|1||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||North Carolina|
|2||University of Florida||Florida|
|3||North Carolina State University||North Carolina|
|5||Florida State University||Florida|
|6||Arkansas State University||Arkansas|
|7||Mississippi State University||Mississippi|
|8||Louisiana State University||Louisiana|
|10||University of Mississippi||Mississippi|
|11||Florida International University||Florida|
|12||University of South Florida, St. Petersburg||Florida|
|13||University of Tennessee at Martin||Tennessee|
|14||West Virginia University||West Virginia|
|15||University of Miami||Florida|
|16||Tennessee Technical University||Tennessee|
|17||East Carolina University||North Carolina|
|18||Florida Atlantic University||Florida|
|19||University of North Alabama||Alabama|
Our 2019 list of the Top 20 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
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) offers an online MBA program that balances asynchronous learning with weekly face-to-face classes with Kenan-Flagler faculty. An important component of the 66 credit hour program is the opportunity to participate in domestic and international immersions. Students are required to attend at least two immersions, which will take them to major business centers in the U.S. and around the world. Past international immersions have included London, Johannesburg, Singapore, Istanbul, and others. Many students participate in more than the two required immersions.
[email protected] students may select from five concentrations including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Strategy and 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) and Doing Business In (DBI).
STAR students "learn by doing as they take on the role of consultants to real companies,” says the school. Doing Business In (DBI) "gives students an opportunity to study abroad at an MBA exchange partner school."
The AACSB-accredited [email protected] program can be completed in as few as 18 months or as many as 36, depending on the student’s schedule and other commitments.
2. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
In 1999, the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida (UF) became one of the first schools to offer a fully accredited, 100% online MBA program. The school says that the “innovative 24-month option does not require a single campus visit.” The school has two additional options including an Accelerated Online MBA that allows students to complete the program in just 16 months and a “two-year” option, which takes 27 months to complete.
Both programs are offered in hybrid format, meaning students will have to attend an on-campus orientation and visit the campus one weekend every four months (Saturday & Sunday). During these visits, students will take final exams and deliver final presentations.
A concurrent Outreach Engineering Management (OEM) Master’s (OEM/MBA) is also available. This degree option “reduces the amount of time and coursework required for students to obtain both the MBA and the OEM degree from UF."
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
Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University (NC State) offers a 40 credit hour Professional Online MBA that features six “Depth Areas,” comprised of the same functional area options as concentrations, but with fewer credit hours required to graduate. Known as the Jenkins MBA, areas for the program 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 Jenkins Online MBA program may choose the Accelerated Path, which takes as few as 21 months to complete, or the Flexible Path, 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 through WolfWare, NC State’s online learning management system featuring educational tools such as Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate, email, streaming video files, discussion boards (message boards, instant messaging, etc.), and telephone conferencing.
The Jenkins Online MBA requires two three-day residencies on NC State’s main campus in Raleigh. In addition, students are encouraged to complete an optional International Immersion that lasts for seven to eight days. Per the school, “the focus of the trip is to provide global business and cultural awareness skills.” For 2019, travel experiences include France: MBA, Art & Science of Negotiation in Paris and Germany: MBA, Innovation & Marketing Systems in Munich.
Study abroad trips take place during the Spring and Summer semesters, (usually mid-March or mid-May).
4. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
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 36 credit hour program offers an optional three-day orientation at the beginning of the program and a three-day on campus residency on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before graduation. Otherwise, all coursework for the program is delivered through the University's online student learning platform CANVAS.
Students use CANVAS to view lectures, work with team members on group assignments, ask questions and hold discussions with professors and classmates, submit homework, and access course materials. The lock-step curriculum allows online students to watch the exact same lectures, take the same tests, and communicate with the same professors as on-campus students.
Students can live-stream classes or choose to watch at the time most convenient for them. Courses are taken at the student’s own pace, with most online students taking one or two classes each semester. The curriculum includes a mix of core business classes and business electives and the final semester includes the Capstone Course, where groups of MBA students provide consultation to a number of real businesses on various topics.
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 (MBA/MS) in Finance, Information Systems, and Industrial and Systems Engineering. Graduate research assistantships, which are awarded annually, are also available.
5. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
The College of Business at Florida State University (COB FSU) offers two online MBA programs. Prospective students may choose between the Online, Part-Time MBA, and the 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 provides the opportunity to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea at firms such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai, Kia and LG. 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. As part of the FSU College of Business, both the Online, Part-Time MBA and Online, Part-Time MBA-Real Estate are AACSB-accredited.
6. Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
The Neil Griffin College of Business at Arkansas State University offers a 33 credit hour online MBA program that requires 36 to 39 credit hours to complete. Six concentrations are available and include Finance, Healthcare Administration, International Business, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. Students in all concentrations have the option to complete an internship worth three credit hours or one directed independent study.
According to program literature, the curriculum emphasizes leadership/values, international business, latest technology, decision tools, and social responsibility/ethics facilitated by action-based learning. The school also says that a “serious trademark” of the Neil Griffin 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 at Arkansas State University takes just two years to complete.
7. Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi
The College of Business at Mississippi State University offers a 30 credit hour fully online MBA and a 33 credit hour online 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 who have completed all undergraduate prerequisites can finish either program in as few as 18 months. Prerequisite courses are also available online.
8. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University (LSU) is home to the Flores Online MBA Program. This AACSB-accredited MBA is designed for professionals with at least five years of work experience and it offers six start dates annually. Students in the program are required to take 14 courses (42 credit hours) and they may choose elective courses to create a focus. A few options include Negotiation, Persuasion and Influence, and Seminar in New Developments in Business Administration.
There are no residency requirements for the LSU Flores MBA and students may complete the program in as few as 18 months.
9. Georgia WebMBA, Georgia
Implemented in 2001, the Georgia WebMBA is “designed for professionals who want to earn their MBA without the restrictions of set class times and locations,” says the school. This means, after an initial onsite two-day orientation in Atlanta, all required activities are exclusively online. At orientation, students will build teams and create team contracts, and interact with program faculty and administrators. Students will also “attend a panel discussion comprised of current students and alumni.” All students must successfully complete this mandatory orientation prior to starting the first semester.
The program, which is jointly offered by six University System of Georgia Schools, consists of 10 courses. Course highlights include Global and International Business, Entrepreneurship, Human Behavior in Organizations, Managerial Decision Analysis, Strategic Marketing, Management Information Systems, and Operations and Supply Chain Management. Students will complete two online courses each term and there are no required electives.
Students may complete the AACSB-accredited Georgia WebMBA in five consecutive semesters within a year and a half. This accelerated option allows students to begin the program in January or August.
10. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi
The School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers a 36 credit hour Online Professional MBA that can be completed in as few as two years. The 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 Online MBA is AACSB-accredited.
11. Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Florida International University’s (FIU) Chapman Graduate School of Business offers a Corporate MBA (CMBA) that may be completed 100% online. Tailored for busy, working professionals, the FIU CMBA utilizes discussion boards, chat, and email, as well as online e-advising and e-tutoring, and academic coaches. This AACSB-accredited program requires 42 credit hours of study to graduate and students now have the option to choose a specialization.
Eight options include Business Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, International Business, Leadership, Marketing Channel Strategy, Real Estate, and Strategic Negotiations. Each specialization consists of two courses (out of the 14 total in the program).
In addition to selecting a specialization, students are required to take three Professional Development Seminars (PDS) during the first quarter of the program. Professional Development - Work Preference Indicator Assessment, Professional Development - Presentation Skills Seminar, and Professional Development - Career Services Seminar.
Depending on factors such as whether students attend full- or part-time, prerequisite requirements, and more, the FIU CMBA may be completed in a as few as 18 to 21 months, or 33 months.
12. University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Kate Tiedemann College of Business at University of South Florida St. Petersburg (KTCOB USFSP) offers an AACSB-accredited MBA Program that may be completed entirely online. Per the school, “from application to graduation, fully online students never have to come to campus if they so choose.” Online courses are taught in “compact” eight-week sessions, which allow part-time students to enroll in just one course at a time.
Online MBA students have the option to pursue the Global MBA Track, which requires a Study Abroad Course. Students may opt for one of seven other Focus Tracks including Corporate Social Responsibility, Finance, Forensic Accounting, International Business, Management, Information Systems Management (formerly Managing Knowledge Resources), and Marketing Strategy.
Recent USFSP MBA graduates are employed at international companies as well as positions at Florida’s top corporations, including Raymond James, Franklin Templeton, Wells Fargo, Nielsen and Jabil.
13. University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee
The College of Business and Global Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin or UTM) offers a 33 credit hour online MBA program that is designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree and at least two years’ work experience who are seeking to advance their careers. The cohort-based program provides focus through a series of 6-8 week courses. Courses for the 20 to 21 month cohort are delivered sequentially and include Banking and Financial Services, Corporate Financial Management, Legal and Ethical Environment of Business, Organizational Theory and Design, and Strategic Management and Business Policy, to name a few.
Trips to the UT Martin 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. This AACSB-accredited program emphasizes that it has just 20 students per cohort “to keep each other motivated.” Students typically begin the program in January or June.
14. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
The John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University (WVU) offers an online hybrid MBA that takes two years to complete. The asynchronous program consists of 48 credit hours of study and it has two start dates each year including August and January. Four in-person residencies are required throughout the program, including three residencies in Morgantown, West Virginia and the fourth in Washington, D.C. During these 3-4 day residencies held in the fall and spring semesters, students will interact with faculty, engage in hands-on experiential learning, and network with peers.
During the final semester, students will participate in the mock venture capital fair held in Morgantown, WV. They will work with teammates to navigate through a simulation and pitch their business's needs to mock VCs. This project is part of the Integrated Global Business course. Other course highlights include Export Management, Management Information Systems, Negotiation Strategy, Personal Financial Planning, and Strategic Communications.
Students will also complete Executive Project 1 & 2, which provides the opportunity to develop and demonstrate project management skills through the preparation and presentation of a full and complete project/business implementation plan. Students may also choose from several unique specializations including Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, Energy Finance, or Integrated Marketing Communications.
The AACSB-accredited Chambers College of Business and Economics at WVU also offers a Military Online MBA, Dual JD Online MBA, Dual PharmD Online MBA, and the Dual MS Nursing Online MBA.
15. University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
The School of Business Administration at University of Miami offers an MBA Program known as the “UOnline MBA.” The 42 credit hour, AACSB-accredited program is “taught by the same high-caliber faculty members that also teach on-campus,” says the school. The program is also delivered 100% online and it takes 24-48 months to complete.
In addition to the UOnline MBA, an MBA with a Corporate Finance Focus is available, as well as Financial Decision Making and Accounting Practice. Corporate Finance and Financial Decision Making require an additional five credit hours, while Accounting Practice requires nine.
Though the MBA program is delivered entirely online, students may attend an optional, on campus residency and/or an optional on campus orientation and campus tour. The residency is a “week-long immersion session, during which you will take one full, accelerated course on campus.” The orientation allows students to meet faculty, University staff and fellow classmates before their studies begin.
16. Tennessee Technical University, Cookeville, Tennessee
The College of Business at Tennessee Technical University (Tennessee Tech) offers an MBA program that the school say is “designed with working professionals in mind.” This “Industry-Immersed” program may be completed on campus, 100% online or a combination of the two. The curriculum consists of ten, 3-hour courses for a total of 30 hours, including seven 3-hour core courses (21 hours) and three 3-hour electives (9 hours). Course highlights include Analytical Decision Making, Business Strategy, Financial Statement Analysis, Management of Information Technology, and Organizational Leadership.
Students may choose between four concentrations including Finance, HR Management, International Business, and Management Information Systems (MIS). With or without a specialization, students in this AACSB-accredited program will develop “general managerial competence through extensive use of various pedagogies such as case methods, simulations, and research projects.”
Full-time and part-time programs are available for students to earn their degree at their own pace. Students can finish the 30-hour program in as little as one year.
17. East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
The College of Business at East Carolina University (COB at ECU) offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program that may be completed entirely online or in hybrid format. There are no residency requirements for the 100% online MBA and students can create a schedule that works with theirs, with the support and guidance of a dedicated advisor. Student set their own pace throughout the program – taking between one to five courses each semester. Students can take a semester or more off if needed, and courses may be taken in any order, provided prerequisites are met.
The customizable ECU MBA is designed for both business and non-business undergraduates. Per the school, the degree is “completely self-contained, requiring no prerequisite business experience or coursework.” The program consists of a maximum of 18 courses, or 54 semester hours, and “provides an engaging and flexible education in the theory and practice of business management – exposing students to a range of subjects,” including accounting, finance, economics, information systems, marketing, operations management, strategy, and supply chain management. Courses are divided into three categories including seven foundation courses, eight common body of knowledge courses, and three electives/graduate certificate courses.
Students can choose from more than 30 different electives to customize their MBA experience to their career goals or opt for one of 12 COB-affiliated graduate certificates to satisfy the elective requirement. Most certificates require four or five courses, which will add one or two additional courses to the program. Certificates are designed to provide students “with meaningful insight into the issues of a specific industry from colleges or departments both inside and outside the College of Business.”
Certificates are awarded from the respective colleges or departments in conjunction with the degree and successful completion of a certificate is reflected on the graduate’s transcript.
18. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
The College of Business at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) offers a 23-month online MBA with no GMAT/GRE requirements. The program contains no residency requirement and no international residency requirement, and it is designed for individuals with undergraduate degrees in any discipline. However, four years of work experience is required to be admitted to the program.
FAU Online MBA features include a 100% asynchronous format, allowing students to access courses at any time and from any location, with an internet connection, a 40-46 credit curriculum, a team-based cohort format, and VIP Concierge Service and Support. The program also contains the same curriculum and is taught by the same professors as the campus-based programs. Students will learn and engage with faculty and peers through recorded online lectures, presentations, discussion and chats.
The AACSB-accredited FAU MBA program was recently ranked #1 in Florida and #5 in the United States in terms of a student’s return on investment (ROI), with one of the nation’s highest average salary-to-debt ratios after getting an MBA. Programs start in May, August, and January.
19. University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama
The College of Business at University of North Alabama (UNA) has two online MBA options—a regular MBA with the opportunity to specialize in one of nine concentrations and an Executive MBA (EMBA) for individuals with significant business experience who want to improve their leadership and management skills. Both programs are also delivered in hybrid format.
The EMBA requires at least five years of work history demonstrating increasing responsibility and professional or entrepreneurial positions. There are no GMA/GRE requirements for the program and it consists of 34 credit hours. The regular online MBA requires professional experiences or the GMAT/GRE.
Concentrations for the 34 credit hour program include Accounting, ERP Systems Using SAP, Finance, Global Business, Health Care Management, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, Project Management, and Sales and New Business Development. The AACSB- and ACBSP-accredited UNA MBA also allows students to build their own MBA by choosing three electives in lieu of a concentration.
UNA EMBA students have the opportunity to study abroad in China through partnerships with Pepsons Education Consulting Co. Ltd. in Suzhou and IUC Global Corporation in Taipei. Instructional materials for the study abroad program are available in Chinese and English.
20. Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
The Brock School of Business at Samford University offers an online MBA program that can be completed online, on-campus or a combination of the two. Concentrations are available in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Marketing and a number of joint degree options are also available. Sample joint degrees include MBA/MAcc (Master of Accountancy), MBA/MSEM (Master of Environmental Management), and MBA/MDiv (Master of Divinity).
The Brock Online MBA curriculum consists of 36-45 credits, depending on previous academic experiences. Students who choose a concentration will take 39-48 credits. Course highlights include Accounting for Decision Making, Economics of Competitive Strategy, HR and Organization Management, Managing Corporate Integrity, and MIS & Communication Technology.
The AACSB-accredited Brock Online MBA has three start dates including August, January, and May. Admission decisions for the program are made on a rolling basis, meaning admission decisions are made as applications are completed.