2017

Our 2017 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs in the Midwest. We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana University

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers a flexible Online MBA Program known as “Kelley Direct Online.” The 51 credit hour program allows students to customize their experience by selecting 12 credit hours of electives to create a specialized area. Accredited by AACSB, Kelley Direct Online takes just two years to complete and offers the opportunity for students to complete a dual MBA/MS degree with an MS in Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing or Strategic Management.

Other unique opportunities for students include AGILE—Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education, which allows students to gain international business experience while pursuing their online degree. Offered each quarter, the AGILE curriculum features travel to places such as Gaborone, Botswana; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Beijing, China; New Delhi, India; Myanmar, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The College of Business at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an Online MBA (iMBA) that highlights courses that have been grouped into specializations. Per the school, “all the specializations you complete throughout the program ultimately come together as a capstone project and lead to the complete iMBA.” The four required specializations include Strategic Leadership & Management, Managerial Economics and Business Analysis, Value Chain Management, and Financial Management. Focus Area/Advanced Specializations include Global Challenges in Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Digital Marketing. Students may take two of the three. 

Another highlight of this fully online, AACSB-accredited program is job placement. According to The Wall Street Journal, the University of Illinois is among corporate recruiters’ top five places to recruit talent. Just a few firms with University of Illinois roots include YouTube, PayPal, and Yelp.

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

The University of Wisconsin (UW) Consortium MBA is available through all UW campuses (except Madison) and features “content-integrated, theme-based modules rather than traditional stand-alone courses,” says the school. Designed for working professionals looking to advance in their respective career fields, the 30 credit hour program highlights a fully online format that allows students to continue working while completing the program, which typically takes 2.5 to three years, once foundation requirements have been met.

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

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

4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) offers a 48 credit hour MBA that does not require any campus visits. Per UNL, “you will never have to come to campus, which makes this option the most flexible” of the school’s three MBA programs. 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.

In addition to the option to choose a specialization, UNL Online MBA students are expected to participate in an internship. “Internships are designed to give students practical experience in managerial and/or administrative situations.” Students can participate in a maximum of two internships and earn three hours of elective credit for each internship, for a maximum of six hours.

Start times for the Online MBA at UNL are January, March, June, August or October of each year. The average completion time for the program is three years, but it is possible to complete it in 1.5 years. However, students are allowed up to 10 years to complete this AACSB-accredited program.

5. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Ball State University

The Miller College of Business at Ball State University offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program with five optional concentrations including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Economics, Policy and Administration, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Sales Management. An additional option is the General MBA, which allows students to customize their experience through a variety of course subjects.

The Miller Online MBA Program requires 30 credit hours of study to graduate and it may be completed in as few as two years. Students in the program 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.” 

Miller College of Business offers another delivery format option for students who prefer 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. Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

The College of Business at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) offers a fully Online MBA Program with an optional Concentration in Agribusiness Economics. The concentration is offered in partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences. Per the school, both the General MBA and the MBA with a Concentration in Agribusiness Economics feature a “structured, 23-month curriculum delivered through a focused, modular format,” as well as “participation with a cohort of fellow students that encourages interaction and collaboration,” says the school.

Note that course content for this AACSB-accredited program is designed and delivered by many of the same faculty who teach in the on-campus MBA program at SIU.

7. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Central Michigan University

The Global Campus at Central Michigan University (CMU Global Campus) offers an Online MBA Program that has several emphasis areas including Human Resource Management, Logistics Management, Marketing, Value-Driven Organization (VDO), 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, MBA students may have to take anywhere from 36 to 43 credit hours to complete the program. The Online MBA Program at CMU Global Campus is AACSB-accredited.

8. University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Michigan
University of Michigan-Dearborn

The College of Business at University of Michigan-Dearborn offers an MBA Program with three available delivery formats—100% online, on-campus, or a combination of the two. Concentrations for the program are optional, but note that most require a campus presence. Options include Accounting, Finance, International Business, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management.

The AACSB-accredited Online MBA Program requires 36 to 48 credit hours of study, and may be completed within two to two-and-a-half years. Admission is rolling, so students may begin the program in September or January. May admission is also usually possible for part-time students.

9. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
University of Cincinnati

The Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati offers an Online MBA Program that combines academic study with hands-on learning. The 38 to 48 credit hour program provides core skills in Economics, Marketing, Information Technology, Accounting, and Leadership. Besides the opportunity to earn their degree at an accelerated pace in as few as 12 months, Lindner Online MBA students now have seven new concentrations to choose from. Options include Health Care Finance, Health Care Administration, Health Care Operations, Health Care Policy and Regulation, Marketing, Corporate Taxation, and Individual Taxation.

At the end of this AACSB-accredited program, students will receive an MBA degree, along with a Certificate in their area of concentration.  

10. University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin

The College of Business and Economics at University of Wisconsin Whitewater (UW-Whitewater) offers an MBA Program that may be completed entirely online. The AACSB-accredited program, known as the “UW-Whitewater MBA,” highlights cases and projects that give students the opportunity to practice using critical thinking skills, the development of project management skills, and projects that help students improve their ability to work in teams and lead.

Other highlights include advanced graduate courses in functional areas like economics, management, technology, and marketing, as well as nine in-demand emphasis options.  They include Data Analytics, Finance, Human Resources, International Business, IT Management, Management, Marketing, Project Management, and Supply Chain and Operations Management. Students may also customize an emphasis by choosing courses across emphases.

Note that although the UW-Whitewater MBA requires a minimum of 36 credits, some students may need to complete more credits, depending on their undergraduate preparation.