2017

Our 2017 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs in the South. We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill offers an Online MBA Program that may be completed in 18 to 36 months. Two important components of the 66 credit hour program are the MBA@UNC Global Immersions and quarterly three-day immersions. Students are required to attend at least two Global Immersions, which may take them to major business centers around the world such as London, Johannesburg, Singapore, Istanbul, and others. 

Online MBA students may select from eight concentrations including Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain Management, Investment Management, Marketing, Sustainable Enterprise, Management Consulting, and Data Analytics and Decision Making. In addition, students may participate in several other programs to gain additional hands-on business and international experience. Optional programs include Student Teams Achieving Results (STAR), the Exchange Program, and Doing Business In (DBI).

STAR students "students learn by doing as they take on the role of consultants to real companies,” says the school, while the Exchange Program “allows MBA@UNC students to study at another top-ranked business school in countries across the globe." Doing Business In (DBI) "gives students an opportunity to study abroad at an MBA exchange partner school."

The Online MBA at UNC is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).

2. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
University of Florida

Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida (UF) offers two flexible MBA options including an Accelerated Online MBA that allows students to complete the program in just 16 months and a “two-year” online option, which takes 27 months to complete. A concurrent Outreach Engineering Management (OEM) Master’s (OEM/MBA) is also available. This "innovative" degree option "reduces the amount of time and coursework required for students to obtain both the MBA and the OEM degree from UF."

While the accelerated and two-year options may be completed online, students must visit the Gainesville campus once per term (once every four months) to take final exams and to deliver final presentations. These visits typically take place on weekends. In addition, all Online MBA students are encouraged to enroll in UF's MBA Global Immersion Experiences (GIE). Students register for the two-credit course that meets in person and online over the course of the semester and includes a seven to 10-day experience abroad in China, Chile, Dubai and others. The Online MBA programs at UF’s Warrington College of Business are AACSB-accredited.

3. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University

The Jenkins Graduate School of Management at North Carolina State University (NC State) offers a Professional Online MBA that highlights six “Depth Areas” comprised of the same functional area options as concentrations, but require fewer credit hours to be completed. Areas include Biosciences Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization, Financial Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, and Supply Chain Management. This AACSB-accredited program also offers the opportunity to earn Decision Analytics or SAP Certification. 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.

Students in the 40 credit hour Jenkins Online MBA program may choose the Accelerated Professional Track, which takes as few as 21 months to complete, or the Flexible Professional Track, which allows students to complete their degree in as little as 21 months or up to six years. Students in both online programs will interact with one another and instructors via distance education technology (including Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle), e-mail, online discussion forums (message boards, instant messaging, etc.), and telephone conferencing.

Note that the program requires two three-day residencies on NC State’s main campus in Raleigh. In addition, students are encouraged to complete an optional International Immersion, For 2018, students may travel to France, Brazil or Munich for seven to eight days to study the Art & Science of Negotiation (France), Sustainable Business in Emerging Markets (Brazil), or Innovation and Marketing Systems (Munich). Study abroad trips take place during the Spring and Summer semesters.

4. Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
Arkansas State University

The College of Business at Arkansas State University offers a 33 credit hour Online MBA Program with optional concentrations in Finance and Supply Chain Management. The MBA with a concentration requires 36 to 39 credit hours to complete. Students in the program (with or without a concentration) have the option to complete an internship worth three credit hours or one directed independent study.

According to program literature, a serious trademark of the Online MBA is the same faculty members that teach and mentor the College of Business’ on-campus courses are the instructors for the online program. The AACSB-accredited Online MBA Program takes around two years to complete and it is only available to U.S. Citizens.

5. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Auburn University

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University offers a video-based Distance MBA that may be completed in 2.5 years, part-time. The program consists of 36 credit hours, an optional three-day orientation at the beginning of the program, and a three-day visit to campus towards the end of the program to complete the Capstone Course. Otherwise, all coursework for the program may be completed online.

In addition to optional concentrations in Finance, Marketing, Management, Information Systems, Supply Chain, Business Analytics and Human Resource Management, this AACSB- accredited program offers dual degrees in MBA/MS in Finance, MBA/MS in Information Systems, and MBA/MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Graduate research assistantships, which are awarded annually, are also available.

6. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Florida State University

The College of Business at Florida State University (COB FSU) offers an Online, Part-Time MBA, and an Online, Part-Time MBA with a Real Estate Specialization. The 39 credit hour Online, Part-Time MBA offers a general track or a Specialization in Management Information Systems or Risk Management and Insurance. The program may be completed in two to 2.5 years or seven semesters.

Online MBA students may participate in the Global Business Seminar for Graduate Students, which will allow them to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea at firms such as Samsung Electronics, LG, Hyundai and Kia. The program, which also features several cultural excursions, focuses on the "globalization and sustainability of Korean multinational firms."

The Online MBA with a Real Estate Specialization also consists of 39 credit hours and features a “rigorous set of elective courses focused on real estate and analysis.” The program, which also offers a study abroad option, may be completed in two to 2.5 years. Both the Online, Part-Time MBA and Online, Part-Time MBA-Real Estate are AACSB-accredited.

7. Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi
Mississippi State University

The College of Business at Mississippi State University offers two Online MBA Programs—the  30 credit hour General MBA and the 36 credit hour MBA with a Focus in Project Management. Online MBA courses emphasize Management, Marketing, Finance, Economics, Business Information Systems, and Quantitative Analysis. Both AACSB-accredited programs offer enrollment in fall, spring, or summer and they typically take two years to complete. However, students that have completed all undergraduate prerequisites can finish either program in as little as 18 months. Prerequisite courses are also available online.

8. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi
University of Mississippi

The School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers an Online Professional MBA that can be completed in as little as two years and up to six. Known as the “Ole Miss PMBA,” the 36 credit hour program “employs a fully supported online learning system integrated with features such as video conferencing, interactive discussions and similar collaborative technologies necessary for effective online instruction,” says the school. Course titles range from Managerial Accounting and Organizational Behavior to Contemporary Business Analysis and Mobilizing Technology. The Ole Miss PMBA is AACSB-accredited.

9. The Georgia WebMBA

The Georgia WebMBA is designed for professionals who want to earn their MBA without the restrictions of set class times and locations. The program requires just one initial onsite two-day orientation, with all remaining activities delivered exclusively online. Students in this AACSB-accredited program will engage in virtual team-based learning, which the school says, “promotes efficient student interactions, peer-to-peer learning, and long-lasting relationships.”

Sample courses for the program include Entrepreneurship, Global & International Business, Human Behavior in Organization, Management Information Systems, Managerial Decision Analysis, and Strategic Marketing.

Because the Georgia WebMBA is offered in an accelerated format, students may complete the program in five consecutive semesters within a year and a half. This fast track option allows students to begin the program in January or August and complete just two online courses per term.

10. University of Tennessee-Martin, Martin, Tennessee
University of Tennessee-Martin

University of Tennessee-Martin’s (UT Martin or UTM) College of Business and Global Affairs  offers a 38 credit hour Online MBA Program designed for individuals with for individuals with 2+ years post-bac work experience. The cohort-based program, which is “geared toward the financial services industry,” allows students to take one class at a time. The AACSB-accredited program emphasizes that it has just 20 students per cohort and courses that are taught by full-time faculty, not adjuncts. Students typically begin the program in January, but UTM also offers another cohort starting in May.

Because the UT Martin Online MBA is open to “anyone holding a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university, regardless of undergraduate major,” students come from all walks of life. Trips to campus are not required, so all interaction between the programs diverse group of students and faculty takes place via discussion boards, email, virtual classrooms, and virtual group meeting rooms. Other assignments and exams are completed and submitted online.

The UT Martin Online MBA may be completed in just 20 months.