Many adult students and working professionals often prefer online degree programs to progress in their academic and professional ventures. Startup founders, entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, CEOs, and other individuals are now considering an online Masters of Business Administration degree to help them advance in their careers or switch to another profession. Regardless of their reasons for pursuing an online MBA program, graduates with an MBA degree can open numerous career opportunities and earn higher-than-average annual income.
Completing an online Master of Business Administration degree is an important milestone for your academic endeavors. It provides you with several benefits on career development for both young and mid-career professionals. The acquired skills and expertise will help graduates develop and implement effective solutions and business strategies into their profession. The majority of MBA graduates often have the goal of pursuing career opportunities with lucrative pay. Besides career advancement opportunities, salary is one of the notable benefits of completing an online MBA degree. Many students want to invest in a post-graduate degree that will significantly yield better returns on investment.
The U.S. News & World Report explains that, according to the NACE or the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the 2021’s average starting salary for online MBA grads is predicted at $87,966 or 11.3% higher than 2020’s average starting salary. NACE’s MBA salary prediction is also more than $29,000 higher than graduates with a baccalaureate degree in business or related fields. MBA degrees serve as an excellent stepping stone to business management positions that involve lucrative incomes than non-management roles.
Online Master of Business Administration programs are becoming more and more diverse. With more than 600 online MBA programs available in the U.S., finding the appropriate program for you can be challenging. To help you with your search, we list the ten best online Masters of Business Administration graduate schools as a start.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it more expensive to pursue an Online Masters of Business Administration program?
- What are some of the popular concentrations in an Online Masters of Business Administration degree?
- Are Online Masters of Business Administration programs the same as traditional MBA programs?
- How long does an Online Masters of Business Administration program take to finish?
- What accreditations should I look into when choosing an Online Masters of Business Administration program?
- The Best Online Masters of Business Administration Schools
F R E Q U E N T L Y A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S
Is it more expensive to pursue an online Masters of Business Administration program?
Depending on the graduate school, online Masters of Business Administration programs can be more affordable than a traditional on-campus program. The baseline expense of online MBA programs is often inexpensive. Many online schools also have in-state tuition fees for distance learners, even if students reside out of the states.
The majority of online MBA programs allow students to continue with their full-time jobs while completing their degrees. It provides them with the opportunity to save more money by eliminating transportation and moving expenses. Some online programs also provide tablets, free hotspots, and other online learning essentials, which are already included in the curriculum fees.
Online Master of Business Administration programs also have an accelerated or fast-track learning format, allowing students to earn their MBAs within 12 months. Accelerated MBA programs can be more affordable since they allow students to complete their MBAs faster and start working towards their returns on investments.
What are some of the popular concentrations in an online Master of Business Administration degree?
Since business is a broad area of study, many online Master of Business Administration programs have diverse concentrations to help students develop and strengthen their skills in a specific area of business-related emphasis. Here are some of the popular concentrations in an online MBA degree:
A concentration in Entrepreneurship trains students on how to start or develop their business endeavors. They study business-related principles, such as human resources, marketing, Finance, and management. The courses will also discuss entrepreneurial management, venture capital, intellectual property, financial aspects of acquisitions and buyouts, and business practices and strategies of family-managed companies.
A Finance concentration offers an in-depth study of the financial concepts and tools that can help improve businesses and organizations. MBA students with a concentration in Finance learn how to keep businesses financially stable and develop effective financial decisions. Classes include Behavioral Finance, Financial Innovations, Venture Capitalism, Advanced Corporate Finance, and International Financial Markets.
Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management concentration for an online MBA program prepares graduates for positions that involve managing human capital, such as compensation and benefits manager, human resource manager, and training manager. The curriculum features courses that discuss strategic change processes, talent development and management, human resource management, and principles of human resource staffing. The program will also cover significant topics, such as conflict resolution strategies and negotiation.
A concentration in International Business is suitable for MBA students who want to pursue a profession in multinational organizations. The program’s curriculum will help train students to become knowledgeable in rules governing international businesses, international trends, and global markets. Instead of focusing on a single major, an International Business concentration will discuss essentials topics like Finance and Human Resource Management from a global perspective. Some common discussions include global operations for supply chain principles, international business law, and international business settings.
Marketing concentration is designed for MBA students who want to manage marketing departments and develop high-level decisions regarding how organizations are externally and internally represented. Classes will discuss global brand strategies, marketing development and analysis, and data analytics to make informed marketing decisions.
Are online Masters of Business Administration programs the same as traditional MBA programs?
Most online Master of Business Administration programs have the same high standards and accreditations as their on-campus equivalents. Many schools are adding more online degree offerings to cater to their non-traditional students’ diverse needs. Online MBA programs will feature the same standards, course schedule, timeline, and curriculum as their traditional counterparts. In most cases, they are taught by the same professors or a team of faculty members who specialize in distance learning. The programs are highly identical in that students’ diplomas will indicate “Masters of Business Administration” even without emphasizing the learning format.
Another important factor regarding the quality of online MBA programs is the university or the business school itself. Distance learners will be a part of the same alumni community as the traditional on-campus graduates. They also participate in career counseling sessions, conferences, workshops, and other events. When pursuing an online Masters of Business Administration program, students must also consider the learning resources, student support services, and technological support that their preferred school will provide throughout their program.
How long does an online Master of Business Administration program take to finish?
Online Masters of Business Administration programs can be earned within 24 months of full-time learning. However, many colleges and universities offer accelerated online MBA programs which allow students to graduate in 12 to 18 months. Some graduate schools also have 4+1 programs for distance learners who want to pursue an online MBA immediately after completing their baccalaureate degrees. With a 4+1 program, students can earn their Online MBA degrees in one year.
What accreditations should I look into when choosing an online Master of Business Administration program?
Distance learners interested in enrolling in an online Master of Business Administration program should look for two types of accreditations: programmatic and regional. There are six regional accrediting agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of Education, providing accreditation status to schools depending on their location. Regional accreditations indicate that a college or university has met rigorous standards associated with student learning outcomes, academic programs, and faculty credentials. Although there are national accreditations, they aren’t usually considered when choosing a business school for your online MBA program.
Programmatic accreditations specialize exclusively in the programs offered by the school. For online MBA programs, students must consider a graduate school that receives accreditation from the IACBE – the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, the ACBSP or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the AACSB or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Looking into program-specific accreditations is another crucial way to determine whether the online MBA program you’re considering is reputable. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the highest level of accreditation for both program-specific and business schools. Approximately 5% of business programs worldwide are qualified for the AACSB accreditation.
M E T H O D O L O G Y
An online MBA program is one of the most popular graduate study tracks. Students are drawn into MBA programs delivered online because they are a valuable educational investment! Today, students have a wealth of online MBA programs and MBA school options, but some truly stand out!
Be a cut above the rest with an MBA earned from the Best Online Masters of Business Administration Schools! Our list consists of outstanding online MBA schools and programs that impress with these features:
- Outstanding quality of online MBA instruction, coupled with program curricula that emphasize an engaging learning experience,
- A state-of-the-art online platform for flexibility and convenience in accessing the course materials,
- Impressive academic and deployment outcomes with students persevering toward MBA completion, and graduates showing sustained levels of career achievement and advancement,
- Reasonable tuition rates and access to financial aid options for eligible online MBA students,
- Accreditation and recognition from academic agencies and organizations, demonstrating compliance with the highest educational standards at the MBA level.
The Best Online Masters of Business Administration Schools
Florida International University
: Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 11200 S.W. 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199
: 305 348 2000
Florida International University is Miami’s first and only public research university! For more than four decades, FIU is recognized as one of South Florida’s premier institutions. With a student population of almost 54,000, the university is one of the Top 10 largest universities in the country, with 200,000+ alumni.
- FIU’s online Professional Masters of Business Administration program offers three tracks suitable for every student.
- The 33-month Track A program is for students who prefer taking their time, the 21-month Track B is for those who want to balance their course load, and the 18-month Track C is for those who want to graduate quickly.
- The program consists of 42 credit hours of coursework completion and three Professional Development Seminars.
- Students must complete the Professional Development Seminars in the first 8-week term of the Online MBA program.
- Students can choose one out of ten Professional MBA specializations, such as Business Data Analytics, Business Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, International Business, Leadership, Marketing Channel Strategy, Real Estate, Sports Management, or Strategic Negotiations.
Standout Features of Florida International University’s Online Professional Masters of Business Administration Program:
FIU’s online Professional Masters of Business Administration program is ranked #9 globally and is considered one of the Top 10 for U.S. Business Schools by Q.S. Online MBA Rankings. All Fortune 500 companies recruit students with an online MBA at FIU. The university’s College of Business is a distance learning pioneer around Florida, with more than two decades of providing online instructions to its student community.
Diversity is one of the core principles of Florida International University. The university currently serves a diverse community of traditional and non-traditional students, with 61% Hispanic, 15% White Non-Hispanic, 13% Black, 4% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 7% other Minority groups. FIU also receive several recognitions and rankings from the Times Higher Education, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly.
University of California, Davis
: 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616
: 844 592 6104
University of California, Davis was established in 1908 to serve the state of California. Today, UC Davis is a leading university worldwide, catering to more than 37,000 traditional and non-traditional students. The university has six professional schools, including the Graduate School of Management that offers one of the top-ranked online MBAs in the U.S.
- UC Davis’ online Masters of Business Administration program requires 72 units for completion of the program.
- The online MBA program accepts applications on a rolling admission basis, with four start dates every year – January, April, June, and September.
- Students can earn their MBA degrees in approximately 24 to 36 months.
- To enroll, they must submit an online application, GMAT/GRE scores, an official transcript, a personal essay, an essay, and letters of recommendation.
- UC Davis’ online MBA program is a STEM-designated program, emphasizing data-driven decision making and quantitative analysis to teach distance learners how to apply data analysis to business decisions.
Standout Features of the University of California, Davis’ Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
UC Davis’ online Masters of Business Administration program is taught by the Graduate School of Management. It is one of the few business universities worldwide to receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Graduate School of Management also has a proven track record of success, with 84% job placement six months after receiving their degrees. Other accolades include the 42nd rank in Full-Time MBA Rankings worldwide by The Economist and #10 Best B-Schools by Bloomberg Businessweek.
University of California, Davis is a highly ranked university in the U.S. and worldwide according to many influential school ranking publications, such as Times Higher Education, The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, World University Rankings, and Q.S. World University Rankings and UC Davis is also recognized as the 5th Best Public University in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal.
North Carolina State University
: 105 Brooks Avenue, Raleigh, NC. 27607
: 919 515 5584
North Carolina State University is a land-grant public school headquartered in Raleigh. As a Research I institution, the university is an essential component of the Research Triangle region, a home to N.C. State’s partners, such as Lenovo, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Cisco, and SAS. It is home to more than 36,700 students, 2,400+ faculty members, and over 7,200 staff.
- N.C. State’s online Masters of Business Administration program offers two learning formats that students can choose from Flexible MBA and Accelerated MBA.
- The 40-credit hour online MBA program requires two 3-day residencies on the university’s main campus. Active duty military can replace mandatory residency with other elective courses.
- Each residency is a 3-day credit-bearing requirement, with the first residency to be completed in the first semester and the second before graduation.
- Students can start the online MBA program in either the fall or spring term.
- The MBA program takes as fast as 21 months—or within six years from the date of enrollment—to complete
Standout Features of North Carolina State University’s Professional Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
N.C. State’s Professional online Masters of Business Administration program is one of the top 50 MBA programs worldwide. The university has more than 200 corporate partnerships that can support its students’ practicum requirements. N.C. The Association accredits the state’s online MBA program to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus is a nationally recognized public-private research location where more than 70 non-profit, government, and corporate partners collaborate with 70+ academic and research units.
University of Michigan
: 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
: 734 615 5002
The University of Michigan is a globally recognized public research institution that fosters excellence in research, teaching, and engagement. Founded in 1817, U-M is headquartered in the territory of the Anishinaabe people. The Bodewadami, Odawa, and Ojibwe Nations made the biggest single land transfer to the university, conceded in the Treaty of Fort Meigs, to educate their people. U-M has ancestral and contemporary Anishinabek ties, reaffirming their profound contributions to the university’s system.
- U-M’s online Masters of Business Administration program features live, interactive discussions integrated with self-guided modules.
- The online MBA program consists of 27-credit core courses, 18-credit electives, 9-credit residencies, and a 3-credit map course.
- Depending on the students’ commitment, they can earn their MBA degree within three to four years. Accelerated MBAs can be completed in two years, given that students enroll on a full-time basis.
- Fifty-seven credits are required for students to obtain their MBA degrees.
- U-M’s MBA program has a mandatory semester-long, 3-credit hour Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) that will require students to collaborate in a team to test their business expertise.
Standout Features of the University of Michigan’s Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
Pursuing an online Masters of Business Administration degree at the University of Michigan provides students with the opportunity to get involved in its more than 15 world-leading Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives at Michigan Ross. Each Center, Institute, and Initiative offers research, teaching, and engagement opportunities to strengthen students’ skills and expertise. Michigan Ross also advocates establishing a better world through business via the Business+Impact initiative.
The University of Michigan is the state’s only public university that covers 100% of demonstrated financial needs of qualified residents in Michigan. The university features a Go Blue Guarantee as a commitment to providing a more accessible and affordable world-class education for all residents in Michigan. Through the commitment, U-M offers free tuition for families with incomes of $65K under assets less than $50K.
University of Florida
: Bryan Hall 100, P.O. Box 117150, Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
: 352 392 7992
UF is a Washington campus member, a non-partisan, non-profit higher education consortium located in Washington, DC. Students pursuing the U.F. program can enroll in the consortium’s graduate courses throughout the academic year and obtain academic credits toward their MBA degree.
- UFL’s online Masters of Business Administration is offered through the Warrington College of Business.
- Non-traditional students can choose from one out of two MBA formats at UFL.
- UF MBA online One-Year option is one of the fastest methods to obtain an MBA degree, requiring 32 credits to graduate.
- U.F.’s Two-Year MBA program requires 48 credits and can be completed within 24 months.
- The Association accredits all MBA programs at UFL To Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Standout Features of the University of Florida’s Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
Whether part-time or full-time and on-campus or online, the online Masters of Business Administration program at UFL is offered in various learning formats to cater to all types of students. UFL’s Washington Campus offers Executive, Online, and Professional MBA programs. U.F. Engineering Partnership initiative has also provided MBA students with the opportunity to pursue a first-class business education while diversifying their studies with the principles and study of engineering.
The University of Florida’s online Masters of Business Administration program has received numerous recognitions and rankings from prestigious school-ranking institutions. Regardless of which type of MBA program, UFL is a consistent placeholder for the best MBA programs in the U.S. and worldwide. Some organizations to award UFL’s MBA programs include Poets & Quants, Q.S., The Princeton Review, College Consensus, Fortune, TFE Times, and the U.S. News & World Report.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
: 1210 Environ Way, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
: 888 986 2622
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the global frontrunners well-known for its ground-breaking research and state-of-the-art teaching. UNC-Chapel Hill offers seven professional, 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, and 65 doctorate programs through its professional institutions and the College of Arts and Sciences. It also offers non-degree and degree part-time learning for academic credits, non-credit professional development programs, and certificate programs.
- UNC’s 62-credit online MBA program can be earned in as few as 18 months or as many as 36 months, depending on the students’ pace and schedule.
- To earn the MBA degree in 24 months, students must enroll in two classes per quarter.
- The online MBA program at UNC offers five concentrations: Marketing, Data Analytics, Decision Making, Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Strategy & Consulting.
- Students can also integrate their Online MBA program with classes from UNC’s Master of Accounting program.
- UNC also offers an online Executive MBA for professionals with an average of ten years of work experience.
Standout Features of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
UNC’s online Masters of Business Administration program offers a Doing Business In (DBI) program, providing MBA students with the opportunity to study overseas at one of Kenan-Flagler Business School’s MBA exchange partner schools. It has one to three-week courses, offering students an in-depth understanding of how businesses work in a global business setting. MBA students at UNC are allowed to network with other MBA students and professors from some of the world’s prestigious business schools.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Kenan-Flagler Business School was recognized as a top-rated business school. It was recognized by the U.S. News & World Report. UNC’s Online Masters of Business Administration program ties with the Carnegie Mellon University for being the #1 MBA Program in the U.S., according to the U.S. News & World Report.
University of Southern California
: 3670 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
: 213 740 2311
Headquartered in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is one of the well-known private research universities home to the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Letters, and 21 prestigious academic schools and units. USC is the biggest private-sector employer in L.A., responsible for $8B every year in economic activity in California.
- USC offers a rigorous online Masters of Business Administration program through its USC Marshall School of Business.
- MBA students will participate in faculty-led, virtual discussions, group discussions, team-based activities, and other collaborative exercises in every course.
- The online MBA program features six courses only; however, students can extend their program through certificates and other elective courses.
- The program consists of asynchronous online courses and synchronous weekly live discussions.
- USC Marshall also offers students the option to pursue a dual-degree program, namely MBA/Master of Social Work, MBA/MS In Gerontology, MBA/MS In Industrial and Systems, or MBA/MS In Systems Architecting and Engineering.
Standout Features of the University of Southern California – Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
USC’s online Master of Business Administration program landed both in the Top 5 spot in The Princeton Review’s Top Online MBA listing, and Top Global Online MBA programs from Q.S.’ World University Rankings. The designers of the Online MBA curriculum at USC have also been recognized by the Online Learning Consortium. Two Telly Awards were also granted to USC’s video content quality. The USC Marshall School of Business has also garnered recognition from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The University of Southern California had ten educators and 53 students in 1880. L.A. was formerly a rough-and-rumble city that lacked a reliable fire alarm system, telephones, electric lights, and paved streets. Today, the university caters to 48,000+ students and more than 4,400 full-time faculty.
Florida State University
: 821 Academic Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1110
: 850 644 3090
Florida State University consistently offers a high-quality and affordable education as well as unique opportunities to engage its student community. The Princeton Review ranked it the 11th Best Value College for 2021 among public universities and colleges. It is one of the country’s eight public universities that gained an AA+ rating or higher from Fitch and S&P Global.
- FSU’s two online, part-time MBA programs both require 39 credit hours for program completion.
- The online MBA program consists of 27-credit hour core required courses and 12-credit hour electives.
- The requirements for enrollment include an applicant statement, current CV/resume, two letters of recommendation, a Florida Residency Declaration, and official GRE/GMAT scores.
- Although previous business-related coursework isn’t mandatory, students must have general knowledge in Management Principles, Calculus, Statistics, Accounting, Finance, and Economics. Otherwise, they must first complete a set of prerequisites.
- The online MBA program with a Real Estate Specialization consists of 9-credit hour elective courses focused on real estate.
Standout Features of Florida State University’s Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
Florida State University offers a diverse range of MBA programs suitable to every learner, including an online, part-time MBA program, and an Online, Part-Time MBA program with a Real Estate Specialization. The curriculum of FSU’s MBA programs is taught by the prestigious College of Business faculty members, providing each MBA student with individualized mentoring. The MBA programs benefit from unparalleled access to top industry regulators and policymakers in Florida.
Florida State University is officially recognized as a preeminent research university in the region by the Florida Legislature due to achieving a set of rigorous standards. The university was chosen for the prestigious accolade in international education and study abroad programs by the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities.
The Pennsylvania State University
: 128 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802
: 800 252 3592
Launched in 1998, The Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus has more than 125 years of experience in distance learning. Its online courses have the same high-quality content as PennState’s on-campus courses. PennState World Campus offers 150+ popular certificate and degree programs in healthcare, technology, engineering, business, and education. The Middle States Commission accredits the university on Higher Education.
- PennState’s online Masters of Business Administration program features a 3-day residency program offered in online and on-campus options.
- The 48-credit hour interdisciplinary MBA program is developed around the three-part ICE (Integration, Collaboration, and Engagement) framework.
- The core MBA curriculum consists of 39 credit hours of required courses. The elective courses comprise nine credit hours, focusing on a specific concentration.
- The online MBA program is delivered through the Penn State Smeal College of Business and the Penn State World Campus.
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has accredited PennState’s Online Master of Business Administration program.
Standout Features of The Pennsylvania State University’s Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
Since 2017, the online Master of Business Administration program at PennState is one of the most recognized universities by the U.S. News and World Report’s yearly school rankings. It’s the only MBA program of its kind that offers more than 24 concentrations to choose from, providing students the opportunity to customize their MBA program tailored to their academic and professional aspirations.
According to a previous survey from The Wall Street Journal, the Pennsylvania State University was formerly considered the #1 institution in the U.S. to produce the most well-rounded and best-trained graduates who immediately succeed once hired. PennState is a nationally recognized university with the biggest alumni community in the country.
: Rafik B. Hariri Building, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
: 617 353 9720
Boston University is home to more than 34,000 students across 130+ countries, 10,000+ faculty members and staff, and 17 colleges and schools. B.U. offers 300+ programs of study, including a world-renowned online Master of Business Administration program.
- B.U.’s online Master of Business Administration is offered through the Questrom School of Business.
- The 100% online MBA program consists of six 7.5-credit hours, semester-long integrated modules, allowing students to complete one module per semester.
- Each module in the program is equivalent to two separate courses, featuring both asynchronous and synchronous learning sessions.
- Each module culminates with an action-learning capstone experience, while a comprehensive capstone project is required for graduation.
- Although the MBA degree can be earned within 24 months, students have six years from the date of admission to complete their MBA program.
Standout Features of Boston University’s Online Masters of Business Administration Program:
Students pursuing an online Master of Business Administration program at B.U. will participate in a weekly Mod Live Session. It’s a unique, comprehensive session introducing review materials and new content covered during the specific week’s self-paced content. Students can access numerous interactive elements in live discussions, such as live interviews with industry professionals, debates, polling, and case discussions.
In 2012, Boston University was invited to become a member of the Association of American Universities, an elite organization of more than 60 leading research universities in Canada and the United States. The Former Activist Martin Luther King, Jr., formerly adopted Boston University as a venue where he developed his message of equality and justice.