|2||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Illinois|
|3||University of Wisconsin||Wisconsin|
|4||University of Nebraska-Lincoln||Nebraska|
|5||Ball State University||Indiana|
|6||Central Michigan University||Michigan|
|7||University of Michigan-Dearborn||Michigan|
|8||University of Cincinnati||Ohio|
|11||Boise State University||Idaho|
|12||University of Kansas||Kansas|
|13||Southern Illinois University-Carbondale||Illinois|
|14||University of North Dakota||North Dakota|
|15||Missouri University of Science and Technology||Missouri|
|16||University of Wisconsin-Whitewater||Wisconsin|
|17||Kansas State University||Kansas|
|18||Cleveland State University||Ohio|
|19||Ferris State University||Michigan|
|20||University of South Dakota||South Dakota|
Our 2019 list of the Top 20 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
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers a flexible online MBA program that allows students to customize their experience by selecting 12 credit hours of electives to create a specialized area. Also known as, “Kelley Direct Online,” the program offers the opportunity to complete a dual MBA/MS degree with an Online MS in Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, IT Management, Marketing or Strategic Management. This may be accomplished with only 12 additional credit hours.
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; Yangon, Myanmar, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Havana/Vinales, Cuba.
The Kelley Direct Online MBA takes just two years to complete and it is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).
2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
The Gies College of Business at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a fully online MBA (iMBA) with seven specializations including Digital Marketing, Financial Management, Global Challenges in Business, Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship, Managerial Economics and Business Analysis, Strategic Leadership & Management, and Value Chain Management. Students must complete at least six specializations and a program-wide experiential learning course.
Per the school, “specializations ultimately come together as a capstone project and lead to the complete iMBA.” Students will also choose two of three advanced-leadership pathways, including Digitization, Globalization and Innovation.
Learning takes place through Coursera and through the University. The part of the curriculum in the Coursera platform is on demand, so students can complete it at their own pace. Other program highlights include hands-on faculty, interactive in classes and projects, and weekly live class sessions, covering multiple time zones across the world. Students live in more than 50 different countries.
Another highlight of this 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
Coursework for the University of Wisconsin (UW) Consortium MBA Program may be completed entirely online—no campus visits required. This AACSB-accredited program is the only program among UW’s peer consortial programs to grant the degree from the MBA Consortium program rather than from one of the partner schools. Available through all UW campuses (except Madison), the UW Consortium MBA features “content-integrated, theme-based modules rather than traditional stand-alone courses,” says the school. “By blending integrated core courses with a vast array of electives,” students can customize their MBA experience.
The 30 credit hour program is designed for working professionals looking to advance in their respective career fields. The online format 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 14 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.
4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
The College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) offers a 48 credit hour MBA that’s delivered entirely online. The school also offers a Flex MBA program, which is a blend of both on-campus and online courses. However, the majority of courses are taken on-campus at the “renowned” Howard L. Hawks Hall, which opened in 2017.
Per UNL, for the 100% online MBA program known as MBA@Nebraska, students “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. Online graduate certificates are also available in Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and Survey Research and Methodology.
In addition to the option to choose a specialization or certificate, 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 MBA@Nebraska program 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
The Miller College of Business at Ball State University offers an online MBA program that may be completed in as few as two years. Per the school, the Miller MBA includes 24 credits of core courses and 6-9 credits of MBA electives “covering in-depth knowledge of entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, sales, and more.”
This AACSB-accredited program offers 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.
Miller Online MBA students will complete coursework for the program 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 an additional delivery format option designed 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. Three start times are available including Fall, Spring, and Summer.
6. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
The Central Michigan University Global Campus (CMU Global Campus) and College of Business Administration offer an online MBA program that features 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.
7. University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Michigan
The College of Business at University of Michigan-Dearborn offers several MBA programs that may be completed 100% online, on-campus, or a combination of the two. Programs include an MBA with a concentration, the MBA/MS in Finance, and the MBA/MSE-ISE (MBA/MS in Engineering, Industrial Systems Engineering).
Concentrations for the MBA are optional and include Accounting, Finance, International Business, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. Per the school, MBA students can complete the concentrations in Finance and International Business online, or they can take online elective courses, instead.
Students who choose the hybrid option will have full access to campus-based resources and they will participate in face-to-face events, such as professional organizations and study-abroad opportunities.
The AACSB-accredited online MBA requires 36 to 48 credit hours of study, and it 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.
8. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati has been accredited by the AACSB since 1919. The school 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 have seven 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.
A Business Foundations Certificate is also available and students who choose a focus will receive a certificate in their area of concentration.
9. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
Creighton University is home to the Heider College of Business, which offers an MBA program that can be completed in just over two years. Three delivery options are available including completion of courses online, on campus, or a combination of the two. This 33 credit hour program offers several MBA concentrations, the option to add a graduate certificate or a dual degree in addition to the MBA. Concentrations include Accounting, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Financial Psychology & Behavioral Finance (also a certificate), Finance, Leadership, and Personal Financial Planning (also a certificate).
Other certificate options include Business Analytics, Healthcare Management, Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, Organizational Leadership, and Project Management. Students can combine numerous degrees with the MBA. Just a few include MBA + Law, MBA + PharmD, MBA + MS in Investment Management & Financial Analysis.
Graduates of the AACSB-accredited Heider Online MBA Program have gone on to pursue careers at numerous Fortune 500 companies such as ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, Union Pacific, and others. Job titles of recent graduates include CEO, Finance Manager, Marketing Manager, Operations Manager, President, Project Manager, and Vice President.
10. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
The College of Business at Ohio University offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program that may be completed entirely online. There is no GMAT requirement for admission and students may choose from eight concentrations including Accounting, Business Analytics, Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship, Executive Management, Finance, Health Care, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Strategic Selling & Sales Leadership.
Course highlights include Accounting for Executives, Applied Business Experience (CAPSIM) Data Analysis for Decision Making, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, and Strategic Use of Information. In the CAPSIM course, “students will work in teams and apply course material to complete simulated business experience,” says the school. In the simulation, each team runs a fictitious firm.
Students “will define a business problem to address, assess the organization and its context, suggest solutions, and deliver an action plan for implementing the solution. Teams compete with one another in a dynamic industry environment.” The CAPSIM course “provides an opportunity to apply many of the concepts learned throughout the program.”
The MBA program at Ohio University may be completed in just two years, full-time.
11. Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
The College of Business and Economics at Boise State University (COBE Boise State) offers an MBA program that is the only MBA program in the Treasure Valley with AACSB accreditation. Designed for mid-career professionals, the COBE MBA provides 49 credit hours of study in 13 courses offered in 8-week quarters. Course highlights include Business Plan Development, Design Thinking and Strategic Management, Global Economics: Policy and Trade, Information Technology and Business Alignment, Managing Successful Projects, and People and Organizations.
Offered entirely online, the COBE MBA uses 100% digital content, “replacing traditional textbook cost and hassle,” says the school. Program tuition includes all course materials, which are accessible through any web-enabled device that supports HTML5. Students can complete the program in as few as 12 months, full-time.
12. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
The School of Business at University of Kansas (KU School of Business) offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program that may be completed entirely online. There are no residency requirements. The program consists of 30 credits of core business classes and 12 credits of focus area courses for a total of 42 credit hours. Courses are eight weeks each, and three focus areas are available including Finance, Management & Leadership, and Marketing.
The Finance focus area requires four courses including Advanced Topics in Finance, Corporate Finance, Financial Institutions and Markets, and Investments. Management & Leadership requires Developing Effective Management and Team Skills, Leadership Philosophy and Practice, Managing Internationally, and Strategic Organizational Design and Change Management. The Marketing focus requires Consumer Behavior, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Global Marketing, and Integrated Marketing Communications.
With three start dates per year (spring, summer and fall), the KU School of Business Online MBA may be completed in just over two years.
13. Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois
The College of Business at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program that can be completed entirely online. The program does not require any campus visits and it may be completed in less than two years. The SIU oMBA program has optional concentrations in Agribusiness Economics and Analytics for Managers. Fewer than 10 public universities in the U.S. offer an Agribusiness concentration as part of their MBA program.
The Agribusiness option 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.” The Agribusiness concentration prepares graduates for managerial careers in the field of agribusiness economics such as banking and finance, business management, farm appraisal, farm management, market and policy analysis, grain merchandising and more.
The oMBA Analytics option provides access to and support by “top analytics experts through the Pontikes Center for Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.” Through the concentration, students will learn how to manage the process of converting large amounts of collected data into valuable and useful information. The program combines traditional MBA courses with analytics courses to prepare students to manage the connection of data and people. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions in just about every business sector: engineering, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, logistics, manufacturing, marketing, retail, etc. Courses the MBA and MBA with a concentration are taught by the same faculty who teach in the on-campus program.
14. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
The University of North Dakota’s College of Business & Public Administration (UND CoBPA) offers a 33 to 34-credit-hour MBA program that takes around two years to complete. The online program does not require any campus visits. Instead, students attend via “live” Web classes held in the evenings, one evening per week, for three hours.
The UND CoBPA MBA offers five tracks including Business Analytics, Government & Business, International Business, Social Entrepreneurship, and the General Concentration. Students in the focused concentrations will complete additional coursework specific to the track. For example, the Social Entrepreneurship Track requires Creation & Management of Social Enterprises, Political Advocacy & Social Entrepreneurship, and Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship. And for the International Business Track, students obtain internationally focused coursework by studying abroad at the BI Norwegian Business School.
Students in the General Concentration will students choose courses from a variety of disciplines including marketing, economics, management, healthcare administration, and social entrepreneurship. In addition, the school says that students “will have the opportunity to choose cognate courses outside of the College of Business Administration for a more tailored program experience.” Some of the courses that students can choose in this concentration are Brand Management, Demographics, Forecasting, Health Policy, and Relationship Marketing.
Students may enter the AACSB International-accredited UND CoBPA MBA program every fall (August), spring (January), or summer (May).
15. Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri
The College of Arts, Sciences, and Business at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is home to the Business and Technology (BIT) Department, which offers an MBA program that may be completed entirely online. The online MBA program may also be completed on a part-time basis and it requires 36 credit hours to complete. Ten optional specialization areas are available and include Business Intelligence, Business Sustainability, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human-Computer Interaction, International Business, Marketing, New Product Development, Project Management, Strategy, and Supply Chain Management.
Courses for the Missouri S&T Online MBA are delivered over the Internet, via live streaming video and collaborative learning software, which includes WebEx and Blackboard. In addition, classes are “archived online” for easy access and review. The program features courses in accounting, big data, business analytics, data science, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, international business, leadership, management, marketing, operations, strategies, and supply chain. Students work in teams on comprehensive business cases, live simulations and real company assigned projects throughout this AACSB-accredited MBA program.
The online MBA program at Missouri University of Science and Technology usually takes just two to three years to complete.
Note: Students interested in earning college credit toward the Missouri S&T Online MBA might consider a Graduate Certificate Program. Students earning a B or better in all core courses may be accepted into the corresponding degree program without taking the GRE. Certificates are available in the following MBA related areas: Business Intelligence, ERP, Human-Computer Interaction, and Project Management.
16. 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 program highlights include advanced graduate courses in functional areas like economics, management, technology, and marketing, and 11 different emphases and over 40 electives, “covering the breadth of contemporary business issues,” says the school. The programs wide range of electives allows students to tailor the UW-Whitewater MBA program to meet their interests and needs.
Emphasis areas include Customized, Data Analytics, Environmental Safety and Health, Finance, Human Resources Management, Information Technology Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management. Students may also customize an emphasis by choosing courses across emphases.
The UW-Whitewater MBA requires completion of 36 credit hours including Breadth (24 credits) Emphasis (nine credits) and Elective (three credits). If a student has met prerequisite requirements, they may be required to complete 0-14 credits of Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) courses. The number of courses required will be determined based on transcript review. Candidates with an undergraduate degree in business may not need to complete CBKs, or requirements may be very limited.
17. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
The College of Business Administration at Kansas State University (K-State CBA) offers a Professional MBA (PMBA) that may be completed online. The program has just one required 2-day on-campus orientation that includes team building, networking and professional development components. An optional faculty-led international trip is also part of the program as well as the Professional Development and Learning Seminar.
Per the school, the Online PMBA is a “high-quality, interactive program” that allows students to work at their own pace and integrate examples from their own professional experience within each class. Courses for this AACSB-accredited program are “taught by the same qualified professors who teach graduate courses on campus in Manhattan, Kansas.” Students will take a total of 36 credit hours or as few as 30 depending on previous undergraduate coursework.
Course highlights include Business Strategy, Economic Analysis for Business, Information Technology Strategy and Application, Managing the Triple Bottom Line Business, and Operations and Supply Chain Management. Students will also complete a Business Capstone during the second eight weeks of the fall and spring terms and during the 8-week summer term. The Business Capstone allows students to apply what they’ve learned to a final project.
18. Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland State University (CSU) is home to Monte Ahuja College of Business, which offers a one-year MBA that may be completed entirely online. One of the first online, one-year MBA programs to be AACSB-accredited, the Accelerated Online MBA (AMBA) at Cleveland State emphasizes strategic management skills and small study groups. The school admits cohorts twice a year and it utilizes an eLearning and mLearning (mobile learning) system.
System highlights include digital textbook annotation: highlight text, add notes, share blurbs, etc., and class discussions and conversations where students can collaborate and learn with peers through the Blackboard platform using any personal device.
The 34 credit hour CSU AMBA program focuses only on graduate level business courses, so students must have all background business courses completed before applying to the program. Course highlights for the program include Business Analytics Fundamentals, Financial Policies, Integrative Business Strategy, International Business, Management of Innovation & Technology, Strategic Entrepreneurship, and Team Dynamics. With the exception of Team Dynamics (one credit hour) and Integrative Business Strategy (four credit hours), courses are three credits.
All courses are taught by full-time CSU faculty members and current instructors in the MBA program.
19. Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan
The College of Business at Ferris State University (FSU COB) offers a fully online MBA program that allows students to take their first two courses without a GMAT or GRE score. Courses for the 39 credit hour program are taught by FSU COB tenured and tenure-track faculty located in Big Rapids, Michigan. Per the school, the core for the program “draws from primary pillars of business administration: Business Management, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Economics, and Business Law.”
Students will also take core courses such as Information Systems Strategy and Lean Enterprises Systems. In addition to the core, students are required to choose a 9-credit concentration. Options include Business Intelligence, Design & Innovation Management, Incident Response, Lean Systems and Leadership, Performance Metrics, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management & Lean Logistics.
Students who wish to create their own focus will have the opportunity to work with an advisor to “select a combination of existing graduate courses and/or propose independent research to customize a concentration in nearly any field of study. This allows the candidate to specialize in a specific cognate or concentration based on his or her employment interest.”
The ACBSP-accredited FSU Online MBA program is an open enrollment program, so it is possible for students to register during the semester prior to taking courses.
20. University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota
The University of South Dakota is home to the Beacom School of Business (USD Beacom), which offers a General Management MBA that can be completed mostly online. The program has Business Analytics and Health Services Administration specializations for students seeking a focused degree. The General Management MBA and MBA with the Health Services Administration specialization (HSAD) consist of 18 credit hours of foundations courses and 33 hours of advanced coursework. The MBA with the Business Analytics (BA) specialization consists of 21 hours of foundations courses and 39 hours of advanced coursework.
Course highlights include Business and Its Environment, Leadership Development, Managerial Marketing, Production Operations Management, Quantitative Analysis, and Strategic Management. Per the school, “Leadership Development is offered primarily online with a rich, five-day, face-to-face experience. Content for this course will be delivered online initially with the residency component taking place in either July or April (depending on the semester). Students enjoy this signature experience, and use the opportunity to network and form a deeper connection with faculty and colleagues.”
The USD Beacom Online MBA takes as few as 12 months to complete, full-time (including summer semester), or two to four years to complete, part-time. However, students are allowed up to seven years to complete this AACSB-accredited program.