After earning an online MBA, business professionals work as managers in finance, operations, business, and marketing, applying the knowledge gained during their graduate degree in the workforce. A master’s degree in business opens the door to management and executive-level positions in fields such as healthcare, sales, and business. And many MBA programs offer concentrations in high demand areas, such as project management, international business, supply chain management, and business analytics. Business professionals in any sector can increase their salary potential and qualify for higher level job opportunities by earning an online MBA.
The best online MBA programs offer flexibility and accessibility for working professionals, with many programs prioritizing convenient course schedules and the ability to customize the degree through electives or concentrations. Prospective students with work experience may also be able to waive the GMAT requirement. The following list ranks the best online MBA programs.
Here’s what you can expect if you decide to pursue an online MBA:
- Expectation #1: Get ready to become way more tech-savvy than you currently are. Digital MBA programs function on integrated video chat, presentation, and peer-to-peer collaboration software. These tools aren’t tough to use, but can take some getting used to.
- Expectation #2: Get ready to hone your communication skills through writing. Many online MBA programs push students through writing-based assignments, email, and chatting. Whether your classes are synchronous or asynchronous, you will need to improve your written language skills.
- Expectation #3: Get ready to expand your network. Just because you’re taking classes online and aren’t spending time sitting next to students, doesn’t mean you won’t make professional connections that will benefit you down the road. Digital classrooms offer integrated communication methods so you can see and hear your peers, make new friends, and have connections to take with you into your job search.
What Are the Best MBA Programs?
At College Choice, our sources for data and information come from a few different places. First, we rate our online MBA programs based on their actual costs (taking into account hidden fees that often go unadvertised by universities, such as technical support fees or operating platform costs).
Additionally, we base our rankings on information published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. This organization conducted a nationwide survey, polling students of all stripes on financial aid offerings, the overall cost of going to school, and the job-placement rates of post-college students.
Such factors are integrated into data from other sources, which are also available publicly, like U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com.
University of North Carolina
College Choice Score: 100
Average Tuition: $26,354.00
The University of North Carolina offers one of the best online MBA programs, with concentrations in data analytics, marketing, strategy and consulting, finance, and entrepreneurship. The program uses a blend of synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods to build a collaborative cohort, while allowing students to arrange coursework around their schedule. MBA students complete the 66-credit MBA curriculum on a flexible timeline, earning their degree in 18 to 36 months. Applicants with at least six years of professional experience waive the GMAT/GRE requirement, and UNC’s business school holds full AACSB accreditation.
College Choice Score: 96.82
Average Tuition: $21,042.00
The Fox School of Business at Temple University offers an online MBA which students complete in as little as 20 months. The customizable, 48-credit program begins with three required courses and ends with a capstone immersion course that emphasizes hands on knowledge. MBA students complete the rest of their 36 credits on their own schedule and pace, completing one course at a time. Temple’s flexible curriculum, which allows up to six years to complete the degree, makes it one of the best online MBA programs for working professionals, military members, or students who travel extensively.
Pennsylvania State University World Campus
College Choice Score: 93.93
Average Tuition: $19,328.00
Penn State offers a fully online master of business administration program through its AACSB-accredited Smeal College of Business. The 48-credit degree emphasizes business strategy, collaboration, and strategic leadership, with 13 different nine-credit concentrations in areas like finance, business analytics, project management, and supply chain management. MBA students participate in a five day residency at University Park, Pennsylvania at the start of their program to meet their cohort and professors. Applicants submit transcripts, references, GMAT or GRE scores, and a portfolio. Candidates with five or more years of professional experience can waive the GMAT requirement.
Arkansas State University
College Choice Score: 93.65
Average Tuition: $9,144.00
Arkansas State offers an online master of business administration with the option to concentrate in finance or supply chain management. MBA students complete 33 credits, with six electives, and the core curriculum emphasizes leadership, technology, and action-based learning. Incoming students must complete business foundational courses in accounting, finance, statistics, and economics before enrolling in the MBA program. The program also recommends a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA, or a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of a bachelor’s program. Arkansas State’s program also ranks on the best online MBA programs list for affordability.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 91.40
Average Tuition: $27,335.00
Dating back to 1999, the University of Florida has offered a flexible online option for MBA students. The fully online program offers courses on a five week schedule, allowing students to earn an MBA in 24 months. UF also offers a hybrid 16 month accelerated program for students with an undergraduate background in business. Applicants submit transcripts, recommendation letters, and GMAT or GRE scores, and UF requires a minimum of two years of professional experience to enroll in the MBA program. UF offers rolling admissions with multiple start dates throughout the year. The Warrington College of Business holds accreditation from AACSB.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 90.40
Average Tuition: $40,625.00
A hybrid program offered through Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, the MBA program offers synchronous and asynchronous content with access weekends for students to meet with their cohort and faculty members. These access weekends occur six times a year in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley, where MBA students visit top companies to learn about hiring practices, meet speakers, and network. MBA students can also test out of core classes with an exemption exam and substitute an elective for that class. Carnegie Mellon’s part-time program makes it one of the best online MBA programs for working professionals, who can earn a degree in 32 months.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 89.56
Average Tuition: $22,580.00
The online MBA at Arizona State lets students choose an area of emphasis, such as finance, international business, supply chain management, or marketing, to customize their degree. The program includes case-based projects which students complete as teams, customized learning modules, and the opportunity to pursue concurrent degrees while earning an MBA. Students complete core classes in statistics for managers, managerial accounting, and financial performance reporting, with a capstone course. MBA students take two courses each seven and a half week term, and ASU offers two start dates in January and August. The W.P. Carey School of Business holds AACSB accreditation.
College Choice Score: 89.37
Average Tuition: $26,812.00
Indiana University offers one of the best online MBA programs for students seeking a customizable program. The 51-credit MBA includes 12 electives which students choose based on their career goals and interests. The program uses live weekly sessions, discussion forums, simulations, and interactive classes to instruct students in business, marketing, operations, and other core areas. MBA students begin each year with an in-residence week at the Bloomington campus where they meet classmates and faculty, work as a team to develop a business solution for a real client, and learn about the core business disciplines. IU offers a fall and spring start date each year.
University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium
College Choice Score: 88.48
Average Tuition: $20,250
The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium offers an online MBA program as part of a partnership of four AACSB accredited business schools in the UW system. The flexible program offers degrees with credit options ranging from 30 to 48, depending on whether incoming students complete foundation courses before enrolling. Students also choose 14 elective credits to customize their degree. One of the best online MBA programs for its affordability, UW requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college, a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA, and a minimum 475 GMAT score for admissions.
Kennesaw State University
College Choice Score: 87.19
Average Tuition: $8,559
Kennesaw State offers an online MBA, known as the KSU WebMBA, which students complete in 20 months. The WebMBA program consists of ten courses, and MBA students take two courses each semester for five terms. The program begins with a mandatory two-day orientation in Atlanta which includes informational sessions and a workshop. The WebMBA emphasizes team-based learning, a flexible schedule, and cohort interactions. KSU’s admission process evaluates applicants based on their professional experience, transcripts, and GMAT scores, and the program offers fall, spring, or summer start dates. The Coles College of Business holds AACSB accreditation.
University of South Florida—St Petersburg
College Choice Score: 86.33
Average Tuition: $18,538
The online master of business administration program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg lets students choose a part-time or full-time track, with the ability to shift schedules at any time. The flexible arrangement allows working professionals to earn an MBA while working. USFSP’s many focus tracks, including business analytics, corporate social responsibility, forensic accounting, healthcare analytics, and information systems management, make it one of the best online MBA programs for specialized business education. Applicants must have a minimum 500 GMAT score and a minimum 2.5 GPA in the last two years of an accredited bachelor’s program.
West Texas A & M University
College Choice Score: 86.86
Average Tuition: $7,136.98
The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business at West Texas A&M offers a fully online MBA program which students can complete in two years. The customized MBA program requires 31 to 46 credits, depending on incoming students’ preparation, and prospective students can submit undergraduate transcripts to receive a personalized plan of study. The online MBA program lets students choose between three classes to fulfill each core requirement in areas like quantitative analysis, corporate finance, economic theory, and marketing. The MBA program also waives the GMAT requirement for applicants with above a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
University of Texas at Dallas
College Choice Score: 86.18
Average Tuition: $22,282
The professional MBA program at the University of Texas Dallas lets students complete the 53-credit degree fully online. Students take 30 core credits and choose 23 elective credits, making UT Dallas one of the best online MBA programs for students who want to customize their degree. The flexible program also lets students choose their course load each semester and the order to complete their courses. UT Dallas admits new cohorts in fall, summer, and spring, and the admission process offers GMAT waivers for candidates with above a 3.5 or 3.6 undergraduate or graduate GPA.
University of Tennessee—Martin
College Choice Score: 85.98
Average Tuition: $22,198
The University of Tennessee at Martin offers a fully online, 20 month MBA program. The program caps each cohort at 20 students, to create a close bond between students. Designed for full-time employees, the cohort program uses a four to six week course schedule to deliver a curriculum including classes in organizational theory, corporate financial management, managerial economics, and marketing strategy. Applicants must demonstrate at least two years of professional experience, and candidates with more than seven years of work history and a 3.0 GPA or higher for their bachelor’s degree can apply for a GMAT waiver.
University of North Texas
College Choice Score: 85.71
Average Tuition: $12,470
The accelerated online MBA program at the University of North Texas lets students complete a specialized MBA in as little as 14 months. The 36-credit accelerated program offers students the ability to choose 12 courses in six areas, with specializations in marketing analytics, organizational behavior, strategic management, and supply chain management. The program uses an eight week course schedule and offers start dates in January, March, June, August, and October. Applicants submit transcripts, GMAT scores, a resume, an essay, and letters of recommendation. Successful candidates typically hold a minimum 3.0 GPA for their undergraduate degree and GMAT scores between 520 and 550.
College Choice Score: 85.05
Average Tuition: $24,840
Lehigh University offers an online MBA program with flexible options for working professionals. The part-time, 36-credit program, which students complete in an average of 42 months, lets students select a concentration, such as marketing, project management, international business, or supply chain management. Students can also complete the program without a concentration. Applicants submit transcripts, a current resume, an essay on career goals, letters of recommendation, and GMAT scores. Candidates with ten years of professional experience or six years of experience and a master’s degree can apply for a GMAT waiver. Lehigh ranks as one of the best online MBA programs for students seeking a part-time option.
University of Nebraska
College Choice Score: 84.03
Average Tuition: $19,914
The University of Nebraska offers a fully online MBA or a hybrid option for students who want to take some classes at the Lincoln campus. MBA students complete 48 credits on an eight week course schedule, a format that lets students earn their degree in as little as 18 months. The curriculum includes core classes in business strategy, financial accounting, managerial economics, and business analytics. Students then choose six elective courses based on their interests and career goals. UNL recommends two years of professional experience, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a 600 or higher GMAT score, though the program does admit candidates who do not meet these recommendations.
SUNY College at Oswego
College Choice Score: 83.71
Average Tuition: $22,210
SUNY Oswego offers a fully online MBA where students create an individualized study plan with the MBA director. The program includes 36 credit hours, with 21 credits of core classes in management skills, concepts, and principals, plus electives. All students complete a capstone course on management policy, where MBA students study strategic management and decision making at the upper levels of an organization. SUNY Oswego’s elective courses include cyber law, enterprise risk management, and new product design and development. Cohorts begin in fall, spring or summer, and applicants must have a minimum 2.6 GPA and a GMAT score of 500 or higher.
College Choice Score: 83.68
Average Tuition: $13,500
Marist offers a fully online MBA program, where over 90% of students work full time while earning the degree. The asynchronous online format lets students complete 9 core classes and 3 electives around their schedule, with students completing the degree in as little as four semesters or as long as seven years. Marist offers concentrations in ethical leadership, financial management, and healthcare administration. While Marist does not require any residency periods, the program does incorporate optional residency weekends in the New York City area for students. Applicants submit official transcripts, a current resume, a personal statement describing their career plans, and GMAT or GRE scores.
Mississippi State University
College Choice Score: 83.22
Average Tuition: $20,142
The online master of business administration program at Mississippi State University ranks as one of the best online MBA programs for affordability, charging in state tuition for online courses. The 30-credit program also lets incoming students complete prerequisites online, including accounting, statistics, and financial management. The program also offers Experience MBA+, a series of web modules on professional development, at no charge. Experience MBA+ includes tips on resume writing, using Excel, Powerpoint, and Word in professional settings, and advice on dinner etiquette and professional dress. Mississippi State also accepts up to six transfer credits toward the degree.
North Carolina State University
College Choice Score: 83.05
Average Tuition: $21,951
North Carolina State offers a professional online MBA with a hybrid option for students to take classes in Raleigh or Research Triangle Park. Students choose an accelerated or flexible schedule and earn their degree in as little as 21 months or up to six years. Incoming students begin in fall or spring, and the program requires two three-day residency periods at NC State’s main campus, which active duty military can waive. MBA students can also choose to complete an international immersion experience to gain global business and cultural awareness skills through a week-long study abroad trip.
Georgia College and State University
College Choice Score: 82.84
Average Tuition: $18,486
Georgia College offers one of the best online MBA programs for students with busy schedules. The online MBA program uses a flexible, asynchronous schedule, which does not require face-to-face or scheduled online class meetings. MBA students complete courses in human behavior in organizations, international business, strategic marketing, and new venture analysis. All students also take a business strategy capstone course. The admission process requires two years of work experience and GMAT scores, and admitted students attend a mandatory two day orientation on campus. MBA students complete two courses a semester for five semesters, earning their degree in 18 to 20 months.
College Choice Score: 82.80
Average Tuition: $26,406
The online master of business administration at Auburn University lets students complete their degree in two and a half years. The curriculum includes 13 classes, made up of nine core courses and four electives, with most students taking two courses each semester. Auburn’s elective options include classes in predictive modeling, multinational financial management, e-commerce, and real estate finance. Applicants submit transcripts, a current resume, letters of recommendation, and GMAT scores, and admitted online students can attend an optional orientation at the Auburn campus. Auburn also offers dual graduate degree options in financial, industrial and systems engineering, and information systems.
University of North Dakota
College Choice Score: 82.72
Average Tuition: $18,807
The University of North Dakota offers a unique online MBA program where online students attend classes remotely with on-campus students. The format allows real-time delivery and builds a strong cohort of MBA students, with courses offered in the evening to accommodate working professionals. UND offers concentration options in business analytics, government and business, international business, and social entrepreneurship. The 43-credit program include 34 credits of core classes and 9 credits of electives in the concentration area, and MBA students can also choose a general business concentration. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and GMAT scores of 500 or higher.
Ball State University
College Choice Score: 82.42
Average Tuition: $20,356
Ball State offers an online master of business administration degree with flexible options for working professionals and students without an undergraduate business degree. MBA students choose a concentration in entrepreneurship, finance, health administration, supply chain management, sales management, or general business. Incoming students with a business degree complete their master’s with as little as 30 credits, while students without a business degree may need to take up to 51 credits. Ball State does not require any residencies, and MBA classes use both an asynchronous and synchronous schedule. The program sets a minimum 2.75 GPA and GMAT scores of 450 or higher for admission.