Top Online MBA Programs 2020

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Online MBA programs prepare learners to succeed in the business world. Many employers value candidates with an MBA, and degree-holders often enjoy a variety of career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many positions for professionals with an MBA offer six-figure salaries. This guide explores the best online MBA programs, along with specialization options, relevant certifications, and typical program requirements.

Best Online MBA Programs

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Methodology

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.

Notes:
  • 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 Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
1 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
$5,970 Tuition

Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, boasts one of the best online master's programs in business through its top-ranked, 120-year-old business school. Designed for working professionals, the MBA features expert instructors, networking opportunities and career development, and group projects. The program prepares graduates to switch industries or advance their careers to the management level. Students must complete core courses, business electives, concentration courses, and an applied learning practicum. The curriculum comprises coursework in managerial accounting, strategic decision-making, and organizational behavior. Students can choose from six concentrations: project management, healthcare administration, strategic management, entrepreneurship, marketing, and accounting. MBA candidates must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and a minimum 2.5 GPA. University of the Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The MBA is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

2 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
$9,180 Tuition

Founded in 1864 as a teacher training school, CUC provides a liberal arts education infused with Christian values. CUC's online master's degree in business administration prepares students for ethical leadership positions informed with a global outlook. Business leaders teach the program's small classes, and the flexible MBA program offers a one-year, completely online option or a two-year hybrid version with in-person evening and online classes. The program emphasizes four areas: critical thinking and entrepreneurship, ethics and social responsibility, communication and human relations, and global interconnectedness and inclusivity. Students can tailor the curriculum to reflect their professional goals by adding a specialization or dual specialization in areas like accounting, school business management, sports management, or nonprofit management. Concordia University Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The MBA program is a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

3 Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA
$9,000 Tuition

Based in Los Alamitos, California, TUW offers one of the cheapest online master's in business administration. The affordable MBA offers tuition assistance programs including scholarships for distance learners that reduce tuition by 30%. Additionally, students do not pay additional costs for textbooks. The flexible, learner-centered program offers six start dates each year and takes as little as 12 months to complete. The 36-credit, completely online program features eight-week sessions. Students gain analytical, decision-making, and problem-solving skills and knowledge in strategic management, human resources, finance, marketing, and accounting. The MBA offers ten concentrations, including health administration management, artificial intelligence management, and human resources management. Instructors have relevant, real-world experience and give personalized attention to students. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program accepts transfer students with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Touro University Worldwide is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

4 Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA
$11,286 Tuition

Students looking for the best online master's programs in business should consider GMercyU's online MBA. One of 17 Sisters of Mercy colleges in the U.S., the Catholic school combines a liberal arts education with a commitment to service. The accelerated MBA offers flexibility, accommodates the schedules of working professionals, and features small cohort-style classes. Students choose from three concentrations: healthcare administration, strategic management and leadership, or transportation leadership. Instructors in GMercyU's MBA program boast first-hand, relevant knowledge and help students develop their professional networks. The curriculum comprises classes like ethical decision-making and corporate social responsibility, accounting for decision-makers, and managing business operations. All MBA candidates must complete a capstone business plan project. Admission requirements for GMercyU's MBA program include official college transcripts, a current resume, and letters of recommendation. Gwynedd Mercy University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

5 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
$8,550 Tuition

CSP in Minnesota offers an online master's in business administration program for working professionals who need a flexible option for advancing their careers. The 36-credit MBA features seven-week, completely online and asynchronous classes and prepares students for leadership roles in business. Graduates pursue careers in consulting, technology, finance, and healthcare. The online MBA curriculum combines theoretical and practical knowledge and includes classes like organizational leadership and development, managerial research methods and design, and strategic human resource management. Students also explore issues like systems thinking, analytics, business ethics, and effective communication strategies. CSP's online student resources include access to library services and materials, scholarship opportunities, and free apps that support learning. MBA applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and must submit a personal statement describing their work history and professional goals. Concordia University Saint Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME
$8,982 Tuition

A Catholic, liberal arts school in Standish, Maine, SJC welcomes students from all faith backgrounds. Among the dozens of online master's programs is a leadership-focused master of business administration designed for experienced professionals. The MBA from SJC emphasizes the ethics and morals of strategic foresight and develops professional business knowledge and skills. Students can add a concentration in an area like health sector management, quality and continuous improvement, and financial management. The degree takes as little as 18 months to complete, accepts up to six transfer credits, and features five, 10-week sessions each year. The program practices rolling admission and accepts applications year-round. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in any field and do not need to take the GMAT. Saint Joseph's College of Maine is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

7 Maryville University Saint Louis, MO
$15,646 Tuition

Founded in 1872, Maryville in Saint Louis, Missouri, offers more than 90 in-person and online degree programs. Its student-centered online MBA features a flexible format with eight-week sessions designed for working professionals. MBA candidates choose from six start dates each year and can graduate in as little as one year. The curriculum comprises classes like process and operations management, strategic sourcing and purchasing, and the legal environment of business. Students choose from 12 concentrations to customize their MBA. Maryville's MBA offers one of the cheapest online master's in business administration programs. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit a personal statement, official transcripts, and a resume. The program does not require business experience, an application fee, or the GRE or GMAT. Maryville University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8 Trine Online Fort Wayne, IN
$9,900 Tuition

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Trine Online offers a variety of distance education programs including associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in business administration. The school's online MBA for working professionals develops business and finance skills. The curriculum focuses on business strategy, market development, management, decision-making, and global finance. Trine's 30-credit online master's degree in business administration requires classes like strategic management and marketing, managerial accounting and finance, and microeconomic and macroeconomic decision-making. Students can customize their degrees with nine elective credits that explore issues like corporate taxation, business ethics, and project management. All MBA candidates must complete a business administration capstone course. New classes start every eight weeks, and students can graduate in as little as one year. Students graduate with decision-making, communications, and negotiation skills. Trine offers supportive career counseling for MBA students from program admission to graduation. Trine Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

9 Columbia International University Columbia, SC
$9,960 Tuition

A Christ-centered school with a biblical worldview, CIU in Columbia, South Carolina, boasts numerous online master's programs for working professionals. CIU's master of business administration features hands-on classes with students from around the world. The 36-credit, fully online MBA can be completed in 15 months. Students take required classes like economics for business management, organizational behavior and change management, and accounting for financial reporting and management. The program offers concentrations in finance and healthcare management. MBA professors provide expert academic and spiritual advising and draw from their own professional experiences in business. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA. The program may grant provisional admission to students with a lower GPA. Columbia International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

10 Arizona State University-Online Scottsdale, AZ
$6,462 Tuition

A leader in distance education, ASU Online boasts more than 300 accredited online degrees and certificates. ASU's online MBA includes a comprehensive business curriculum that prepares students for high-level leadership careers in business. The 49-credit degree takes 24 months to complete and features accelerated five-week classes. The MBA includes a focus on strategic management and operations functions with emphasis areas in international business, finance, marketing, or supply chain management. Students take required courses like statistics for managers, financial performance reporting, and ethical issues for managers. Electives explore issues like international finance, global marketing strategy, and project management. The business administration program also requires a strategic management capstone to graduate. Among the cheapest online master's degree programs, ASU's MBA features identical tuition for in-state and out-of-state learners. Arizona State University Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

11 Kettering University Flint, MI
$12,460 Tuition

Established in 1919, as a school of automobile trades, Kettering in Flint, Michigan, offers online master's programs in the STEM fields. The school's fully online master of business administration for engineering professionals combines technical STEM knowledge with managerial skills that advance career prospects. About half of Kettering's online MBA students work as engineers at companies like Ford, General Motors, and Whirlpool. The 40-credit MBA comprises seven core classes and a graduate certificate. The curriculum requires marketing management, strategic management, and international business. Distance learners can customize their MBA by adding a graduate certificate in healthcare management, global leadership, supply chain level 1 and 2, or operations management. Students can earn a second master's degree in engineering management or operations management in as few as four classes. The program does not require the GMAT or GRE. Kettering University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

12 William Woods University Fulton, MO
$6,400 Tuition

WWU in Fulton, Missouri, boasts affordable online master's programs including a fully online MBA for working professionals. Students can graduate in two years and pursue careers as entrepreneurs, marketing managers, and financial managers. WWU offers a guarantee that tuition will not go up as long as students stay continuously enrolled in the program. The curriculum explores issues like financial competency, information systems, leadership, and organizational theory. Students develop leadership skills and learn to develop solutions to business problems. The 36-credit degree comprises 12 courses, including management and leadership, human resources and organizational behavior, and statistics and research methods. The program also requires a business administration capstone project. Students can choose an emphasis in global business or small business. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA and three credits each of undergraduate accounting and economics. William Woods University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

13 Concordia University-Wisconsin Mequon, WI
$10,848 Tuition

One of nine Lutheran institutions comprising the nationwide Concordia University system, CUW offers a fully online master of business administration. The MBA takes two years or less for full-time working professionals to complete. The 36-credit MBA requires classes like ethics and organizational leadership, applied statistical methods, and management science and analytics. The program offers 17 concentrations, including communications and public relations, sustainability management and analytics, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Distance learners may qualify for thousands of dollars in scholarships from CUW. Graduates find careers as business teachers, education administrators, and operations managers. Students must complete a prerequisite in business foundations for administrative professions before starting the program; individuals who can demonstrate professional business experience can request a prerequisite waiver. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Concordia University Wisconsin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

14 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
$3,828 Tuition

Fitchburg State in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, offers affordable online master's programs in business, education, and nursing. Fitchburg State's fully online master of business administration offers five specializations: accounting, human resources management, marketing, healthcare management, and management. Designed for working professionals, the accelerated 30-credit degree takes approximately 12 months to complete and offers multiple start dates each year. Online MBA classes highlight participatory learning and feature the same high-quality instructors who teach on campus. In-state and out-of-state online students at Fitchburg State pay the same tuition rate per course. MBA graduates qualify for jobs like financial manager, general manager, and marketing specialist. Admission requirements for the online MBA include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, a minimum 2.8 GPA, and a professional resume. Fitchburg State University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The MBA is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

15 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID
$10,320 Tuition

A nonprofit Christian university in Nampa, Idaho, NNU offers more than 60 in-person and online graduate programs and undergraduate degrees, including a flexible online MBA. Students take two courses in each eight-week session and can graduate in 16 months. The 33-credit degree comprises core courses, including in management information systems, managerial and cost accounting, and ethics in management. To graduate, MBA candidates need to earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA, complete the program's final capstone project, and pass an exit exam. Students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than business may need to take three foundation business courses as part of their MBA curriculum. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Northwest Nazarene University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

16 Regis University Denver, CO
$13,177 Tuition

Regis is a private Catholic institution in Denver, Colorado, with a more than 130-year-old history. The fully online master's degree in business administration draws from the university's Jesuit tradition and emphasizes business ethics, social responsibility, and societal leadership. In-state and out-of-state distance learners pay the same tuition rate, and Regis offers scholarships, grants, and student loans to MBA candidates. The MBA comprises 39-45 credits and includes courses such as strategic human resource management, ethical and legal environment of business, and developing effective organizations. Students can tailor their degree by choosing one of seven specializations in areas like health industry leadership, human resources management, and project leadership and management. The curriculum focuses on the importance of communication, leadership, and relationships in business. Graduates pursue careers like marketing director, human resources manager, and senior financial analyst. Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

17 Union University Jackson, TN
$8,220 Tuition

A Christian institution founded in 1823, in Jackson, Tennessee, UU serves more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. UU's Mcafee School of Business offers a fully online master's degree in business administration with options to graduate in 12, 18, or 24 months. The program features eight-week courses and five start dates each year. The 36-credit degree requires courses like social issues in management, ethical management, and business and the legal environment. Distance learners can choose from concentrations in accounting, human resource management, leadership, or marketing. The curriculum combines business best practices with faith and biblical principles. Applicants must submit official transcripts from previous colleges, a resume, and GMAT or GRE scores. Individuals with more than five years of relevant professional experience can request a GMAT/GRE waiver. Union University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

18 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
$9,000 Tuition

One of the best online master's programs in business administration, the accelerated MBA from Saint Mary's takes as little as 12 months to complete. Distance learners can choose from areas of emphasis including data analytics, marketing and social media, healthcare administration, and financial services/banking. Students can also elect a general MBA to focus on management issues. The fully online curriculum comprises classes like quantitative decision-making, operations management, and managerial economics. The 30-credit degree also requires a strategic management capstone experience. The program accepts up to six transfer credits toward the degree. In-state and out-of-state distance learners pay the same tuition rate for the MBA. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum 2.75 GPA, and at least five years of professional experience. Applicants must submit a job-related writing sample and an example of quantitative analysis. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

19 Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, TN
$10,004 Tuition

Founded in 1901, Trevecca in Nashville, Tennessee, offers online master's programs and undergraduate degrees in fields like business, education, and religion. The fully online MBA combines faith and business, and the accelerated program features a simplified format with one class at a time. Students go through the program taking classes with the same cohort of classmates, developing lasting friendships and professional connections. Distance learners can personalize their degree by adding a specialty track in data analytics, healthcare administration, project management, human resources, or management and leadership. The core curriculum includes classes like organizational behavior and leadership, accounting and finance for managers, and business analytics. Trevecca offers a professional mentoring program for MBA candidates that facilitates networking with Nashville business professionals. Prospective students can apply to the program for free and do not need to take the GMAT. Trevecca Nazarene University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

20 University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls, SD
$6,930 Tuition

The online master's degree in business administration from the USF in South Dakota offers concentrations in innovation and marketing, healthcare, and management. The 36-credit degree includes core courses like managing organizational dynamics, leadership and ethical management, and financial planning and control. The part-time program takes 21-months to complete. Designed for experienced professionals, the MBA from the Vucurevich School of Business features instruction from faculty members who combine their professional business experience and Christian faith. The program emphasizes business ethics and global society, preparing students to become Christian leaders. MBA applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and official transcripts. Program requirements include a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students may also need to complete prerequisite courses in managerial finance, accounting, statistics, and microeconomics. University of Sioux Falls is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The MBA is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

21 Rivier University Nashua, NH
$10,925 Tuition

A Catholic university in Nashua, New Hampshire, Rivier offers online degrees for traditional and nontraditional students. Rivier's online master's degree in business administration incorporates global perspectives, quantitative and qualitative skills development, and applications-based learning. Rivier's MBA program offers multiple start terms per year, accelerated seven-week courses, and a two-year timeline to graduation. Students who start the degree within one year of earning their bachelor's in business at the university can apply for the 30-credit MBA; everyone else must complete 36 credits. The curriculum explores issues like global finance, economic analysis, strategies for innovation, and organizational dynamics. Students gain critical thinking, communication, and decision-making skills. MBA applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and one letter of recommendation. Rivier University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

22 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
$8,498 Tuition

The oldest Catholic postsecondary institution in Florida, Saint Leo welcomes more than 2,000 students from all faiths. Distance learners can pursue undergraduate and online master's programs in fields like education, business, and social work. Saint Leo's fully online MBA from its Donald R. Tapia College of Business invites experienced professionals and aspiring business leaders. The 36-credit program emphasizes hands-on learning, a global approach, and professional research. The curriculum explores fundamental business issues like marketing, management strategies, finance, law, ethics, and human resources. Required core courses include organizational behavior, managerial economics, and corporate finance. Students can pursue up to two concentrations while earning the MBA. Distance learners can participate in professional development opportunities like conferences, internships, and professional memberships. Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

23 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
$20,620 Tuition

The Huizenga College of Business at NSU in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers a variety of online master's degrees, including a fully online master of business administration. The flexible program offers rolling admission and five start dates each year. MBA students can choose a major in: business intelligence/analytics, complex health systems, entrepreneurship, finance, human resource management, international business, marketing, management, process improvement, sport revenue generation, or supply chain management and operational systems. The curriculum includes courses like marketing decisions for managers, accounting for decision-makers, and analytical modeling for decision-making. The MBA core consists of 22-31 credits; students may qualify for waivers for up to three core courses with proof they took an equivalent course with an acceptable grade in the past. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and official transcripts from all prior colleges. Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

24 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
$9,050 Tuition

The online master's degree in business administration from Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, comprises hands-on learning through internships, course simulations, and service opportunities. The program welcomes experienced professionals as well as those new to the business field and prepares students for leadership roles in private, public, and nonprofit business management. Graduates qualify for careers in accounting, marketing, logistics, and finance. The 30-credit MBA includes emphasis areas in banking and finance, accounting, forensic accounting, economics, healthcare management, human resource management, marketing, international business, management information systems, sport management, and tax accounting. The program requires a three-credit strategic management capstone experience. Students gain problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills. Admission requirements include a professional resume, official transcripts from all accredited postsecondary institutions, and a bachelor's degree. Depending on their undergraduate GPA, applicants may need to take the GMAT. Gardner-Webb University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

25 Freed-Hardeman University Henderson, TN
$10,650 Tuition

FHU in Henderson, Tennessee, offers an ethics-focused online master's degree in business administration through its college of business. The 30-credit MBA includes eight-week classes, offers flexible start times, and takes as little as one year to complete. Students can add a healthcare management concentration. FHU also offers a dual BBA/MMA comprising 150 credits. Required courses include strategic decision-making, leading teams and organizations, and marketing management. Students can complete the entire required MBA curriculum online, but individuals who plan to sit for the CPA exam must take two classes on campus. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in business must complete prerequisite courses that meet the standards of the Common Professional Component of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Freed-Hardeman University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MBA is accredited by the ACBSP.

26 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
$10,620 Tuition

Online master's programs available from A-State in Jonesboro, Arkansas, include a master of business administration from the Neil Griffin College of Business. Designed for students with varying degrees of professional experience and academic backgrounds, the online MBA prepares graduates for management positions across industries. The 33-credit degree comprises 27 core and six elective courses. The curriculum explores issues like strategic management, management information systems, and global strategic initiatives. Students must complete business foundation prerequisite courses in accounting, finance, microeconomics, law, statistics, and operations management prior to starting the program. The MBA from A-State offers concentrations in supply chain management and finance. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores. Arkansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The master of business administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

27 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
$7,209 Tuition

MC is a private Christian institution in Clinton, Mississippi, and the only college in the state to offer a master of business administration with options completely online, on campus, or as a hybrid degree. Designed mainly for working professionals, the flexible program explores the ethical and moral dimensions of business and looks at management skills from a Christian perspective. The college's online master's degree in business administration focuses on general management skills and provides a foundational understanding of business principles and practices in a global context. MBA candidates can add a concentration in finance, accounting, or management information systems. The curriculum explores issues like marketing, finance, organizational behavior, statistics, marketing, and economics. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university; those with a 3.0 GPA or higher receive a GMAT waiver. Mississippi College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

28 University of Houston-Victoria Victoria, TX
$11,630 Tuition

The flexible, completely online MBA from UHV, in Victoria, Texas, includes an emphasis on global business and prepares students for leadership roles in international corporations. The program includes a comprehensive exploration of international business and offers concentrations in management, finance, marketing, and human resource management. Full-time learners can complete the degree in 18 months. Classes include real-world business simulations, projects, and case studies. Students must complete 36-39 credits, depending on their academic background. The global MBA curriculum includes classes like statistics and research methods, international business strategy, and international management and leadership. UHV's MBA alumni work at companies like Hallibutron, United Airlines, and International Energy Services. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in any field of study from an accredited college and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants with a lower GPA may need to take the GMAT. University of Houston - Victoria is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

29 University of St Francis Joliet, IL
$9,889 Tuition

USF in Joliet, Illinois, offers an online master of business administration through its college of business and health administration. The program explores issues like the value chain of business and global and competitive challenges. Students gain analytical thinking, leadership, and decision-making skills and complete the MBA in one year. Faculty members facilitate experiential learning and incorporate team projects, case study exercises, and discussions into classes. The program offers eight concentrations: accounting, data analytics, finance, health administration, human resource management, management, supply chain management, and training and development. USF accepts up to nine transfer credits towards the MBA and does not require the GMAT. Admission requirements include a bachelor's in business, economics, accounting, or a related field and two years of full-time employment in a management role. The University of St. Francis is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

30 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
$13,839 Tuition

The college of business at WilmU in New Castle, Delaware, boasts an online master's degree in business administration designed for working professionals and entrepreneurs. Distance learners pay the same flat fee per course for the affordable program, regardless of what state they live in. Graduates work for companies like Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Christiana Care. The MBA offers 13 specialized concentrations, including in healthcare administration, management information systems, business technology management, and human resource management. The 36-credit, 12-course degree takes as little as one year to complete. Core courses include economic and financial environment of business, global marketing management, and organizational behavior and ethical leadership. Practitioner faculty provide mentorship and relevant real-world experience in their online teaching. Incoming students must complete prerequisite courses in mathematics, economics, accounting, and finance prior to enrolling in MBA courses. Wilmington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The MBA is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

31 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX
$8,636 Tuition

The largest American university serving primarily women students, TWU in Denton, Texas, offers an online master's degree in business administration. Students can earn the 36-credit degree in one year and receive a comprehensive understanding of the major business principles and practices. The program features accelerated seven-week courses with accessible, knowledgeable faculty. Depending on their academic background, MBA students may need to complete three prerequisite courses: foundations in business, financial accounting, and foundations of financial management. The core curriculum includes classes like business strategy and policy, business ethics and legal environment, and organizational behavior in business administration. TWU's MBA does not require the GMAT or GRE. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate work. Texas Woman's University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

32 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
$8,587 Tuition

The 33-credit master of business administration from BU in Baldwin City, Kansas, prepares students for wide-ranging management careers. With a focus on collaboration and leadership, the program explores the application of business knowledge in various environments. Students usually complete the degree in 18-20 months, but some graduate in just 12 months. The year-round program features seven-week courses. BU charges in-state and out-of-state students the same tuition rate for online courses. The curriculum includes classes like principles of organizational management, business data and analytics, and economic aspects of business decisions. MBA candidates choose from concentrations in finance, healthcare administration, human resources, and leadership and organizational change. Graduation requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and no more than one course with a grade lower than a 'B.' Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. Baker University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

33 Louisiana State University-Shreveport Shreveport, LA
$10,368 Tuition

LSUS offers an online master's degree in business administration that integrates leadership, strategy, and management. The 30-credit MBA takes as little as 10 months to complete. The curriculum includes core classes like managerial use of accounting data, economic analysis for management, and organizational strategy and policies. The program offers optional foundation courses in accounting, economics, finance, and statistics for students who lack an academic or professional business background. MBA candidates choose from concentrations in accounting, data analytics, entrepreneurship and family enterprise, finance, general business, hospitality and casino management, human resource management, international business, marketing, and project management. Support for LSUS distance learners includes access to library resources, career services, IT help, and personalized advising. Louisiana State University - Shreveport is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The online MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

34 Adams State University Alamosa, CO
$7,349 Tuition

Located in Alamosa, Colorado, Adams State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers a variety of programs onsite and online, including an online master of business administration (MBA). Online learning at Adams State offers a convenient and affordable option for busy professionals. Learners pay $420 per credit and study asynchronously. This 36-credit online master's degree typically takes two years to complete and offers concentration options in finance, health administration, leadership, public administration, and sports leadership. Curriculum includes courses in managerial economics, technology innovation, and multinational financial management. The program aims to train students to analyze business processes to make strategic business decisions. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. To apply, individuals must submit an online application, official school transcripts, a letter of intent, resume, and two recommendation letters.

35 National Louis University Chicago, IL
$8,589 Tuition

Situated in Chicago, Illinois, NLU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. One of Chicago's oldest universities, NLU offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an MBA. This program uses an entirely online or blended format, which requires students to meet on campus every other week. The 39-credit program includes core courses in managerial economics, financial markets, strategic marketing, and technology and leadership. Degree-seekers can tailor their program with concentrations, such as general management, accounting, and entrepreneurship. This program includes a capstone course requirement. Prospective students need 60 semester hours or 90 credit hours of previous college coursework to qualify for NLU's MBA program. Applicants must submit all official school transcripts, a written statement detailing personal and professional goals, and two professional recommendation letters. Individuals with a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 must submit the Official Criterion Online Writing Assessment scores.

36 Western New Mexico University Silver City, NM
$12,096 Tuition

Located in Silver City, New Mexico, WNMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers a variety of online programs, including an online MBA. WNMU's online master's degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The 36-credit general MBA program uses case studies, business simulations, and team projects to teach students how to apply course concepts to practical scenarios. Curriculum includes coursework in social responsibility and ethics, human resource management, marketing, advanced business statistics, and managerial economics. WNMU offers four concentrations in international business, management information systems, healthcare administration, and instructional technology and design. Prospective students with a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA in their last 36-64 credit hours must submit an application and official transcripts to the admissions offices. Applicants with less than a 3.2 may still apply, but must include GMAT test scores.

37 Sul Ross State University Alpine, TX
$5,954 Tuition

SRSU sits in Alpine, Texas, in the heart of the state's Big Bend region. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. SRSU offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including a master of business administration. The school offers the degree as a one-year program on campus or through a two-year online format. SRSU's online MBA program caters to busy professionals who need the flexibility to complete course requirements remotely. The 36-credit curriculum includes courses in accounting, marketing, management, finance, and economics. Learners must complete a comprehensive final exam to graduate. SRSU offers full or probationary admission. Full admission is open to applicants with a combination of the following requirements: a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA; a GRE score of 290 or higher; a minimum GMAT score of 400; a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA; or a master's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants who do not meet the previous requirements may enter the program under probationary status. All prospective students must submit an application, standardized test scores, and official school transcripts.

38 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
$5,513 Tuition

Webster's main campus is located in Saint Louis, Missouri. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the school runs campuses throughout the world and aims to offer quality education using a global perspective. Webster offers several graduate programs, including an online master of business administration. Students may elect to earn this degree on campus, online, or through a hybrid format. This 36-credit program contains 27 credits of general business courses and nine credits pertaining to an individual's choice of one of 10 concentration options. General business courses cover key topics in marketing, organizational behavior, finance, managerial economics, and strategy and competition. Webster's MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. To qualify, prospective students need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Applicants must complete an application and submit official transcripts from all previously attended schools and colleges.

39 Marywood University Scranton, PA
$13,500 Tuition

Marywood's 115-acre campus is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, about 2.5 hours from New York City and Philadelphia. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Marywood offers several traditional and online graduate programs, including a master of business administration. Online learning allows students to complete coursework remotely at their convenience, with the option of some live participation. Requirements vary by course. Degree-seekers learn from professionals with management experience. The MBA 2.0 offers three concentration options in finance and investment, management, or management information systems. Learners explore essential leadership skills based on ethics, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability principles. Qualifying applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Prospective students must submit an application, essay, official transcripts, and at least two recommendation letters. While not required, Marywood's admissions office recommends individuals submit GMAT test scores.

40 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
$11,300 Tuition

A private, Christian university in Spring Arbor, Michigan, SAU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers several graduate programs, including an online MBA. SAU uses an asynchronous format for online programs, allowing working adults to complete coursework remotely around any other responsibilities. Spring Arbor offers this 36-credit online MBA through an accelerated or part-time format. Individuals using the accelerated format may earn their degree in one year. The part-time option typically takes 18 months to complete. Degree-seekers can customize their degree with concentrations in management, executive leadership, human resource development, healthcare administration, or organizational consulting. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students must submit an application, official transcripts, and at least two professional or academic recommendation letters.

41 University of the Southwest Hobbs, NM
$7,757 Tuition

A private, Christian university in Hobbs, New Mexico, USW offers a variety of degrees, including an online master's in business administration. Online learning at USW caters to busy professionals. Learners may complete coursework entirely online at their own pace. USW's 36-credit program offers 12 concentrations, allowing degree-seekers to tailor the degree to their specific career goals. All MBA students must complete the same core courses in leadership, information technology for managers, business analytics, financial management, and strategic resource allocation and planning. Remaining courses vary by concentration. For example, a marketing concentration includes specific topics, such as e-marketing. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project. USW offers virtual healthcare to online students and provides learners with laptops. Also, tuition includes the cost of digital textbooks. USW is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. USW's College of Business Administration is an educational member of the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

42 University of Northwestern-St Paul Saint Paul, MN
$8,560 Tuition

UNWSP is a Christ-centered liberal arts university in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Degree-seekers can pursue seven online graduate programs, including an online MBA. This 42-credit program aims to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of key business topics, including managerial leadership, business leadership ethics, strategic management, data analysis and decision-making, and marketing for managers. Learners can complete the program fully online or through a blended format with some on-campus requirements. Degree-seekers typically take two years to complete the program. To qualify for UNWSP's MBA program, applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also provide evidence of new birth in Jesus Christ. Applicants must submit an application, an essay detailing their daily commitment to faith, a second essay outlining professional goals, and official transcripts. Applicants must also pay the $50 fee.

43 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
$14,376 Tuition

Scranton is a private, Catholic university on 58 acres in Pennsylvania. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Scranton offers several degrees on campus and online, including a master's in business administration. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This 36-credit online master's degree allows students to complete all coursework online. Curriculum includes courses in finance, accounting, international business, and operations management. Learners may need to complete an additional 12 foundation modules to demonstrate proficiency in decision-making concepts and tools, accounting analysis and business law, economics and finance, and management and marketing. This requirement depends on a student's academic or professional history. Qualifying applicants possess a bachelor's degree and three years of professional or supervisory work experience. To apply, prospective students must submit an application, official school transcripts, and three professional recommendation letters.

44 Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL
$8,982 Tuition

Olivet is a private, Christian university in historic Bourbonnais, Illinois, providing an education with a Christian purpose. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 140 fields of study, including an online master of business administration. This 36-credit program aims to teach core business and leadership skills. Curriculum includes courses in professional communication, managerial finance, emotional and cultural intelligence, global immersion, and business strategy. Olivet's online MBA runs entirely online, with no on-campus requirements. Students complete the program in either 18 or 24 months. Courses begin every eight weeks, with four start dates throughout the year. To qualify for Olivet's MBA program, applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. Applicants must submit official transcripts from any previously attended college, a professional resume, and a complete application.

45 Capitol Technology University Laurel, MD
$11,630 Tuition

Capitol Tech's 52-acre campus is located in Laurel, Maryland. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers several online programs, including a master of business administration. Capitol Tech's asynchronous online learning format caters to busy professionals who need a flexible program. The 36-39-credit program includes core courses in finance, marketing process and strategy, technology-enabled operations, and strategic management. Students must complete a capstone project to graduate. Learners can choose from several specializations, including aviation, cybersecurity, and engineering technology. The program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Prospective students need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit all official transcripts and an application to the admissions office. Capitol Tech accepts applications all year. Courses begin every two months.

46 Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory, NC
$11,980 Tuition

Part of the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, LRU sits in Hickory, North Carolina. The school aims to provide learners with a quality education based on Christian principles. LRU offers more than 30 graduate programs, including an online master of business administration. LRU's 36-credit online master's program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Individuals may earn a general MBA or select one of the 10 concentration options. All MBA students complete the same core curriculum, including courses in management, accounting, and marketing. Degree-seekers can pursue this program on campus, online, or through a hybrid format. Prospective students must submit an application, official transcripts, resume, GMAT or GRE test scores, and an essay detailing their goals and life experiences. LRU accepts applications all year and offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.

47 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
$11,178 Tuition

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private institutions. The school offers a variety of programs, including an online MBA. Drexel offers this program through the LeBow College of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Online learning at Drexel uses an asynchronous format, giving students 24/7 access to their digital classrooms. Learners may complete coursework at their convenience. The 49-credit program typically takes two years to complete. Students take courses covering essential topics in marketing strategy, financial reporting, and leading high-performance teams. They can complete remaining credits through electives or through the course requirements of one of the program's five concentration options. Prospective students need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school or university to qualify. To apply, individuals must submit an application, official transcripts, two recommendation letters, a resume, GMAT or GRE test scores, and a 500-word essay. Learners must pay the $65 application fee.

48 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
$10,620 Tuition

WGU is an online university accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. WGU offers a unique class format allowing individuals to move through courses at their own pace without adhering to a term schedule. This makes earning a degree through WGU ideal for busy professionals. The school offers a variety of degrees, including a master of business administration. This online master's program comprises 11 courses covering essential business topics, such as management, economics, marketing and communication, accounting, leadership, and strategy. The program includes a capstone requirement. WGU's MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Learners typically complete the program in two years. Individuals must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution to qualify for WGU's MBA program. Applicants must pay the $65 application fee and submit an application, official transcripts, and resume detailing at least three years of experience in business, industry, or at a nonprofit.

49 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD
$34,995 Tuition

An online state university founded more than 70 years ago to educate working professionals and servicemembers, UMGC offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in many fields. Online graduate programs at the UMGC include a flexible 36-credit master of business administration that students can complete in 18 months. The program boasts multiple start dates and does not require the GRE or GMAT. Graduates find management careers in government, business, and nonprofit organizations. Core courses include leading organizations and people, innovation through marketing and technology, and strategic decision-making. Students must take the classes in a specific order and earn a grade of 'B' or better to move on to the next course. UMGC uses no-cost digital materials instead of expensive textbooks for most classes. The MBA program accepts up to six transfer credits. University of Maryland - Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

50 Creighton University Omaha, NE
$7,790 Tuition

A Jesuit Catholic institution in Omaha, Nebraska, Creighton offers online graduate programs in fields like business, bioethics, and educational leadership. The university's flexible online master of business administration from the Heider College of Business prepares students for careers as strategic business leaders. The program emphasizes critical thinking, leadership skills, and ethical decision-making. Designed for working professionals, the 33-credit MBA takes a little over two years to complete. The program offers concentrations in finance, leadership, business intelligence and analytics, accounting, financial psychology and behavioral finance, and personal financial planning. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of at least one undergraduate statistics course. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers five start dates annually. Creighton University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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

Students pursuing an MBA degree online typically enjoy a high degree of flexibility. Most online programs allow learners to customize their schedule, which is ideal for working professionals. Many programs deliver classes asynchronously and do not require students to log in at set times.

To earn the degree more quickly, students can pursue accelerated MBA programs. Learners can also study part time, which lengthens degree completion time but can help busy students balance academics with other responsibilities. Additionally, many schools offer dual programs, which lead to two degrees.

Explore Online Degree ProgramsSearch Programs
  • Accelerated Online MBA Programs

    Accelerated online MBA programs are ideal for ambitious learners willing to work hard to complete their degree more quickly. Accelerated programs typically include intensive structures that feature coursework and either a field placement, practical training, or an internship. Students who choose this path can graduate in 10 to 15 months.

    Great for… Young professionals who want a flexible way to earn their degree more quickly.

    Learn More AboutACCELERATED ONLINE MBAs
  • Dual MBA Programs Online

    Dual MBA programs can help students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to launch a business career in a certain industry. These programs confer two degrees. For example, learners would graduate from a dual program in computer science and business administration with both an MS and an MBA degree. Business schools offer MBA programs in many configurations, so students can find an option that fits their interests and career goals.

    Great for… Learners seeking in-depth knowledge and a track toward leadership positions in a specific field.

  • Executive Online MBA and Part-Time (Flexible) Online MBA

    Many of the best online MBA programs offer flexibility, but some programs are designed specifically for busy learners. Part-time or flexible executive MBA programs are especially popular with working professionals who want to qualify for promotions and advanced positions. These programs take longer to complete, but they allow professionals to continue working full time while earning their degree.

    Great for… Professionals who need flexibility to pursue a degree while raising a family or working full time.

    Learn More AboutEXECUTIVE ONLINE MBAs
  • Online MBA: No GMAT Required

    Many online MBA programs require applicants to submit GMAT scores. However, working professionals often lack the time to study for and take the exam. Learners in this position can pursue a no-GMAT-required MBA online program. Not many business schools offer this option, and those that do typically require applicants to hold extensive professional experience.

    Great for… Managers, leaders, and executives who can stand out in the applicant pool without test scores.

    Learn More AboutNO GMAT PROGRAMS
  • Online MBAs for Veterans

    Veteran-friendly MBA programs support the needs of military students transitioning into civilian life. These programs provide flexible learning options with student resources and inclusive policies. Veteran-friendly schools typically participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and maintain on-campus veterans' associations.

    Great for… Military veterans, active-duty, and reserve personnel who aspire to leadership roles in business.

    Learn More AboutVETERANS-ONLY PROGRAMS

Online MBA Specializations

While many learners pursue general online MBA programs, graduate students often specialize in a particular field or aspect of business. A specialization can help candidates stand out in the job market and can qualify graduates for advanced career opportunities. Established professionals may plateau in their careers without advanced, focused credentials. A specialized MBA can help individuals access high-level executive positions.

Most specialized MBA programs deliver general coursework first. Learners focus on their concentration area in later semesters. This allows students time to evaluate or change their specialization during the program.

Below are some popular specialization options for learners earning an MBA degree online.

Explore Online Degree ProgramsSearch Programs
  • MBA in Healthcare

    Students earning an online MBA in healthcare prepare to become hospital and clinic administrators, who must balance quality care with economic realities. Students learn about best practices for business professionals in the healthcare field. Full-time learners typically graduate in two years.

    Online MBA in HEALTHCARE
  • MBA in Finance

    Earning a finance specialization can maximize an MBA-holder's earning potential. This high-demand specialization area covers topics including financial and tax planning, investing, financial reporting, asset financing, and insurance. Learners typically graduate after two years of full-time study or about three years of part-time study.

    Online MBA in FINANCE
  • MBA in Marketing

    Another in-demand MBA specialization, marketing coursework examines consumer behavior, branding, product positioning, and the consumer purchase process. Learners typically complete their MBA in marketing in about two years of full-time study.

    Online MBA in MARKETING

Other Factors to Consider

Accreditation

Accreditation demonstrates that a school's academic programs meet set standards of quality. Most employers only recognize degrees from accredited institutions. Regional accreditation is the most prestigious type of institutional accreditation in the United States. Career and vocational schools often receive national accreditation.

Many online MBA programs also hold specialized accreditation, which applies to an individual department or program. Prestigious accreditors of business programs include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Search for Accredited Online MBA Programs

Career Certifications

A master's in business administration typically qualifies holders for leadership roles within companies and organizations. However, business management professionals can pursue certifications to further demonstrate their skills. Certifications can help professionals obtain advanced and specialized positions. Many certification programs require candidates to have professional experience. Below are a few common certification options for graduates of MBA programs.

Certified Business Manager: The Association of Professionals in Business Management awards this certification, which demonstrates advanced skills in the practical management of commercial enterprises. The certification process involves a four-part exam comprising three multiple-choice sections and a written analysis of a case study. Candidates must hold a general or specialized MBA degree.
Project Management Professional: This certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) endorses a professional's ability to guide complex projects to successful completion. According to PMI, PMP-certified professionals earn 25% more than non-certified peers in similar jobs. To sit for the certification exam, candidates need at least a four-year degree, three years of professional project leadership experience, and 35 hours of project management training.
Certified Management Consultant: The CMC credential demonstrates skills in six critical business areas: finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, operations, and strategic planning. The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes awards this certification. Candidates must have an MBA degree, three or more years of management consultant experience, and at least five client endorsements.

Courses and Curriculum

While curricula and course descriptions vary among business schools and specializations, the best online MBA programs include similar course offerings. MBA curricula help students gain career skills and knowledge to succeed in high-level business roles. Below are five courses common to most online MBA programs.

  • Strategic Operations: This course teaches students how to achieve competitive advantages through organizational structures and strategies. Coursework examines the roles of technology and thought leadership in driving efficiency improvements.
  • Financial Management: In this course, students learn the fundamentals of business finance. Learners prepare to manage and use business assets to support strategic decision-making.
  • Business Economics: MBA students need an advanced understanding of the impact of global market conditions on individual businesses. This course combines economic theory with practical examples and case studies.
  • Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance: Students in this course develop the tools they need to make sound business decisions. Learners prepare to analyze a company's balance sheet and financial statements.
  • Quantitative and Statistical Analysis: Business executives evaluate statistics and analyze quantitative factors to inform strategic decisions. Students in this course build advanced competencies in these critical skills.

The Online MBA Timeline

Because of the variety of available programs and student schedules, there is no single timeline all MBA students follow. However, many learners follow a similar pathway from application to degree completion. The section below explores common milestones for business management students.

  • In Advance
  • Year One
  • Year Two
Prepare for Applying

Learners preparing to apply to MBA programs should collect transcripts, compile an updated resume or curriculum vitae, and take standardized tests. Some programs require applicants to submit professional references or letters of recommendation. Prospective students should also explore funding options and plan their budget.

Preperation Checklist

This checklist can help guide your preparations.

  • Prepare for and take the GMAT
  • Visit schools
  • Complete community service
  • Prepare references
  • Identify target schools
  • Polish your resume
  • Begin writing admission essays
  • Submit all application materials
  • Schedule interviews
  • Secure funding
  • Accept an offer

Most MBA programs require two years of full-time study. The first year of both general and specialized MBA programs typically comprises foundational coursework. First-year MBA students develop core competencies and may participate in networking events and social functions. Some programs require students to attend at least one professional seminar, forum, or conference.

The following list includes common academic, practical, and social experiences for first-year MBA students.

  • Build relationships with a team or pod
  • Take core courses
  • Participate in program-sponsored community service
  • Attend conferences or forums
  • Go to social events
  • Join clubs or advisory boards
  • Apply for summer internships

During the second year, learners develop advanced skills and explore topics in their specialization area. Second-year MBA students typically complete coursework in a targeted niche. Most online MBA programs require learners to complete an in-depth research project, including a case study analysis.

The list below covers typical components of the second year of an MBA program.

  • Finish required coursework
  • Choose a niche or specialization
  • Attend networking events
  • Make connections with companies
  • Complete advanced projects
  • Graduate
EXPLORE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION search programs

Meet an Online MBA Graduate

Degree:  Online MBA program at Lindner College of Business

College:  University of Cincinnati

Emily Spinks is a 2019 graduate of the online MBA program at University of Cincinnati's Lindner College of Business. For more than four years, she has worked in program management in the medical field, most recently at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Emily managed high-impact projects while completing her MBA part time.

Previously, Emily worked in education for four years, helping young students with disabilities meet their potential. Emily also holds two graduate certificates from University of Cincinnati in business foundations and marketing. She earned her bachelor of arts from Northern Kentucky University.

Why online instead of on campus?

I was very attracted to the online MBA at UC because of the high regional and national rankings it has received and the flexibility that online courses provide. I wanted to be able to work my full-time job without having to make up hours for attending in-person classes during the workday.

For someone who may have never taken an online course before, how would you describe the experience?

It's really nice to be able to access content whenever, wherever, and as many times as needed (i.e., recorded lectures). Oftentimes, assignments will have deadlines of Sunday at midnight, so you have the flexibility to create your own classwork schedule based on your other time commitments. I really liked it when instructors selected McGraw Hill Connect as required course material. Connect integrates the course e-book with adaptive (optional) quizzes and strategies to help optimize and individualize learning.

What were your expectations of the program, and do you feel that they were met?

UC's online MBA program met or exceeded my expectations. I expected to receive instruction from leaders in their respective fields whose course content reflected growing business trends influenced by new technologies and the changing economy. I expected to make connections with a variety of diverse students who were at different stages in their professional careers. I was very pleased with how engaged many of the instructors were, despite the courses being online. Many would still hold office hours and WebEx meetings weekly or as needed for all students, and they responded to emails within hours, making themselves very accessible.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

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