Working professionals and recent college graduates alike pursue a Master of Business Administration to channel their professional ambitions and take the next step in their careers. An MBA prepares students for managerial roles in business, and the flexibility of the degree allows graduates to apply their skills to almost any industry. Many MBA programs also offer concentrations in a variety of subfields, affording students an opportunity to study topics that appeal to their interests and professional goals.
Designed with working professionals in mind, many of the top business schools in the country now offer their MBA program online. These programs allow distance learners to complete coursework and take tests in the evenings or on weekends, helping students advance their careers without interrupting professional responsibilities or family obligations.
Below, we’ve ranked the best online MBA programs. These schools offer robust online degrees, and the curriculum and networking opportunities in these web programs are identical to the opportunities campus students receive. Using our unique methodology, our list accounts for all of the factors online students consider when selecting an MBA program. Read on to find the right school for your career.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Chapel Hill||103 South Bldg Cb 9100|
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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.
|Berrien Springs||4150 Administration Drive, Room 136|
Berrien Springs, MI 49104
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.
Maharishi University of Management
|Fairfield||1000 N 4th St|
Fairfield, IA 52557
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.
|Macon||1400 Coleman Avenue|
Macon, GA 31207
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.
|Towson||8000 York Rd|
Towson, MD 21252-0001
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.
Fitchburg State University
|Fitchburg||160 Pearl St|
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697
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.
Catholic University of America
|Washington||620 Michigan Avenue, NE|
Washington, DC 20064
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.
|Bethlehem||27 Memorial Drive West|
Bethlehem, PA 18015
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.
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
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.
Colorado State University
|Fort Collins||102 Administration Building|
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
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.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
|Raleigh||2101 Hillsborough Street|
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
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.
James Madison University
|Harrisonburg||800 South Main Street|
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
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.
|High Point||1215 Eastchester Drive|
High Point, NC 27265-3115
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.
The University of Texas at Dallas
|Richardson||800 West Campbell Road|
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
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.
George Washington University
|Washington||2121 I Street, NW|
Washington, DC 20052
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.
New York University
|New York||70 Washington Sq South|
New York, NY 10012-1091
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.
Concordia University - Chicago
|River Forest||7400 Augusta|
River Forest, IL 60305-1499
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.
Touro University Worldwide
|Los Alamitos||10601 Calle Lee #179|
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
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.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
|Lincoln||14th and R St|
Lincoln, NE 68588
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.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
|Honolulu||2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall|
Honolulu, HI 96822-2217
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.
Texas A&M University - Texarkana
|Texarkana||7101 University Avenue|
Texarkana, TX 75503
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.
University of St. Francis
|Joliet||500 N Wilcox St|
Joliet, IL 60435-6188
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.
The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley
|Edinburg||1201 W University Dr|
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
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.
California Lutheran University
|Thousand Oaks||60 W Olsen Rd|
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787
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.
|Hempstead||100 Hofstra University|
Hempstead, NY 11549
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.
An online master’s in business administration will help working professionals jumpstart their career. According to a 2015 study in Forbes, recent MBA graduates earn nearly $100,000 a year, on average. By comparison, workers with only a bachelor’s make an average of just $45,000 a year. While that number can be slightly misleading (most MBA holders have significant work experience and were earning more than the average worker already), but it’s clear that an MBA can help propel careers. Additionally, over 90% of graduates from top-ranked online and traditional MBA programs find employment within three months of graduating.
MBA programs are a strong investment because they provide students with the kind of specialized knowledge that is unobtainable in a traditional undergraduate program. Whether you’re studying economics, entrepreneurship or finance, you’ll learn how to manage a business and its people and develop insight into how particular industries work. This specialization can be applied to most industries and gives you skills that most job candidates simply won’t have.
To get the most out of your degree, and your time in an online MBA program, it is important to take advantage of the networking opportunities provided. More than in perhaps any other graduate degree, MBA programs position their students to regularly interact with the local business community. Many programs will bring in guest speakers and host online or in-person meet-and-greets, which are excellent opportunities for students to make connections with professionals in the field. Additionally, the collaborative nature of most assignments forces students to interact regularly. Rarely will you have the chance to turn as many people into business contacts and colleagues as you will in an MBA program. These networking opportunities can land you a job after school, and will help you make inroads in other business ventures later in your career.
It’s important to focus on school while in the MBA program, but you should always have one eye on the career ahead. Apply to jobs that interest you early on in your final year of school, and you’ll position yourself well to graduate into a rewarding career.