MBA Programs in Ohio Overview

Learn about business schools with MBA programs in Ohio. Explore why students from around the world are heading to Ohio for their MBA degrees.
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Published on October 3, 2023
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Ohio is known for its great outdoors and large sports scene. It's notable for being the birthplace of more U.S. presidents than any other state. The Buckeye State also ranks in the top 10 states with the largest 2022 Q4 gross domestic product (GDP). In 2022, Ohio's GDP reached nearly $639 billion, an increase of $9.6 billion from the previous year.

It's clear that Ohio is on an upward trajectory, creating a business climate that attracts companies. Leading brands like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and IBM have planted roots in this Midwestern hub. Ohio's three key innovation cities — Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus — excel in world-class healthcare, higher education, and technology. JobsOhio is investing $100 million in each location to spur economic growth.

What does this mean for MBA students? Numerous opportunities in internships and post-graduate employment. For instance, Ohio State University reports an average summer internship salary of $7,620 for full-time MBA students. Additionally, 93% gain domestic employment within three months of graduation.

Read on to explore the best business schools in Ohio and the top job opportunities for MBA graduates.

Ohio at a Glance
Population 11,780,017
Climate Average Annual Temperature: 50.7 F
Annual Precipitation: 39.1 inches
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 155
Per Capita Income $34,526
Fortune 500 Companies 25
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 Ohio Schools for MBA Degrees

Ohio State University

Ohio State University's main campus in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest in the nation. Established in 1870, it is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university.

  • Public Institution
  • Full-Time MBA Tuition and Fees: $31,139 per year (in state); $57,091 per year (out of state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 35%
  • Number of Full-Time MBA Applicants: 949

Fisher College of Business

The full-time, two-year MBA program at the Fisher College of Business offers a small class size, with 118 students enrolled in 2022. Each student receives support from a career consultant, professional development coach, and mentor. About 90% of MBA graduates secure jobs within three months of graduation.

The required 60 credits include a highly personalized curriculum. Students select 27 elective credits in addition to the integrated coursework and experiential learning. The program incorporates hands-on, real-world projects for local and global companies.

Experiential learning includes helping a nonprofit organization. The optional global applied project involves consulting with an international organization regarding their business challenges and visiting them over spring break.

Fisher's MBA Specializations

Fisher offers a STEM MBA, which focuses on technical skill development. Additionally, because almost half of the MBA curriculum consists of electives, students can design a plan unique to their goals. The following represent sample skill development areas:

Asset Management | Brand Management | Business Analytics | Coaching | Consulting and Project Management | Corporate Finance | Entrepreneurship | Leadership | Marketing | Operations | Real Estate | Risk Management | Social Impact | Strategy and Consulting | Supply Chain and Logistics | Sustainability

Applying to Ohio State

Admission requirements include the completion of a four-year bachelor's degree and transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended. Applicants must take the GRE or GMAT, though no minimum score is required. Additional requirements include a resume, essay, and video and live interviews.

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati enrolls over 47,000 students, making it the second-largest university in Ohio. In the 2022-2023 academic year, its diverse student body came from all 50 states and 121 countries.

  • Public Institution
  • Full-Time MBA Tuition and Fees: $23,996 per year (in state); $24,296 per year (out of state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Number of MBA Applicants: 55 (full time); 212 (part time)

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

The Lindner College of Business offers full-time, part-time, and online MBA programs. The program consists of 36-48 credits. You can complete the full-time program in as little as one year or 16 months with an internship. Students gain access to optional internships and work with world leaders in the local business community on team-based consulting projects.

All full-time students must participate in a study abroad experience. The program also incorporates two-day leadership and team-building experiences and communication workshops. In the 2019-2020 academic year, 72% of graduates accepted a full-time job within three months, earning an average salary of $93,680.

Lindner's MBA Specializations

Accounting | Data Analytics | Entrepreneurship | General Business | Human Resources | International Business | Manufacturing | Operations Management | Public Administration | Supply Chain | Actuarial Science | Economics | Finance | Healthcare Administration | Information Systems | Management | Marketing | Operations Research | Science and Technology

Applying to UC

Application requirements include a current resume, essay, transcripts, and at least two references. The admitting department recommends a minimum GPA of 3.0 in relevant coursework. GMAT and GRE scores are optional. Students selected during the application review follow up with a virtual interview.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is a leading national research university located in one of the nation's top arts districts in Cleveland. The school boasts a student-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. The medium-sized campus is home to about 6,000 undergraduates and 6,180 graduate students.

  • Private Institution
  • Full-Time MBA Tuition & Fees: $74,928-$118,460 (depending on the program)
  • Acceptance Rate: 30%
  • Number of MBA applicants: 214 (full time); 62 (part time)

Weatherhead School of Management

The Weatherhead School of Management offers six MBA programs, including full and part time, STEM, and executive. Additionally, they offer an online MBA in healthcare management and an executive residency program for healthcare professionals. Program lengths range from 21 months to three years. Students must complete 60 credits to graduate.

About 85% of graduates in 2022 landed jobs within three months. Students from the full-time MBA program earned an average salary of about $95,880. Some of the top hiring companies for the class of 2022 include Amazon, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and Google.

Weatherhead's MBA Specializations

MBA: Marketing | Organizational Leadership | Healthcare Management | Design and Innovation and Entrepreneurship

STEM MBA: Finance | FinTech | Operations | Business Analytics

Applying to Case Western

Application requirements include your current resume, transcripts, and an essay. GMAT, GRE, or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores are also required. While there is no minimum test score requirement, full-time MBA students in 2022 averaged a GMAT score of 640 and a GPA of 3.2.

Why Go to College for an MBA in Ohio?

Many MBA programs at the best business schools in Ohio offer hands-on experience to students, enabling them to work with industry-leading companies. Thanks to Ohio's high-quality workforce, 0% state tax on corporate income, and affordable commercial space, you'll find many of the biggest companies in the country in the state. Some of the top Fortune 500 companies that call Ohio home include Cardinal Health, Marathon Petroleum, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, and Progressive.

Case Western University reports that 88% of MBA students seeking summer internships in 2022 secured one at companies like Moen, Cohen & Company, and Brookfield Properties.

About 338,446 students enrolled in Ohio's 14 universities in the fall of 2020. Ohio offers unique incentives, such as the Choose Ohio First Scholarship. Funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, it provides scholarships for students in STEM fields, including those pursuing graduate degrees. Other advantages include Ohio's lower cost of living and affordable housing.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in 2020, Ohio ranked fourth in the U.S. as a net importer of new college students, showing a net increase of 11,647 learners. Additionally, almost 80% of graduates work in Ohio one year after graduation, and almost 74% remain after five years.

Accreditation for Ohio Schools

The goal of accreditation is to establish acceptable levels of academic quality and ensure institutions of higher education meet these levels. Accrediting agencies perform the evaluation. In Ohio, the regional accreditation body is the Higher Learning Commission.

Whereas institutional accreditation evaluates the entire university or college, programmatic accreditation focuses on the specific program or particular school within the institution of higher learning. For instance, all the previously highlighted business schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This accreditation is considered the gold standard for business schools.

Paying for Your MBA Degree

There are many options available to help fund your MBA education. These include scholarships, part-time jobs, fellowships, grants, and federal or personal loans. For instance, the Fisher College of Business reports that, on average, 75% of their full-time MBA students receive scholarships, fellowships, or graduate assistantships.

Scholarships and fellowships offer students free money that does not require repayment. Fellowships are often merit-based, common for graduate students, and may cover tuition as well as provide a monthly stipend. You can find scholarships based on need or merit.

Graduate assistantships involve working a certain number of hours each week in exchange for a monthly stipend and sometimes reduced tuition. Explore the links below for the many options for funding your education.

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition

In many instances, out-of-state students pay more for their education. For example, the tuition for full-time MBA students at the Lindner College of Business during the 2021-2022 academic year was $11,159 per semester for Ohio residents and $15,696 per semester for nonresidents. Most private institutions, including Case Western Reserve University, do not charge additional out-of-state fees.

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact established the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Eight states, including Ohio, and 70 institutions participate in this volunteer tuition reciprocity program. These public institutions charge no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition rate for select programs. Nonresident students typically save between $500 and $7,000 yearly. Private universities may offer a 10% reduction.

Cost of Living in Ohio

The cost of living refers to the money needed to cover necessary expenses, like food, housing, healthcare, and transportation. The lower the cost of living, the easier it is to budget for your education.

According to the World Population Review, Ohio's cost of living index score is 91.3. The national baseline is 100, meaning that it is cheaper to live in Ohio than in the majority of U.S. states. Only 12 states have lower cost of living index scores.

Careers for MBA Graduates in Ohio

As an MBA student, you learn about strategic thinking, analytics, summarizing financial data, leadership skills, and creating value for an organization. As you can imagine, these abilities benefit many industries. Just a few of the many careers MBA graduates pursue include managerial roles in business development, finance and accounting, marketing, health services, and consulting.

In Ohio, the top three sectors that contributed the most to the state's GDP in 2022 were manufacturing, real estate, and finance and insurance. Generally, operation managers are prominent in manufacturing.

Additionally, some MBA programs offer specializations in real estate, leading to extensive knowledge in real estate investment, law, and economics. MBA degree-holders focused on finance and insurance may work for state or federal governments, managing benefits or insurance funds, or working on commodities contracts.

The full-time MBA career outcome data at the Fisher College of Business for 2021-2022 illustrates the numerous career possibilities. Over 28% of graduates gained employment in financial services, 19.6% in technology, and 17.4% in consulting services. The average starting salaries in these positions were $107,169, $97,862, and $139,888, respectively.

Popular MBA Careers in Ohio

General and Operations Managers

These professionals oversee an organization's daily operations, driving it toward its goals and objectives. Tasks may include managing staff, reviewing financial statements and reports, and identifying cost-reducing and profit-enhancing strategies. These positions typically require a bachelor's degree and several years of work-related experience.

Job Outlook in Ohio (2020-2030): 6.4%

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors prepare financial documents and assess financial operations. They may work as public accountants for the government, corporations, or nonprofits. Auditors review an organization's financial statements, identifying possible fraud and financial risks.

These professionals typically need, at minimum, a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Some positions also require certified public accountant certification.

If you're looking to relocate to a more rural or urban area, North Northeastern and West Northwestern Ohio boast the highest employment of accountants and auditors in nonmetropolitan areas in the U.S.

Job Outlook in Ohio (2020-2030): 4.8%

Management Analysts

Management analysts advise managers on ways to increase revenue and reduce costs. They may specialize in specific industries, like healthcare, or work within government agencies. Many work as consultants, helping organizations remain competitive.

These consultants typically bid for jobs by submitting proposals. While a bachelor's degree may get you in the door, some employers require candidates with MBA degrees.

Job Outlook in Ohio (2020-2030): 9.6%

MBA Salaries by Career
Career Ohio Employment Ohio Average Annual Salary (2022) National Average Annual Salary (2022)
Accountants and Auditors 49,650 $77,760 $86,740
Administrative Services Managers 8,090 $94,590 $115,640
Advertising and Promotions Managers 220 $113,170 $147,050
Budget Analysts 740 $82,770 $87,680
Chief Executives 4,450 $237,100 $246,440
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 2,410 $71,190 $75,920
Financial Analysts 8,420 $89,560 $108,790
Financial Managers 26,010 $145,720 $166,050
Fundraising Managers 860 $103,350 $124,450
General and Operations Managers 128,650 $111,070 $122,860
Management Analysts 25,250 $94,970 $104,660
Marketing Managers 7,050 $141,400 $158,280
Project Management Specialists 29,510 $90,250 $101,610
Public Relations Managers 940 $136,870 $150,030
Purchasing Managers 2,140 $130,110 $140,650
Sales Managers 15,340 $145,620 $150,530
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 12,410 $79,770 $100,740
Training and Development Managers 700 $114,470 $132,100
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Questions About Best Business Schools in Ohio

Is Ohio State good for business?

Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business offers top-ranked MBA programs as well as BS and Ph.D. degrees in business administration. MBA options include full-time, part-time, online, and executive programs. The school reports MBA graduates earned an average starting salary of $103,815 plus a $22,647 sign-on bonus.

Is it expensive to get an MBA in Ohio?

The cost of earning your MBA degree in Ohio varies significantly between schools. For instance, Ohio University's accelerated MBA program costs less than $23,000 for in-state students and less than $35,000 for nonresidents. In comparison, the total tuition for Case Western Reserve University's full-time MBA program comes to $96,720.

What is the hardest MBA program to get into in Ohio?

Case Western Reserve University is one of the hardest schools to get into in Ohio. In 2021, 36 students enrolled in Weatherhead School of Management's full-time MBA program.

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

A student must meet the State Legislature and the Ohio Board of Regents classification to qualify for Ohio residency. These guidelines include living in the state for 12 consecutive months and being qualified to vote in Ohio.

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