Our 2015 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs in the Southwest. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
The online MBA at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business allows students to customize their program by declaring an area of emphasis in Finance, International Business, Marketing, or Supply Chain Management. Students also have the option to earn two degrees in less time and at a lower cost. Concurrent online degree options include the MBA/Master of Legal Studies, the MBA/MSE Electrical Engineering, and the MBA/MS Industrial Engineering.
All online MBA programs at W.P. Carey require just one meeting at the beginning of the program. This mandatory orientation session allows students to meet W.P. Carey faculty, staff, students, and teammates. After orientation, coursework for the programs may be completed entirely online.
The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is AACSB International-accredited.
2. University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
The Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas offers an online professional MBA (PMBA). This AACSB International-accredited program utilizes "streaming audio lectures, video clips, online exams, online submission of assignments, and interactivity for group projects using discussion forums, email, and web conferencing." Another (mostly) online option is the hybrid MBA program, which allows students to complete their degree by attending just five classroom retreats. The remainder of the program may be completed through online coursework and web conferences.
The 53-credit-hour online PMBA and hybrid programs offer 24 hours of electives, with an impressive 15 concentrations. Just a few include Accounting, Information Systems, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Real Estate, and Supply Chain Management. All online MBA students, regardless of concentration, are encouraged to participate in the school's International Study Programs, which "give direct exposure to business in a global context."
Naveen Jindal MBA students have up to 72 months to complete the program.
3. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
The Eller College of Management at the University of Tucson offers a 45-credit-hour MBA that allows students to earn their degree in as little as 14 months. The program, also known as the “OMBA,” does not offer specific concentrations, but it does require at least 17 credit hours of electives. This allows students to study in one or more areas of interest. Just a few elective options include Negotiations, Project Management, Social Media Marketing, and Information Security in Public and Private Sectors.
Start dates for the AACSB International-accredited MBA are flexible and frequent, with two sessions per fall, spring and summer semesters. Students can expect two core courses and two or more elective course offerings during each session. While students may complete their degree entirely online, Eller encourages students to “visit when they are able to take advantage of professional talks and networking events on campus.”
4. West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas
The College of Business at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) offers a 31 to 49-credit-hour MBA program that may be completed entirely online. Students may also “combine online courses with campus courses to meet degree requirements.” MBA students may choose an optional emphasis area such as Computer Information Systems, Management, Marketing, or Healthcare Management. Accredited by AACSB International, the online MBA at WTAMU’s College of Business may be completed within a two-year period. However, some students have completed the program in as few as 12 to 18 months.
5. Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University-Glendale, Glendale, Arizona
Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University-Glendale offers an online Master of Global Management (MGM). The AACSB International-accredited program has many of the same elements as the online MBA program (ending in 2016), along with an accelerated pace. 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.
6. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
The University of North Texas-College of Business (CoB), offers three MBA programs including an MBA in Finance, an MBA in Strategic Management, and an MBA in Marketing. The coursework for each 36-credit-hour online MBA is identical to the school’s traditional MBA program and may be completed in as little as two years and 100% online.
The College of Business also offers another delivery format for students interested in spending some time on campus. The blended format (50% online and 50% face-to-face) is also identical to the school’s traditional MBA and consists of 36-credit-hours of coursework. All MBA programs offered through the College of Business at the University of North Texas are AACSB International-accredited.
7. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
The College of Business at Sam Houston State University offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA that offers fall, spring, and summer enrollment. While the newly launched program does not offer any concentrations and elective options are limited, as the program grows, online students can expect more options. Currently, the general MBA program may be completed in as few as four semesters. Working professionals typically complete the AACSB International-accredited program in approximately two years.
8. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
The Spears School of Business offers a full-time and part-time MBA program. The full-time MBA program is a 45 credit hour program and can be completed in as few as 18 months. Applicants must have earned a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent from an accredited university and have a competitive GMAT and GPA. MBA students can pursue specialization in the following emerging careers: Marketing Analytics, Energy Finance, Data Science, Entrepreneurship, Non-profit Management, Business Sustainability, Accounting, Risk Management, and Information Assurance.
The part-time MBA, offered face-to-face and online, is a 42 credit-hour program designed for individuals who wish to enroll on a part-time basis only. Applicants must have earned a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent from an accredited university and have a competitive GMAT and GPA. Concentrations include: Entrepreneurship, Data Mining, Marketing Analytics, Business Sustainability, Non-profit Management, and Information Assurance.
The Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.
9. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
The College of Business at Colorado State University offers a Professional MBA that dates back to 1975 when the first “distance” offering was introduced. Today, the 40-credit-hour program is offered 100% online and it features three specializations including Computer Information Systems, Finance, and Marketing. The AACSB International-accredited program also offers a Certificate in Federal Financial Management.
Students may participate in an optional International Seminar, which consists of an international business study trip. Even if a student opts for the International Seminar, the online MBA program may be completed in as little as 21 months. However, students are permitted to take up to five years to complete the program.
10. University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada
The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno offers an online Executive MBA (EMBA). Designed for “mid-career executives and experienced professionals who want to advance in today’s challenging work world,” the EMBA is a 12-course program offered as a two-year cohort beginning in the fall. According to the College of Business, courses in the EMBA program are sequenced to assure continuity in learning and for each class, students will have at least one proctored exam which will be taken through ProctorU, an online proctoring service, or in the 365 Learning Office. As part of the College of Business, the online EMBA is AACSB International-accredited.