Online MBA programs are available in a variety of specialties including finance, accounting, human resources, and executive MBAs designed for professionals with significant experience in the field. It’s difficult to say exactly how much an online MBA will increase an individual’s earning potential and job prospects, as many factors contribute to a person’s salary. Nevertheless, experts say that across the board, earning an MBA increases lifetime earnings, and there are many ways to obtain an MBA, especially online. The following is information about the top online MBA programs, as well as lists of online accelerated MBA programs and online executive MBA programs. This MBA guide also includes information about accreditation, online MBA programs by state, and answers to frequently asked questions about MBA degrees.
This list contains the 25 best online MBA programs accredited by the AACSB. These schools have impressive GMAT scores. The University of Southern California is ranked #1 with a strong average GMAT score of 708. Its MBA program costs $51,480 per year. Students in the MBA program at #2-ranked University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had an average GMAT score of 697.
The University of Southern California offers an online MBA program that combines cutting-edge virtual tools with a comprehensive, robust curriculum to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st-century world of business. The program has been designed especially for the online environment. Approximately 2/3 of the program is asynchronous, so students spend less time in a structured class setting and more time studying on their own. Some live-class meetings are required, as well as some collaborative group work. The degree can be completed in five semesters, with a minimum of 9.5 units required per semester. Although the majority of the program is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, students are required to come to campus for one week at the beginning of the program. Students are eligible for this program if they have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and at least two years of work experience in areas such as finance, entertainment, healthcare, consulting, or engineering. Those who qualify may submit their transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and an updated resume, along with an electronic application for consideration. Students pursuing an online degree have access to the same campus resources as traditional students and can also benefit from professional development services.
#2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Annual Tuition: $85,076
Locations: Chapel Hill (NC)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Average GMAT Score: 634.3
The online MBA program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is customizable, with more than 25 electives and five concentrations available. Concentration options include Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Strategy and Consulting, and Data Analytics and Decision Making. The program can be completed in 24 months. While most of the program is delivered through an online learning management system, students are required to attend at least two in-person, weekend-long summits held on the university’s campus and in various cities around the world. Classes are delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats; students stream lectures and access course materials on their own schedules but are expected to attend weekly virtual meetings at set times. The curriculum includes group projects, papers, case assignments, and tests. Program participants have access to student support advisors and personalized career coaching services that continue after graduation. The program offers four start dates throughout the year. To apply, students must have an undergraduate degree and at least two years of work experience. Competitive students have knowledge of statistics, finance, accounting, and economics. Admission requirements include transcripts, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and GMAT scores. An interview is also required.
#3 Carnegie Mellon University
Annual Tuition: $34,000
Locations: Pittsburgh (PA)
Average GMAT Score: 687.0
Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business offers an online MBA program that allows for part-time study to accommodate those with other responsibilities. The program focuses on analytics, leadership development, and strategic decision making. It is delivered in a hybrid format; students attend synchronous classes two evenings per week, while asynchronous content may include pre-recorded lectures, assignments, and group work. Students use the Canvas learning management system to organize their coursework and communicate with their classmates. Between each mini semester, students attend “Access Weekend” classes, where they can build relationships with faculty members and colleagues and network with companies in their area of study. The online MBA program features the same curriculum, faculty, and career resources as the on-campus version. Distance learners have access to services through the Accelerate Leadership Center, which includes leadership coaching and workshops. Interested students can apply for admission by submitting transcripts, a resume, one professional recommendation, an essay, and their GRE or GMAT scores (or a waiver), along with an online application. While students with varied backgrounds are encouraged to apply, the process is competitive. Once students’ applications and supporting documents have been reviewed, candidates will be invited to interview with the admissions team.
#4 The University of Texas at Dallas
Annual Tuition: $29,000
Locations: Richardson (TX)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Average GMAT Score: 611.9
The online Professional MBA at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) is offered with 15 different concentrations and 59 electives. The 53-credit program can be started in the fall, spring, or summer and can be completed in as few as 21 months (although students may take up to six years.) There is no on-campus requirement; students use the Blackboard learning management system to study at their own pace. Students may transfer credits from equivalent graduate coursework. UTD also offers a fully-online Global Leadership MBA with concentrations in Finance, Organizational Consulting, Strategic HR, Project Management, Transformation Leadership, and Business Analytics. Classes are typically eight weeks long. Students can expect to take core courses in financial management, organizational behavior, international marketing, and business economics, and elective courses based on their interests and professional goals. Academic advisors are available to help students plan their course of study, and career resources and networking opportunities are also available. Prerequisites for this online program include an undergraduate degree and professional experience; the average applicant has seven years of experience. Prospective students must submit an application, unofficial copies of their transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, one letter of recommendation, a resume, and an essay.
#5 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign
Annual Tuition: $10,692
Locations: Champaign (IL)
Average GMAT Score:
The University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign's online MBA program has no on-campus requirements, enabling students to continue to fulfill their family and work responsibilities. The program offers eight different specializations, including Strategic Leadership and Management, Managerial Economics and Business Analysis, Financial Management, Global Challenges in Business, and Digital Marketing. Coursework for the specializations is delivered on-demand through Coursera. The program curriculum includes case studies, group assignments, quizzes, and lectures. Optional in-person events allow students to network and form relationships with their classmates and faculty. Students should plan to devote eight to 10 hours per week to studying and completing assignments. This program is designed for professionals in the field; applicants must have at least three years of work experience. Additional admission requirements include a completed undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The GRE/GMAT is not required but may be submitted to bolster one’s application. Students interested in joining the program must submit an online application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, an essay, and documentation of work experience or CV. Once enrolled, program participants have access to virtual services, including the school’s library system, career development resources, and program support tools.
#6 Johns Hopkins University
Annual Tuition: $28,200
Locations: Baltimore (MD)
Average GMAT Score:
Students enrolled in the Flexible MBA at Johns Hopkins University can choose from six different concentrations: Financial Businesses, Entrepreneurship, Interdisciplinary Business, Health Care Management, Leading Organizations, and Marketing. Coursework can be delivered fully online through the Blackboard learning management system or in a hybrid format. The program requires a minimum of 54 credits and takes just over 2.5 years to complete. The curriculum includes foundational business courses and a variety of electives that students select based on their goals. Classes include both asynchronous and synchronous components. Along with the Flexible MBA, JHU also offers several online dual-degree MBA programs: DNP/MBA, MBA/MSN in Health Systems Management, MBA/MS in Applied Economics, MBA/MS in Biotechnology, MBA/MA in Communication, and MBA/MA in Government. Most can be completed in three years; the MBA/MSN can take from two to six years, depending on the program format (full- or part-time study). All online students have access to school resources such as student organizations, career coaching, library services, and the Student Success Center. To apply, students must submit their academic transcripts, two essays, a resume, a letter of recommendation, and GMAT or GRE scores. Work experience is not required for admission.
#7 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
Annual Tuition: $29,160
Locations: University Park (PA)
Average GMAT Score:
Penn State offers an online MBA program with more than 20 concentration options, including Accounting Foundations, Business Analytics, Finance, Homeland Security, Marketing Analytics, and Project Management. At the beginning of the program, students participate in a five-day residency at the University Park campus, where they attend workshops and meet instructors and peers. A total of 48 credits is required to complete the degree, and students should plan to spend eight to 10 hours per week studying. Required classes include Financial Accounting, Economics for Business Strategy, and Managing in the Digital Economy. All coursework is delivered asynchronously through the Canvas learning management system. Through Canvas, students submit their assignments, post on discussion boards, and manage their lesson materials. Readings, video lectures, and exams are included in the MBA curriculum. Students studying online have the opportunity to partake in Penn State’s student services and activities, including campus traditions, career guidance, academic advising, and alumni events. To be eligible for the MBA program, students must hold an undergraduate degree. The admissions team considers students’ online application, official transcripts, GMAT/GRE score, resume, list of references, and personal essay before inviting program candidates to interview. Students with diverse educational and professional backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
#8 Indiana University - Bloomington
Annual Tuition: $37,260
Locations: Bloomington (IN)
Average GMAT Score: 630.6
The online MBA program at Indiana University includes two Kelley Connect Weeks. These week-long experiences take place at the university’s Bloomington campus and provide robust academic and networking opportunities. One is held at the beginning of the program, and the other takes place at the end. The program requires a total of 54 credits, half of which are earned through business administration elective courses. Required courses include Quantitative Analysis, Managing Accounting Information for Decision-Making, Business Law and Ethics, Marketing Management, and Digital Technology and Innovation. A team capstone project is also required. The online classroom is hosted through the Canvas learning management system, which allows students to complete coursework on their own schedules while continuing to manage other responsibilities. Students can expect to attend two synchronous lessons each week, with the remainder of the program requiring asynchronous work. Most participants complete the degree requirements in two years. Students can also choose to earn a dual degree (MBA/MS) by completing an additional 12 credits of graduate coursework. The graduate school application includes a personal statement, resume, official transcripts, three references, and GMAT or GRE scores. An interview with the admissions team may be requested.
#9 Purdue University - Main Campus
Annual Tuition: $19,950
Locations: West Lafayette (IN)
Average GMAT Score:
The online MBA at Purdue University is designed to help students develop and sharpen their analytical, problem-solving, decision-making, and managerial skills. The degree requires 48 credits, including a two-credit capstone course. Students can customize their degree with one of three specializations: Business Analytics; Innovative and Technology Commercialization; and Leadership, Negotiation, and Change Management. Coursework is delivered on a 7-week schedule through the Desire2Learn learning management system. The platform allows students to organize their syllabi, assignments, and grades and participate in virtual classroom discussions. While students have the flexibility to study and complete homework on their own schedules, the program itself is not self-paced, and some components of the curriculum require synchronous learning. To apply, students must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Eligible students should submit an online application, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, all previous academic transcripts, a professional resume, and GRE/GMAT scores. Applicants must also complete an interview. Multiple start dates are available throughout the year. PU also offers a dual MS/MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management. Distance learners are supported by assigned Student Success Coaches and academic advisors.
#10 North Carolina State University
Annual Tuition: $40,220
Locations: Raleigh (NC)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Average GMAT Score:
The online MBA program at North Carolina State University offers the option of full- or part-time study, allowing students to complete the 40-credit degree in as little as 21 months or up to six years. Start dates take place in the fall and spring, and all learning is done online, except for two three-day residencies at the university’s main campus in Raleigh (active-duty military can waive this requirement). NC State primarily uses Moodle as a course management platform, which students use to stream lectures, submit assignments, and check their grades. Core coursework focuses on technology, business processes, and practical application in a team environment. Various learning methods are used, such as podcasts, videos, guest speakers, and group projects. Students must choose one of the following areas of emphasis: Biosciences Management, Financial Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, Supply Chain Management, or Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC). Student resources can be found through the Career Development Center and the Student Services Center and are extended to all distance learners. Admissions into the online MBA program are based on an applicants’ work experience and academic history. To apply, students must submit their transcripts, a personal statement, two recommendations, a CV, essay, and GMAT or GRE scores, and participate in an invitation-only interview.
#11 University of Arkansas
Annual Tuition: $11,161
Locations: Fayetteville (AR)
Average GMAT Score:
The University of Arkansas offers an Executive MBA in a hybrid format. Students can earn their degree part-time in two years by studying online and attending on-campus classes one Saturday per month. Classes start in the fall semester, and students can plan their schedules up to a year in advance. Core courses cover subjects such as accounting, marketing, statistics, the economics of management, corporate financial management, and supply chain management. The 38-credit-hour program requires six credits of coursework per semester, and all virtual coursework is delivered using the Blackboard learning management system. Students have access to their materials at all times, allowing them to complete assignments at their convenience. Admission requirements include transcripts from undergraduate coursework, GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a professional resume. Two years of work experience is also generally required. A GMAT/GRE waiver is available for candidates who have at least five years of work experience and a strong academic record. The University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business offers online students a variety of resources, including career services, academic advising, online tutoring, and opportunities to join student organizations.
#12 University of Florida
Annual Tuition: $34,731
Locations: Gainesville (FL)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Average GMAT Score: 626.8
The online MBA at the University of Florida is a 24-month program. Students who have earned an undergraduate degree in business within the past seven years can select the accelerated option, which can be completed in 12 months. Attendance at an on-campus orientation is required, and students enrolled in the 24-month program are encouraged to attend on-campus residencies. Students should plan for at least 15 hours of study time per week. The online course material includes pre-recorded lectures, individual assignments, group projects, and readings, all available through the Canvas learning management system. The one-year program requires 32 credits to complete, and the two-year program requires 48. Students in the two-year program can sign up for a Global Immersion Experience, which includes travel to another country to gain an in-depth understanding of a foreign business environment. Prospective students can apply year-round, as applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The process requires students to submit a pre-application before filling out an official graduate school application. An essay, two letters of recommendation, a professional resume, GMAT or GRE scores, and all prior transcripts are required for admission. IT support and career services are available to distance learners pursuing an MBA.
#13 Baylor University
Annual Tuition: $51,264
Locations: Waco (TX)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Average GMAT Score: 627.4
Designed for working professionals, the fully online MBA at Baylor University allows students to study whenever convenient for them. Students learn to communicate effectively, work in teams, and solve complex problems in a business environment. Core courses cover subjects such as negotiations, business statistics, ethical leadership, managerial accounting, and marketing analysis. Concentrations are available in Marketing, Cyber Security, and Executive Communication. A minimum of 48 credits are required for the degree; up to 12 additional credits in business foundations may be required depending on the student's background. The degree can be completed in as little as 12 months, and multiple start dates are available throughout the year. Students use the Canvas learning management system to study asynchronously and communicate in real time with instructors and classmates through discussion boards and chat rooms. Resources for online MBA students include career services, accessibility services, and academic support. To apply, students must submit their undergraduate transcripts, current resume, three letters of recommendation, and GMAT/GRE scores. The average applicant has 10 years of professional experience
#14 (tie)Bentley University
Annual Tuition: $24,000
Locations: Waltham (MA)
Average GMAT Score: 616.5
The MBA offered at Bentley University is available in three different formats: full-time on campus, part-time evening classes either on campus or synchronously online, and accelerated six-week courses delivered online. Students requiring the most flexibility should consider the accelerated track. The online coursework for both the part-time and accelerated tracks are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Although some of the programming is scheduled, students primarily work and attend classes asynchronously. Foundation and core courses include Managerial Statistics, Marketing Management, Accounting, Strategic Information Technology Alignment, and Global Strategy. Some students may qualify for foundation course waivers. Students may fulfill their electives requirement by choosing four courses (for a general MBA) or a concentration in Accountancy, Business Analytics, Finance, Information Systems and Technology, Law and Taxation, Leadership, or Marketing. Not all electives are offered every semester. To qualify for admission, students must hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants should submit their official transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, two letters of recommendation, two essays, and a professional CV for consideration. Students may apply for spring or fall entry. All Bentley University MBA students can take advantage of the school’s career development resources, library services, and IT support.
#14 (tie)Lehigh University
Annual Tuition: $19,980
Locations: Bethlehem (PA)
Average GMAT Score: 651.5
Lehigh University's FLEX MBA is a part-time degree program that allows students to attend classes either online or on campus. Distance learners can join ClassroomLIVE, attending and participating in classes on campus in real time, or watch recorded videos of classes later. The 36-credit program is divided into 21 credits of core courses and 15 credits of electives. Seven different concentrations are available, but students do not have to declare a concentration at the time of application. Students can study at their own pace using Course Site, a brand of the Moodle learning management system. The virtual classroom includes group discussions, hands-on exercises, quizzes, readings, and case studies. The degree can be earned in as little as two years or up to six years. Program start dates are in August, January, and May. While prerequisite coursework is not necessary for the admissions process, specific classes require completion of coursework in financial accounting, statistics, and principles of economics in order to enroll. Prospective students can apply through Lehigh University’s online application system. They must submit an essay, resume, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and optional GRE/GMAT scores. Students studying online can participate in all campus organizations and activities.
#14 (tie)Missouri University of Science and Technology
Annual Tuition: $21,600
Locations: Rolla (MO)
Average GMAT Score:
The core courses in the online MBA at Missouri Science and Technology cover team building and leadership, international marketing, artificial intelligence and robotics management, supply chain and project management, and managerial accounting. A total of 36 credits are required to complete the degree, 15 of which are electives. Classes are semester-based, and the Canvas online management system is used to deliver coursework. Students can use Canvas to stream lectures online and access lesson materials on their own schedules. Students in the St. Louis area also have the option of attending on-campus classes in the evening. Distance learners are taught by the same instructors who teach the on-campus courses. Requirements for live participation vary by instructor. Enrolled students can benefit from distance learning support services such as the IT Help Desk, library access, career development tools, and networking opportunities. To apply, students must submit their transcripts, GMAT or GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation, and a resume or documentation of professional accomplishments. Applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA and minimum GMAT/GRE scores of 500 or 297, respectively.
#17 University of Cincinnati
Annual Tuition: $28,082
Locations: Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
Average GMAT Score: 561.4
The MBA offered at the University of Cincinnati can be taken fully online, allowing busy professionals to log in where and when it is convenient for them. The curriculum blends academics and intense research with real-world experiences. The program requires a total of 38-48 credits and can be completed in one year. Students have the option to complete the degree on a part-time or full-time basis and are able to work while in the program. Those with previous undergraduate coursework or professional experience may be able to waive up to 10 hours of foundation courses. Twenty-six credits are devoted to program courses, and twelve are earned through electives. Concentrations are available in Health Care Administration, Health Care Finance, Health Care Operations, Health Care Policy and Regulation, Corporate Taxation, Individual Taxation, and Investment Management. The Canvas course management system is used to organize students’ learning materials, assignments, and correspondence and allows students to work asynchronously. Students interested in applying must submit a program application, two letters of recommendation, goal statement, current resume, unofficial school transcripts, and GRE/GMAT scores (unless a waiver is applied). Resources to support online students include career services, academic success coordinators and advisors, and technical assistance.
#18 (tie)Arizona State University
Annual Tuition: $10,108
Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
Average GMAT Score: 583.3
The 24-month online MBA at Arizona State University consists of 17 five-week classes for a total of 49 credits. Core courses cover such subjects as organizational theory, statistics for managers, operations and supply management, ethical issues for managers, and managerial accounting. A total of 17 electives are offered in conjunction with the degree. Students can choose an area of emphasis from four options: Finance, International Marketing, Marketing, or Supply Chain Management. ASU also offers two online concurrent MBA programs: an MBA/MS in Industrial Engineering and an MBA and MSE in Electrical Engineering. These programs include 18 7.5-week classes for a total of 56 credits. Students pursuing an online MBA access their coursework through the Canvas learning management system, using the platform to submit assignments, take quizzes, and message instructors. All new students take part in an orientation to set them up for maximum success in the program. Additionally, students benefit from services including academic tutoring, 24/7 help desk support, and wellness resources. A bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA is required for admission into the program. To apply, students must submit a graduate school application, official transcripts, test scores, two letters of recommendation, short-answer essay responses, and a CV.
#18 (tie)University of Maryland - College Park
Annual Tuition: $44,388
Locations: College Park (MD)
Average GMAT Score:
The online MBA program at the University of Maryland - College Park helps students develop their communication and analytical skills and gain invaluable experience in a wide range of areas. Foundation courses include Corporate Finance, Data Analysis, Entrepreneurship, Managerial Accounting, and Operations Management. Five concentrations are available in the program: Accounting, Information Systems and Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Finance, and Marketing. Students can also opt for the general track, which provides a broad overview of all five of these areas. The 54-credit degree program can be completed in as little as 24 months. An opening residency and capstone residency are required. The curriculum combines interactive learning with the flexibility of an online degree, using the Canvas learning management system. Multimedia is integrated in the form of audio and video messaging, as well as recorded and streamed lectures. Program participants meet weekly for synchronous lessons using Zoom. Applications for the program are accepted year-round and require students to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.8. While there is no formal work experience requirement, two years is recommended in order to be competitive. Additional requested documentation includes official transcripts, a letter of recommendation, an essay, a resume, and GMAT and GRE scores. Online MBA students can make use of resources such as military student services, academic advising, and career development support.
#20 University of Michigan - Dearborn
Annual Tuition: $18,990
Locations: Dearborn (MI)
Average GMAT Score: 577.9
Designed for the busy professional, the online MBA at the University of Michigan-Dearborn can be completed either fully online through the Canvas learning management system or in a hybrid format. Additionally, students can study full- or part-time. Most students complete the program in 2-2.5 years. Core courses include Developing and Interpreting Financial Information, Corporate Social Responsibility, Applied Statistical Modeling, Computer and Information Systems, and Marketing Management. Students can tailor the degree to their interests or career path with one of eight concentrations. However, not all concentrations can be completed fully online. Core courses may be waived for students who qualify, and up to six credits from previous coursework can be transferred. UM also offers a dual MBA/MS in Finance degree program. There are start dates to the program in the fall, winter, and summer. Students interested in applying must submit an online application, statement of purpose, resume or CV, letter of recommendation, GMAT/GRE scores, and official transcripts. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and at least a C in their previous mathematics coursework. Those with three or more years of professional experience may be able to waive the GRE/GMAT requirement. Academic tutoring, library services, and other student success resources are available to distance learners.
#21 Auburn University
Annual Tuition: $14,400
Locations: Auburn (AL)
Accreditation: SACS COC
Average GMAT Score:
The MBA program at Auburn University (AU) is offered 100% online, but distance learners are able to take part in campus activities. Live classroom lectures are streamed via the Canvas Learning Management System. Students also use the platform to interact with peers, work on group assignments, access course material, and submit assignments. The curriculum is made up of 13 classes—nine core and four electives. Available areas of concentration include Finance, Business Analytics, and Information Systems. AU also offers an online Executive MBA, three online dual MBAs (MBA/MSF, MBA/MSIS, and MBA/MISE), and graduate certificates for students who are interested in supplementing their degrees. Students can work at their own pace as long as they complete the degree in six years. An undergraduate degree is required in order to be accepted into the program. Students must submit GMAT/GRE scores, transcripts, a personal statement, a resume, at least two letters of recommendation, and an official application for consideration. Two years of professional experience is preferred; students with more than two years and at least a 3.5 GPA may be able to waive the test requirement. Students are supported in their professional development with one-on-one career coaching.
#22 (tie)Temple University
Annual Tuition: $26,145
Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
Average GMAT Score:
Temple University offers an online MBA program that students can complete in as few as 20 months or up to six years. Courses are offered over three semesters — fall, spring, and summer — and typically run concurrently with on-campus classes. At the beginning of the first semester, students spend a week on campus, where they network, attend workshops and information sessions, and complete the program's first course. The remainder of the curriculum is found online, where the Canvas learning management system is used to streamline and deliver course materials and assignments. Zoom is also used to create a classroom environment and encourage interactive learning. Each class is five weeks in length. Core courses cover subjects such as accounting, financial analysis, leadership, ethics, and business law. A total of 48 credits are required to complete the degree. Applications can be submitted using the online application portal. Prospective students must submit their previous transcripts, current resume, two letters of recommendation, an essay, and GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants may be invited to interview with the admissions department following a review of their documents. IT support, career services, and academic advising are all available for distance learners.
#22 (tie)University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Annual Tuition: $17,100
Locations: Amherst (MA)
Average GMAT Score: 606.8
Distance learners can complete an MBA at the University of Massachusetts fully online or through a hybrid format by taking classes at one of the university’s satellite locations in Massachusetts. The degree can be tailored to the student’s particular interests with five different focus areas: Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare Administration, and Marketing. A total of 39 credits — 45 including a focus area — are required to complete the degree. Most courses follow the typical semester schedule. Students use the Blackboard virtual learning management platform to access their assignments and materials. While students complete asynchronous coursework individually, they are invited to take part in student organizations such as the Graduate Business Association, MBA Women International, and NetImpact. The Chase Career Center also provides support services to graduate students. Students can take up to six credits (two courses) before applying or while working on completing their application. Once the student is accepted, the classes are transferred to their graduate record. To apply to the program, interested students must submit a personal statement, current resume, two letters of recommendation, GMAT/GRE scores, and transcripts from all prior institutions. Students who meet certain criteria may be exempt from GMAT/GRE requirements.
#24 University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Annual Tuition: $10,080
Locations: Lincoln (NE)
Average GMAT Score: 577.0
The online MBA program at the University of Nebraska allows students to customize their degree plan through a choice of electives or a specialization in Business Analytics, International Business, Supply Chain Management, Finance, Marketing, or Human Resource Management. Core courses include Financial Accounting, Managerial Finance, Applied Organizational Behavior, Supply Chain Management, and Business Analytics. More than 25 elective courses are offered. Students can complete coursework as their schedules allow; course material is delivered asynchronously via the Canvas online learning management system and a mobile app is also available. Those who desire more connection with fellow program participants have the option to participate in virtual group discussions, which are recorded for students to watch later. The degree can be earned in as little as 1.5 years, but students can take up to 10 years to complete the program. To apply, students must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and have completed college-level statistics. At least one year of work experience is also required. The application asks students to submit their transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, professional resume, personal statement, and three references. There are three available start dates. Students can take advantage of technical assistance, mentorship opportunities, and career support through the Beyond B School.
#25 University of Kansas
Annual Tuition: $16,435
Locations: Lawrence (KS)
Average GMAT Score:
The online MBA program at the University of Kansas is ideal for working adults who have both professional and family responsibilities. It is available fully online, and there is no residency requirement. Students use the Blackboard learning management system to access coursework, discussion boards, email, quizzes, and grades. The program consists of 13 8-week courses with three starts per year — fall, spring, and summer. The degree can be completed in as few as 27 months. Core classes include Finance, Statistics, Managing People, Marketing, Business Law and Ethics, and Managerial Economics. Students choose electives related to finance, marketing, and management and leadership. Students should plan to spend 15–20 hours per week studying. A total of 42 credits are required to complete the degree. GMAT scores are not required of program applicants. Students must instead complete an Essential Skills Assessment and submit their score, along with a program application, a CV indicating at least two years of professional experience, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. A 3.0 minimum GPA is strongly recommended but is not required for admission. Rather, students are considered based on the whole of their portfolio. Once enrolled, students benefit from access to virtual library services, the writing center, and academic advising.
AACSB-Accredited Online MBA NO GMAT Requirement
This list of online schools do not require students to submit GMAT scores in order to apply. Instead, students can apply if they meet the program's minimum undergraduate GPA or minimum work experience.
Why are online MBA programs waiving the GMAT requirement?
Many online MBA programs are waiving the requirement for some students to submit their GMAT scores for several reasons. One integral factor is that research has continuously shown how standardized tests do not accurately reflect students' aptitudes and abilities to perform well in the multifaceted MBA environment. Another reason is that many students have years of professional business experience outside of their academic careers. Universities believe that this hands-on knowledge is a better indicator of these students' competencies than the GMAT and are reconfiguring their application requirements to reflect this. Finally, many schools are now offering online MBA programs, which are specifically designed for working students and therefore these universities would rather focus on students with current professional experience.
Who is qualified for a GMAT waiver?
Potential applicants who are considering whether or not to apply without a GMAT score should carefully check each school's requirements because many differ on what they stipulate. For instance, Boise State University will waive the GMAT in cases where students have already graduated from a master's or doctoral program or if they have a cumulative 3.0 GPA from a bachelor's program and extensive experience in business management. Auburn's MBA program, on the other hand, will only waive the GMAT for students who have previously received a J.D. or a Ph.D. Syracuse University has more explicit requirements regarding their GMAT waivers. Syracuse will waive the GMAT if applicants have 5+ years military experience or 5+ years of professional corporate experience.
Overview of Online MBA Degrees
The standard online MBA takes two years to complete. Students spend the first year completing general business classes and the second year taking electives in their interest area. Examples of general courses may include organizational behavior, principles of accounting, management information systems, principles of finance, or strategic management. Top MBA programs emphasize communication and the ability to network, so students will participate in group projects, case competitions, and group presentations in order to gain interpersonal skills and writing skills. The ability to write and speak concisely yet comprehensively is a highly coveted skill. Students also learn how to develop their leadership abilities through techniques that enhance their analytical and decision-making skills.
In addition to the standard two year MBA, there are 142 schools offering accelerated online MBA programs that can be completed in under two years. Impressively, West Chester University of Pennsylvania offers an online MBA that full-time students can complete in as little as nine months. Those interested in a specialized program will be pleased with Tennessee Tech University, which offers 6 different MBA degree concentrations.
In addition to acquiring general business skills, students in MBA programs typically focus on one particular aspect of business. This is an important part of the MBA, since many students already have an idea of their strengths and interests before applying to graduate school. Instead of trying to master all forms of business administration, MBA programs have found it beneficial for students to specialize in one form of business, such as organizational leadership, in order to ensure their graduates are competitive in the job market after graduation.
Pursuing an MBA is an important career and life decision, so it's important to take the time to adequately prepare before you begin a program. Be sure to get a financial plan together, and consider your funding options such as scholarships, loans, and savings. Identify your long-term goals, and choose a school that best coincides with your goals, aspirations, and interests. Many of the best MBA programs require either the GMAT or GRE, so be sure to prepare for and take the exams that are necessary for admission to your chosen school.
What is MBA Accreditation?
An accredited business school has met or surpassed rigorous academic requirements set by a reputable evaluating agency. The designation—which is earned after a thorough, independent review of the business school, its programs, courses, faculty, and services—serves as an acknowledgment of quality and credibility. Accreditation adds value to the business school, its MBA program, and its other graduate and undergraduate programs. Accredited online MBA programs are offered by business schools that have undergone this stringent independent assessment to earn the designation, which must be renewed regularly by the accrediting agency. Business students enrolled in accredited MBA programs receive a quality education that adheres to the highest standards of professional practice.
Most colleges and universities are accredited by one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This form of accreditation is based on where the institution of higher learning is located in the U.S.—the northeast, middle states, southeast, north-central, northwest, or west. Because business schools are typically part of a larger college or university system, they automatically benefit from this method of accreditation. Additionally, business schools typically seek programmatic accreditation, a professional accreditation designed for specialized departments, programs, schools, or colleges within an accredited college or university, to denote its quality, legitimacy, and trustworthiness.
A business school initiates the programmatic accreditation process by reaching out to the evaluating agency, filing an eligibility application, and paying the agency to conduct an independent review of the MBA program. This review includes an evaluation of the program's curriculum and coursework, its faculty qualifications, and peer and committee reviews.
Founded in 1916 and widely regarded as the premier accrediting agency for bachelor's and graduate degree programs in business administration, the AACSB confers its accreditation to business schools that emphasize business management research. AACSB-accredited business schools follow a teaching-and-training framework that examines the political, legal, regulatory, social, and technological aspects of global organizations as well as theories in finance, organizational management, and evidence-based decision-making. ACBSP-accredited schools emphasize knowledge and training in finance, accounting, marketing, and management. They also look at the economic, legal, ethical, and global dimensions of business strategy. IACBE-accredited schools place a greater emphasis on student outcomes and how business knowledge is applied in the workplace.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, is the premier accrediting organization for business degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate level. With approximately 820 accredited members (as of 2018), representing the top 5 percent of the world's business degree programs, attending an AACSB-accredited program ensures that students receive a business education of the highest caliber. AACSB evaluates business degree programs based on the quality of the faculty, the depth and breadth of the curriculum, the level of innovation involved in its academic research, and its ability to graduate highly qualified business professionals. AACSB has the most stringent requirements for both learning environments and learning outcomes. Companies are aware of AACSB's rigorous accreditation process, and many choose to only hire candidates who have attended a business program that has been accredited by the AACSB.
Choosing a Reputable Online MBA Program
The MBA is an excellent degree for professionals to have, whether you're an engineer moving into a supervisory role or an entrepreneurially-minded college grad looking to start your own business. While researching the top MBA programs, remember to keep your career goals, learning style, and work-life balance in mind, in order to pick the best option for you.
In general, the following criteria can help you evaluate online MBA programs you are considering:
Costs and Financial Aid: MBA programs can vary greatly in price. Shop around and make sure that you consider applicable fees and enrollment costs, as well as tuition.
Course Structure and Delivery: Part time or full time? Asynchronous or synchronous online classes? Traditional semesters or accelerated classes? All options are available online, but only you can decide which one suits your life and learning style.
Graduate Placement: If it is not available on the school's website, ask the admissions office for information about graduate job placement. Inquire about the percentage of students who were able to find work in their chosen field within three to six months after they graduated.
Institutional and Programmatic Accreditation: It is important to choose an accredited MBA. To get accredited, a school or program is evaluated by an impartial accrediting organization. Schools that achieve accreditation have met important quality standards. Institutional accreditation applies to an entire college, while programmatic accreditation applies to individual programs. Anyone considering an MBA degree should focus on schools programatically accredited by the AACSB, which is the premier accrediting agency for business degrees.
Comprehensive List of AACSB Accredited MBA Programs
Do I have to take the GMAT to apply for an MBA program?
Many schools and universities offering MBA programs, especially online MBA degree programs, have decided to waive the GMAT requirement for some applicants. They recognize that this standardized test is not always a good indicator of a student's ability to succeed in an MBA program. Instead, they believe that prior work experience may be a more appropriate prerequisite that better reflects a candidate's skills and abilities. However, every program has its own unique set of requirements, so students should check with the schools they're interested in to determine whether they'll need to take the GMAT before submitting an application.
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