MBA Programs in Georgia Overview

Interested in a lucrative business career? An MBA in Georgia can help you get started. Explore the best business schools in Georgia and discover why it's a great place to complete an MBA.
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Updated on November 17, 2023
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With a rich history and beautiful natural landscapes, Georgia has much to offer its residents. But more than that, the state boasts a flourishing and diverse economy.

According to the Governor's Office of Georgia, the state saw extensive growth during the first half of the 2023 fiscal year and expects it to continue. The top four industries — which produced almost 75% of the new job openings during that time — include aerospace, food processing, advanced manufacturing, and automotive.

Each of those industries needs rising businesspeople who bring expertise in management, finance, human resources, and international business. And an MBA in Georgia can prepare them for those positions and many others.

Keep reading to explore the best MBA programs in Georgia and potential career opportunities.

Georgia at a Glance
Population 10,799,566 (as of July 2021)
Climate Average Annual Temperature: 63.5 F | Annual Precipitation: 50.7 inches
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 108
Per Capita Income $34,516
Fortune 500 Companies 18
Sources: U.S. Census, Current Results, NCES, Statista

Featured Online MBA Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

3 Best Business Schools in Georgia

Emory University

Founded by Methodists in 1836, Emory University offers diverse academic programs, from theology to business and health. This private school serves over 15,800 students, about half of whom are graduate students.

Tuition:

  • One-year MBA: $107,400
  • Two-year MBA: $143,800
  • Evening MBA: $83,484
  • Executive MBA: $116,600

Goizueta Business School

Emory's Goizueta Business School offers several MBA programs and learning formats. Students can choose a one-year, two-year, evening, or executive MBA program. The first two options include an intensive curriculum and occur only on campus, while the latter two have on-campus, online, and hybrid class formats.

The courses also vary by program. For example, the executive MBA track offers no concentration options — just a choice of electives. The other three programs include over 20 concentration tracks.

All MBA programs emphasize leadership, experience, and networking, even if the exact opportunities vary slightly. Learners can take a global study trip, complete an internship, connect with respected business leaders, and solve real-world business issues with partnering organizations.

Emory's MBA Specializations

Accounting | Alternative Investments | Analytics | Business Analysis | Capital Markets | Consulting and Strategy | Corporate Finance | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Entrepreneurship | Finance | Global Management | Healthcare Consulting | Investment Banking | Leadership | Marketing | Marketing Analysis | Media and Entertainment | Operations | Organziational Management | Product & Brand Management | Real Estate | Social Enterprise | Technology Management

Applying to Emory

Applicants complete an online application, pay a $175 fee, and complete an interview. Only full-time programs (one- and two-year tracks) require GMAT or GRE test scores. Applicants to all programs must present a resume, transcripts, essays, and two recommendation letters.

Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Insitute of Technology was founded in 1885 and now serves over 45,000 students. This public research university sits on a campus located in Atlanta's tech square, close to dozens of startups and corporate headquarters.

Tuition:

  • Full-time MBA: $29,508 per year (in state); $40,752 per year (out of state)
  • Evening MBA: $1,132 per credit (in state); $1,548 per credit (out of state)
  • Executive MBA: $20,625 per semester

Scheller College of Business

Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business offers three core MBA program types: full-time, part-time, or executive. All programs require on-campus residency, although the part-time evening program offers a hybrid option.

No matter the program type, Georgia Tech's MBA students see significant success. Full-time MBA graduates report an average starting salary of over $136,800, and 69% of executive MBA graduates who were already employed received a promotion.

The part- and full-time MBA programs cover the same core curriculum, with courses like managerial economics and business communications. They both also include an international practicum, although only the full-time program requires it.

The executive MBA program has a similar global focus, with courses covering cross-cultural communications and global economics. It also includes a mandatory two-week international residency.

Georgia Tech's MBA Specializations

Accounting | Business Analytics | Entrepreneurship | Finance | International Business | Leadership | Management | Management of Information Resources | Marketing | Supply Chain and Operations Management | Product and Service Innovation | Strategy and Innovation | Sustainability | TI:GER and CDL-Atlanta | Law and Ethics | Real Estate | Management of Technology | Global Business

Applying to Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech requests a resume and suggests students have at least two years of work experience (five for the executive MBA). Applicants must also submit undergraduate transcripts, essays, recommendation letters, and a $95 application fee before preparing for an interview. Georgia Tech does not require test scores.

The University of Georgia

Since its 1785 founding, the University of Georgia has grown to serve over 40,100 students (about 8,300 graduate learners). This public institution operates on nine international campuses and offers online courses.

Tuition:

  • Full-time MBA: $13,578 per year (in state); $32,606 per year (out of state)
  • Professional MBA: $53,700 (in state); $69,300 (out of state)
  • Online MBA: $53,700
  • Executive MBA: $74,750

Terry College of Business

MBA students at UGA's Terry College of Business receive a team-centered, experiential education. Each class — whether on-campus or online — operates on a group or cohort model, and enrollees can participate in an international residency program.

Depending on the program, enrollees can complete an MBA online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. For example, the traditional, full-time MBA program occurs completely on campus. The executive and professional MBA tracks divide instruction between the classroom and distance learning, while the online program offers 100% distance education.

Each program has a slightly different timeline, but they all take less than two years to complete. Students in all programs can also access an extensive network and career support proven to help them land jobs. The 2022 MBA class reported a 98% employment rate within three months of graduation.

UGA's MBA Specializations

Business Analytics | Entrepreneurship | Finance | Healthcare Management | Human Resources | Marketing | Operations Management | Real Estate | Risk Management | Fintech | Social Innovation | Strategy | Finance and Accounting | Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Leadership and Human Resources Management | Operations and Supply Chain Management

Applying to UGA

Students complete an online application, present a resume showing at least two years of work experience (seven years for an executive MBA), and pay $100. UGA also requires undergraduate transcripts and two recommendation letters. Depending on the program, students may need to submit essays and test scores.

Why Go to College for an MBA in Georgia?

Georgia offers many opportunities for aspiring business professionals. Not only do several schools offer affordable MBA programs, but students can choose between online, on-campus, and hybrid learning formats. They can also personalize their studies with diverse concentration options and electives.

MBA programs in Georgia often prioritize real-world business experience with local or international learning opportunities. The local networking and internship opportunities, in particular, might draw many MBA applicants to the state.

Georgia ranks as one of the top 10 states with the most Fortune 500 companies, with organizations like Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, and Coca-Cola all headquartered there. Plus, Atlanta ranks as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country, with nearly 600 startups in 2023.

MBA graduates can take advantage of this growing economy and land lucrative positions. Many Georgia MBA programs report a near-100% job placement rate within three months of graduation, with base salaries well over $100,000.

Accreditation for Georgia Schools

When choosing a Georgia school, students should consider accreditation — both institutional and programmatic. This distinction proves that the curriculum has met third-party accrediting standards and provides quality education. Students can also only receive federal financial aid if they attend an accredited institution.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits schools in many Southern states — including Georgia. Before applying to a Georgia school, applicants should ensure the institution holds SACSCOC accreditation.

They can also check for programmatic accreditation. For MBA programs and business schools, the common accrediting bodies include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Paying for Your MBA Degree

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the national average graduate tuition rate ranges from about $12,400-$28,450, depending on the school type. However, graduate business degrees — particularly MBAs — can cost much more.

While affordable Georgia MBA programs exist, others can cost over $100,000 for the entire one- or two-year program. The total cost depends on several factors, such as school prestige, learning format, and student residency.

No matter the tuition, learners have several ways to finance their degree. Many opt for federal student loans, which include a repayment plan and added interest rates.

Graduate students can also apply for merit- and need-based aid, like grants, fellowships, and scholarships through their school. For example, Emory University offers several MBA scholarships, and the Georgia Insitute of Technology funds graduate fellowships.

Learners can also apply for outside grants and scholarships through organizations, companies, and governmental groups. Other options include work-study fellowships and employer support.

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition

Some schools base tuition rates on state residency. Georgia residents often pay much lower tuition rates to attend Gerogia-based schools than out-of-state learners.

For example, the Georgia Insitute of Technology charges $1,230 per credit for MBA students from Georgia. The rate increases to nearly $1,700 per credit for out-of-state MBA students. That translates to about a $6,000 difference in tuition each semester.

However, the Southern Regional Education Board has established an Academic Common Market to help some out-of-state students with tuition. Learners from 14 Southern states can enroll in certain programs at participating Georgian institutions and pay the lower in-state tuition rate.

Cost of Living in Georgia

Students often focus on tuition, but that is only one component of the overall cost of an MBA. Learners must also consider the state's cost of living, which includes grocery, utility, transportation, and housing expenses.

The World Population Review uses an index to rank each state's cost of living, with a national baseline of 100. Mississippi has the lowest cost of living (85), while Hawaii has the highest (179).

As of June 2023, Georgia ranked as the 12th most affordable state in the U.S. with a score of 91. The state's housing and utility costs, in particular, are lower than average. Healthcare ranks as the most expensive cost in Georgia, but it is still lower than the national baseline.

Careers for MBA Graduates in Georgia

MBA graduates in the state can pursue diverse managerial careers thanks to the leadership and business curriculum focus at many Georgia MBA programs. They can work in almost any industry, managing different departments like human resources, finance, business development, or marketing.

Georgia, in particular, offers diverse career opportunities. Nineteen of the Fortune 500 companies and 35 of the Fortune 100 companies call Georgia home — and most have headquarters in Atlanta. These organizations cover all industries, like insurance (Aflac), packaging (WestRock), agriculture (AGCO), clothing (Carter's), and shipping (UPS).

Such large, successful businesses need MBA graduates to help fill managerial and executive positions. However, another budding sector in the state attracts just as many business professionals: the tech industry.

CompTIA's 2023 State of the Tech Workforce ranks Georgia as one of the top 10 states with the highest net tech employment and the most diversity. Many Georgia schools realize this, hence the technology-focused MBA concentrations like technology management and fintech.

No matter the industry, Georgia businesses need MBA graduates. Three common career options — highlighted below — are essential in any sector.

Popular MBA Careers in Georgia

General and Operations Managers

General and operations managers work in many industries and businesses, overseeing administrative tasks, material distribution, and contract negotiation. Daily tasks differ across industries and businesses, but each managerial position requires leadership and communication skills. Companies may hire general managers with just a bachelor's degree, but many expect or prefer candidates who hold MBAs.

Job Outlook in Georgia (2020-2030): 17.1%

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors generally work in accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and payroll services across all industries. Other primary employers include government entities and finance and insurance organizations. While accountants can land jobs with just a bachelor's degree, certified public accountants (CPAs) often complete a bachelor's and master's degree to meet the minimum credit requirements.

Job Outlook in Georgia (2020-2030): 16%

Management Analysts

Also sometimes called management consultants, management analysts often work on a contractual basis to help organizations become more profitable. They analyze financial data, review daily procedures, and meet with managers to understand a company's inner workings before suggesting improvements. Some management analysts can land entry-level positions with a bachelor's degree, although employers often prefer an MBA.

Job Outlook in Georgia (2020-2030): 18.9%

MBA Salaries by Career
Career Georgia Employment Georgia Average Annual Salary (2022) National Average Annual Salary (2022)
Accountants and Auditors 44,700 $86,220 $86,740
Administrative Services Managers 9,190 $111,240 $115,640
Advertising and Promotions Managers 480 $144,510 $147,050
Budget Analysts 1,830 $86,580 $87,680
Chief Executives 11,480 $222,320 $246,440
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 2,580 $69,970 $75,920
Financial Analysts 8,940 $93,440 $108,790
Financial Managers 19,630 $164,320 $166,050
Fundraising Managers 550 $113,770 $124,450
General and Operations Managers 104,200 $115,620 $122,860
Management Analysts 29,240 $108,840 $104,660
Marketing Managers 9,120 $150,010 $158,280
Project Management Specialists 22,320 $104,990 $101,610
Public Relations Managers 1,220 $147,250 $150,030
Purchasing Managers 2,380 $130,460 $140,650
Sales Managers 15,500 $159,440 $150,530
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 13,740 $91,460 $100,740
Training and Development Managers 1,770 $131,950 $132,100

Questions About MBA Degrees in Georgia

How do I qualify for in-state tuition in Georgia?

Learners — or, in the case of dependent students, their parents/legal guardians — need to prove Georgia residency for at least 12 consecutive months to receive in-state tuition. Schools may look at tax returns, Georgia driver's licenses, employment records, voter registration, or other approved documents.

How many colleges are in Georgia?

According to NCES, Georgia is home to 108 institutions of higher education. Most are four-year institutions, with 50 public, 32 nonprofit, and nine for-profit schools. Fifteen of these schools focus more on master's degrees, offering over 50 master's degree programs.

What HBCUs are in Georgia?

Georgia ranks as the third state (tied with Texas) with the most HBCUs. The 10 schools include Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College, Paine College, Savannah State University, and Spelman College.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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