Best Online MBA Programs 2021

Updated January 13, 2023

Earning an MBA can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the top five programs available.

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Best MBA Programs

A master of business administration (MBA) degree offers focused leadership and management training to help professionals advance their career and move into new roles.

Earning an MBA prepares graduates for careers in growing areas in business, finance, and management. Professionals with an MBA work as financial managers, marketing managers, and top executives, roles that report median salaries of over $100,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects job growth of 9% for these roles from 2020-2030.

Our list ranks the top MBA programs to help prospective applicants find the best fit to reach their professional goals. By researching specialization options, delivery formats, and program lengths, applicants can begin earning their MBA degree. This article also discusses the benefits of an MBA degree, program requirements, and scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions About an MBA Degree

Q. What is an MBA good for?

An MBA degree prepares graduates for leadership roles in organizations. MBA holders qualify for decision-making roles that offer above-average salaries.

Q. How many years does it take to get an MBA degree?

Earning a master of business administration degree typically takes two years of full-time study. Some programs offer accelerated one-year programs.

Q. Which is better: an MBA or MS in finance?

Both an MBA and an MS in finance prepare graduates for roles like financial manager. However, the wide-ranging business administration training of an MBA can lead to more diverse career opportunities.

Q. What can you do with a master's in business administration?

Professionals with an MBA work as human resources managers, marketing managers, and executives. They make decisions in diverse industries like healthcare, technology, and finance.

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Featured MBA Programs

What Are the Goals of an MBA Degree?

In an MBA program, graduate students gain leadership and decision-making skills. Coursework in organizational behavior, financial management, and strategic leadership prepares students for management roles. Many programs also incorporate an internship to gain real-world experience and a capstone project to build career-ready skills.

MBA students often focus their education by choosing a concentration area. Many programs offer concentrations in general business, marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, and healthcare management. Degree-seekers can also look for programs with unique specializations like entrepreneurship, business strategy, and consulting. These specializations prepare graduates for focused career paths after earning their MBA degree.

Why Get an MBA Degree?

Earning a master of business administration degree brings many benefits. Graduate students specialize their training and prepare for leadership roles in diverse organizations.

MBA students strengthen their management skills through focused coursework in organizational behavior, operations management, and leadership. This management focus qualifies MBA graduates for new roles.

According to 2019 data, the highest median starting salary for MBA graduates rose to nearly $135,000 per year. An MBA thus translates into greater earning potential.

The leadership training in an MBA program prepares professionals for increased responsibilities in their workplace. Professionals may take on supervisory responsibilities or more decision-making responsibilities.

During an MBA, graduate students can specialize their skills by pursuing a concentration. Options include marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, or human resources management.

With an MBA, graduates can move into supervisory and management roles. An MBA also prepares professionals for leadership positions in business organizations or entrepreneurship opportunities.

What Are the Requirements for an MBA Degree?

Applicants considering an MBA degree typically need a bachelor's degree and standardized test scores. Most schools require GMAT or GRE scores, though some waive that requirement. Applicants often also submit a statement of purpose, professional resume, and recommendation letters.

MBA programs do not require an undergraduate degree in business. However, students may need to complete prerequisite coursework in management, accounting, finance, or statistics before entering the program.

During an MBA program, graduate students complete core, elective, and concentration courses. Many programs also incorporate a capstone project and an internship.

2021 Best Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs

#1 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Austin, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas at Austin stands out for its 113 master's programs, which include a master of business administration program. The MBA program strengthens subject-specific knowledge, allowing graduates to pursue advanced career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options make it easier for busy enrollees and working professionals to attend a graduate program.

The program's curriculum blends theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of business management. Internships and other hands-on learning opportunities apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. Learners work with faculty advisors to choose electives or concentrations that customize the program.

The University of Texas at Austin at a Glance:

Location: Austin, Texas

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 32%

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,998

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,966

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 67%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $10,686

Average Price After Aid: $15,502

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,824
Out-of-state
$38,326
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
32%
Students Enrolled
51,090
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of business administration at the University of Florida is one of 126 master's programs offered at the university. The MBA program builds advanced knowledge and skills, helping students increase their career opportunities. Candidates may be able to choose from on-campus and online enrollment options, adding flexibility for enrollees who need to work full time while in school.

Learners take advanced business management classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Students can often complete internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, gaining varied experience while building professional connections. Learners choose concentrations and electives to develop specialized skills in a specific area of business management.

University of Florida at a Glance:

Location: Gainesville, Florida

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 37%

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,770

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,335

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 92%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $10,673

Average Price After Aid: $10,457

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of California, Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking increased professional responsibilities can earn their master of business management degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. From its campus, the public university meets the needs of diverse degree-seekers by offering flexible enrollment options. During the MBA program, learners gain an advanced understanding of business management topics while strengthening their skills.

Master's candidates rely on the school's support services to make progress toward their degree. Academic advisors recommend course selections, while financial aid counselors connect students with scholarship and grant opportunities. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking and training events hosted by the university.

University of California, Los Angeles at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 107

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Admission Rate: 12%

Graduation Rate: 92%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,442

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,544

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $52,000

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
12%
Students Enrolled
44,371
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of California, Berkeley

  • Berkeley, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of California, Berkeley offers a master of business administration for students seeking career advancement. The public institution welcomes degree-seekers with a variety of enrollment options, including online programs created with working professionals in mind. The MBA program builds on undergraduate knowledge, and applicants without a business administration background may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling.

Master's candidates benefit from advising and support services, including career counseling. For example, career counselors host workshops and job fairs while also recommending resume changes. Master's degree-seekers also participate in training events, networking opportunities, and tutoring sessions.

University of California, Berkeley at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 104

Total Online Master's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: 16%

Graduation Rate: 93%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,442

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,544

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $57,600

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
43,185
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of California, Davis

  • Davis, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The University of California, Davis offers a business management master's program that helps graduates advance their career. The public institution welcomes degree-seekers with a variety of enrollment options, including online programs created with working professionals in mind. During the MBA program, learners take graduate classes in business management that build on their prior knowledge in the field.

Master's candidates access a generous selection of institutional resources and support services during their degree. For example, career counselors host job fairs and offer resume workshops for specific industries. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of tutoring centers, library services, and service learning opportunities.

University of California, Davis at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 104

Admission Rate: 39%

Graduation Rate: 87%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,442

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,544

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $45,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
39%
Students Enrolled
38,634
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

Ohio State University

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ohio State University offers 119 master's programs, including a highly-ranked MBA degree. The master of business administration encourages career growth through its experiential learning components. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help enrollees balance school with work or other responsibilities.

During the program, learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical business administration knowledge. Students apply their training during internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which strengthen career-ready skills. Concentrations and electives allow learners to customize the degree based on their career goals.

Ohio State University at a Glance:

Location: Columbus, Ohio

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 54%

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,560

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $35,144

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 79%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,176

Average Price After Aid: $18,706

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,197
Out-of-state
$31,174
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
61,391
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of Washington

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Washington offers a business administration master's program that helps graduates advance their career. From its Seattle campus, the public institution enrolls degree-seekers with a variety of options, including online delivery formats. During the executive MBA program, learners take advanced courses in business administration that build on their prior training.

Master's candidates participate in campus life and benefit from the university's support services. Financial aid advisors connect students with resources to pay for graduate school, while academic advisors recommend course selections. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of networking and training events hosted by the university.

University of Washington at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 273

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 52%

Graduation Rate: 84%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,198

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $32,439

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $50,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,370
Out-of-state
$37,071
Retention Rate
95%
Admission Rate
52%
Students Enrolled
47,576
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#8 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

California Polytechnic State University

  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of business administration program at California Polytechnic State University, one of 46 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The MBA strengthens subject-specific knowledge, allowing graduates to pursue advanced career opportunities. Candidates may be able to choose from on-campus and online enrollment options, adding flexibility for enrollees who need to work full time while in school.

The program uses a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes theoretical and practical approaches to business administration. Students gain real-world experience during internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Learners meet with faculty advisors to choose electives and concentrations to individualize the business administration degree.

California Polytechnic State University at a Glance:

Location: San Luis Obispo, California

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 28%

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,176

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,680

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 63%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $7,042

Average Price After Aid: $21,232

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
28%
Students Enrolled
21,426
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#9 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of Connecticut

  • Storrs, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking a graduate degree in business management can enroll in the program at the University of Connecticut. Students can increase their earning potential and advance their careers in the MBA program. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of business management through the program's challenging curriculum. Students strengthen their career-readiness through internships and hands-on learning opportunities. Learners meet with faculty advisors to choose electives and concentrations to individualize the business management degree.

University of Connecticut at a Glance:

Location: Storrs, Connecticut

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 49%

Graduate Tuition In State: $16,300

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $38,212

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 75%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $11,971

Average Price After Aid: $20,042

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,798
Out-of-state
$36,466
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
27,280
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

Brigham Young University

  • Provo, UT
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Brigham Young University offers a master of business management for students seeking career advancement. The private institution offers several enrollment options on its Provo campus and through its online programs. In the MBA program, learners complete a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes advanced business management knowledge and skills.

College resources and support services help master's candidates complete their degree and plan their next steps. Financial aid advisors connect students with resources to pay for graduate school, while academic advisors recommend course selections. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of networking and training events hosted by the university.

Brigham Young University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 94

Admission Rate: 67%

Graduation Rate: 78%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,290

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,290

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $46,600

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,790
Out-of-state
$5,790
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
34,318
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#11 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

University of Georgia

  • Athens, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Georgia stands out for its 116 master's programs, which include a master of business administration program. Students gain advanced knowledge and skills in the MBA program. Flexible enrollment options, including online classes, help busy enrollees balance coursework with their other responsibilities.

The master's curriculum encourages a comprehensive understanding of business management through both theoretical and practical knowledge. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Concentrations and electives allow learners to customize the degree based on their career goals.

University of Georgia at a Glance:

Location: Athens, Georgia

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 45%

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,878

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $25,186

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 97%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $10,577

Average Price After Aid: $15,961

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,790
Out-of-state
$28,830
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
38,920
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

San Diego State University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

San Diego State University offers 82 master's programs, including a highly-ranked business management master's degree. Students advance their career opportunities and increase their earning potential with a degree from the MBA program. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

The program uses a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes theoretical and practical approaches to business management. Internships and other hands-on learning opportunities apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. Choosing a concentration also helps learners gain specialized skills in a specific area of business management.

San Diego State University at a Glance:

Location: San Diego, California

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 34%

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,176

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,680

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 60%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,233

Average Price After Aid: $14,499

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
34%
Students Enrolled
35,544
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#13 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

Anderson University

  • Anderson, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Tuition
In-state
$26,130
Out-of-state
$26,130
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
3,543
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

Anderson University

  • Anderson, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Tuition
In-state
$30,700
Out-of-state
$30,700
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
1,567
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Best Online MBA Programs 2021

Andrews University

  • Berrien Springs, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Tuition
In-state
$28,992
Out-of-state
$28,992
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,390
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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