Best Online MBA Programs

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by TBS Staff Writers

Updated October 3, 2022

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

The 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.

Based in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California hosts a top-rated online master's in business management. The master of business administration program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum covers methodological and research perspectives. Learners choose electives or a specialization to gain focused career training. The admission requirements include a background in business or a related field.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

The University of Southern California at a Glance:

Type of School: Private

Admission Rate: 11%

Total Online Master's Programs: 55

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $46,272

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $46,272

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#2

The 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.

Graduate students seeking an online business management degree can enroll in the master's program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The master of business administration builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum emphasizes theory and practice in business management. Learners prepare for focused career paths by choosing electives and concentrations. Applicants without a business background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. Internships and other practicum activities also provide professional networking opportunities.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 23%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,552

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $28,278

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#3

The 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.

Graduate students interested in a master's in business management can earn their degree from the University of Florida, located in Gainesville. The master of business administration builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in business management. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. The admission requirements include a background in business or a related field.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. The program hosts networking events and other professional development activities to help graduate students expand their professional connections.

The University of Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 37%

Total Online Master's Programs: 42

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,770

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,335

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#4

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.

The online master's degree in business management at Rice University, located in Houston, Texas, offers high academic quality. The master of business administration program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, candidates advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in business management. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. Applicants without a degree in business or a related field may need to meet prerequisite requirements to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Rice University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 9%

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $48,791

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $48,791

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#5

Averett University

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.

Graduate students interested in a master's in business management can earn their degree from Averett University, located in Danville, Virginia. Graduates train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree from one of the school's master of business administration programs. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners choose electives or a specialization to gain focused career training. Applicants who majored in business or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees work with the program to arrange professional internships at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also build professional connections through virtual networking events and other activities.

Averett University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 24%

Total Online Master's Programs: 11

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,790

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,790

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#6

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.

Based in Tallahassee, Florida State University hosts a top-rated online master's in business. The master of business administration program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The master's curriculum emphasizes current research in business. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a business background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

Florida State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 36%

Total Online Master's Programs: 13

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,684

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $24,116

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#7

Ottawa University-Main campus

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.

Graduate students interested in a master's in business management can earn their degree from Ottawa University, located in Ottawa, Kansas. The master of business administration program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners specialize their course of study to prepare for the job market. The master's program recommends a background in business before applying to the program.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. The program encourages graduate students to participate in hands-on experiences and networking events to grow their professional connections.

Ottawa University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 15%

Total Online Master's Programs: 7

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,430

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,430

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#8

Western Governors University

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

Graduate students seeking an online business management degree can enroll in the master's program at Western Governors University, located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The master of business administration builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. After earning a master's degree, candidates also pursue careers in new industries.

The master's curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of business management. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in business or a related field.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. The program hosts networking events and other professional development activities to help graduate students expand their professional connections.

Western Governors University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Total Online Master's Programs: 29

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,500

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,500

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#9

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.

The online master's in business management degree at Babson College, located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, prioritizes flexibility. The master of business administration program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum covers methodological and research perspectives. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. Applicants who majored in business or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees work with the program to identify internship opportunities at approved sites in their local communities. Internships and other practicum activities build both hands-on experience and professional connections.

Babson College at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 26%

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $89,550

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $89,550

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#10

The 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.

The master's in business management degree at the University of Miami, located in Coral Gables, Florida, uses a flexible distance learning format. The master of business administration program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of business management. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. Applicants who majored in business or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

The University of Miami at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 27%

Total Online Master's Programs: 11

Program Name: Master of Business Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $37,800

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $37,800

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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