Our 2020 rankings of the Top Online MBA Programs in Pennsylvania. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
|Pennsylvania State University – World Campus
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State or PSU) serves 100,000 students and 17,000 faculty and staff across 24 campuses and in 20 colleges and schools. As Pennsylvania's only land-grant university, Penn State has a broad mission of teaching, research, and public service.
The school houses the Smeal College of Business, which offers 1300+ internship and co-op opportunities annually, 300+ career fairs and corporate recruiting events each year, and a 94% placement rate for MBAs within three months of graduation. The online MBA here is led by the Smeal College of Business, in partnership with Black School of Business, Penn State Behrend; Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies; and Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration. This AACSB-accredited program consists of 48 credit hours, which 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.
Concentration 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. The MBA program runs on the Penn State semester System, so in addition to a declaring a concentration, students can take advantage of other Penn State online graduate degree and certificate courses and programs.
At the start of the Penn State Online MBA Program, 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 Orientation Residency highlights include Keynote Speakers and the opportunity to “connect with the Penn State community through campus tours end events.”
Lehigh University is a small, private research university that serves close to 7,000 students. Founded in 1865 by industrial pioneer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Asa Packer, Lehigh University offers more than 100 majors, minors and programs across four colleges.
The College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University offers a 100% online Flex MBA. This 36 credit hour program highlights global business concepts and analysis, cultural intelligence, organizational leadership, sustainability, crisis management resolutions, social consciousness issues, ethical decision-making, and optional business consulting projects. While the program does not offer any concentrations, students may earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Entrepreneurship in addition to the MBA. The certificate is offered through VENTURESeries, which the school describes as a “one-of-a-kind executive certificate program that focuses squarely on new venture creation.”
Another option, the 45 credit hour MBA & Engineering program, is offered through the College of Business and Economics and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This unique program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering. Classes for the program can be taken both on campus and online. MBA & E concentrations include Chemical Engineering, Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Upon completion of the MBA & E Program, students receive an MBA degree with a concentration in their chosen area. Both programs are AACSB-accredited.
Villanova University is a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. Serving nearly 11,000 students, the school offers 47 majors, 14 bachelor’s/master’s programs, 24 master’s programs, 42 certificate programs, and PhD programs in Philosophy and Theology,
Villanova School of Business (VSB) offers seven of these majors, three co-majors, and nine minors at the undergraduate level, along with seven master’s programs, a Joint JD/MBA with Villanova School of Law, and a Post-MBA certificate to around 1,740 undergraduates and around 1,070 graduate students. With five academic departments, the school offers an MBA program that boasts a 25% average salary raise for students.
The program is the “very same” program as the on-campus Villanova MBA, says the school. The curriculum includes courses that will expand students’ “essential business knowledge with a focus on innovative and applied concepts, real-world immersion experiences and peer-to-peer learning.” Program highlights include small classes (approximately 20 students per online section), live weekly sessions, and two residency opportunities, which foster “a strong learning community among faculty and students.” Students may also participate in an optional international immersion into an emerging economy.
Students in the VSB Online MBA can begin the 48 credit hour (21 course) program in the fall, spring or summer semester. The curriculum is comprised of fundamental, core, pillar, elective and capstone classes, and students may choose up to two specializations from five areas including Analytics, Finance, International Business, Marketing, and Strategic Management.
Semesters for this AACSB-accredited program are divided into two sessions, each of which is eight weeks in the fall and spring and seven weeks in the summer. Students in the program progress through the curriculum, typically taking one or two courses per session. The VSB Online MBA can completed in just two years.
Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel University has three Philadelphia campuses and other regional sites. The school is home to The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University—the nation’s oldest major natural science museum and research organization, and it has international research partnerships including China and Israel.
Drexel Online is one of the oldest and most successful providers of online degree programs in the U.S. Through Drexel Online and the LeBow College of Business, students can earn an online MBA that the school says is a “highly customizable degree” designed to equip students with “problem-solving and leadership skills that can be applied across a variety of different industries.” The 49 credit hour AACSB-accredited program “is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system), which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period,” says the school. Sample courses include Managing and Leading the Total Enterprise, Leading Dynamic Environments, Corporate Financial Management, Legal Options in Decision Making, and Business Problem Solving.
LeBow Online MBA students may customize their learning experience to their interests and career goals through concentrations, graduate minors, and dual degree programs. All students may take advantage of multiple networking opportunities and residency options, as well as portfolio projects and case simulations. In addition, any of the online business degrees can be paired as a dual degree such as MBA/MS Business Analytics, MBA/MS Sport Management, or MS Business Analytics/MS Sport Management, with shared coursework usually through elective credits.
The Drexel LeBow Online MBA may be completed in few as 18 months or up to five years.
Temple University is a public, four-year research university in Philadelphia. Founded by Russell H. Conwell in 1884, the school’s official motto is “Perseverantia Vincit” or Perseverance Conquers. Serving more than 40,000 students, Temple offers more than 200 programs across 17 colleges and schools.
Fox School of Business at Temple offers a 48 credit hour online MBA program known as the “Fox OMBA.” Students in the program use a combination of “leading-edge virtual technology,” says the school, as well as “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.”
Online concentration options for the Fox OMBA include Business Management, Corporate Compliance, Governance and Regulatory Policy, Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, Sport Business, Strategic Management, Supply Chain Management, and Travel & Tourism. 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 OMBA students complete this AACSB-accredited program in as few as 20 months or up to six years, utilizing the schools flexible “hop-on, hop-off curriculum carousel.” Each student can expect to spend approximately 10-20 hours each week on coursework. The program culminates in an Enterprise Consulting Practicum (Capstone), worth three credits.