Most Affordable Online MBA Programs
| Doug Wintemute
Are you ready to discover your college program?
MBA degrees can provide graduates with a competitive advantage, and affordable online MBA programs can help make this training more accessible.
Earning master of business administration (MBA) degrees can help graduates build professional networks, pursue leadership positions, and earn higher salaries. However, they can be pricey.
Affordable online MBA programs reduce costs by expanding school options, minimizing travel expenses, and offering in-state tuition for out-of-state learners. Furthermore, the best online MBA programs offer flexible asynchronous study options, access to innovative technologies, and more diverse and globalized classrooms.
This guide examines online MBAs, explores available career pathways, and ranks the most affordable online MBA programs.
Featured Online MBA Programs
The Most Affordable Online MBA Programs
Located in Edinburg, UTRGV strives to provide affordable, high–quality postsecondary education. As the fourth–largest school in the University of Texas System, UTRGV hosts a vast student body and alumni network. Students can choose from over 120 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. UTRGV also prioritizes student–centered learning, inclusion, innovation, and community engagement.
Students considering careers as executives and leaders in business can earn an MBA in business administration from UTRGV's College of Business and Entrepreneurship. This accelerated, online MBA comprises 36 credits and can be earned in 12 months. Courses include accounting and financial analysis, managerial economics, production and operations management, and marketing strategy.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. UTRGV courses typically follow an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework when their schedules permit. Professors upload supplemental reading materials and assignments into weekly modules. Assignments may include essays, exams, group projects, and discussion posts.
Students who require additional assistance can schedule appointments with professors during digital office hours, sessions with online tutors, and Skype consultations with the writing center. Online students also gain access to UTRGV’s career center, which provides student’s with resume building assistance and career planning.
Established in 1970 in Laredo, TAMIU enrolls over 7,500 students each term. The school offers over 80 programs, including a master of business administration. This online MBA requires 30 credits and can be earned in 15 months. Concentrations are available in management, international banking finance, international trade and logistics, and international business. Courses include business research methods, strategic management, financial statement analysis, leadership and decision-making, and financial management.
Online students access coursework through TAMIU’s learning management system, and courses follow an accelerated seven–week format. Asynchronous instruction allows students to complete assignments at their convenience. Assignments typically include discussion posts, exams, essays, and group projects.
Distance learners can access e–books, online databases, and audiovisual materials through the school’s library. TAMIU distance learners also work with academic advisors, and additional assistance is provided by the Office of Information Technology.
Founded in 1960, CSUDH provides student–centered instruction and uses innovative teaching methods. The university promotes intellectual inquiry and information literacy, and students gain access to a diverse and inclusive environment. Enrollment is just over 15,000 individuals, and students benefit from an alumni network of over 100,000 members.
The master of business administration requires 30 units and follows a 12-week format. Students can earn their degree in just 18 months. Courses include financial accounting and business finance, advanced topics in information systems, essentials of human resources management, advanced topics in international business, and management information systems.
CSUDH utilizes the Blackboard online learning management system, and courses typically follow an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework when their schedules permit. Learners engage with classmates and professors through discussion posts, and professors upload all assignments and supplementary materials to weekly modules. Other assignments may include essays, exams, and group projects.
Distance learners can access instructional support through online tutoring or during office hours. Online databases, e–books, and catalogs provide additional resources. Students may contact librarians over the phone for research support, and CSUDH learners also receive access to one–on–one academic advising. Additionally, the school’s career center helps students plan their career paths and construct resumes. Admission requires GRE scores and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
For over 150 years, FSU has provided postsecondary programs. As the second–oldest state–funded school in the state, FSU is a member of the North Carolina System and Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Students gain access to over 40 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. FSU offers a vast alumni network and features a 15–to–1 student–to–faculty ratio that allows learners to build meaningful relationships with peers and professors.
The school’s College of Business and Economics offers a master of business administration comprising 36-39 credits, including 27 core credits and up to 12 elective credits. Several concentrations are available, including business intelligence and data analytics, entrepreneurship, international business, project management, and healthcare management. Courses include managerial accounting, business policy and strategy, managerial economics, financial management, and a culminating capstone project.
FSU utilizes the Canvas learning management system, and courses typically follow an asynchronous format where students complete coursework within given deadlines. Learners can engage with classmates and professors through discussion posts. Other assignments include group projects, essays, and exams. Individuals who require additional support can access online tutoring through Smarthinking.
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, WGU emphasizes strategic solution development and student–centered instruction. WGU provides accessible education through online coursework that allows students to learn independently as their schedules permit. The university offers competitive rates and prioritizes return on student investment. Through competency–based education, WGU students can earn their degrees quickly.
WGU offers a master of business administration that emphasizes strategic acumen and pertinent leadership skills. This online MBA requires 34 units, and students can earn their degrees in 13-24 months. Classes include managing human capital, managing organizations and leading people, accounting for decision-makers, global economics for managers, and data-driven decision-making. Students also complete a culminating MBA capstone course where they gain hands-on experience with an organization, developing solutions to a business dilemma.
Distance learners gain access to many digital resources, including e–textbooks, library services, web tutorials, and learning communities. Students can also talk with program mentors. WGU accepts transfer credits, and participants transfer in an average of 32 credits.
Founded in 1957, Stan State offers over 100 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The university promotes inclusivity, global awareness, equity, ethical decision–making, and academic excellence. The Carnegie Foundation has recognized the university for its efforts in community engagement.
The College of Business Administration at Stan State offers a master of business administration. Students complete 30 units, including 21 core units and nine elective units. Learners must also complete 18 foundational units prior to program admission. Courses include integrated business strategy and project development, computer information systems, business organization and behavior, managerial finance, and marketing management. Individuals also take a seminar in quality and productivity management. Students may pursue a nine-unit concentration in finance.
Distance learners benefit from instructors who hold online learning consortium certifications. Students may contact their professors during digital office hours for additional support. Stan State also provides online tutoring and writing support, and the school’s Career and Professional Development Center offers guidance and assistance with resume development. Applicants to the program must submit their GRE or GMAT scores.
Established in Durant, SE offers over 85 bachelor’s and master’s programs, prioritizing rigorous coursework and a student–centered learning environment. SE possesses a diverse student body and alumni network, and the university emphasizes the importance of global awareness and community engagement.
SE’s business school offers a master of business administration that qualifies graduates for leadership roles. This online MBA comprises 36 credits, including 30 core credits and six elective credits. Students can choose from several concentrations, including strategic communication, Native American leadership, human resources, aerospace logistics, and healthcare information systems. Notable courses include principle-centered leadership and ethics, crisis preparedness and occupational security, contemporary issues, and tribal sovereignty.
SE utilizes the Blackboard online learning management system, and the MBA program does not require any in–person attendance. Courses follow an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework on their own time within given deadlines. Professors typically offer digital office hours, and SE provides online tutoring through Smarthinking. The school’s distance education library offers additional resources that include online databases, e–books, and videos. Students may also contact librarians for research support during office hours.
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution. However, SE may accept applicants with a minimum 2.75 GPA if they have a strong entrance statement, work experience, and recommendation letters.
Based in Lawton, Oklahoma, CU prioritizes experiential learning and instruction. Small class sizes allow students to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers. Students have access to nearly 50 degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. The school also stresses the importance of community engagement, inclusion, and ethical conduct.
CU’s business department offers a master of business administration that emphasizes pertinent competencies and skills needed for effective management. This online MBA includes 12 leveling course credits, 24 core credits, and nine elective credits; individuals who have completed undergraduate business classes may receive a waiver for some/all leveling courses. Full-time students typically earn their degrees in 2-3 years. CU offers concentrations in human/organizational administration and economics. Courses include issues in global economics, organizational behavior, applied business statistics, and managerial economics.
CU utilizes the Blackboard learning management system to administer distance coursework. This program requires no in–person attendance, and courses typically follow an asynchronous format. While professors offer digital office hours, distance learners also gain access to 10 hours of free tutoring through Tutor.com. The CU library also offers online databases, e–books, and research support from librarians over the phone. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit GRE or GMAT scores.
Located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, NSU features a diverse student population and unique Cherokee Nation academic heritage. The university values ethical conduct, accountability, and inclusion. NSU also encourages immersive educational environments and community engagement.
NSU’s College of Business and Technology offers a hybrid master of business administration in professional business administration (PMBA). This degree track consists of 36 credits, including 24 core credits and 12 elective credits. Students can graduate in two years or less with full-time attendance. Notable courses include organizational leadership and conflict management, leadership skill development, corporate strategy and simulation, and domestic and global marketing management. Participants must also engage in integrative research or complete a project.
NSU uses the Blackboard learning management system to administer the online components of this program. However, students must also attend on–campus courses on Monday nights. Learners in need of additional instruction can access free online tutoring, and academic advisors are available to help map out educational pathways.
Admission requirements include three years of work experience, a bachelor’s degree earned at an accredited university with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a GMAT score of 450 or higher.
Established in 1922, UAF is the only national university in the state. The school educates learners from around the world, creating a diverse and inclusive college experience. Students benefit from an 11–to–1 student–to–faculty ratio, which creates opportunities for hands–on instruction and engagement.
UAF offers a master of business administration that focuses on the core competencies and skills needed to manage organizations. This online MBA requires 30 credits, including 15 core credits and 15 concentration credits. On average, full-time students earn their degrees in 2-3 years. Concentrations are available in general management and STEM, and the program culminates with a capstone in corporate strategy where students resolve modern problems within organizations at an executive level.
Distance learners access online coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format, which provides students increased flexibility. However, some courses follow a synchronous format, which requires real–time audio or video conferencing. Professors upload weekly modules that contain all assignments, supplementary reading materials, and/or recorded lectures. All eCampus students pay in–state tuition rates. Distance learners also gain access to technical support, academic advisors, and career development resources.
Located in Denton, TWU is the largest women–focused public university in the country. It holds membership with the Women’s College Coalition, which supports higher education for women. TWU values collaborative opportunities and partnerships, diversity, inclusion, and innovation.
Among the school’s 150–plus programs is a master of business administration that consists of 36-48 credits. Learners can earn their degree in 15 months, and concentrations are available in accounting, business analytics, healthcare administration, human resources management, and management. Courses include organizational behavior in business administration, advanced financial management for health systems management, principles of talent development, and managerial finance.
TWU utilizes the Canvas learning management system to administer distance coursework. Instructional styles include fully online and hybrid formats. Professors upload assignments, such as individual projects, group projects, discussion posts, essays, and exams.
Distance learners gain access to an online writing lab and technology assistance. Students can also access databases, periodicals, e–books, and audio resources through the school’s digital library. TWU accepts transfer students from accredited universities. Admission into this program does not require GMAT or GRE scores. However, students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.
UMSL provides a student–centered educational environment. Master’s students gain access to over 30 programs, and those planning to continue their education may choose from 13 doctoral programs. The school embraces innovative teaching methods, rigorous coursework, and community engagement.
Students considering leadership roles in business can earn a flex master of business administration at USML. This online MBA requires 30-45 credits, including up to 21 core credits, up to 18 advanced topic credits, nine required elective credits, and three global management credits. Students must complete all coursework within six years.
Concentration options include information systems, international business, logistics and supply chain management, management, and operations management. Students take classes like financial and managerial accounting, management information systems, contemporary marketing concepts, production and operations management, and managing people in organizations.
Distance learners access online coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Professors upload course materials into weekly modules, and assignments may include essays, exams, group projects, and discussion posts. Students can contact professors during digital office hours for additional support. UMSL’s library provides online resources, including databases, periodicals, and e–books. Students may also contact librarians for over–the–phone support. Admission requires letters of recommendation and a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Established in 1967, LSUS originally served as a two–year postsecondary institution in the Louisiana State University System. Today, LSUS offers over 20 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Students gain access to multiple internship, volunteer, and networking opportunities in the local community through pre–established partnerships. LSUS provides student–centered learning experiences that meet diverse needs. For instance, nontraditional students gain access to distance coursework that does not require in–person attendance.
Students pursuing leadership roles in organizations can earn a 30–credit master of business administration. Full-time learners can graduate in 10 months. LSUS offers several concentrations, including data analytics, entrepreneurship and family enterprise, human resource management, international business, and project management. Students take classes like managerial use of accounting data, economic analysis for management, management information systems, financial management, and organizational behavior.
Distance learners access coursework through the Moodle learning management system. Courses typically utilize an asynchronous format, which allows students to access coursework when their schedules permit. However, some courses may follow a synchronous format that requires students to log in to attend live video lectures. Assignments typically include essays, tests, quizzes, and group projects.
Founded in 1888 in Las Cruces, NMSU offers accessible online and hybrid learning opportunities. Students can choose from nearly 200 programs. NMSU also emphasizes community engagement, stewardship, intellectual inquiry, and social justice. The school maintains multiple partnerships that provide internship and networking opportunities.
NMSU offers a 36–credit master of business administration. Students typically graduate in 24 months with full-time attendance. Courses include the legal environment of business, management economics, business information systems, and managerial accounting. This program also requires an in-persona orientation and a three-day meeting on campus at the end of the program. NMSU does not require a thesis, but students may choose to complete one.
Faculty utilize the Canvas learning management system to administer distance coursework. Most courses include a synchronous component that allows for live interactions between peers and professors. Assignments may include exams, essays, group projects, and discussion posts.
The school’s online library provides access to e–books, databases, articles, and videos. Students may contact librarians during business hours for additional support. NMSU also provides online tutoring through Brainfuse. Transfer students from accredited universities may apply up to nine credits toward this online MBA program.
Founded in 1968 in Kenosha, UW–Parkside meets the needs of a diverse student body. The school emphasizes the importance of community engagement, ethics, and cultural awareness. UW–Parkside embraces student–centered learning environments and one–on–one faculty engagement. Students can choose from over 40 majors.
UW–Parkside offers a 30–credit master of business administration. Students complete nine core MBA courses, two foundation courses, and three elective courses. Full-time learners can earn their degrees in 12 months. Degree concentrations include global management, marketing, supply chain management, administration, and data analytics. Courses include information technology for business decision-making, corporate financial management, contemporary challenges in managing organizations, advanced global management, and project management.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses typically utilize an asynchronous learning format, which provides students ample flexibility. Professors upload work, recorded lectures, and any supplementary reading into weekly learning modules. Assignments may include essays, exams, group work, and discussion posts. UW–Parkside also uses Desire2Learn to create virtual classrooms where students and professors can collaborate. Online students gain access to an online library, technical assistance, and academic advisors.
Admission typically requires a minimum 2.75 GPA, although students with a GPA of at least 2.5 may apply if they submit GMAT scores.
Established in 1959, UM–Dearborn offers a metropolitan college experience just outside of Detroit. With a 17–to–1 student–to–faculty ratio, learners can build meaningful relationships with professors and their peers.
Among UM–Dearborn’s 80–plus program offerings is a master of business administration. This program includes 27 core credits, 12 applied integrated management credits, and nine elective credits. Students typically earn their degree in two years with full-time attendance. Concentration options include accounting, human resource management, international business, information systems management, and supply chain management. Participants take classes like international dimensions of management, managing strategic innovation and change, operations management, and organization behavior. This program also requires a strategic planning and decision-making capstone.
Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Students may complete all coursework online or opt for a hybrid format. Individuals interested in hybrid courses should collaborate with their academic advisors to plan their course of study. Online assignments may include discussion board posts, essays, exams, narrated PowerPoint projects, and group projects. Students also gain access to a writing center and an online library that contains periodicals, articles, e–books, videos, and databases.
Admissions requires GMAT or GRE scores and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
Located in Portales, ENMU prioritizes global awareness and cultural diversity. Students gain access to a diverse student body and alumni network. ENMU offers over 60 programs that emphasize student–centered learning and engagement .
The university offers an online master of business administration that focuses on the pertinent knowledge and skills organizations demand. This online MBA requires learners to complete 30 credits and offers a concentration in accounting. Courses include production and operations management, federal taxation, managerial research analysis, information systems for managers, and integrative strategic management.
Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework when their schedules permit, if they submit assignments within deadlines. Assignments often include group projects, essays, discussion board posts, and exams.
Professors typically offer virtual office hours, but students may also schedule appointments with online tutors using Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime. ENMU also provides an online writing lab, and online students may obtain librarian support or access databases, e–books, videos, articles, and periodicals. Students receive one–on–one support from academic advisors. Admissions requires a 3.0 GPA and GMAT scores.
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a public institution serving over 7,000 students through 35 undergraduate degrees and 18 graduate programs. Graduate learners can pursue several online options, including an online MBA program with four tracks.
- General Track: The general MBA comprises 30–36 credit hours from core classes and an elective.
- Finance Track: Students who pursue this 36–42 credit track complete three electives on management of financial institutions, international finance, and futures and options.
- Accounting Track: Learners specializing in accounting take 36–42 hours and choose from a either a certified public accountant (CPA) concentration and or a non-CPA concentration.
- Health Care Track: This 36–42 credit hour track focuses on health care related business issues.
Due to our flexible rolling admissions process, students can start the online MBA program on six dates throughout the year.
Applicants to UTPB’s MBA program are evaluated on the basis of their undergraduate GPA (a 3.0 is the minimum requirement for admission) and their GMAT or GRE scores.
The school waives the standardized test (GMAT or GRE) requirement for applicants with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.25 or a 3.25 in their last 60 credits of undergraduate study.
Based in Richardson, the University of Texas at Dallas is a public school that offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degrees through eight schools. The Naveed Jindal School of Management boasts several online programs, including multiple MBA options and MS degrees in accounting, marketing, and management science.
The professional MBA requires 53 credits that students can earn entirely online. The program is self-paced, and students can complete all required coursework in as little as 16 months or up to five years.
Learners earn 30 credit hours through core classes, including several quantitative courses that cover topics like data analysis, statistics, and business economics. Professional MBA candidates complete the remaining 23 credit hours through electives. They can pursue one of 15 concentrations, but UT Dallas does not offer every elective online. Some interesting concentrations include real estate, healthcare leadership and management, and systems engineering.
Distance learners can also pursue a fully online global leadership MBA, which emphasizes international business. The global leadership option boasts eight–week classes and lets students earn their master’s in 21 months.
Successful applicants score a 310–330 on the GRE or a 550–700 on the GMAT, on average. Admitted students also demonstrate an average 3.3 cumulative undergraduate GPA.
Founded in 1961, Florida Atlantic University is a public school based in Boca Raton. Over 30,000 students study on FAU’s six campuses and online. The school’s 10 colleges offer over 170 academic programs, including dozens of distance options.
Students can complete FAU’s MBA program entirely online in 23 months. FAU delivers the program through asynchronous classes, which include recorded lectures, presentations, discussion forums, and chats. Learners work through the curriculum alongside a cohort and may begin the program during the spring, summer, or fall terms.
Online learners can complete the MBA with an international business specialization. They earn 40–46 credits, including 12 credits from concentration classes. Some topics covered include global supply chain management, international monetary economics, and emerging market economies.
Aside from international business classes, students take 28 credits of core business classes that discuss key areas like finance, accounting, and management strategy. During a one–credit leadership forum, students learn about business development from entrepreneurs and executives.
Applicants need a bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective business students also must provide a resume, letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores.
Founded in 1971, Excelsior College is a private institution focused on adult education. Excelsior only serves distance students and offers over 30 degrees across three schools. The School of Graduate Studies offers an online MBA with five concentrations. MBA students must earn 36-45 credits and can transfer up to 24 credits from previous graduate work.
The accounting concentration, which prepares graduates for multiple industry certifications, readies students to analyze and prepare financial documents. The healthcare management specialization teaches students about communication and strategic management in healthcare organizations. Learners who concentrate on human resource management study topics like labor relations, conflict resolution, and employee development. Excelsior also offers a leadership concentration and a general business track.
Regardless of their concentration, MBA candidates take 27 credits of core courses. Through a capstone class on strategy and policy, students examine advanced topics including social responsibility, competitive rivalry, corporate structure, and mergers and acquisitions. As a final project, learners produce a portfolio demonstrating their expertise.
Excelsior offers many virtual resources for distance learners. Through the library, students can search databases, consult digital materials, and receive help from librarians. The Career Center boasts a career self–assessment tool along with resources on job searching, resumes, and career exploration. Additionally, an online writing lab provides resources on many topics, such as plagiarism, grammar, and argumentation.
Based in Wichita Falls, Texas, Midwestern State University is a public liberal arts institution that offers 49 undergraduate programs and 27 graduate options. The school, which serves just over 6,000 students, boasts several distance programs, including a fully online MBA.
MSU’s Dillard College of Business Administration offers all core MBA classes online. Students typically finish the 33–credit program in 1–2 years. MSU uses Desire2Learn to deliver online classes.
Business students can choose from two concentrations: accounting and energy management. The accounting concentration includes the 150 hours of education that students need to earn their certified public accountant credential. Learners who focus on energy management explore the global oil and gas industry. They learn about financing, risk management, budgeting, and legal issues as they apply to the energy sector.
In addition to a nine–credit concentration, students take 24 credits of required courses that discuss key topics like managerial economics, finance, information technology management, and applied statistics. Near the end of the program, learners complete a capstone course in business strategy.
Distance students can take advantage of many online resources. The Career Management Center, for instance, offers guides on resume writing, interviewing, job searching, and career planning. Students can also browse potential positions through the school’s job portal. Additionally, online learners benefit from library services, including subject–specific research guides.
Prairie View A&M University is a public, Texas–based institution serving over 9,000 students through eight academic colleges. The university’s Center for Instructional Innovation and Technology Services offers online programs in business, criminal justice, education administration, and counseling.
PVAMU offers the executive MBA in a hybrid format, and students spend two years working toward their degree. Learners complete coursework online and meet on campus on two Saturdays each month. They take one, eight-week course at a time during three semesters each year. In addition to standard online and in-person work, students participate in an eight-day study abroad trip before their final semester.
The curriculum comprises 36 credits from 12 courses. The top online MBA program incorporates coursework on data analysis, supply chain management, information technology, global economics, and corporate finance. Through an applied capstone component, students may work on a project for their current employer or launch a new business venture.
Prospective executive MBA students need a minimum 2.75 GPA and at least three years of management experience. Applicants must submit a current resume, three letters of recommendation, and a 1,000–word statement describing how the executive MBA helps them reach their personal and professional goals. Additionally, applicants must sit for a phone or in–person interview.
Founded in 1939, McNeese State University is a public institution that offers more than 250 undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates. The university also boasts 18 graduate programs, half of which students can earn entirely online. Students can earn the MBA 100% online or through on–campus evening classes. They may work through the 30–credit curriculum on a full–time or part–time basis.
McNeese’s business degree emphasizes practical skills rather than business theory. Courses give practicing managers the tools they need to efficiently analyze situations and make decisions. For instance, one required course readies students to use accounting information to plan and manage projects. During a seminar on strategic management, students participate in simulations, applying their analysis, decision-making, and planning skills. However, some courses, such as a class on financial management policies, focus on theory.
Applicants to the online MBA program need a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or at least a 2.75 in their last 60 credits of bachelor’s study. Prospective students must submit GRE or GMAT scores unless they have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA or a 2.75 in upper–division undergraduate coursework.
Based in Northeastern Ohio, Youngstown State University is a public institution dating back to 1908. Today, the school enrolls nearly 13,000 students through over 115 undergraduate programs and 40 graduate degrees. Learners can choose from 12 online programs, including one of the best online MBA programs in the country.
YSU’s MBA program requires 40 credits from 20 two-credit courses. Students earn 36 credits from required classes and four elective credits.
Learners take 18 core classes distributed across four key areas: decision–making, business leadership, managing, and strategic thinking. Decision–making classes cover topics such as business analytics, financial statement analysis, and corporate financial management. Through leadership classes, learners explore professional communication and business solutions. Management courses investigate subjects like project management, managing organizational talent, and IT management.
As part of the strategic thinking component, students complete a strategic consulting project. During the applied learning experience, learners advise a business on how to address current and future challenges. While completing the project, students take a strategic management class that teaches them how to evaluate executive management, business policy, decision–making, and strategy.
Applicants must submit a professional resume, transcripts, and GMAT or GRE scores. Admitted students with at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA receive YSU’s Graduate Scholarship, which they may renew for up to six semesters.
Affordable Online MBA Programs Ranking Guidelines
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What Is an Online MBA?
An online MBA offers business professionals a supportive learning environment. Enrollees develop research, communication, and problem-solving skills while building experience in networking, presentations, and leadership. In addition to learning from teachers and textbooks, MBA students learn from each other's experiences.
An affordable online MBA appeals to both aspiring and experienced business professionals. These degrees can open the door to positions within large corporations and provide entrepreneurs with the skills and confidence they need to run successful businesses. In most cases, MBA students already have several years of experience, but need advanced training to take the next professional step.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?
MBA degrees typically take 1-3 years to earn, depending on the school, student, scheduling options, and delivery methods. Full-time students can often complete these programs in one year through accelerated pathways, while working professionals may prefer part-time options.
Affordable online MBA programs may offer asynchronous or synchronous delivery, which can also influence how much time a student needs to dedicate to their studies. Some programs even offer transfer credits for prior business training or relevant experience, reducing overall program length.
Choosing an Online MBA Program
Prospective students need to weigh multiple factors when researching affordable online MBA programs. Below are a few things to consider when selecting a program.
- Availability of Specializations: Specializations allow learners to focus their training in niche areas of business management. Enrollees who develop specialized skills may have more employment opportunities and postgraduate certification options. Common concentrations include marketing, international management, finance, and consulting.
- Program Cost: Attending a university in your state is usually the most affordable option, but online learners should also check if other schools offer in-state tuition rates for out-of-state online learners. Earning a degree online can also mean saving on transportation and moving costs, though some programs also include technology fees.
- Transfer Policies: Generous transfer policies can help reduce tuition cost and program length. Though transferring credit between graduate programs is often more difficult than it is at the undergraduate level, some schools do accept these credits — typically three, six, or nine of them.
- School Size and Type: The size of a school often determines class sizes as well. Generally, private schools enroll fewer students than public schools, meaning smaller classes. With MBAs, students should weigh the benefits of more personalized learning experiences in smaller classes against the networking opportunities afforded by larger programs.
- Program Length: MBAs typically require 30 credits (or 60 quarter units), and enrollees typically take two years to graduate. However, accelerated programs can allow learners to progress through courses more quickly. While MBA students usually take one three-credit course per term, an accelerated program may allow learners to double up on their credits, graduating in a year.
- On-Campus Requirements: Hybrid MBA programs require students to attend some classes, workshops, or seminars in person. For students who cannot make the trip, these on-campus requirements may present too great an obstacle. For these students, the best online MBAs are the ones that require no campus visits.
Accreditation for Online MBA Degrees
Prospective students should always ensure that their online MBA program holds the proper regional and programmatic accreditation. Attending a school without regional accreditation may lead to issues with access to federal funding, certification eligibility, and employment qualifications.
For business schools, programmatic accreditation may come from one of three major institutions: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
Online MBA Program Scholarships
While affordable online MBA programs provide learners with access to high-level business training, even at discounted rates, the cost of an MBA can still put the degree out of reach for many. In many cases, prospective students can pursue MBA scholarships to reduce the overall price of their education.
Degree-seekers can research scholarships through online scholarship databases, school and government websites, and local and national organizations. Scholarships may target students from specific locations, schools, or demographics.
What Can I Expect in Pursuing an MBA Online?
Affordable online MBA programs have different curricula and structures, which can alter the learning experience. Many programs offer courses entirely online, with some using asynchronous delivery while others run synchronous classes. Even in primarily asynchronous programs, students should expect some live collaboration elements, such as video meetings, live group projects, and enforced deadlines.
Choosing the right MBA program means finding the most suitable MBA specialization for your educational and professional goals. Concentrations allow learners to hone skills in a specific discipline, qualifying them for niche roles. The following information showcases some of the most popular MBA concentration options and some common courses within each focus.
|MBA Specialization||Typical Courses|
|MBA in Entrepreneurship||
|MBA in Finance||
|Master's of Healthcare Management||
|MBA in International Business||
|MBA in Management Information Systems||
|MBA in Project Management||
|MBA in Sustainability||
|MBA in Marketing||
|MBA in Consulting||
|MBA in Human Resource Management||
MBA Joint and Dual Degrees
In addition to pursuing specializations, MBA students can advance their skills in particular areas through joint programs and dual degrees. Many schools offer accelerated pathways for learners who wish to complete multiple degrees in complementary fields.
Compared to an MBA specialization, which helps students specialize their skills within business and management studies, dual and joint degrees offer more advanced and technical training in secondary disciplines. These degrees can work well for students looking to pursue careers in areas like law, healthcare, and technology.
Dual MBA Degree
A dual MBA degree allows students to earn two degrees through an accelerated pathway, often back to back. Learners usually complete both degrees at the same university, but work through different departments. The second degree often omits general education requirements, and some programs have specific curricula for dual-degree-seekers.
- MBA and JD
- MBA and MD
- MBA and Master of Public Policy
Joint MBA Degree
Joint MBA degrees offer condensed pathways to studying two disciplines, resulting in one degree with two majors. Joint degrees can occasionally occur through two different universities at the same time, especially when those universities are focused on specific disciplines.
- MBA and MA in International Studies
- MBA and MS in Biotechnology
- MBA and MS in Engineering Science
Career Paths With an MBA
MBA graduates can access some of the most promising careers in the business, finance, and management sectors. While MBA degree-holder salaries vary depending on location, employer, and career, the median annual salary for management professionals was $109,760 in 2020, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
When deciding an educational pathway, prospective MBA students should consider the best jobs for MBA graduates. Below are a few industries that value the skills and training developed by MBA graduates.
MBA Professional Organizations
AMA offers solutions and services for management professionals. Members can access educational programs, management development training, and a professional network for sharing and social learning opportunities.
BBPA supports Black business professionals by providing them with access to career resources, higher education, and economic development opportunities. The association also rewards member excellence, promotes community equity, and offers several mentorship programs.
ABWA unites women working in business to help increase networking opportunities and promote their successes. The association offers members access to leadership training, educational opportunities, and career connections.
Founded in 1988, Prospanica seeks to empower Hispanic business professionals through professional development, education, and mentorship opportunities. The organization also offers educational funding, advocacy, and networking events and programs.
ROMBA supports and promotes the LGBTQIA+ business community. Members can access conferences, events, fellowship programs, and community networking opportunities.
Meet an MBA Graduate
Has getting an MBA been worth it?
Yes. Having the marketing undergrad perspective coupled with the communication graduate student perspective has yielded a fulfilling career in both areas of practice. I spent over a dozen years in nonprofit management, and marketing and communications are usually, if not always, lumped together.
What's most important when selecting an MBA program? Program prestige, location, cost, or something else?
Importance is relative. It was important to me that the school be geographically convenient to where I may have gotten a job, manageable in terms of the loans I would take out, and where the coursework was interesting.
On the whole, it has to "feel" like a good fit to the degree-pursuer. If you are comfortable taking two years off to pursue a MBA full time, awesome. If you want to continue working in a full- or part-time capacity, then the school should be geographically convenient to your workplace. If you are concerned with cost, then a public institution may be better suited than a private one.
What do you think has been the biggest advantage to your career from completing your MBA?
There is a lot of competition in the job marketplace. I think that my MBA has been a source of differentiation and has made my resume stand out among others. I also think that the way I talk about the benefits of an MBA has been an advantage in this area — not the coursework, but the general "management" outcomes.
Laurie Ehrlich (preferred pronouns: she/her), founder and chief strategist of Elevate Marketing Strategy, is a 19-year marketing and communications veteran, touching the nonprofit, education, technology, financial, and publishing industries. Her expertise lies in multi-channel marketing strategy and planning, corporate communications, and digital media.
Ehrlich built the marketing department of a $60 million non profit from the ground up, constructed the social media presence of many organizations, led the design and development strategy process for more than a half-dozen websites, and established and grew content channels including blogs, podcasts, and whitepapers. She also led crisis communications and manages ongoing communications strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ehrlich received her MBA from Fordham University - Lincoln Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
Online MBA tuition often exceeds $60,000 per year. The average total cost to attend a top-25 school for two years is $195,416.
MBA degree-holders can access better positions and earn higher salaries than bachelor's graduates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, MBA graduates earn an average of $29,000 more than bachelor's graduates.
Many employers do not see a difference between an affordable online MBA and an on-campus program, especially after the shift toward online education in 2020. In fact, transcripts and degrees typically don't note delivery method, so employers often don't know the difference.
Doug Wintemute is a Toronto-based freelance writer with professional writing interests in higher learning and entertainment. He completed his BA and MA in English at York University, graduating summa cum laude and earning academic merit, research, and writing awards at both levels. Since 2014, he has contributed content and editorial work for award-winning digital trade publications, global SEO copywriting projects, and hugely popular online brands. He can be contacted through LinkedIn.
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