MBA Programs in Virginia Overview

Explore Virginia's top MBA programs in this comprehensive overview. Discover industry insights and opportunities for career advancement to shape your future.
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Published on September 18, 2023
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Virginia is a vibrant state with a rich history, diverse culture, and a thriving business environment. Known as "Old Dominion," Virginia fosters a culture of leadership and innovation, making it an ideal place to pursue a master of business administration (MBA) degree.

An MBA can be a game-changer for your career, opening doors to leadership roles and enhancing your business acumen. In Virginia, with its bustling cities like Richmond, Norfolk, and Arlington, an MBA can provide you with a competitive edge in various industries, including finance, technology, and healthcare.

Popular MBA roles in the state include financial manager and healthcare administrator, reflecting the diverse economic landscape of Virginia. According to June 2023 Virginia Employment Commission data, Virginia saw a decrease in unemployment to 2.7% and a rise in labor force participation to 66.6%.

Whether you're looking to climb the corporate ladder or start your own venture, Virginia's MBA programs offer the tools and network to help you succeed. Stay tuned as we explore what these programs offer and how they can shape your career trajectory.

Virginia at a Glance
Population 8,642,274
Climate Average Annual Temperature: 55.1 F
Annual Precipitation: 44.3 inches
Number of Higher Learning Institutions 108
Per Capita Income $43,267
Fortune 500 Companies 22
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 Virginia

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University (ODU) is a public institution located in Norfolk, Virginia. According to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), the average tuition for in-state graduate students during the 2022-2023 academic year was $10,519. For out-of-state students, it was $29,851.

Strome College of Business

The Strome College of Business at ODU offers a flexible, rigorous, and customizable MBA program. You can complete the program online, on campus, or as a blend of both in as little as 21 months.

The faculty members have doctoral degrees along with industry experience. They teach the contemporary curriculum with a global perspective. The program is AACSB accredited and highly ranked.

Students can choose from more than 50 graduate certificate specializations and over 80 graduate degree options. The 43-credit-hour modular program provides unique opportunities and helps students accelerate their careers in an ever-changing and increasingly global business environment.

The program also offers various scholarships and graduate assistantships, providing financial support for students.

ODU's MBA Specializations

Business Analytics | Economic Analytics | Healthcare | Maritime and Ports Management | Project Management | Public Procurement and Contract Management | Supply Chain Management

Applying to ODU

To apply for the MBA program at ODU, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The application process includes submitting GMAT or GRE scores (with waivers available for eligible applicants), a sufficient GPA, a letter of reference, a goals statement of approximately 500 words, and a resume. ODU accepts applications for the summer, fall, or spring semesters.

The University of Virginia

The University of Virginia (UVA) is a public institution in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to NCES, the average tuition during the 2022-2023 academic year was $18,382 for in-state graduate students. For out-of-state students, it was $30,790.

Darden School of Business

The MBA program at Darden School of Business is known for its rigorous, case-based curriculum. The school offers full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs.

The two-year program includes a first year that immerses students in a core curriculum and a second year that allows students to personalize their career paths. The program also boasts the highest average starting salary and bonus among U.S. MBA programs. The delivery format is on campus for the full-time program and a mix of in person and virtual for the part-time and executive MBA programs.

UVA's MBA Specializations

Data Analytics and Technology | Entrepreneurship | ESG and Social Impact | Finance | Leadership | Marketing | Strategy

Applying to UVA

To apply to the MBA program at UVA's Darden School of Business, applicants must select their application deadline, review the application, acquire their transcript, take a standardized test or submit a test waiver, update their resume, identify their recommenders, respond to essay questions, complete the application, and pay a non-refundable application fee of $250. (Fee waivers are available in select circumstances.)

William & Mary

William & Mary (W&M) is a public research university in Williamsburg, Virginia. According to NCES, the average graduate tuition for in-state students during the 2022-2023 academic year was $10,516. For out-of-state students, it was $28,305.

Raymond A. Mason School of Business

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at W&M offers four distinct MBA formats to accommodate various schedules and career goals. The traditional two-year full-time MBA program is residential and based in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The part-time MBA program offers evening classes in Newport News, Virginia. Additionally, the 18-month executive MBA program has alternating weekend classes in Williamsburg, Virginia. The two-year online MBA program is for working professionals who might benefit from extra flexibility.

All programs provide access to top-rated faculty, a network of senior business leaders, and personalized career development support. The specific number of required credits varies by program.

W&M's MBA Specializations

Business Analytics | Consulting | Finance | Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Marketing | Supply Chain Management

Applying to W&M

To apply for the MBA program at W&M's Raymond A. Mason School of Business, applicants must have at least two years of professional working experience and a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited college or university.

The school does not require GMAT or GRE scores for admission to the online MBA program. However, applicants may submit scores if they believe it will benefit their application.

Why Go to College for an MBA in Virginia?

Pursuing an MBA in Virginia can lead to many opportunities. The state's rich history of leadership — Virginia is known as the "mother of presidents" — sets a strong precedent for those seeking to make their mark in the business world.

The state also offers various scholarship opportunities for MBA students, which can offset tuition costs and make higher education more accessible.

One of the key advantages of earning an MBA in Virginia is the potential for networking and job opportunities within the state. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), professionals with the highest employment in Virginia include general and operations managers, management analysts, and accountants and auditors.

Accreditation for Virginia Schools

Attending an accredited school is crucial as it ensures that the institution meets specific quality standards and that employers and other educational institutions will recognize your degree.

Institutional accreditation applies to an entire school, signifying that all of an institution's operations and programs meet certain standards. Programmatic accreditation applies to specific programs, departments, or schools within an institution.

When choosing a school in Virginia, look for accreditation from reputable agencies. The state's regional accreditation body is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Paying for Your MBA Degree

Financing an MBA degree in Virginia is possible through various means. According to NCES, the average graduate school tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year ranged from $12,394 at public institutions to $28,445 at private nonprofit institutions.

Financial aid is often available to students through grants, scholarships, and loans. Grants and scholarships are ideal because you don't need to repay them. Fellowships, often based on academic merit, provide funds and sometimes work experience.

Although loans require repayment, they can bridge the gap when other forms of aid are insufficient. Virginia also offers unique financing options, such as state-sponsored scholarships and grants. For more detailed information, please refer to the links below.

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition

Tuition rates can vary depending on factors such as whether the institution is public or private and whether the student is in state or out of state. Some schools may offer tuition breaks for out-of-state students, often through scholarships, grants, and tuition reciprocity agreements between states.

Virginia is part of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which promotes cooperation and improvement in education. Through the SREB's Academic Common Market, students in member states can pursue out-of-state college degrees at in-state tuition rates if their chosen program of study is unavailable at their in-state institutions. This can substantially reduce the cost of education for many students.

Cost of Living in Virginia

When considering pursuing an MBA in Virginia, it's essential to factor in the cost of living as it significantly influences your education budget. According to June 2023 World Population Review data, Virginia has a cost of living index score of 103.1. This score measures how expensive it is to live in Virginia compared to other states. A score above 100 indicates that the cost of living is higher than the U.S. baseline.

Careers for MBA Graduates in Virginia

An MBA degree equips individuals with broad business and leadership skills, making them valuable assets in the corporate world.

Industries in Virginia that need workers with MBA degrees include technology, defense, and government contracting, reflecting the state's proximity to the nation's capital. Major cities like Richmond, Arlington, and Norfolk are thriving business hubs and offer various career opportunities.

The following sections explore the specifics of pursuing an MBA in Virginia, including detailed information about popular career prospects and MBA salaries by career. Whether you're a prospective student or a current MBA student looking to navigate your career path, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights into the opportunities that Virginia has to offer.

Popular MBA Careers in Virginia

General and Operations Managers

These professionals oversee the day-to-day operations of businesses and organizations. They are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating operational activities. A bachelor's degree is typically necessary, but an MBA can provide a competitive edge. In Virginia, these roles are important for maintaining the smooth operation of the state's various businesses.

Job Outlook in Virginia (2020-2030): 11%

Management Analysts

Also known as management consultants, these professionals propose ways to improve an organization's efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, but many employers prefer a master's degree, such as an MBA.

Job Outlook in Virginia (2020-2030): 15%

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records, ensuring that they are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. In Virginia, these roles are essential for maintaining financial integrity and transparency, which is key to the state's economic stability.

Job Outlook in Virginia (2020-2030): 10%

MBA Salaries by Career
Career Virginia Employment Virginia Average Annual Salary National Average Annual Salary
Accountants and Auditors 49,030 $89,180 $86,740
Administrative Services Managers 2,440 $126,180 $115,640
Advertising and Promotions Managers 230 $113,200 $147,050
Budget Analysts 2,660 $99,430 $87,680
Chief Executives N/A $292,600 $246,440
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 2,670 $81,080 $75,920
Financial Analysts 9,430 $106,380 $108,790
Financial Managers 17,080 $176,830 $166,050
Fundraising Managers 450 $126,920 $124,450
General and Operations Managers 89,710 $133,620 $122,860
Management Analysts 65,200 $113,020 $104,660
Marketing Managers 5,580 $170,960 $158,280
Project Management Specialists 30,420 $110,960 $101,610
Public Relations Managers 2,270 $167,580 $150,030
Purchasing Managers 3,440 $151,340 $140,650
Sales Managers 7,250 $179,420 $150,530
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 10,300 $87,600 $100,740
Training and Development Managers 1,030 $135,060 $132,100

Common Questions About MBA Degrees in Virginia

How many colleges are in Virginia?

According to NCES, there were approximately 108 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in Virginia during the 2020-2021 academic year.

What is the number one college in Virginia?

According to BestColleges, the University of Virginia, Main Campus, is the number one college in Virginia. It offers over 300 online courses and 18 degree programs.

What HBCUs are in Virginia?

There are five HBCUs in Virginia, including Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Virginia University of Lynchburg. 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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