Best Online MBA Programs 2022

by TBS Staff Writers, N. Susan Emeagwali
reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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The best online MBA programs can help students get leadership positions.

Graduates of the top online MBA programs have many career opportunities and higher-than-average salary potential. They often out-earn those with only a bachelor's in business administration.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in 2020, master's degree-holders earned about about $350 more per week than those with only a bachelor's degree. Also, master's degree-holders saw a 1% lower unemployment rate than bachelor's degree-holders.

What Is an MBA?

An MBA is an advanced business degree that leads to leadership roles. Courses cover topics like leading and managing, using analytics for decision-making, and how to use and develop marketing tools. Students gain analytical, management, marketing, and communication skills.

Online MBA program applicants can be recent bachelor's graduates, current business professionals looking to advance their careers, or professionals in other fields seeking a career change.

Featured Online MBAs

The Best Online MBA Programs

#1 Online College in California

University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Located in Los Angeles, USC offers an online MBA that consistently ranks among the nation's best. The format includes live classes, business simulations, and a one-week, on-campus residency. 

The curriculum explores fundamentals of business and how to streamline operations across the organization. Students complete workshops and clinicals on the USC campus and/or in the Los Angeles area. 

Degree-seekers can enroll on a full- or part-time basis, completing the online MBA degree in 2-5 years. USC also offers a four-semester fast-track option. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, at least two years of work experience, and GRE or GMAT scores with waivers available.

Available Scholarships: USC Marshall OMBA scholarship; Forté MBA Fellowships

#2 Online College in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Information
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission Rate 23%
Graduation Rate 91%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Finance; marketing; entrepreneurship; strategy and consulting; data analytics and decision-making

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

The online MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill celebrates a decade of successfully cultivating business leaders. The cohort program blends classroom learning and practical experience through in-person immersives. The 62-credit curriculum develops managers proficient in key business areas, such as finance, marketing, and operations management.

The degree develops problem-solvers and strategists able to build strong organizations.
One of the nation's top online MBA programs for customization, the degree offers five concentrations and a sweeping suite of electives. Electives include business modeling, global brand strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. 

Admission requires a bachelor's degree, at least two years of professional experience, and GRE or GMAT scores with waivers available.

Available Scholarships: GFOA Scholarships

#3 Online College in Florida

University of Florida

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 37%
Graduation Rate 88%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

The online MBA at UF offers flexible one-year and two-year formats. Students complete 32-48 credits as part of a cohort, and the curriculum varies for each of the two online MBAs. Participants develop advanced business skills in operations and brand management. Students build financial expertise through courses like corporate finance.

All enrollees complete an experiential learning component, such as a business simulation or a global immersion. Students pursuing the MBA degree online have access to speaker series and regional networking events.

Admission to the one-year MBA requires a bachelor's degree in business. All MBA applicants submit written essays and GMAT scores. 

Available Scholarships: Morning Brew Tech and Business News Scholarship

#4 Online College in Texas

Rice University

School Information
Location Houston, Texas
Admission Rate 9%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Corporate strategy; corporate finance; investment management; marketing; entrepreneurship; energy; healthcare. 

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Rice, well-known for one of the world's largest student startup competitions, offers a highly customizable online MBA. Students complete 54 credits in as few as 24 months. The program combines live classes, on-campus intensives, and global field experiences. Core courses explore topics in financial accounting, marketing, and finance.

Students can optimize their skills with an optional focus area, including corporate strategy or investment management. Student support includes one-on-one virtual office hours with faculty. 

Admission requires a bachelor's degree and GRE, GMAT, or Executive Assessment test scores. Rice offers test score waivers for qualified applicants.

Available Scholarships: Goldman Sachs Fellowships

#5 Online College in Virginia

Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs

School Information
Location Danville, Virginia
Admission Rate 24%
Graduation Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Marketing; leadership; human resources management

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

From its campus in Danville, Virginia, Averett offers an online MBA with working professionals in mind. Students develop general managerial competencies and expertise in one of three concentrations. Faculty use a blend of research, case studies, and analyses to teach the 40-credit curriculum.

Enrollees learn how to perform core operational functions, such as marketing and management accounting. A course develops leaders proficient in operations management. Students can choose a concentration in marketing, leadership, or human resources management. 

All students pursuing the MBA degree online pay the same affordable tuition rate. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and no GRE or GMAT scores. 

Available Scholarships: SHRM academic scholarships

#6 Online College in Florida

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Business analytics; marketing; human resources; management information systems; real estate; risk management and insurance; supply chain management

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The full- or part-time online MBA at FSU offers affordability and flexibility for students on the go. Students complete the 39-credit curriculum in seven semesters. The MBA core explores topics, such as financial management, marketing strategy, and operations management. 

Full-time enrollees can choose from seven specializations, while part-time learners may choose from six.

Applicants do not need a business degree to apply, but should have foundational knowledge, such as accounting and finance. Admission to the online MBA degree requires a bachelor's degree and GRE or GMAT scores, with waivers available.

Available Scholarships: Real estate scholarships; Risk management/insurance scholarships

#7 Online College in Kansas

Ottawa University-Ottawa

School Information
Location Ottawa, Kansas
Admission Rate 15%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Accounting; finance; business data analytics; human resources; leadership development; population health/healthcare; strategic innovation; school business operations

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

OU, a Christian college located in Kansas, offers an online MBA that working professionals can specialize to meet their career objectives. The school offers affordable tuition and eight-week terms to accelerate degree completion.

All students complete a core focused on general business competencies, such as managerial finance and management accounting. The program's eight concentrations include specialized fields, including population health/healthcare and school business operations. Enrollees can also opt for traditional concentrations in accounting or finance.

Participants culminate the online MBA degree by developing a case study on business policy and strategy. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and prerequisite coursework.

Available Scholarships: Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship; SHRM academic scholarships

#8 Online College in Utah

Western Governors University

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

WGU is a virtual college with degrees in top fields, such as business and IT. Students can complete the online MBA in just 12 months. The program's competency-based model allows students to move through coursework as quickly as they master the content. 

The ACBSP-accredited curriculum provides a strong business education in areas of management, finance, and accounting. Enrollees culminate one of the nation's top online MBA programs with a capstone project that synthesizes lessons learned.

Students can finish as many courses per term as they can at no additional cost. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and no GRE or GMAT scores.

Available Scholarships: WGU Leadership Scholarship

#9 Online College in Massachusetts

Babson College

School Information
Location Wellesley, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 26%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Business analytics; business analytics and machine learning; entrepreneurship; global management; finance; quantitative finance; marketing

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Babson, a business college focused on entrepreneurship, offers a part-time MBA students can complete at their own pace. This online MBA uses a hybrid format with some courses taken on campus in Massachusetts. 

The core curriculum develops students' business expertise in various operational areas. Students can customize one of the nation's top online MBA programs with up to two concentrations. The online MBA degree's seven concentrations include finance, global management, and business analytics.

The program offers five enrollment terms throughout the year. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, a resume, and school transcripts. Babson is a GRE/GMAT test score-optional school.

Available Scholarships: Babson College scholarships and fellowships

#10 Online College in Florida

University of Miami

School Information
Location Coral Gables, Florida
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

UM's online MBA develops a cohort of highly skilled business professionals who can lead global teams. The program enrolls students with and without professional work experience. Students can complete the degree's 42 credits in as few as 20 months. 

The curriculum uses a mix of live online classes and in-person learning experiences. Participants explore topics, such as marketing management, the fundamentals of finance, and data analytics for managers. A course develops effective negotiators through self-assessment, case studies, and role-playing exercises.

Students pursuing this MBA degree online also learn how to use digital technology to transform business. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and optional GRE/GMAT scores.

Available Scholarships: Herbert Business School scholarships and fellowships

Online MBA Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, faculty, and reputation for providing quality online programs. Our online MBA rankings use the same methodology as our ranking of the best online colleges.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

How to Get an MBA Online

Online MBA programs take two years of full-time study. Many also offer accelerated timelines, where students can graduate in 12-18 months. Also, some schools offer 4+1 programs for recent bachelor's graduates, allowing them to earn an MBA in just one year after undergrad. Executive MBA programs are often 1-2 years long.

Most online MBA students start by researching program options, then applying to schools. It is common to attend online MBA programs part time, while still working full time. Part-time programs take longer than full-time programs.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online MBA Program?

When researching online MBA programs, students should look for concentrations and courses that match their career goals. Offerings vary by program, but there are a few common courses and concentrations found in online MBA programs.

Online MBA Courses

Online MBA programs focus on business best practices and leadership and management skills. A few common courses are outlined below.

Online MBA Concentrations

Business is a broad topic, so most online MBA programs offer concentrations to help students focus their skills. Below are a few common concentrations.

Marketing

Marketing concentrations teach students to lead marketing departments and make high-level decisions about brand strategy. Courses cover marketing analysis and development, global brand strategies, and how to use data analytics in marketing. Graduates can pursue titles like brand and product marketing manager, public relations director, marketing data analyst, or marketing director.

Finance

MBA finance concentrations explore the tools used to improve company bottom lines. Students learn to make financial decisions and keep organizations profitable. Classes cover international financial markets, advanced corporate finance, venture capitalism, and behavioral finance.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs create their own business ventures. Students in this concentration learn about building business plans, covering finance, marketing, human assets, and management strategies. Classes also cover venture capital, the finance of buyouts and acquisitions, and intellectual property strategy for innovation-driven enterprises.

International Business

International business concentrations cover global markets, international trends, and the rules governing multinational corporations. They cover traditional business topics — like human resource management and finance — through an international lens. Common courses include international business environments, international business law, and global operations for supply chain strategies.

Human Resource Management

Human resource management concentrations prepare students for roles like training manager, compensation and benefits manager, or human resource manager. Courses cover human resource staffing, talent management and development, and leading the strategic change process. Programs may also examine negotiation and conflict resolution strategies.

How Are Online MBA Programs Accredited?

Online MBA students should look for two types of accreditation when researching schools: regional and programmatic. Regional accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards for faculty, academic rigor, and student learning outcomes. There is also national accreditation, but it typically applies only to vocational or trade schools, not to business schools.

Programmatic accreditation applies to programs within a school. MBA accreditation usually comes from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

MBA Careers

There are MBA graduate jobs in most industries. Here are some common jobs and salaries for MBA graduates.

true Management Analysts
Median Salary 2020: $87,660 Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 14%

Also known as management consultants, management analysts help organizations be efficient. They may work for a single corporation or in a consulting role for several companies. Management analysts observe the workplace to identify efficiency problems. They interview staff and review financial data.

Next, management analysts develop solutions based on organizational needs. They may introduce new systems or work with management teams to train staff or set company goals.

true Top Executives
Median Salary 2020: $107,680 Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 8%

Top executives run companies at a high level, directing activities and setting goals. They devise strategic plans, manage other department leaders, and decide company priorities. They may also set budgets, negotiate large contracts, and review financial statements.

Executives need strong leadership, problem-solving, communication, and decision-making skills.

true Administrative Service Managers
Median Salary 2020: $98,890 Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 9%

Administrative service managers oversee clerical staff, set department goals, enforce operational policies, and manage recordkeeping. They may also manage an organization's facilities.

Sometimes, administrative service managers hire outside vendors or specialists to repair equipment or install technology. They also ensure that companies follow local, state, federal, and industry regulations.

true Financial Managers
Median Salary 2020: $134,180 Projected Job Growth 2020-2030: 17%

Financial managers help companies manage finances and increase revenue. They prepare financial statements, create income and loss forecasts, develop business activity reports, and present financial information to stakeholders. Financial managers need a keen eye for detail and strong analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Popular Questions About MBAs

What Does MBA Stand For?

MBA stands for master of business administration.

What Is an MBA?

An MBA is a graduate degree that prepares students for high-level business roles in fields like finance, human relations, and marketing.

What Can You Do With an MBA?

MBA graduates can earn managerial and leadership roles, including executive roles like CEO or CFO.

Is an MBA a Master's Degree?

Yes, an MBA is a master's degree. So is an online MBA. Applicants need a bachelor's degree to apply for an online MBA program.

What Jobs Can I Get With an MBA?

Common jobs for MBA graduates include top executive, marketing manager, and administrative service manager. However, graduates can pursue many other business careers as well.

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