Our 2015 list of the Top 25 Public Online MBA Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers a flexible online MBA program. Also known as “Kelley Direct Online,” the program allows a student to customize their experience by choosing 12 credit hours of electives to create a specialized area. The program also offers the option to complete a dual MBA/MS degree. Students may choose an MS in Business Analytics, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing or Strategic Management.
Another unique opportunity for Kelley online MBA students is AGILE (Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education). AGILE allows students to gain international business experience while pursuing their online degree. Students that choose the curriculum can expect to travel to places such as Gaborone, Botswana; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Beijing, China; New Delhi, India; Myanmar, and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International, Kelley Direct Online welcomed 206 online MBA students in fall 2015 and the program takes just two years to complete.
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill offers an online MBA program with six concentration options including Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain Management, Investment Management, Marketing, and Sustainable Enterprise. The program, which allows students to interact with faculty regularly using a face-to-face online platform, features two major components—[email protected] Global Immersions and quarterly three-day immersions. Students are required to attend at least two immersions and participation in Global Immersions will take students to major business centers around the world such as Singapore, Johannesburg, Istanbul, London, and others.
Online MBA students may participate in several other programs to gain additional hands-on business and international experience. Optional programs include Student Teams Achieving Results (STAR), where "students learn by doing as they take on the role of consultants to real companies," the Exchange Program which "allows [email protected] students to study at another top-ranked business school in countries across the globe," and Doing Business In (DBI) which "gives students an opportunity to study abroad at an MBA exchange partner school." The 66-credit-hour online MBA at UNC is AACSB International-accredited.
3. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University offers an online MBA that requires 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.
The AACSB International- accredited online MBA at W.P. Carey allows students to customize their MBA 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.
4. University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas
The University of Texas at Dallas is home to the Naveen Jindal School of Management. The School offers an online professional MBA (PMBA) that allows students up to 72 months to finish. The 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."
5. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
The Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida (UF) offers an accelerated online MBA that allows students to complete the program in just 16 months and a two-year option that may be completed in 27 months. A concurrent Outreach Engineering Management (OEM) Master’s (OEM/I1MBA) is also on the menu. 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."
Known as the "UF Internet MBA Program," the 48-credit-hour program is one of the nation's first fully accredited online programs. The accelerated and two-year options may be completed online, but students must visit the Gainesville campus once per term (every four months) to take final exams and to deliver final presentations. These visits typically take place on weekends.
All MBA students are encouraged to enroll in Warrington’s MBA Global Immersion Experiences (GIE), which allows students to register for a 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 MBA programs at Warrington College of Business are AACSB International-accredited.
6. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Temple University is home to The Fox School of Business that offersa48-credit-hour online MBA program known as “Fox OMBA.” Students in the program will use a combination of “cutting-edge social technologies,” HD video presentations, and web conferencing technology to engage in course activities in any environment and at their own pace. All coursework is available entirely online, but students must attend one week-long residency, which is held at the school’s main campus. Students must also “attend” live weekly classes held through WebEx. This gives students the opportunity to meet classmates and faculty in an environment that allows them to “speak with and see one another.”
Most students complete the AACSB International-accredited Fox OMBA in as little as 20 months, with each student spending approximately 10-20 hours each week on coursework.
7. Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University is home to Pennsylvania State World Campus, also known as “Penn State Online.” The online division offers a competitive MBA program designed for professionals with a business or non-business undergraduate degree, plus work experience in an area of business. Coursework for the 48-credit-hour intercollegiate MBA program (iMBA) may be completed entirely online, with just two mandatory residency experiences. One residency consists of a week of onsite study at a prominent U.S. firm. The other, a team business simulation, takes place on campus in State College, PA.
Online iMBA students can expect to meet during terms three and eight. Otherwise, coursework and communication with instructors and students will take place via bulletin boards, email, listservs, chat, and web conferencing. The online iMBA at Penn State is AACSB-International accredited.
8. University of Wisconsin (Consortium), Eau Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Parkside, Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin Consortium MBA program is offered entirely online. The program features “content-integrated, theme-based modules rather than traditional stand-alone courses.” The online format allows students to continue working while completing their program, which typically takes two to three years, once foundation requirements have been met. As such, the 30-credit-hour program is popular among working professionals looking to advance in their respective career fields.
In addition to completing a mandatory Leadership “mini-module,” which occurs concurrently with “Developing New Products and Services,” Consortium MBA students may choose 13 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. The University of Wisconsin (Consortium) MBA is AACSB International-accredited.
9. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is home to the College of Business, which offers a 48-credit-hour online MBA. The program, which is offered entirely online, offers the opportunity for students visit the campus at any time to sit on in classes, utilize the school’s resources, or meet with faculty. The program includes 10 core classes (30 hours), nine hours of breadth electives, and nine hours of electives. Specialization options include Business Analytics, Finance and Marketing, International Business, and Supply Chain Management.
The program offers flexible start times including January, March, May, August or October of each year. The average completion time for the online MBA 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 International-accredited program.
10. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
The Carson College of Business at Washington State University offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA and a 44-credit-hour online Executive MBA (EMBA). The online MBA program offers three concentrations – Marketing, Finance, and International Business, and may completed in as little as 22 months. Students without a bachelor’s degree in business may have to take up to 17 additional credit hours, which will increase their completion time.
The online EMBA consists of Marketing-Marketing Management and Administrative Policy, Finance-Problems in Financial Management, Management Information Systems-Information Systems Analysis, Business Administration-Business Analytics, and Accounting-Administrative Control. The EMBA program, which also offers the opportunity to travel to China for a weeklong residency, may be completed in as little 18 months. Both the online MBA and EMBA are AACSB International-accredited.
11. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University is home to the Jenkins Graduate School of Management, which offers a 39-credit-hour professional Online MBA. The program offers six areas of emphasis including Biosciences Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology, Financial Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, and Supply Chain Management. Besides an area of emphasis, students in the online program have two ‘Track’ options—the Accelerated Professional Track, which takes as little as 21 months to complete or the Flexible Professional Track, which allows students to complete their degree within six years. Students in both Tracks will interact with other students and instructors through distance education technology (including Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle), e-mail, online discussion forums (message boards, instant messaging, etc.), and telephone conferencing. Students in the AACSB International-accredited program will also have the opportunity to meet during one three-day mandatory residency in Raleigh and an optional International Residency is also on the menu.
Another unique aspect of the Jenkins online MBA program is the opportunity for students to earn Decision Analytics Certification 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.
12. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University offers a “video-based Distance MBA” that includes 36-credit-hours of study that may be completed in 2.5 years, part-time. The AACSB International-accredited program offers 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, students may opt for a dual degree in MSBA (Master of Science in Business Administration)-Finance, Management Information Systems, and Industrial and Systems Engineering.
13. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
The University of Tucson is home to Eller College of Management, which offers a 45-credit-hour MBA. The program is offered 100% online and may be completed in as little as 14 months. The program, also known as OMBA, does not offer specific concentrations, but it requires 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 online 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.”
14. Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
The College of Business at Arkansas State University offers a 33-credit-hour online MBA program with an optional concentration in Supply Chain Management. Students in the Supply Chain Management concentration must complete 36 to 39 credit hours. All online MBA students 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 International-accredited online MBA program takes around two years to complete and is only available to U.S. Citizens.
15. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi
The School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi offers a 36-credit-hour online Professional MBA. The program, known as “Ole Miss PMBA,” “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.” Course titles range from Managerial Accounting and Organizational Behavior to Contemporary Business Analysis and Mobilizing Technology.
The online MBA program may be completed in two years by taking two courses per semester (fall, spring and summer session). The part-time program also allows students to complete the program over a longer period of time by taking just one course per semester. The Ole Miss PMBA is AACSB International-accredited.
16. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
The College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University offers a 2 year, 48-credit-hour online hybrid MBA. While coursework for the program is completed online, the school requires four 3-4 day residencies. Students must attend Orientation, a Washington DC Experience, Building the Business Professional residency, and the Mock Venture Capital Fair. One residency is held each semester of the program.
Students may apply to start the program in the Spring or Fall semester of each year and can opt to pursue an area of emphasis in Energy Finance, Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination or Business Data Analytics with no additional credit hours needed. WVU’s AACSB International-accredited online hybrid MBA program also offers in-state tuition to all students, regardless of residency.
17. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
The Miller College of Business at Ball State University offers a 30-credit-hour online MBA program that may be completed in as little as two years. The AACSB International-accredited program offers six optional concentrations including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health Economics, Policy and Administration; Information Systems, Operations Management, and Sales Management. An additional option is the General MBA, which allows students to customize their experience through a variety of course subjects.
Online MBA students complete their coursework 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.”
Ball State’s Miller College of Business offers another program option—the Hybrid MBA. This program is designed for students that prefer a combination of online and on-campus classes. Students may 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.
18. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is home to the College of Business & Public Administration (CoBPA), which offers a 33 to 34-credit-hour online MBA program. The AACSB International-accredited program takes around two years to complete and offers a concentration in International Business. The MBA 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. Students may enter the online MBA program every fall (August), spring (January), or summer (May).
19. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is home to the Isenberg School of Management, which offers a 45-credit-hour online MBA. The program features four areas of focus including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare Administration, and Marketing. Accredited by AACSB International, the Isenberg Online MBA offers a unique opportunity for students to “try before you buy.” Potential MBA students can take up to two classes before applying to make sure the program is a good fit.
Besides several concentrations and the opportunity to experience the program before committing, students have an additional delivery option to consider. The Blended Option allows students to take some classes online and others at a conveniently located satellite campus in Boston, Shrewsbury, or Springfield, Massachusetts.
20. Georgia WebMBA
The Georgia WebMBA is a consortium of six colleges: Columbus State University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, University of West Georgia, and Valdosta State University. With the exception of one two-day orientation held at the beginning of the program, the 30-credit-hour program may be completed entirely online. Georgia WebMBA courses range from Business Strategy and Strategic Marketing to Entrepreneurship and Management Information Systems. Accredited by AACSB International, the Georgia WebMBA takes 18 to 20 months to complete.
21. West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas
West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) is home to The College of Business, which 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.” Optional emphasis areas are open to all MBA students and include Computer Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Healthcare Management, to name a few.
The AACSB International-accredited online MBA may be completed within a two-year period. However, some students have completed the program in as few as 12 to 18 months.
22. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
The University of North Texas offers is home to The College of Business (CoB) which offers three MBA programs that may be completed 100% online. Programs include Finance, Strategic Management, and Marketing MBAs. The coursework for each 36-credit-hour online program is identical to the school’s traditional MBA program and may be completed in as little as two years.
The College of Business offers another delivery format for students interested in completing coursework on campus and online. 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.
23. Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Central Michigan University’s (CMU) “Global Campus” offers an online MBA program that offers several emphasis areas. Options include Human Resource Management, Logistics Management, Marketing, Value-Driven Organization, 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, other MBA students may have to take anywhere from 36 to 43 credit hours to complete the program. The Online MBA program at CMU’s Global Campus is AACSB International-accredited.
24. 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. The AACSB International-accredited programs offer enrollment in fall, spring, or summer and they typically take two years to complete. If all undergraduate prerequisites have been completed, students can finish either program in as little as 18 months. Prerequisite courses are also available online.
25. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
The University of Cincinnati is home to the Carl H. Linder College of Business, which introduced its online MBA program in spring 2014. The 38 to 48-credit-hour program is AACSB International-accredited and provides core skills in Economics, Marketing, Information Technology, Accounting, and Leadership. Linder online MBA Students can expect to earn their degree in 24 to 32 months.