Networking, leadership skills, and career opportunities are just a few reasons people decide to study in an advanced degree program in business. Yet with more aspiring business professionals enrolling in MBA programs, MBA school search results reveal that there are more options (and more competition) than ever before.
The core benefit of earning an MBA online is that you can get an affordable education without committing to a full-time class schedule. This flexibility makes it an enticing option for recent graduates and working professionals alike.
We’ve ranked the top graduate College of Business schools based on faculty credentials, full-time to part-time staff ratio, online program options, admission rates, coursework, and more. We also factored in The Economist’s rankings on full-time programs.
Finally, our rankings also take affordability into account. All tuition costs cited are accurate as of Fall 2020. With more online students pursuing MBAs and more options for accredited MBA programs, unexpected schools are rising high in the ranks.
Related Resource: 35 Top Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees
Prospective MBA students can trust that these ratings reflect the most important considerations for getting a degree. Here’s a look at the 20 top online MBA programs available today from the country’s top business schools.
University of Mississippi
University of Mississippi, known affectionately as Ole Miss, is a progressive online MBA program. It costs $894.50 per credit hour, regardless of location. The Ole Miss MBA requires incoming students to have above a 3.0 average on all previous coursework.
Prospective MBA students should know that it typically takes a minimum two years to complete your degree. A technology fee is added on to the unit price for each online master’s course in the program, and a 3-credit course costs $2,683.50. MBA students can pursue courses like supply chain and operations management, as well as business management and marketing.
Gardner-Webb University is a Baptist university located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, 50 miles west of Charlotte. It’s a small school with roughly 4,300 students, including both undergrads and postgrads. This best online MBA program is a 10-month program designed to fit the needs of working professionals. It’s College of Business states that the program is “structured to provide students with a working knowledge of business and the managerial skills needed for successful departmental, divisional, and organizational leadership.”
Gardner-Webb is an affordable online MBA with costs under $20k. This top-ranking online MBA program in NC prepares its graduates for future careers in business and management with job titles like:
- Corporate Executive Officer
- Small Business Owner
- Human Resource Director
- Contract Specialist
- Production Coordinator
- Software Analyst
- Regional Marketing Specialist
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a small, rural school in Pennsylvania. Founded in 1867, Penn West Clarion is one of fourteen universities that are part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
This best online MBA program offers an accounting concentration, a finance concentration or a healthcare administration concentration. The program is AACSB accredited, meaning it has been approved by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Total cost of a semester’s tuition (based on 12-18 credits) is $9,829 for in-state students and $11,108 for out-of-state students.
University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota (USD) is South Dakota’s oldest university. USD’s business school, the Beacom School of Business, is a progressive management program focused on preparing students for the future. For example, an MBA from USD is expected to prep you for a Ph.D., should you choose to take that path. The top online MBA degree also offers a joint Master of Business Administration with Juris Doctorate.
Specializations for USD’s MBA include Health Services Administration, where you’ll learn healthcare management, or Business Analytics, where you’ll cultivate a skill set in data analysis. Costs at USD are a reasonable $470.45 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state students. USD’s MBA program has been accredited by the AACSB since 1965.
Online MBA applicants must submit GMAT scores, two letters and recommendation, and official transcripts to apply. This affordable online MBA will prepare graduates to be leaders in business, industry, and government. Students develop decision-making skills, leadership initiatives, and social responsibility.
Pennsylvania State University, World Campus
Penn State regularly appears high on school rankings lists. Penn State’s state-of-the-art online catalog and databases can be accessed anywhere. Its top online MBA program is available through the Penn State World Campus and consists of 48 credit hours.
Online MBA students admitted to this selective program can choose from popular degrees, like an MBA in:
- Human resource management
- Business architecture
- Marketing analytics
- Supply chain management
- Business administration
Penn State’s World Campus costs $1,236 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state students. One benefit of this online MBA is that it requires a 5-day residency, which gives students an opportunity to meet their instructors and peers. Penn State’s online MBA stands out because of its diverse virtual teams, rich interactions, and networking opportunities.
University of Arizona (Eller)
The University of Arizona, shortened to U of A, is located in Tucson. Among its faculty are Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. Its top-ranked online MBA program is designed to fit your schedule. The flexible schedule allows you to complete the program in as little as 11 months or up to 4 years.
The online program’s cost is a solid $650–$1,332 per credit, whether in-state or out-of-state, making it popular with individuals all over the country. Concentrations for this affordable MBA include:
- Strategic management and organizations
- Management information systems
- Marketing management
You’ll create a capstone project that includes realistic case studies in your area of expertise.
The University of Tennessee, Martin
The University of Tennessee at Martin, abbreviated to UTM, is one of five campuses in the University of Tennessee system. It has had its fair share of notable alumni, including athletes, politicians, and businessmen. UTM is noted for its postgraduate MBA, which is tailored to those working in financial services. UTM’s School of Business also offers a hybrid MBA program to go along with its current offerings.
Thanks to its intimate and personalized atmosphere, UTM retains virtually all of its online MBA students until graduation. It costs $631 per credit hour for in-state students and $688 a unit for out-of-state students. A full-time student can expect to complete an MBA in a year-and-a-half. Two or more years of post-bac work experience are required before attending this flexible online MBA program.
The University of Florida (Hough)
The University of Florida (UF) may be known for its Gators sports teams, but their Hough School of Business is a top online MBA degree in the United States.
UF is one of the older schools on this list — it was founded in Gainesville in 1853. Both a 27-month and a 16-month accelerated best online MBA programs are available, and students here will expand their career opportunities in:
- Organizational behavior
- Strategic management
- International business
- Supply chain management
- Business analytics
As far as metrics are concerned, UF is exceptional at getting online MBA students jobs within three months of graduation. The online one-year MBA costs $49,205 and a two-year MBA costs $59,807.20, but it’s the same price for in-state and out-of-state students. A minimum of two years of professional working experience is required for any MBA program at UF.
Ball State University (Miller)
Ball State University is located in Muncie, Indiana. Its business school, the Miller College of Business, is the former institution of a number of prominent business people, including: Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry, and Kent C. Nelson, former CEO of UPS.
The top online MBA program offers virtually all of the same classes as the physical campus. There is no specific sign-in time for most online courses — they can be completed whenever it’s convenient. Like many schools on this list, it is much cheaper to attend Ball State for in-state residents. Indiana residents pay $8,138 per semester while non-residents pay $25,126.
It is fairly selective, but all MBA programs offered by Ball State can be completed online. Most online MBA students at Ball State enroll in two classes per semester, finishing in five to six semesters.
Southeast Missouri State University (Harrison)
Southeast Missouri State University — abbreviated to SEMO — is an accredited public institution located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. This affordable online degree is considered a top online MBA program, with specializations in general management, entrepreneurship, and sports management that can be completed solely online.
Despite the lack of face-to-face interaction with classmates and faculty, SEMO keeps its online MBA students engaged with dedicated virtual meetings and active online forums.
This MBA online program costs $386 per credit hour for in-state students and $663 per credit hour for out-of-state students. Foundation courses are available for students who may not have majored in business while an undergrad.
Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University, located in Hays, Kansas, is comprised mostly of online students. Its MBA programs stand out because they can be completed in a variety of disciplines. They’re also intended for both business and non-business majors, and can be done full-time or part-time.
It costs $350.00 per credit hour for residents and nonresidents to attend this top MBA online program. Fort Hays offers foundational courses for non-business majors, along with career placement services for when you’re finished. Graduates of Fort-Hayes have gone on to careers at leading corporations, including:
- Walmart Corporate
- US Department of Agriculture
- Texas Instruments
Oklahoma State University (Spears)
Oklahoma State University is well-known for its notable Spears School of Business. Spears offers specialties in a range of business areas, including:
- Digital marketing
- Financial management
OSU offers an affordable 33-credit-hour MBA online program for grad students. The online program emphasizes teamwork and collaboration just as much as their on-campus MBA programs.
OSU is an affordable option for both in-state students ($481 per credit) and out-of-state students ($611 per credit). Online MBA applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, a competitive GMAT score, and a bachelor’s degree. While not required, work experience and a background in calculus are helpful.
The University of Texas, Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas is located in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Its business school, the Naveen Jindal School of Management, offers numerous graduate degrees in business.
UT Dallas’s Executive MBA program is very popular. This top online MBA program in Texas was ranked number 6 on a list of MBAs by U.S. News and World Report. Incoming students have an average of 7.9 years of work experience and are a median age of 28.
It’s also more expensive than other online MBA programs, though given its reputation, this isn’t surprising. It costs $9,061 for a resident to take 9 credit hours (or one semester or courses) and $18,072 for a nonresident to do the same.
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University, also known as MSU, offers a top online MBA program that can be started during any semester in a variety of disciplines.
MSU’s School of Business calls their courses useful and well-designed. They include emphases such as:
- Business information systems
- Quantitative analysis
MSU’s online MBA is AACSB accredited and requires 30 credits hours to graduate.
Tuition is $514 per credit hour, both for in-state and out-of-state students. Information technology and cybersecurity are two popular areas of study. MSU is regularly ranked among the best online MBA programs because it boasts a consistently high job success rate as well as world-renowned professors.
Arkansas State University, Jonesboro
Arkansas State University, located in Jonesboro, has been around for over 100 years. Its top online MBA program was established to provide “high-quality, flexible graduate management education for students with varied academic and professional backgrounds.”
The online MBA program assists students in navigating a dynamic, global business environment. Students will also learn about corporate finance and data analytics at the business level.
A-State costs $500 per credit hour, regardless of residency. As with most of the other schools on this list, you can receive an MBA from Arkansas State University completely online. This top online MBA is accredited by AACSB.
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University is a historically black college located in North Carolina. It costs $8,946 annually for in-state students and $21,045 annually for out-of-state students. Fayetteville State requires that applicants have a 2.75 GPA or better, letters of recommendation, and qualifying GRE and GMAT scores. Students have six years to complete this accredited online MBA.
The top online MBA program costs at FSU are affordable, and the program will fit right into a busy career schedule. The core MBA curriculum at FSU consists of 27 credit hours (or nine classes), plus three electives. Specializations at this top-ranked online MBA program include:
- Healthcare administration
- Project management
The University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is one of the most affordable options for getting a top MBA online. It costs $510.73 per unit for full-time students, whether in-state or out-of-state. UND prides itself on teaching students how to operate on the executive level of any firm.
UND stands out if you’re a sports fan as their teams are in NCAA Division I. The sports offered include:
- Cross country
Legendary basketball mind Phil Jackson is an alumnus of the university.
You can earn your MBA completely online at UND. This top online MBA program entails 33 to 34 credit hours and takes at least two years to complete. UND operates on the semester system and live web classes are held once a week. This affordable, high-quality, online MBA gives students the opportunity to learn and interact with a small class size.
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Texas. Its online MBA is available to any student admitted to an MBA program and doesn’t require a background in business. This MBA online program entails 36 credit hours, including 24 hours of core courses and 12 hours of electives. This typically takes two years to complete. The price is $725.85 per credit hour, regardless of residency.
SHSU’s MBA program is “designed to develop candidates for positions of leadership in modern organizations.”
University of Wisconsin, Consortium
The University of Wisconsin’s MBA Consortium combines faculty and resources from multiple campuses in the UW system, including Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Oshkosh. With the ability to earn an MBA completely online, UW allows students from literally anywhere to pursue a top-notch post-grad education.
This top online MBA program grants a degree from one consortium representing the three Business Schools. The accredited program has been described as “innovative and creative” and has been ranked as one of the top online MBA programs by US News and World Report.
The cost for this online MBA is competitively priced at $825 per credit, and financial aid is offered through UW-Eau Claire. The program is intended for nearly anyone: “business people, engineers, health care providers, and others interested in moving ahead in their careers.”
West Texas A&M University
Part of the Texas A&M University System, West Texas A&M University allows its students to earn their degrees completely online. Some students complete their online MBA program within 12 months while others take up to three years.
Among other requirements, this Texas university’s online MBA program requires:
- An undergraduate GPA of 3.0
- GMAT scores
- Three letters of recommendation
This best online MBA program involves 31 to 49 graduate hours of material. With numerous top rankings, it is the best online master’s degree in business offered today.
The Top Online MBA Programs
The best online MBA degrees offer more flexibility in location and scheduling, meaning you can attend school anywhere in the country, whether you live in Los Angeles or Pittsburgh. Students will also benefit from applying to online MBA programs because there are more options regarding what they study.
Aside from the traditional areas of study for an MBA, online students can learn about future-forward disciplines like:
- Technology management
- Healthcare administration
- Data analytics
Make sure you get the best education by attending one of the best online MBA programs. Learn more about online programs and see exclusive rankings at CollegeRank.
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