Best Online Business Degrees 2021

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Individuals in the business and financial field can pursue careers as accountants, compensation analysts, and financial examiners. These professionals use their business expertise to help clients manage their finances. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for business and financial occupations to increase 5% from 2019-2029.

Salaries for business professionals vary by degree, experience, employer, and geographic location. The median annual pay for these workers ranges from $50,600-$87,850, according to the BLS data. These salaries meet or exceed the average cost of living in most areas in the United States.

Many students pursue online business degrees to access lower tuition rates and flexible scheduling options. Distance learners often work full time or part time while earning their degree. Application requirements vary by school, but most bachelor’s programs require candidates to provide high school transcripts or GED scores. Applicants may also need to interview with an admissions counselor. New online learners typically complete an orientation to get familiar with distance learning best practices.

Top 10 Best Online Business Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
2 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
3 University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD
4 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
5 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
6 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
7 University of Houston Houston, TX
8 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
9 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
10 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX

FAQ


  • What kind of job can I get with a business degree?

    Graduates of online business programs often become personal financial advisors, management analysts, and logisticians. Some jobs in the field require work experience or an advanced degree.


  • What is the most useful degree for business?

    One of the most useful degrees in business, a bachelor’s in business administration qualifies holders for various positions. Students earning this degree often pursue one or more concentrations to prepare for specific careers.


  • Is a business degree a BA or a BS?

    Schools may offer a BA in business, a BS in business, or both. BA programs typically emphasize transferable skills, while BS programs help learners hone technical skills through additional mathematics and science courses.


  • Can I start my own business with a business degree?

    Starting a business does not require a college degree. However, online business programs allow students to explore the field and determine whether entrepreneurship meets their career aspirations.


What Are the Goals of a Business Degree?

Whether they confer a BA or a BS, online business degrees help students develop and hone problem-solving, analytical, and ethical skills. Learners gain expertise in the global economy and markets. Core courses typically cover business law, entrepreneurship, and international business.

Prospective students with an undecided career path can explore business programs that offer numerous specializations. Specializations typically require upper-division coursework in a niche area of business. Common specialization options include digital marketing, retail management, and supply chain and logistics management. Academic and career counselors help degree-seekers select a specialization that fits their interests and goals.

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Why Get a Business Degree?

Earning a degree in business can lead to many personal and professional benefits. Students who excel academically during their online business program may experience the following outcomes.

Multiple Career Paths
Graduates with an online business degree can pursue roles as account managers, sales representatives, and business analysts. Some positions require additional training or professional certifications.
Growing Field
The BLS projects employment for business and financial occupations to increase 5% between 2019-2029. This growth can lead to ample opportunities for recent graduates of online business programs.
Increased Salary Potential
Business professionals with a bachelor’s degree and work experience often secure jobs with above average salaries. According to the BLS, management analysts earn a median salary of $85,260 per year.
Transferable Skills
Business students typically develop transferable skills, such as oral communication, analysis, and research abilities. Graduates can apply these skills to roles in nearly every employment sector, including education and manufacturing.
Networking Opportunities
Learners pursuing a degree in business often network with peers, professors, and industry professionals. These relationships can lead to professional opportunities after graduation.

What Are the Requirements for a Business Degree?

Applicants to online business programs must typically provide high school transcripts or GED scores. Most bachelor’s programs require an application fee, and some programs only accept applications from learners who hold an associate degree or transfer credit. Many schools require new degree-seekers to complete an online orientation before registering for courses.

Students remain in good academic standing by meeting or exceeding their institution’s minimum GPA requirement. The top online business programs typically require a capstone course, during which seniors apply business knowledge and skills to complete an extended project. Capstone projects usually involve conducting original research and writing an essay.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Professional Organizations for Business Students

Students earning an online business degree can explore career options by joining professional organizations. These organizations often provide professional opportunities, continuing education courses, mentorship programs, and industry publications. Student members may receive discounted membership rates and opportunities to network with degree-seekers throughout the United States.

  • Association of Latino Professionals For America Founded in 1972, ALPFA supports the next generation of Hispanic business professionals by providing a job board, industry guides, and resume critiques. The ALPFA Fellowship Program pairs high-achieving juniors and seniors with top corporations. Many fellows secure employment with the same company after graduation.


  • Beta Alpha Psi This international honor organization maintains 300 chapters throughout the United States. Members can access a vast alumni network and a mentorship program. More than a dozen professional partner organizations offer benefits for BAP members, including discounts and academic resources. Prospective members need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.


  • Business Professionals of America Undergraduate student members of BPA often earn certification, run for a national office, and compete in the organization's student competitions. BPA also offers scholarship opportunities, and learners can start a BPA chapter if none exist at their school.


Scholarships for Business Students

Students pursuing a strongusiness degree often need assistance paying for tuition, fees, and expenses such as textstrongooks and technology. Learners can apply for scholarships like those strongelow to minimize destrongt and secure their financial future. Students should research each scholarship’s application deadline and eligistrongility requirements strongefore applying.

Abbott & Fenner Scholarships


Who Can Apply: High school upperclassmen and undergraduate students can apply for these competitive scholarships. Applicants must sustrongmit a 500- to 1,000-word essay detailing their life and career goals. Scholarship recipients cannot reapply for multiple years of funding.

Amount: $1,000

Certified Management Accountant Scholarship


Who Can Apply: The Institute of Management Accountants awards the scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students who plan to take the CMA exam strongefore graduation. Candidates must ostrongtain a nomination from a professor. Scholarship winners also receive a CMA exam fee waiver, exam-preparation materials, and three years of memstrongership with the institute.

Amount: Varies

PMI Academic Scholarships


Who Can Apply: The Project Management Institute offers more than 40 academic scholarships to students preparing for careers in project management. Application materials include official transcripts, an essay, a resume, and two recommendation letters. Applicants sustrongmit these materials electronically.

Amount: $1,000-$7,500

Best Online Business Degrees 2021



See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Florida State University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Tallahassee, FSU offers an online master of business administration. Students may complete the program part time, with no residency requirements. Most students complete the degree in just seven semesters.

    Business core courses include the legal and ethical environment of business, information and technology management, and marketing strategy in the global environment. Students may choose from five specialization tracks to align more closely with career goals, including business analytics, management information systems, marketing, real estate, or risk management and insurance. Students choose electives based on their chosen emphasis. 

    Admission to the MBA program requires GMAT or GRE scores. Students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 and a 3.2 GPA in FSU upper-division business courses, or more than eight years of management work experience, may apply for a waiver.

    FSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  2. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Charlottesville, UVA offers an online master of science in business analytics. Students learn to use data to build business strategies and inform decision-making.

    The 12-month program combines mid-week online classes, self-paced learning, and nine weekend residencies at UVA's Arlington and D.C. campuses. Students take courses arranged in five modules, including enterprise analytics, descriptive analytics, and a corporate analytics capstone. The modules contain a deep-dive course series to provide students with the skills businesses need.

    Applicants need at least two years of professional experience and must show strong analytical skills through a combination of cumulative undergraduate GPA and GMAT or GRE scores.

    UVA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  3. University of Maryland-College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in College Park, UMD offers an online master of business administration. The program prepares students for data-driven leadership positions. Students may choose from five specializations, including accounting, finance, marketing, supply chain management, or information systems and business analytics.

    The 54-credit program requires two residencies — one orientation at the beginning of the degree and a capstone experience at the end. Core courses include corporate finance, the global economic environment, and executive powers and negotiation. The final capstone residency includes a business simulation, allowing students to apply problem-solving and critical thinking skills to a business model to demonstrate skills mastery.

    The school strongly recommends at least two years of professional work experience before applying to the program. All applicants must take the GMAT or GRE regardless of work experience or cumulative GPA.

    UMD is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  4. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Tampa, USF offers an online master of business administration. Students choose from four concentrations, including cybersecurity; data analytics; healthcare analytics; and compliance, risk, and anti-money laundering.

    The program begins with a two-day on-campus orientation. Students take foundation and core courses such as accounting concepts for managers, organizational behavior and leadership, and data analytics for business. From there, students take electives in their chosen emphasis. Students may choose a thesis option instead of six credits of electives and take either a capstone experience or a comprehensive exam.

    Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores unless students possess a 3.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA from USF or other approved schools. Students may also waive test scores with professional licensure or at least three years of managerial work experience.

    USF is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  5. Louisiana Tech University
    Location

    Ruston, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Ruston, Louisiana Tech offers an online master of business administration. Online students follow the traditional MBA track and cannot pursue the concentration coursework available for on-campus students.

    Foundational courses include accounting analysis for decision-making, financial management, managerial economics, and global perspective in management, as well as one elective course per quarter. A strategic management capstone experience gives students the chance to apply critical thinking skills and problem-solving in practice.

    Applicants must submit a GMAT score from the last five years to qualify for admission. The school allows students to transfer up to 12 credits toward their degree. 

    Louisiana Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  6. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins offers an online master of business administration. Students choose from seven concentrations: entrepreneurship, financial business, healthcare management, interdisciplinary business, leading organizations, marketing, and real estate and infrastructure.

    Students take the majority of courses online, with three residencies required throughout the program. Business core coursework includes accounting and financial reporting, business leadership and human values, and economics for decision-making. From there, students in the general track take a variety of electives, while those in specializations focus on concentration-specific elective tracks.

    Students must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited university with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. The school also requires GMAT or GRE scores. Students with 10 years of progressive managerial experience, or an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and five years of work experience, may apply for a waiver.

    Johns Hopkins is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  7. University of Houston
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Houston, Texas, UH offers an online master of science in management and leadership. The program caters to non-business undergraduate degree holders wanting a bridge degree into the business world.

    The 30-credit program includes business core coursework such as fundamentals of business, organizational behavior and management, and ethical leadership and critical reasoning. Elective courses cover several business disciplines, including global leadership, people analytics, and cultural issues in global management. Courses happen solely online with no residency requirements.

    Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, but the school offers waivers for recent UH graduates (within three years). Students do not need an undergraduate business degree or work experience to apply for the program.

    UH is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  8. Lehigh University
    Location

    Bethlehem, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh offers an online master of business administration. Students participate in synchronous online classes and can also opt into on-campus courses whenever they choose. Guiding program principles include structured and unstructured decision-making, leadership, ethical and social responsibility, inclusive thinking and communication, and developing a comprehensive understanding of domestic and global business.

    The 36-credit program includes business core coursework such as managing financial and physical resources, basic statistics for business and industry, and managing products and services. An integrative experience offers students the chance to demonstrate mastery through a business simulation, case presentations, and a project.

    Although not required, applicants may submit GMAT or GRE scores to bolster an admission packet. Lehigh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  9. Stevens Institute of Technology
    Location

    Hoboken, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Hoboken, New Jersey, Stevens offers an online master of business administration. The program offers synchronous online courses, as well as other online events, such as networking meetings, career development services, virtual training, and bootcamps. Students can complete the program in as few as 18 months.

    The 39-credit program includes business core coursework such as marketing management, managerial judgment and decision-making, and supply chain analytics. Students can choose from six degree specialties, including finance, business intelligence and analytics, or project management. A capstone project gives students the chance to consult with a business and provide feedback and solutions to a challenge.

    Applicants must provide GMAT or GRE scores to qualify for admission. Stevens is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  10. The University of Texas at Dallas
    Location

    Richardson, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Richardson, UT Dallas offers a professional master of business administration. The coursework happens 100% online, with no residency requirements. Students can choose from 15 concentrations, including accounting, business analytics, international management, and supply chain management.

    The 53-credit course schedule includes managing IT in the analytics age, international business management, and international strategic management. Students must complete two prerequisites before beginning the core courses, including quantitative foundation of business and communications for business. MBA students may also earn a dual MS/MBA, including degree options in energy management, marketing, and business analytics.

    Applicants must submit a GMAT or GRE score. Students can apply for a waiver if they possess either an undergraduate degree from UT Dallas with a minimum GPA of 3.5 or a business degree from another school with a minimum GPA of 3.6. Students with a master's may also apply for a waiver regardless of focus.

    UT Dallas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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