Our 2020 list of the Top 10 Online MBA Programs in the Southwest. We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.
|1||Arizona State University||Arizona|
|2||University of Texas at Dallas||Texas|
|3||University of Arizona||Arizona|
|5||Oklahoma State University||Oklahoma|
|6||University of Utah||Utah|
|7||Colorado State University||Colorado|
|8||University of North Texas||Texas|
|9||West Texas A&M University||Texas|
|10||Texas A&M University||Texas|
Serving nearly 90,000 students, Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the nation’s largest public universities by enrollment. The school’s nationally ranked programs have positioned the university as a “top-tier” recruiting and hiring institution by more than 50 of the country’s top corporations, according to professional recruiters and rankings services around the world. Among the school’s nationally ranked programs is the MBA, which has an 87.25% employment rate, with a mean salary of $100,303.
Offered through W.P. Carey School of Business, the ASU MBA program has a flexible online option that includes 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 36 credit hour program may be completed entirely online.
This competitive AACSB-accredited program consists of 49 total credit hours (17 classes) and students are allowed to take just one course at a time (five weeks per course). Students also have the opportunity to customize their MBA by declaring an area of emphasis in Finance, International Business, Marketing, or Supply Chain Management.
Other program highlights include the opportunity to interact with teammates in case-based projects, an inclusive online environment, and the option to earn two degrees in less time and at a lower cost. Concurrent online degree options include the MBA/MSE in Electrical Engineering, the MBA/Master of Legal Studies, and the MBA/MS in Industrial Engineering.
Students in both the single and dual online MBA programs have the option to start in January or August.
Since 1969, University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) has grown from one building in a field into a top-tier university serving more than 29,500 students enrolled in eight schools and more than 140 academic degrees including top-ranked programs in business, engineering, science, audiology and arts and technology.
Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM) is the largest of UT Dallas’ eight schools. It houses the Professional MBA (PMBA) Online, which allows students up to 72 months to complete the program. Students also have the option to complete the program in as few as 16 months. There are no on-campus requirements and students have full access to MBA Program Office and Jindal School Career Management Center staff.
This AACSB-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," says the school. The 53 credit hour online PMBA also highlights 24 hours of electives, along with an impressive 13 double MS/MBA options, including STEM, and 15 concentrations. Just a few concentration options include Accounting, Information Systems, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Real Estate, and Supply Chain Management.
In addition to STEM, MS options include Healthcare Leadership and Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and International Management Studies, to name a few.
All JSOM Online PMBA students are encouraged to participate in the school's International Study Programs, which "give direct exposure to business in a global context." Besides offering Exchange Programs and International Internships, the JSOM Study Abroad Office has conducted more than 35 faculty led international study trips in 16 countries for the past 15 years.
Jindal School of Management also offers a Professional MBA Flex that allows students to take classes on a part-time basis, usually six semester credit hours (two courses) per semester.
Established in 1885, University of Arizona (UA) was the first university in Arizona Territory. The school’s first graduating class in 1895 consisted of just two women and one male. Today, UA serves close to 46,000 students enrolled in 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees through 20 colleges and 12 schools on four campuses.
Eller College of Management is one of the 20 colleges at University of Arizona. The college serves nearly 6,500 students enrolled in 10 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate programs, including a 100% online MBA that may be completed in as few as 14 months. With six starts per year (every eight weeks), the program requires 14 core two-unit courses and 17 units of electives for a total of 45 units to graduate. Six concentrations are available including Entrepreneurship, Health Care, Finance, Management and Organizations, Management Information Systems, and Marketing.
Also known as the OMBA, the Eller Online MBA highlights 24/7 asynchronous delivery of content that minimizes students’ time away from work and family, the option to decide how many courses to take at a time (take up to six years to complete the program), and AACSB accreditation. Graduates of the program enjoy an 86% employment rate within 90 days of graduation, along with an average starting salary of $89,870. Top recruiters include General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Honeywell, Macy’s, Microsoft, Nationwide, and PwC.
On May 18, 1891, Massachusetts-born businessman William Marsh Rice chartered the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art as a gift to the city of Houston, where he made his fortune. In 1907, astronomer and mathematician Edgar Odell Lovett became the first president of Rice. In 1912, the Rice Institute finally opened with 77 students taught by a dozen faculty. Today, Rice University serves 7,170 students taught by 694 full-time and 192 part-time instructional faculty. More than 50 undergraduate majors and dozens of graduate programs in eight schools.
The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA program known as the [email protected]. Program highlights include live virtual classes, small class sizes, and mobile-friendly, multimedia coursework. The program, which has four focus areas including Corporate Finance, Corporate Strategy, Investment Management, and Marketing, develops students’ understanding of “essential business principles such as financial accounting, business analytics, marketing strategy, leadership and finance,” says the school. Students will “learn to apply these larger concepts throughout an organization” as they hone their skills in one of the focused specializations of study.
In each 10-week term, students will take courses totaling up to six credits. The first year will consist of all core courses, and the second year features a combination of core and elective courses. Sample courses include Business-Government Relations, Competitive Strategy, Corporate Investment Policy, Corporate Responsibility, Economic Environment of Business, Geopolitics of Energy, Futures and Options, Leadership, and Negotiations.
Students must complete 54 total credits including 36 core credits, 12 elective credits, three credits of Residential Intensive Learning Experiences (ILEs) and three additional credits of electives or ILEs. ILEs consist of a variety of simulations, immersions, seminars, intersessions, and guided leadership exercises that bring students face to face with peers, faculty and industry leaders.” Domestic ILEs are often held on the Rice University campus in Houston, Texas.
Global Field Experiences (GFEs) are also part of the program, which allow students to study abroad and to develop and practice new hands-on skills.
Exams for the [email protected] are held during the final week of each semester and the program can be completed in 24 months.
Oklahoma State University (OSU) is Oklahoma’s first Truman Honor Institution. The school has the largest comprehensive student union and its Edmon Low Library is one of the America’s top 100 academic research libraries. Famous alumni include Garth Brooks, T. Boone Pickens (business magnate and financier), Barry Sanders (NFL running back), and Anita Hill.
Serving nearly 27,000 students, Oklahoma State University houses six academic colleges, plus a veterinary school and an osteopathic medical school, that offer 200 undergraduate majors and options, 79 master's programs, and 45 doctoral programs.
Watson Graduate School of Management houses Spears School of Business, which offers several MBA programs—a 42 credit hour part-time MBA, a 43 credit hour full-time MBA, and a new MBA in Entrepreneurship (formerly the Master’s in Entrepreneurship). Concentrations for the 42 and 43 credit hour programs include Business Sustainability, Data Science, Energy Business, Global Marketing, Human Resource Management, Information Assurance, Marketing Analytics, and Non-Profit Management.
Students in these AACSB-accredited programs also have the option to earn the SAS and OSU Marketing Analytics Certificate. The program is designed to “produce analytically-savvy managers who will be adept at leading teams of IT, Marketing, and Strategy personnel in any organization to solve complex business problems by analyzing appropriate data,” says the school. The curriculum for the program was “designed in partnership with SAS, a leading provider of marketing analytics software and services.”
Both the part-time and full-time Spears OSU MBA programs may be completed online or in hybrid format.
Founded in 1850, University of Utah is the oldest state university west of the Missouri River. When it opened in November 1850 as the University of Deseret, the school’s first term was designated “men only.” Today, nearly half of the students at University of Utah are women. With a student population of nearly 33,000 students enrolled in hundreds of programs in 17 colleges and schools and nearly 100 departments, the school is among the largest in the state.
The David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah offers an online MBA program that takes 24 months to complete. The 48 credit hour Eccles MBAO program allows students to take two courses at a time, with courses held in five and 10-week blocks. Students will take courses such as Global Business, Data Analysis, Business Ethics, Business Technology, Managing & Leading Organizations, Project Management, and many others.
MBAO classes are available 24/7 and “provide a dynamic, highly interactive learning experience,” says the school. “On-demand lectures with in-depth discussions between team members and faculty using high-end web conferencing means “class is “whenever and wherever” students want it to be. Students also have the opportunity to interact with faculty and other students in a weekly live web-conferencing session, as well as during one three-day on-campus residency. Online forums and multimedia are also utilized in this AACSB-accredited program.
Graduates of the Eccles MBAO report a 34% salary increase by graduation and on average, 56% of students are promoted while in the program.
Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, Colorado State University (CSU) is situated on nearly 5,000 acres of land, including the main campus, a foothills campus, an agricultural campus, and a Mountain Campus. Colorado State also has 4,600 acres for research centers, Cooperative Extension offices, and Colorado State Forest Service stations.
Serving around 23,768 undergraduate students and 3,962 graduate students, CSU offers more than 250 academic programs, more than 80 minors, and several professional advising tracks across eight colleges and a graduate school. The College of Business at Colorado State University offers a Professional MBA Program that dates back to 1975 when the first “distance” offering was introduced.
Today, the 40 credit hour program is offered 100% online and it offers the opportunity to focus in one of several areas including Computer Information Systems, Finance, and Marketing Data Analytics. Students may also choose to focus in “Professional Enrichment,” which consists of electives such as International Study Trip (summer) and Contemporary Issues in Business: Leadership Symposium: Building and Leading Exceptional Organizational Teams.
During the optional International Study Trip, students will meet with business leaders, “learning international business culture, and becoming acclimated to environments” different from their own. In addition to the study trip and several focus areas, the CSU College of Business offers a number of unique business certificates to complement the MBA program. Options include Accounting, Ethics and Auditing, Applied Finance, Business Analytics and Accounting Systems, Business Information Systems, Business Intelligence, IT Project Management, Marketing Management, Nonprofit Administration, and Ski Area Management.
Including the focus area and study trip, students can expect to complete the AACSB-accredited online MBA program in as few as 21 months. However, students have the option to take up to five years to complete the program.
Serving nearly 39,200 students, the University of North Texas is one of the state’s oldest and largest universities. The school offers 106 bachelors, 88 masters, and 36 doctoral degrees across 14 Colleges and Schools. The College of Business (CoB) here offers an accelerated MBA that may be completed 100% online in just 14 months.
This AACSB-accredited program has six specializations including Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Strategic Management, Supply Chain Analytics, and Supply Chain Management.
Courses for UNT’s accelerated MBA programs are offered in eight-week sessions and the curriculum is identical to the school’s traditional MBA program. Students can expect to take 18 hours in the MBA core, 15 hours in the concentration, and three elective hours, for a total of 36 credit hours. Course highlights include Administrative Strategy, Discovery and Learning with Big Data, Large Data Visualization, Managing Organizational Design and Change in Financial Management, and Organizational Behavior Analysis.
Depending on the specialization, students will also take seminar courses such as Seminar in Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Seminar in Compensation and Motivation, and Seminar in Labor Relations.
The MBA program at UNT offers five start dates annually including January, March, June, August and October.
Established in 1876, the Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 153,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year.
Founded in 1910 and serving more than 10,000 students, West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) is a member of the Texas A&M University System. The school joined the System in 1990 and today it offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 38 masters, and two doctorate programs across seven colleges and schools.
The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business at WTAMU offers a 31 to 46 credit hour MBA program that may be completed entirely online or through a combination of online and campus courses. Students may choose the General MBA or add an optional emphasis area such as Computer Information Systems, Healthcare Management, Management, or Marketing.
Courses for the program are divided into multiple topic areas that cover accounting, quantitative analysis, computer application and technology, corporate finance, marketing, economic theory, management, business integration, and international business. Course highlights include Accounting in Health Care Organizations, Cultural Intelligence, Financial Management of Biotechnology and Health Care, International Human Resource Management, and Social Network and Media Analysis. All students will complete the MBA Portfolio Capstone course worth one credit hour.
The AACSB-accredited Engler Online MBA may be completed within a two-year period. However, some students have completed the program in as few as 12-18 months.
Established in 1889, Texas A&M University – Commerce (TAMUC) is part of the Texas A&M system. The school serves approximately 10,000 students enrolled in more than 100 degree programs across five colleges, a main campus in Commerce, and several additional campuses.
Texas A&M University’s College of Business (TAMUC College of Business) offers an MBA program that may be completed entirely online. The largest online MBA program in Texas, the 30 to 48 credit hour program offers minor options that allow students to customize their program choices and position themselves for career advancement. Options include Accounting, Agribusiness, Business Analytics, Corporate Management, Cybersecurity, Digital Marketing, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Financial Planning, Healthcare Administration, International Business, Marketing, and Marketing Analytics.
Students may choose the MBA with a Minor or the General MBA, which requires six hours of electives. Students in both AACSB-accredited options will take courses such as Advanced Managerial Accounting, Applied Business Research, Financial Management, Marketing Management, and Strategic Management.
Another program highlight is the British Studies Program. TAMUC participates in a consortium of 11 universities in the British Studies Program, which allows students to earn an MBA in British Studies. This program requires a summer session at King’s College in London.
Graduates of the TAMUC Online MBA work for top companies such as L3 Technologies, Innovation First International, Trend HR, Daseke, Inc., Mary Kay Corporation, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre, to name a few.