics, marketing, leadership and cultural intelligence. Additional credits involve emphasis-specific electives, which include options in general business, computer information systems, management, marketing and health care management. Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA for both program consideration and degree completion. Admission also entails the submission of transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of goals. GMAT scores are encouraged to boost your eligibility. Prospective students, however, can request a test waiver if their transcripts display a 3.0 average throughout their academic history. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the AACSB accredit all business programs at West Texas A&M University. Online curriculum is approved by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, but students will want to verify their degree will be recognized in their location of residency. Smart Thinking Tutoring, academic advising and technical help are available to assist students in their online studies.

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10 University of Maryland-College Park College Park, Maryland $44,766 52% - 85% 1 No No No

Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland offers students the opportunity to work toward a Master of Business Administration via a fully online format. Students can choose to concentrate on general business, accounting, finance, information systems and business analytics, supply chain management or marketing. Graduation requires a grade C or higher in the required 54 credit hours of foundation coursework and concentration-specific curriculum. Students explore decision modeling, the global economic environment, operations management, organizational change, ethical leadership and international business. Two residencies are also required, which involve a 3-day, on-campus experience designed to acquaint you with the university and your fellow classmates at the beginning of the program, as well as a capstone experience toward the end. Degree completion takes an average of 2 years. The self-paced nature of online learning, however, allows for flexibility in timelines. During your studies, you will be linked with a career coach through the school's Office of Career Services. Throughout the year, this office hosts a series of activities to assist in building your career portfolio. These include networking opportunities, cover letter workshops and interview preparation. Your career coach works to understand your specific goals and is available to help in customized job exploration and career planning. Students interested in this program will need to submit transcripts, a GMAT or GRE score, 1 letter of recommendation and an essay. Most accepted applicants maintained a minimum 2.9 GPA and received GMAT scores in the mid-500 to upper-700 range. The admissions office encourages students to hold a minimum 2 years of professional experience. After graduation, students will be prepared for careers in fields such as investment banking, consulting and hospitality.

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11 University of Mississippi University, Mississippi $11,340 65% 1% 64% 1 No No No

Students interested in completing a Master of Business Administration can do so in a fully online format through the University of Mississippi. The degree requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 2 years if you follow this plan of study. Online learners, however, can enroll in their chosen amount of classes at the fall, summer, or spring term, allowing for greater flexibility. All students follow the same curriculum, which covers topics such as leadership, managerial economics, business planning, organizational behavior, project analysis and statistics. If you are interested in applying, your transcripts must reflect a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate academics. This average is to be maintained throughout graduate coursework as well in order to finish the program. Prospective students will also need to submit GMAT or GRE scores of 550 or above, 2 letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of purpose. Prerequisite courses include principles of accounting and business finance. Prior to application, the school offers a number of study resources to prepare for both the GMAT and GRE. The school's MBA board is composed of student alumni who wish to help current students on their academic journey. The group hosts professional development days throughout the year to assist in resume development, interview skills and job offer negotiations. Resident and non-resident students can expect to pay the same tuition rates, and there are state aid and school-funded scholarships to help cut down on costs. In addition, the annual Ole Miss MBA Golf Classic raises money for the MBA-specific scholarship fund.

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12 Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, Indiana $22,418 43% 1% 75% 2 No No No

For those living in the Lafayette, Indiana, area, Purdue University's Krannert School of Management offers flexibility through their weekend program to receive a Master of Business Administration. This option follows a cohort model and combines online classes with weekend on-campus visits twice per month. Beginning in August, students will complete 39 weekend sessions and 48 total credits to earn their degree over the course of 2 years. Prospective students can view the program timeline. During Saturday visits, students attend class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the school's Rawls Hall. Following a full day of work, everyone comes together in the hall's common areas for MBA evening meals. Coursework covers accounting for managers, business analytics, macroeconomics, business law and negotiations. Electives are specific to and chosen by each year's cohort. Graduates of this program can expect to acquire financial decision- and policy-making skills, leadership skills and marketing knowledge. On top of the encouraged peer support, there are a variety of supports to assist in your distance education and on-campus studies. These supports include first-hand access to Purdue's Online Writing Lab, which is known to students throughout the world. The Krannert Professional Development Center helps in job exploration and networking opportunities, and the Parrish Library of Management and Economics is host to a large number of resources specific to the business field. Applications for the weekend MBA are accepted on a rolling basis. Those interested will need to provide evidence for 3 years minimum of professional experience. Although there is not a GPA minimum, a B average in undergraduate work is necessary in order to waive the GMAT testing requirement.

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13 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, Virginia $33,108 33% - 91% 1 No No No

William & Mary's online MBA emphasizes communication, critical thinking and creative problem solving to produce tomorrow's business leaders. To do so, the school uses a unique approach -- at the beginning of the program, students are asked to identify a real world issue to work on throughout the course of their studies. This can be an actual problem they are currently facing at work or a larger issue within the business world in general. As students advance through the 12 courses, they are required to tie all classroom concepts into the solution for the problem they have chosen. By doing this, students gain the strategic analysis and problem solving skills that many of today's employers seek. At the end of the program, students participate in a practicum focused on the culmination of this work. It typically takes 2 years to complete this MBA program. Examples of first year courses include financial and managerial accounting, organizational behavior and business analytics. Second year courses cover marketing, integrated technology, leadership in the 21st century and the practicum. In addition to coursework, an on-campus 3-day residency is required. This is held twice a year and is a conference-style session that focuses on core business issues and encourages collaboration and networking. Attendance of one residency weekend is required but students are allowed to attend all residency offerings. For increased flexibility, the online MBA has 3 start dates and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Application requirements include official transcripts, completion of an online application, GMAT/GRE scores (waivers are given on a case-by-case basis) and a personal admission interview which can be conducted over Skype or telephone.

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14 Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, Missouri $9,566 82% 1% 67% 1 No No No

Just 5% of business schools in the world have earned AACSB accreditation. Missouri University of Science and Technology's online MBA program is among the few that hold such status. This 36 credit hour program is divided into 2 parts: core classes (21 credits) and electives (15 credits), and is ideal for working professionals and executives. Examples of core courses include teambuilding and leadership, integration of business areas, managerial finance and international marketing. Concentrations are not offered in the program but students can choose to earn a graduate certificate based on their personal interests. Certificates require 12 hours of electives so the 15 required credits for the MBA degree can go towards earning a certificate. Admission to the MBA program is dependent on official transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, recommendations, resume, statement of purpose and application form. If all materials are not ready, Missouri S&T encourages prospective students to still start the process but does note that nothing will be reviewed until each required item has been submitted. For students who need additional financial aid, Missouri S&T offers support for graduate-level assistants and encourages students seek outside funding through fellowships and organizations.

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15 University of North Texas Denton, Texas $21,646 47% 1% 56% 3 No No No

If you're considering earning an MBA, the University of North Texas has 2 online options: an online MBA in marketing and an online accelerated MBA with 6 areas of interest. The online MBA in marketing degree can be earned full- or part-time and the class schedule rotates, making it easy to fit courses into your existing schedule. It is divided into 5 parts: background courses (18 hours), core courses (18 hours), required courses (6 hours), supporting courses (9 hours) and non-marketing electives (3 hours). Background courses, however, are only required on an as-needed basis, for example if your undergraduate transcript shows your bachelor's degree does not prepare you for master's level coursework. The second option, UNT's accelerated online MBA, is ideal for those working full-time or who have otherwise busy lifestyles. In addition to the convenience of online accessibility, the accelerated program has 5 start dates and courses are just 8-weeks long. This option can be completed in as few as 14 months. Curriculum was designed to enhance and expand students' knowledge and skills in key business areas, making them eligible for promotions and managerial roles.

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16 West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia $18,414 66% 1% 59% 1 No No No

West Virginia University's Master of Business Administration is offered in a hybrid format. This means courses are conducted online but students will need to attend a series of 3-4 day long residencies to network with professors and peers and participate in experiential learning. 3 residencies take place in Morgantown, WV and 1 Washington DC. To graduate, students need to complete 48 credit hours in core courses such as business research, financial statements analysis, macroeconomics and strategy, and electives in topics such as negotiation strategy, strategic communications and international business. Students can also pursue 1 of 3 areas of emphasis. There is also an option to earn the MBA and a JD, Doctor of Pharmacy or MS in Nursing simultaneously. WVU prides itself on preparing its MBA grads for success in the real world. Graduates have gone on to careers at a range of companies including Chevron, NASA, Wells Fargo and Pfizer, to name a few examples. 33% of students reported starting a new job or getting a promotion while still in the program and 71% of recent alumni said the online MBA resulted in a new position, promotion or career. Prerequisites are not required but applicants must have at least 2 years of professional experience. Although there are no prereqs, it is recommended that anyone without a strong background in basic business take not-for-credit classes in financial accounting, economics and statistical concepts. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis but will not be considered if all parts are not submitted. Applicants can choose either a fall or spring semester start.

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17 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Mississippi $9,912 68% 1% 51% 2 No No No

Offered through night classes on-campus or anytime, fully online, the MBA program at the University of Southern Mississippi was designed for both full-time students and working professionals. Consisting of 24 core credit hours and 9 elective hours, this program can be completed in 1-2 years, depending on how many classes you take each semester. Specific course titles will vary but cover key topics such as managerial accounting, analytical decision making, global business strategy and sport management. Study abroad opportunities are also open to online students if it works with their schedule. Southern Miss' MBA program was designed for students with and without a business undergraduate degree. However, if you hold a bachelor's degree in a non-business field, you will need to satisfy prerequisite courses in accounting, finance and statistics. Applying to the program involves completing an online graduate application, submitting official transcripts and GMAT/GRE scores, 3 letters of recommendation, a professional cover letter and resume, statement of purpose, and immunization records. International students must submit official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores. If you have a master's degree or higher, GMAT/GRE scores can be waived. If you have 5 or more years of management work experience you may request a waiver consideration.

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18 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati, Ohio $19,280 58% 1% 72% 1 No No No

The University of Cincinnati's Master of Business Administration program is available in an accelerated online format that follows 7-week terms. Consisting of a total of 38 credit hours, coursework includes MBA core courses, electives, business foundations courses and a capstone experience. Those who have an undergraduate degree in a non-business field will need to fulfill additional foundations courses. The program is designed to be a mix of academic, research-intensive and real life learning experiences. Specific course offerings may vary from year to year but degree outcome goals remain the same -- exceptional knowledge of core skills, strong leadership and decision-making skills, a keen understanding of legal issues relevant to business, and an understanding of the importance of ethics and social responsibility. Those interested in gaining expertise in a particular area can choose from 7 concentrations. Faculty are industry leaders, many of whom are also award-winning researchers and active business professionals, which means students will receive the most current and relevant industry knowledge and insight. If interested in applying, you must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited school and submit an online application, GMAT/GRE scores (unless you qualify for a waiver), 2 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, current resume, school transcripts and official TOEFL/IELTS (international students only). Lindner MBA online is selective and uses a holistic approach when reviewing application packets. Applicants may be accepted through direct admission (typically for those with 3 or fewer years of work experience) or conditional admission (typically for those with 3 or more years of work experience).

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19 University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee $10,364 58% 1% 50% 1 No No No

At the University of Tennessee at Martin, the online MBA is a flexible and convenient way for students to earn a business degree. Following a 20-student cohort model, this program typically takes 20 months to complete and is open to students with an undergraduate degree in any field and 2 or more years of post baccalaureate work experience. It is an ideal option for anyone who wants to advance in their career and boost their salary potential. All program requirements can be completed 100% online -- including exams -- and students can interact with peers and professors via virtual classrooms and group meeting rooms. Courses are 6-8 weeks long and curriculum is designed to help students develop a range of valuable business skills including leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, ethics, and creativity and innovation. Students who want the flexibility of an online program but still want some face-to-face interaction with faculty and peers can consider the hybrid MBA. With this option, classes are offered fully online and in hybrid formats that require about 5 visits to the UTM campus each semester. Both the online and hybrid programs require an application, 3 letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, resume, transcripts and an essay. Unlike the online MBA, however, the hybrid program does not require at least 2 years of work experience. Applicants with 7+ years of full-time business experience after earning a bachelor's degree with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 may be eligible to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement (such applicants will need to submit a GMAT/GRE waiver application for review).

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20 Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio $14,018 45% 1% 42% 1 No No No

Those considering an MBA have a few different options at Cleveland State University. However, if flexibility through online learning is a priority, CSU's online accelerated MBA may be the right degree for you. This option, which CSU says is one of the first online 1-year MBAs accredited by AACSB, allows students to earn the foundational knowledge to succeed in the business world in a fast, convenient and affordable way. Because all courses and requirements can be completed online, students set their own schedules and work at their own pace. Yet despite this flexibility, small cohort groups are emphasized to encourage peer interaction and group study. Cohorts start in the Fall and Spring. Tuition is all-inclusive, meaning what you pay covers everything from courses to online materials and e-books to student services. Once admitted, students will receive a link to instructions for the various apps needed to complete the program. These apps will give you access to course modules, interactive materials and e-books. All online MBA courses are taught by full-time CSU faculty so distance learners will receive the same education as their campus-based peers. While the program has been designed to maximize flexibility and convenience, CSU notes that it requires dedication so is best suited to highly-motivated individuals. Before applying, interested students must meet certain requirements, including taking the GMAT or GRE. Course prerequisites may also be required if your undergraduate degree does not fulfill the specified coursework. You can work with an advisor to determine whether you have met these prerequisites. International students are subject to additional admissions requirements.

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21 Southern Utah University Cedar City, Utah $10,904 82% 1% 43% 1 No No No

Business professionals looking to boost their career and salary potential can do so by pursuing an online MBA at Southern Utah University. The school offers an accelerated program, which can be completed in 1 year, as well as a comprehensive program, which takes 2 years of full-time study and is most suitable for students without any prior business training or education. Despite being online, the SUU MBA program maintains a small class size so that students can get the most out of their program and professor. Coursework emphasizes human and technical knowledge and skills but still gives students the opportunity to explore projects in their own areas of interest. Overall, faculty encourage active learning to produce confident, capable and knowledgeable leaders. This approach, combined with career coaching services, has resulted in a 96.5% employment rate among its graduates. Curriculum is divided into core courses, electives and MBA foundation courses. Examples include accounting for decision making, managerial finance, data analytics, business law and managerial finance. For those interested in the accelerated option, completion of all foundation courses is required prior to admission. If interested in gaining expertise in a particular area or industry, SUU's MBA offers 2 concentration areas: business analytics (30 credits) and cybersecurity (30 credits). To graduate, students must complete the program within 6 years and pass all courses with a C grade or better. Although the school does offer graduate tuition waivers, these waivers are not currently available to online students.

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22 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky $11,652 41% 1% 54% 1 No No No

Western Kentucky University offers an MBA in 3 formats: full-time, online and professional. Prospective students looking for the most flexibility will want to consider the online MBA. Coursework is 100% online, but some tests will be proctored at a site that is convenient to you. Students can progress through the program at their own pace, finishing in as few as 12 months or as long as 5 years. To earn this degree, students will need to complete 33 hours of business courses and can do so part-time or full-time. Examples of such courses include organizational theory, advanced marketing, applied microeconomic theory and 2 electives. All online MBA students are required to take 2 contemporary issues courses or can substitute this requirement for a 3-hour elective. All courses expose students to the latest industry theories and technologies but also emphasizes how to effectively apply them to real world organizations. In fact, students often work on real life business issues under the guidance of their professors, many of whom have extensive business expertise. This combination of classroom and real world knowledge gives students a competitive edge. To apply, students must complete a graduate application, provide 2 references, and submit official transcripts and an official copy of GMAT scores. Applicants will also need to meet a minimum GPA requirement and those without a strong academic background in basic business will need to demonstrate proficiency in 8 major areas by completing preparatory courses, a foundation module or one or more area proficiency exams.

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23 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida $12,740 29% - 88% 1 No No No

Earning an MBA doesn't necessarily mean you have to set aside your professional and personal life. University of Florida's online MBA program allows students to balance the demands of life, work and school at all once. This program, which UF says was among the first fully-accredited online degrees, attracts students from all around the world and from a variety of professional backgrounds. However, despite its global reach, UF limits class size to 65 students to maintain quality interaction between learners and their professors. The MBA program is offered 100% online and consists of 5-week courses, which were developed by the same UF faculty who designed the campus-based MBA. There are 2 other formats available: a 1-year hybrid option for students who already have an undergraduate degree in business and a 2-year hybrid for students with a non-business undergraduate degree. Those who need maximum flexibility should consider the 100% online program as this option can be completed without a single campus visit. Lectures are available online and can be viewed at any time. Assignments, group projects and readings are expected to take up about 15 hours per week. To be considered for the online option, applicants will need to register with UF MBA and complete a UF application as well as a UF MBA supplemental application. Submission of a resume, official transcripts, recommendation letters and GMAT/GRE scores is also required. International students will need to complete a few other standardized tests and submit additional documentation. Admission requirements for the hybrid options are similar, but admissions criteria may be different so interested students should review each option carefully before applying.

School website
24 Auburn University Auburn, Alabama $11,282 60% 1% 74% 1 No No No

Offered through Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, the online MBA is available to US-based students and US military personnel. It is 1 of 4 MBA options offered by the university. In addition to their MBA, candidates can earn dual degrees in finance, industrial and systems engineering or information systems or opt for a concentration, though a concentration will not be designated on a diploma or transcript. Online MBA students must complete 9 core courses and 4 electives. These courses are delivered through the CANVAS learning platform. While full-time, campus-based students follow a cohort model, those in the online program do not -- students are allowed to take courses at their own pace, provided they complete the full degree within 6 years. Auburn University notes the average student takes 2 courses per semester. Online learners will have access to a student services coordinator who can help them determine the right pace and electives to choose. Examples of some of the core and elective courses students will take include quantitative analysis, operations excellence, organizational leadership and change, and big data. Graduate certificates are also open to MBA students and options include business analytics or information systems. These certificates, however, are available to students regardless of their MBA enrollment so this can be an ideal option for professionals who want to develop skills and knowledge in a specific business area or industry but do not have the time to commit to an MBA program.

School website
25 East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina $14,970 42% 1% 61% 1 No No No

At East Carolina University, prospective students looking to earn an online business degree can pursue the school's MBA program, which has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1967. Offered completely online, hybrid and on-campus, this 18-course program covers the theory and practice of business management, and is ideal for those who hold a business and non-business undergraduate degree. Coursework is divided into 3 categories -- foundational courses, common body of knowledge courses and electives -- and will deep dive into a range of topics such as economics, marketing, strategy, operations management and supply chain management. Students can choose from more than 30 different electives to tailor their MBA to their career goals and interests. While only 3 electives are required, if students go further and complete 4-5, they can earn 1 of 12 graduate certificates to demonstrate their specific industry knowledge and skills. There is no residency requirement, even for online learners. Unlike many MBA programs, ECU's program does not follow a cohort model or dictate pace. This means students can customize their program to fit their specific and unique needs, goals and schedules. Courses can even be taken in any order, as long as all prerequisites are met first. To be considered, applicants will need to take the GMAT (although some may qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver) and meet strict minimum GPA requirements. A bachelor's degree from an institution accredited by a CHEA-recognized accrediting agency is also required. Letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose is not required.

School website
26 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, North Carolina $10,800 68% - 59% 1 No No No School website
27 Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon $14,331 67% 1% 67% 1 No No No School website
28 Lamar University Beaumont, Texas $10,664 20% 1% 38% 6 No No No School website
29 Florida International University Miami, Florida $8,912 44% 1% 60% 1 No No No School website
30 Columbus State University Columbus, Georgia $7,990 11% 1% 37% 1 No No No School website
31 University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona $24,900 74% 1% 63% 1 No No No School website
32 Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas $10,060 71% 1% 61% 1 No No No School website
33 Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, Tennessee $9,760 53% 1% 51% 1 No No No School website
34 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, Colorado $10,760 45% 1% 45% 1 No No No School website
35 Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide University Park, Pennsylvania $25,430 35% 1% 87% 1 No No No School website
36 Radford University Radford, Virginia $8,915 18% 1% 60% 1 No No No School website
37 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale, Illinois $14,085 74% 1% 46% 1 No No No School website
38 Clarion University Clarion, Pennsylvania $11,592 41% 1% 51% 5 No No No School website
39 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, Texas $4,024 78% 1% 37% 3 No No No School website
40 University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas $8,230 54% 1% 44% 1 No No No School website
41 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, New Jersey $19,720 56% 1% 64% 3 No No No School website
42 University of Delaware Newark, Delaware $30,960 67% 1% 82% 1 No No No School website
43 Texas Southern University Houston, Texas $18,000 39% 1% 20% 2 No No No School website
44 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, Hawaii $15,288 50% 1% 61% 1 No No No School website
45 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, Texas $3,849 64% 1% 50% 1 No No No School website
46 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama $10,780 56% 1% 68% 1 No No No School website
47 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, Missouri $10,827 90% 1% 51% 3 No No No School website
48 Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas $7,246 74% 1% 50% 2 No No No School website
49 The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, Texas $7,486 58% 1% 46% 4 No No No School website
50 Wayne State College Wayne, Nebraska $6,502 23% - 50% 1 No No No School website

MBA Degree Search Tool

Earning an MBA is a large investment in time and money. Finding the best online program matching your career-building goals is worth the due diligence. The range of degree types and options is extensive. But you can save time by using the search tool below to target schools by their kind of online MBA program, tuition, and curriculum. Make a wise and informed choice.

Start your School Search

Types of Online MBAs

MBA programs require significant time, energy, and commitment. Traditional MBA candidates can spend up to 24 months learning management communication, strategic thinking, decision analysis, and other foundational business skills. But what about non-traditional students? The single parent with two kids and a mortgage, or the young professional who wants an MBA but also an advanced degree in engineering? The good news is, business schools across the U.S. continue to expand program options to meet these diverse needs. Let’s take a look at some of today’s up-and-coming online MBA programs, and then see which one might work best for you.

Explore Online Degree ProgramsSearch Programs
  • Accelerated Online MBA Programs

    Accelerated programs often run 12 months and involve larger course loads and shorter times between semesters. Group projects and other assignments may also have tighter deadlines to help squeeze more coursework into the shorter program.

    Great for… Young professionals looking for a flexible way to fast track their degree.

  • Dual MBA Programs Online

    Dual MBAs give professionals the chance to increase knowledge and skills in a specific field while learning key management techniques. Graduates have deeper understanding of their subjects (e.g. marketing) and the ability to turn that understanding into a leadership role.

    Great for… Those looking for in-depth knowledge and a leadership track in a specific field.

  • Executive Online MBA

    Executive MBAs cater to more experienced professionals who need to earn their degree while they work. EMBA programs tend to have flexible timeframes (between 12 and 24 months) and may require candidates to have a minimum of five years of work experience.

    Great for… Professionals who want (or need) flexibility to pursue a degree while raising a family or focusing on work.

  • Online MBA: No GMAT Required

    More and more business schools are dropping the GMAT requirement for certain applicants – usually professionals with more than 10 years of experience or who possess advanced degrees or specific credentials already. This can be great for program seekers who haven’t seen a standardized test in over a decade.

    Great for… Managers, leaders, executives who can stand out from the rest of the applicant pool without a stellar test score. MBA seekers far removed from standardized testing and who qualify under the business schools no GMAT guidelines.

    Learn More AboutNO GMAT PROGRAMS
  • Part-Time (Flexible) Online MBA

    Part-time online MBA programs are designed for ultimate flexibility. Courses often occur year-round and students can take one or two each semester. Business schools usually schedule classes outside of work hours.

    Great for… Students who need ultimate flexibility with the combination of online and part-time learning. Some programs allow students to complete their online MBA over the course of 3 – 4 years.

  • Online MBAs for Veterans

    Some online MBAs actively seek veteran students due to their teamwork and natural leadership skills. Many of these programs dedicate some or all of their curriculum to translating their students’ military experience into civilian business and management skills.

    Great for… Military veterans, active duty, and reserve personnel with business leadership aspirations and the flexibility to learn online.


Specializations for Online MBAs

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.

Explore Online Degree ProgramsSearch Programs
  • MBA in Healthcare

    Students working towards their online MBA in healthcare are usually looking to build on their experience in fields such as nursing, medicine, biotechnology and health information systems. Students should expect to gain skills in branding, information systems management, entrepreneurship and more.

    Online MBA in HEALTHCARE
  • MBA in Finance

    An online MBA in finance typically takes between two and five years to complete, depending on the type of program. Common careers for those with an MBA in finance are financial manager, broker, financial analyst or chief financial officer (CFO).

    Online MBA in FINANCE
  • MBA in Marketing

    An online MBA in marketing typically takes between one and three years to complete and students can expect to take courses on topics like marketing management, consumer behavior, and digital marketing and advertising. Graduates often find success in manager-level positions, such as marketing manager, advertising manager or public relations manager.

    Online MBA in MARKETING

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).

Search for Accredited Online MBA Programs

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
  • Year One: Acclimation
  • Year Two: Completion
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. Read our GMAT prep guide to learn more about how you can prepare for and perform your best on the exam.

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.

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

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

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.

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.