The Most Affordable Online Business Degrees

The Most Affordable Online Business Degrees

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Business degrees help students develop the critical thinking, financial, management, and decision-making skills needed to contribute to a variety of organizations and industries.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 19% of college graduates in 2017-2018 majored in business.

The popularity of business degrees is due in part to their versatility. Graduates can find work in a range of positions across virtually any industry, including marketing, management, and finance. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects faster-than-average job growth for business and finance professionals between 2018-2018.

Business is often a lucrative career choice, too. In just one example, graduates with a bachelor's degree in business are qualified to work as entry-level management analysts, who earn a median salary of $85,260 per year.

Finding the right program for you isn't just about finding the cheapest online business degree. This guide ranks the best online business bachelor's degrees to help students find the right programs for their needs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses, admission requirements, and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Business Programs 2020

#1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
#2 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
#3 University of Missouri – Columbia Columbia, MO
#4 University of Massachusetts – Amherst Amherst, MA
#5 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
#6 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
#7 Auburn University Auburn, AL
#8 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
#9 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
#10 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL

The Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Business

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University of Massachusetts – Amherst 

Amherst, MA Apply Now

About this school

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an online bachelor of business administration with majors in accounting, finance, and operations and information management. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency location.

The program includes general education, core, breadth, and major courses. Required core classes include principles of financial accounting, business data analysis, business policy and strategy, and introduction to law. Online students learn from the same high-quality faculty who teach on campus. The Isenberg School of Management boasts partnerships with a variety of organizations that offer experiential learning opportunities for business students.

Strong applicants should have at least 27 transferable credits and a minimum 3.0 GPA, but each prospective student is evaluated individually. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Temple University 

Philadelphia, PA Apply Now

About this school

Temple University's Fox School of Business offers an affordable online business degree that emphasizes business ethics, professionalism, and etiquette. Students receive professional development assistance, face-to-face interactions with business leaders, and internship opportunities during the program.

Designed for working professionals, this online bachelor of business administration offers majors in business management, supply chain management, legal studies, and human resources management. Classes include communicating in organizations, critical skills for effective managers, marketing research, and consumer data analytics. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency location.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a 250-word essay, and documentation of extracurricular activities. Any student who has an associate degree in business administration from a community college that has a transfer agreement with Temple can graduate in just two years.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

The University of Alabama 

Tuscaloosa, AL Apply Now

About this school

Working professionals can earn an online business degrees at the University of Alabama. All distance learners pursuing the BS in commerce and business administration at UA pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency location. The business program explores topics like microeconomics, macroeconomics, marketing, and accounting. Graduates qualify for careers in management, finance, entrepreneurship, and human resources.

The 120-credit program offers two specializations: management and marketing. Regardless of specialization, all students take core classes like principles of accounting, statistical data analysis, organizational theory and behavior, and introduction to production management. Many students also choose to minor in a related discipline like computing technology and applications, communication studies, or real estate.

The program accepts applications year-round and holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program makes admission decisions based on high school coursework, high school GPA, and ACT or SAT scores. Students who graduated from high school more than four years ago do not need to submit ACT or SAT scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Auburn University 

Auburn, AL Apply Now

About this school

Auburn University's bachelor of science in business administration degree-completion program ranks among the most affordable online business degrees in the country. The program allows students with prior credits to finish their bachelor's degrees completely online. Offered through the Harbert College of Business, the program explores major areas of business, including accounting, finance, marketing, and management.

The 60-credit program includes 22 courses. Students take two 7.5-week courses per term, often graduating within two years. The curriculum includes classes like principles of financial accounting, human resource management, introduction to management information systems, and financial statement analysis.

Auburn assigns a student success coordinator to each distance learner and offers an online orientation for new students. Applicants need 63 transfer credits and a minimum 2.5 GPA. This online BSBA program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of New Mexico 

Albuquerque, NM Apply Now

About this school

The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico offers an affordable, online business degree-completion program. This accelerated online bachelor of business administration with a concentration in general management requires 43 major credits.

Online classes last eight weeks, and the program offers a flat per-credit tuition rate, regardless of where students live. Learners study topics like business law, marketing, ethics, and organizational management. Required classes include financial management, computer-based information systems, operations management, and principles of accounting. Students can also gain real-world experience through business internships.

The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Admission requirements include completion of pre-admission coursework and a cumulative minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

Oregon State University 

Corvallis, OR Apply Now

About this school

Future business professionals can earn one of the most affordable online business degrees in the country from Oregon State University. Students in this program can choose from a BA or BS in business administration. Both options focus on creating business solutions to global challenges. Students who live in the Portland area can supplement online coursework with some face-to-face learning on campus.

The 180-credit program offers specializations in digital marketing, general business, retail management, and supply chain and logistics management. All students take core courses in financial planning; principles of marketing; and creativity, culture, and the workplace. Online business majors can add an optional minor in areas like computer science or health management.

All students pursuing the business degree online pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. Online learners have access to library services, academic success coaching, career guidance, and free online tutoring. OSU makes admissions decisions based on academic performance, standardized test scores, and resumes.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

University of Illinois at Chicago 

Chicago, IL Apply Now

About this school

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online bachelor of business administration degree-completion program. This 60-credit program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It covers all areas of business operations and develops leadership, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

Students take classes like business and its external environment, introduction to financial accounting, introduction to management information systems, and advanced managerial communications. UIC's College of Business Administration also offers professional development programs, faculty who are involved with applied and theoretical research, and a variety of business outreach and research centers.

UIC assigns distance learners a designated advisor, who supports their academic success throughout the program. Students have access to the Business Career Center, library services, and the Student Resource Center. Admission requirements include 60 transfer credits with a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Business Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree?

A bachelor's in business is an undergraduate program that provides students with a background in business concepts, legal and social responsibility, and management. Students develop core skills in areas like accounting and quantitative methods, leadership, communication, financial analysis, and problem-solving.

The most affordable online business degrees attract many types of learners. Recent high school graduates looking for a flexible college experience may seek out online programs, while working professionals may choose an online business degree to help them advance in their careers while maintaining employment.

Choosing an Online Program

Prospective students should take time to evaluate multiple options before committing to a program. Visit the link below to learn about important factors to consider throughout your selection process.

How To Choose Your Major

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Business Program?

Students pursuing an online bachelor's degree in business can often choose from a variety of courses and concentrations. Offerings vary by program. Below, you can explore a few common courses and concentrations often found in online business degree programs.

Business Concentrations


This concentration teaches students how to identify marketing opportunities and develop and launch appropriate, forward-thinking business strategies. Courses cover topics like market research, consumer behavior, international marketing, and marketing communications. Graduates may work in areas such as advertising, sales management, distribution, and business marketing.


This concentration gives students knowledge and skills applicable to careers in corporate finance, real estate, international finance, banking, and investments. Courses cover topics like financial markets, financial analysis and planning, accounting, and risk management.


This concentration teaches students to research and analyze economic data and trends. With these skills, graduates can create economic forecasts and reports to advise companies on business policies and strategies. Common courses include intermediate micro- and macroeconomics, capital markets, and international economics.


A management concentration is a popular choice for many undergraduate business students. Common areas of study include organizational behavior, negotiation, entrepreneurship, and human resource management. Graduates can pursue managerial roles in diverse industries.

International Business

This concentration examines international business concepts and perspectives. Common courses include international accounting and finance, management in a global economy, and cultural environments of international business. The concentration may also include study abroad experiences and foreign language courses.

Bachelor's in Business Curriculum

  • Business Law: A course in business law explores the nature and function of law in a business environment. Learners study the legal system, various types of law, consumer issues, and contract formation and breaches.
  • Principles of Management: This course provides an introduction to the basic managerial functions of planning, organizing, and leading businesses. Students learn to effectively lead employees by understanding individual needs and motivations. They often apply course concepts to practical workplace scenarios to study the roles and responsibilities of managers.
  • Financial Management: This course examines the role of financial managers in large corporations, small businesses, and new business endeavors. Coursework covers topics like financial analysis, forecasting, asset and liability management, and fundraising.

Business Careers

Graduates with an online business bachelor's degree can pursue a variety of roles across diverse industries. The following list outlines popular careers for business graduates, including common duties and potential salaries.

Management Analysts

Median Salary: $85,260 Projected Job Growth: 26%

Management analysts, sometimes called management consultants, make recommendations to improve organizational efficiency. Many management consultants work as contractors rather than full-time employees. They may specialize in areas like healthcare or telecommunications.

Management analysts work closely with an organization's managers. Common tasks include interviewing and observing personnel, analyzing financial data, and developing solutions to problems.

Entry-level management analysts typically need at least a bachelor's degree and several years of relevant work experience, and some employers prefer to hire candidates with an MBA. These professionals benefit from strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills.


Median Salary: $71,550 Projected Job Growth: 6%

Accountants provide financial services for individual and corporate clients. They may examine financial records for accuracy and compliance with regulations, prepare tax returns, assess financial operations, and make suggestions to enhance revenue or reduce costs.

Accountants may specialize in a certain area, such as providing services to the general public, aiding internal business operations, or working on behalf of government agencies.

Entry-level accountants typically need a bachelor's degree. This career requires keen analytical, organizational, and communication skills.

Human Resources Specialists

Median Salary: $61,920 Projected Job Growth: 5%

Human resources specialists work for an organization's HR department, interviewing job applicants, contacting references, aiding with new employee orientation, and processing paperwork and employment records. They may also process payroll, administer benefits, and handle employee questions or problems.

This career typically requires a bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or a related field. Some positions may require previous work experience in an HR department or in customer service.

Human resources specialists can pursue certification through organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management. They benefit from strong communication and decision-making skills.

Business Professional Organizations

Professional organizations offer invaluable support for business students and professionals. The following organizations offer resources like certification opportunities, professional development webinars, and local chapter events.

  • Business Professionals of America A cocurricular organization open to students pursuing careers in business management, finance, information technology, and related fields, BPA strives to develop and empower student leaders through professional, civic, service, and social activities.
  • American Marketing Association AMA serves over 1.2 million marketing and sales professionals across North America. More than 70 local chapters allow members to network, attend local events, and build skills through volunteering. Members also have access to virtual webinars and conferences. Undergraduate students enjoy a membership discount.
  • American Management Association AMA is an international, nonprofit association that provides education and professional development services for both individuals and organizations. Students can join at a reduced cost to receive access to a quarterly journal, monthly newsletter, and featured web content.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Business Program?

An online bachelor's in business typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Business?

A bachelor's in business prepares graduates for entry-level opportunities in diverse industries, such as marketing, management, finance, and accounting.

Is a Business Degree a BA or a BS?

Although some programs award bachelor of arts degrees, most online business bachelor's programs result in a bachelor of science or a bachelor of business administration degree.

Which Business Concentration Is the Best?

The best concentration for a business student depends entirely on their own interests and goals. General tracks are available for students who aren't sure of their professional goals.

Do You Need a Bachelor's in Business to Get an MBA?

No, business schools consider MBA applicants with backgrounds in nearly any academic discipline. MBAs are interdisciplinary programs designed to suit diverse student populations.

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