Top 25 Private Online MBA Programs in the U.S. – 2016
Our 2016 list of the Top 25 Private Online MBA Programs in the US. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California (Top 1% of schools considered)
University of Southern California (USC) is home the oldest AACSB accredited school of business in Southern California—Marshall School of Business. The school offers an Online MBA Program that “weaves the fundamental topics of business education – marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and others – into hands-on exercises and real-world discussions.” Specifically designed for online delivery, the USC Marshall MBA Program highlights just one one-week, on-campus residency.
Other program highlights include multiple delivery methods including interactive games, virtual learning exercises, group video conferences and class sessions led by instructors, one-on-one faculty discussions via webcam, video content and presentations produced at the USC Marshall dedicated studio, case studies and dramatizations of real-world business scenarios, and collaborative video activities and assessments.
2. Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (Top 1% of schools considered)
The Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University offers an Online MBA Program with four elective concentration options. Students may choose between Finance, General Management, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, and Marketing. In addition to concentration options, per the school, “the program allows students to work with current company executives on a “live” case study taken directly from the business world.” The program also provides the opportunity to “interact, connect, and learn alongside students who are working professionals from around the world.” This helps students develop a professional network.
The 52 credit hour Online MBA Program at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management is AACSB accredited and it takes as few as two years to complete.
3. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (Top 2% of schools considered)
The D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University offers an AACSB accredited Online MBA Program that may be completed in 24 to 27 months. The 50 credit hour program has optional residencies at the schools domestic campus locations and international locations such as China, Russia, and Greece. Eight specialization options are available and include Finance, Healthcare Management, High Technology Management, Innovation Entrepreneurship, International Management, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Sustainability
D'Amore-McKim Online MBA students also have the option to earn a Dual Masters in Finance/MBA by taking "as few as four to seven additional finance electives." Both online programs utilize virtual class discussions, discussion board collaboration, team projects, and individual assignments for a well-rounded academic experience.
4. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Top 2% of schools considered)
The College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University offers a Flex MBA and the MBA & E (Engineering). Both programs may be completed 100% online. The 36 credit hour Flex MBA program highlights global business concepts and analysis, cultural intelligence, organizational leadership, sustainability, crisis management resolutions, social consciousness issues, ethical decision-making, and optional business consulting projects. While the program does not offer any concentrations, students may earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Entrepreneurship in addition to the MBA. The Certificate is offered through VENTURESeries—a “one-of-a-kind executive certificate program that focuses squarely on new venture creation.”
Offered through the College of Business and Economics and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the 45 credit hour MBA & E program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering. MBA & E concentrations include Chemical Engineering, Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Upon completion of the MBA & E Program, students receive an MBA degree with a Concentration in their chosen area. Both programs are AACSB accredited.
5. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (Top 3% of schools considered)
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University offers a 54 credit hour Online MBA known as MBA@Syracuse. The AACSB accredited program consists of 36 credits of core business courses, 15 credits of specialization-focused electives, and three credits of U.S. and global residencies. Students may choose from six optional specializations including Accounting, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing Management, or Supply Chain Management.
MBA@Syracuse combines “live online classes led by Syracuse University faculty, self-paced coursework, and hands-on learning through domestic and international residencies.” While coursework for the Online MBA program may be completed entirely online, all students will participate in “three-day long residencies in cities around the world,” which offer “real-world experiences.” One residency requires students to meet “face-to-face with classmates and professors for networking and socializing. Students also participate in workshops and hear from guest speakers from top companies.” The Online MBA Program at Syracuse University may be completed in as little as two years.
6. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York (Top 3% of schools considered)
The Saunders School of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) offers an Online Executive MBA (EMBA) Program that may be completed in just 17 months. The 49 credit, interdisciplinary program offers foundational courses such as Leadership, Accounting and Finance, as well as “distinctive” courses such as Product Commercialization and Technology Management. Other RIT EMBA program highlights include AACSB accreditation, a required International Immersion Experience, and the Capstone Consulting Program where students serve as consultants to actual businesses.
7. George Washington University, Washington DC (Top 4% of schools considered)
The School of Business at George Washington University (GWU) offers an Online Healthcare MBA and the Traditional MBA Online. Both programs may be completed in two years and require 55.5 total credit hours of study including 28.5 credit hours of core courses and 27 credit hours of elective courses for the Traditional MBA, and 31.5 credit hours of core courses, 12 healthcare electives, and 12 general electives for the Healthcare MBA.
The Healthcare MBA is also delivered in hybrid format and features specialized electives such as Service Line and Project Management, Managing the Skilled Nursing Facility, and Physician Practice Management. The program is designed for professionals on the path to becoming Health Care Managers, Administrators, and Executives. The Traditional MBA Program offers optional concentrations including Consulting, Finance, Global Management, Information Systems & Technology Management, and Project Management.
Students may choose up to two concentrations or they may customize their electives to create their own area of focus. The curriculum also includes Business and Society, a required 1.5 credit on-site residency course in Washington, DC, and a 1.5 credit Information Systems and Technology Management selective course. Students are offered nine opportunities to complete the on-site course, which offers a firsthand look through visits to the Federal Reserve, the US Congress, and the World Bank. Both AACSB accredited programs also offer optional short-term study abroad opportunities in places such as Denmark, Israel, Mexico, and others.
8. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut (Top 4% of schools considered)
The School of Business at Quinnipiac University (QU) offers a 46 credit hour Online MBA Program that may be completed in as little as 2.5 years. The program allows students to “formulate customized concentrations that focus on specific professional interests.” Students may create a concentration by choosing electives from six areas including Computer Information Systems, Finance, Health Care Management, International Business, Management, and Marketing. Students may also choose between three tracks including the Chartered Financial Analyst Track, the Health Care Management Track, and the Supply Chain Management Track.
The AACSB accredited Online MBA Program at QU offers three start dates: fall (late August), spring (late January), and summer (late May).
9. Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York (Top 5% of schools considered)
The School of Management at Marist College offers a 30 credit hour Online MBA Program with three optional concentrations including Ethical Leadership, Financial Management, and Healthcare Administration. Per the school, “a Business Analytics focus is infused throughout each concentration.” The curriculum consists of nine core courses and three elective/concentration courses. Students in this AACSB accredited program communicate with faculty and fellow classmates via telephone, email, video conferences, and VoIP (Voice over IP). The program is offered in an asynchronous format, so there are no specific sign-on times each week.
Full-time students may complete the program in as few as four semesters, while part-time students may take up to seven years, depending on the number of courses they take each semester. Start times include the fall or spring semesters, with each semester having two rounds of eight-week classes.
10. Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York (Top 5% of schools considered)
The Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University is home to New York’s first distance learning programs in Strategic Healthcare Management and Strategic Business. Both 48 credit hour programs may be completed entirely online, allowing students to get a “state-of-the-art education” without leaving their current location. The AACSB accredited Online MBA Program at Hofstra’s Zarb School of Business are open to both domestic and international students. Students hail from 51 states and U.S. territories, and 73 countries.
11. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania (Top 6% of schools considered)
The Villanova School of Business (VSB) at Villanova University offers a 48 credit hour Online MBA Program that consists of 21 courses taken over six semesters. The program requires “one intensive residency” in the first or second semester of the program. The campus-based “Leadership Challenge” is a three-day residency that “provides an environment for students to engage in group work and begin to develop a learning community with their classmates.” An optional second residency is on the menu as well. Called “The Global Practicum,” this residency features an elective immersion in Dubai, United Emirates; Sydney, Australia; Milan Italy; Belgium and Poland, The European Union, or Shanghai and Beijing, The People’s Republic of China. A domestic option is available for students who are unable to travel.
While students are required to visit the campus once, all coursework for this AACSB accredited program is delivered online.
12. Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 6% of schools considered)
The Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University offers a 33 credit hour MBA that allows students to complete foundation, gateway, core, and elective courses entirely online. The program may be completed over eight or 15-week semesters, with each semester broken into halves. Students may choose from ten majors such as Marketing, International Business, Finance, Health and Medical Services, or The Data Intelligent MBA. Sample course offerings for this AACSB accredited program include Global Revolutions in Business, Sustainability: A Business Perspective, Excellence in Organizations, Business Analytics, Ethical Practices in Business, Marketing Strategy, and Shareholder Value Management.
13. Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York (Top 7% of schools considered)
The School of Business at Clarkson University offers a 48 credit hour Online MBA Program that takes as few as 24 months to complete. With the exception of a two-day Leadership Development course, the program may be completed entirely online. Students will then take nine core courses including Economics, Ethics, Supply Chain Management, Accounting, Finance, Decision Analysis, Information Systems, Marketing, and Statistical Methods for Data Analytics. Students will then choose five electives. Project Management, Logistics, and Negotiations are just a few options, and students may take courses that are part of Clarkson’s Advanced Certificate Program. The Online MBA Program is completed with a Capstone Course in Strategic Project Management.
Another MBA option is Clarkson’s Hybrid MBA. This program, which consists of the same 16 courses, allows students to mix between courses that are offered online or offered in person at the Clarkson University Capital Region Campus. Clarkson University MBA programs are AACSB accredited.
14. Baylor University, Waco, Texas (Top 7% of schools considered)
The Online MBA Program at Baylor University may be completed in as few as 12 to 16 months. This AACSB accredited program highlights a “challenging curriculum that focuses on principled leadership” as well as “faith-based learning,” and “powerful corporate business alliances.” Just a few courses included in this 48 to 60 credit hour program include Ethical Leadership, Managing for Higher Performance, Manufacturing and Service Operations, Managing Information Technology in the Business Enterprise, and Negotiations.
Besides an accelerated pace and a challenging curriculum, the Baylor Online MBA has an excellent placement rate. The after-graduation employment rate was 96% in 2015, with students landing a position within 90 days after receiving their degree.
15. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska (Top 8% of schools considered)
The Heider College of Business at Creighton University offers a 33 credit hour MBA that may be completed 100% online. The program offers four specializations including Investments, Information Technology Management, Accounting, and Leadership. In addition to choosing a specialization, students have the option to combine campus-based and online courses or complete a dual degree program, which is also available 100% online. Dual options include 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 require 48 credit hours of study to graduate and they may be completed in just over two years. As part of the Heider College of Business, all Online MBA Programs are AACSB accredited.
16. Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University-Glendale, Glendale, Arizona (Top 8% of schools considered)
Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University-Glendale offers an AACSB accredited Online Master of Global Management (MGM). The program offers an accelerated pace as well as optional face-to-face meetings both on campus and abroad. The program, which begins with a Residence Week at Thunderbird’s Glendale, Arizona campus, takes just 16 months to complete. In addition to Residence Week, students must complete three residence modules—one at Thunderbird’s main campus in Glendale, and two additional weeklong modules held in a choice of overseas locations.
17. University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania (Top 9% of schools considered)
The Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton offers a 36 credit hour Online MBA Program with six optional Specializations including Accounting, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Healthcare Management, Human Resources, International Business, and Operations Management. A General Management MBA is available for students seeking a broader degree and Online Certificates in Supply Chain Management, Health Administration, Health Informatics and ERP are also available.
This AACSB accredited program features one-on-one interaction with professors and classmates via email, online discussion, and virtual meetings. There are no required residencies, so the program and all of its components may be completed 100% online. Students can expect to complete the Online MBA Program in just two years “at a comfortable pace of one course per term.” Students also have the option to complete the program sooner by taking more than one course per term, with advisor approval.
The Kania Online MBA Program requires just three years of professional or supervisory work experience for acceptance and does not require any entrance exams like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
18. Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio (Top 9% of schools considered)
Baldwin Wallace University is home to The School of Business, which offers a Hybrid (Online) MBA Program that combines online and classroom instruction. For the classroom portion of the program, students must visit the Berea, Ohio campus for seven weekend sessions over a two-year period, typically between academic terms in the months of August, December and April. The rest of the work, around three-quarters, is done online.
Per the school, “this fixed two-year cohort program is designed to provide the personalization of a classroom with the flexibility of an online program.” In addition to 13 core courses ranging from Systems Management to Human Capital, students will complete a two-year ongoing applied project. Baldwin Wallace University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the School of Business is an AACSB member.
19. St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, California (Top 10% of schools considered)
St. Mary’s College of California (SMC) is home to the first Executive MBA (EMBA) Program in the Bay Area. The Hybrid EMBA be completed in just 18 months and requires alternate Saturdays on campus along with bi-weekly live web conferences. The program, which is offered in the Bay Area cities of Moraga and San Ramon, is centered on cohort-based collaborative learning and it highlights three broad areas including Analysis and Critical Thinking, Broad Functional Knowledge, and Responsible Leadership. The SMC EMBA Program is AACSB accredited.
20. Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, North Carolina (Top 10% of schools considered)
The Godbold School of Business at Gardner-Webb University offers an Online MBA Program that consists of 30 hours in the core and six hours of electives. Students in the 36 credit hour program may choose from the following emphasis areas: Accounting, Banking and Financing, International Business, Healthcare Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Human Resources Management, Management Information Systems, and Tax Accounting. The school also lists an International Master of Business Administration (iMBA) among its online graduate offerings.
Students will work with an academic advisor to determine if either online option is the best path. For students who decide that they would like some face time, the MBA program allows students to take several courses at campuses in Boiling Springs, Charlotte, Statesville, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina as well as Spartanburg Springs, South Carolina. All MBA programs at Godbold School of Business are ACBSP accredited (Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs).
21. Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, Kentucky (Top 11% of schools considered)
The School of Business and Economics at Campbellsville University offers a 36 credit hour Online MBA that consists of 27 credit hours of MBA core requirements and nine credit hours of electives. Emphasis areas include Accounting, Church Management, Healthcare Management, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, International Business, and Marketing. Campbellsville University is one of just a handful of schools in the world to offer a Church Management emphasis. The Online MBA Program at Campbellsville University is accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
22. Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 11% of schools considered)
The LeBow College of Business at Drexel University offers two Online MBA options—the Online MBA – Accelerated, which takes 24 months to complete, and the Online MBA – Flex, which takes 42 months to complete. Both programs are part-time and offer five concentrations including Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Heathcare, and Marketing. All Online MBA students have the opportunity to enroll in the Flexi-core option, which features courses from Lebow’s Centers of Excellence including the Center for Corporate Governance, the Institute for Strategic Leadership, the Business Analytics Solutions Center, and the Neuro-Business Solutions Center.
LeBow’s AACSB accredited Online MBA Program features one required residency and the option for a second international residency. Per the school, “residencies are four-day intensive courses exclusive to the Online MBA Accelerated degree program and are implemented to stress the importance of social interaction in the learning process.”
23. Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Top 12% of schools considered)
The School of Business (SBUS) as Robert Morris University (RMU) offers a fully online MBA Program, with online courses that may be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Known as the RMU MBA, the program consists of 12, three credit courses for a total of 36 credits. Students select three graduate elective courses from areas such as Accounting, Finance, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, Sport Management, and Taxation. Per the school, eight-week terms help students focus on fewer classes at one time and “accelerate” degree completion of this AACSB accredited program.
24. Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey (Top 12% of schools considered)
The School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology offers an Online MBA Program that, per the school, “allows students to take part in live lectures or download program content at times and places that work best for them.” The program emphasizes “collaboration through group projects and presentations, and develops creative, critical thinkers through the incorporation of the latest faculty research in management, analytics, innovation and marketing.” The program also highlights a Field Consulting Program that pairs students with a partner company to help solve a real problem.
The School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology is AACSB accredited.
25. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts (Top 13% of schools considered)
The Robert A. Foisie School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) offers a “Flex Track” MBA Program that features a blended learning format “for students seeking a more flexible learning option.” While students in the AACSB accredited WPI MBA Program will complete most of their work (individual and team work) online, they must meet for face-to-face sessions six times a year (every seven to eight weeks). Available concentrations for the program include Entrepreneurship, Information Security Management, Information Technology, Operations Management, Marketing, Process Design, Sustainability, Supply Chain Management, and Technological Innovation.
In addition to completing course requirements and team projects, WPI MBA students must complete the Graduate Qualifying Project (GQP) experience. Per the school, this allows students to “apply the skills, methods, and knowledge gained to solve a significant problem for a real client. Many students later receive job offers from the companies that sponsored their projects.”