The Best Online MBA Programs

The immense versatility and strong return on investment (ROI) of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) make it one of the most highly sought after academic credentials. Those looking to balance the demands of an existing career with the pursuit of an advanced degree, may want to consider enrolling in one of America’s best online MBA programs.

Completing an online MBA opens up a vast selection of career opportunities, including management roles in business niches such as finance, supply chain logistics, project management and marketing. Online MBA students may also pursue dual degree options in fields like healthcare or technology, creating even more exciting professional choices.

With the tremendous amount of Master’s in Business Administration online degrees offered today, it can be overwhelming trying to find a program that suits your needs. To help you make that decision, we have identified the best online MBA programs according to our proven methodology.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description

Indiana University – Bloomington

 3/577.64%Bloomington, IN


The Program

The Kelley School of Business is home to an online MBA program includes a single week of in-person, introductory classes conducted at the Bloomington campus. The degree can be completed within two years.

Ideal for online MBA students who wish to travel, IU offers international electives once a quarter through the Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education (AGILE) program. These optional AGILE experiences create study-abroad opportunities for distance learners who wish to explore business applications in countries like China, India, South Africa or Botswana. On average, admitted students enter the program with a GPA of 3.3 and a combined GMAT score of 636.

The Platform

A virtual open house acquaints new and prospective students with the digital MBA program. Students sign in to the Canvas platform to access coursework, submit assignments and contribute to discussions with forum posts, video recordings and chat.


“It became clear that we were more than students abroad—we were a respected voice, we had something real to offer and people heard us. I’ll never forget that feeling.” - Carolyn Kirwin

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Arizona State University

 2/563.43%Tempe, AZ


The Program

The Online MBA offered by the W.P. Carey School of Business is comprised of virtual coursework and a mandatory orientation session hosted on campus. The school prides itself on maintaining a comprehensive, customizable curriculum with personal guidance from student advisors.

Current graduate students serve as MBA Ambassadors by providing prospective and new students with admissions assistance and advice. Applicants are required to submit GMAT or GRE scores along with their completed admissions paperwork. On average, Online MBA students hold a cumulative GPA of 3.26 and a combined GMAT score of 577.

The Platform

Online learners sign onto the Blackboard system to view course materials, check webmail, collaborate on classroom wikis and submit discussion board posts. Several remote student services are available, such as course registration assistance, a Graduate Career Center, deadline reminders and technical help.


"Since I travel weekly for work, I needed a ranked school with an online option. W. P. Carey is a Top 30 accredited business school and the webinars and the responsiveness of the entire team made it clear that the W. P. Carey Online MBA was the right program for me." - Melanie Ying

Quick Facts

  • The college uses the popular learning management system Blackboard to connect students and faculty.
  • Nursing students can complete assessments, peruse course materials, use discussion boards to study in groups or asynchronously. At the discretion of the instructor, these courses may also be held during set times synchronously.
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University of Florida

 2/587.51%Gainesville, FL


The Program

The Hough Graduate School of Business offers an online MBA with a curriculum that mirrors the campus-based program. While all coursework is hosted online, students are expected to visit the campus for a full weekend each term. Online MBA students can choose from a 16-month or 27-month completion track, depending on the applicant's professional experience and background. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GMAT scores. On average, admitted students have a cumulative GPA of 3.4.

The Platform

Online courses are delivered through the Canvas and Sakai learning management systems. With these portals, students can submit assignments via virtual dropboxes, listen to classroom podcasts, take quizzes, read classroom announcements and participate in web conferences. Some courses require real-time meetings facilitated by the BigBlueButton service.

Quick Facts

  • Prospective students can view a sample course online.
  • 96% of freshmen undergraduates at U of F received some form of financial aid.
  • The Warrington College of Business Administration is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal.
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University of Texas at Dallas

 3/570.64%Richardson, TX


The Program

Future graduate students may earn an MBA online or in a hybrid format through UT Dallas. Those who wish to take all of their courses online should keep in mind that the elective course selections are limited compared to the campus-based selection.

Online MBA courses are available on an accelerated 8-week basis or traditional semester-long schedule. Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores issued during the last five years to be considered for admission. The average scores of current students are 600 for the GMAT and 320 for the GRE.

The Platform

Online courses are delivered on a synchronous basis between the hours of 4 and 10 pm, five days a week. Students sign onto the Blackboard system to view general course information, watch lecture videos, check webmail and contribute posts to ongoing classroom discussion forums. The UT Dallas Technology Support help desk services can be reached via phone five days a week at (972) 883-5800.


"The UT Dallas MBA professors are excellent. The classes are exciting and have lots of variety. Students get an unparalleled amount of personal attention—the staff, Team MBA, truly care about the success of the their students...I instantly gained a global network of colleagues that I will be able to reach out to for the rest of my life. Frankly, to get such an amazing MBA experience at such a low price is a no-brainer." - Aubrey McCarthy

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 2/590.26%Chapel Hill, NC


The Program

The online MBA offered by UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School can be earned within 18-36 months of online study. Unique to UNC are the program's Global Immersion events, which are hosted quarterly in various international locations. The school requires that student's attend at least two of these events to graduate, though they may take part in as many as they like.

Six possible degree concentrations are available, including Global Supply Chain Management, Investment Management, Sustainable Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. According to UNC, about 71% of the student body enrolled in the MBA program receives career promotions during the course of their studies.

The Platform

Virtual courses at UNC have a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1, ensuring a certain level of personalized attention and instructional quality. Students attend synchronous video chat courses once a week, allowing classmates and instructors to spend time interacting with each other directly.

The MBA@UNC program has its own mobile app with offline coursework capabilities, like viewing past video lectures, submitting assignments, chatting with groups and managing task reminders.


"MBA@UNC has given me the opportunity to earn an MBA I can be proud of, without putting my life on hold. I'm thinking long term and I can't wait to take the next step." - Rahim Walker

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University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

 2/568.23%Eau Claire, WI

The Program

The Online MBA degree available through UW Eau Claire can be earned entirely in the virtual classroom, no need to visit campus. Students without a business background must first complete the MBA Foundation program, which covers prerequisite topics like macroeconomics, accounting and market analysis.

The main program comprises a 30-credit curriculum consisting of elective courses, MBA modules and a Leadership mini-module led by instructors from four different UW campuses. These themed modules reflect everyday situations in the lives of business managers, as opposed to the purely academic atmosphere of stand alone courses. This unique aspect of the UW program provides students with a more well-rounded education.

The Platform

The Desire2Learn virtual classroom is where students access weekly assignments, lecture media, grades and classroom discussion boards. UW notes that some coursework may require software only compatible with Windows computers. Distance learners can reach a technical support help desk Monday-Friday at 888-832-7090 and after-hours at (608) 264-4357.


"My Consortium MBA degree helped me bridge the gap between biomedicine and IT. With the knowledge I gained from the program, I developed software that will foster sustainable, cost-saving care for millions of patients with chronic kidney disease." - Macaulay, Board Certified Physician

Quick Facts

  • University of Wisconsin Eau Claire was ranked #10 by the U.S. News and World Report on Best Online MBA Programs.
  • All MBA Foundation courses can be completed online.
  • Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores to be considered for admission.
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North Carolina State University

 2/574.98%Raleigh, NC

The Program

The Jenkins Graduate School of Management hosts an online MBA program that combines digital instruction with a required three-day weekend residency hosted in Raleigh, NC. The curriculum strongly emphasizes the role of technology in the modern business environment, and graduates are guaranteed to leave with an advanced competency in modern business computing.

Students who wish to gain further face-to-face interaction may also participate in an optional 8-10 day residency in China. The degree can be completed within 21 months, though students are allotted a maximum of six years to graduate.

The Platform

Online learners participate in a blend of synchronous and asynchronous activities with the Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle environments. Students access live web conferences, academic materials and discussion forums through these platforms. Campus-based and online MBA students have access to identical student support services, such as academic advising, career counseling and a technical helpline.


"I've realized that a big part of the experience in the MBA program is getting to know your community and fellow citizens and being involved in community service events like this creates that opportunity." - Kevin Idahor

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Temple University

 3/569.18%Philadelphia, PA

The Program

Graduate students can earn an MBA within 20 months by attending online courses and a weeklong, on-site residency program at Temple University. This top-ranked program combines instruction from industry leaders with maximum flexibility enabled by cutting-edge distance learning technology. Tuition includes books, case studies, software and an HD webcam with headset. On average, admitted students have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and 12 years of work experience. Prospective students are required to submit GMAT scores to be considered for admission.

The Platform

This MBA program blends real-time and asynchronous online instruction. Students meet once a week through live WebEx conferences and access course materials 24/7 on the Blackboard learning management system. Lectures can be viewed in video format. A significant portion of student interactions occur through the digital discussion forums.


"When the time came to transition from arts management to the for-profit business world, I knew obtaining an MBA was a must, especially in this economy. Fox’s Full-time Global MBA program provided me with a great foundation in business with the flexibility to tailor the degree to my needs and interests." - Brittni Devereaux

Quick Facts

  • The Fox School of Business has been ranked #1 on the U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs list.
  • During the weeklong residency program, students participate in an introductory Leadership Development course and meet their academic cohort peers.
  • Prospective students can drop in on virtual information sessions with Temple admissions advisors during TUCC Tuesday events.
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Auburn University

 2/570.86%Auburn University, AL

The Program

The MBA online program provided at Auburn gives students the opportunity to earn their graduate degree remotely, with a curriculum identical to the campus-based program. The Association of Graduate Business students is open to online students and provides additional networking and social opportunities for individuals within driving distance of campus. Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores to be considered for this program.

The Platform

A significant portion class lectures are streamed live, so students must be able to accommodate a synchronous learning schedule. Course materials and discussion board posts are facilitated by the Canvas learning management system. This platform can be accessed from iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as traditional computer browsers, making it a highly versatile system.

Quick Facts

  • MBA students may also pursue dual degree enrollment with an MSBA in Management Information Systems, Industrial and Systems Engineering or Finance.
  • Auburn University hosts an optional online student orientation session on campus.
  • Auburn is ranked #10 by the U.S. News and World Report on Best Online MBA Programs.
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Pennsylvania State University

 3/586.11%University Park, PA

The Program

Penn State's World Campus offers an intercollegiate MBA (iMBA) program that can be earned through the completion of online coursework and a weeklong residency program hosted at the State College campus location.

Penn State business schools from four different campuses have teamed up to provide this unique distance learning opportunity, ideal for students either with or without business backgrounds. Applicants are expected to submit GRE or GMAT scores from exams taken within the last five years.

The Platform

Online coursework is asynchronous, providing students with the greatest possible scheduling flexibility. Courses run for 12-15 weeks at a time, and students are expected to spend 8-12 hours per week studying for each course. Distance learners sign onto Blackboard to access course materials and webmail and to contribute to threaded discussions.


"The residencies were ultimately one of the deciding factors in choosing Penn State. Whenever I'm asked about why I chose the iMBA program by colleagues, I always mention the quality of the residencies." - Jeremy Wallace

Quick Facts

  • The majority of courses are taught completely online, but some of the master's degrees have residency requirements that must be met in order to graduate.
  • Courses are typically 12 to 15 weeks long.
  • Penn State has scholarships specifically for online students.
  • U.S. News & World Report: #7 - Best Online MBA Programs
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The University of Arizona

 3/560.26%Tucson, AZ

The Program

The Eller College of Management provides graduate students with a fully-online, 14-month MBA program. The school develops students' abilities to challenge assumptions and make decisive decisions. Candidates may pursue one of four degree concentrations, including marketing, management information systems, finance or management and organizations.

Applicants are qualified to apply if they have a bachelor's degree, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a GMAT score of 500 or greater.

The Platform

All coursework is delivered in an asynchronous format so that students can participate on their own schedule. Online learners sign onto the Blackboard Learn platform to turn in assignments, read course materials, catch up on classroom announcements and discuss topics with classmates. Distance learners receive instruction from the same faculty members who teach business students on campus.


"I was looking at online programs based upon their reputation, cost and application deadlines. I came across an article about the new University of Arizona program. For many programs, you had to wait until the fall to apply and tuition could be over $100,000. So the Eller Online MBA was the perfect combination of the right price and the right time." - Ofek Bar-llan

Quick Facts

  • The cost of eBooks are factored into students' tuition.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with enrollment start dates five times a year.
  • Applicants are expected to have two years of professional experience.
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University of Michigan – Dearborn

 3/550.06%Dearborn, MI

The Program

The University of Michigan-Dearborn's online MBA program is designed and taught by the same faculty that teach on-campus. Course requirements and workloads are identical and no differential is made between online and campus-based students after graduation.

This program features four courses in Applied Integrated Management, a curricula focused on developing highly versatile business management skills. AIM courses include global marketing, international finance and supply chain management. All MBA candidates also take 27 credit hours of core coursework in courses like applied statistical modeling, corporate social responsibility and information systems. The entire program can be completed in 36-48 credit hours.

The Platform

UM-Dearborn uses the learning management software Canvas to host all online coursework. Prospective students can explore the software at UM's Getting Started module. Coursework for the MBA program can be completed fully online, but students do have the option to take courses at the Dearborn campus.

The program is not self-paced, though students may complete and access their course materials at any time of day. Students receive plenty of support from their faculty. This is because online courses are actually smaller than on-campus courses; online classes are capped at 25 students.

Quick Facts

  • Over 40% of UM-D's MBA students are enrolled full-time online.
  • In addition to the MBA program, UM-Dearborn's MBA/MS in Finance and it's MBA/MSE in Industrial Systems Engineering are available online.
  • Optional MBA concentrations are available in Accounting, Finance, HR Management, International Business, Investment, Information Systems, Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
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Arkansas State University

 2/539.3%Jonesboro, AR

The Program

ASU's College of Business presents future graduate students with a fully online MBA program that has an optional degree concentration in supply chain management. Through action-based learning, the program aims to develop students with a thorough understanding of business ethics, technology, leadership and decision-making.

To meet the unconditional admission requirements, prospective students should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a GMAT score of at least 480. Students may still be admitted without meeting this criteria based on other academic achievements. This distance education program is not available to residents of Alabama, Washington DC, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and North Dakota due to state regulations.

The Platform

Students access their core curriculum and electives through Blackboard Learn, a responsive virtual classroom environment with features like collaborative group wikis, discussion board threads, shared academic multimedia and video chat capabilities. Distance learners can reach the ASU help desk by calling (870) 972-3934.

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Lehigh University

 5/587.39%Bethlehem, PA

The Program

The Lehigh College of Business and Economics has partnered with the Office of Distance Education to create a fully online MBA program. In keeping with a progressive business culture, Lehigh's degree stresses modern business ethics, sustainable methods and free thinking. The MBA can be earned within 24 months, and students have up to six years to graduate.

Program prerequisites include principles of economics, financial accounting and statistics. To apply, prospective students must submit GMAT or GRE scores and have at least two years of relevant professional experience.

The Platform

Lehigh's online students rely on two systems for synchronous and asynchronous instruction: Classroom Online gives learners flexible access to video recordings of lectures, while Classroom LIVE hosts real-time web conferencing sessions. Distance learners may contact technical assistance over the phone five days a week by calling 610-758-4211.


"Lehigh's Classroom LIVE distance education program is second to none and truly differentiates the Lehigh MBA experience from other programs. The connections I have made with my classmates- professionals from a variety of industries from around the world- only serve to enhance the high quality business education the program obviously provides." - Daniel Lordan

Quick Facts

  • Online students may choose from the following concentrations: project management, marketing or supply chain management.
  • Synchronous class meeting times are Monday through Thursday evenings.
  • All of the MBA prerequisite courses are available online.
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Ball State University

 2/559.45%Muncie, IN

The Program

The versatile MBA program at Ball State can be taken fully online, on campus or in a blended learning format. Offering a significant value to in-state students, BSU aims to provide its candidates with a flexible education that prepares them for the modern business environment.

To meet the admissions requirements, applicants must have a combined GMAT score higher than 450, along with a GPA of at least 2.75. Prospective students may also substitute GRE scores for the GMAT requirement. Unlike many other graduate programs on this list, Ball State does not require MBA students to have previous work experience to begin their studies.

The Platform

Ball State University embraces synchronous and asynchronous course schedules for distance education delivery. Live audio and video discussions are hosted through WebEx webcasts, enabling students to speak face-to-face. Students access academic materials via Blackboard and participate in asynchronous discussions on classroom forums.

Quick Facts

  • Applicants who don’t meet the course prerequisites may earn these credits by taking the courses once admitted to the program, or by enrolling in the business essentials certificate program.
  • New and prospective students can get a feel for the online learning system by attending the virtual orientation.
  • Remote students services like writing assistance, disability resources and career counseling are available through the Online and Distance Education department.
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University of Mississippi

 2/561.36%University, MS

The Program

The fully online Professional MBA at Ole Miss is ideal for currently employed students. The school focuses on developing thorough analytical skills and the ability to make sound business judgements. Distance learners can earn this degree within two years by enrolling in two courses each semester.

Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores, hold a bachelor's degree and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Prerequisite courses include Principles of Accounting and Business Finance.

The Platform

Ole Miss Online students attend virtual courses through the Blackboard system. MBA courses are delivered with a blend of real-time video conferences and asynchronous activities. About 5% of the curriculum is delivered outside of Blackboard, in the form of conference calls and webinars. Online learners can reach the IT Helpdesk through email ( or over the phone (662-915-5222).

Quick Facts

  • Applicants must have at least two years of work experience to enter the Professional MBA program.
  • Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis with terms beginning in the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Since this is not a cohort program, students are able to modify their part-time course load to pace their progression toward degree completion.
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Georgia Southern University

 2/551.32%Statesboro, GA

The Program

The College of Business Administration gives students the opportunity to earn a low-cost online MBA within 21 months. The program focuses on building students that are prepared for the modern business world and utilizes "pod" learning to simulate the corporate environment. While students are expected to attend a two-day orientation in Atlanta, they will not be expected to visit the campus once the program begins.

Applicants must submit their GMAT scores and professional work history for admissions consideration. If they have not already done so, students are required to complete four prerequisite courses in corporate finance, business statistics, financial accounting and microeconomics before starting the online MBA curriculum.

The Platform

Enrolled students begin their online course journey at GoView, a virtual learning platform powered by Desire2Learn. This tool gives students a single online resource for course materials, webmail communications, chat sessions, announcements and classroom discussion posts.

Since GSU is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus, graduate students have access to a wider selection of online courses provided in collaboration with other networked colleges and universities.

Quick Facts

  • GSU maintains an MBA alumni network of 73,000 graduates.
  • Course delivery is asynchronous.
  • This university has been offering an MBA program via distance learning since 2001.
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Mississippi State University

 2/560.43%Mississippi State, MS

The Program

The College of Business at MSU offers two fully online MBA programs: a general graduate degree and an MBA in project management. The school makes sure to cover all aspects of the business environment by including modules that cover topics such as social etiquette and public speaking. The programs can be further customized with a Business Information Systems minor.

Prerequisite courses in accounting, statistics, management and finance are mandatory for those who did not complete them during their undergraduate education. Applicants are expected to submit GMAT or GRE scores during the admissions process.

The Platform

MSU uses Blackboard Learn and Collaborate to provide distance learners and instructors with a virtual classroom environment. These tools facilitate discussion through message boards, video web conferencing, text chat and webmail. Before applying, prospective students are encouraged to take a 20-25 minute SmarterMeasure assessment to see if they are prepared for the distance learning format.

Quick Facts

  • Certificates and licenses are also attainable through MSU’s online undergraduate programs.
  • All distance students pay in-state tuition, however there are scholarships available for undergraduate distance education students, in addition to financial aid for those who qualify.
  • Distance students must be prepared to submit a Proctor Request form at least two weeks prior to any scheduled exams.
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University of Tennessee – Martin

 2/547.04%Martin, TN

The Program

Prospective business leaders can earn an MBA for Banking and Financial Services Professionals entirely online at UT Martin. The program is targeted towards individuals from all educational backgrounds who have a particular interest in the banking or financial services industry.

Students progress through this 20-month degree in a cohort, allowing greater opportunity to build friendships and network. Most of the coursework is offered on an asynchronous basis, enabling students to sign on at any time of the day to watch recorded lectures, read academic materials and post responses to class discussions.

The Platform

MyUTMartin provides online students with a centralized portal for webmail, account management and digital courses powered by the Blackboard learning management system. In Blackboard, students work together through classroom wikis, message boards, chat rooms and video conferences.

Quick Facts

  • Applicants must submit GMAT scores during the admission process.
  • Each cohort is comprised of 20 students.
  • Applicants should have at least two years of work experience to be considered for enrollment.
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University of Nebraska – Lincoln

 2/566.79%Lincoln, NE

The Program

UNL provides future business leaders with a 100% online MBA program free of any campus visitation requirements. Additionally, students have the option of pursuing a dual degree in architecture or law. The program can be completed within two years on a full-time schedule or 3-4 years on a part-time schedule.

Prospective students are encouraged to apply with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and combined GMAT scores of 600. It is also recommended that applicants have two years of professional experience. If they have not already done so, online MBA students must complete prerequisite courses in Statistics and Calculus before or within the first semester of study.

The Platform

Instructors use a wide range of distance education tools to immerse students in virtual curricula, including the Blackboard system, email, video chat . Most courses are delivered in an asynchronous format. Students should take care to select their desired course structure by noting whether proctored exams are hosted off-campus or on-campus.

Quick Facts

  • 72% of the online MBA student body is enrolled part-time.
  • While applicants may hold a bachelor's degree in any field, the most common undergraduate backgrounds amongst current students are business, engineering and science/math.
  • All online students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of resident status.
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Washington State University

 3/567.24%Pullman, WA

The Program

Prospective business professionals can earn an MBA entirely online through WSU's Carson College of Business. Designed to develop professionals with a strong international business acumen, the online MBA stresses the application of classroom learning to real-world business problems.

To apply, prospective students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and submit GMAT scores. Applicants with an undergraduate major other than business may need to take prerequisite foundation courses online, covering the subjects of business law, statistics and managerial economics. The entire program can be completed within 22 months.

The Platform

Online courses are delivered on Blackboard, a system that fosters collaboration through video conferencing, wikis, discussion boards, text chat and other tools. Remote student services like disability resources, exam proctoring, tutoring and library resources are open to all online learners. A 24/7 technical support hotline can be reached by calling 800-222-4978.


“One thing I loved about the program is that someone was always in contact with me, from the beginning of the program to the end. To have that support from the school, as well as your professors and classmates, made it truly enjoyable and beneficial.” - Keon Garraway

Quick Facts

  • WSU was ranked #21 in US News & World Report's Best Online MBA Rankings and #3 on Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans.
  • Online MBA students may pursue a degree concentration in International Business, Finance or Marketing.
  • Benefit from the school's diverse network of international partners including Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China, the University of St. Gallen, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and the César Ritz Colleges Switzerland in Brig, Switzerland.
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Pepperdine University

 5/584.12%Malibu, CA

The Program

The online MBA program at Pepperdine gives graduate students the opportunity to earn their degree within two years while enrolled part-time. The core curriculum focuses on understanding the effects of globalization on competition, ethics and innovation in the modern work environment. Students may explore degree concentrations in marketing, general management, finance or leadership and managing organizational change.

To apply, prospective students must have two years of work experience, a bachelor's degree and acceptable GMAT scores. Applicants with five or more years of relevant work experience do not need to submit GMAT scores.

The Platform

Pepperdine students sign onto the Sakai 10 system to access course materials, email professors, contribute to classroom blogs, submit assignments through online drop boxes and take tests. Some instructors may schedule real-time conferences, facilitated through Google Hangouts.

Quick Facts

  • Pepperdine is ranked #24 by the U.S. News and World Report on Best Online MBA Programs.
  • Students who choose a degree concentration other than the General Management track need an extra term to finish their studies.
  • Students may opt to take a part-time accelerated track to complete the program within 20 months.
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Central Michigan University

 3/555.54%Mount Pleasant, MI

The Program

Students can explore several online MBA degree tracks provided by CMU's Global Campus, with emphases on value driven organization, marketing, human resources management, logistics management or enterprise resources planning (ERP).

Students exploring the ERP emphasis must attend a two-week SAP software course in-person. However, all other tracks are available completely online. There are nine prerequisite courses that cover topics like financial accounting, marketing management, managerial decisions and business communications.

The Platform

Students attend online courses through the Blackboard system, a popular virtual platform that features academic content distribution, collaborative message boards, webmail and customizable wikis. Online learners can get in touch with tech support by calling the CMU help desk at 989-774-3662.

Quick Facts

  • GMAT scores are required for admissions.
  • Prospective students may attend webinar presentation to learn about each of the MBA areas of concentration.
  • CMU is ranked #25 in U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs.
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Rochester Institute of Technology

 5/562.53%Rochester, NY

The Program

Experienced business professionals can earn an online Executive MBA (EMBA) at RIT. Intended to give students hands-on experience with advanced business concepts, this graduate program is designed for applicants with six or more years of professional experience, along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Enrolled students join small teams of 3-5 peers who work together throughout the degree program. These small cohorts provide ample group interaction and lend to the development of extensive business networks. The program can be completed in 17 months.

The Platform

Online learners should count on spending 20-30 hours each week completing assignments. Each digital course runs on a six-week, asynchronous schedule. While some presentations are streamed in real-time, students can watch saved versions at their convenience.

RIT's myCourses system, powered by Desire2Learn, is distinguished by its academic achievement badges, assignment drop boxes, webmail and message boards.

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University of Maryland – College Park

 2/584.75%College Park, MD

The Program

The MBA offered by UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business can be earned within 21 months.This highly interdisciplinary program is designed for both mid-career professionals and recent graduates who are seeking positions in upper management and executive-level position.

Core coursework includes surveys of management in the global workplace, the economics of management decisions and project and strategy management. The program is offered completely online and is instructed by the same faculty that teaches on-campus. Distance learners can opt to concentrate their studies in finance, information systems and business analytics or accounting and marketing. Graduates of this program are fluent in emerging economies and current issues in global business management.

The Platform

UMD maintains their own online platform called ELMS or Enterprise Learning Management System. Students can access all of their coursework through this system asynchronously at any time of day. Some courses will require students to log-in at appointed times for live web sessions administered with Adobe Connect software, but these instances are rare.


I chose Smith because when I researched other online MBA programs, it had the most positive attributes: the flexibility to stay home with my infant son while receiving a top-notch education, outstanding career service offerings for after graduation, a team of professors that are the tops in their field, and lastly, the incredible reputation of the University of Maryland and the Robert H. Smith School of Business." - Lauren McConnell

Quick Facts

  • UMD's business school is ranked in the Top 25 by Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report and The Economist.
  • There are more than 57,000 Robert H. Smith School of Business alumni worldwide.
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Employment Outlook for Online MBA Graduates

Average Management Salaries


Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

National data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that those who work within management occupations earn an average salary of $110,550. The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (featured on this list) released an infographic on the value of an MBA, highlighting how two-year MBA programs yield an astonishing 81% increase in compensation upon completion. These metrics illustrate the significant shift in earning power made possible by the degree. These benefits can be realized regardless if one chooses to pursue and traditional or online MBA.

Career-long ROI of an Online MBA

Source: Payscale

In more good news for business school grads, annual corporate recruitment surveys conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) indicate that employer interest in hiring MBAs is rising. In 2014, 4 in 5 corporate companies reported that they planned to hire MBAs that year. By comparison, just less than half of corporations expected to hire students with master’s degrees in accounting, finance or management. The percentage of respondents who planned to hire any of these types of candidates rose by an average of 30% between 2009-14.

Percentage of Companies Planning to Hire New Employees

Source: GMAC 2014 Corporate Recruitment Survey

Financing Your Online Degree

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, the need for financial aid is still a reality for most students. But rest assured, loans aren’t your only option. Explore our collection of financial aid resources or dig into one of the following guides to read more about financing your education.

An Overview of Financial Aid

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options savvy students can use to reduce the total costs of their education.

Understanding the FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most crucial step for any student seeking financial aid. Follow our step-by-step guide for answers to frequently asked questions.

Financial Aid for Online College Students

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place and funding opportunities for online students.

Scholarships for Women

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

Scholarships for Single Parents

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for single parents looking for a more secure financial future for their children. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships for these hard-working parents.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Millions in education benefits are available for veterans and active members of the military. Unfortunately, much of this goes unused. Find out if you’re entitled to help with college and start planning for your future.