Our 2016 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs on the East Coast. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 2% of schools considered)
The Fox School of Business at Temple University offers a 48 credit hour Online MBA Program that may be completed in just 20 months. Better known as the “Fox OMBA,” the program utilizes “cutting-edge social technologies,” HD video presentations, and web conferencing technology, which allow students to engage in course activities in any environment and at their own pace. Though coursework for the program is available entirely online, all students must attend one weeklong residency, which is held at the school’s main campus.
Students must also “attend” live weekly classes held through WebEx. This gives students the opportunity to meet classmates and faculty in an environment that allows them to “speak with and see one another.” Most students in the AACSB accredited Fox OMBA spend approximately 10-20 hours each week on coursework.
2. Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania (Top 3% of schools considered)
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State or PSU) Online MBA consists of 48 credit hours, which includes 39 General Management Credits and nine credits of concentration work. Concentrations include Accounting, Advanced Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, General Management, Human Resource Management, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management. At the start of the program, all students must attend a five-day Orientation Residency held at University Park, Pennsylvania. For attending the Orientation, students receive credit towards the degree program.
The AACSB accredited PSU Online MBA is led by the Smeal College of Business in partnership with Black School of Business, Penn State Behrend; Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies; and Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration.
3. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (Top 4% of schools considered)
The D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University offers an Online MBA Program with optional residencies at the schools domestic campus locations and international locations such as China, Russia, and Greece. The 50 credit hour AACSB accredited program may be completed in 24 to 27 months and it offers eight in-demand concentrations including 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. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts (Top 5% of schools considered)
The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass-Amherst) offers a 45 credit hour Online MBA Program that features four focus areas including Finance, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Healthcare Administration. This AACSB accredited program also offers a unique opportunity for students to “try before you buy.” Potential MBA students can take up to two classes before applying to learn why the program is a good fit.
Besides several concentrations and the opportunity to experience the program before committing, students have an additional delivery option to consider. The Blended Option allows students to take some classes online and others at a conveniently located satellite campus in Boston, Shrewsbury, or Springfield, Massachusetts.
5. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Top 6% of schools considered)
The College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University offers two MBA programs—the 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.
6. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (Top 7% of schools considered)
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University offers a 54 credit hour Online MBA that consists of 36 credits of core business courses, 15 credits of specialization-focused electives, and three credits of U.S. and global residencies. Students have six optional specializations to choose from including Accounting, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing Management, or Supply Chain Management. This AACSB accredited program, better known as 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.” Per the school, 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.
7. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York (Top 8% of schools considered)
Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Saunders School of Business offers an AACSB accredited, Online Executive MBA (EMBA) Program that delivers 49 credit hours of study in just 17 months. The interdisciplinary, accelerated program offers foundational courses such as Accounting, Finance, and Leadership as well as “distinctive” courses such as Product Commercialization and Technology Management. Other RIT EMBA program highlights include a required International Immersion Experience and the Capstone Consulting Program where students serve as consultants to actual businesses.
8. George Washington University, Washington DC (Top 9% of schools considered)
The George Washington University (GWU) School of Business offers an Online Healthcare MBA and a Traditional Online MBA that may be completed in just two years. However, students may take up to five years to complete the programs. Both options 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.
Designed for professionals on the path to becoming Health Care Managers, Administrators, and Executives, the Healthcare MBA is delivered 100% online (or hybrid) and features specialized electives such as Service Line and Project Management, Managing the Skilled Nursing Facility, and Physician Practice Management. 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.
9. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia (Top 10% of schools considered)
The College of Business at James Madison University (JMU) offers an Online Information Security MBA that takes around 28 months to complete, including summers, requires just one Saturday residency every eight weeks in McLean, Virginia. The program is also part-time and AACSB accredited.
Another option is the Online Executive Leadership MBA, which requires one Saturday residency every four weeks in McLean, Virginia. The program, which features small cohort sizes, places emphasis on “accelerating participant skillsets in crisis management, global competitive issues, supply chain challenges, stakeholder leadership, and in understanding, leading, and creating change across the organization.” Learning takes place face-to-face as well as synchronously, using the latest online technologies.
Designed for “high-performing individuals who have the potential for organizational leadership and who will likely hold C-Suite positions,” the AACSB accredited program includes 14 required courses that may be completed in 28 months, including summers.
10. Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut (Top 10% of schools considered)
The School of Business at Quinnipiac University (QU) offers a 46 credit hour Online MBA Program that 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) and it may be completed in as little as 2.5 years.