Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

by Doug Wintemute

Updated October 19, 2022

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Attending top MBA programs with high admission rates can help boost an applicant's career, opening up more educational and professional opportunities.

Earning a degree from one of the top MBA programs can transform a professional's career. The advanced training can qualify graduates for management positions — which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects will grow by a rate of 5% from 2019-2029 — and work for some of the biggest and best organizations in the country.

However, the application process can be daunting, time-consuming, and expensive. Before applying to just any school, prospective students should do some research to find the top MBA programs with high admission rates. A well-researched application strategy can help improve admission chances.

Ranking Methodology

We identified the top MBA programs based on the quality of the program, the range and types of courses offered, student-faculty ratio, quality of faculty, graduation rate, accreditation status, awards, and reputation and ranked those who admit more than 75% of applicants.

Top 10 Online MBA Programs with High Admission Rates in 2022

#1 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online MBA, offered by Florida State University from its Tallahassee campus, ranks as a top degree. The program emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing learners for decision-making responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, graduates can advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The curriculum explores business research and methodologies. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. Applicants without a background in business may need to complete prerequisites.

Online enrollees meet any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through networking events.

Florida State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 36%

Total Online Master's Programs: 13

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,684

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $24,116

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,640
Out-of-state
$19,084
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
42,450
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

Rice University

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Houston, Texas, Rice University hosts a top-rated online MBA. The program emphasizes specialized skills, preparing graduates for increased responsibilities and a higher earning potential. After earning a master's degree, candidates can also pursue careers in new industries.

The curriculum emphasizes current research in business management. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. Applicants without a business management background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Rice University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 9%

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $48,791

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $48,791

Average Tuition
In-state
$48,330
Out-of-state
$48,330
Retention Rate
98%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
7,282
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

  • La Crosse, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse offers an online MBA that helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. After earning a master's degree, candidates can also pursue careers in new industries.

The curriculum examines advanced theories and practices in business management. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in business management before applying to the program.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internships at approved locations in their local area. Internships and other networking events help degree candidates expand their professional network.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 73%

Total Online Master's Programs: 5

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,651

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,637

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,585
Out-of-state
$16,404
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
10,623
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

Clemson University

  • Clemson, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Clemson University, located in Clemson, South Carolina, enrolls master's students in its online MBA program. The program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the field. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The master's program builds on undergraduate training or professional experience in business management.

Online enrollees work with the program to arrange professional internships at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

Clemson University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 51%

Total Online Master's Programs: 18

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,600

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,050

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,118
Out-of-state
$37,110
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
25,822
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

American University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Washington, D.C., American University offers an online MBA. The program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. With a master's degree, candidates can also pursue new career opportunities.

The curriculum examines advanced theories and practices in business management. Learners take specialized courses to stand out in a competitive job market. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in business management before applying to the program.

Online enrollees complete local internships to gain hands-on experience. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

American University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 36%

Total Online Master's Programs: 16

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $30,351

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $30,351

Average Tuition
In-state
$49,070
Out-of-state
$49,070
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
14,318
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Lafayette, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students seeking an online MBA can enroll in the program at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The program emphasizes specialized skills, preparing graduates for increased responsibilities and a higher earning potential. Earning a master's degree can help candidates advance in their current career or pursue a new career path entirely.

The curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The master's program recommends a background in business management or a related field when applying.

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

University of Louisiana at Lafayette at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 68%

Total Online Master's Programs: 6

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,511

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,239

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,407
Out-of-state
$19,135
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
16,933
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

Southeastern University

  • Lakeland, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online MBA in leadership at Southeastern University, located in Lakeland, Florida, prioritizes flexibility. Graduates train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree. Master's graduates can move into a new career or advance in their current field.

The curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to business management. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in business management before applying to the program.

Online enrollees can often complete professional internships at approved locations in their own community. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Southeastern University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 48%

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Program Name: MBA in leadership

Graduate Tuition In State: $12,810

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,810

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,620
Out-of-state
$25,620
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
9,894
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

California State University, San Bernardino

  • San Bernardino, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online MBA at California State University, San Bernardino uses a flexible distance learning format. The program builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The curriculum emphasizes theory and practice in business management. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. The admission requirements include a background in business management or a related field.

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

California State University, San Bernardino at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 69%

Total Online Master's Programs: 5

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,176

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,680

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
20,638
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#9 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

University of West Georgia

  • Carrollton, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Carrollton, University of West Georgia enrolls students in its top-ranked online MBA program. The program strengthens industry-specific skills, preparing graduates for leadership responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, candidates can advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The curriculum emphasizes theory and practice in business management. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. Applicants without a degree in business management or a related field may need to meet prerequisite requirements.

Online enrollees complement the classroom experience with internship opportunities in their local area. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

University of West Georgia at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 59%

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,338

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,830

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,371
Out-of-state
$15,426
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
13,238
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online MBA Programs With High Admission Rates

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Kennesaw, Georgia, Kennesaw State University hosts a top-rated online MBA. The program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. With a master's degree, candidates can advance in their current career or move into new careers.

The curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a business management background may need to complete prerequisites.

Online enrollees complement the classroom experience with local internships. These and other practicum activities also provide professional networking opportunities.

Kennesaw State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 75%

Total Online Master's Programs: 20

Program Name: MBA

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,328

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,188

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,450
Out-of-state
$15,704
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
37,807
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Featured Online MBA Programs

What Is an Online MBA?

An MBA degree provides leadership skills while helping students build their professional networks and develop business knowledge. These programs typically run for two years and attract experienced business professionals looking to advance their careers.

The top MBA programs offer practical training that improves their students' abilities to plan, analyze, and problem-solve in business settings.

Choosing an Online MBA Program

When selecting from the top MBA programs, prospective students have a few elements to consider. Factors like program cost, admission requirements, and program length can all affect a learner's experience and return on investment. Candidates should always research a program's MBA specializations, practicums, and networking opportunities before enrolling.

What factor is the most important depends on a student's goals. If a prospective student wants a name-brand school, they should consider each program's institutional prestige, faculty reputation, and available facilities. Location is another important factor, and online learning has made distant programs much more accessible. Some of the best online MBA programs even offer in-state tuition to out-of-state learners.

Accreditation for Online MBA Degrees

Regional and programmatic accreditation are mandatory when choosing an MBA program. Accreditation status can affect a student's eligibility for financial aid and employment after graduation. Students should only earn business degrees from regionally accredited schools.

For programmatic MBA accreditation, prospective students should look for recognition from 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). These organizations ensure that MBA programs meet professional educational standards.

What Can I Expect in Pursuing an MBA Online?

Every school offers a unique curriculum, but many top MBA programs have similar courses. Some common topics include data analytics, organizational leadership, managerial finance, and strategic management. Enrollees can also gain more specialized training through a concentration, such as the concentrations listed below.

Common Concentrations in an MBA Program

  • Accounting: In an MBA in accounting, students gain accounting training from a business management perspective. They learn to use advanced accounting methods and techniques to improve business operations through coursework in compensation planning, business law, and stakeholder reporting.
  • Entrepreneurship: In an MBA in entrepreneurship, enrollees learn to identify opportunity and risk, build and defend business models, and handle entrepreneurial finances and marketing.
  • Finance: MBA in finance programs cover subjects related to business, corporate, and entrepreneurial finance. The training typically includes venture capital, financial consulting, derivative securities, and investing coursework.
  • International Business: An MBA in international business teaches students to manage and analyze organizations in a global landscape. Learners study concepts in cross-cultural communications, foreign market development, and international buyer behavior.
  • Management Information Systems: An MBA in management information systems teaches students to use information systems to provide business solutions. Learners explore network administration, data mining analytics, and database systems design.
  • Project Management: Students earning an MBA in project management learn to manage projects and teams throughout project lifecycles. They acquire soft skills in leadership and improving organizational behavior, along with technical skills in budgeting, reporting, and strategizing.
  • Sustainability: In an MBA in sustainability, students learn to connect businesses with environmental initiatives. They explore resource efficiency, clean energy policies, social innovation, and sustainable marketing.

Business Careers

Professionals with MBAs can pursue some of the best business jobs, including management occupations, across many industries. Their advanced business expertise and leadership skills allow them to gain employment in finance, marketing, analysis, and administration roles. Specializing in a subdiscipline can improve a candidate's qualifications and set them apart from the competition.

The following information highlights some career possibilities MBA students can pursue after graduation. While MBA graduates typically qualify for the jobs listed below, some careers may require further training or postgraduate certifications.

Financial Managers

$134,180
Median Annual Salary (2020)

15%
Projected Growth (2019-2029)

Source: BLS

Top Executives

$107,680
Median Annual Salary (2020)

4%
Projected Growth (2019-2029)

Source: BLS

Administrative Services and Facilities Managers

$98,890
Median Annual Salary (2020)

6%
Projected Growth (2019-2029)

Source: BLS

Management
Analysts

$87,660
Median Annual Salary (2020)

11%
Projected Growth (2019-2029)

Source: BLS

Interview with an Expert

Portrait of Tarla Atwell

Tarla Atwell

Preferred Pronouns: she/her

Tarla Atwell graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, with a BA in political science in 2004. She furthered her education with an MBA degree from Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, in 2009. For 15 years, Atwell was the vice president of Draga Laboratories, where she oversaw all financial and legal matters. Atwell again furthered her education with a JD, graduating cum laude from John Marshall Law School in May 2019. She was a law clerk with the Piedmont Judicial Circuit before entering private practice in Jefferson, Georgia, in 2021. She currently practices criminal defense, family law, business, trademark, and copyright law.

Where did you get your MBA?

Shorter College, Rome, Georgia — now known as Shorter University.

At what point in your career did you get your MBA, and why then?

After I graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, I applied to law schools that offered programs where a law school student could obtain a JD/MBA degree. When I applied to 20 schools and was denied acceptance to all of them, I was forced to take a year off between undergraduate school and graduate school (they now call this "gap year").

During my "gap year", I re-focused and realized that I should work on my MBA first, so that's what I did. I studied and took prep courses for the GRE and GMAT and began to apply to schools that offered MBA programs.

What do you do for your career now?

I was the VP for Draga Laboratories LLC, a family-owned hair care and cosmetic manufacturer in Atlanta, Georgia, for 15 years. I am currently an attorney in private practice in Jefferson, Georgia.

What advice do you have for someone considering pursuing an MBA?

My advice is to prepare yourself for the journey. MBA programs are challenging, so I would definitely advise anyone who is considering an MBA program to go ahead and talk to your employer and ask them if you could start shadowing different departments and try to put into practice some of the skills that you are learning in the MBA program. Getting practical experience while working on my MBA was an invaluable experience.

What's most important when selecting an MBA program? Program prestige, location, cost, something else?

The first thing I believe is important when selecting an MBA program is finding a program that fits YOU.

I believe it is important for you to consider who your classmates will be. For example, will your classmates be working adults with various experience levels or students who just graduated from college? In my experience, I found most MBA programs that I was applying to were group/cohort-type programs, so definitely finding out the "experience" level of your classmates was of great importance to me. Additionally, finding out if your program meets on weekdays, week nights, or weekends.

The second thing I believe is important is to find a program that is convenient to where you work or where you live. Commuting to school for class or to meet your group to work on assignments is a small thing but has a big impact on your time. In my opinion, attending a prestigious program does not matter, but rather what does matter is your commitment to pursuing a graduate degree. An MBA is an MBA at the end of the day.

Finally, while graduate school is costly, the cost of the program should not keep you from pursuing your MBA. Consider the cost as an investment in YOU.

How many programs did you apply to (and how many times did you apply to the same program)?

I honestly cannot recall how many programs/schools to which I applied. What I can tell you is that I attended three different MBA programs before finding a program that fit ME.

I started at Keller Graduate School's Decatur campus and after two semesters, I realized that this program wasn't a fit for me.

I studied and took the GRE and GMAT again hoping to get a better score, which I didn't, but that didn't stop me from applying to the Professional MBA program at Mercer University's Henry County Campus. After two semesters there and the long commute time I endured, I realized that this program wasn't the right fit for me either.

Finally, I applied to Shorter College's Atlanta Campus, where classes met one night a week. [It had a] small class size where a majority if not all of the students were experienced, working adults with families. It was a cohort type program and it was 15 minutes away from where I lived. I had finally found the perfect MBA program for ME.

Any advice for prospective MBA students with less-than-stellar GMAT or GRE scores?

I had low GMAT and GRE scores. I also had a low LSAT score, yet that didn't stop me from pursuing my MBA and eventually my law degree.

My advice is to not let a test score define who you are or who you can become. In addition, do not let an admissions counselor or director of admission nor anyone tell you that you won't do well in school because of your test score. Do not let that negativity manifest in your spirit, but rather allow those comments to go in one ear and immediately out the other ear.

My advice is to stay calm, keep your head up, keep the faith, and believe in yourself, for you can and you will achieve your goal. I know all too well how a "less than stellar GMAT, GRE, and LSAT" score tried to keep me from pursuing my goals. I never gave up, and neither should you.

How has the quality of your MBA program impacted your career trajectory, do you think?

The quality of my MBA program has directly impacted my career trajectory. After graduating with my MBA, it gave me a renewed purpose. My MBA gave me the ability to help make improvements at Draga Laboratories in all areas of the manufacturing business. My MBA helped me with managing my time while working full time and attending law school in the evening. My MBA continues to help me today in running a private practice. My MBA continues to be the most valuable degree that I could have invested in for myself.

Popular Questions About MBA Programs

What Are the Top MBA Schools Known For?

Return on investment is the major metric MBA schools are known for. Attending a top MBA school can provide strong returns for students, as many employers seek graduates from prestigious institutions. These schools usually have exceptional faculties, facilities, and networks, leading to strong employment rates after graduation.

What Is a Top-Tier MBA Program?

A top-tier MBA program provides access to great resources and programming during their studies. These programs often attract high-quality students and faculties, which improves peer-to-peer learning, networking experiences, and employment opportunities.

What Is the Acceptance Rate for MBA Programs?

The average acceptance rate among the top MBA programs was 58.9% in 2020, according to U.S. News & World Report. The 10 most difficult programs to get into had an average admission rate of 19.1%.

What GPA Do You Need for Top MBA Schools?

At least a 3.5 for top-tier MBA programs, although admission requirements vary, and some programs don't have them at all. Prospective students also typically need a bachelor's degree, a minimum of two years of work experience, and GMAT scores for admission.

Portrait of Doug Wintemute

Doug Wintemute

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.


Header Image Credit: Maskot | Getty Images


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