Best Online Business Schools & Degrees

Earning an online business degree can lead to a variety of new career opportunities. Here, we list this year's most affordable online business degree programs.

Best Online Business Schools & Degrees

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Online Bachelors Degree in Business

Students pursuing an online business degree can choose from many specializations, such as accounting, business management, and marketing. This choice helps learners align their education with their career goals. Regardless of their specialization, all degree-seekers take core classes. These may include principles of management, concepts in marketing, and managing in a global business environment.

Typical admission requirements include a high school or GED diploma. Graduates can use their affordable business degree to explore different career paths, such as sales manager, hospital CEO, or human resources officer. These and other jobs may require additional education or training.

This page lists some of the most affordable business degrees. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and potential specializations for business students.

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Questions About Business Degrees

Can I get an online degree in business?

Many top colleges and universities offer online business degrees. Learners complete coursework 100% online. An online format lets degree-seekers attend the most affordable program in any state.

What do business majors study?

Business majors study many topics, including accounting, marketing, and business law and ethics. Some degree-seekers supplement their online education with an in-person internship.

What is the most popular business major?

Business specializations that may lead to in-demand and well-paying careers include project management, entrepreneurship, and finance. These and other options require many upper-division electives.

Why Get a Degree in Business?

Business degrees' online programs provide students with academic flexibility and the ability to explore many careers. Bachelor's degree-holders can apply for entry-level jobs or an MBA program. MBA graduates can explore leadership jobs. Some graduates work toward becoming certified public accountants.

Online business degrees help students living worldwide advance their education. Learners do not relocate to attend class. Many programs run asynchronously, letting enrollees complete assignments when convenient. However, students must still meet their professors' deadlines and finish classes by their end date.

Online Business Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Most Affordable Online Business Degrees

#1

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private institution, Liberty University offers flexible education opportunities for degree-seekers of all kinds. Distance learners all over the country choose from 30 online bachelor's programs at the school, which is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Many individuals planning for a career in business or a related field find that the top-ranking BS in business administration makes a great choice.

Top faculty members and a supportive student body benefit students enrolled in business courses. Relevant coursework and projects completed in a virtual learning environment help degree-seekers advance their personal and professional goals. Many learners get involved with faculty-driven research projects, internships, or externships. Enrollees work with advisors to tailor the program to their needs and interests with individualized coursework and hand-picked electives.

A variety of internal and external funding opportunities help with the high cost of an education. Different types of financial assistance, like fellowships and scholarships, benefit students who qualify for them. Receiving some form of aid helps 99% of enrollees at the college lower their educational expenses.

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#2

Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Trying to find a flexible education to prepare you for a business career? Look at Excelsior College's bachelor of science in business.

The degree prepares students for a good career in business by equipping them with the tools they need to succeed. Classes provide enrollees with broad knowledge of the business field, covering both foundational and advanced subjects. 

If applicable to their career goals, degree-seekers can participate in experiential learning opportunities to strengthen their knowledge of the industry. Industry-specific research projects, internships, and externships impart valuable knowledge to learners. Over the course of their studies, students can seek guidance from academic advising and career services.

To bring down the price of their degree, eligible applicants can seek out scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities from internal and external sources.

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#3

University of the Cumberlands

School Information
Location Williamsburg, Kentucky
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Individuals seeking a flexible education to prepare them for the business field should consider University of the Cumberlands's bachelor's in business administration. The private college provides a premier education to 15,449 remote learners and offers 10 bachelor's programs virtually.

A bachelor's in business administration helps students succeed in the business field by giving them the proper tools. Enrollees take classes on a variety of subjects, covering both foundational and advanced concepts in the business field. Depending on their career aspirations, degree-seekers can complete hands-on learning experiences to increase their industry knowledge. Internships, externships, and applied research projects also benefit these learners. Throughout the degree, students can get guidance from their academic advisor and career counselor.

Applicants who qualify can bring down the price of their degree with internal and external funding opportunities like scholarships and fellowships. A benefit of attending a leader in remote education, degree-seekers get connected to funding opportunities to support their academic journey, with 99% of them receiving aid.

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#4

University of Missouri-St Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Missouri-St Louis provides premier online degree programs for students seeking competitive study. Online enrollment at the public institution totals 5,037 virtual learners, who can choose from 7 bachelor's programs available remotely. Degree-seekers interested in business get a rigorous, industry-relevant education through the bachelor of science in business administration.

The business program's virtual classroom space lets participants connect with peers, professors, and other members of the distance learning community. The foundational and advanced topics covered in classes prepare enrollees with relevant knowledge for their future careers in business. 

Experiential learning opportunities, including internships and research projects, help learners strengthen their competency for a future profession in business. The institution provides degree-seekers with access to student success-focused resources, such as career and academic advising, throughout the course of the program.

Funding opportunities found with the help of a financial aid officer can bring down business degree costs. The college's funding opportunities include numerous scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Of all enrollees, 97% receive some kind of financial aid.

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#5

University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Missouri-Columbia's bachelor's degree in business administration suits individuals seeking a flexible remote education in business. With 14 industry-relevant online bachelor's programs, the public institution educates 9,722 virtual degree-seekers. The college features institutional resources, such as a supportive virtual community, that benefit remote learners.

Business students learn industry knowledge through hands-on classes. General education and advanced courses make up the business curriculum, which also allows for modifying classes and choosing electives. Enrollees supplement their education with hands-on learning experiences. Internships, externships, and research projects give degree-seekers first-hand experience of working in the business field.

Applicants can talk to the admissions office to learn more about enrollment criteria. Of all enrollees, 89% receive some kind of financial aid, so students should check with the financial aid office to see if they meet the eligibility requirements for any funding opportunities. Eligible learners can decrease their educational expenses through scholarships, fellowships, and other types of aid.

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How Much Does a Business Degree Cost?

Bachelor's degrees costs an average of $35,330 annually in tuition, fees, and related expenses, according to EducationData.org. However, many factors impact how much students pay for one of the best online business degrees. Learners attending public, in-state schools usually pay the most affordable tuition.

Students can make their degree more affordable by applying for financial aid. Many colleges with online business degrees award automatic scholarships to incoming first-year and transfer students. Some institutional awards may require a separate application. Learners with financial need should apply annually for the FAFSA. The federal government offers these degree-seekers grants and low-interest loans.

Additional Online Student Fees

An online format lets degree-seekers explore many affordable business degrees. However, online programs may charge fees on-campus learners do not pay, such as technology fees. Schools use these fees to pay for the software and support staff needed for online learning. Degree-seekers in a hybrid program should also budget for commuting costs to campus or an internship site.

Some graduates with a business degree pay for a professional certification. Many organizations awarding certifications offer member discounts. Members may receive additional benefits, like career-planning resources.

How Much Do Business Majors Make?

Some business careers requiring a bachelor's degree pay well. For example, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earn a median $133,380 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure exceeds the national median salary by about 300%. Professionals in the information industry make even more. Managers in New York, New Jersey, and California earn the nation's highest salaries.

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers need a bachelor's to enter the profession. They may earn a higher starting salary by completing an internship while earning an online business degree. Some experienced professionals return to school to earn an MBA. This graduate degree qualifies them for more jobs.

Courses in Business

Online business degrees may offer specializations. However, each requires the same core curriculum. Core classes may include financial accounting, the principles of finance, and applied marketing strategies. These and other classes convey the skills all workers need for professional success. Some programs feature academic flexibility, such as the ability to minor in another subject.

See below for a sample curriculum for online business degrees. Please note that graduation requirements vary by college. Two schools offering the same class may use different textbooks and assignments. As a result, learners should compare prospective programs' curricula and learning outcomes closely.

  • Financial Accounting

    This introductory class emphasizes the accounting cycle's many steps. Students learn how to prepare financial statements while following relevant laws and regulations. Degree-seekers also develop in-demand financial skills, like communicating with stakeholders and following proper procedures in a rapidly changing work environment.
  • The Principles of Finance

    Business professionals need an advanced understanding of the principles of finance. Degree-seekers analyze how a company or organization maintains financial discipline, makes good investments, and pays dividends. Students learn how to inform senior managers of the latest investment opportunities. These skills help graduates promote their employer's long-term growth.
  • Applied Marketing Strategies

    Enrollees develop the skills necessary to analyze prices, create new products, and design promotions. Marketing professionals use these skills to manage marketing campaigns. Other learning outcomes include interpreting the latest consumer research, collaborating with team members, and selecting the correct distribution channels.

Specializations for Business

Specializations let students customize their degree and prepare for a specific career. Some schools call them concentrations or tracks. Degree-seekers can select a specialization by working with their academic and career advisors. Typical requirements include taking many upper-division electives. Some specializations let learners choose classes from a list of electives.

See below for three common specializations for business degree-seekers. Schools with more specializations may appeal to students undecided about their career path. These learners may switch if their interests change.

  • Healthcare Administration

    Students learn how to manage a healthcare provider's staff and finances. Aspiring healthcare administrators take classes in healthcare economics, healthcare strategic management, and organizational behavior. These and other classes prepare them to work as medical services administrators or health promotion specialists. Other popular jobs include community health manager and health policy analyst.
  • International Business

    Many companies run offices in different nations, sell products to diverse groups, and employ an international workforce. These companies need international business experts' expertise. Coursework covers global financial systems, multinational marketing, and international strategic management. Programs with this class may offer a specialized study-abroad opportunity.
  • Nonprofit Management

    Nonprofits work differently than for-profit businesses. As a result, they need business professionals with specialized skills. Degree-seekers working toward a nonprofit career may take classes in human resource management, the social environment of business, and organizational behavior. Graduates may work as public relations specialists, grant writers, or human resources managers.

Career and Salary Outlook for Business

An affordable business degree lets students explore careers like those below. These and other jobs require learners to apply the business, leadership, and management fundamentals they learned in school. However, these careers may require significant on-the-job training in addition to a degree. Some applicants improve their resume by earning a master's.

Please note that these descriptions provide only a few details about each job. Use the embedded links to learn more about entering these and other business careers.

  • Top Executives

    These professionals may work as chief executive officers, general managers, or government officials. Typical tasks include directing a company's mission, collaborating with other executives, and appointing less-senior managers. They help their company succeed by cutting costs and rewarding good performance. Top executives need at least a bachelor's and many years of work experience.
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

    These managers use their education and experience to create promotional campaigns, negotiate contracts, and attract new clients. Marketing professionals research which products and services consumers want. Other tasks include determining what price consumers will pay for something. Nearly a quarter of marketing managers work in the professional and technical services industry.
  • Operations Research Analysts

    These analysts need a bachelor's or master's degree, depending on their job. They apply their analytical and mathematical skills to identify problems their employer faces. Their research helps senior managers make informed decisions. Nearly half of operations research analysts work for the finance, insurance, or professional services industry.
Salary Potential and Growth Rate
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Top Executives $98,980 8%
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380 10%
Operations Research Analysts $82,360 25%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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