2020 Best AACSB Accredited Online MBA Programs

By Jennifer King Logan | Updated October 20, 2020

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 and answers to frequently asked questions about MBA degrees.

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2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Programs

2020 Best Online MBA Programs Badge

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.

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#1 University of Southern California

  • Annual Tuition: $51,480
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Average GMAT Score: 708.0

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, so it is not the same as the on-campus program. 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. The degree can be completed in five semesters, with a minimum of 9.5 units required per semester; credits cannot be transferred. Students are required to come to campus for one week at the beginning of the program.

#2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Annual Tuition: $85,076
  • Locations: Chapel Hill (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Average GMAT Score: 697.0

Students enrolled in the online MBA program at the University of North Carolina can choose from four different start dates throughout the year, allowing them to pick the most convenient time to begin their studies. The program is taught by the same faculty members who teach the on-campus MBA program. The degree is customizable, with more than 25 electives available as well as five concentrations: entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, strategy and consulting, and data analytics and decision making. The program can be completed in 24 months. All 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.

#3 Carnegie Mellon University

  • Annual Tuition: $34,000
  • Locations: Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 687.0

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business offers an online MBA program that allows for part-time study, so busy working adults can continue to care for their family and professional 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. Between each mini semester, students attend “Access Weekend” classes, where they can build relationships with faculty members and colleagues as well as visit top companies in their area of study and network with alumni of the MBA program. The online MBA program features the same curriculum, faculty, and career resources as the on-campus version.

#4 The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Annual Tuition: $29,000
  • Locations: Richardson (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Average GMAT Score: 675.0

The online Professional MBA at the University of Texas at Dallas is offered with 15 different concentrations and 59 electives. The 53-credit program can be started in the fall, spring, or summer, and there is no on-campus requirement. Students can study at their own pace; the degree can be completed in as little as 21 months or as much as six years. Credits from equivalent graduate coursework may be transferred. UT also offers a fully-online Global Leadership MBA with seven different concentrations. Classes are typically eight weeks long, and the degree can be completed in as little as 21 months. Students can choose to start the program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

#5 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign

  • Annual Tuition: $10,692
  • Locations: Champaign (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 670.0

The University of Illinois’ online MBA program has no on-campus requirements, enabling students to continue to fulfill their family and work responsibilities. Applicants must have at least three years of professional experience. The program offers eight different specialties, including strategic leadership and management, managerial economics and business analysis, financial management, global challenges in business, and digital marketing. Both Blackboard Learn and Coursera are used to deliver course content. Students should plan to study eight to 10 hours per week. Optional in-person events allow students to network and form relationships with their classmates and faculty.

#6 Johns Hopkins University

  • Annual Tuition: $28,200
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 658.0

Students enrolled in the online, 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 or in a hybrid format. The program takes just over 2.5 years to complete, and a minimum of 54 credits must be earned. 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.

#7 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $29,160
  • Locations: University Park (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 657.0

Penn State offers an online MBA program with more than 20 concentration options, enabling students to tailor their coursework to a specific field of study. Options include accounting foundations, business analytics, finance, homeland security, marketing analytics, and project management. A five-day residency at the University Park campus is required at the beginning of the program, where students will meet instructors and fellow students and attend various workshops. A total of 48 credits are required to complete the degree, and students should plan to spend eight to 10 hours per week studying. All coursework is delivered asynchronously.

#8 Indiana University - Bloomington

  • Annual Tuition: $37,260
  • Locations: Bloomington (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 639.0

The online MBA program at Indiana University includes two Kelley Connect Weeks. These weeklong 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 is held at the end. A total of 54 credits are required to complete the degree, half of which are earned through business administration elective courses. Among the required courses are 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. Students can complete an additional 12 credits to earn a Master of Science in several different areas through the school's dual degree option.

#9 Purdue University - Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $19,950
  • Locations: West Lafayette (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 626.0

The online MBA at Purdue University is designed to help students develop and sharpen their analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, as well as the skills needed to be an effective manager. Core courses include Marketing Management, Managerial Economics, Macroeconomics, and Financial Management. Students can customize their degree with one of three specializations: business analytics; innovative and technology commercialization; and leadership, negotiation, and change management. Multiple start dates are available throughout the year. A total of 54 credits are required to complete the degree, including a two-credit capstone course. PU also offers a dual MS/MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management.

#10 North Carolina State University

  • Annual Tuition: $40,220
  • Locations: Raleigh (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Average GMAT Score: 625.0

The online MBA program at NCSU offers the option of full- or part-time study, so students can complete the degree in a little as 21 months or take up to six years. They can start in the fall or 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). Core coursework focuses on technology, business processes, and practical application in a team environment. Students must choose a six-credit area of emphasis which mirrors a concentration in a full-time, traditional degree program. There are six emphases to choose from: biosciences management, financial management, innovation management, marketing management, supply chain management, and technology entrepreneurship and commercialization (TEC). A total of 40 credits are required to complete the degree.

#11 University of Arkansas

  • Annual Tuition: $11,161
  • Locations: Fayetteville (AR)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 620.0

The University of Arkansas offers an Executive MBA in a hybrid format. Students can earn their degree 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 schedule 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. A minimum of two years of work experience is required to enroll in the program. A GMAT/GRE waiver is available for candidates who have at least five years of work experience and a strong academic record. The 38-credit-hour program requires six hours of coursework per semester.

#12 University of Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $34,731
  • Locations: Gainesville (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Average GMAT Score: 618.0

The online MBA at UF 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. 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.

#13 Baylor University

  • Annual Tuition: $51,264
  • Locations: Waco (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Average GMAT Score: 617.0

Designed for working professionals, the fully online MBA at Baylor University allows students to study wherever and whenever it is 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.

#14 (tie) Bentley University

  • Annual Tuition: $24,000
  • Locations: Waltham (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 610.0

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. 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 through a chosen concentration in accountancy, business analytics, finance, information systems and technology, law and taxation, leadership, or marketing. Not all electives are offered every semester.

#14 (tie) Lehigh University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,980
  • Locations: Bethlehem (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 610.0

For busy professionals, Lehigh University offers a FLEX MBA, which is a part-time degree program that allows students to attend classes either online or on campus. Distance learners have two options: they can join ClassroomLIVE, attending and participating in classes taking place on campus in real time, or they can watch streaming 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; the degree can be completed in as little as two years or take up to six years. Starting times are in August, January, and May.

#14 (tie) Missouri University of Science and Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $21,600
  • Locations: Rolla (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 610.0

The core courses in the online MBA at Missouri Science and Technology cover, among other topics, 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 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 classes. Requirements for live participation vary by instructor.

#17 University of Cincinnati

  • Annual Tuition: $28,082
  • Locations: Cincinnati (OH)(and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 602.0

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, giving students the opportunity to simultaneously enhance their skills and resume. The program requires a total of 38-48 credits and can be completed in one year. Students 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 applied to 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.

#18 (tie) Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,108
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ)(and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 597.0

The 24-month online MBA at Arizona State University is comprised 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 are comprised of 18 7.5-week classes for a total of 56 credits.

#18 (tie) University of Maryland - College Park

  • Annual Tuition: $44,388
  • Locations: College Park (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 597.0

The online MBA program at UM helps students develop their communication and analytic 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.

#20 University of Michigan - Dearborn

  • Annual Tuition: $18,990
  • Locations: Dearborn (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 589.0

Designed for the busy professional, the online MBA at UM can be completed either fully online 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 particular interest or career path with one of eight concentrations. However, not all concentrations can be completed fully online. Optional courses may also be selected from the list of graduate business courses. For students who qualify, core courses may be waived, and up to six credits from previous coursework can be transferred. UM also offers a dual MBA/MS in Finance degree program.

#21 Auburn University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,400
  • Locations: Auburn (AL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Average GMAT Score: 583.0

The MBA program at Auburn University is available 100% online, but distance learners have the option of taking part in campus activities. Live classroom lectures are streamed via the Canvas Online Learning Management System, and students also use the platform to interact with one another, work on group assignments, access course material, and submit assignments. The curriculum is comprised of 13 classes—nine core and four electives; there are more than 25 electives from which to choose. Students can work at their own pace as long as they complete the degree in six years. AU also offers an online Executive MBA and three online dual MBAs: an MBA/MSF, MBA/MSIS, and MBA/MISE.

#22 (tie) Temple University

  • Annual Tuition: $26,145
  • Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 579.0

Temple University offers an online MBA program that students can complete in a little 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 first course of the program. Each class is five weeks in length. Core courses cover such subjects as accounting, financial analysis, leadership, ethics, and business law. A total of 48 credits are required to complete the degree.

#22 (tie) University of Massachusetts - Amherst

  • Annual Tuition: $17,100
  • Locations: Amherst (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE
  • Average GMAT Score: 579.0

The University of Massachusetts offers an MBA program that can be taken fully online, but distance learners are also able to take classes at one of the university’s satellite locations in Massachusetts. 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. 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, but some may not. Students who meet certain criteria may be exempt from GMAT/GRE requirements.

#24 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Annual Tuition: $10,080
  • Locations: Lincoln (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 578.0

The online MBA program at the University of Nebraska allows students to customize their degree plan through a choice of electives or through 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 study whenever and wherever it is convenient; course material is delivered via the Canvas Online Learning Management System, and a mobile app is available. Up to 12 credits can be taken before admission to the program, and up to 12 credits can be transferred from previous coursework. The degree can be earned in as little as 1.5 years, but students can take up to 10 years to complete the program.

#25 University of Kansas

  • Annual Tuition: $16,435
  • Locations: Lawrence (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Average GMAT Score: 577.0

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. The program is comprised of 13 8-week courses with three starts per year — fall, spring, and summer. The degree can be completed in as little 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. A GMAT waiver is available for students who qualify.

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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.

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AACSB-Accredited Accelerated Online MBA Programs

These online schools offer online MBA programs that can be completed in an accelerated format. With completion lengths ranging from one year to 21 months, each MBA program on this list offers students the opportunity to earn a degree in under two years.

Refine Your Search
School Annual Tuition Program Duration
$31,446 1 years
$16,175 21 months
$11,016 12 months
$34,146 12 months
$37,500 18 months
$25,276 12 months
$17,860 18 months
$34,212 21 months
$16,905 1 years
$27,321 21 months
$13,822 18 months
$20,660 18 months
$34,995 18 months
$21,539 12 months
$16,770 12 months
$18,446 23 months
$24,202 18 months
$26,707 1 years
$12,556 12 months
$35,724 20 months
$20,508 18 months
$28,610 21 months
$19,279 12 months
$19,248 18 months
$22,180 20 months

What is an Accelerated Online MBA?

An accelerated online MBA program only takes six months to one year to complete, versus the traditional two years. The shortest of these online programs are six to ten months long, with the average accelerated MBA program taking at least one year to complete. Online MBAs offered at an accelerated rate are designed to equip students with the same skills and training as traditional length programs.

Who Should Consider an Accelerated Online MBA?

Accelerated programs may appeal in particular to students with undergraduate degrees in business. Many accelerated online MBA programs provide opportunities for students with undergraduate business degrees to opt out of some graduate classes to further accelerate the program. In general, accelerated online MBAs are a better fit for individuals with a small window of focused time, a desire to earn the degree quickly, and a solid background in business. The traditional online program works best for students with full-time jobs, who need to take one class at a time, or have other obligations to manage.

Things to Know About Accelerated MBAs

Before selecting an accelerated program, prospective students should keep in mind that the faster the program, the more concentrated the material. Online curriculum is somewhat flexible, but a high concentration of content can overwhelm those who are new in the business world. An accelerated online program requires more organization and diligence, with an expectation that students are ready to work hard and submit high-quality work.

There may be financial incentives to completing an accelerated MBA; the cost of accelerated online MBA programs can range from $10,000 to $30,000+ versus the traditional online MBA cost of $20,000 to $70,000+.

It is also important to note that, while technology allows for more personal interaction than one might expect in an online course, there are elements of the full immersion campus-based MBA experience that could be lost in an online program. The business world is all about networking, face-to-face conversations, working as a team, and interpersonal relationships. Depending on a student's personality it might be wise to find an online program with a local school that offers in-person experiences and interactions

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Online MBA Degree Overview & Career Information

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 85 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.

AACSB Accreditation

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.

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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.
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Executive MBA

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# Ohio University-Main Campus $17,712 75% (4 reviews)
# University of Nevada - Reno $20,047 0% (1 review)
# University of North Carolina at Wilmington $21,196 100% (1 review)
# University of Arkansas $21,526 100% (2 reviews)
# Washington State University $26,234 73% (11 reviews)
# The University of Texas at Dallas $26,852 Add Review
# Rochester Institute of Technology $45,808 Add Review

An online executive MBA (EMBA) is a program that is specifically designed for professionals with significant work experience. For this reason, the average age of students enrolled in an executive MBA program is generally higher than students enrolled in other MBA programs. There are several executive MBA programs offered completely online at colleges and universities across the country, and all of these programs are designed to allow students to earn a degree while also continuing to work. Most online executive MBA programs can be completed in two years or less.

Professionals seeking EMBAs come from very diverse backgrounds, including governmental, private and non-profit and a wide variety of industries. EMBA students often hold middle management positions in their respective industries and seek to enhance their leadership skills and further develop their careers. An extensive work history is an asset that helps EMBA students learn from each other, and combine practice with theory. Typical EMBA courses include business related studies, such as finance, marketing, accounting, as well as leadership and management training.

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MBA in Accounting

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# Midwestern State University $6,804 75% (4 reviews)
# Southeastern Oklahoma State University $11,178 Add Review
# Western Illinois University $11,604 Add Review
# Mississippi College $11,630 0% (1 review)
# The University of Scranton $11,630 100% (1 review)
# Texas A & M University-Kingsville $12,839 Add Review
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# University of Hartford $13,055 100% (1 review)
# St. Bonaventure University Online $13,590 Add Review
# University of La Verne $14,238 100% (1 review)

Students enrolled in an online MBA program specialized in accounting will be focusing their studies on topics such as tax laws, managing financial records, estate taxation and forensic accounting, in addition to core business subjects. Typical courses in an accounting MBA program include, but are not limited to, financial accounting, cost management, auditing, tax planning, problems in financial reporting, fundamentals in managerial accounting, and business strategy.

Graduates holding an online MBA degree in accounting may pursue careers in a wide variety of industries, with positions available in financial services, public accounting, corporate accounting or consulting.  Students may go on to become certified public accountants, a career path in which they would be responsible for filing taxes and completing financial and business planning services, among other tasks. Other common career paths include auditors, enrolled agents, become business analysts, cost accountants, tax planners, controllers, and account managers.

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MBA in Finance

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# The University of Texas of the Permian Basin $5,715 50% (2 reviews)
# Arkansas State University $11,016 75% (4 reviews)
# University of Central Arkansas $11,045 Add Review
# Southeastern Oklahoma State University $11,178 Add Review
# The University of Scranton $11,630 100% (1 review)
# Mississippi College $11,630 0% (1 review)
# University of South Dakota $12,249 60% (5 reviews)
# University of Arizona $12,368 100% (2 reviews)
# Texas A & M University-Kingsville $12,839 Add Review
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review

An online MBA in finance is a very versatile degree, as it prepares student for numerous career options, both in financial and non-financial institutions. The program helps students learn how to manage the challenges of investments and risk within a business setting and helps them develop analytical and technical skills in all aspects of finance.

Students participating in an online MBA in finance program will study in depth the role that finance has in everyday life. They will also be studying financial planning, cost-benefit analysis, and emerging markets, as part of their core curricula. Often, these programs will also feature courses such as corporate finance and accounting, management information systems, supply chain management, and decision-making for growth and management.

Graduates of an online MBA in finance may pursue jobs as financial analysts, cash managers, credit managers, financial planners, and risk managers, among other options within the corporate finance and investment banking field. They may also pursue positions within other industries such as sales, trading, and research.

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MBA in Healthcare Management

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# West Texas A & M University $7,560 Add Review
# Southeast Missouri State University $9,991 100% (1 review)
# Morehead State University $10,512 Add Review
# University of Central Arkansas $11,045 Add Review
# Minnesota State University-Moorhead $11,064 100% (1 review)
# Southeastern Oklahoma State University $11,178 Add Review
# The University of Scranton $11,630 100% (1 review)
# University of South Dakota $12,249 60% (5 reviews)
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# University of Hartford $13,055 100% (1 review)

An online MBA in healthcare management helps to prepare aspiring healthcare managers by coupling specialized knowledge in healthcare with a general management education. Students learn the fundamentals of planning, evaluation and operation, as well as the intricacies and complexities of the healthcare system. Prospective students can expect to learn how to manage and lead organizations across the healthcare sector and about the political, economical, and financial environment in which healthcare is currently delivered.

Typical career options include leadership positions in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, insurance companies, long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Online MBA programs in Healthcare Management offer a combination of business and healthcare related courses. Some common classes include health sector economics, health systems management, healthcare law and policy, health economics and evaluation, and biopharmaceutical and medical device strategy, among others. In many cases, applicants are required to have a minimum of one year of work experience in the health care industry, though this varies from school to school.

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MBA in Human Resources

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# Union University $8,220 Add Review
# Anderson University - SC $9,309 100% (1 review)
# Southeastern Oklahoma State University $11,178 Add Review
# The University of Scranton $11,630 100% (1 review)
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# University of Nebraska at Kearney $14,225 0% (1 review)
# Mercer University $14,674 Add Review
# Wichita State University $14,817 100% (1 review)
# Colorado State University-Pueblo $17,797 100% (1 review)
# University of Houston-Clear Lake $18,280 Add Review

Online MBAs in human resources offer business expertise and knowledge, with a focus on human relations, communication, and team-leading, preparing their students to serve as senior-level managers, company executives and directors, or to occupy different positions in fields such as human resources or payroll managing. Graduates can also continue to Ph.D. programs or get professional certifications to gain further credentials in their line of business.

In addition to classes on the foundational principles of business, these programs will offer the opportunity to learn about various organizational cultures, communicating in a persuasive way, and solving problems competently. Core courses include human resources focused topics, such as conflict management, talent management, foundations of negotiations, and social issues. Other courses focus more on management and business, such as international management, leadership and team management, strategy process, and management consulting. Online human resource MBA programs typically involve theory and applied work, combining informational coursework with advanced level assignments, presentations, reports, group projects, and internships.  

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MBA in Information Systems

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# West Texas A & M University $7,560 Add Review
# Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville $9,030 100% (2 reviews)
# University of Central Arkansas $11,045 Add Review
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# University of La Verne $14,238 100% (1 review)
# Texas Tech University $15,485 0% (3 reviews)
# Lamar University $15,644 50% (14 reviews)
# University of Michigan-Flint $16,704 Add Review
# Colorado State University-Pueblo $17,797 100% (1 review)
# University of Houston-Clear Lake $18,280 Add Review

Online MBA in information systems programs are designed to combine business knowledge and technical expertise for students seeking to advance their careers in the IT business field. Students take classes about implementing information and communication technologies to raise productivity and innovation, and gain competitive business advantages. The MBA coursework provides students with an overview of various business topics, including marketing, finance, and risk management. In addition, the curriculum may focus on advanced IT software and hardware skills, and information-related subjects, such as network administration, information system design, database systems, client/server applications, and information management tools.

Degree programs may also feature concentration areas, and students can choose to focus on health informatics or information systems development, for example. Possible career options for graduates holding an MBA degree in information systems include IT strategist, corporate manager and systems consultant; graduates may be part of the upper management of a company, and lead the organization in decision making regarding internet technologies, telecommunications, systems and databases.

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MBA in International Business

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# University of Central Arkansas $11,045 Add Review
# The University of Scranton $11,630 100% (1 review)
# Texas A & M University-Kingsville $12,839 Add Review
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# University of Hartford $13,055 100% (1 review)
# University of La Verne $14,238 100% (1 review)
# University of Central Missouri $15,231 100% (2 reviews)
# University of Michigan-Flint $16,704 Add Review
# Fayetteville State University $16,770 100% (1 review)
# Saint Joseph's University $16,992 Add Review

An online MBA in international business program will help students gain a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of global business. Depending on the program, students can choose from different specializations available, like marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship. The core coursework of online international business programs focuses on global economics, accounting, international marketing management, global strategy, financial management, international corporate finance, and other related courses that aim to introduce business issues from a global perspective. Courses may also focus on developing cultural skills, which can prove useful when working within the global marketplace.

Some programs offer the option to study and specialize in a particular, high-demand foreign language, such as German or Japanese. Other programs require previously-acquired proficiency in at least one foreign language, or proof of having taken courses in a foreign language. Graduates holding a degree in this field may pursue work as consultants, business analysts, financial analysts, market research assistants, or marketing analysts. They may also seek work within international organizations, as well as in the travel and hospitality industry.

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MBA in Management

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# West Texas A & M University $7,560 Add Review
# Southern Arkansas University $8,970 100% (2 reviews)
# Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville $9,030 100% (2 reviews)
# Southeast Missouri State University $9,991 100% (1 review)
# University of Southern Mississippi $10,624 0% (1 review)
# Southeastern Oklahoma State University $11,178 Add Review
# Western Illinois University $11,604 Add Review
# The University of Scranton $11,630 100% (1 review)
# University of South Dakota $12,249 60% (5 reviews)
# University of Arizona $12,368 100% (2 reviews)

An online MBA in management is similar in many ways to a traditional MBA program, offering an academic introduction into business and business related topics. However, while a traditional MBA teaches business from a broad perspective, an MBA in management places a greater focus on management. Students in an online management MBA program may choose a concentration, such as accounting, international business, finance, marketing management, information systems, strategic management, or human resources. Coursework introduces students to strategic thinking, and helps them to gain an understanding of organizational culture.

Online MBA in management programs help prepare students to handle business related tasks, such as employee motivation, ethical decision making, business law, and workplace security. Typical program courses include accounting, economics, business law, corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and corporate communications. Graduates may pursue careers in virtually any industry and sector, occupying executive, supervisory, and management positions.

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MBA in Marketing

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# West Texas A & M University $7,560 Add Review
# Union University $8,220 Add Review
# Anderson University - SC $9,309 100% (1 review)
# Southeastern Oklahoma State University $11,178 Add Review
# University of South Dakota $12,249 60% (5 reviews)
# University of Arizona $12,368 100% (2 reviews)
# University of North Alabama $12,980 Add Review
# University of Hartford $13,055 100% (1 review)
# St. Bonaventure University Online $13,590 Add Review
# Youngstown State University $13,884 Add Review

An online MBA in marketing focuses on the marketing aspects of business decisions. Unlike some MBA degree specializations, applicants for an online MBA in marketing program can and do come from almost any professional background and industry. Some people already working in the marketing field may enroll in an online marketing MBA to gain more experience and help advance their careers. Other people may enroll in an online marketing MBA to pursue work or advance their careers in a wide variety of non-marketing industries including retail, IT, consulting, entrepreneurial management, or independent consulting.

As with any other MBA degree, applicants will be required to have a bachelor’s degree, and will also usually be required to have at least a couple of years of work experience before being accepted into the program. Students can expect to take classes in marketing management, marketing channels strategies, forecasting, modeling, and marketing strategy, sales force management, and operations management. Students might also receive specialized education in consumer behavior, selling strategies, and brand and product promotion management.

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MBA in Organizational Leadership

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# Queens University of Charlotte $13,158 Add Review
# Youngstown State University $13,884 Add Review
# University of La Verne $14,238 100% (1 review)
# The University of Texas at Tyler $15,028 100% (3 reviews)
# University of Michigan-Flint $16,704 Add Review
# Saint Joseph's University $16,992 Add Review
# Creighton University $17,376 75% (4 reviews)
# Ohio University-Main Campus $17,712 75% (4 reviews)
# Colorado State University-Pueblo $17,797 100% (1 review)
# Dominican University $20,660 Add Review

Online MBA programs with a specialization in organizational leadership are designed to offer further education in business and organization theory for professionals who are already occupying leadership positions, and to academically prepare those who aspire to occupy such positions in the future. Just like a traditional online MBA program, an online MBA in organizational leadership focuses on learning and cementing business leadership skills, but using a slightly different approach.

The curriculum of online MBA programs in organizational leadership includes many aspects of business practice, such as financial reporting, marketing management, data analytics, and organizational leadership, with a strong emphasis on personal approaches to business interactions and person-to-person skills, such as collaboration skills, ethics, communication and coaching. This degree may pave the way for professional paths in various industries.

Popular career options for graduates in this field include, among others, sales director, training director, HR director, project team leader, management consultant, human resources director, organizational management consultant, and executive coach.

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MBA in Public Administration

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# Colorado State University-Pueblo $17,797 100% (1 review)
# Abilene Christian University $21,492 100% (1 review)
# Boston University $53,572 100% (3 reviews)

An online MBA in public administration helps students prepare to solve problems related to business administration and practice. These programs focus on advanced business skills as they pertain to the organization of public sector enterprises. Students graduating from an online MBA in public administration program may pursue work in fields such as criminal justice, business management, or public administration.

Job opportunities and possible positions might also include police chief, prison warden, court clerk and tax assessor. Online MBA in public administration programs will generally include coursework in finance management, human resources management, information management, and organizational theory. Classes cover subjects like business relations, public budgeting, enterprise management, public service ethics, public finance, public policy, statistics, and research methods. These courses aid students in understanding how business and economic concepts apply to public organizations.

As with most master degree programs, applicants are usually expected, and in some cases required, to have some work experience. Applicants who haven’t worked in business or government prior to applying for an online MBA in public administration program may be encouraged to work in an internship to gain relevant work experience.

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MBA in Technology Management

School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# Colorado State University-Pueblo $17,797 100% (1 review)
# University of Houston-Clear Lake $18,280 Add Review
# University of Wisconsin-Whitewater $18,456 Add Review
# Abilene Christian University $21,492 100% (1 review)
# Northeastern University $24,309 100% (3 reviews)
# North Carolina State University $27,983 50% (2 reviews)
# Purdue University - Main Campus $28,794 75% (4 reviews)
# University of Dallas $33,750 Add Review
# Carnegie Mellon University $44,667 100% (1 review)
# Boston University $53,572 100% (3 reviews)

Online MBA programs focused on technology management prepare students to become executives in industries in the technology sector. Graduates holding a degree in this field might go on to become chief technology officers, information systems managers, computer system analysts, or occupy other high-level technology-related positions.

Online technology management programs teach students how to enhance business growth by implementing new technology and digital transformation. Students will take core MBA courses, such as marketing, finance and accounting, as well as technology-focused courses. The curriculum includes database management courses, featuring topics like data mining and database architecture; management technology courses, where students can learn about managerial economics, costs and operations of market, IT project management and technical operations strategies; and technology innovation courses, which present the processes by which companies run research and develop new technologies.

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Comprehensive List of AACSB Accredited Online Schools - MBA Degrees

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Frequently Asked Questions About MBA Degrees

How much will I earn with an MBA?

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning an MBA will increase a student's salary potential by about $30,000 annually, although this may vary depending on which business-related occupation the student pursues.

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.

References

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