Online MBA Programs

An online master of business administration (MBA) is widely believed to guarantee wider career options, more opportunities for promotions, and greater job security. If you pursue an MBA online, you’ll explore many types of management positions in a range of fields such as operations, construction, human resources, and public relations. An MBA will train you for high-level positions in these fields by teaching you practical skills; you don’t need to hold an undergraduate business degree to pursue an MBA.

Students of online MBA programs graduate with advanced degrees that lead to increased job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of job openings in the field will grow by 6% from 2014-2024, with more specific MBA-related fields growing at even higher rates. Furthermore, job candidates with MBAs on average earn $45,000 more per year than their bachelor’s degree-holding counterparts.

By completing an MBA program online, you can earn an advanced degree at an affordable price and from the comfort of your own home. There’s no need to disrupt your busy work or family life to further your education. Read on to learn more about the careers you’ll be eligible for after earning an online MBA degree, and the added advantages of executive online MBA programs.

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Online MBA Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Master's $19,104 8.56% 1+ years $56,750 $77,466 5.1%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Earning an MBA online can help you significantly advance in your career. Not only are MBA-holders qualified for increased salaries, but the flexibility of an online degree allows professionals to work as they learn, making online MBA programs wise investments.

Online MBA Degrees


Online Master’s Degree in MBA


Even though MBA programs online offer tremendous flexibility, a full-time online MBA may still require more time than you can fit into your busy schedule. That is why many universities also offer part-time MBA programs online. Both full-time and part-time programs will take you through the same curriculum, but a part-time program allows you to pace yourself by taking fewer credit hours per semester. Full-time online MBA programs may be completed in two to three years, whereas completing your part-time MBA online may take three to four years.


    Accounting, Finance, Insurance and Risk Management, Management, and Marketing


    Many people already working in the field seeking job advancement, those with no business background seeking a career change

Online MBA Programs
For the 2016 rankings, has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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MBA Master’s Degree Rankings

Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill$$$$$103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

Students in UNC's online MBA program receive a world-class education from one the country's top business schools. UNC designed a flexible MBA curriculum with six available concentrations, allowing students to pursue their academic and professional interests in a customizable program.

Students are admitted in cohorts and attend classes in small groups. Classes are held synchronously, though students can view archived lectures online. Professors and classmates can interact over webcam outside of class if needed as well. Along with virtual meetings, the program requires students to attend two-in person "immersion weekends." These events are held in cities around the world and prepare students for future employment. UNC uses Sakai to facilitate their distance learning program and create one of the best online MBA programs in the nation.

2Andrews UniversityBerrien Springs$$$$$4150 Administration Drive, Room 136
Berrien Springs, MI 49104
(800) 253-2874

Andrews offers an MBA that distance learners can complete in just two years. The program focuses on domestic and international business involving government and nonprofit organizations. 11 courses are offered throughout the program, totalling 33 credits. While most of the degree can be completed online, the final two classes require students to be on campus for about three weeks. Andrews uses Griggs Online, an extension of the D2L distance learning platform, to facilitate their online program.

3Maharishi University of ManagementFairfield$$$$$1000 N 4th St
Fairfield, IA 52557
(641) 472-7000

Maharishi offers an online MBA with synchronous classes hosted on video conferences. Students in the evening-weekend cohort meet for classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. While everyone is encouraged to attend class, students unable to participate during lecture can view archived materials online.

Maharishi's program is on the semester schedule, with terms starting in August and January. Students take one course at a time, which lasts four weeks for two credit courses and eight weeks for four credit courses. Outside of class, students should expect to spend between seven and ten hours per week reading and completing homework assignments. Maharishi uses Sakai and Moodle to host archived lectures, class information and discussion forums for peer and professor interactions.

4Mercer UniversityMacon$$$$$1400 Coleman Avenue
Macon, GA 31207
(478) 301-2700

Mercer's online MBA is geared toward working professionals looking to take the next step in their career. Courses are taught by the same faculty that teach residential students, and lectures are asynchronous.

Mercer's MBA takes just 18 months to complete. Students can pursue concentrations in marketing, finance, economics, general business, human resources and health care management. Each semester, courses are focused through the lens of a different industry, offering students the opportunity to ground their coursework in a practical business environment. The school facilitates online learning through Blackboard's Learning Management System.

5Towson UniversityTowson$$$$$8000 York Rd
Towson, MD 21252-0001
(410) 704-2000

Towson's online MBA offers distance learners an unusually accessible platform. Visitors to their site can create a roadmap for their degree, selecting from one of ten concentrations and among three 'work environments' in just seconds. After choosing your route, you can see how many credits you'll need to take and which courses you'll enroll in to attend one of the best online MBA programs in the nation.

Students in the program can graduate without stepping foot in a classroom (local students can take as many classes on campus as they like). The degree can be completed in just 18 months, and the school's renowned faculty and advisors help graduates find gainful employment. Towson uses Blackboard to host course information, discussion forums and archived materials.

6Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg$$$$$160 Pearl St
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697
(978) 345-2151

Fitchburg State's online MBA can be completed in just 17 months. The degree consists of ten courses, totalling 30 credits. Courses last seven weeks apiece, and are taken one at a time. Classes are asynchronous, small and engaging, taught by both professors and professionals in the field of business management.

Students in the program can focus on project management, information systems management, and public management. Fitchburg State offers 24/7 technical support for its students, should they have questions or problems with their online setup. Online classes are hosted on Blackboard, and the school provides a demo course where they can learn firsthand what an online course will look like.

7Catholic University of AmericaWashington$$$$$620 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20064
(202) 319-5000

The Catholic University of America offers master's degrees in management and human resources. The school's business and leadership degrees are designed for students to strengthen their leadership and management skills. As part of the program, students take courses in accounting, marketing, finance and operations.

The program emphasizes the importance of the online economy. Classes are offered exclusively online, teaching students how to incorporate web technology in a global business climate. Course content includes assignments, reports, presentations and group projects. CUA is a Blackboard college: the school uses the platform to host assignments, archived course materials and discussion forums.

8Lehigh UniversityBethlehem$$$$$27 Memorial Drive West
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-3000

Lehigh offers students an MBA & E, combining business and engineering instruction. The school prepares students for a career in engineering management, venture capital and industrial planning. The program is targeted towards students with an undergraduate degree in engineering.

In addition to engineering prerequisites, students must have completed courses in statistics, financial reporting and economics before starting the program. The degree requires students to complete 45 credits, 18 of which are foundational business courses, along with 12 core engineering classes. Lehigh uses Moodle to facilitate distance courses: the program hosts all course materials and archived lectures.

9University of FloridaGainesville$$$$$
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-3261

UF's MBA program is geared toward working professionals and requires applicants to have at least two years of experience in business. The program itself offers students two tracks: a 16 month path for students who majored in business and a 27 month option for everyone else. The degree can be completed almost entirely online, although UF does require students to attend a weekend campus session every four months.

Students at Florida can concentrate in one of five sub-specialities: marketing, real estate and urban analysis, strategy, supply chain management and finance. UF hosts coursework in Canvas and Sakai and the school provides comprehensive technical support online and over the phone.

10Colorado State UniversityFort Collins$$$$$102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

CSU's online MBA requires students to complete 42 credits, and the program can be completed in two years. There is no thesis or capstone project required. The school uses a lockstep cohort model, meaning that students must progress through their degree linearly. Courses are offered on the school's semester calendar, with each semester broken into two eight-week terms. While the program does not offer any specific concentrations, students can pursue a certificate in finance to complement their MBA degree.

CSU uses Canvas to facilitate all online instruction. Students can use Canvas to find discussion forums and class materials, including homework and test information. The school also operates a page offering technical support and other student resources specifically for online students.

11North Carolina State University at RaleighRaleigh$$$$$2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

NC State's online MBA offers distance learners more flexibility than most programs. Students can start in either the fall or spring and earn their degree in anywhere from 21 months to six years. The program is entirely online, with the exception of a brief, three-day residency on campus. Military members can waive this residential requirement.

NC State only offers concentrations to residential students. Students can focus on an area of emphasis in the online program, which is similar to a concentration, but requires fewer credits. Specialities include biosciences management, financial management, marketing management, innovation management, supply chain management and entrepreneurship & technology commercialization. NC State uses Blackboard Collaborate to host classes and course materials. Students with limited experience with online education are invited to browse through the school's online resource packet.

12James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg$$$$$800 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
(540) 568-6211

James Madison offers three MBA programs: the innovation MBA, the information and security MBA and a new executive leadership MBA. Each provides students with a foundational education in business administration, and the variety provides distance learners with an opportunity to tailor their education to suit their professional interests. All three programs are offered in a blended format that requires some on-campus instruction. JMU uses both Canvas and Blackboard to facilitate online classes.

13Laurel UniversityHigh Point$$$$$1215 Eastchester Drive
High Point, NC 27265-3115
(336) 887-3000

Laurel's online MBA provides students with a thorough understanding of business administration, grounded in Christian teaching and thought. The program requires 32 credits for graduation and can be completed entirely online. Though Laurel is a private college, the school offers generous financial aid packages to help students offset the cost of a graduate degree: over 98% of students at Laurel are on some kind of financial aid, and the college offers a number of grants and scholarships.

Distance learners can view their classes and access course materials on Canvas. The web platform provides students with easy access to interactive discussion forums, and Canvas also seamlessly connects with major social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

14The University of Texas at DallasRichardson$$$$$800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
(972) 883-2111

Flexibility is important to adult learners, and working professionals will find it easy to integrate their work and home responsibilities with UTD's online MBA. The school offers their MBA in three formats: at night, online and a flexible format that allows students to combine distance and residential courses.

Most students at UTD work full time and take two classes per semester. Students take a combination of business core classes and elective credits, needing 53 credits to graduate. The school facilitates its online instruction through eLearning. UT Dallas invites prospective applicants to check out their distance learning education page, which has several resources to help introduce distance education to new students.

15George Washington UniversityWashington$$$$$2121 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000

George Washington's MBA program is on a tri-semester schedule, with students taking classes in the fall, spring and summer. During each semester, students take an average of four classes. The MBA program is offered entirely online, but students living in the area can enroll in on-campus classes as well.

In addition to asynchronous lectures, GW has a few synchronous meet-ups: online students can communicate with peers and faculty in real-time during these discussions. Students can pick up to two concentrations and pursue one of six different professional certificates. GW uses Blackboard to host lectures and to facilitate other aspects of online learning.

16New York UniversityNew York$$$$$70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012-1091
(212) 998-1212

NYU offers an executive MBA program. Primarily online, the degree does require students to attend six on-campus sessions and to complete a capstone project. The program focuses on accounting, finance, marketing, executive leadership and strategy. Students can also choose to pursue an M.S. in global finance, business analytics and risk management.

The degree is geared towards working professionals. Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter, have at least 10 years of relevant work experience and provide letters of recommendation. Students use NYU Classes to watch and listen to lectures, access course materials and participate in discussion forums with peers and faculty.

17Concordia University - ChicagoRiver Forest$$$$$7400 Augusta
River Forest, IL 60305-1499
(708) 771-8300

Concordia University Chicago’s one year online MBA program offers students several different areas of focus. These include ethics and social responsibility, critical thinking and entrepreneurial mindset, communication and human relations. All classes are taught exclusively online.

Concordia's online MBA helps students build lasting relationships with their peers and instructors. Upon graduation, students will have an E-portfolio they can present to employers, filled with projects completed during their stint in the program. A GMAT test is not required for the free application; students must have at least a 2.85 undergraduate GPA to apply. Concordia uses Connect to host all online course information.

18Touro University WorldwideLos Alamitos$$$$$10601 Calle Lee #179
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
(818) 874-4115

Touro's online MBA program can be completed entirely online. Unlike with most schools, applicants do not need to take the GMAT or GRE. Students can complete the 36-credit program in as little as one year, and can pursue one of seven available concentrations. These include accounting, finance, global management, health administration management, human resources management, marketing and nonprofit management. Tuition is just $500 per credit at Touro, making it one of the more affordable programs to pursue. The school uses Blackboard to host classes and course materials, including discussion forums and assignments.

19University of Nebraska - LincolnLincoln$$$$$14th and R St
Lincoln, NE 68588
(402) 472-7211

Nebraska's online MBA offers students the opportunity to either complete classes entirely online or to take a mixture of residential and distance courses. The program can be completed online in just two years. Students can pursue one of four concentrations to supplement their degree. Options include accounting, agribusiness, finance and international business.

There are no on-campus requirements for distance learners. Applicants to the program are required to take the GMAT and should have earned at least a 3.0 GPA as undergraduates. Additional prerequisites include courses in calculus and statistics. Students sign up for courses on their MyRed profile and access web materials for their classes through the Blackboard Learning Management System.

20University of Hawaii at ManoaHonolulu$$$$$2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall
Honolulu, HI 96822-2217
(808) 956-8111

Coursework for Hawaii's executive MBA can be completed online, but students must attend 14 Saturday sessions on campus throughout the program. Students living on neighboring islands are eligible for financial aid to subsidize campus visits.

Hawaii uses videoconferencing software so that students can interact with peers and professors from their residence. The program requires students to complete 48 credits, and distance learners taking courses full time can graduate in two years. Students may also pursue a healthcare management track as part of the program. Hawaii uses One Card, a program through Blackboard's software, to hose online course content and information.

21Texas A&M University - TexarkanaTexarkana$$$$$7101 University Avenue
Texarkana, TX 75503
(903) 223-3000

Texas A&M-Texarkana’s online MBA can be completed entirely online, although the school does offer face-to-face classes at various campuses throughout the state. Applicants should have at least a 2.5 GPA; students with a 3.0 GPA or better are not required to submit GMAT scores.

Texas A&M-Texarkana's program requires students to complete 36 credits, which usually take about two years. Enrollees are also expected to complete a capstone to culminate the curriculum. Areas of study include economics, managerial finance, strategic planning, international business and more. The school uses Blackboard to facilitate distance instruction, host discussion forums and establish lines of communication between students and faculty.

22University of St. FrancisJoliet$$$$$500 N Wilcox St
Joliet, IL 60435-6188
(815) 740-3360

St. Francis’s online program takes only 12-18 months to complete and has no in-person requirement. The program runs on a tri-semester period, with enrollment starting in the fall, spring and summer terms. The duration of the program is 12-18 months, and students can transfer up to nine hours of credit into St. Francis.

Alongside the degree, St. Francis offers several concentrations. Options include accounting, business analytics, finance, health administration, human resource management, logistics, management and training and development. The school uses Blackboard to host assignments, discussion boards and all other course materials.

23The University of Texas - Rio Grande ValleyEdinburg$$$$$1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
(956) 665-2011

UTRGV's online MBA program focuses on management and analytical decision making. Students are encouraged to take courses at their own pace. The degree can be completed in as many as six years, and UTRGV also provides an accelerated option to suit full-time students. To apply, students must have earned a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a 400 score or better on the GMAT.

UTRGV provides four concentrations for students to pursue alongside the traditional curriculum: finance, accounting, management and marketing. One of the most diverse colleges in the country, UTRGV prides itself on its multi-cultural environment and strives to translate that experience to the online format. Students communicate with peers from all backgrounds online, on discussion forums and through collaborative projects. Distance courses and all class materials are hosted on Blackboard.

24California Lutheran UniversityThousand Oaks$$$$$60 W Olsen Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787
(805) 492-2411

CLU's online MBA encourages students to work at their own pace. Students can take courses part-time or full-time; those signing up for a full course load can complete the degree in just 12 months. The program consists of 45 total units, with classes offered in eight-week terms.

CLU offers six professional tracks. Options include entrepreneurship, international business, IT management, management and organizational behavior, finance and economics. Students can also pursue a general MBA concentration. Cal Lutheran uses Blackboard to facilitate all online instruction.

25Hofstra UniversityHempstead$$$$$100 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
(516) 463-6600

Hofstra recently added the MBA program to their slate of online offerings. Courses are taught in a cohort format, though students may opt out of the cohort after they finish their first semester, if they want to take classes asynchronously. The school's digital classroom allows for peers to interact with faculty, relationships that can also be developed in discussion forums on Blackboard, Hofstra's learning management platform. MBA students can pursue concentrations in strategic business management and strategic healthcare management. Distance learners must earn 48 credits to graduate; most students complete the program within two years.

Online MBA Choose Your Career

Average MBA Salaries


Sales Manager

Salary: $113,860
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
5% 376,300 Masters N/A

Sales managers lead sales teams. They analyze data to set quotas and goals and assign sales territories to sales representatives who work under them. They also train and provide support for sales representatives. Most sales managers were once sales representatives themselves. This first-hand experience gives them inside knowledge of the sales process, which helps them devise more strategic sales plans. Travel to different sites is also often part of a sales manager’s position.

Marketing Manager

Salary: $124,850
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
9% 225,200 Masters N/A

Marketing managers generate interest in an organization’s products or services by designing targeted advertising programs. To accomplish this goal, they work closely with creative talent in art departments, sales people in marketing departments, and financial staff members in financial departments. Marketing managers usually have prior work experience in advertising, marketing, or sales, and are passionate about promoting their organization’s message. In today’s app-focused economy, an intimate understanding of social media is also beneficial to the position.

Top Executive

Salary: $102,690
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 2,467,500 Masters N/A

Top executives set policies and design strategies to make sure an organization meets its goals. They direct day-to-day and long-term activities by coordinating the organization’s human and nonhuman resources. Regardless of personality type, the best top executives are simply responsible individuals who are able planners and think in terms of “we” to promote the interests of the organization.