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Online master's in management programs focus on developing strong strategic and leadership skills. Many programs cater to students with an interest in pursuing a career in management, but who don't currently possess extensive professional experience. Pursuing a master's in management can help students gain the skills they need to launch a new career or advance in their field.

This guide breaks down the best online master's in management programs. It explores common program components, courses, and admission requirements. It also describes several career paths you can consider after earning a master's degree. For more information, consult our Master's in Management Program Guide.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Management Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
3 Babson College Wellesley, MA
4 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
5 Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
6 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
7 Minot State University Minot, ND
8 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
9 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX
10 University of La Verne La Verne, CA
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Management Programs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 88%

UF has operated from its Gainesville campus since 1906 and is currently a world leader in online education. Undergraduates can earn a master of science in management from anywhere without needing to visit campus. This degree is open to nonbusiness majors, and coursework can be complete in only one year.

Earning this master of science in management helps students develop and strengthen managerial skills, opening the door to career advancement and higher earning potential. Core courses include financial and managerial account, international business law, and global strategic management.

UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $531 per credit (in state); $1,255 per credit (out of state)
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Program Length: 1 year
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required on upper-division credits
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

2

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

Founded in 1867, U of I is a public research university. Among its many academic offerings is an online master of science in a management degree program. This program is well-suited for students with some relevant work experience who are interested in expanding their business management skills.

Participants complete a 24-credit business core, covering topics like managerial accounting, leadership and teams, and process management. Students round out their program by taking 12 credits of electives, which they can use to specialize in business value and project management, global business challenges, or business data management and communication.

Many factors are considered during the admissions process, including an applicant's resume, work experience, personal statement, and other credentials. Although a bachelor's degree is required, it can be in any discipline.

U of I is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $302 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 12-24 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum recommended
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT optional

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3

Babson College

Wellesley, MA Graduation Rate: 91%

Babson College — based in Wellesley, Massachusetts — is an independent, nonprofit institution specializing in business. It offers students the chance to earn a master of science in management in entrepreneurial leadership online.

Participants take courses like entrepreneurial economics, resource planning and control, and marketing management. They also engage in various types of experiential learning, such as consulting projects. The average accepted student has about a year of related professional experience, although the program welcomes individuals fresh out of college. For the 2021 school year, Babson does not require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT test scores.

Babson is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,820 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 9 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GMAT/GRE waived through 2021

Contact the School

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4

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

Established in 1831, UA is one of the oldest colleges in the state's public school system. The university oversees many popular online programs, including a master of arts in management with a concentration in global business.

Students take core management classes like leadership and ethics, global business, and strategic human resources management. They also complete three concentration classes, two electives, and a capstone project.

UA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Additionally, the Culverhouse College of Business holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Art in Management, Concentration in Global Business
School Status: Public
Tuition: $420 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT required

Contact the School

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5

Purdue University-Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81%

Founded in 1869, Purdue is a public land-grant school in West Lafayette, Indiana. It offers over 175 online degree programs, including a master of science in management and leadership. Participants complete classes covering topics like business communications, management theories and practices, and leadership theory and practice. Students can also choose from one of six concentrations, such as project management or information technology.

To enroll, students must have a bachelor's degree in the business field from an accredited university. Graduates can pursue diverse career paths within fields like healthcare management, human resources, or project management.

Purdue is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its management and leadership program holds specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management and Leadership
School Status: Public
Tuition: $485 per credit
Credit Requirements: 56 quarter credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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6

Webster University

Saint Louis, MO Graduation Rate: 59%

Webster was established outside of St. Louis, Missouri, in 1915. Today, the university offers a master of arts in management and leadership that students can complete online. Participants choose one of six concentration options, including cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, or health administration.

To earn their degree, students must complete 39 credits of coursework. With a focus on theory, best practices, and execution, the curriculum provides the tools needed to succeed as a well-rounded manager.

Webster is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business school holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name:

Master of Arts in Management and Leadership

School Status: Private
Tuition: $780 per credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not specified

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

7

Minot State University

Minot, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Founded in 1913, North Dakota's MSU offers several liberal arts and professional programs that provide students with a well-rounded education. Among these offerings is an online master of science in management degree.

Students delve into topics like financial management, management information systems, and strategic marketing. They also conduct an individual or group research project as a capstone experience. All online learners pay in-state tuition rates. Graduates can pursue jobs like clinic manager, management consultant, and social media manager.

MSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The College of Business at Minot State also holds accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $364 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 9-18 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

8

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ Graduation Rate: 87%

Stevens, founded in 1870 in Hoboken, New Jersey, is a research university that offers 20 master's degrees online, including a 30-credit master of science in management. Students can enroll on a full-time or part-time basis, and online classes feature a live, interactive environment.

Core courses cover topics like financial decision-making, organizational behavior and design, and technology innovation and management. Participants tailor their education by choosing two elective classes. They also have the opportunity to engage in a consulting experience, working with one of the institute's business partners.

Stevens is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,686 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 12 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT required for full-time students

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9

The University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

The University of Texas at Dallas — based in Richardson — offers online programs for students seeking flexibility. Among these options is an online master of science in management science. Learners prepare to serve as leaders in various dynamic business environments.

Coursework covers topics like operations management and international management. Students can also take advantage of internship opportunities. Graduates can pursue positions like budget analysts, healthcare services managers, and operations managers.

UT Dallas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its business programs hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

Program Snapshot

Program Name:

Master of Science in Management Science

School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,866 per credit (in state); $2,765 per credit (out of state)
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT required

Contact the School

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10

University of La Verne

La Verne, CA Graduation Rate: 69%

La Verne's main campus in Southern California is 35 miles outside of Los Angeles. This private university consists of four colleges, including the College of Business and Public Management, which offers an online master of science in leadership management. The program provides ample flexibility and can accommodate students with busy schedules.

Participants complete 33 or 36 credits, depending on their academic background. The curriculum touches on essential leadership skills, teaching learners the strategies needed to manage diverse teams. Learners choose one of four concentrations: aging studies, organizational development, nonprofit management, or human resource management.

La Verne is regionally accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Leadership and Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $910 per credit
Credit Requirements: 33-36 credits
Program Length: 1-3 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required over an applicant's last 60 credits of undergraduate work
Standardized Tests: Not required

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11

Maryville University of Saint Louis

Saint Louis, MO Graduation Rate: 72%

Maryville is located in the suburb of Town and Country, approximately 20 miles from downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Thanks to its well-rounded curriculum and distance learning options, students can pursue the school's online master of arts in management and leadership to accelerate their careers, reach new goals, and further challenge themselves.

Students develop a strong foundation in business leadership and management. Additionally, this master's program features eight concentration options, including advanced cybersecurity, health administration, and human resource management.

Maryville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Arts in Management and Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $714 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36-39 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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12

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL Graduation Rate: 60%

FIT oversees many programs that emphasize science, technology, research, and business leadership. The school also supports a thriving community of students pursuing their graduate studies online. One such degree option is the school's master's in management.

The program provides a comprehensive learning experience, readying graduates for careers in a variety of industries. Participants cover essential leadership strategies needed to lead teams by taking classes like human resources management, organizational planning and development, and management theory and thought. Students also take two elective courses to tailor their education.

FIT is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $896 per credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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13

Abilene Christian University

Abilene, TX Graduation Rate: 67%

Founded in 1906, ACU educates students on its main campus near the Dallas-Fort Worth area and online. Distance learners at the school can pursue an online master of science in management.

This 20-month program focuses on business management, theory, practice, and execution. Specific courses include business law and ethics, strategic marketing, and data management. Faculty deliver coursework from a Christ-centered perspective. Graduates can pursue positions like project manager, international consultant, and data analytics manager.

ACU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its business programs hold specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $732 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 20 months
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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14

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

SEMO was founded along the Mississippi River in Missouri in 1873. The university offers a variety of liberal arts programs for undergraduates as well as more than 70 graduate programs, including several that can be completed entirely online. These options include an online master of science in management.

Participants take classes like quantitative and qualitative research methods. The program's flexible schedule may appeal to students who need to work around career and family responsibilities. Students do not need an undergraduate business degree to apply, although they should have at least three years of professional experience.

SEMO is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $298 per credit (in-state); $558 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required over an applicant's last 60 credits of undergraduate work
Standardized Tests: GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT required

Contact the School

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15

Bryan College-Dayton

Dayton, TN Graduation Rate: 50%

Bryan College is a liberal arts institution that offers over 50 different programs, including a fully online master of arts in management and leadership. Located in Dayton, Tennessee, this Christian college blends faith into its academic offerings.

The MA in management and leadership at Bryan College features a 24-credit core that includes classes like biblical worldview principles of management, managing organizational change, and ethical issues in business. Students also choose two guided elective courses. Graduates can pursue work in a variety of roles, including sales manager and nonprofit manager.

Bryan College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Arts in Management and Leadership
School Status: Private
Tuition: $475 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not specified

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What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Management Program?

Earning an online master's in management helps students develop essential skills and learn how to make business decisions that drive profitability.

Succeeding in management requires a strong grasp of leadership, strategy, and project management. These skills help managers enhance organizational and departmental efficiency and effectiveness. Earning an online master's in management helps students develop these essential skills and learn how to make business decisions that drive profitability.

The credit requirements for master's in management programs vary by school, but it typically takes full-time students about two years to complete their degree. Many online programs use an asynchronous format, which provides increased flexibility by allowing students to complete coursework and watch lectures at any time of day. Some programs feature a synchronous online format, which requires mandatory virtual sessions and class meetings at set times. Additionally, hybrid options combine online instruction and in-person meetings.

Programs may offer concentration options in areas such as healthcare, project management, human resources, finance, and construction management. Choosing a concentration allows students to align their degree with their interests and career goals. Learners also receive industry-specific training.

Some online master's in management programs include a capstone or thesis requirement. These usually require students to complete a business project, either individually or as part of a team. Projects generally require students to use course concepts to solve complex business and management issues. Some programs use simulations in the capstone, while others allow learners to work with real-world clients.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Management Programs

Every online master's in management program possesses its own admission requirements. However, it is common for schools to require students to hold a bachelor's degree and complete prerequisite coursework in core subjects. Many schools also require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT test scores, letters of recommendation, and a resume.

Because requirements vary, prospective students should reach out to a school's admissions department directly to obtain exact information. For more general information, consult our Graduate Admissions Guide.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Management Program?

The curriculum for a master's in management offers a comprehensive overview of several key subjects, including finance, economics, marketing, human resources, and management. Students pursuing a concentration complete additional coursework focusing on their subject area. While each program's curriculum differs, the following list details five common courses.

Management of Resources

Students learn about the process of aligning resources with an organization's goals. Coursework covers essential topics such as budgeting, resource allocation, and incentives and benefits. Students develop an understanding of how decisions impact an organization's finances and personnel. The course may also include an overview of cost-benefit analysis.

Leading Change

This course focuses on concepts that drive organizational change. Covered topics may include leadership theories, organizational theories, levels of organizational change, and transformational leadership. Some classes challenge students to create a plan to lead organizational change for a fictitious company. This gives students the opportunity to see how theories can work in practical situations.

Management Communication

Management communication courses typically teach students how to analyze audiences effectively and develop messaging that targets those audiences. Coursework teaches students to speak, write, and work with individuals and communicate across cultures. Some classes may include an additional overview of sales or marketing techniques to teach students how to shape effective communication strategies.

Management Research Methodologies

This course provides students with the skills and tools they need to gather and analyze data. The class typically focuses on the traditional qualitative and quantitative research practices managers use to make strategic business decisions. Some courses may emphasize research tools, such as focus groups or surveys, and the role they play in an organization's strategy.

Foundations of Management

Students explore management basics, such as topics related to marketing and finance, decision-making, and organizational behavior. The curriculum also provides an overview of effective management techniques across different industries and settings. The overall aim of the course is to build the skills, knowledge, and abilities students need to manage teams effectively.

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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Management Degree?

Businesses and organizations across industries need effective leaders to manage teams, make strategic decisions, and create profitable business plans. Earning a master's in management teaches you the skills you need to qualify for a variety of rewarding career opportunities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment in management positions to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029. This is faster than the average for all occupations and translates to the creation of about 505,000 new jobs over the next decade. According to BLS data, management professionals earn a median annual wage of $105,000, which is the highest among all major occupational groups.

Explore what a management job can do for you. Read our guide on business management careers for more information.

Healthcare Manager

Healthcare managers plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare organizations. These professionals work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing and residential facilities, and government agencies. Job titles in this field include healthcare administrator, clinic director, and public health manager.

Marketing Manager

Management positions in marketing focus on driving consumer interest in products and/or services. Primary tasks include developing marketing and sales campaigns, negotiating advertising contracts, initiating market research studies, and managing a marketing team. Professionals in this field typically hold titles such as advertising, marketing, or promotions manager.

Manufacturing or Transportation Manager

Logistics professionals determine how to deliver products or services to consumers. As such, they coordinate sourcing, manufacturing, and transportation. Examples of common job titles include industrial production manager and transportation, storage, and distribution manager. Common tasks include implementing production standards, reviewing supply chains, and managing personnel.

Finance Manager

Professionals in finance evaluate the financial health of individuals or organizations. They complete tasks such as preparing financial statements, generating forecasts, and analyzing market trends. They may also supervise teams of accountants. Finance positions include financial manager, financial analyst, credit manager, risk manager, and chief financial officer.

Information Technology Manager

Management occupations in information technology (IT) focus on ensuring that an organization's technology functions properly. These managers analyze a firm's needs, recommend upgrades to improve processes, assess the costs of new projects, and oversee the installation and troubleshooting of technological systems. Graduates with a master's in management may qualify for positions such as IT director, chief information officer, and IT security manager.

Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Management Programs

Is a master's in management worth it?

Workers can qualify for many management positions with a bachelor's degree and several years of professional experience. However, some employers may consider candidates with less experience if they possess a master's in management. Additionally, earning a master's can prepare students to shift their career to a new area or industry.

What can I do with a master's in management?

The curriculum of a master's in management program typically covers a broad spectrum of management principles, preparing students for a variety of career paths. Graduates often advance into management roles within their current industry or workplace. Graduates may pursue careers as financial, administrative, human resources, and marketing managers. Wherever your passion lies, there is likely a management position that suits you.

Is it better to have an MBA or MS in management?

MBA degrees have a long-standing reputation that many employers respect. However, many of these programs cater to students with a business-related bachelor's degree or professional experience. A master of science in management serves both recent graduates with minimal work history and students with a nonbusiness undergraduate degree who want to shift or advance their career. Neither of these degrees is objectively better, but individuals should consider their work history and specific goals before making a choice.

How much money can I make with a master's in management?

The BLS reports management occupations earn the highest median annual wage of all major occupation groups: $105,000. However, your earning potential varies depending on the industry you choose. For example, the BLS lists the following as some of the top-paying industries for managers: securities and financial investments, monetary authorities, scientific research and development, and computer or peripheral equipment manufacturing.

What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a master's in management?

According to the BLS, many management occupations boast median salaries above $100,000 annually, but some fields offer even more lucrative opportunities. Some of the positions commanding the highest salaries include advertising or marketing managers, architectural or engineering managers, information systems managers, financial managers, and sales managers.