Daniel D'Souza
Written By - Daniel D'Souza

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For many contemporary leadership roles, employers prefer candidates holding an MBA, attainable through on-campus or online study. An MBA signifies business mastery, imparting crucial leadership, communication, and management skills. Not only does obtaining an MBA open doors to higher-level positions, but it also swiftly enhances earning potential. In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $95,290[1] for Management Analysts. However, individual earnings and career prospects hinge on the institution and specialization chosen. This guide explores the best online MBA programs, providing details on potential courses, MBA prerequisites, and diverse MBA types.

Online MBA Programs

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University


Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

The Best Online MBA Programs

When assessing an institution’s standing, students must weigh factors such as infrastructure, faculty expertise, student support services, program options, affordability, accreditation, and graduation rates. Factoring in these critical elements and more, OMC teams meticulously compiled a list of the top online MBA programs. This comprehensive evaluation ensures prospective students can rely on a well-rounded assessment when choosing the most suitable academic path for their educational and professional aspirations.

Here are the best MBA programs for 2024:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Touro University Worldwide
10601 Calle Lee #179, Los Alamitos, California 90720
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
University of Virginia
1827 University Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
University of Florida
Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
University of Scranton
800 Linden Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18510
Villanova university
800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
Creighton university
2500 California Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68178
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131
Lehigh University
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
University of Southern california
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
Boston University
One Silber Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Stevens Institute of Technology
Castle Point On Hudson, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
Syracuse University
900 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse, New York 13244
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Union University
1050 Union University Dr, Jackson, Tennessee 38305
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
278 Whites Bridge Rd, Standish, Maine 04084
Maryville University
650 Maryville University Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri 63141
University of Sioux Falls
1101 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights, Winona, Minnesota 55987
Concordia University-Wisconsin
12800 N Lake Shore Dr, Mequon, Wisconsin 53097
Regis University
3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, Colorado 80221
Kettering University
1700 University Avenue, Flint, Michigan 48504
Northwest Nazarene University
623 S. University Blvd., Nampa, Idaho 83686
University of St Francis
500 N Wilcox St, Joliet, Illinois 60435
Gwynedd Mercy University
1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania 19437
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, Massachusetts 01420
William Woods University
One University Avenue, Fulton, Missouri 65251
Freed-Hardeman University
158 E Main St, Henderson, Tennessee 38340
Arizona State University
411 N Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Trine Online
1 University Ave, Angola, Indiana 46703
Mississippi College
200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, Mississippi 39058
Gardner-Webb University
Main St, Boiling Springs, North Carolina 28017
Trevecca Nazarene University
333 Murfreesboro Rd, Nashville, Tennessee 37210
Arkansas State University
2105 E. Aggie Road, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
Concordia University, Saint Paul
1282 Concordia Ave, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
Columbia International University
7435 Monticello Rd, Columbia, South Carolina 29203
Concordia University, Chicago
7400 Augusta, River Forest, Illinois 60305
Saint Leo University
33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, Florida 33574
University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769
Rivier University
420 South Main St, Nashua, New Hampshire 03060
University of Houston,Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson, Victoria, Texas 77901
Wilmington University
320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, Delaware 19720
Western New Mexico University
1000 W. College Ave, Silver City, New Mexico 88061
Adams State University
208 Edgemont Blvd, Alamosa, Colorado 81101
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

What Online MBA Programs Entail

Online MBA programs typically feature a comprehensive curriculum covering core business disciplines, ranging from 36-60 credit hours. Students partake in virtual classrooms, collaborative projects, and discussion forums, exploring subjects like finance, marketing, and management for leadership readiness. The flexible online format suits working professionals, allowing career advancement while balancing commitments. Universities often offer online, off-campus, or hybrid options, with a choice of thesis or non-thesis tracks. Programs usually culminate with internships, field training, or capstone projects, enhancing practical skills.

Curriculum and Coursework

Leading and Managing

This course focuses on developing leadership skills and effective management strategies. It covers topics such as organizational behavior, team dynamics, and strategic decision-making. Students gain insights into motivating teams, fostering innovation, and navigating the complexities of leadership in various business contexts.

Financial Decision Making

This course explores the principles of financial management. It equips students with the skills to analyze financial data, assess investment opportunities, and make strategic financial decisions. Topics include budgeting, risk assessment, and capital allocation, preparing students for key roles in corporate finance.

Marketing Management

This course explores the core principles of strategic marketing. Students delve into market research, brand management, and promotional strategies. This course equips individuals with the skills to develop effective marketing plans, analyze consumer behavior, and navigate the evolving landscape of modern marketing practices.

Business Analytics

This course focuses on leveraging data for informed decision-making. Students learn statistical methods, data visualization, and predictive modeling to extract insights. This course equips individuals with the analytical skills needed to drive strategic decisions, optimize processes, and gain a competitive edge in today’s data-driven business environment.

Business Communication

This course emphasizes effective communication strategies for professional settings. Students learn to convey ideas persuasively, create compelling presentations, and navigate interpersonal communication. This course enhances written and verbal communication skills for successful leadership and collaboration in diverse business environments.

Learning Outcomes and Skills Gained

Degree Types

MBA programs offer various degree types, including Full-Time, Part-Time, Executive, and Online formats. Full-time programs are immersive and ideal for recent graduates. Part-time options cater to working professionals, allowing flexibility. Executive MBAs target mid to senior-level executives, emphasizing leadership. Online MBAs offer remote learning. These diverse structures accommodate different lifestyles, career stages, and learning preferences, enhancing accessibility and relevance.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA

Online MBA

  • Completed at a distance
  • May use asynchronous classes, allowing students to study at their own pace
  • Often comes at a lower tuition cost
  • Can live anywhere with internet access
  • More flexibility
  • Save time not commuting to and from courses
  • Must be self-motivated to learn

Traditional MBA

  • Benefit from face-to-face education
  • A rigid structure that’s ideal for students requiring a set schedule
  • Less flexibility than an online MBA
  • Must live near or on a college campus
  • Learn while surrounded by peers
  • Network in person with faculty, staff, and other students

Specializations for MBA programs

An MBA teaches the broad skills required to succeed in leadership roles and management-level positions. However, most online MBA programs also allow students to select a specialization. These concentrations deepen knowledge, fostering expertise in specific domains. As students tailor their education to align with career aspirations, they gain a competitive advantage in the job market. Specializations enhance overall skills, preparing individuals for diverse roles and empowering them to contribute effectively to the complexities of the modern business landscape.

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
FinanceA Finance specialization focuses on developing expertise in financial management, investment strategies, and risk analysis. Students delve into topics such as capital markets, corporate finance, and financial modeling, preparing them for roles in banking, investment management, and strategic financial decision-making within diverse industries.Financial analysts, Investment bankers, and Portfolio Managers.
MarketingThis specialization in MBA programs sharpens students’ skills in brand management, market research, and digital strategies. It equips them with the knowledge to create effective marketing campaigns, analyze consumer behavior, and drive business growth. Graduates are prepared for dynamic roles in advertising, product management, and market development.Marketing Managers, Brand Managers, and Digital Marketing Specialists
Healthcare ManagementThis specialization program focuses on the unique challenges of the healthcare industry. Students explore healthcare policy, organizational leadership, and strategic planning. This specialization prepares graduates for leadership roles in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and other healthcare organizations, bridging business acumen with healthcare expertise.Healthcare Administrator, Healthcare Consultant, and Hospital Director
Human ResourcesThis specialization concentrates on talent management, organizational behavior, and strategic HR planning. Students develop skills in recruitment, employee relations, and leadership development. This specialization prepares graduates for HR leadership roles, fostering workplace engagement and effective people management in various industries.Human Resource Manager, Talent Acquisition Specialist, and Employee Relationship Consultants.
Operations ManagementThis specialization optimizes business processes, supply chain efficiency, and project management. Students delve into logistics, quality control, and strategic operations. This specialization equips graduates with skills to enhance organizational productivity and drive efficiency across diverse industries, from manufacturing to service sectors.Operations Managers, Supply Chain Managers, and Logistics Coordinators.

Graduation Timeline

The graduation timeline for online MBA programs varies but typically ranges from 18 months to three years, depending on factors such as program structure, credit requirements, and student pace. Accelerated options may offer as quicker as one year for completion, while part-time formats allow for increased flexibility but extend the overall duration.

Accelerated Online MBA Programs

Accelerated MBA programs condense traditional coursework into a shorter timeframe, allowing students to earn their degrees faster. These programs are designed for individuals seeking an expedited path to career advancement. Prospective students should research program structures, admission criteria, and potential challenges. While part-time MBA options offer flexibility, they typically extend the study duration, making accelerated programs attractive for those aiming for a quicker professional impact. Here are a few examples of colleges that offer accelerated MBA programs:

Manhattan College1

Boise State University2

Admission Requirements for Online MBA Programs

MBA programs are more demanding than any regular master’s program, requiring a comprehensive understanding of business principles, leadership skills, and practical application of knowledge. Applicants to an online MBA program must satisfy specific entrance requirements set by the offering school. Admission requirements for an online MBA program typically include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A completed undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Work Experience: Some programs may require professional work experience.
  • GMAT Score: Many programs require standardized test scores.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Typically from professional or academic references.
  • Résumé: Highlighting relevant work experience.
  • Statement of Purpose: Outlining career goals and reasons for pursuing an MBA.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all prior institutions attended.
  • Application Fee: Non-refundable fee for processing the application.

Online MBA No GMAT Programs

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test used in the admissions process for graduate business programs, particularly MBA programs. It assesses analytical writing, integrated reasoning, and quantitative and verbal skills. The GMAT measures a candidate’s readiness for academic success in business school and is widely accepted by business schools worldwide. Many MBA programs offer waivers for the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) under certain conditions. Some common criteria for waiver consideration include significant professional work experience, advanced degrees (such as a master’s or higher), or other relevant qualifications. Here are examples of some institutions that provide online MBA with no GMAT:

Xavier University3

South New Hampshire University4

Accredited Programs

MBA accreditation is crucial for ensuring the quality and credibility of business education. Accredited programs adhere to rigorous standards, providing students with a well-rounded and recognized qualification. Students should prioritize accredited universities as employers and industries value degrees from these institutions. Choosing an accredited MBA program ensures students receive a high-quality education, enhancing their professional prospects and credibility in the business world. In the United States, there are three main accrediting bodies for MBA programs:

  1. AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)5
  2. ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs)6
  3. IACBE (International Accreditation Council for Business Education)7

Universities can also be accredited nationally or by one of six regional accrediting agencies:

Students need to ensure that their chosen MBA program is accredited by one or more of these recognized bodies to ensure the quality and credibility of their education.

For more details, please refer to the accreditation guide.

Free Online MBA Courses

Free online courses offer students accessible learning opportunities without financial barriers. While many provide certificates, they are not accredited degrees. Students benefit from gaining new skills and knowledge; some courses are low-cost or free, making quality education available to diverse learners worldwide. Here are a few free courses that online MBA students can explore.

CourseOnline MBA Alternative – The modMBA8
Provided byUdemy
DescriptionThis course offers a free preview of the full modMBA workshop—a transformative experience for those aspiring to excel in business and life! While lacking an official MBA degree, this workshop imparts nearly all MBA program content and more, serving as a life-changing vehicle for personal and professional enhancement.

How to Pay for Online MBA Programs


Grants are financial aids provided by institutions, governments, or organizations to support individuals pursuing education or specific projects. Unlike loans, grants don’t require repayment, making them valuable resources for alleviating financial barriers and fostering equal access to opportunities.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships offer students financial support and valuable experience in academia. In exchange for duties like teaching or research, students receive stipends, tuition waivers, or both. These assistantships enhance professional development and help alleviate the financial burden of graduate education.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs offer students part-time employment opportunities, often on campus, to help finance their education. Students gain valuable work experience related to their field of study while earning income to offset educational expenses, fostering a balance between work and academic pursuits.

Student Loans

Student loans are financial instruments designed to assist students in funding their education. Typically offered at favorable interest rates, these loans require repayment after graduation. They are a vital resource for individuals seeking to cover tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.

Scholarships for Online MBA Students

Career Paths and Average Salaries for MBA Graduates

Certifications and Licensing for MBA Graduates

Certified Management Consultant15

Project Management Professional (PMP)16

Additional Resources for Online MBA Students

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)17

MBA Veterans Network18

Association of MBAs (AMBA)19

National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA)20

FAQs About Online MBA Programs

What is an MBA online?

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate-level academic program that covers various business disciplines, including finance, marketing, management, etc. Offering flexibility for working professionals, online MBAs enable students to access coursework remotely, fostering skill development and advancing career opportunities.

How long does it take to get an MBA online?

Will an online MBA help my career?

Can I interact with professors in an online MBA program?

Are online MBA programs easier to get into?

How to get your MBA online?

Is an online MBA taken seriously?

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