Our 2017 list of the Top 25 Public Online MBA Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill offers an Online MBA Program that may be completed in 18 to 36 months. Students in the program interact with faculty weekly using a face-to-face online platform. Two important components of the 66 credit hour program are the [email protected] Global Immersions and quarterly three-day immersions. Students are required to attend at least two Global Immersions, which may take them to major business centers around the world such as London, Johannesburg, Singapore, Istanbul, and others.
Online MBA students may select from eight concentrations including Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain Management, Investment Management, Marketing, Sustainable Enterprise, Management 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), the Exchange Program, and Doing Business In (DBI).
STAR students "students learn by doing as they take on the role of consultants to real companies,” says the school, while the Exchange Program “allows [email protected] students to study at another top-ranked business school in countries across the globe." Doing Business In (DBI) "gives students an opportunity to study abroad at an MBA exchange partner school."
The Online MBA at UNC is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers a flexible Online MBA Program known as “Kelley Direct Online.” The program takes just two years to complete and offers the opportunity for students to customize their experience by selecting 12 credit hours of electives to create a specialized area or complete a dual degree. Dual options include MBA/MS degrees with an MS in Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing or Strategic Management.
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; Myanmar, and Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Kelley Direct Online MBA is AACSB-accredited.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University offers a 48 credit hour Online MBA Program that allows students to use a combination of “cutting-edge social technologies,” and “HD video presentations, and web conferencing technology to engage in course activities in any environment and at their own pace.” While coursework for the program is available entirely online, students must attend one weeklong 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.”
Concentration options for the program known as the “Fox OMBA” include Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, and Strategic Management. These online concentrations require nine of students’ 12 elective credits. Students in pursuit of a general MBA degree may choose nine credits of any elective course.
Even with a concentration, many FOX MBA students complete this AACSB-accredited program in as little as 20 months, utilizing the schools flexible curriculum carousel. Each student can expect to spend approximately 10-20 hours each week on coursework.
The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University offers a flexible Online MBA that allows students to take just one course at a time (five weeks per course). Students may start the program in January or August and they must attend 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 provides the opportunity to customize the 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.
The Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM) at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) offers an AACSB-accredited Online Professional MBA (PMBA) that allows students up to 72 months to finish. The 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 12 concentrations. Just a few include Accounting, Information Systems, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Real Estate, and Supply Chain Management.
All 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.
The Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida (UF) offers two flexible MBA options including an Accelerated Online MBA that allows students to complete the program in just 16 months and a “two-year” online option, which takes 27 months to complete. A concurrent Outreach Engineering Management (OEM) Master’s (OEM/MBA) is also available. 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."
While the accelerated and two-year options may be completed online, students must visit the Gainesville campus once per term (once every four months) to take final exams and to deliver final presentations. These visits typically take place on weekends. In addition, 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.
Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State or PSU) offers an AACSB-accredited Online MBA that consists of 48 credit hours. The curriculum includes 39 General Management credits and nine credits of concentration work. Core coursework prepares students to become “more effective business professionals, says the school, “by exposing them to the principles and practices essential to modern management,” including accounting, economics, data analysis, ethics, communications, human resources, finance, marketing, leadership, supply chain, strategy, innovation, and digital transformation.
Concentrations options include Accounting Foundations, Advanced Accounting, Business Analytics, Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing Analytics, Project Management, and Supply Chain Management.
At the start of the PSU Online MBA program, all students must attend a five-day Orientation Residency held at University Park, Pennsylvania. The Orientation is designed to “acquaint” students “with aspects of the program in a face-to-face environment.” Students will meet their instructors and student peers, “immerse” in a team performance class while earning credit, and attend workshops covering student advising services, career management, stress management, alumni relations and networking, time management, and online technology. Other highlights of the Orientation include Keynote Speakers and the opportunity to “connect with the Penn State community through campus tours end events.”
The Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland (UMD) offers an Online MBA that can be completed in as few as 24 months. Specialization options for the program include Accounting, General MBA, Finance, Information Systems and Business Analytics, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management. The program is largely asynchronous, which allows students to continue to meet personal and professional obligations during their course of study.
Per the school, “a small number of live online classes presented via the state-of-the-art video conferencing tool, Adobe Connect, provide the benefit of “attending” class and interacting with professors and peers in real time.” Other program highlights include audio and video messaging, integrated multimedia, collaborative online workspaces, and “the same academic rigor and top faculty” as is offered in the campus-based program.
The Jenkins Graduate School of Management at North Carolina State University (NC State) offers a Professional Online MBA that highlights six “Depth Areas” comprised of the same functional area options as concentrations, but require fewer credit hours to be completed. Areas 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 40 credit hour Jenkins Online MBA program may choose the Accelerated Professional Track, which takes as few as 21 months to complete, or the Flexible Professional Track, 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 via distance education technology (including Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle), e-mail, online discussion forums (message boards, instant messaging, etc.), and telephone conferencing.
Note that the program requires two three-day residencies on NC State’s main campus in Raleigh. In addition, students are encouraged to complete an optional International Immersion, For 2018, students may travel to France, Brazil or Munich for seven to eight days to study the Art & Science of Negotiation (France), Sustainable Business in Emerging Markets (Brazil), or Innovation and Marketing Systems (Munich). Study abroad trips take place during the Spring and Summer semesters.
The Carson College of Business at Washington State University (WSU) offers two distance MBA options—the 36 credit hour Online MBA and a 44 credit hour Online Executive MBA (EMBA). The Online MBA program offers four concentrations and a General MBA. Concentrations include Marketing, Finance, International Business, and Hospitality Business Management. Though the program 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 WSU 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 AACSB-accredited Online EMBA program, which also offers the opportunity to travel to China for a 10-day residency, may be completed in as little 18 months.
The College of Business at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a fully Online MBA (iMBA) that highlights courses that have been grouped into specializations. Per the school, “all the specializations you complete throughout the program ultimately come together as a capstone project and lead to the complete iMBA.” The four required specializations include Strategic Leadership & Management, Managerial Economics and Business Analysis, Value Chain Management, and Financial Management. Focus Area/Advanced Specializations include Global Challenges in Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Digital Marketing. Students may take two of the three.
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.
The College of Business at Arkansas State University offers a 33 credit hour Online MBA Program that is the only business program nationally ranked in the top 15 in both quality and affordability. The program, which offers optional concentrations in Finance and Supply Chain Management, requires 36 to 39 credit hours to complete. Students in both concentrations 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-accredited Online MBA Program takes around two years to complete and it is only available to U.S. Citizens.
The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University offers a video-based Distance MBA that consists of 36 credit hours, 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, this AACSB- accredited program offers dual degrees in MBA/MS in Finance, MBA/MS in Information Systems, and MBA/MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Graduate research assistantships, which are awarded annually, are also available.
The Auburn Distance MBA may be completed in 2.5 years, part-time.
Coursework for the University of Wisconsin (UW) Consortium MBA Program may be completed entirely online—no campus visits required. The AACSB-accredited program is available through all UW campuses (except Madison) and features “content-integrated, theme-based modules rather than traditional stand-alone courses,” says the school. The 30 credit hour Online MBA 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 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 Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass- Amherst) offers an Online MBA Program that highlights six focus areas including Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Healthcare Administration, Marketing, and Sport Management. Fully accredited by the AACSB, the 45 credit hour Isenberg MBA also offers a unique opportunity to “try before you buy.” Potential MBA students can take up to two classes before applying to learn why the program is a good fit.
Besides several focus areas and the opportunity to experience the program before committing, students have an additional delivery option available to them. The Blended Option allows students to take some classes online and others at a conveniently located satellite campus in Boston, Shrewsbury, or Springfield, Massachusetts.
The College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) offers a 48 credit hour MBA that’s delivered entirely online. Per UNL, “you 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.
In addition to the option to choose a specialization, 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 Online MBA at UNL 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.
The Miller College of Business at Ball State University offers an Online MBA Program that may be completed in as few as two years. The 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 30 credit hours of 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.”
Miller College of Business offers another delivery format option 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.
The College of Business at Florida State University (COB FSU) an Online, Part-Time MBA, and an 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 will allow them to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea at firms such as Samsung Electronics, LG, Hyundai and Kia. 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. Both the Online, Part-Time MBA and Online, Part-Time MBA-Real Estate are AACSB-accredited.
The College of Business at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) offers a fully Online MBA General MBA Program and an MBA with a Concentration in Agribusiness Economics. The concentration 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,” says the school.
Note that course content for this AACSB-accredited program is designed and delivered by many of the same faculty who teach in the on-campus MBA program at SIU.
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona offers a 45 credit hour MBA that allows students to earn their degree 100% online and in as few as 14 months. With six starts per year (or every eight weeks), the program offers six concentrations by taking specific electives. Concentrations include Entrepreneurship, Health Care, Finance, Management and Organizations, Management Information Systems, and Marketing.
Also known as the OMBA, the Eller Online MBA also 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 four years to complete the program) and AACSB accreditation.
The College of Business at Mississippi State University offers two Online MBA Programs—the 30 credit hour General MBA and the 36 credit hour 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 that have completed all undergraduate prerequisites can finish either program in as little as 18 months. Prerequisite courses are also available online.
Central Michigan University’s (CMU) Global Campus (CMU Global Campus) offers an Online MBA Program that highlights several emphasis areas. Options include 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.
The School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) offers an Online Professional MBA that can be completed in as little as two years and up to six. Known as the “Ole Miss PMBA,” the 36 credit hour 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 PMBA is AACSB-accredited.
The Georgia WebMBA is an Online MBA Program jointly offered by six University System of Georgia Schools. Designed for professionals who want to earn their MBA without the restrictions of set class times and locations, the Georgia WebMBA requires just one initial onsite two-day orientation. All remaining activities are exclusively online.
Program highlights include virtual team-based learning, which the school says “promotes efficient student interactions, peer-to-peer learning, and long-lasting relationships,” access to in-demand courses such as Global & International Business, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Marketing, Management Information Systems, and Managerial Decision Analysis, and the opportunity to complete the program in five consecutive semesters within a year and a half.
This accelerated option allows students to begin the Georgia WebMBA in January or August and complete just two online courses per term.
The Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University (OSU) offers a 42 credit hour part-time MBA program, and a 43 credit hour full-time MBA program. Both programs may be completed entirely online. Concentrations include Business Sustainability, Data Science, Energy Business, Entrepreneurship, Global Marketing, Human Resource Management, Information Assurance, Marketing Analytics, and Non-Profit Management.
Students in both AACSB-accredited programs also have the option to earn an SAS and OSU Marketing Analytics Certificate. Per the school, 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. The curriculum for the program was designed in partnership with SAS, a leading provider of marketing analytics software and services.”