Top 25 Online MBA Programs in the Midwest - 2014

Our 2014 list of the Top 25 Online MBA Programs offered by school in the Midwest. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers a flexible online MBA program that allows students to tailor their experience by selecting 12 credit hours of electives that meet their interests. Also known as “Kelley Online Direct,” the online program also offers the opportunity for students to complete a dual MBA/MS degree with an MS in Business Analytics, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing or Strategic Management. Other unique opportunities for students include the Washington Campus Program and AGILE.

The Washington Campus program "helps bridge that gap between the world of business and the world of politics," while AGILE—Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education, allows students to gain international business experience while pursuing their online degree. Should they choose the AGILE curriculum, online students can expect to travel to places such as Gaborone, Botswana; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Beijing, China; New Delhi, India; Myanmar, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International, the 51-credit-hour online MBA program welcomed 136 students for fall 2013 and takes just two years to complete.

2. University of Wisconsin (Consortium), Eau Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Parkside, Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin Consortium MBA program is offered entirely online, and features “content-integrated, theme-based modules rather than traditional stand-alone courses.” The 30-credit-hour program is designed for working professionals looking to advance in their respective career fields. The online format allows students to continue working while completing their program within two to three years, once foundation requirements have been met.

In addition to completing a mandatory Leadership “mini-module” that occurs concurrently with “Developing New Products and Services,” Consortium MBA students may choose 13 credits of electives relevant to their goals. Electives are offered in the areas of Accounting & Finance, Healthcare, Information Technology, Management, and Marketing. Students also have the option of earning a 13-credit online certificate that can be applied towards the schools MBA program course prerequisites.

The University of Wisconsin (Consortium) MBA is AACSB-International accredited.

3. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

The College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a 48-credit-hour MBA program that allows students to complete the entire program online. However, students may visit the campus at any time. The program includes 10 core classes (30 hours), nine hours of breadth electives, and nine hours of electives. Specialization options include Agribusiness, Business Analytics, Finance and Marketing, International Business, and Supply Chain Management.

 Students may begin their studies in January, March, June, August or October of each year. The average completion time for the online MBA is three years, but it is possible to complete it in 1.5 years. However, students may take up to 10 years to complete the AACSB International-accredited program.

4. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers a 33 to 34-credit-hour online MBA program that takes two+ years to complete. The program, which offers a concentration in International Business, does not require any campus visits. Instead, students attend via “live” Web classes held in the evenings, one evening per week, for three hours. Students may enter the AACSB International-accredited online MBA program every fall (August), spring (January), or summer (May).

5. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University offers a 30-credit-hour online MBA program that may be completed in as little as two years. The AACSB International-accredited program offers six optional concentrations including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Economics, Policy and Administration; Information Systems, Operations Management, and Sales Management. An additional option is the General MBA, which allows students to customize their experience through a variety of course subjects.

Online MBA students complete their coursework through a combination of asynchronous (no specific sign-on time each week) and synchronous (specific time to watch and participate in live webcast lectures and discussions) formats. Students will “keep in contact with instructors and classmates using e-mail, discussion boards, file sharing, chats, web page posting, and possibly over the telephone.” 

The MBA program at Ball State University offers another delivery format option for students interested in a combination of online and on-campus classes. The Hybrid MBA allows students to choose which classes they would like to take on-campus and which ones they prefer to complete online. Most students (in either program) enroll in an average of two courses each semester and typically complete the program in five to six semesters. 

6. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

 Central Michigan University’s (CMU) “Global Campus” offers an online MBA degree that features several emphasis areas: Human Resource Management, Logistics Management, Marketing, Value-Driven Organization, and ERP Emphasis Using SAP Software. SAP is the world's largest enterprise applications software company, with a wide range of software used by more than 38,000 firms in over 120 countries. The ERP Emphasis/SAP is a 40-credit-hour program that requires a two-week face-to-face SAP Academy.

 Depending on the area of concentration, other MBA students may have to take anywhere from 36 to 43 credit hours to complete the program. The Online MBA program at CMU’s Global Campus is AACSB International-accredited.

7. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Carl H. Linder College of Business at the University of Cincinnati introduced a new online MBA program which began in spring 2014. The 38 to 48-credit-hour program is AACSB International-accredited and provides core skills in Economics, Marketing, Information Technology, Accounting, and Leadership. Linder online MBA Students can expect to earn their degree in 24 to 32 months.

8. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

 The College of Business at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) offers a 34-credit-hour MBA that may be completed 100% online. This means there are no residency requirements and students can complete their degree on their own time either full-time or part-time. The program also offers the option to sit out a semester or two—if needed.

 The online MBA at FHSU offers nearly a dozen concentrations from Finance, Marketing, and Information Assurance to Health & Human Performance/Sports Management and Tourism and Hospitality Management. Students with an undergraduate degree in business administration may complete the online FHSU MBA degree in as little as two years. Students with a non-business background will have to complete up to 47 credit-hours, which will take longer to complete. 

10. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois

The College of Business at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale offers a 42-credit-hour MBA program that may be completed in just 23 months. The AACSB International-accredited program features a concentration in Agricultural Economics through a partnership between the College of Business and the College of Agricultural Science. Students may begin the General MBA or MBA-with concentration program during the summer session only.

11. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota

The Beacom School of Business, Division of Continuing & Distance Education at the University of South Dakota offers a General Management MBA that may be completed 100% online. The program offers two specializations including Health Services Administration and Business Analytics. The General Management MBA and MBA with the Health Services Administration specialization (HSAD) consists of 18 credit hours of foundations courses and 33 hours of advanced coursework. The MBA with the Business Analytics (BA) specialization consists of 21 hours of foundations courses and 39 hours of advanced coursework.

Accredited by AACSB International, the MBA program takes as few as 12 months to complete full-time (including summer semester) or two to four years to complete, part-time. However, students have up to seven years to complete the program. 

12. University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Michigan

The College of Business at the University of Michigan-Dearborn offers a 36 to 48-credit-hour MBA program featuring courses in Applied Integrated Management. The College also offers a dual MBA/MS-Finance degree and a MBA/MSE-Industrial Systems Engineering (ISE) program. All three programs may be completed fully online “with no campus presence.”

The online MBA program offers eight optional concentrations from Accounting to Supply Chain Management. The online dual MBA/MS-Finance offers six optional concentrations, and the MBA/MSE- ISE offers four optional concentrations including ISE, Integrated Design and Manufacturing Engineering, Information Systems, and Program Management and Product Development.

As part of the College of Business at University of Michigan-Dearborn, all online MBA programs are accredited by AACSB International.

13. Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland State University is home to the nation’s first online, one-year MBA accredited by AACSB International. The Mobile Accelerated MBA or “AMBA” consists of 34 credit-hours of study delivered via eLearning & mLearning Platforms developed through a partnership with McGraw Hill and Blackboard. All AMBA students receive Apple’s iPad 4G after enrolling in the program to access textbooks, course modules, and other interactive learning materials. This allows them to eliminate textbooks altogether and study whenever, wherever. Students may keep the iPad once the program is complete. 

14. Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio

The College of Business at Franklin University offers a 40-credit-hour MBA that may be completed 100% online. Students may create a concentration by choosing from electives in the areas of Marketing & Communications, Business Psychology, Healthcare Administration, Public Administration, and Human Resource Management. Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), the MBA program at Franklin University is authorized to offer its online programs in every U.S. state and territory.

15. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

 The Heider College of Business at Creighton University offers a 33-credit-hour MBA that may be completed 100% online, on campus, or a combination of the two. The program is offered over 11 eight-week terms, and may be completed in two years and eight weeks. The Heider College of Business also offers six unique dual degree programs. Two are available online.

Students may choose between the MBA/Master of Security Analysis and Portfolio Management (MSAPM) or MBA/MSAPM, and the Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics (MS-BIA) or MBA/MS-BIA. Both programs are available 100% online and they require 48-credit-hours of study to graduate. As part of the Heider College of Business, all online MBA programs are AACSB International-accredited.

16. McKendree University, Lebanon, Illinois

McKendree University offers a 36-credit-hour MBA that may be completed 100% online. The program consists of 12 courses, with students taking one MBA course during each eight-week session. Accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), the online MBA at McKendree is “designed for students who desire a broad understanding of business operations without concentrating their studies in a particular field. All MBA courses incorporate individual and group work and written assignments.” Students have up to six years to complete the program.

17. Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa

Upper Iowa University (UIU) offers a 39-credit-hour online MBA with six emphasis areas including Accounting, Corporate Financial Management, General Management, Human Resource Management, and Organizational Development. The program features asynchronous courses that allow students to attend classes on their own schedule. UIU offers six, eight-week terms each year and students may begin the degree program during any term. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the online MBA at UIU does not require any residencies.

18. Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri

 Missouri University of Science and Technology offers an MBA program that allows students to attend on a part-time basis and complete the program entirely online. The online MBA program requires 36 credit hours to complete and it offers 10 specialization areas. Options include

Business Intelligence, Business Sustainability, Enterprise Resource Planning, Human-Computer Interaction, International Business, Marketing, New Product Development, Project Management, Strategy, and Supply Chain Management. 

Courses for the AACSB International-accredited program are delivered over the Internet, via live streaming video and collaborative learning software, which includes WebEx and Blackboard.  In addition, classes are “archived online” for easy access and review. The online MBA program at Missouri University of Science and Technology usually takes just two to three years to complete.

Note: Students interested in earning college credit toward their MBA might consider a Graduate Certificate Program. Students earning a B or better in all core courses may be accepted into the corresponding degree program without taking the GRE. Certificates are available in the following MBA related areas: Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning, Human-Computer Interaction, and Project Management.

19. Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan

The College of Business at Ferris State University offers an online program with two delivery options: 100% Online or Web/Weekend. According to the college, coursework for the Web/Weekend option takes place “over the internet with portions scheduled for weekend meetings to conduct activities which are best learned in a hands-on format.” Weekend courses meet for one or two weekends, on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

For the 100% online MBA program, “class materials, lessons, and lectures will be made available through e-mail, a web forum/community setting (such as WebCT), materials provided via CD-ROM, or any combination of these methods. Assignments are submitted to the professor via e-mail or posting to a web location.”

Both MBA programs require 36 to 48 credit hours of coursework to complete and study takes place over seven-week sessions, rather than eight. This “compressed format” was implemented “in order to accommodate the competing professional and personal demands” of students. The online and weekend MBA programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

20. Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan

The School of Business Administration at Andrews University offers a 33-credit-hour MBA program that requires a three-week intensive session on campus during the last few weeks of July, at the end of the second year. This session allows students to complete the last two courses of the program and participate in the school’s graduation exercises. Besides the on-campus session, all coursework for the program may be completed online.  

 Students may start the IACBE-accredited program at the beginning of the fall, spring, or summer semesters and it will take no less than one year to complete the program.

21. University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois

The University of St. Francis (USF) offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA program that may be completed in as few as 12 to 18 months. According to USF, the program has “recently been redesigned to respond to the increasingly competitive, technological and global world of management.” Students have seven MBA concentrations to choose from including Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Health Administration, Human Resource Management, Logistics, and Training and Development. The flexible curriculum features courses that run three semesters each year (fall, spring, and summer). With an 8-week course accelerated delivery, students may enter the ACBSP-accredited online MBA program on any of five points each year.

22. Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri

Columbia College offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA program with an optional Accounting track or an emphasis in Human Resource Management. Students can expect to take 12 hours of foundation courses, 24 hours of cores, and nine additional hours if a track or emphasis is chosen. Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

23. Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri

The George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology offers a 36-credit-hour MBA program and a 42-credit-hour MBA-Global Track. Add an emphasis area, and the credit requirements increase to 48 credit hours, up to 54. According to the school, the MBA-Global Track “combines core MBA coursework with internationally focused coursework including at least one international experience course.” The 36-credit-hour MBA may be completed in one year (accelerated option) and offers more than a dozen unique emphasis areas. Emphasis options include:

Business and Organizational Security Management, Decision Support Systems, Environmental Management, Finance, Gerontology, Human Resources Development, Human Resources Management, Information Technology Management, International Business, International Relations, Management and Leadership, Marketing, Media Communications, Procurement and Acquisitions Management or Web Services. 

The MBA and MBA-Global Track programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and may be completed entirely online.

24. Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

The Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) offers an online MBA program with options in General Management, Entrepreneurship, and Sport Management. Interaction with classmates and faculty takes via email, chat rooms, bulletin boards, drop boxes, and forums. According to the school, “evaluation methods are online as well, and course materials are available either online or can be ordered online, meaning students can earn their degree from Southeast Missouri State University without ever setting foot on campus.” If students are consistent in following the schedule of online classes, the program may be completed in two years.

The MBA Program of Harrison College of Business is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Network of Business Schools (NIBS) accreditation body. In addition, the MBA Program of Harrison College of Business and the Sport Management have received Commission of Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

25. Ohio University, Athens Ohio

The College of Business at Ohio University offers a 35-credit-hour online MBA that may be completed in as few as two years. Students may take two courses each semester over a total of six semesters. With the exception of one on-campus, weekend-long Professional Development Workshop, all coursework for the MBA program may be completed online. Students have the option to complete two additional on-campus workshops as well.

The AACSB International-accredited MBA program at Ohio University offers three concentrations including Finance, Health Care, and Executive Management. A General MBA curriculum is also on the menu.