We have written before that the best investment you can make in your future as a leader in business and entrepreneurship is to commit a few years to formal study in the disciplines of management, leadership, and best practices in business. Not all aspiring leaders in commerce have the ability to relocate to attend a leading school in the guild, however, so we at College Choice have compiled a list the top fifty schools offering online and distance options for their MBA programs. Most of the schools on our list are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. If they are not, they are at least accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Because location is by definition less of a factor in online learning, our online MBA rankings are based primarily on reputation and affordability, and as you move your way up the list, you will find a unique balance between these two important considerations when evaluating what fits best with you, your present opportunities, and your aspirations.
University of Mississippi
College Choice Score: 100
Cost Per Credit Hour: $529.00
The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, is a public university whose main campus is in Oxford, Mississippi. The online MBA at Ole Miss consists of a 36-hour curriculum that can be finished in four regular semesters and two summer sessions. For a slower pace, students can enroll in only one course per semester. Nearly all course material is delivered asynchronously, giving students the freedom to learn and complete assignments on their own time.
University of Tennessee Martin
College Choice Score: 98.67
Cost Per Credit Hour: $526.00
The University of Tennessee at Martin is one of the five campuses that make up the University of Tennessee system. UT Martin’s cohort-based online MBA program is open to students in all fields, but is particularly geared toward those in the financial services industry. An undergraduate degree and two years of work experience are required before beginning the program. Students start in January or May, take one class at a time, and earn their MBA degree over the course of 20 months.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
College Choice Score: 97.24
Cost Per Credit Hour: $675.00
The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire is a public liberal arts university that is part of the University of Wisconsin system. UW Eau Claire offers an online MBA that coincides with the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium. The consortium requires 30 credit hours, which can be completed in two to three years. Online classes are small and rich in discussion, giving students the opportunity for meaningful participation.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
College Choice Score: 96.21
Cost Per Credit Hour: $531.00
Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska—Lincoln is the state’s oldest and largest university. Whether courses are taken on campus, online, or through a combination of the two, 30 core hours are required, followed by 18 hours of electives that include an international overlay course. Students with little full-time professional experience can supplement their degree with up to two internships. Degree specializations include Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, International Business, Finance, and Marketing.
James Madison University
College Choice Score: 95.77
Cost Per Credit Hour: $805.00
James Madison University is a public university in Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU’s College of Business offers two hybrid MBA programs, meeting both online and in person. The Executive Leadership MBA helps professionals with at least five years of experience to transition into higher-level positions. The Innovation MBA covers business fundamentals while instilling leadership, technological, and people skills. The Innovation curriculum integrates content by pairing courses through team-teaching or overlapping topics.
College Choice Score: 95.77
Cost Per Credit Hour: $775.00
Auburn is one of the largest universities in the state of Alabama. Through Auburn’s Harbert College of Business, all online MBA classes are accessible by live streaming or in an archived format. The program is available to U.S. military personnel and students living in the United States. Auburn’s online MBA students can earn a dual degree in MSBA-Finance, Management Information Systems, or Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Arkansas State University—Jonesboro
College Choice Score: 95.52
Cost Per Credit Hour: $480.00
Arkansas State University Jonesboro is the state’s second largest university by enrollment, located in northeast Arkansas. ASU’s online MBA degree prepares students to thrive among new technologies and the globalization of the business world. The program drives students toward success in various industries, also providing an optional concentration in Supply Chain Management. The curriculum amounts to 33-39 total course hours.
Mississippi State University
College Choice Score: 95.42
Cost Per Credit Hour: $392.00
Mississippi State University is located in Starkville, near the state’s eastern border. MSU offers a 30-hour distance MBA online. A specialized MBA degree in Project Management is also available online for those in engineering and technical fields who want to move into a managerial position. Throughout both on-campus and online MBA programs, MSU focuses on growth, encouraging students to fulfill their potential and to lead others to do the same.
University of North Dakota
College Choice Score: 95.22
Cost Per Credit Hour: $286.00
The University of North Dakota is a public research institution in Grand Forks. UND’s online MBA is a synchronous program, requiring students to sign in at the same time as the live class. A four-credit thesis may be completed with the degree but is not required. Students can further customize their degree through a concentration in International Business or a JD/MBA joint degree. The goal of the MBA program at UND is to produce integrated thinkers, effective communicators, and skilled decision-makers.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
College Choice Score: 93.30
Cost Per Credit Hour: $825.00
The University of Massachusetts Amherst, or UMass, is the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. The Isenberg School of Management at UMass gives students the opportunity to complete an MBA degree online or through a part-time hybrid model. Optional focus areas include Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Marketing, and Sport Management. Online tools and experienced advisors can assist students in planning for their degree.
West Texas A&M University
College Choice Score: 93.16
Cost Per Credit Hour: $328.00
West Texas A&M University, formerly West Texas State, is located in Canyon, Texas, and is part of the Texas A&M University system. The online MBA at West Texas A&M requires 31 to 49 graduate hours of course credit. Several emphasis options are available, including General Business, Computer Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Healthcare Management. The MBA program is typically completed in two years, but can be sometimes be finished in as little as 12 to 18 months.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 85.67
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,100.00
Arizona State University is a public research university with five campuses in the Phoenix area. The nation’s largest public university by enrollment, ASU offers a variety of MBA degree options including full-time, part-time, and online study, as well as executive and custom corporate tracks. Arizona State’s online MBA program starts in January and August and requires one five-week course at a time. The online curriculum is designed to give students the same general business background and specialization options offered by the on-campus programs.
Washington State University
College Choice Score: 85.43
Cost Per Credit Hour: $750.00
Washington State University, also known as Wazzu, is a public research university in Pullman, Washington. MBA and Executive MBA degrees are offered online through WSU. The university’s MBA curriculum focuses heavily on entrepreneurship and global business. Even in its online programs, Washington State boasts high levels of student engagement.
Central Michigan University
College Choice Score: 84.93
Cost Per Credit Hour: $600.00
Central Michigan University is one of the state’s largest universities and is located in Mount Pleasant. Through their Global Campus, CMU offers an MBA program with a total of 36 to 43 required credit hours. With the exception of SAP Academy, a two-week face-to-face course, all classes can be taken online from anywhere in the world. There are nine prerequisite courses for the program and five emphasis options.
West Virginia University
College Choice Score: 84.74
Cost Per Credit Hour: $804.00
West Virginia University is a public research university in Morgantown, with other campuses around the state. The university has produced a substantial number of Rhodes, Goldwater, and Truman Scholars. WVU’s online Executive MBA consists of 48 credit hours and four on-site residencies. The program is typically completed in two years.
Georgia Southern University
College Choice Score: 83.80
Cost Per Credit Hour: $728.00
Georgia Southern University is a is a public university an hour from Savannah, enrolling more than 20,000 students. Since 2001, the university has been offering a 21-month online MBA program. Courses and activities are simultaneously rigorous and team-oriented. With the exception of one two-day orientation, Georgia Southern’s online MBA degree requires no face-to-face meetings. The curriculum includes 30 credit hours to be completed in five consecutive semesters.
Penn State University
College Choice Score: 83.65
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,096.00
The Pennsylvania State University, or Penn State, is a public university whose mission includes teaching, research, and public service. The Penn State Smeal College of Business allows students and faculty to make discoveries that make a difference, while operating under the core values of integrity, diversity, and sustainability. Online intercollege MBA students experience an integrated 48-hour curriculum and two enriching residencies in Pennsylvania. Penn State’s online support network answers questions about courses and careers, and even orders books to be delivered to each student.
University of Nevada Reno
College Choice Score: 83.60
Cost Per Credit Hour: $667.00
The University of Nevada Reno is a teaching and research university founded in 1874. UNR’s Executive MBA program is offered in an online format that can be finished in two years. The program consists of 12 courses that improve students’ decision-making and leadership skills. All students begin working toward the EMBA degree in the fall and are placed in a collaborative cohort, progressing with the same group throughout the program.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 83.41
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,146.00
The University of Florida is a 2,000-acre public institution in Gainesville. UF was one of the first schools to offer a fully-accredited online MBA degree online. One-year and two-year options are now available, both requiring at least two years of full-time, professional work experience. The university gives online students access to valuable career resources, such as career development events, video interviewing, and webinars.
College Choice Score: 82.96
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,200.00
Indiana University, whose main campus is in Bloomington, offers an MBA degree through the Kelley School of Business. The Kelley School guides students to success through a culture of collaboration. Indiana University’s Kelley School is the business school with the largest alumni network in the world. Indiana’s flexible online MBA program includes 12 elective hours that can be used to explore areas of professional interest or to take a course to prepare for Indiana’s various study abroad opportunities.
University of South Dakota
College Choice Score: 82.23
Cost Per Credit Hour: $790.00
The University of South Dakota is the state’s flagship university, located in the small town of Vermillion. The university’s Beacom School of Business has been providing quality education since 1927 and has been AACSB-accredited since 1949. Online MBA degrees at USD include the general MBA as well as specializations in Business Analytics and Health Services Administration. The program has start dates in fall, spring, and summer.
Ball State University
College Choice Score: 82.23
Cost Per Credit Hour: $415.00
Ball State University is a public institution in Muncie, Indiana, founded by the Ball Brothers. Ball State’s online MBA offers students the same quality business education led by the same instructors who teach MBA classes on campus. While some courses in the program require a particular sign-on time each week, some are asynchronous, allowing for maximum flexibility in completing coursework. Most online MBA students at BSU enroll in two courses per semester, finishing in five or six semesters. Technical assistance is also available throughout the program.
College Choice Score: 78.24
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,296.00
Temple is a public research university in Philadelphia. Temple’s Fox School of Business seeks to transform students so that they are able to responsibly face local, national, and global challenges. Online MBA students begin the program with a week-long residency, thereafter enjoying constant access to all course material. The program is completed one four-week course at a time, including elective courses or courses leading to optional concentrations in Marketing Management or Human Resource Management.
College Choice Score: 77.30
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,050.00
Lehigh University is a private institution in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, boasting an alumni network of over 75,000. Leghigh’s College of Business and Economics offers an intensive MBA program that produces dynamic leaders ready to make economically and environmentally significant change in the business world. The College partners with Lehigh’s Office of Distance Education to provide the same preparation to students through a virtual format. Despite the degree’s online structure, Lehigh cultivates a collaborative learning environment.
Portland State University
College Choice Score: 76.07
Cost Per Credit Hour: $550.00
Portland State University was founded for World War II veterans and is now composed of seven constituent four-year public colleges. A renowned Healthcare MBA program, designed to transform the healthcare business by developing individuals, is part of PSU Online. This part-time degree program can be completed in three years or less and covers six major areas of healthcare and leadership. Portland State’s Healthcare MBA can also be earned through a hybrid format, with classes both online and on campus.
Georgia College and State University
College Choice Score: 73.71
Cost Per Credit Hour: $728.00
Georgia College and State University, also known as Georgia College or GCSU, is a liberal arts university in Milledgeville, Georgia. Georgia College offers an online MBA degree through the Georgia WebMBA consortium. Although the program places students in cohorts, the groups decide independently when and how to meet, with no face-to-face online class meetings required. Thirty credit hours and a 3.0 grade point average are required for graduation.
University of Texas at Dallas
College Choice Score: 72.48
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,238.00
The University of Texas at Dallas, a public institution with high research activity, has its main campus in Richardson, 18 miles north of downtown Dallas. UT Dallas offers a flexible online MBA program designed for working professionals. Whether completed on campus, online, or through the PMBA Flex hybrid format, the degree program consists of 53 credit hours. Electives comprise nearly half of these hours, although online elective offerings may be limited.
University of North Texas
College Choice Score: 70.80
Cost Per Credit Hour: $657.00
Based in Denton, the University of North Texas is a public institution consisting of ten colleges, two schools, a library system, and a math and science academy. The UNT College of Business has several online MBA options, including degrees in Marketing and Finance, as well as accelerated MBAs in Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior. Each program requires 36 course hours, half of which are dedicated to concentration specific courses. All online MBA programs at UNT must be completed entirely online.
Kennesaw State University
College Choice Score: 70.75
Cost Per Credit Hour: $728.00
Kennesaw State is a public university located 20 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. KSU’s online MBA is part of the Georgia WebMBA consortium, which relies heavily on virtual team-based learning. Students typically finish the program in about 20 months, taking two courses each term for five consecutive terms. Although no campus visits are required after a two-day orientation in the first year, Kennesaw’s online students receive access to the university’s career services, on-campus events, and networking opportunities.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
College Choice Score: 70.61
Cost Per Credit Hour: $766.00
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, founded in 1965, is part of the University of Colorado system and currently enrolls about 1,700 graduate students. UCCS offers an MBA degree that can be completed entirely online in 18 months or up to five years. Students start courses in the fall, spring, or summer, and can choose from eight degree specializations. UCCS serves its students through individualized attention during their study as well as extensive alumni services after graduation.
Oklahoma State University
College Choice Score: 69.92
Cost Per Credit Hour: $765.00
Oklahoma State University is a public research institution located in Stillwater. OSU’s Spears School of Business offers a team-oriented online MBA degree. Distance learning students not only have access to instructors through virtual office hours, but can also contact a support staff that assists with enrollment, proctored examinations, and administrative questions. Most students complete the program entirely online, but online students are also welcome to take courses on campus and to participate in commencement ceremonies.
University of North Carolina
College Choice Score: 69.87
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,466.00
Founded in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a Public Ivy school and one of the oldest public universities in the United States. The MBA program at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School trains students through a balance of competition and collaboration. The online MBA program boasts measurable improvements in students’ careers, including the 74 percent of students who are promoted while enrolled in the program. In addition to online classes and coursework, students undergo quarterly global immersion experiences.
University of South Florida
College Choice Score: 69.57
Cost Per Credit Hour: $907.00
The University of South Florida is one of three institutions that make up the State University System of Florida. USF offers an online MBA degree in Sport Business. The MBA program at South Florida emphasizes analytic, creativity, and a global approach to business practices. Courses are offered in 12-week, eight-week, and one-week formats, allowing students to complete the degree faster than in a traditional program.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
College Choice Score: 69.23
Cost Per Credit Hour: $854.00
The flagship campus of the Southern Illinois University system, SIU Carbondale currently enrolls over 17,000 students. Carbondale’s online MBA program is delivered in eight-week modular courses over two years. The degree can be specialized with an optional concentration in Agricultural Economics. Students are assigned to cohorts, each of which has at least two teaching assistants to provide support for faculty and students throughout the program.
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 67.21
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,000.00
The University of Arizona is a public research university in Tucson. Excellence and innovation come together in Arizona’s online MBA program. The 45 units that comprise the degree can be completed in as little as 14 months and can be customized to form one of four degree concentrations. Courses have several start dates throughout the year.
North Carolina State University
College Choice Score: 64.75
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,350.00
North Carolina State University, founded in 1887 as the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, is now a public research university located in Raleigh. The online MBA program offered through NC State can be started in fall or spring, and completed in 21 months or up to six years. One three-day residency is required. Online students also have the option of taking some courses on campus in Raleigh or Research Triangle Park.
University of West Georgia
College Choice Score: 59.68
Cost Per Credit Hour: $728.00
The University of West Georgia is located in Carrollton, 45 miles west of Atlanta. West Georgia is one of the six universities included in the Georgia WebMBA. This program lasts 18 months and requires 30 credit hours. With the exception of a two-day orientation, all coursework is completely online. Students may begin the program in either fall or spring semesters.
Columbus State University
College Choice Score: 57.46
Cost Per Credit Hour: $728.00
Columbus State is a public university in Columbus, Georgia, 100 miles southwest of Atlanta. Columbus offers an online MBA degree through a consortium called the Georgia WebMBA. The program trains students to embrace teamwork, to view business in its international context, and to take ethical implication into account when making managerial decisions. Students take two courses per semester, completing the degree in five consecutive semesters.
Thunderbird School of Management
College Choice Score: 56.62
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,335.00
Thunderbird School of Global Management is an undergraduate and graduate business school that is part of Arizona State University. Thunderbird educates leaders who make a global difference. The school’s 16-month online Master of Global Management degree prepares students to impact the world through online courses as well as two international residencies and one residence module on campus in Glendale, Arizona. Students travel with others in their cohort to learn about regional business practices.
George Mason University
College Choice Score: 51.16
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,221.00
George Mason University, a public institution in Fairfax, Virginia, is the state’s largest public research university. Mason offers several MBA program options, including an Executive MBA degree that can be completed on campus or online. The EMBA is designed for business executives who are busy with full-time work but want to enhance their education. Online courses begin in the fall, and the degree can be completed in 20 months. One week-long global residency experience is required.
College Choice Score: 49.24
Cost Per Credit Hour: $895.00
Quinnipiac University is a private nonsectarian institution in Hamden, Connecticut. Quinnipiac’s online MBA program trains students’ collaboration, communication, and ethical reasoning skills, but above all emphasizes the importance of good decision-making. Specific tracks are available in Chartered Financial Analysis, Health Care Management, and Supply Chain Management. Students can also choose elective courses to even further customize their degree.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
College Choice Score: 48.99
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,325.00
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private research university in Massachusetts. WPI offers an Innovator’s MBA through a Flex Track, which combines online and on-campus study. Classes are online and require only three campus visits per semester. The program’s curriculum includes various core courses, specialized electives, and a required capstone project, giving students the freedom of educational exploration, as well as the discipline of putting that education into practice.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 48.25
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,815.00
A private research university in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical Schools. Later named the Carnegie Institute of Technology, the school eventually merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research. Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business offers a part-time online hybrid format for its MBA program. The blended structure retains the advantage of personal contact while providing the flexibility that working professionals need.
College Choice Score: 48.06
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,564.00
Pepperdine University, near Malibu, is a private nonprofit university affiliated with the Church of Christ. The Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine offers an online MBA degree that can be specialized with one of four elective concentrations. The program can be completed in six trimesters, or two years. Current company executives work with students on real case studies from the business world. Pepperdine’s MBA, both online and on campus, builds business knowledge through a values-centered, collaborative educational experience.
Rochester Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 47.66
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,357.00
Rochester Institute of Technology is a private university in Henrietta, a town in the Rochester, New York area. The RIT Saunders College of Business offers an online Executive MBA for those who are employed in the business world but want to develop their leadership, research, and problem-solving skills. The program consists of 47 rigorous credit hours delivered over 17 months. RIT specifically admits professionals who will contribute to the learning experience, thereby maintaining an environment of excellence.
Cleveland State University
College Choice Score: 42.64
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,074.00
Cleveland State University commits itself to excellence, diversity, and engaged learning. CSU offers a mobile, online accelerated MBA that can be completed in only one year. An iPad 4G is provided for students to access their course materials. Cleveland State’s online MBA program is best for students who have recently completed a bachelor’s degree in business or have taken the first-year MBA prerequisites. Start dates are in January and August.
College Choice Score: 40.72
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,433.00
Northeastern University is a private research university in Boston. Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business is known for prioritizing experiential learning, and this practice-based approach is present even in the online MBA program. Thirteen core courses and five electives make up the program’s 50 credit hours. The degree can be customized by being paired with one of eight concentrations or with a dual MS degree in Finance.
College Choice Score: 35.80
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,458.00
Hofstra University, originally an extension of New York University, is a private, non-profit institution located just a few miles from New York City. Hofstra’s online MBA program requires the completion of 48 credit hours covering every area of business. Following the cohort option, students can complete all degree requirements in two years. Those who choose the program’s non-cohort option are granted a maximum of five years to complete all requirements.
College Choice Score: 32.99
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,390.00
Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is known for bringing together the practices of discovery, innovation, and enterprise. Clarkson’s online MBA program can be completed in less than two years, regardless of a student’s background in business education. The program begins in January and June with a two-day Leadership Development course at the Potsdam campus. Students then take core and elective courses online.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 29.30
Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,545.00
The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. GWU’s online MBA students begin the program in August, January, or May, taking six credit hours each semester. Because of the university’s influential and enriching location, distance learning students engage in a four-day residency course on campus. Online courses can be completed at each student’s own pace, and are supplemented with live classroom lectures and group activities. Students can choose one or two of the five concentration options for the MBA degree.